France also has ‘big ears’

Published on 4 July 2013 at 13:08


"Revelations of the French Big Brother," headlines French daily, Le Monde publishing the results of an investigation that, in the midst of the United States espionage scandal, comes to a striking conclusion: "all of our communications are monitored." This explains why "France's voice was weak in the chorus of European indignation. [...] Paris already knew. And it does the same thing."

The investigation explains the operation of a "systematic collection of electro-magnetic signals emitted by computers or telephones in France, as well as the flows between the France and abroad" put in place by the French secret service, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE).

"Storing this huge database for years" is illegal, Le Monde explains, adding –

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The other intelligence services [...] draw on it on a daily basis for data in which they are interested. It is done in total secrecy, on the margins of legality and without any serious monitoring. Political leaders are well aware of this, but secrecy rules.

And even if, officially,

This French Big Brother, only little brother of the US services, is illegal, its existence is discretely mentioned in parliamentary documents, which propose to go even further [by consolidating] the access of the other services to the DGSE's pooled capacity.

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