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Thursday, July 04, 2013

Frenchelon: Is France really shocked it might be spied on?

I am shocked to find that the US has been spying
Earlier in the week President Hollande was calling for the EU USA trade talks to be broken off following allegations of US spying.

Today Le Monde reports on "Révélations sur le Big Brother français" which details the French Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE)'s world wide spying network nick named 'Frenchelon' which includes their own version of the US system PRISM, which, according to Le Monde, includes a giant computer storing data gleaned from phones. Interestingly their network also includes a base at Mutzig conveniently close to the German border!

So what do we make of this? Well obviously, unless they are very poor spies, the French and US/UK operations know what each other are up to. So why call for the trade talks to be stopped? Well perhaps you never wanted them in the first place... Will Hollande now go quiet?

French ship: Dupuy de Lôme - giant golf anyone?

3 comments:

Rik said...

Looks like a good tactical move to start things with: act as if you are angry (with reason and btw forgiveness has a price). Negotiations go via such big teams that you donot really have to be worried it spoils the atmosphere.

Pretty hypocritical also seen the fact that the French closed their airspace for a presidential airplane on basis of a rumour and obviously on request of the US.
Only backfired: it made the whole joint like a bunch of conspiring morons.

And we know that there is probably more to come (and relevant stuff as well) otherwise you donot do a thing like that with huge diplomatic repercussions. Not to get just a guy who has told everything he knows. Clear that half of Latin America would be P#$$ed off because of this.
Next time better spread the rumour he is in Putin's plane that could be fun (or Hollande's). Or shoot the plane he is in with a Stinger (USAid for dodgy Islamists on the crate). Whoever would have done it the US will get the blame anyway.

Anonymous said...

Well I wouldn't normally quote the Daily Mail .... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2356178/Hollandes-hypocrisy-Edward-Snowden-revelations-revealed-French-intelligence-services-spy-illegally.html

I seem to remember the French intelligence services have been implicated in commercial spying scandals fairly often.

All in all a lot of pots generally denigrating kettles. Difficult to see this as anything other than trying to block any trade deal to protect those oh so tedious films (heavily subsidized too).

Not likely to go far given the Germans are clearly quite keen on a trade agreement

Rik said...

In Germany the issue starts to play if the BND was involved. Looks pretty obvious they were, the main question being if it becomes a public/media issue. Now it starts to look like that (Spiegel again).
And of course if German governments knew about it. Looks pretty obvious as well they were.
Depends a bit if SPD candidates can be blamed, if not this is likely to play up before the election. If it does, hard to see how Merkel can 'silence' herself out of it.

Luxemburg. Looks Juncker is toast. More on a related issue. But this will keep spying in the media's attention.

Anyway in general very likely in several countries the question will come up whether their governments have been doing seriously illegal stuff or that secret services have become a loose guns. It is one or the other. Well of course the former, it is more the question what proof comes up of things. And always a few populist or lefties that will bring it up.

On the legal status. Simply sucks big time. In nearly all countries I have seen this is something (getting into people's private sphere) that has to be done via a formal law. And formal laws simply have to be publicized to become formal laws. If at all possible as there are also several treaties that protect privacy in such situations.
So there is simply no legal basis herefor. Or it is complete legal rubbish. Simply the rule 'if they donot know you will get away with it', has been broken. They now know. The legal set up for secret service work has completely be rubbished if the opponents of this stuff play their cards right. And can not be saved retroactively.

Companies related to this will have an even more difficult case as it will be a civil law issue as well (next to a criminal one that is). So organisations that want to tackle this: class action, independent court (not Greek cs, but UK, Northern Europe, Spain) next to criminal stuff. Hit them where it hurts: in the wallet.
Legal basis for cooperation was extremely weak, as said there is simply no formal law allowing this in nearly all countries (as no formal law has been publicized (so there is none).