James Clark, Home Affairs Correspondent
FRENCH intelligence is intercepting British businessmen’s calls after investing millions in satellite technology for its listening stations.
The French government upgraded signals intelligence last year. 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.
Eavesdroppers can “pluck” GSM digital mobile phone signals from the air by targeting individual numbers or sweeping sets of numbers. Targets have included executives at British Aerospace, British Petroleum and British Airways, according to French sources.
Senior executives have been told not to discuss sensitive issues on mobile phones, and BAe staff have been told to be
“especially careful” during campaigns for new business, such as the current battle to supply Eurofighter missiles.