All phone calls, emails, text messages, faxes and internet searches are monitored by the French security services – the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), according to a report in French newspaper Le Monde. The practice is illegal.
The epicentre of the spying operation is a three-storey underground bunker in Paris’ 20th arrondissement, at the DGSE’s headquarters on Boulevard Mortier. The building contains a “supercalculator capable of managing tens of millions of gigaoctets of information.”
The French authorities do not note the content of the communications, the newspaper claims, but instead are interested in establishing links between known figures in a terrorist network.
“The politicians know about it, but secrecy is the rule: this French Big Brother is clandestine,” wrote Jacques Follorou and Franck Johannes. “It is out of control.”
The series of revelations will be highly embarrassing to Francois Hollande, the French president, who has expressed outrage at American interception of French communications.