French Report says Mar, Binay ex- targets of US spying

By , on May 22, 2014

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas answering emails while waiting for his flight. Photo courtesy of Roxas' official Facebook page.
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas answering emails while waiting for his flight. Photo courtesy of Roxas’ official Facebook page.

Two of the country’s top leaders are said to have been victims of communication interception by using submarine cables to collect and carry essential data from conversations, according to a recent report from a French newspaper.

Le Monde, has recently decrypted a page from an internal file disclosed by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower and American fugitive Edward Snowden stating that Vice President Jejomar Binay and Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas were among US lists of targets using an underwater cable surveillance program in 2013.

The newspaper’s May 9 report claimed that the same “Upstream” program of NSA were used to carry conversations in a resort in the Caribbean, an institute of physics in Italy, emails of Saudi Telecom staff, a computer company in Pakistan and a telecom company’s subsidiary in Libya.

While previous reports already has mentioned US spying on Philippines’ text messages, Roxas is still positive that the recent report will not strain US-Filipino ties.

“There is not much I can do about it so I don’t worry about it,” Roxas said in a message to the Philippine Star.

Roxas also added that he has not been aware of the existence of the surveillance program and that he is also not worried that it would have any serious effects on the long-time allied nations, the US and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, while the US government’s intention for the surveillance of the two top leaders in the country remained unclear, Le Monde noted that the two are still influential political figures in the country.

With reports from Camille Diola