The National Security Agency tracked “phone conversations” of 35 foreign leaders, according to documents obtained by the Guardian from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The NSA encouraged executive branch officials to share their contact lists with the spy agency so that it could monitor the phone calls of foreign leaders, according to a 2006 memo. The memo notes that one U.S. official gave the NSA contact information for 35 foreign leaders, but the it does not include any names.
This news follows a phone call between President Obama and Angela Merkel, in which Merkel complained to Obama about reports that the U.S. may have been spying on her mobile phone. The White House said Wednesday that the U.S. is not currently monitoring Merkel’s phone.
The NSA document provided by Snowden also includes an acknowledgment that tracking the phone calls of foreign leaders generated “little reportable intelligence.”