NSA Got Its Hands on 35 Leaders' Numbers

2006 memo, compliments of Snowden, doesn't name the affected leaders
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2013 2:33 PM CDT
NSA Got Its Hands on 35 Leaders' Numbers
Angela Merkel has already accused the US of tapping her phone.   (AP Photo/Kai-Uwe Knoth, File)

The White House may soon have more than Angela Merkel to answer to. Edward Snowden's latest reveal has hit the pages of the Guardian, which alleges that the NSA monitored the calls of 35 unnamed global leaders. Also unnamed in the 2006 document: The US official who provided some 200 numbers to the NSA; those of the 35 leaders were among them. The detail is provided as a sort of case study. The memo reads:

  • "In one recent case, a US official provided NSA with 200 phone numbers to 35 world leaders … Despite the fact that the majority is probably available via open source, the PCs [intelligence production centers] have noted 43 previously unknown phone numbers. These numbers plus several others have been tasked. These numbers have provided lead information to other numbers that have subsequently been tasked."
The memo was titled "Customers Can Help SID Obtain Targetable Phone Numbers," and the Guardian translates that: Basically, the NSA wanted officials who worked for its "customers" (think the White House and State Department) to pony up their
"Rolodexes." Notable line: The memo states that "little reportable intelligence" was obtained from the numbers. The White House had no direct comment. (More NSA stories.)

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