Materials arranged chronologically.

Clark, James. "French Spies Listen In to British Calls." Sunday Times (London), 23 Jan. 2000. []

According to French sources, France "upgraded signals intelligence last year," investing substantially in satellite technology for its listening stations. "Now secret service elements are using it to tap into commercial secrets. At least eight centres, scattered across France, are being 'aimed' at British defence firms, petroleum companies and other commercial targets."

Sage, Adam. "French to Sue US and Britain over Network of Spies." Times (London), 10 Feb. 2000. []

French lawyers "are planning a class action" against the U.S. and British governments over the Echelon monitoring system.

Lewis, Peter. "French DGSE Adapts to New World Order." Jane's Intelligence Review, Jul. 2000: 12-13. []

Segell, Glen M. "French Cryptography Policy: The Turnabout of 1999." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 13, no. 3 (Fall 2000): 345-358.

France has been slow in the use of information technology "compared to other developed countries.... Prior to 1999, France was the only country that both restricted the export of cryptography and enforced restrictions on its internal use and provision." Then, in early 1999, the French government liberalized cryptography, raising the key length from 40 bits to 128 bits.

Becker, Anja. "The Spy Who Couldn’t Possibly Be French: Espionage (and) Culture in France." Journal of Intelligence History 1, no. 1 (Summer 2001). []

From abstract: "In France, espionage might be considered a negative myth, a reluctance to discuss the topic can be traced back ... to the Ancien Régime.... [A]fter the French Revolution, disdain for the spy-business developed into a predominant theme in society.... The negative French sentiments ... culminated in the Dreyfus affaire (1894-1906) which, in turn, did not result in an open discussion of intelligence.... Charles de Gaulle ... might be regarded an antithesis to the spy-enthusiast Winston Churchill.... Even after the end of the Cold War..., a pronounced reluctance to talk about intelligence persists. Contemporary authors of popular fiction ... keep a certain distance from espionage, their protagonists are either not French or carry names that are not French; a glorious French spy hero has yet to make his appearance."

Reuters. "France to Send Spy Planes, More Ships to Help U.S." New York Times, 25 Oct. 2001. []

"France has beefed up its military involvement in the U.S.-led conflict with Afghanistan by contributing spy planes and more ships, French President Jacques Chirac said" on 25 October 2001.

Brodeur, Jean-Paul, and Nicolas Dupeyron. "Democracy and Secrecy: The French Intelligence Community." In Democracy, Law and Security: Internal Security Services in Contemporary Europe, eds. Jean-Paul Brodeur, Peter Gill, and Dennis Tollborg, 19-23. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003.

Borchgrave, Arnaud de. "Commentary: Regime Change a la Francais." United Press International, 14 Mar. 2003. []

"There was a time when France was not so squeamish about regime change. In fact, France has intervened militarily -- either to change regimes in sub-Saharan Africa or to restore deposed strongmen -- no less than 37 times since 1960.... There was never any thought of going to the U.N. Security Council when France's national interest was deemed to be at stake in its former colonies." The role of DGSE head Alexandre de Marenches in replacing the Central African Republic's Bokassa with David Dacko in 1979 is the centerpiece of this article, but other French interventions in Africa are mentioned.

Associated Press. "French Spy Satellite Launched into Orbit." 18 Dec. 2004. []

According to Arianespace, "the commercial arm of the 13-country European Space Agency," an Ariane-5 rocket launched from Kourou, French Guyana, has placed into orbit "a surveillance satellite billed as giving France's military new abilities to spy worldwide.... The Helios 2A military satellite ... is to rotate in sun-synchronous orbit around 435 miles above the Earth, Arianespace said."

Kourou. "Elint Mission Eyed." Aviation Week & Space Technology, 3 Jan. 2005.

"A follow-on electromagnetic intelligence demonstration mission planned by France could be a final prelude to launch of a global operational system. The elint mission would build on experience from Essaim, a cluster of four signals intelligence satellites launched on Dec. 18 [2004] with the Helios 2A reconnaissance satellite."

Priest, Dana. "Help from France Key in Covert Operations: Paris's 'Alliance Base' Targets Terrorists." Washington Post, 3 Jul. 2005, A1. []

According to U.S. and European intelligence sources, the CIA and French intelligence services established "a top secret center in Paris, code-named Alliance Base," in 2002. "Funded largely by the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, Alliance Base analyzes the transnational movement of terrorist suspects and develops operations to catch or spy on them." Alliance Base is "headed by a French general assigned to ... the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE).... It has case officers from Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and the United States."

Campbell, Matthew. "French War Chest May Have Gone on 'Dancing Girls.'" Sunday Times (London), 12 Nov. 2006. []

On 11 November 2006, French intelligence chiefs were facing "embarrassment after it emerged that £18m from a secret emergency war chest had gone missing and that some of it may have been spent on what one spymaster called 'dancing girls'.... The money was part of a fund established secretly" after the World War II. "It was maintained during the cold war to finance a French state in exile if the country were ever invaded by the Soviets." According to Le Parisien, "the money was controlled by a handful of agents. No records were kept and details of bank accounts around the world were passed to successors only by word of mouth."

Associated Press. "France Reorganizes Intelligence Services to Fight Terrorism Better." 13 Sep. 2007. []

On 13 September 2007, Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie announced that France's two police intelligence services -- the police surveillance agency Renseignements Generaux (RG) and the DST counterterrorism service -- will be combined into a new organization, the Central Directorate for Domestic Intelligence (DCRI). The organization's "mission will include counterterrorism, industrial espionage, fighting cyber crime and monitoring social unrest like that seen during three weeks of youth riots in late 2005."

Pacific Magazine. "French Overseas Territories Intelligence Unit Scrapped." 8 Jan. 2008. []

"The French government has moved to scrap an army intelligence unit that until now, was designed to specifically monitor politicians and journalists in the French overseas territories, including the three French Pacific dependencies of New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna."

United Press International. "French Minister Breaks Ranks on Spy System." 8 Sep. 2008. []

The London Times reported on 8 September 2008 that "French Defense Minister Herve Morin says he questions the purpose of President Nicolas Sarkozy's new internal intelligence computer system dubbed 'Edvige.'" The system "has been set up as a security measure to collect personal data on French citizens, ranging from their circles of friends to their sexual preferences."

Samuel, Henry. "Sex, Drugs and Facelifts: Former Spy Chief Lifts Lid on French Elite." Telegraph (London), 14 Oct. 2008. []

The French magazine Le Point has published the secret notes/diaries, compiled between 1998 and 2003, of Yves Bertrand, "sacked by President Nicolas Sarkozy when he dismantled the Renseignements Généraux (RG) police intelligence service." The notes "suggest that the RG's notorious reputation as a tool for French presidents to keep tabs on and eliminate rivals was fully deserved."

Tran, Pierre. "France Creates Office for Economic Intel." Defense News, 21 Sep. 2009. []

France is reorganizing its economic intelligence arms. "[O]versight of the function will shift from a post attached to the prime minister's office over to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment but taking direction from the president's office.... The new director ... will be announced in a few weeks and take direction from a committee headed by the president's national coordinator for intelligence, Bernard Bajolet."

Return to France Table of Contents

Return to Main Table of Contents