Report says France operates PRISM-like spy network

Jul 04, 2013

A leading French newspaper says France's intelligence services have put in place a giant electronic surveillance gathering network.

Citing no sources, the Le Monde daily says France's Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure, the country's foreign intelligence agency, systematically collects information about all electronic data sent by computers and telephones in France, as well as communications between France and abroad.

According to Le Monde, data on "all emails, SMSs, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts" are collected and stored in a massive three-floor underground bunker at the DGSE's headquarters in Paris. The paper specified that it is the communications' metadata—such as when was call was made and where an author was when she sent an email—that is being archived, not their content.

Officials at the DGSE did not answer phone calls or emails seeking comment Thursday.

The vast archive, which Le Monde says amounts to tens of millions of gigabytes, is accessible to France's other , including military intelligence, domestic intelligence, Paris police and a special task force.

Le Monde compared the French digital dragnet to PRISM, the U.S. National Security Agency program which has most caught the imagination of Internet users. But PRISM appears aimed at allowing U.S. spies to peel data off the servers of Silicon Valley firms—whereas the program described in Le Monde appears to be fed through the mass interception of electronic data bouncing across the world.

Also, PRISM can apparently be used to collect content, not just metadata.

Le Monde said the French relies on spy satellites, listening stations in French overseas territories or former colonies such as Mayotte or Djibouti, and information harvested from —all three of which are methods long familiar to the NSA.

A French lawmaker played down the report, saying France's surveillance gathering system is not comparable with the NSA's.

Patricia Adam, a lawmaker who until last year headed parliament's intelligence committee, said French spies "are line fishing, not trawling" the vast oceans of data thrown up by mobile phones, emails and Internet communication.

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maxb500_live_nl
1.3 / 5 (3) Jul 04, 2013
This is not in comparison to what Obama is doing. We are talking about bugs/wiretaps inside the offices of EU politicians and European ambassadors at the UN and inside the EU buildings in Brussels. If France (let alone any other EU country) had bugs/wiretaps inside offices of US Senators and inside the White house listening in on direct phone calls, watching e-mails and internet activity by Obama and US Senators then Washington would likely declare war on France. They would call it an act of great betrayal and what not. That Obama says 'every country is doing it' is bad excuse. Besides it`s a lie as most countries in the world don`t even have money to run their country let alone spy programs. Let alone giant spy programs. Let alone in the buildings of the politicians and ambassadors of it supposed greatest allies. This will have great implications for Europe-US relations with future policies to be made by European officials. As even Obama admits the US can not be trusted.
kochevnik
2.1 / 5 (7) Jul 04, 2013
Drill this into thick American heads:

Clapper was asked during a hearing in March by Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, if the NSA gathered "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans."

At first, Clapper answered definitively: "No."
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (6) Jul 04, 2013
would likely declare war
Why? The US never attacked the soviets. We had to tear down an entire embassy because the structure was riddled with bugs.

Everybody spies on everybody. This is called communication. The best way to share delicate info is through spy agencies, which are full of pros who are experts at managing secrets.

It is obvious by studying ww2 that supposed enemies used their intelligence networks to keep each other apprised of what they were doing, in order to ensure that that war would play out according to Plan. As do they all.
Clapper said no.
Clapper misunderstood the question and promptly corrected himself once he reviewed the transcript.
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2013
The US never attacked the soviets.


Then what was all that cold war business about? They attacked the Soviets on all fronts except direct military action.

Of course the US wouldn't declare martial law over France wiretapping them, but it would put in place such sanctions that it would be just short of declaring war.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (4) Jul 05, 2013
This is not in comparison to what Obama is doing.

It is for the part where communicatios metadata (and internet content) is collecetd wholesale.
And it isn't "Obama" doing this - PRISM is not a new concept. It was set up under Bush (an conceived in the 1970's). Obamas failing is in not shutting it down (much like Guantanamo). But he's not responsible for this being brought on the American people (again: much like Guantanamo).

They attacked the Soviets on all fronts except direct military action.

And even militarily. Remember the proxy wars?
thingumbobesquire
1 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2013
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2013
Then what was that cold war business all about?
The structure of the world during that era was uniquely suited for accomplishing a number of things which would have been unachievable otherwise. Third world nations had limited options on who to deal with. The US and USSR could play good cop/bad cop in forcing acquiescence.

Theaters of conflict could thus be manipulated - Russia supplied the Arabs with obvious junk weapons which Israel easily destroyed time and again. Etc

The most obvious Benefit of the sham cold war was the production of some 5000 tons of the most useful material that a civilization at our stage of development could possess - fissionables. They are power and freedom in a hostile universe.

This mock competition produced some of themost breathtaking tech devt the world has seen. The 'cold war' provided the stable environment for doing it.

And no, there was never any danger of nuclear war. What, do you think the People in Charge are really that stupid??
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2013
Superpower parity during this period ensured that nuclear weapons COULD be developed with no danger that they would be used in war, and the mock threat among the superpowers ensured that they WOULD be.

The Result was complete dominance of the entire planet. Regional conflicts can be seen from this Perspective as Actions Designed to pacify regions and establish enduring stability by destroying the ancient religionist cultures which no longer exist.

This happened throughout Eurasia during the 20th century. Russia, Germany, china, japan, were all rid of religious dominance and all are peaceful today. The ONE BILLION ABORTIONS which have taken place could not have occurred, had not these cultures been destroyed.

Vietnam is now a stable and prosperous member of the world community due to the concerted actions of BOTH east and west over many gens. This is victory by any measure.

Above a certain level there no enemies in this world. There is only one Entity. Empire.
Guy_Underbridge
not rated yet Jul 06, 2013
Not news (to me)
VendicarE
3 / 5 (2) Jul 06, 2013
"And it isn't "Obama" doing this - PRISM is not a new concept. It was set up under Bush (an conceived in the 1970's)"

Indeed, just last week Bush in an interview said he was proud to have set up PRISM.

George W. Bush Defends PRISM: 'I Put That Program In Place To Protect The Country'

http://www.huffin...249.html