Privacy

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
france, surveillance



French Government Not Happy With Recent NSA Revelations; Vows To Do More Spying On Its Own Citizens

from the if-you-want-it-done-right,-you-have-to-do-it-yourself dept

As the French government feigned shock and indignation at revelations that a spy agency would spy on world leaders, it went ahead and continued pushing its new surveillance bill through the legislature.

Yet also today, the lower house of France’s legislature, the National Assembly, passed a sweeping surveillance law. The law provides a new framework for the country’s intelligence agencies to expand their surveillance activities. Opponents of the law were quick to mock the government for vigorously protesting being surveilled by one of the country’s closest allies while passing a law that gives its own intelligence services vast powers with what its opponents regard as little oversight. But for those who support the new law, the new revelations of NSA spying showed the urgent need to update the tools available to France’s spies.
This is the hypocrisy inherent to all countries housing intelligence agencies (which is, pretty much, ALL countries). Government leaders express indignation that their spy partners would use their powers to spy on them, while the agencies under their purview do exactly the same thing. On top of that, concern is rarely expressed about their own citizens, whose data and communications are being swept up not only by foreign intelligence agencies but also by domestic surveillance programs.

That's the thing that will happen. France will widen its (already-expanded) surveillance net because a) government and b) the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Never let an attack on free speech prevent you from introducing your own chilling effect. And never let a tragedy go to waste. These are hallmark government moves, easily understandable when you realize most governments prize power expansions above all else.

This is the thing that won't happen:
France should respond to the U.S.’s “contempt” for its allies by giving Edward Snowden asylum, the leftist French daily newspaper Libération declared on Thursday.

France would send “a clear and useful message to Washington, by granting this bold whistleblower the asylum to which he is entitled,” editor Laurent Joffrin wrote (translated from the French) in an angry editorial titled “Un seul geste” — or “A single gesture.”
While Snowden has applied to several countries for asylum (presumably France is one of them), it's doubtful the French government will follow through with a suggestion from an "angry, leftist" newspaper. As much as it claims to be righteously angered by the latest revelations, it is likely in no hurry to strain its "Five Eyes" relationship with a powerful ally. (It will, however, continue to antagonize American tech companies with protectionist trade laws and batshit-crazy court decisions…) If the French government actually issues an asylum invitation to Snowden, I'll order a proper chapeau from some non-Amazonian online retailer and eat it.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 4:14am

    Just in Time

    Earlier today someone attacked Grenoble. Bet you this new law would have done jack-all to prevent it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 4:36am

    The only way we can wrap our heads around this "logic" of theirs is if we believe what they thought was:

    "We can't let the US do more spying on our citizens than us...therefore we need to spy on them even MORE! That's how we win this game..."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 4:38am

    What's rich is that they are also considering giving Assange and Snowden asylum in France - you know, the same country that broke international law in 2013 by stopping Bolivian president's airplane only based on a rumor from US that Snowden might be on that plane...

    That's how much US c*ck France sucks...and now we're supposed to believe they want to protect Snowen from the US government. Sure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 5:14am

    If the French government actually issues an asylum invitation to Snowden, I'll order a proper chapeau from some non-Amazonian online retailer and eat it.

    I laughed at the image this produced in my head.

    Ahem.

    I was amazed at how France went down the censorious, Orwellian route so fast and so hard after those Charlie Hebdo shootings but really, in retrospect, it should be expected, the west is moving towards it in unison. They just needed a public commotion for a reason. I mean this is not a surprise if you think about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 26 Jun 2015 @ 5:53am

    Wasn't France that stopped Bolivian president's airplane...

    It was Austria. But I don't like how Europe in general caves to US foreign policy diktats, either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 6:15am

    Five Eyes

    FWIW, France is *not* part of Five Eyes, nor is any EU country aside from the UK.

    Five Eyes is US, UK, Australia, NZ, and Canada.

    Only.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 8:25am

      Re: Five Eyes

      Including Canada in Five Eyes is like a gang of thugs hanging out with a nerdy guy to improve their image.

      The thought "Canada needs to participate in illegal mass surveillance of civilian populations in order to protect global Canadian hegemony." just sounds...wrong.

      I thought you were cool, Canada.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: Five Eyes

        Including Canada in Five Eyes is like a gang of thugs hanging out with a nerdy guy to improve their image.

        Worse, I'm afraid. It's like Einstein hanging out with street gangs believing that doing so might get him more nooky than he was finding by himself. It's pathetic. Foolishly, Einstein hasn't twigged to the fact that they were only letting him hang with them because they know his wallet's full and his parents are rich so he'll happily hand over fistfuls to his new bros without worrying about it.

        Why's Canada fighting ISIS when the Saudis, Turkey, and Israel are supporting them? Why's the US consulate in Syria accusing Assad of being on the side of ISIS? Nothing makes even a lick of sense in this mess.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 6:55am

    the exact reaction i posted would happen when the story was here a couple of days ago. and with the events that have happened in France today, the government will ramp up the restrictive and freedom removing surveillance even further. all done in the name of keeping 'freedom and privacy', of course!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 8:39am

    If our NATO ally needs assistance or greater support I don't know why we wouldn't help them, as long as it is to improve human rights instead of degrading them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 11:02am

      Re:

      If our NATO ally ...

      Is France a member of NATO? I know DeGaulle was adamant about keeping France out of it. Has that changed?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 12:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Is France a member of NATO? I know DeGaulle was adamant about keeping France out of it.


        France is one of the original signatories to the North Atlantic Treaty.

        DeGaulle's withdrawal from the NATO command structure was not a denunciation of the treaty.
        Though France showed solidarity with the rest of NATO during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, de Gaulle continued his pursuit of an independent defence by removing France's Atlantic and Channel fleets from NATO command.[33] In 1966, all French armed forces were removed from NATO's integrated military command, and all non-French NATO troops were asked to leave France.

         . . .

        French status
        This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2015)
        From the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s France pursued a military strategy of independence from NATO, i.e. outside the integrated military command, a policy dubbed "Gaullo-Mitterrandism". After François Mitterrand left office in 1995, new President Jacques Chirac began a decade and a half of rapprochement with NATO by joining the Military Committee and attempting to negiotiate a return to the integrated military command, which failed after the French demand for parity with the United States went unmet. The possibility of a further attempt foundered after Chirac was forced by an election into cohabitation with a Socialist-led cabinet between 1997-2002, then poor Franco-American relations after the French UN veto threat over Iraq in 2003 made transatlantic negotiations impossible. His successor Nicolas Sarkozy, with more modest demands, negiotiated the return of France to the integrated military command and the Defence Planning Committee in 2009, the later being disbanded the following year. Despite the rapprochement of recent decades, France intends to remain the only NATO member outside the Nuclear Planning Group and, unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, will not commit its nuclear-armed submarines to the alliance.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 1:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Despite the rapprochement of recent decades, France intends to remain the only NATO member outside the Nuclear Planning Group and, unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, will not commit its nuclear-armed submarines to the alliance.

          Geez. Japanese and other Orientals have the reputation of being "inscrutable." They've got nothing on the French.

          "Are you with us, or against us?!?"

          "That depends ..."

          Voltaire giggles from the grave. "Try to back me into a corner? I'll show you three other corners you've managed to forget exist."

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2015 @ 2:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Geez. Japanese and other Orientals have the reputation of being "inscrutable." They've got nothing on the French.
            Maybe.

            Consider this scenario: Five Soviet mechanized divisions are now occupying Paris. Of course, Washington and London are both naturally hysterical at this point.

            Would you let any U.S. President from LBJ onwards have control of your nukes in this situation? Do you think London and Washington are going to target Moscow in this scenario?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    btr1701 (profile), 26 Jun 2015 @ 3:43pm

    Five Eyes

    > As much as it claims to be righteously angered
    > by the latest revelations, it is likely in no
    > hurry to strain its "Five Eyes" relationship with
    > a powerful ally.

    France is *not* one of the Five Eyes, which are:

    United States
    Canada
    United Kingdom
    Australia
    New Zealand

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      GEMont, 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:07am

      Re: Five Eyes

      Actually France only missed the Five Eyes Boat by one condition.

      It, like Germany, and a couple of other more or less white nations, do not speak English.

      However, the Five-Eyes member nations are Equal Opportunity Employers, who are more than willing to accept servitude and tithes from white, non-English-speaking "Associate Member" nations, in return for a promise to not ruin their economy via Free Trade Sovereignty Suits, Monsanto Crop Eradication, or ISIL Horde Attacks.

      Non-white, non-english speaking nations are allowed to pay an annual fee, for similar promises, but without any real guarantee that the promises will not be rescinded, unless they also supply mercenaries for the Five Eyes Terrorist Horde, under the ISIL In Disguise For Diamonds program.

      Its not personal of course. Just Business as Usual.

      ---

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2015 @ 4:31pm

    This is the country that welcomed the Nazis...

    with open arms.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      GEMont, 30 Jun 2015 @ 12:25am

      Re: This is the country that welcomed the Nazis...

      "This is the country that welcomed the Nazis... with open arms."

      Yes I know you were talking about France, but America did the same thing in the beginning.

      Only it was just the Top Industries and Commercial Institutions of America that welcomed the Nazi with open arms.

      In fact, a few of your Top Ten Tycoons actually tried to overthrow the American Government for Hitler, but got caught.

      They were never punished because they were the Owners of such industries as Steel and Aluminum and Gasoline, and threatened the USG with supplying only the Germans if they were convicted of a crime.

      A list of these companies might still be available by examining the names of the US industries that were compensated after the war ended, for their factories in Germany that were destroyed by Allied bombing.

      General populations never welcome fascists, unless the fascists wear a disguise, such as National Socialist Party.

      Even in France, it was the general population that formed the Resistance, while the wealthy business owners and politicians and bankers cheered the German fascists' arrival.

      Read the "Elkhorn Manifesto".

      ( No Tim, that's not about the Jewish Banking Conspiracy. :)

      ---

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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