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  • Selected extracts of “top” NSA intercepts of French leadership and chief officials, taken from various editions of the National Security Agency’s Top Secret Global SIGINT Highlights executive briefings.

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    EU and French diplomats who strongly criticize U.S. trade policies and call TPP treaty a confrontation against China.
    High-ranking French official complaining about President Sarkozy’s inflammatory and inaccurate statements on WTO that no-one in government backs
    French ministerial agenda for planned G7 and G20 meeting intercepted
    French economy in dire straits according to intercepted communications between French Finance Minister and French Senator
    Spying on French Ambassador who contemplated exposing U.S. misuse of UN Oil-for-food program in Iraq
    NSA Eavesdrops as Hollande Tries End Run Around Merkel on Greek Eurozone Exit
    US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France
    US Spying On Chirac Discussing UN Appointments
    US Spying on Sarkozy Talking Tough on Israel-Palestine
    US Eavesdrops as Sarkozy Plots French Leadership on Financial Crisis
    EU and French diplomats who strongly criticize U.S. trade policies and call TPP treaty a confrontation against China.

    Date 2 August 2011
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication between French Minister-Counselor for Economic and Financial Affiars Jean-Francois Boittin and EU Trade Section head Hiddo Houben, reveals Boittin’s discontent with U.S. approach towards a WTO pact. Additionally Houben stated that the TPP (being an American initiative) seems devised as a confrontation with China.
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    EU Officials Perceive Lack of U.S. Leadership on Trade Issues, Skeptical of Pacific Initiative (TS//SI//OC/NF)

    (TS//SI//OC/NF) Washington-based EU trade officials ascertained in late July that the U.S. administration is severely lacking in leadership when it comes to trade matters, as shown by the absence of a clear consensus on the future course of the WTO Doha Development Agenda (DDA). French Minister-Counselor for Economic and Financial Affairs Jean-Francois Boittin expressed astonishment at the level of “narcissism” and wasteful contemplation currently on display in Washington, while describing the idea of scrapping the DDA in favor of another plan–which some U.S. officials are seen to favor–as stupefying. The Frenchman further asserted that once a country makes deep cuts in its trade barriers, as the U.S. has done, it no longer has incentives to offer nor, as a consequence, a strong position from which to negotiate with emerging nations. Boittin’s interlocutor, EU Trade Section head Hiddo Houben, after noting the leadership void in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, declared that with regard to the disagreement within his host government on DDA, a political decision must be made about what direction is to be followed. On another subject, Houben insisted that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a U.S. initiative, appears to be designed to force future negotiations with China. Washington, he pointed out, is negotiating with every nation that borders China, asking for commitments that exceed those countries’ administrative capacities, so as to “confront” Beijing. If, however, the TPP agreement takes 10 years to negotiate, the world–and China–will have changed so much that that country likely will have become disinterested in the process, according to Houben. When that happens, the U.S. will have no alternative but to return to the WTO. Finally, he assessed that this focus on Asia is added proof that Washington has no real negotiating agenda vis-´-vis emerging nations, including China and Brazil, or an actual, proactive WTO plan of action.


    EU diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/531614-11, 011622Z
    High-ranking French official complaining about President Sarkozy’s inflammatory and inaccurate statements on WTO that no-one in government backs

    Date July 2008
    Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT/NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals discontent of head of Trade Policy Renaud Lassus regarding some statements from Sarkozy regarding a potential negative impact of a WTO trade negotiation pact on France economy.
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    Sarkozy Remarks on WTO Deemed Injurious to France; Rules Clarity Sought (TS//SI//NF)

    (TS//SI//NF) A high-ranking French treasury official lamented in early July recent inflammatory and inaccurate statements by President Nicolas Sarkozy, statements that the official said were certain to complicate French efforts to balance its national interests with its responsibilities as current EU President. Assuming his duties as head of the Trade Policy and Investment Office in the Treasury and Economic Policy Directorate, Renaud Lassus indicated that Sarkozy’s declaration that there will be no WTO Doha Round accord has effectively set the bar extremely high, while also increasing the chances of a dark scenario in which France finds itself as the lone dissenter on a national level, but responsible as EU President for representing the views of the entire union. The choice for France then becomes one of either capitulating or provoking a crisis within the EU. Paris is totally unprepared to deal with this scenario, Lassus confirmed, as no one wants to try to “spin” the situation in which Sarkozy has placed the country when doing so would be admitting that the President had been wrong in the first place. He further commented that Sarkozy’s assertion that a WTO pact would bring a 20-percent drop in production and the loss of 100,000 French jobs was patently incorrect and believed by no one in the government. As for those who thought that Sarkozy would dampen his rhetoric when France actually assumed the Presidency on 1 July, their hopes were dashed, Lassus insisted, by the President’s most virulent personal attack yet on the EU Trade Commissioner. In other WTO-related commentary, knowledgeable insiders believed that the 21 July WTO ministerial could be disrupted if Rules Committee chairman Guillermo Valles Galmes does not make his intentions clear in advance. If this is not done, it is possible that rules issues will be raised at the ministerial, leading to heated negotiations. In addition, fish subsidies could cause problems. India could threaten to torpedo the ministerial unless it were to get a carve-out on special and differential treatment on fish. This would leave developed countries as the only ones that would have disciplines on fish subsidies and would be unacceptable to Europe and Japan.


    French, EU, Japanese diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/5427-08, 111833Z; Z-3/OO/5416-08, 111607Z
    French ministerial agenda for planned G7 and G20 meeting intercepted

    Date 2012
    Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT//NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals French Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry Francois Baroin’s intentions to emphasize the need for the implementation of the Basel Accords on banking laws in the G7 and G20 meeting in 2012 and his support of the U.S. initiative on oil reserves.
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    G-7/G-20: French Minister to Push U.S. on Banking Reform, Warn Against Stifling Growth (TS//SI//NF)

    (TS//SI//NF) With some messages targeted for the United States, the French Treasury Directorate has drafted talking points for Minister of Economy, Finance, and Industry Francois Baroin to use during meetings of the Group of 7 and Group of 20 on 19 and 20 April, just before the spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank. Baroin will emphasize the need to stay on schedule for implementing the Basel Accords (recommendations on banking laws and regulations), given Washington’s slowness to act. He will also support the U.S. initiative on strategic oil reserves in his remarks on the threat to global growth posed by rising oil prices. While repeatedly reminding his colleagues of the hard choices the EU has made the deal with its financial situation, he will also caution against endangering growth by acting too quickly.

    French diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/512583-12, 171712Z
    French economy in dire straits according to intercepted communications between French Finance Minister and French Senator

    Date 31 July 2012
    Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT//NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals that Finance, Economy, and Trade Minister Pierre Moscovici believes the French economic situation was far worse than perceived. Additionally, he remarks about that the situation with the automotive industry was more critical than a pre-retirement unemployment supplement known as AER, which he also thought wouldn’t have had a severe impact on elections (while senator Bourquin thought would have driven voters to right-wing National Front).
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    French Finance Minister Says Economy in Dire Straits, Predicts Two Atrocious Years Ahead (TS//SI//NF)

    (TS//SI//NF) The French economic situation is worse than anyone can imagine and drastic measures will have to be taken in the next 2 years, according to Finance, Economy, and Trade Minister Pierre Moscovici. On 19 July, Moscovici, under pressure to re-establish a pre-retirement unemployment supplement known as the AER, warned that the situation is dire. Upon learning that there are no funds available for the AER, French Senator Martial Bourquin warned Moscovici that without the AER program the ruling Socialist Party will have a rough time in the industrial basin of the country, with voters turning to the right-wing National Front. Moscovici disagreed, asserting that the inability to reinstitute the AER will have no impact in electoral terms, besides, the situation with faltering automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is more important than the AER. (COMMENT: PSA has announced plans to close assembly plants and lay off some 8,000 workers.) Moscovici warned that the 2013 budget is not going to be a “good news budget,” with the government needing to find at least an additional 33 billion euros ($39.9 billion). Nor will 2014 be a good year. Bourquin persisted, warning that the Socialist Party will find itself in a situation similar to that of Socialist former Spanish President Zapatero, who was widely criticized for his handling of his country’s debt situation. Moscovici countered that it was not Zapatero whose behavior the French government would emulate, but rather Social Democrat former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. (COMMENT: Schroeder, chancellor from 1998 to 2005, was widely credited with helping to restore German competitiveness. He favored shifting from pure austerity measures to measures that encourage economic growth and advocated a common EU financial policy.)


    French diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/524122-12, 271748Z
    Spying on French Ambassador who contemplated exposing U.S. misuse of UN Oil-for-food program in Iraq

    Date 2004
    Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication between French Ambassador in Washington Jean-David Levitte reveals his frustration towards a report he defines “scandalous” regarding a possible misuse of the UN Oil-For-Food (OFF) program by French companies during the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, while he claims some of these French companies where in fact U.S. companies’ subsidiaries and no American company was mentioned in such report. Levitte likely refers to the report filed by the US Senate that accused Russian, British and French politicians of receiving oil allocations from Iraq in exchange for their political alliance. Levitte planned to present a list of such U.S. companies to U.S. Congress and the media.
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    (TS//SI) French Envoy Plans to Release List of U.S. Firms Who Allegedly Profited From OFF

    (TS//SI//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR and NZL) French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte in Washington plans to respond as early as today to information in the Iraq Survey Group report regarding possible misuse of the UN Oil-for-Food (OFF) program by companies from France and other countries during the former Iraqi regime. The ambassador termed the report scandalous, since it named no U.S. companies and he claimed that many French companies with contracts under the OFF program were actually subsidiaries of U.S. firms that also profited from the business dealings. He therefore planned, with foreign ministry backing, to present a list of these U.S. companies to both the U.S. Congress and the media.


    French diplomatic

    3/OO/27079-04, 071948Z
    NSA Eavesdrops as Hollande Tries End Run Around Merkel on Greek Eurozone Exit

    Date 22 May 2012
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals that Francois Hollande has approved holding a secret meeting with French officials as well as German opposition (without the knowledge of Merkel) to discuss the euro-zone crisis.
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    French President Approves Secret Eurozone Consultations, Meeting With German Opposition (TS//SI-G//OC/NF)

    (TS//SI-G//OC/NF) French President Francois Hollande has approved holding secret meetings in Paris to discuss the eurozone crisis, particularly the consequences of a Greek exit from the eurozone. On 18 May, Hollande directed Prime Minister (PM) Jean-Marc Ayrault to set up a meeting at the Office of the President (the Elysee) for the following week. Hollande, Ayrault, and “appropriate ministers” would attend, and special emphasis would be given to consequences for the French economy in general and for French banks in particular. Hollande stressed that the meeting would be secret. (COMMENT: The French president seems worried that if word were to get out that Paris is seriously considering the possibility of a Greek exit, it would deepen the crisis.) In addition, secret meetings are to be held in Paris between French officlans and members of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Hollande assured the PM that hosting the meeting at the Elysee was “doable,” although Ayrault warned the president to keep the event a secret so as to avoid diplomatic problems. (COMMENT: By “diplomatic problems,” Ayrault is referring to what could happen if German Chancellor Angela Merkel finds out that Hollande is going behind her back to meet with the German opposition.) Earlier reporting reveals that following talks last week in Berlin with Merkel, Hollande complained that nothing of substance was achieved; it was purely for show. Hollande had found the chancellor fixated on the Fiscal Pact and above all on Greece, on which he claimed she had given up and was unwilling to budge. This made Hollande very worried for Greece and the Greek people, who might react by voting for an extremist party. After meeting Merkel, the French president contacted SPD Chairman Sigmair Gabriel and invited him to Paris so that they could talk.

    Foreign Satellite, Unconventional

    French, German governmental

    Z-G/OO/503643-12, 211549Z; Z-G/OO/503541-12, 161711Z
    US Intercepts of France Complaining About US Intercepts of France

    Date 24 March 2010
    Classification TOP-SECRET//COMINT/NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication between French Ambassador in Washington Pierre Vimont and Sarkozy’s diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte, reveals potential topics of discussion for a meeting between Sarkozy and U.S. President, particularly Sarkozy’s frustration regarding Washington step back on a bilateral intelligence cooperation agreement and the U.S. desire to continue spying on France.
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    Sensitive Issues on the Agenda When French, U.S. Presidents Meet Next Week in Washington (TS//SI//NF)

    (TS//SI//NF) French President Sarkozy intends to raise a number of sensitive topics with the U.S. President when the two leaders meet in Washington on 31 March, according to an exchange last week between the French ambassador in Washington Pierre Vimont, and Sarkozy’s diplomatic advisor, Jean-David Levitte. Vimont conveyed that the French President will express his frustration that Washington has backed away from its proposed bilateral intelligence cooperation agreement and Sarkozy intends to continue to push for closure. As Vimont and Levitte understand it, the main sticking point is the U.S. desire to continue spying on France. On the topic of Afghanistan, Levitte noted that Sarkozy is ready to authorize more military trainers but wants clarification on how many are needed, given the conflicting figures from U.S. sources. Another proposed topic was efforts by the European Aeronautic, Defense, and Space Corporation (EADS) to win a tanker aircraft contract with the U.S. military. Vimont revealed cryptically that the deal is moving forward but did not provide any details. Levitte had not expected to put the labeling dispute with Pernod Ricard (the world’s second largest spirits group) on the agenda, but Sarkozy had just spoken to the company’s chairman who had asked the president to intercede on his behalf. (COMMENT: Patrick Ricard, chairman of the Pernod Ricard board of directors, is said to be one of Sarkozy’s wealthy backers.) Vimont characterized the issue as a very political matter in the U.S., and suggested that a direct appeal to the White House might be useful. While Sarkozy intends to broach the issue with the U.S. President, Levitte will talk to the U.S. President’s Economic Adviser and Deputy National Security Adviser. Finally, Levitte expected the two leaders to discuss other pressing subjects including Iran, the Middle East Peace Process, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Sahel, Russia, China, Turkey, climate change, and the financial situation of several European countries; however, he provided no details on those topics.


    French diplomatic

    Z-3/OO/507179-10, 231635Z
    US Spying On Chirac Discussing UN Appointments

    Date 2006
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication between French President Jacques Chirac and French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals that Chirac gave specific instructions to approach UNSYG Ban Ki-Moon and ask the appointment of Terje Roed-Larsen as Deputy UNSYG or another position of equal responsibility.
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    (TS//SI-G//OC) French President Presses for Selection of Roed-Larsen as Deputy UNSYG

    (TS//SI-G//OC/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French President Jacques Chirac told Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy on 23 December to work to ensure that current UN Special Envoy for the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1559 Terje Roed-Larsen is selected as Deputy UNSYG or at least offered a position of similar responsibility. Chirac spelled out in deliberate fashion exactly how he wanted Douste-Blazy to proceed, instructing him to approach new UNSYG Ban Ki-moon and report back on Ban’s sentiments regarding the deputy post. (COMMENT: Chirac’s detailed orders may be in response to the foreign minister’s propensity, amply demonstrated in the past and the impetus behind a number of presidential reprimands, for making ill-timed or inaccurate remarks.) The President was keen on Roed-Larsen’s selection for several reasons, including his belief that the situation in the Middle East requires a skilled hand with experience in the region and the realization that–for once–France, Russia, and the U.S. all support the same man. Other considerations were that Ban intends to keep Frenchman Jean-Marie Guehenno on as head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which is to be divided into two parts, with the newer organization handling logistics. That planned division, however, has drawn fire from Douste-Blazy, who thinks that it would be a catastrophe.


    French leadership, UN diplomatic

    G/OO/6411-06, 271650Z
    US Spying on Sarkozy Talking Tough on Israel-Palestine

    Date 10 June 2011
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals that Sarkozy was determined to resume peace talks between Israel and Palestine, possibly without the involvement of the U.S.
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    Sarkozy Determined to Proceed With Mideast Initiative, May Pressure U.S. President (TS//SI-G//OC/NF)

    (TS//SI-G//OC/NF) In spite of an apparent lack of interest on the part of some major players, French President Nicolas Sarkozy affirmed on 7 June his determination of go forward with an initiative to restart direct Mideast peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It was also disclosed in a conversation between Sarkozy and his foreign minister, Alain Juppe, that consideration was given to including the Quartet in the process; however, they were wary about such an invitation because that group might not bow to Paris’s wishes. Not being a member of the Quartet, they surmised, France would have no control over what transpired in one of its meetings, and if the group elected not to support direct talks, the French initiative would be a non-starter. Another concern centered on the dynamics of the Quartet: the fear in Paris was that in any session involving the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, UNSYG Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and the U.S. Secretary of State, the last two individuals would dominate the proceedings. Finally, the president was giving thought to appealing to Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev for a possible joint initiative without the United States or, as another option, issuing an ultimatum to the U.S. President regarding Palestinian statehood. The ultimatum would demand that Washington back France’s efforts to restart the peace process, failing which Sarkozy would tell the U.S. President that Paris will not side with the U.S. in September (presumably referring to the deliberations in the UN General Assembly on Palestinian statehood).


    French leadership

    Z-G/OO/513370-11, 091416Z
    US Eavesdrops as Sarkozy Plots French Leadership on Financial Crisis

    Date 2008
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    Intercepted communication reveals that Sarkozy blamed U.S. Government’s many mistakes for the world economic crisis, and given a lack of engagement by the U.S., France, as EU president at the time, had to take the lead in devising solutions.
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    Sarkozy Sees Himself as Only One Who Can Resolve World Financial Crisis (TS//SI-G//OC)

    (TS//SI-G//OC/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French President Nicolas Sarkozy considers it his responsibility to Europe and the world to step up to the plate and resolve the world financial crisis. He further declared that he is the only one, given France’s EU Presidency, who can step into the breach at this time. The President blamed many of the current economic problems on mistakes made by the U.S. Government, but believes that Washington is now heeding some of his advice. In his view, this is the first time that the U.S. has not taken the lead in managing a global crisis and France will now take the helm. Sarkozy is determined that the mid-November financial summit, which he proposed, will bring drastic change to the world financial system. Finally, the French President was pleased by some progress made within the EU to ease the crisis and by his excellent working relationship with the British and Spanish prime ministers.


    French leadership

    G/OO/503290-08, 291640Z

    Find this story at 29 June 2015

    WikiLeaks – Chirac, Sarkozy et Hollande : trois présidents sur écoute

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    WIKILEAKS Les documents obtenus par WikiLeaks et que publie «Libération» révèlent que la NSA a, au moins de 2006 à mai 2012, espionné Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy et François Hollande.
    Un adage en vogue dans les milieux du renseignement veut qu’en matière d’espionnage, on n’ait pas d’alliés – ou, à tout le moins, qu’ils ne soient pas forcément des amis. «S’espionner entre amis, cela ne se fait pas», s’était d’ailleurs indignée Angela Merkel en apprenant en octobre 2013, par des révélations du Spiegel, que l’Agence nationale de sécurité (NSA) américaine avait ciblé son téléphone portable. Une sélection de documents que publient Libération et Mediapart en collaboration avec WikiLeaks révèle qu’en France, ce sont trois présidents successifs, et certains de leurs collaborateurs, qui ont été espionnés sur une période allant au moins de 2006, lors du second mandat de Jacques Chirac, à mai 2012, juste après l’installation à l’Elysée de François Hollande.

    Ces documents obtenus par WikiLeaks – regroupés sous le titre «Espionnage Elysée» – consistent notamment en cinq rapports d’analyse émanant de la NSA, sous l’intitulé «Global SIGINT Highlights», autrement dit, des «faits marquants» tirés du renseignement d’origine électromagnétique, les interceptions de communications. Tous sont classés «Top Secret», et destinés à des responsables de la NSA et de la communauté américaine du renseignement ; seuls deux d’entre eux, les plus anciens, sont voués à être partagés au sein des «Five Eyes», l’alliance des services de renseignement des Etats-Unis, de l’Australie, du Canada, de la Nouvelle-Zélande et du Royaume-Uni, les autres étant exclusivement à usage américain. Ces comptes rendus émanent, selon des experts interrogés par WikiLeaks, d’un bureau identifié comme étant celui des Summary Services («le service des synthèses»).

    On peut y lire, notamment, comment Jacques Chirac a, en 2006, poussé son candidat pour le poste de sous-secrétaire général adjoint des Nations unies, mais aussi que, selon la NSA, le ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’époque, Philippe Douste-Blazy, avait une «propension […] à faire des déclarations inexactes ou inopportunes». On peut y lire aussi – ce qui ne surprendra personne – que Nicolas Sarkozy se voyait, en 2008, comme «le seul homme capable de résoudre la crise financière». Ou qu’il se plaignait, en 2010, du «recul de Washington sur sa proposition d’accord de coopération bilatérale sur le renseignement», accord que les deux interlocuteurs mentionnés dans la note, l’ambassadeur de France à Washington, Pierre Vimont, et le conseiller diplomatique, Jean-David Levitte, attribuaient précisément au «souhait des Etats-Unis de continuer à espionner la France»…

    Le mémo le plus récent date du 22 mai 2012 – soit après la mise en place d’un protocole d’échanges d’informations ­entre la Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE) et la NSA, qui remonterait, selon le Monde, à la fin 2011 – et fait état de «réunions secrètes» pour discuter d’une possible sortie de la Grèce de la zone euro, mais également des inquiétudes de Jean-Marc Ayrault quant aux réactions d’Angela Merkel si elle venait à avoir vent de la rencontre entre le nouveau président et l’opposition allemande.

    A vrai dire, si le contenu des notes est classé comme hautement confidentiel, il ne révèle pas pour autant de secrets d’Etat. Il témoigne, en tout état de cause, de l’intérêt porté par la NSA à la France. A ce titre, l’autre type de document obtenu par WikiLeaks est au moins aussi frappant. Il s’agit d’un extrait d’une base de données de la NSA mentionnant une série de numéros de téléphone, fixes et mobiles, identifiés comme des «sélecteurs». Autrement dit, sur la base d’une collecte massive d’informations, l’agence identifie des cibles qui motivent par la suite des recherches précises de contenus. Le tout en fonction de «besoins d’information» formalisés à partir de 2002, qui touchent à la politique intérieure ou aux enjeux économiques.

    Extrait d’une base de données de la NSA montrant les personnalités politiques qu’ils ont ciblé.

    Dans cette liste, qui date d’après nos recoupements de l’année 2010, Libération a pu identifier les numéros de portable de membres de l’exécutif – le président Nicolas Sarkozy, les secrétaires d’Etat aux Affaires européennes et au Commerce Jean-Pierre Jouyet et Pierre Lellouche –, mais aussi des cibles plus larges : le standard du ministère des Finances, celui de l’Agriculture, ainsi que l’antenne à l’Elysée du Centre de transmissions gouvernemental, qui dépend du Secrétariat général de la défense et de la sécurité nationale (SGDSN). Ce service est précisément responsable de la sécurisation des communications de l’exécutif, ainsi que de la permanence des liaisons gouvernementales, le «téléphone rouge». Rien n’indique pour autant que les liaisons sécurisées aient, elles, été compromises.

    Parmi les autres noms, la liste témoigne d’une identification plutôt précise des interlocuteurs. Les téléphones mobiles de conseillers du Président, comme le secrétaire général de l’Elysée de l’époque, Claude Guéant, ou Jean-David Levitte, sont aussi listés. Contactés par Libération, ni l’un ni l’autre ne se disent surpris. Le premier juge le procédé «inadmissible». Le second, philosophe, indique être «toujours parti du principe [qu’il était] écouté, et pas seulement par nos amis et partenaires américains».

    On trouve aussi des membres du cabinet ou de l’administration du ministère des Affaires étrangères – son porte-parole d’alors, Bernard Valero, ainsi que Laurence Tubiana, fonctionnaire au Quai d’Orsay qui a été chargée en 2009 des négociations pour la conférence sur le climat de Copenhague. A la différence des autres cibles, cette dernière ne relève d’ailleurs pas de la branche chargée d’intercepter les communications européennes, le «S2C32» (déjà identifié dans le scandale Merkel), mais d’un bureau chargé notamment d’«améliorer l’accès à la cible», d’«accroître les efforts de ciblage et d’exploitation» et de «développer de nouvelles possibi­lités de collecte». En clair, de voir dans quelle mesure il serait possible de pirater son téléphone, voire d’installer des logiciels espions dans son ordinateur.

    Cette sélection de documents ne révèle qu’une partie des activités de la NSA en matière d’espionnage des dirigeants français : rien ne permet de connaître la quantité de comptes rendus d’écoutes ayant été communiqués aux dirigeants de la NSA, et les présidents prennent également des précautions pour évoquer les sujets les plus sensibles – rencontres bilatérales ou communications chiffrées. Mais les documents confirment, en tout état de cause, à quel point les Etats-Unis peuvent s’intéresser au détail des communications de dirigeants de pays alliés. En octobre 2013, le ­député ­socialiste Jean-Jacques Urvoas, rapporteur du projet de loi sur le renseignement, se plaignait d’ailleurs dans les colonnes du Monde que «les Etats-Unis n’ont pas d’alliés, ils n’ont que des cibles ou des vassaux».

    Reste désormais à savoir si ces pratiques se sont poursuivies au-delà de la date des derniers documents que nous publions en collaboration avec WikiLeaks. Sollicité par Libération et Mediapart, l’entourage de François Hollande assure qu’au moment de la visite d’Etat du Président à Washington, en février 2014, «l’engagement a été pris [par Barack Obama] de ne plus pratiquer d’écoutes indifférenciées concernant les services de l’Etat des pays alliés». Egalement sollicités, ni la NSA ni la Maison Blanche n’avaient encore réagi, mardi soir à l’heure du bouclage.

    L’espionnage à l’étranger est l’ultime «zone grise» du renseignement – il est d’ailleurs, en France, le véritable point aveugle du projet de loi sur le renseignement, voué à être adopté ce mercredi. En avril, une résolution de l’Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe préconisait la mise en place d’un «code du renseignement multilatéral». On en est évidemment encore très loin.


    Find this story at 23 June 2015

    Copyright liberation.fr

    NSA Economic Spy Order

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Information Need (IN) – France: Economic Developments
    EEI: H – Foreign Contracts/Feasibility Studies/Negotiations
    Information Need (IN) – France: Economic Developments

    Date 2012
    Classification SECRET
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    This classified US intelligence “Information Need” spying order mandates long term economic espionage against France in order to obtain details about the economic activities of French companies and the economic policies and decisions of the French government. Information Needs (IN) are collection requirements extracted from the National SIGINT Requirements List, and are used to broadly justify the interception of communications in order to satisfy generic intelligence demands from U.S. policy makers and the U.S. Intelligence Community. This IN, identified as 2002-204 (first created in 2002 and updated for more than a decade) and referenced in the list of Top NSA French Targets previously published by WikiLeaks, shows which particular information of interest (“Essential Elements of Information”, EEI) the relevant Signals Intelligence units are instructed to collect and report about. Such requirements include France’s economic relations with the United States, other countries and international institutions, France’s financial and trade policies, and its views on G-8 and G-20 agendas. “Supported Elements” are those parts of the US government which are supported by (i.e receive intelligence reports derived from) the espionage.
    Download PDF

    IN Standard Report: S-C-2002-204

    Title : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) France: Economic Developments

    Originator Classification : SECRET//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL

    Table of Contents

    EEI A : (U//FOUO) Economic Relations with the United States
    EEI B : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French Business Practices
    EEI C : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French Financial/Macroeconomic Policy Development
    EEI D : (U//FOUO) Views On G-8, G-20 Developments/Issues
    EEI E : (U//FOUO) Budgetary Constraints/Contributions To NATO
    EEI F : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French Views
    EEI G : (U//FOUO) Relations With Least Developed Countries (LDCs) And Transitional States
    EEI H : (U//FOUO) Foreign Contracts/Feasibility Studies/Negotiations
    EEI I : (U//FOUO) Relations With International Financial Institutions
    EEI J : (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) French Trade Policies
    EEI K : (U//FOUO) Questionable Trade Activities

    (U//FOUO) Supported Element(s):

    EEI: H – Foreign Contracts/Feasibility Studies/Negotiations

    Date 2012
    Classification SECRET//NOFORN
    WikiLeaks Synopsis
    This US economic espionage order (“Essential Elements of Information) for France instructs US spies to collect information on all French sales and financing of significant projects related to telecommunications, electrical generation, gas, oil, nuclear and renewable energy and environmental and healthcare technologies. Most substantially it also mandates the interception and reportage of all French company negotiations and contracts valued at over $200 million. The results of the spying are to be reported to various US trade, political and intelligence agencies (“Supported Elements”).
    Download PDF

    EEI : H

    EEI Classification : SECRET//NOFORN

    Originator EEI Classification : SECRET//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL

    EEI Title : (U//FOUO) Foreign Contracts/Feasibility Studies/Negotiations
    Question(s) :

    1. (S//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL) Report impending French contract proposals or feasibility studies and negotiations for international sales or investments in major projects or systems of significant interest to the foreign host country or $200 million or more in sales and/or services, including financing information or projects of high interest including:

    A. Information and telecommunications facilities networks and technology?

    B. Electric power, natural gas, and oil facilities and infrastructure to include nuclear power and renewable energy generation?

    C. Transportation infrastructure and technology to include ports, airports, high-speed rail, and subways?

    D. Environmental technologies used domestically and for export?

    E. Health care infrastructure, services, and technologies, including biotechnology developments?

    Find this story at 29 June 2015

    DOSSIER: LA RÉPUBLIQUE SUR ÉCOUTE ENQUÊTE 2006-2012: Hollande, Sarkozy et Chirac écoutés

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Au-delà des trois chefs d’État français, des ministres, des hauts fonctionnaires, des parlementaires et des diplomates ont été surveillés téléphoniquement pendant près d’une décennie par les services secrets américains, selon des documents obtenus par WikiLeaks.

    Les États-Unis ont placé la République sur écoute. Les présidents François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy et Jacques Chirac, ainsi que de nombreux ministres, des hauts fonctionnaires, des parlementaires ou des diplomates, ont été écoutés directement ou par ricochet pendant près d’une décennie par les services secrets américains, selon des documents confidentiels de la National Security Agency (NSA) obtenus par WikiLeaks (lire aussi notre version en anglais de cet article).

    D’après des notes de synthèse de la NSA auxquelles Mediapart et Libération ont eu accès, en collaboration avec WikiLeaks, dans le cadre de l’opération Espionnage Élysée, les interceptions se sont étalées de 2006 à 2012 – mais rien ne dit qu’elles n’ont pas commencé plus tôt et ne se sont pas poursuivies depuis. Toutes classifiées « top secret », ces notes détaillent les dessous d’un espionnage obsessionnel de la France par les États-Unis sur des questions diplomatiques, de politique locale ou économiques de tous ordres.

    Les trois présidents français écoutés par la NSA
    Les trois présidents français écoutés par la NSA © DR
    Que les États-Unis écoutent les principaux dirigeants d’un pays allié comme la France relève pour certains du secret de polichinelle. L’information est désormais prouvée par des documents issus du cœur de l’appareil d’État américain.

    Surtout, les éléments que nous rendons publics à partir d’aujourd’hui (voir ici l’analyse des documents) révèlent l’ampleur jusqu’ici insoupçonnée de l’espionnage états-unien, réalisé en dehors de tout cadre judiciaire et de tout réel contrôle. Car ce ne sont pas seulement les présidents de la République successifs qui ont été écoutés ces dernières années, mais toutes les strates de la puissance publique qui ont été, à un moment ou à un autre, la cible des États-Unis, qu’il s’agisse de directeurs d’administration, de ministres, de conseillers présidentiels et ministériels, de diplomates, de porte-parole. Au sein même de l’Élysée, par exemple, de très nombreuses lignes téléphoniques (fixes ou portables) ont été branchées.

    Déjà passablement écornée par les révélations de l’ancien agent Edward Snowden, l’image de la NSA et, avec elle, des États-Unis ne devrait pas sortir grandie de ces nouvelles révélations, qui jettent une lumière crue sur les pratiques agressives et déloyales de la première puissance mondiale à l’encontre d’un pays normalement considéré comme « ami ». Du moins, en façade.

    Contactée, la NSA n’a pas souhaité faire de commentaire.

    Comme ses deux prédécesseurs de droite, l’actuel président socialiste François Hollande n’a pas échappé à la curiosité des grandes oreilles de Washington. Un rapport du 22 mai 2012 de la NSA fait ainsi explicitement référence à une conversation tenue quatre jours plus tôt entre le président fraîchement élu et son premier ministre de l’époque, Jean-Marc Ayrault. La conversation porte sur la volonté de François Hollande d’organiser des « consultations secrètes » avec l’opposition allemande, concernant l’éventualité d’une sortie de la Grèce de la zone euro – un sujet toujours d’actualité.

    Les analystes de la NSA évoquent dans le même document l’existence de « précédents rapports » concernant des entretiens passés au sujet de la chancelière Angela Merkel. Ce qui laisse donc supposer que les interceptions américaines du président français ont bel et bien été monnaie courante.

    À l’Élysée, on indiquait mardi 23 juin que, sans avoir conservé la trace de cette conversation, celle-ci est « tout à fait crédible ». Mais sur le fond, la présidence de la République n’a souhaité faire aucun commentaire à ce stade. Dans l’entourage du président, on précise toutefois qu’en amont de la rencontre entre François Hollande et Barack Obama, le 11 février 2014 à Washington, puis lors de cette entrevue, « l’engagement a été pris de ne plus pratiquer d’écoutes indifférenciées des services de l’État d’un pays allié ».

    Le directeur général de LR (ex-UMP), Frédéric Péchenard, a communiqué l’information à Nicolas Sarkozy, qui « ne souhaite pas réagir pour l’instant ».

    Comme pour la plupart des documents obtenus par WikiLeaks, le rapport de mai 2012 de la NSA ciblant François Hollande est surmonté de nombreuses initiales qui, une fois décryptées, donnent la mesure du caractère ultrasensible des données désormais publiques. Estampillées « top secret » (TS), ces notes traitent de renseignements obtenus par des interceptions de signaux électroniques (SI pour SIGINT, soit “signal intelligence”) et ne doivent sous aucun prétexte être partagées avec un pays étranger (NF pour NOFORN, soit “no foreigner”).

    La note Hollande est également accompagnée, comme pour de nombreuses autres, de la mention « unconventional », une catégorie particulière dans la nomenclature de la NSA qui correspond aux opérations non conventionnelles.

    Revealed: how US tapped phones of three French presidents

    US phone taps on France – why Paris would prefer to keep a low profile

    WikiLeaks documents on US snooping on France – what the presidents said

    France condemns ‘unacceptable’ spying on its presidents

    35 « leaders internationaux » espionnés par la NSA

    Espionnage d’intérêts français par le renseignement allemand : la France se tait

    Espionnage : à droite et à gauche, l’allié américain a déçu
    Toujours dans cette même note Hollande figure une petite mention supplémentaire, qui est tout sauf anodine : « Foreign Satellite ». Ce terme, FORNSAT en abrégé, désigne un réseau mondial de stations d’écoutes de la NSA réparties dans les pays alliés. Tous les regards se portent aujourd’hui, sans qu’il soit possible d’en avoir la certitude absolue, vers des antennes satellites allemandes.

    La presse a en effet plusieurs fois fait état ces derniers mois de la sous-traitance par les services secrets allemands (le BND) de l’espionnage américain, ce qui a provoqué une forte indignation en Allemagne et l’ouverture d’une enquête parlementaire qui cherche précisément le type de documents que WikiLeaks a obtenus.

    En dehors de l’actuel chef de l’État français, d’autres hautes personnalités françaises ont été écoutées. D’après les documents en notre possession, sur lesquels nous reviendrons dans les prochains jours, les anciens présidents Nicolas Sarkozy et Jacques Chirac, l’ancien ministre socialiste de l’économie Pierre Moscovici (aujourd’hui commissaire européen) ou l’ex-ambassadeur de France à Washington Pierre Vimont ont ainsi été espionnés.

    Il faut dire que l’appétit de renseignements des États-Unis pour la France relève de la boulimie. Un autre document confidentiel (voir ci-dessous) de la NSA, rédigé sous la présidence Sarkozy (2007-2012), révèle quant à lui la liste des cibles françaises définies par les États-Unis. Sont concernés, pêle-mêle : le portable personnel du président de l’époque, Nicolas Sarkozy, ceux du conseiller diplomatique Jean-David Levitte, du secrétaire général de l’Élysée Claude Guéant, du porte-parole du ministère des affaires étrangères Bernard Valero, de l’ancien ministre Jean-Pierre Jouyet (aujourd’hui secrétaire général de l’Elysée), celui d’un responsable du Quai d’Orsay non identifié, ou du ministre du commerce extérieur Pierre Lellouche.

    La liste des cibles françaises établie par la NSA sous la présidence Sarkozy
    La liste des cibles françaises établie par la NSA sous la présidence Sarkozy
    Pour Claude Guéant, ancien secrétaire général de l’Elysée et ex-ministre de l’intérieur, « cette pratique est scandaleuse ». « Le gouvernement français doit réagir comme il se doit. Au minimum, cela nécessite une explication au plus haut niveau, un engagement absolu à mettre un terme à ces pratiques. Nous nous acheminons vers un monde qui est extrêmement préoccupant, où plus personne n’a plus d’intimité, de confidentialité », se plaint ce proche de Nicolas Sarkozy.

    « Si les Américains ont écouté Merkel, on ne voit pas pourquoi les autres n’auraient pas été écoutés », commente Frédéric Péchenard, ancien patron de la police nationale et actuel directeur général des Républicains. « Mais si l’on veut être capables de se défendre, il faut que nos services soient à la hauteur. Il nous faut des moyens techniques humains et juridiques plus efficaces. Être espionné par ceux qui sont censés être nos amis, ça peut poser un problème d’ordre diplomatique », précise-t-il.

    « Moi qui étais un grand ami de l’Amérique, je le suis de moins en moins », réagit pour sa part le député Pierre Lellouche auprès de Mediapart. « Je ne suis pas surpris. Ça ne m’étonne pas d’avoir été écouté lorsque j’étais au commerce extérieur, ça intéresse beaucoup les Américains, l’espionnage industriel. On a tout le temps ce genre de conversations. C’est d’ailleurs l’argument qu’on nous rétorque en ce moment dans le cadre de la loi sur le renseignement : on est écouté par tout le monde, pourquoi s’empêcher de nous écouter ? On s’écoute de partout. Malheureusement, je le dirai à l’Assemblée nationale, on est dans un imperium global sur le plan économique, où les États-Unis n’hésitent pas à mettre en réseaux la CIA, la NSA, mais aussi la justice américaine, qui ensuite fait des saisines. Je le dénonce sans arrêt », ajoute-t-il.

    D’après les documents de la NSA, les lignes fixes des conseillers africains en poste à l’Élysée et les numéros des… standards des ministères de l’agriculture et des finances sont également visés. On trouve encore dans la liste des cibles l’antenne du Centre de transmission gouvernemental (CTG) situé à l’Élysée. Celui-ci est chargé d’assurer, à l’abri du “secret défense”, la permanence des liaisons gouvernementales et tout particulièrement celles du chef de l’État et du Premier ministre. Un autre numéro, référencé sous l’intitulé « FR VIP AIRCRAFT REL », renvoie après vérification à une ligne de la flotte aérienne du gouvernement, l’Etec, qui dépend de l’armée de l’air.

    Au-delà du scandale que peut susciter aujourd’hui cet espionnage américain, la facilité avec laquelle les États-Unis paraissent pouvoir intercepter la moindre conversation des plus hauts dirigeants français interroge aujourd’hui la faiblesse des capacités de contre-ingérence des services de renseignement français. À ce propos, l’Élysée a coutume de rappeler que sur les questions diplomatiques et militaires, il n’y a jamais eu de fuite quelle qu’elle soit, précisant que s’agissant des sujets les plus sensibles, toutes les précautions sont prises. Jusqu’à preuve du contraire.


    Find this story at 23 June 2015

    Copyright mediapart.fr

    Espionnage Élysée (2015)

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    Press Release Top French NSA Targets Top French NSA Intercepts Economic Spy Order

    Today, 29 June 2015, WikiLeaks continues “Espionnage Élysée”, our ongoing publication of a collection of TOP SECRET documents from United States surveillance operations against France.

    Today’s publication comprises seven top secret documents detailing how the US has had a decade- long policy of economic espionage against France, including the interception of all French corporate contracts and negotiations valued at more than $200 million. The documents demonstrate that the US National Security Agency, far from being a rogue organisation, is carrying out an economic espionage policy created by the US Director of National Intelligence. The documents detail the intelligence process, from the tasking of the NSA with collection of desired economic information to the production of developed intelligence reports, which are sent to “Supported Elements” of the US government, including the US Department of Commerce, the US Trade Represenative, the US Treasury and the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Central within the cache of documents are two long-term spying orders (“collection requirements”) which define the kinds of intelligence the NSA is tasked with collecting in its surveillance operations against France. The documents make clear that the NSA has been tasked with obtaining intelligence on all aspects of the French economy, from government policy, diplomacy, banking and participation in international bodies to infrastructural development, business practices and trade activities. The documents establish that the US economic intelligence operations against France have run for more than a decade and started as early as 2002. Some of the documents are authorised for sharing with the “Five Eyes” partners – the group of Anglophone countries in close intelligence co-operation with the United States: Canada, New Zealand, Australia and France’s fellow member state of the European Union, the United Kingdom, strongly suggesting that the United Kingdom has also benefited from the United States’ economic espionage activities against France.

    The cache also includes five TOP SECRET intelligence summaries from US spying on the conversations and communications of French officials. The documents show US spying on the French Finance Minister, a French Senator, officials within the Treasury and Economic Policy Directorate, the French ambassador to the United States, and officials with direct responsibility for EU trade policy. The intercepts reveal internal French deliberation and policy on the World Trade Organization, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the G7 and the G20, the 2013 French budget, the decline of the automotive industry in France, and the involvement of French companies in the Oil for Food programme in Iraq during the 1990s.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “The United States has been conducting economic espionage against France for more than a decade. Not only has it spied on the French Finance Minister, it has ordered the interception of every French company contract or negotiation valued at more than $200 million. That covers not only all of France’s major companies, from BNP Paribas, AXA and Credit Agricole to Peugeot and Renault, Total and Orange, but it also affects the major French farming associations. $200 million is roughly 3,000 French jobs. Hundreds of such contracts are signed every year. The United States not only uses the results of this spying itself, but swaps these intercepts with the United Kingdom. Do French citizens deserve to know that their country is being taken to the cleaners by the spies of supposedly allied countries? Mais oui!”

    For French-language interviews/comment regarding Espionnage Élysée please contact WikiLeaks’ Paris-based legal advisor, Juan Branco: Tel. +33 671 19 21 47

    Today, 23 June 2015, WikiLeaks began publishing “Espionnage Élysée”, a collection of TOP SECRET intelligence reports and technical documents from the US National Security Agency (NSA) concerning targeting and signals intelligence intercepts of the communications of high-level officials from successive French governments over the last ten years.

    The top secret documents derive from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications of French Presidents Francois Hollande (2012–present), Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–2012), and Jacques Chirac (1995–2007), as well as French cabinet ministers and the French Ambassador to the United States. The documents also contain the “selectors” from the target list, detailing the cell phone numbers of numerous officials in the Elysee up to and including the direct cell phone of the President.

    Prominent within the top secret cache of documents are intelligence summaries of conversations between French government officials concerning some of the most pressing issues facing France and the international community, including the global financial crisis, the Greek debt crisis, the leadership and future of the European Union, the relationship between the Hollande administration and the German government of Angela Merkel, French efforts to determine the make-up of the executive staff of the United Nations, French involvement in the conflict in Palestine and a dispute between the French and US governments over US spying on France.

    A founding member state of the European Union and one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, France is formally a close ally of the United States, and plays a key role in a number of US-associated international institutions, including the Group of 7 (G7), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    The revelation of the extent of US spying against French leaders and diplomats echoes a previous disclosure in the German press concerning US spying on the communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German officials. That disclosure provoked a political scandal in Germany, eventuating in an official inquiry into German intelligence co-operation with the United States, which is still ongoing.

    While the German disclosures focused on the isolated fact that senior officials were targeted by US intelligence, WikiLeaks’ publication today provides much greater insight into US spying on its allies, including the actual content of intelligence products deriving from the intercepts, showing how the US spies on the phone calls of French leaders and ministers for political, economic and diplomatic intelligence.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: “The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally. We are proud of our work with leading French publishers Liberation and Mediapart to bring this story to light. French readers can expect more timely and important revelations in the near future.”

    Find this story at 29 June 2015

    Trade Secrets : Is the U.S.’s most advanced surveillance system feeding economic intelligence to American businesses? (1999)

    Van nieuwsblog.burojansen.nl

    No one is surprised that the United States uses sophisticated electronic spying techniques against its enemies. But Europeans are increasingly worried about allegations that the U.S. uses those same techniques to gather economic intelligence about its allies.
    The most extensive claims yet came this spring in a report written for the European Parliament. The report says that the U.S.

    National Security Agency, through an electronic surveillance system called Echelon, routinely tracks telephone, fax, and e-mail transmissions from around the world and passes on useful corporate intelligence to American companies.

    Among the allegations: that the NSA fed information to Boeing and McDonnell Douglas enabling the companies to beat out European Airbus Industrie for a $ 6 billion contract; and that Raytheon received information that helped it win a $ 1.3 billion contract to provide radar to Brazil, edging out the French company Thomson-CSF. These claims follow previous allegations that the NSA supplied U.S. automakers with information that helped improve their competitiveness with the Japanese (see “Company Spies,” May/June 1994).

    Is there truth to these allegations? The NSA is among the most secretive of U.S. intelligence agencies and won’t say much beyond the fact that its mission is “foreign signals intelligence.” The companies involved all refused to comment.

    “Since the NSA’s collection capabilities are so grotesquely powerful, it’s difficult to know what’s going on over there,” says John Pike, an analyst at the watchdog group Federation of American Scientists, who has tracked the NSA for years.

    This much is known: The NSA owns one of the largest collections of supercomputers in the world, and it’s an open secret–as documented in the European Parliament report–that Echelon vacuums up massive amounts of data from communications satellites and the Internet and then uses its computers to winnow it down. The system scans communications for keywords–“bomb,” for instance–that might tip off analysts to an interesting topic.

    Fueling allegations of corporate espionage is the fact that defense contractors and U.S. intelligence agencies are linked extensively through business relationships. Raytheon, for instance, has large contracts to service NSA equipment, according to the European report.

    Englishman Glyn Ford, the European Parliament member who initiated the study, wants the NSA to come clean about its activities in Europe. And the Europeans have some leverage on this issue, if they decide to use it. In a drive to improve surveillance, the United States is pressuring European governments to make telephone companies build eavesdropping capabilities into their new systems. But if that’s what the U.S. wants, says Ford, it’s going to have to be open about what information it’s collecting: “If we are going to leave the keys under the doormat for the United States, we want a guarantee that they’re not going to steal the family silver,” he says.

    In the meantime, congressional critics have started to wonder if all that high-powered eavesdropping is limited to overseas snooping. In April, Bob Barr (R-Ga.), a member of the House Government Reform Committee, said he was worried by reports that the NSA was engaged in illicit domestic spying.

    “We don’t have any direct evidence from the NSA, since they’ve refused to provide any reports, even when asked by the House Intelligence Committee,” Barr says. “But if in fact the NSA is pulling two million transmissions an hour off of these satellites, I don’t think there’s any way they have of limiting them to non-U.S. citizens.”

    Last May, after the NSA stonewalled requests to discuss the issue, Congress amended the intelligence appropriations bill to require the agency to submit a report to Congress. (The bill is still in a conference committee.) And the NSA will face more questions when the Government Reform Committee holds hearings on Echelon and other surveillance programs.

    “We ought to prevent any agency from the dragnet approach–where they throw out a net and drag anything in,” Barr says.

    Kurt Kleiner
    Mother Jones November 1, 1999

    Find this story at 1 November 1999

    Copyright Mother Jones


    In the magazine earlier this month, I wrote about Greg Chung, a Chinese-American engineer at Boeing who worked on NASA’s space-shuttle program. In 2009, Chung became the first American to be convicted in a jury trial on charges of economic espionage, for passing unclassified technical documents to China.

    While reporting the story, I learned a great deal about an earlier investigation involving another Chinese-American engineer, named Chi Mak, who led F.B.I. agents to Greg Chung. The Mak case, which began in 2004, was among the F.B.I.’s biggest counterintelligence investigations, involving intense surveillance that went on for more than a year.

    The stakes were high: at that time, the F.B.I. did not have a stellar record investigating Chinese espionage. Three years earlier, the government had been publicly humiliated by its failed attempt to prosecute the Chinese-American scientist Wen Ho Lee on charges of passing nuclear secrets from the Los Alamos National Laboratory to China, in a case that came to be seen by some observers as an example of racial prejudice. The investigation of Chi Mak—followed by the successful investigation and prosecution of Greg Chung—turned out to be a milestone in the F.B.I.’s efforts against Chinese espionage, and demonstrated that Chinese spies had indeed been stealing U.S. technological secrets.

    While Chung volunteered his services to China out of what seemed to be love for his motherland, the F.B.I. believed that Mak was a trained operative who had been planted in the U.S. by Chinese intelligence. Beginning in 1988, Mak had worked at Power Paragon, a defense company in Anaheim, California, that developed power systems for the U.S. Navy. The F.B.I. suspected that Mak, who immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong in the late nineteen-seventies, had been passing sensitive military technology to China for years.

    The investigation began when the F.B.I. was tipped off to a potential espionage threat at Power Paragon. The case was assigned to a special agent named James Gaylord; since the technologies at risk involved the Navy, Gaylord and his F.B.I. colleagues were joined by agents from the Naval Criminal Investigation Service. Mak was put under extensive surveillance: the investigators installed a hidden camera outside his home, in Downey, California, to monitor his comings and goings, and surveillance teams followed him wherever he went. All of his phone calls were recorded.

    A short and energetic sixty-four-year-old with a quick smile, Mak was a model employee at Power Paragon. Other workers at the company often turned to him for help in solving problems, and Mak provided it with the enthusiasm of a man who appeared to live for engineering. His assimilation into American life was limited to the workplace: he and his wife, Rebecca, led a quiet life, never socializing with neighbors. Rebecca was a sullen, stern woman whose proficiency in English had remained poor during her two and a half decades in the United States. She never went anywhere without Mak, except to take a walk around the neighborhood in the morning.

    Sitting around the house—secret audio recordings would later show—the two often talked about Chinese politics, remarking that Mao, like Stalin, was misunderstood by history. The influence of Maoist ideology was, perhaps, evident in the Maks’ extreme frugality: they ate their meals off of newspapers, which they would roll up and toss in the garbage. Every Saturday morning, after a game of tennis, they drove to a gas station and washed their car using the mops and towels there. From the gas station, the Maks drove to a hardware store and disappeared into the lumber section for ten minutes, never buying anything. For weeks, the agents following them wondered if the Maks were making a dead drop, but it turned out that the lumber section offered free coffee at that hour.

    * * *
    One evening in September, 2004, Gaylord drove to a playground next to the freeway in Downey. About two dozen of Gaylord’s colleagues from the F.B.I. were already gathered there, including a team from the East Coast that specialized in making clandestine entries into the homes of investigation suspects. That night, they planned to conduct a secret search of Mak’s house. Mak and Rebecca were vacationing in Alaska, and this gave agents an opportunity to use a court order authorizing them to enter the Maks’ residence in their absence.

    For weeks, agents had been watching Blandwood Road, the street the Maks lived on, researching the nightly patterns of nearby neighbors. The person next door routinely woke up at three to go to the bathroom, walking past a window that offered a partial view into the Maks’ house. Behind the Maks’ residence was a dog that was given to barking loudly. A neighbor across the street came out every morning at four to smoke a cigarette. If any of them were to raise an alarm, the search would not remain secret. Mak would find out and, if he was indeed a spy, it would become harder to find evidence against him.

    Shortly before midnight, Gaylord and two other agents got into a Chevy minivan with the middle and back rows of seats removed. The vehicle was identical in appearance to the one that Mak drove; it would raise no suspicions even if neighbors happened to notice it. The agents lay down flat in the back of the van, leaving only the driver visible from the street. After getting the go-ahead from a surveillance team, the van pulled out from the playground and drove to Blandwood Road, stopping a short distance from the Maks’ house.

    The group of entry specialists was already inside the house. Gaylord gently opened the front door and entered, letting two other agents in behind him. The men stood motionless, waiting for their eyes to adjust to the darkness. Everything they could see was covered in a thick layer of dust, including a model airplane on a coffee table and a vacuum cleaner in the hallway. In the dim light, Gaylord saw stacks of documents, some two to three feet high, everywhere: by the front door, on the dinner table, in the home office.

    The agents began photographing the documents, taking care to put them back exactly as they had been. Among the stacks were manuals and designs for power systems on U.S. Navy ships and concepts for new naval technologies under development. One set of documents contained information about the Virginia-class submarines, describing ways to cloak submarine propellers and fire anti-aircraft weapons underwater.

    The agents took pictures of other materials: tax returns, travel documents, and an address book listing Mak’s contacts, including several other engineers of Chinese origin living in California. This is where the F.B.I. first came across the name Greg Chung.

    * * *
    The F.B.I. was also watching Chi Mak’s younger brother, Tai Mak, who had moved to the U.S. from Hong Kong in 2001. Tai was a broadcast engineer for a Hong Kong-based satellite-television channel, Phoenix TV, which is partly owned by the Chinese government. He lived in Alhambra, about twelve miles from Downey, with his wife, Fuk Li, and their two teen-age children, Billy and Shirley.

    Fuk and Rebecca didn’t get along, and would bad-mouth each other to their husbands. Still, the two families got together every few weeks, usually at a Chinese restaurant in Alhambra, which has a large Chinese-American population. A frequent topic of conversation was Fuk’s aging mother, who lived alone in Guangzhou. Fuk and Tai were concerned about her health, and they depended on a family friend named Pu Pei-liang, a scholar at the Center for Asia Pacific Studies at Sun Yat-sen University, to check on her periodically.

    Every week, agents inspected the trash from both families’ houses, after offloading it from a garbage truck. “It’s not a fun duty, especially in the summertime, here in California,” Gaylord told me. The job fell mostly to Gaylord’s younger colleagues, who would lay the garbage out in a parking lot or a garage and rummage through it.

    The trash searches and the surveillance went on for months, but they yielded no evidence. “I never said it, but I thought, Wow, we’re using a lot of resources, but we haven’t proved anything yet,” Gaylord told me. Then, one day in February, 2005, Jessie Murray, an agent who spoke Mandarin, found several torn-up bits of paper with Chinese text while going through Chi and Rebecca’s trash. She put them in a Ziploc bag and brought them to the office.

    The agents assembled the contents of the bag like a jigsaw puzzle. Patched together, the pieces constituted two documents, one handwritten and the other machine-printed. Gunnar Newquist, an investigator assigned to the case by the N.C.I.S., spotted an English phrase at the bottom of the handwritten sheet. “DDX,” he said, reading it aloud. “That’s a Navy destroyer.”

    The handwritten text turned out to be a list of naval technologies and programs: submarine propulsion networks; systems for defending against nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks; and others. On the printed sheet were instructions about going to conferences to collect information. Gaylord was certain that the two documents were tasking lists from Chinese intelligence.



    In October, the F.B.I. made another covert entry into Chi Mak’s house and installed a hidden camera above the dining-room table; the surveillance video from that camera can be seen below. Days later, on a Sunday morning, agents observed Mak sitting at the table, inserting CDs into a laptop and talking to Rebecca about the information that he was copying. All of it related to the Navy, including a paper about developing a quieter motor for submarines, a project that Mak was in charge of at Power Paragon.

    Combing through translated phone conversations from the previous week, investigators learned that Fuk and Tai were planning to leave California for China the following Friday. They discovered a call that Tai had made to Pu, the family friend in Guangzhou, which Tai began with a strange introduction: “I am with Red Flower of North America.” Tai told Pu that he was coming to China for the spring trade show, and that he was bringing an assistant. Pu asked him to call upon arriving at the Guangzhou airport, using a phone card that Pu had given him earlier. Tai was clearly speaking in code: he wasn’t connected to any organization named Red Flower, and it was autumn, not spring.

    The following day, Tai and Fuk talked about the upcoming trip. Fuk asked if they would have to carry a heavy load of documents from Chi Mak, as they had done in the past. Tai assured her that, this time, they only needed to put the information on disks, using the computer that Pu had given them.

    Fuk and Tai were arrested at the Los Angeles airport after security agents searched their luggage and found an encrypted disk containing the files that Chi Mak had copied. On the same night, F.B.I. agents arrested Chi and Rebecca Mak just as they were preparing for bed. The two sat silently on the couch while agents searched the house, for the first time with the lights turned on.

    * * *
    During a six-week jury trial in 2007, government prosecutors painted Chi Mak as a trained spy who started his career as an intelligence officer for the Chinese government during his years in Hong Kong. Mak’s first assignment, according to the prosecution, was monitoring the movements of U.S. Navy ships entering and leaving the Hong Kong harbor during the Vietnam War, a job that Mak performed assiduously while working at his sister’s tailor shop. Gunnar Newquist testified that, in an interview given to Newquist and a fellow N.C.I.S. agent shortly after his arrest, Mak had confessed to sending information about commercial and military technologies to China since the early eighties. Mak denied making any such confession.

    On May 10, 2007, the jury convicted Mak on charges of conspiring to export U.S. military technology to China and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government. Weeks later, Tai, Fuk, and their son, Billy, pleaded guilty to being part of the conspiracy. Rebecca Mak pleaded guilty to being an unregistered foreign agent. Mak was sentenced to twenty-four and a half years; Tai received a sentence of ten years. Fuk and Billy were deported to China, as was Rebecca—after she had spent three years in prison.

    When I went to see Mak, last summer, at the Federal Correctional Institution, in Lompoc, California, a minimum-security prison near Vandenberg Air Force Base, he denied that he had ever worked for Chinese intelligence. Mak also insisted that Chung hadn’t spied for China, either. He said that they had both been unfairly targeted by investigators, as part of a politically motivated campaign against China by U.S. law enforcement agencies. The reason he’d come to the U.S. in the seventies, Mak said, was not to work as a sleeper agent—as the prosecution had claimed—but to advance professionally and to see the world. At one point, he caught himself going on at length about an aircraft-powering generator he had helped to design in the eighties. “When I talk technical, I get excited,” he said, grinning sheepishly.

    His enthusiasm waned when I asked him about the list of military technologies that the F.B.I. had recovered from his trash. He told me that he’d found it inside a book on Chinese medicine that his nephew, Billy, brought back for him from a trip to China. “Maybe somebody was trying to take advantage of Billy,” he said. When I pressed him to guess who the sender of the list might have been, Mak got fidgety and grim. “It could have been Pu Pei-liang,” he said, finally. He insisted that the only thing he’d ever done with the list was tear it up.

    Mak acknowledged that he’d sent papers to Pu in the past, but said that they were all from the open literature. The CDs he’d given to Tai before Tai’s aborted trip to China didn’t contain anything sensitive, either, he said, alleging that the prosecution had greatly exaggerated their importance. Still, I asked, who were the CDs meant for? Mak narrowed his eyes, as if trying hard to remember. “I’m not too sure,” he said. “I’m not too sure.”

    MAY 16, 2014

    Find this story at 16 May 2014

    © 2013 Condé Nast.

    Dongfan “Greg” Chung, Chinese Spy, Gets More Than 15 Years In Prison

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A Chinese-born engineer convicted in the United States’ first economic espionage trial was sentenced Monday to more than 15 years in prison for stealing sensitive information on the U.S. space program with the intent of passing it to China.

    Dongfan “Greg” Chung, a Boeing stress analyst with high-level security clearance, was convicted in July of six counts of economic espionage and other federal charges for storing 300,000 pages of sensitive papers in his Southern California home. Prosecutors alleged the papers included information about the U.S. space shuttle, a booster rocket and military troop transports.

    Before reading the sentence, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney said he didn’t know exactly what information Chung had passed to China over a 30-year period. But just taking the “treasure trove of documents” from Boeing Co., a key military contractor, constituted a serious crime, he said.

    “What I do know is what he did, and what he did pass, hurt our national security and it hurt Boeing,” the judge said.

    During brief remarks, Chung, 74, begged for a lenient sentence, saying he had taken the information to write a book.

    “Your honor, I am not a spy, I am only an ordinary man,” said Chung, who wore a tan prison jumpsuit with his hands cuffed to a belly chain as his wife and son watched from the audience. “Your honor, I love this country. … Your honor, I beg your pardon and let me live with my family peacefully.”

    Outside court, defense attorney Thomas Bienert said he would appeal.

    “We have a different view of the facts and the evidence than the judge,” Bienert said. “We think the sentence should have been a lot less given the conduct involved.”

    Prosecutors had requested a 20-year sentence, in part to send a message to other would-be spies, but the judge said he couldn’t determine exactly how much the breaches hurt Boeing and the nation.

    Carney also cited the engineer’s age and frail health in going with a sentence of 15 years and eight months. Chung had a stroke within the past two years and was hospitalized several days ago with a gastrointestinal problem, Bienert said.

    “It’s very difficult having to make a decision where someone is going to have to spend the rest of their adult life in prison,” Carney said. “I take no comfort or satisfaction in that.”

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Staples noted in his sentencing papers that Chung had amassed $3 million in personal wealth while betraying his adopted country.

    “I know that there’s a lot of emotion on the defense side about what impact the sentence will have on the defendant, but I would like to put on the record that we are here speaking for the rest of the families in the United States who go to bed at night expecting that the security of this country is being looked out for,” Staples said.

    The government accused Chung of using his decades-long career at Boeing and Rockwell International to steal papers on aerospace and defense technologies.

    During the non-jury trial, the government showed photos of every available surface in Chung’s home covered with thick stacks of paper, and investigators testified about finding more documents in a crawl space. They said Boeing invested $50 million in the technology over a five-year period.

    Chung’s lawyers argued then – and again at sentencing – that he may have violated Boeing policy by bringing the papers home, but he didn’t break any laws, and the U.S. government couldn’t prove he had given secrets to China.

    The government believes Chung began spying for the Chinese in the late 1970s, a few years after he became a naturalized U.S. citizen and was hired by Rockwell.

    Chung worked for Rockwell until it was bought by Boeing in 1996. He stayed with the company until he was laid off in 2002, then was brought back a year later as a consultant. He was fired when the FBI began its investigation in 2006.

    When agents searched Chung’s home in Orange that year, they discovered thousands of pages of documents on a phased-array antenna being developed for radar and communications on the U.S. space shuttle and a $16 million fueling mechanism for the Delta IV booster rocket, used to launch manned space vehicles.

    Agents also found documents on the C-17 Globemaster troop transport used by the U.S. Air Force and militaries in Britain, Australia and Canada – but the government later dropped charges related to those finds.

    Prosecutors discovered Chung’s activities while investigating Chi Mak, another suspected Chinese spy living and working in Southern California. Mak was convicted in 2007 of conspiracy to export U.S. defense technology to China and sentenced to 24 years in prison.

    Chung was the first person to be tried under the economic espionage provision of the Economic Espionage Act, which was passed in 1996 after the U.S. realized China and other countries were targeting private businesses as part of their spy strategies.

    Since then, six economic espionage cases have settled before trial. In some of the cases, defendants were sentenced to just a year or two in prison.

    Another economic espionage case went to trial in San Jose after Chung’s conviction, but a jury deadlocked on charges against two men accused of stealing computer chip blueprints from their Silicon Valley employer.

    Prosecutors have previously tried cases under a different part of the 1996 act that deals with the theft of trade secrets.

    GILLIAN FLACCUS 02/ 8/10 04:52 PM ET AP

    Find this story at 2 August 2010

    Copyright © 2014 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.

    Chinese-Born Man Guilty of Economic Spying (2009)

    In this Feb 19, 2008 file photo, Dongfan “Greg” Chung, is shown leaving the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., with an unidentified woman. The prosecution and defense presented opening statements Tuesday June 2, 2009 in the first economic espionage case to reach trial in the United States. Prosecutors laid out their case against Chung, 73, in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif. AP PHOTO/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, CHRISTINA HOUSE

    A Chinese-born engineer was convicted Thursday of stealing trade secrets critical to the U.S. space program in the nation’s first economic espionage trial.

    A federal judge found former Boeing Co. engineer Dongfan “Greg” Chung guilty of six counts of economic espionage and other charges for taking 300,000 pages of sensitive documents that included information about the U.S. space shuttle and a booster rocket.

    “Mr. Chung has been an agent of the People’s Republic of China for over 30 years,” U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney said while issuing his ruling.

    Federal prosecutors accused the 73-year-old stress analyst of using his 30-year career at Boeing and Rockwell International to steal the documents. They said investigators found papers stacked throughout Chung’s house that included sensitive information about a fueling system for a booster rocket – documents that Boeing employees were ordered to lock away at the close of work each day. They said Boeing invested $50 million in the technology over a five-year period.

    The judge convicted Chung of six counts of economic espionage, one count of acting as a foreign agent, one count of conspiracy, and one count of lying to federal agent. He was acquitted of obstruction of justice.

    Chung opted for a non-jury trial that ended June 24. During the three-week trial, defense attorneys said Chung was a “pack rat” who hoarded documents at his house but insisted he was not a spy.

    They said Chung may have violated Boeing policy by bringing the papers home, but he didn’t break any laws and the U.S. government couldn’t prove he had given any of the information to China.

    Attorneys and prosecutors were not immediately available for comment after the verdict.

    The Economic Espionage Act was passed in 1996 to help the government crack down on the theft of information from private companies that contract with the government to develop U.S. space and military technologies.

    By CBSNEWSAPJuly 16, 2009, 1:18 PM

    Find this story at 16 July 2009

    © 2009 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.