French Telco Orange Plans To Sue The NSA For Tapping Its Undersea Cables

from the blowback dept

It's not entirely clear what form this will take, but the French telco Orange is claiming that it is planning to file a lawsuit over the news that the NSA has been tapping its undersea fiber optic cables.
France-based telecom firm Orange has revealed plans to take legal action against the US National Security Agency (NSA) for using its submarine cable for surveillance.....

An Orange spokeswoman was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We will take legal action in the next few days because we want to know more about the eventuality that Orange data may have been intercepted."
Again, I'm not sure under what jurisdiction or exactly what kind of lawsuit Orange is intending to bring, but it's yet another bit of blowback against the NSA's overreach in its efforts to spy on absolutely everyone. If Orange is able to succeed, I imagine that a variety of other companies might also look at lawsuits. We're generally highly critical of trade agreements that create corporate sovereignty programs, called "investor state dispute settlement" panels that allow foreign companies to sue governments over interfering with their business, but I wonder if the US's infatuation with these kinds of programs might come back to bite it really hard if it turns out that these mechanisms are used by foreign companies to argue that the NSA has interfered in their business efforts...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:00pm

    Well, it's now obvious

    France is a terrorist haven. Why else would a French company protest attempts to save the world from terrorists? The only logical response is for the US to invade France.

     

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    •  
      icon
      weneedhelp (profile), Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:42pm

      Re: Well, it's now obvious

      Lets see how this will play out; Shall we?

      NSA: Well France, you could either sue us[giggles], or we will share our technology with you.
      France: Oui oui, o.k. [Crickets]

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Jerrymiah, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:19pm

    NSA shit

    I hope they go ahead with the threat and succed with it. On top of that, I wish that all countries that have been wrecked havoc upon by the NSA recalled home their ambassadors (for an extended period)to show the US that this is a game that be played by them as well.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:32pm

      Re: NSA shit

      Sadly, what I think is more likely to happen will be trade embargoes against US products or at least a sharp decline in our tech industries' exports. I don't think it will last forever, but the damage to the economy might very well start another recession.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re: NSA shit

        The child gets punished for the fathers sins!

        The suit seems to be about getting more information. It is not a formal threat to NSA in any deeper sense.

        The future of ISDS will keep the australia-size holes for secret services and a few other government exceptions. Actually this is just a reminder for the administration about the way FOIA can be used against them. Getting more limits to that service is just icing on the cake. Give it some time.
        Voila! The problem is out of sight out of mind of the media and the future ISDS will limit the existing FOIA access on account of the new "threat".

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re: NSA shit

        the embargoes wont matter either. if that happens, all that the USA will do is start a new 'Trade Deal' negotiated by the USTR (wankers!) with full transparency (no one outside the group and all the specific industries that have already paid their '5 pieces of silver' (more like $50,000 to each of multiple recipients) will know a freakin' thing what's going on), just so 'trade sanctions' can be put in place, that no one will take the slightest notice of any more!!

         

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    KoD, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:28pm

    I had mentioned this before on the recent Dell article. How beautiful it would be for ISDS to come back and kick the U.S. in the nuts... I realize that the groin pain would be payed for with our tax dollars, but some things are just worth spending money on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:28pm

    Orange needs to go a little further and file against the UK GCHQ as well. even if the NSA were the ones doing the tapping, GCHQ would have been sharing and using any data. Cameron needs to be on the receiving end for screwing the UK citizens just as much as Obama for screwing the US citizens

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:35pm

    To all Americans

    We voted these people in, shut up and enjoy the pain.

    I don't see any of you changing your congress critters out, until then... eat the crow and fuzz up to them.

    I understand that is really sounds like trolling, but I am dead serious. Until we change out the diapers that are sitting in the halls of congress none of this changes!

     

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    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:44pm

      Re: To all Americans

      I'm not sure what "fuzz up to them" means, but I won't eat crow until it's only my vote that decides if they stay or go. You don't know how I vote, so you don't get to scold me.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re: To all Americans

        Fuzz up as in getting warm and fuzzy over them.

        True, I do not know how you vote, but I still see dirt-bags in congress. If you are not a part of the problem, then you should not be offended by my comment. Even so, we will be eating that crow despite not being guilty of voting evil in.

         

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:36pm

    From here on out... NSA will always be Network Security Appliance... brought to you by Dell, where the "features" keep coming... even if you dont want them.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:43pm

    Some CEO was like wait you mean someone was using/benefiting from our cable and not paying.... Lawsuit time

     

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    rasz, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:46pm

    They will have as much luck as Canal+ had suing Rupert Murdoch's NDS Group over satellite TV hacking.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Me, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    NSA Overreach

    At some point you'd think the idiots at the NSA and the executive branch will start to realize that their extreme overreach is causing more harm to U.S. security than we avoid by the overreach.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 2:08pm

    Which country has been pushing corporate interests over the law of the land, so that corporates could sue for 'lost' profits if the law hurt them?
    /rhetorical.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Shawn, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 3:44pm

      Re: Corporate Interests and The Law of The Land

      This is "merely" an "unintended consequence" of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution-- that is the one that made Negroes "legal persons" and "citizens". If the government could make Negroes persons, it could only do so by making CORPORATIONS legal persons AND CITIZENS as well (since they could sue other people and/or corporations, etc.). Google the term "corporate citizen" and see how many "hits" you get.... Thus, Mr. Coward, corporate interests ARE (in) the law of the land, whether you want to admit it or not.... If you don't want corporate personhood, you should have enough guts to repeal Negro personhood FIRST by calling for a REPEAL of the 14th Amendment (if you dare). Either BOTH Negroes AND corporations are persons or NEITHER of them -- which would you choose?

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 3:52pm

        Re: Re: Corporate Interests and The Law of The Land

        Either BOTH Negroes AND corporations are persons or NEITHER of them


        Pure hogwash.

        While it's true that the original case that invented corporate personhood involved the 14th amendment, it's also true that no court has tied corporate personhood itself to the 14th amendment.

        Remember, the judge that original court case didn't even rule that corporations had "personhood" (or that they didn't).

         

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        Niall (profile), Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 5:34am

        Re: Re: Corporate Interests and The Law of The Land

        This sounds like the usual incredibly stupid racism that still infects the US, particularly the South/Right. Look, there are even RANDOM ALL CAPS to highlight the inbred mentality!

         

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          icon
          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 10:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Corporate Interests and The Law of The Land

          Not to mention the tell-tale use of the antiquated, racism-tinged word "Negroes". Capitalized, even.

           

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  •  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 2:25pm

    The law of unintended consequences...

    The subject says it all. Eat Sh!it and die, NSA!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 2:46pm

    but I wonder if the US's infatuation with these kinds of programs might come back to bite it really hard if it turns out that these mechanisms are used by foreign companies to argue that the NSA has interfered in their business efforts..."

    Oh please, the "impression" is that the "impression" is, that the us government is excempt from anything it doesnt want, at least, thats the impression.........i know, the us government "hates" this "surprising" assumption and would gladly have people assume they can sue them

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 3:25pm

    The sovereign corporations will destroy the US government, through the same channel that the US government is championing to put in place all over the world, now that would be irony.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 3:48pm

    They are more likely to complain at various EU officials than to sue the US. Wouldnt have much point in talking to the US about this, since they say its completly legal.
    And they can easily find support in the EU

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Androgynous Cowherd, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 4:07pm

    Again, I'm not sure under what jurisdiction or exactly what kind of lawsuit Orange is intending to bring,


    Trespass to chattels immediately springs to mind.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 6:23pm

    Great, now we have the whole world suing each other outside their own jurisdictions. This is exactly like the Kim Dotcom case, except it's the NSA getting assaulted by a foreign nation this time.

    Karma's a bitch.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 7:53pm

    what argument ?

    wouldn't Orange have to show interference ? and detail how this interference damaged what they do, and account for the losses of that damage?

    same as can you show how the NSA meta-data collection has 'damaged' you financially, that you can show by documentation?

    will be interesting to see how this goes, do you think this is a situation that now makes you want to support corporate sovereignty?

    So is corporate sovereignty 'good' when you agree with the cause (against NSA) and bad everywhere else? where is your position on this?

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 2nd, 2014 @ 9:05pm

    Again, I'm not sure under what jurisdiction or exactly what kind of lawsuit Orange is intending to bring,

    Most likely Admiralty Law. This would be very apt since Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Queen of France actually introduced it to England at the time of Richard the Lionheart (12th Century).

    Under this they could go a few routes one of the most interesting being the actual act of Piracy. Now that would make my freakin year!

     

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  •  
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    Lleuad Ci (profile), Jan 3rd, 2014 @ 3:35am

    Fair Enough

    Telco's make service undertakings to their clients. If the NSA's actions undermine those contractual service agreements then action is justified.

     

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