Prosecutors in Paris opened a preliminary investigation into a surveillance program backed by the U.S. National Security Agency. Details of the program were leaked to the news media by former NSA employee Edward Snowden.
The International Federation of Human Rights and the French Human Rights League said media companies YouTube, Facebook, Google, Apple, Skype and others may have played a role in the surveillance program.
Jeanne Warnet, a lawyer for the International Federation of Human Rights, confirmed to Radio France Internationale French prosecutors were investigating their complaints.
RFI said Thursday the companies targeted in the investigation could face criminal charges for violating privacy rules if prosecutors are able to confirm their role in the NSA program.
European lawmakers backed legislation in July calling for an in-depth investigation into the surveillance program. European Union networks were targeted by the U.S. program.
Snowden was granted political asylum in Russia. He faces charges in the United States, including two espionage-related counts, for leaking information about the surveillance program.
Video of Victoria’s Secret models trying to 'twerk' hits Instagram
Ohio crash that killed two caught on camera [VIDEO]