In France, the Spies Also Spy

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In today’s least surprising news, Le Monde reports that France’s intelligence agencies also hoover up every possible speck of electronic data they can:

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 a call was made and where a person was when sending an email — that is being archived, not their content

….Le Monde said the French surveillance program relies on spy satellites, listening stations in French overseas territories or former colonies and information harvested from undersea cables.

French lawmaker Patricia Adam played down the report, saying France’s surveillance system is not comparable with the NSA’s. Adam, 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 cellphones, emails and Internet communication.

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