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French Gov't Runs Vast Electronic Spying Operation of Its Own

timothy posted about a year ago | from the but-it's-only-wafer-thin-metadata dept.

Communications 214

Freshly Exhumed writes with this news (quoting The Guardian): "France runs a vast electronic surveillance operation, intercepting and stocking data from citizens' phone and internet activity, using similar methods to the U.S. National Security Agency's Prism programme exposed by Edward Snowden, Le Monde has reported. An investigation by the French daily [en français; Google translation] found that the DGSE, France's external intelligence agency, had spied on the French public's phone calls, emails and internet activity. The agency intercepted signals from computers and phones in France as well as between France and other countries, looking not so much at content but to create a map of 'who is talking to whom,' the paper said."

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Now taking bets... (4, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#44189341)

Now taking bets on which country will be implicated next in sketchy and/or illegal domestic monitoring.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189377)

As long as they do not look into the content of our emails/phone calls, we couldn't care less if they check 'who is talking to whom'.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189451)

> we couldn't care less if they check 'who is talking to whom'.
> we
I think you meant "I".

Re:Now taking bets... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#44189559)

> we couldn't care less if they check 'who is talking to whom'.
> we
I think you meant "I".

Are you 100% sure you know what the people you call do in their free time?

You might be calling a terrorist/pedophile/drug dealer without knowing it.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189941)

Last person I called from my Cellphone (an old one...) was the pizza guy back in january...

Try and get me NSA, bring it! :-)

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44190007)

Turns out your pizza guy is a possible terrorist, and the NSA are now very interested in everyone who ever contacted him. Especially people who have only contacted him once or twice, because these guys operate a cell structure and the commanders try to stay out of contact as much as possible.

Whoops.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44190087)

Nah, pizza parlors are mafia-run, not terrorist-run.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189475)

we couldn't care less if they check 'who is talking to whom'.

I don't care if they see I'm talking to a divorce lawyer or AIDS doctor. Really, the whole world can see this. The websites I visit ? Public knowledge and in no way shameful or compromising. My friends ? All of them ordinary, upstanding guys with no political interests or inclination for subversive activities. It's not like I'm one of those Muslims who are all at 5 degrees of separation to a known terrorist. My day to day location and CCTV images ? Public. My full financial data ? No problem there, I'm 100% free of any tax related problem - I have the tax code memorized (all it's 14K pages). I have nothing to hide !

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189601)

I have nothing to hide !

Well actually that's not true, even if you don't realize it. But let me respond in kind- if you have nothing to hide, then why does the government need to know about it?

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

rzr (898397) | about a year ago | (#44189715)

"> I have nothing to hide ! "
.... nothing to hide to anyone I guess ... So Gimme your Credit card numbers and login/passwords ...

Re:Now taking bets... (4, Insightful)

geoskd (321194) | about a year ago | (#44189631)

I don't care if they see I'm talking to a divorce lawyer or AIDS doctor. Really, the whole world can see this. The websites I visit ? Public knowledge and in no way shameful or compromising. My friends ? All of them ordinary, upstanding guys with no political interests or inclination for subversive activities. It's not like I'm one of those Muslims who are all at 5 degrees of separation to a known terrorist. My day to day location and CCTV images ? Public. My full financial data ? No problem there, I'm 100% free of any tax related problem - I have the tax code memorized (all it's 14K pages). I have nothing to hide !

I have some bad news for you, you are almost certainly within 5 degrees of separation from some "person of interest". Pretty much everyone is. Otherwise why would they have to gather data on everyone.

The problem isn't that this particular set of collected data is or isn't a danger to all of our freedoms. The problem isn't whether or not there is proper oversight for the people conducting the spying. The problem is that this amount of power will inherently lead to corruptions and abuses, and as such, no government can be trusted with it. The very fact that the government felt the need to conduct this spying in secret is ample evidence that their intentions are not on the up and up. If you tell everyone that you are monitoring who they communicate with, then the paranoid people will act to prevent the eavesdropping, but their behavior alone will single them out, giving the would-be-eavesdroppers just as much useful intelligence as having all of that metadata. The idea that the spying has to be secret to be effective is absurd in practice. Since the given reason for the secrecy is false, the only remaining explanations are far more sinister. We now hear that the french are partaking of this level of spying? Is foreign terrorism that big of a threat in France? I suspect that the biggest terrorist threat in France is the same as the US: good old fashioned homegrown whackjobs. No amount of communication surveillance is going to help find and catch the lone bomber, or the dedicated pair of crazies. There are only two uses for that level of survailance: Post-incident investigation (they already admitted that no one looks at the data in real time). And oppression. Just because it makes the investigators jobs easier for the first option doesn't mean its worth risking the second option.

-=Geoskd

Re:Now taking bets... (3, Insightful)

richlv (778496) | about a year ago | (#44189659)

woosh ? :)

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44190025)

I don't care if they see I'm talking to a divorce lawyer or AIDS doctor. Really, the whole world can see this. The websites I visit ? Public knowledge and in no way shameful or compromising. My friends ? All of them ordinary, upstanding guys with no political interests or inclination for subversive activities. It's not like I'm one of those Muslims who are all at 5 degrees of separation to a known terrorist. My day to day location and CCTV images ? Public. My full financial data ? No problem there, I'm 100% free of any tax related problem - I have the tax code memorized (all it's 14K pages). I have nothing to hide !

I have some bad news for you, you are almost certainly within 5 degrees of separation from some "person of interest". Pretty much everyone is. Otherwise why would they have to gather data on everyone.

Furthermore, people probably do have something to hide:

> For instance, did you know that it is a federal crime to be in possession
> of a lobster under a certain size? It doesn't matter if you bought it at
> a grocery store, if someone else gave it to you, if it's dead or alive,
> if you found it after it died of natural causes, or even if you killed it
> while acting in self defense. You can go to jail because of a lobster.
>
> If the federal government had access to every email you've ever written
> and every phone call you've ever made, it's almost certain that they
> could find something you've done which violates a provision in the 27,000
> pages of federal statues or 10,000 administrative regulations. You
> probably do have something to hide, you just don't know it yet.

http://www.thoughtcrime.org/blog/we-should-all-have-something-to-hide/
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/16/3372 (the lobster regulation in question)

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44189799)

we couldn't care less if they check 'who is talking to whom'.

I don't care if they see I'm talking to a divorce lawyer or AIDS doctor. Really, the whole world can see this. The websites I visit ? Public knowledge and in no way shameful or compromising. My friends ? All of them ordinary, upstanding guys with no political interests or inclination for subversive activities. It's not like I'm one of those Muslims who are all at 5 degrees of separation to a known terrorist. My day to day location and CCTV images ? Public. My full financial data ? No problem there, I'm 100% free of any tax related problem - I have the tax code memorized (all it's 14K pages). I have nothing to hide !

Note to poster: there are certain rhetorical devices that are not widely understood by many Slashdotters. Amongst these are irony, sarcasm, satire and facetiousness.

Note to Slashdotters: Irony, sarcasm, satire and facetiousness are described in many places, including Wikipedia. For many of you, a refresher course is recommended.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189899)

And as we all know, errors in data collection and investigation never happen to innocent people. Only the bad guys.

Even if you actually do not have anything to hide, you do still have something to fear: false positives.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189997)

"I have nothing to hide!" ...says the man posting as Anonymous Coward.

Re:Now taking bets... (1, Troll)

Znork (31774) | about a year ago | (#44190157)

Great. Just like 4 guys around here. Well, up until they got the security forces storming into their apartments and showing them, their wives and children to the floor with automatic rifles to their back, then dragged away for some time in a cell.

See, some housewife had heard a guy talking on the phone about blowing up a bomb in a mall. So the security police pulled the call records on the nearby cell towers, the housewife identified the talker off a drivers license, tracked down who he'd been talking to and stormed the apartments.

Of course, one of the less dense analysts pointed out that the housewife couldn't have heard that guy talking on the phone like she said as the records on her phone showed her elsewhere at the time that matched the cell records. Which nobody cared about. The rest couldn't wait to get themselves some of that hot terrorist action. Yay, count another terror deed averted! (Or, well, a schizophrenic hallucination indulged in, but 'terror plot foiled' sounds much better when asking for funds).

So, you have nothing to hide. Are you certain nobody anywhere near where you are has something to hide? No chance that any ip address resembling yours might access some bad place at a some time that may or may not be when you're at a computer plus minus misread time zones on the logs? Because the goons don't give a shit that you have nothing to hide and they're certainly incompetent enough to get you shot due to a clerical error. And if they ever do feel like targeting you because some neighbour was bored one day and a bit pissed off at you, you can be damn sure that none of the data they have will be used to clear you. Instead every byte will be used to dig as deep a hole as possible for you. And after a few days of water boarding they'll have your signed confession, so obviously you did have something to hide.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

kc9jud (1863822) | about a year ago | (#44189489)

That is a terribly short-sighted sentiment. Why you should care. [slate.com]

Re:Now taking bets... (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#44189525)

As long as they do not look into the content of our emails/phone calls, we couldn't care less if they check 'who is talking to whom'.

That's presumably why you're posting anonymously.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44189581)

As long as they do not look into the content of our emails/phone calls, we couldn't care less if they check 'who is talking to whom'.

Chuckle... Such naivete.

Lets force the news papers to throw in the obligatory denial of looking at content. That will bring the useful idiots out of the woodwork jumping to our defense.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

budgenator (254554) | about a year ago | (#44189853)

I suppose it's all on how you define look at. When a machine sucks up a meassage, scans it for keywords, especially in Arabic or Farsi, then records the headers without human intervention, has it been looked at?

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44189929)

Computers are nothing but automated intelligence.
If the communications analyst would have dismissed idle chatter and gossip in english, then presumably the software would too.
If the Analyst would have been more suspicious of the same content in Arabic then the software would as well.

So yes, computerized analysis counts a being looked at.

But the current thread is about the naivete and self delusion necessary to assume that the entire content of letters, email, voice calls, etc is NOT recorded or even scanned, and ONLY metadata is recorded. There isn't shred of evidence to support this view and Snowden and others have specifically stated that it is not so.

Re:Now taking bets... (3, Insightful)

St.Creed (853824) | about a year ago | (#44190009)

But the current thread is about the naivete and self delusion necessary to assume that the entire content of letters, email, voice calls, etc is NOT recorded or even scanned, and ONLY metadata is recorded. There isn't shred of evidence to support this view and Snowden and others have specifically stated that it is not so.

True. However, for most purposes they really only want to know who's talking to who. In most cases, drone-strikes can commence based on just that data. Google "Karen Stephenson" and "The Quantum Theory of Trust" to see why all the agencies are on top of this.

Also relevant: "I'm looking for needles in haystacks. So I'm gathering haystacks." - Dutch Intelligence Chief. I guess this would explain their modus operandi as far as the "gathering of data" goes.

The Germans did it first though, with their "Schleppnetzfahndung" (dragnet investigations), in the 1970's. It lead to a lot of innocent people losing their jobs and livelihood due to being suspected of sympathizing with terrorism. I don't need a crystal ball to predict how this round will end, if the crisis continues and people start organizing to put pressure on their local rulers. The gloves *will* come off in that case.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#44189653)

Wait till they arrest you and charge you with being part of your father's brother's former roomate's plot to bomb his unfavorite place.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44189405)

Now taking bets on which country will be implicated next in sketchy and/or illegal domestic monitoring.

Post the house odds first, dear... I want to know where Antigua and Barbuda are on the list... because I'm guessing long odds there and I intend to "leak" their intelligence operation to the Washington Post shortly after you put it up.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44189465)

I suspect most if not all nations do it to some extent, the questions are which ones and to what extent.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#44189565)

I suspect most if not all nations do it to some extent, the questions are which ones and to what extent.

...and how many of them profess to be the "Land of the Free".

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#44189809)

I suspect most if not all nations do it to some extent, the questions are which ones and to what extent.

...and how many of them profess to be the "Land of the Free".

Every single one of them, with their own choices of words of course.

The USA wasn't always like this, and citizens in general believe the propaganda fed to them and live it as an ideal. But many people believing this scam actually managed to make themselves and their country better.
That's why I still sing the national anthem, for those honoring their ideals. A nation is people! (/soylent green).

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44189843)

I suspect most if not all nations do it to some extent, the questions are which ones and to what extent.

...and how many of them profess to be the "Land of the Free".

No that's not the problem. Spying on your citizens is fine. Everybody knows they do it. As usual what gets them in trouble is denying they're doing it. As soon as they were aware that Snowden had the data, which was hopefully before he went public, but who knows, they should have released that they were doing this. People wouldn't have liked it, but it wouldn't be a scandal. It's not the deed that gets you in trouble, its the denial and cover-up.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44189863)

I doubt there's any that overtly claim to be "land of the slaves and home of the despots."

It's a skewed view of the world to suggest that nations don't cover it up or otherwise obscure what they're doing. The worst nations often times have huge propaganda campaigns to convince the citizenry not to be concerned about it.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#44189571)

I suspect most if not all nations do it to some extent, the questions are which ones and to what extent.

It's not a question of who is spying, it's a question of who is going to get caught spying.

Honestly if I was working for GCHQ or NSA my response would be: "Of course we're bloody spying, that's what you damn well pay us to do."

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#44189977)

Honestly if I was working for GCHQ or NSA my response would be: "Of course we're bloody spying, that's what you damn well pay us to do."

Mr. Clapper didn't take that approach because he knows damn well if he told us what he was doing, we'd tell him to stop and/or stop the payments.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44189491)

With Harper illegally in charge, I'd bet Canada is pretty fucked up too.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#44189619)

Like most abuses of power by neocons, we may never know.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189639)

I used to think this, but in reality I think it's only partially true. There is no doubt in my mind that current government would want to do this, but Canada has an incredibly incompetent public service and a horrendous amount of bureaucratic overhead.

It would take years to get the telcos to log data and no competent technical people work for the government. I'm very aware of the hiring procedures by CSIS, the CSE, and the RCMP, and they all strongly but unintentionally block and discourage competent workers from getting the job and sticking around.

Not all Canadian telcos even have the infrastructure in place to keep logs. Some (e.g. Telus) do for sure, but I'm not quite sure about the other big 2, and many smaller companies like TekSavvy definitely do not share information with the government and never will unless they get an actual real, public court order and have no choice.

I actually do not believe that there is enough technical competence within the public sector to pull it off just yet.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189823)

Harper illegally in charge? What the !%#!^^ are you talking about? The legislation that enabled all this stuff [wikipedia.org] (which I'm sure is also implemented with similar techniques in Canada) was approved by parliament before the Conservatives took power. It reads not much different from the Patriot Act. Parts of it expired in 2007 and weren't renewed by parliament, thankfully, although the Conservatives did want to maintain them. Score one for parliament.

As much as Harper deserves to be booted out of office, there's nothing illegitimate or illegal about him currently being in power. Is he disrespectful of parliament, the public, and the media, and concentrating too much power in the Prime Minister's office as if he thinks he's a president running an executive rather than a prime minister? Yes. Regardless of his policy I think that's enough for a pretty harsh assessment by citizens and history. But he's legally there, unfortunately, until the next election, the government gets voted out of the house, or enough MPs cross the floor.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#44189841)

Wow really? Talk about being out to lunch. I'm sure you also believe that they "rigged the election." As a fun and useful note, the only side that was actually charged with that one was the Liberals. And seeing as how the case with regards to the conservatives went all the way to the supreme court(which is stacked with liberal appointees) and found some, but no total evidence. Well I guess that's that.

I'd also hazard you're one of the line9 nutbars while we're at it. Who believes that oil flowing in the opposite direction is bad.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189671)

A) as you imply with the "sketchy", it isn't necessarily illegal. It depends upon the legislation that enables it. Maybe it undermines the fundamental constitutional protections of the countries in question, and maybe this kind of monitoring should be challenged on that basis; but existing legislation will probably be like the FISA amendments and Patriot Act in the US, which "technically" make this legal/authorized. Until actually challenged constitutionally and struck down (a judicial process that the government actively opposes), these people think they can get away with it even if it is constitutionally dubious. Practically every western democracy enacted similar legislation on the grounds of monitoring terrorism after 2001. Everybody said the broad "blank cheque" approach would be open to abuse. And here we are; B) I'll bet practically every western democracy has implemented exactly the same sort of thing, with the limitations primarily being technological and the expense of it, not legislative (see A).

We're at the point where technology has advanced to the point that mass surveillance has become easier and easier to do. The paranoids out there are starting to sound more like they were insightful. This is dangerous stuff these agencies are playing with. If someone in those agencies decides to do something malicious, it could be pretty bad. I think everybody accepts that some kind of monitoring of is needed for the sake of police investigation and the possibility of genuine terrorist threats. As people are finding out how far security agencies have gone in pursuit of the legitimate goals to protect people, it is time to reconsider how far they should be *allowed* to go, now that it is so easy to do so much. Legislation should change to be a heck of a lot more specific about what is and isn't allowed, and when it says "only with a warrant", it better damn well not be a rubber-stamped "every 90 days" renewal for wholesale monitoring without a lot more public discussion about whether that's okay to do even with a warrant and oversight.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about a year ago | (#44189765)

I'm not betting on the German services since they managed to claim for 30 years there's no such thing as right-wing terrorism in Germany. And not huge data gathering clued them in but sheer dumb luck did. Our guys genuinely have no clue whatsoever.

Yet still this is the time to ask in what way this mass trawling for information actually helped preventing any bullshit going down. Sure as hell helped in law enforcement but good old-fashioned targeted information gathering by lawenforcement gets the job done, too. I guess it's awefully convenient that the US postal services kept extensive records on who sent what to whom and when. Helped catching those bozos who sent poisonous letters to the POTUS. But the letters still didn't get intercepted at the source and could still have left a trail of dead like those Anthrax things did in 2001. We also know who those cavemen with those machetes talked to or who those two disgruntled boys in Boston were. But that didn't help prevent anything. And after the fact we got wiser a couple of days earlier than we would have been without that mass data gathering. So sitting on huge data bases let's some talking head bring you the film at 11 while the TV station goes on a multi-hour adult diaper commercial.


Seems like everybody snoops on the general populace and sits on huge amounts of data. Turns out it is so much data they can not act on it without getting some other pointers to goings on going on. I do not see the benefict in that versus targeted investigations. Also how is them telling everybody how they snoop impede their snooping? I mean telling dog+world they are gathering mass data doesn't prevent them from data gathering. And those who are proper targets are using one-way mobiles and TOR anyway.


Plus of course what our secret services do goes against everything we were supposed to stand for and what they claim they are protecting.

Re:Now taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44190017)

Only that this monitoring is probably legal in France, unlike possibly in the US (ignoring FISA and its generous allowances). The Swedish have a complete border crossing Internet traffic monitoring system by the military intelligence and it's legal, legislated openly with the result that the partially Swedish telecoms (Telia-Sonera) dealing with foreign government information had to make technical arrangements for separating the government traffic they deal with. The key here is openness and legality.

Re:Now taking bets... (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#44190127)

Canada and every first-world country.

See!!? (4, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | about a year ago | (#44189363)

Everyone is doing it. It must be ok then... so move along, "don't rock the boat - keep your head down Just another fool in the crowd"...

/sarcasm

Re: See!!? (1)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#44189449)

Perhaps they're investigating which boat full of protestors they're going to blow up next.

Re:See!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189605)

Everyone is doing it. It must be ok then... so move along, "don't rock the boat - keep your head down Just another fool in the crowd"...

/sarcasm

No. More like "Pot needs to stop calling the kettle black."

Re:See!!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189803)

The hypocrites are right regardless of whether or not they're hypocrites. They do not need to stop talking, but they do need to stop senselessly spying on other nations.

Re:See!!? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#44189857)

Everyone is doing it. It must be ok then... so move along, "don't rock the boat - keep your head down Just another fool in the crowd"...

/sarcasm

No, it doesn't make it okay, but like most things, lying about it definitely makes it worse.

Oh for the love of fuck... (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44189373)

This has been known publicly since the release of the book the Sword and the Shield in the 1990s, and well-known by most larger companies since well before that even. We're persecuting Snowden for being the Captain Obvious of the intelligence community. "Oh noes! The french are spying on us!" Dude. Fucking duh. The french have been spying on everyone since the dark ages. Hell, where do you think the word sabateur comes from? The french pretty much invented industrial espionage.

In other news... why are we threatening the lives of other countries leaders and going on a mad witch hunt for Snowden, wheeling and dealing in backroom deals reminiscent of the cold war era again? Oh right... because he came forward and confirmed what everyone either already suspected, or knew. Which was only necessary because so many people are living in a level of denial that makes the comment "Windows 8 is the best operating system ever!" look like criticism. -_-

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (5, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year ago | (#44189443)

"Saboteur" refers to the practice of ruining the innards of weaving machines by throwing in your shoes - a type of wooden clog called a "sabot". It has no espionage connotations at all.

And it probably originates in the Netherlands.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44189487)

Interesting. Though there's a kernel of truth in what you wrote, it's hard to find in the misunderstanding.

Thanks anyways though.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189663)

Hello, fellow anarchist!

Re: Oh for the love of fuck... (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about a year ago | (#44189755)

Neat story, I looked it up. Maybe not that simple where it originated however.
http://saboteur.askdefine.com/ [askdefine.com]

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (2)

Bradmont (513167) | about a year ago | (#44189775)

Interestingly, the word "espionage" actually *does* come from the French "espion," for spy, and "espionage," for spying.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (1)

AndrewX (680681) | about a year ago | (#44189965)

"Saboteur" refers to the practice of ruining the innards of weaving machines by throwing in your shoes - a type of wooden clog called a "sabot". It has no espionage connotations at all.

And it probably originates in the Netherlands.

...that sounds like industrial espionage to me...? Why would one ruin their own weaving machine?

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189461)

Oh yes, now it was all common knowledge and we all somehow knew it all along.

Go fuck yourself, dude.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189713)

Sorry dipshit, some of us actually pay attention to the world we live in. Unlike certain others like you who stumble and stagger form outrage to outrage when they learn things they would have already known had they been paying the slightest amount of attention.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (2)

caluml (551744) | about a year ago | (#44189481)

The word saboteur [etymonline.com] is French, I think.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189503)

As the dead milkman joke. Everybody knew for years that was mixing water in milk but was killed for telling.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#44189519)

They're persecuting Snowden for removing plausible deniability. By rubbing everyone's nose in this, the powers that be can no longer make silly hand gestures to the general public and claim "paranoid conspiracy nonsense!" and "that's what you get for believing Hollywood fairy tales".

Of course, the only thing most of the general public is going to bitch about is how the NSA is messing with the voting on American Idol.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44189655)

They don't need plausible deniability anymore. Everything can be done out in the open now, and nobody is going to stop them.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (1)

tyrione (134248) | about a year ago | (#44189569)

Witch hunt? Thanks for the laugh.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189665)

Guess from where 30% of the english language are coming from? French. Yup. Spying on the world since 1050.

Re:Oh for the love of fuck... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44190103)

Keep in mind, you have no idea what he hasn't released yet. They might not know what he has either. From the reports I've read he did not have access to some of the systems the data he released came from so either he found some security holes or he had accomplices. In either case he could have access to practically anything and they have no idea what. Their gusto in going after him is very telling indeed. Weather he has it or not, they clearly have something they don't want revealed. The fact that the media is taking what is probably the most significant news story in generations so lightly should give you a good idea of the feds control over our media as well. If not for the internet this story would likely be completely dead by now.

It's understandable. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189381)

France does have a huge population of immigrants from N. Africa who after escaping their oppressive Third World shitholes, riot and protest in France because they don't like the society they live in or some such non-sense.

It's the same formula - leave oppressive fundamentalist Islamic society for a Western one and then riot because your new country doesn't have oppressive Islamic laws.

And they wonder why they're prejudiced against.

Re:It's understandable. (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44189493)

They're even magical since they're capable of changing the colour of their skin from black to white!

Re:It's understandable. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44189701)

Nothing magical about it. Chameleons have an even larger palette.

Re:It's understandable. (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#44190177)

I think you misspelled politician :)

Re:It's understandable. (1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44189495)

For the love of all that is unholy, how the fuck did this go to +2 Insightful? France has a huge population of pretty much any ethnicity you can think of, thanks to aggressive emperialistic aspirations for hundreds of years (Hello, Vietnam war). You're gonna have to either start sharing those 'shrooms you've been gulping, or take it down a notch, you're gonna have a stroke.

ignorant, provincial and uninformed. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189591)

Over the last decade or so , there have been quite a few major riots by N. African Muslims in Western Europe - especially France. Most times it's because they are incapbable of living in a Free Secular Western society - a society that treats women as equals.

For the love of all that is unholy, how the fuck did this go to +2 Insightful?

You'd understand if you weren't so ignorant, provincial and uninformed.

...thanks to aggressive emperialistic aspirations for hundreds of years...

My great grandparents were mistreated themselves and I don't go around rioting over something that happened to some ancient ancestor of mine. I don't think anyone does this so your reason is unjustified.

Re: ignorant, provincial and uninformed. (0)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44189667)

My great grandparents were mistreated themselves

Grats on your sob story, you may have a chance at winning Americas Next Top Model. Aside from completely missing the point AND restating your narrow minded racist world views, do you have anything to add?

Re: ignorant, provincial and uninformed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189697)

The point is that these North Africans were sucked into France through colonization and "in-sourcing". And rioting is probably something they picked up from the European culture of mass strikes and revolutionary pretentiousness. You're right though that you bitch-boys bowing before the sacred vagina won't see a stable society again

Re:It's understandable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189789)

how the fuck did this go to +2 Insightful?

Because it is true. You may not like it but it is still the truth.

Re:It's understandable. (5, Informative)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#44189643)

France does have some pretty hardcore racists, the National Front party is quite popular. The rioters however are usually second or third generation who complain they aren't being given equal opportunities in employment or education. How true this is I don't know, but having lived in France for quite a while I'd say it's entirely possible.

Re:It's understandable. (1)

BioTitan (2624413) | about a year ago | (#44190031)

That's true. I bet a lot of this is to monitor Algerians. They're the main "terror suspects" over there.

Yes and no (5, Informative)

silviuc (676999) | about a year ago | (#44189423)

Al EU nations have to abide by an EU directive that requires telecom companies and internet service providers to record and store the meta-data.

Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Retention_Directive [wikipedia.org]

The article is worded such that I don't yet understand whether the data was stocked for years (because the directive does impose time limits) or if the program has been going for years which is accurate since the directive was issued in 2006.

France banned crypto for years (5, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year ago | (#44189425)

Well, duh. Of course they do - this is France, the country that made cryptography illegal [cryptolaw.org] until it was pointed out to them that this was destroying their ability to participate in electronic commerce.

Re:France banned crypto for years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189595)

Has this changed?? Last i checked, Windows went into MoronMode if you set country to FR and disabled real encryption...

Re:France banned crypto for years (2)

BioTitan (2624413) | about a year ago | (#44190041)

Now I think of it, a lot of countries banned crypto. Remember when all the different countries were banning Blackberries because they couldn't tap them?

iNSAption (5, Funny)

knotprawn (1935752) | about a year ago | (#44189447)

This is not unexpected, but each revelation just makes the whole situation seem more and more hilarious. The following scenario is probably playing itself out somewhere right now.

NSA Agent 1: "Sir, we've intercepted a French transmission that I think you should take a look at"

NSA Agent 2: "Why, what does it say?"

(Transcript of translated Transmission reads) "Sir, we've intercepted an American transmission that I think you should take a look at"

English Version from Le Monde (5, Informative)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#44189469)

Here's their own English Translation, just the graphics are only in the french version.

http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2013/07/04/revelations-on-the-french-big-brother_3442665_3224.html [lemonde.fr]

Re:English Version from Le Monde (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44189497)

No luck trying to read the original french version:
"L’accès à la totalité de l’article est protégé".

Re:English Version from Le Monde (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#44189629)

No luck trying to read the original french version:
"L’accès à la totalité de l’article est protégé".

Because it's French, or because it's protégé?

Re:English Version from Le Monde (1)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#44189533)

Perfidious French.

Fucking Frenchies. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189473)

Wouldn't have this problem if they had a Constitution to protect the right to privacy. Also, first post.

Everybody's Doing It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189531)

So every government in the world that owns a PC with more than 1 Gig of hard drive space is spying on its citizens. Can't one of them just have the guts to grant him asylum anyway? He's not going to be able to create anywhere near the same level of embarrassment by reannouncing what everyone knows, so just grant him asylum already! Come on Correa, don't be such a sissy flip-flopper.

Look over there! Shiny! (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#44189611)

I suppose that they could had intercepted all the communication i sent to france based search engines, social networks and mail servers, if ever happened that. But as im not in france, not even in europe, odds that it happened are pretty low. In the other hand, in US most if not all central internet services are located there, my communication with other regions of the world usually goes thru there, and even if not, they went actively going against networks and services located other countries [scmp.com] . Could be debatable if the government of a country could watch or not on their own people (specially if we talk about real democracies, not self proclaimed ones that just pick between Kang and Kodos every election), but there is no debate about the right of snooping on every people on the planet.

fir7st 4ost... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189613)

What companies are enabling this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189651)

The technologies enabling this must come from a manufacturer. Just as we got angry at US/EU companies supplying China, Syria and other with equipment to filter their Internet, who is supplying this technology to the US/EU countries?

JEWS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189669)

It isn't the 'French government', it's the JEWS in the French government, and the 'higher up' Jews who TELL the 'French government' what to do. That is who is behind all of this constant spying - spying on their 'cattle', so that they can nip any dissent in the bud, and stop their 'cattle' from waking each other up, as I'm sure some Slashdot cretin will do to me, by modding me down for 'hate' speech (LOL).
Your country is ruled by unelected Jewish tyrants who will happily kill any of you who try to stand up to them, and escape your bondage.

Next one (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about a year ago | (#44189673)

will be the Netherlands. Word got around, today, that the major Dutch telecom providers have been doing exactly the same thing for several years, in a completely illegal setting.

This all sounds very expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44189679)

I'm so glad I live in a country that can't afford a massive surveillance program like this. At least I'll be spied on by everyone else.

Re:This all sounds very expensive (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44189895)

I'm so glad I live in a country that can't afford a massive surveillance program like this. At least I'll be spied on by everyone else.

The financial cost of surveillance has come way down, and continues to drop.

Re:This all sounds very expensive (1)

Hartree (191324) | about a year ago | (#44189933)

So, you're saying you live in North Korea? ...

So much for the idea that the US is uniquely evil (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44189693)

Looks to me like all the major western democracies are engaging in this sort of thing.

The original article seems to indicate that this is actually illegal in France. Interesting. At least they could have passed a secret law and set up a secret court to make it appear better.

Who next to be exposed? Germany? Surely with the all those ex-Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit employees to draw from it would have been easy.

Quick... (1)

Arkh89 (2870391) | about a year ago | (#44189705)

Close your Dailymotion account now... Because, sadly, that's the only online service they can spy on...

Gotta Love European Hypocrisy (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44189767)

Seems like their shit does stink after all. Gotta love that haughty European hypocrisy, and their outrage over American practices. Of course I expect this sort of thing from politicians and the like, but real people are another story. Certainly not all Europeans are like this, but enough to be annoying. I'm as far as you can get from a wrap yourself in the flag and say everything about America is wonderful type, but I do get sick of "you Americans" type posts. It's especially ironic coming from Britons, considering GCHQ practices. Now we know we can add France to the list. I can't wait for the revelations about Germany though, and their vaunted privacy laws. And from the fact is stranger than fiction dept.: it'll turn out that Russia is the least guilty.

P.S. I'm definitely not defending any government's practices, rather I'm say that many practice this snoop up everyone's ass garbage and they should all be condemned.

P.P.S. Thank you Edward Snowden. It seems that you've not only helped the US, but France as well. More countries coming up.

This is not news (3, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about a year ago | (#44189829)

Long before the Chinese were the country in the hotseat for spying, France and Israel were already established professionals in the industrial espionage arena.

Before traveling overseas in the late 80s and early 90s we got lectures about how the French probably had bugs and cameras in our hotel rooms and that they routinely spied on visitors.

Just like the NSA spying shouldn't have been news, but most people act surprised. Seriously, what's the next headline we're going to wake up to? That the Koch family has been funding a vast propaganda network to influence public opinion? That the Chinese have stolen the design of every nuclear warhead in our arsenal? That Pakistan is giving safe harbor to terrorists? Or the FBI was been tipped off and missed both 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombers?

It's like living in Groundhog Day.

Chill. Its the French government. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#44190141)

We're all curious about exactly what data they have, but it shouldn't take more than a sternly worded letter to get the French government to surrender all the data...

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