WASHINGTON — The French government summoned U.S. Ambassador Charles Rivkin on Monday to explain a French newspaper report that the National Security Agency swept up 70.3 million French phone records in a 30-day period.
The French government called the practice "totally unacceptable" and wanted to know why the U.S. spied on one of its closest allies.
Spying among allied countries is common, but the scope of the NSA surveillance, as revealed by leaker Edward Snowden, was larger than expected.
Similar U.S. spying programs have been revealed in Britain, Brazil, Mexico and Germany.
"The ambassador expressed his appreciation of the importance of the exchange, and promised to convey the points made back to Washington," a statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Paris said.