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27/06/2015 | France and America - I spy, you spy

The Economist Staff

The French are “shocked, shocked” by American spying—but not their own

 

WHEN it emerged two years ago that America’s National Security Agency (NSA) was spying electronically on European leaders, France’s Socialist president, François Hollande, called it “totally unacceptable”. He had words with the Americans and there was a minor fuss, but it soon died down.

There was a similar show of indignation on June 24th, after the revelation by WikiLeaks that from 2006 to 2012 the NSA had spied on three French presidents: Mr Hollande and his two centre-right predecessors, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac. After an emergency meeting of the French national defence council, the Elysée again called the practice “unacceptable”. The Americans had given “undertakings” to France in 2013 and 2014, which should be “strictly respected”. Yet this time the protests are more awkward, since France is busy legalising electronic-eavesdropping powers for its own spies.

WHEN it emerged two years ago that America’s National Security Agency (NSA) was spying electronically on European leaders, France’s Socialist president, François Hollande, called it “totally unacceptable”. He had words with the Americans and there was a minor fuss, but it soon died down.

There was a similar show of indignation on June 24th, after the revelation by WikiLeaks that from 2006 to 2012 the NSA had spied on three French presidents: Mr Hollande and his two centre-right predecessors, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac. After an emergency meeting of the French national defence council, the Elysée again called the practice “unacceptable”. The Americans had given “undertakings” to France in 2013 and 2014, which should be “strictly respected”. Yet this time the protests are more awkward, since France is busy legalising electronic-eavesdropping powers for its own spies.

One reason why the French understand America’s modern surveillance capability is their close co-operation on counter-terrorism. France collects and shares with the Americans plenty of intelligence from the African Sahel, for instance. There have also been revelations about electronic snooping at home. In 2013 Le Monde, another daily, revealed that the DGSE, the foreign security service, runs a mass interception operation of internet communications. “The only rule in this game is that you don’t get caught,” says François Heisbourg of the Foundation for Strategic Research.

This week, ironically, the French parliament approved a new intelligence law giving more power to France’s own spies, partly by legalising activities the intelligence services are already assumed to be doing. The bill was speeded up after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January. Among other things, spies will be allowed to plant hidden microphones, to tap phone and internet communications and to crunch vast quantities of metadata from private internet providers. The law prompted little public debate and was passed with strong support from both the left and the right.

The Economist (Reino Unido)

 



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06/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
22/08/2008|
22/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
24/05/2008|
24/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
29/04/2008|
11/02/2008|
05/01/2008|
09/12/2007|
18/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/09/2007|
26/08/2007|
25/08/2007|
11/07/2007|
16/06/2007|
16/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
24/04/2007|
24/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
28/02/2007|
28/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
17/11/2006|
30/09/2006|
28/07/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
06/03/2006|
21/02/2006|
17/02/2006|
31/01/2006|
10/01/2006|
28/12/2005|
31/10/2005|
26/09/2005|
29/08/2005|
11/08/2005|
08/08/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|

ver + notas
 
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House