As Hollande claims to be expressing his total outrage at American interception of French communications, whilst at the same time doing America’s bidding in denying airspace clearance to the Bolivian Presidential plane. It turns out that the French government is actually spying on its own people in a similar way to the NSA.
All phone calls, emails, text messages, faxes and internet searches are monitored by the French security services – the Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE) – claims the French newspaper ‘Le Monde‘ . The practice is illegal.
The epicentre of the spying operation is a three-storey underground bunker at the DGSE’s headquarters on Boulevard Mortier, Paris. The building contains a “supercalculator capable of managing tens of millions of gigaoctets of information”.
Of course the government has claimed that Le Monde has in fact exaggerated the extent of the French spying operation, claiming only to avail of communications and metadata via court order in exceptional circumstances. French authorities do not note the content of the communications, the newspaper claims, but instead are interested in establishing links between known figures in a terrorist network.
Emails, text messages, telephone records, access to Facebook and Twitter are stored for years. “All of our communications are spied on,” read the article quoting unnamed sources in the intelligence services as well as remarks made publicly by intelligence officials.
The DGSE allegedly stores the metadata from private communications in a basement under its Paris headquarters. All of France’s seven other intelligence services have access to the data and can tap into it freely as a means to spot people’s suspicious communications. Individuals can then be targeted by more intrusive techniques such as phone-tapping, it was reported. End.
This latest revelation will be highly embarrassing for Hollande, who recently along with other European leaders played the part of wronged siblings with regard to US spying, in an effort to appease the people of Europe.
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