France’s leading newspaper, Le Monde, is reporting that French intelligence agencies are operating a PRISM-like program, gathering phone and computer data.
Le Monde did not name any sources, but claimed that France’s Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE), the country’s foreign intelligence agency, records the electronic data, as well as communications between France and other nations.
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 said that the information collected was, where someone made a call or when an e-mail was sent. They are not collecting the actual content of messages.
At present time, the government has not commented on the revelation.
Le Monde said ‘the vast archive of tens of millions of gigabytes, is accessible to France’s other spy agencies, including military intelligence, domestic intelligence, Paris police and a special financial crimes task force.’
An unnamed French lawmaker claims their system is not comparable to that of the United States.
Patricia Adams, a lawmaker who was the head of the intelligence committee describes France’s spying network as “line fishing, not trawling” the vast amounts of data on cell phones, i-Pads, PC’s, and notebooks.
There will be many questions for the French government as to how extensive the project is. After Edward Snowden’s leak of the United States and United Kingdom’s invasive operation, the people of France will want guarantees that their personal freedom is secure.
It may not be PRISM, but France is operating a surveillance system that is ‘PRISM-like.’
Alfred James reporting