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.

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
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT//ORCON/NOFORN
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.

Unconventional

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.

Unconventional

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.

Unconventional
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.)

Unconventional

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.

Unconventional

French diplomatic

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

Date 22 May 2012
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA//ORCON/NOFORN
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.

Unconventional

French diplomatic

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

Date 2006
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA//ORCON/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL
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.

Unconventional

French leadership, UN diplomatic

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

Date 10 June 2011
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA//ORCON/NOFORN
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).

Unconventional

French leadership

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

Date 2008
Classification TOP SECRET//COMINT-GAMMA//ORCON/REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL
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.

Unidentified

French leadership

G/OO/503290-08, 291640Z

Find this story at 29 June 2015

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

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»).

«SÉLECTEURS»
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.

«NOUVELLES POSSIBILITÉS DE COLLECTE»
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».

«ZONE GRISE»
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.

AMAELLE GUITON , ALEXANDRE LÉCHENET , JEAN-MARC MANACH ET AVEC JULIAN ASSANGE 23 JUIN 2015 À 21:55 (MIS À JOUR : 23 JUIN 2015 À 22:56)

Find this story at 23 June 2015

Copyright liberation.fr

NSA Economic Spy Order

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.
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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):

CIA
COMMERCE
DHS
DIA/DI
DIA/OSR-2
DIA/USEUCOM
FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD
STATE/INR
TREASURY
US TRADE REP
DOE/IN
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”).
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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

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.

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PAR LÉNAÏG BREDOUX ET MATHIEU MAGNAUDEIX ET ELLEN SALVI
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.

23 JUIN 2015 | PAR FABRICE ARFI ET JÉRÔME HOURDEAUX ET JULIAN ASSANGE (WIKILEAKS)

Find this story at 23 June 2015

Copyright mediapart.fr

Espionnage Élysée (2015)

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

Cartoon
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)

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

French accuse BMW of electric car ‘spying’

The company that runs Paris’s electric car sharing scheme has filed an industrial espionage complaint against BMW, after employees alleged the German car giant sent “spies” to check out their electric cars.

Another Franco-German automobile row appears to have kicked off this week.
As the bust-up between between Mercedes and the French government rumbles on, another Franco-German automobile row appears to have kicked off this week with French company Autolib accusing BMW of “spying”.

The affair began on August 21st, when Autolib maintenance staff spotted two men they said were German, at a recharging station in Paris, fiddling with computer equipment in one of the electric vehicles, called “Blue cars”.

Later that day, the same men reportedly passed themselves off as “maintenance staff” and pretended to carry out work on one of the cars in the city’s 9th arrondissement, before slipping away.
Their suspicions raised, one of the Autolib ambassadors made a note of the license plate of one of the cars rented by the German men, cross-referenced it with rental times, and discovered that a “P3-group.com” email suffix was used to sign up online for the Autolib scheme.

P3 is an engineering firm contracted by none other than BMW to lay the groundwork for its upcoming I3 electric car model.

The following day, the alleged spies were once again seen at an Autolib station, this time in the city’s second arrondissement.

According to reports in French daily Le Figaro, when questioned by staff, the two men said they worked for BMW, before quickly leaving the scene.

This time, management at Autolib, which is run by French company Bolloré, notified the DCRI, France’s intelligence services, and told its entire staff to be on the look-out for phoney “maintenance staff”.
They were not seen again until September 5th, when they were spotted on Rue Jouffroy-d’Abbans in the seventh arrondissement.

Staff immediately called in the police, who came and arrested the two suspects.
They were questioned by BEFTI, the police’s electronic fraud division, before being released the next day.

Autolib management promptly filed a police complaint, accusing the two men of “abuse of trust,” “intrusion into a system of automated data,” and property damage, according to Le Figaro.
BMW reportedly took the step of writing to Bolloré’s CEO, Vincent Bolloré, reportedly recognizing it had dispatched staff to conduct “compatibility tests,” and apologizing for not seeking advanced permission from Bolloré.

However, in a statement released on Tuesday, BMW France denied all allegations of industrial espionage.
“In the context of the upcoming launch of the BMW I3, BMW Group is conducting routine tests across Europe, to check the compatibility of charging stations on public streets,” said the statement.
“The sole purpose of these tests is to identify networks of charging stations that electric BMW vehicles could use.”
The company confirmed it had conducted tests of this kind on August 21st, 22nd and 26th in Paris, but significantly denied it had done so on September 5th, the day the two alleged spies were arrested.
A representative from the P3 Group was not immediately available for comment when contacted by The Local on Tuesday.
Autolib, an all-electric car-sharing scheme based on the French capital’s successful bike-sharing project Velib, launched in October 2011.
Users can rent and return one of the more than 4,000 Bluecars for as little as €9 for half an hour, or as much as €120 for an annual subscription of unlimited journeys of up to 30 minutes.
Since launching in Paris, the scheme has come to the eastern city of Lyon, and is slated to arrive in Bordeaux, south-western France in November.
After that, plans are afoot to bring the all-electric car-sharing scheme to the US city of Indianapolis in 2014.

Published: 10 Sep 2013 14:25 GMT+02:00

Find this story at 10 September 2013

Copyright The Local Europe GmbH

Chinese Espionage and French Trade Secrets

Paris prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin on Jan. 14 began an inquiry into allegations of commercial espionage carried out against French carmaker Renault. The allegations first became public when Renault suspended three of its employees on Jan. 3 after an internal investigation that began in August 2010. Within days, citing an anonymous French government source, Reuters reported that French intelligence services were looking into the possibility that China played a role in the Renault espionage case. While the French government refused to officially confirm this accusation, speculation has run wild that Chinese state-sponsored spies were stealing electric-vehicle technology from Renault.

The Chinese are well-known perpetrators of industrial espionage and have been caught before in France, but the details that have emerged so far about the Renault operation differ from the usual Chinese method of operation. And much has been learned about this MO just in the last two years across the Atlantic, where the United States has been increasingly aggressive in investigating and prosecuting cases of Chinese espionage. If Chinese intelligence services were indeed responsible for espionage at Renault it would be one of only a few known cases involving non-Chinese nationals and would have involved the largest amount of money since the case of the legendary Larry Wu-Tai Chin, China’s most successful spy.

STRATFOR has previously detailed the Chinese intelligence services and the workings of espionage with Chinese characteristics. A look back at Chinese espionage activities uncovered in the United States in 2010, since our latest report was compiled, can provide more context and detail about current Chinese intelligence operations.

Chinese Espionage in the U.S.

We chose to focus on operations in the United States for two reasons. First, the United States is a major target for Chinese industrial espionage. This is because it is a leader in technology development, particularly in military hardware desired by China’s expanding military, and a potential adversary at the forefront of Chinese defense thinking. Second, while it is not the only country developing major new technologies in which China would be interested, the United States has been the most aggressive in prosecuting espionage cases against Chinese agents, thereby producing available data for us to work with. Since 2008, at least seven cases have been prosecuted each year in the United States against individuals spying for China. Five were prosecuted in 2007. Going back to about 2000, from one to three cases were prosecuted annually, and before that, less than one was prosecuted per year.

Most of the cases involved charges of violating export restrictions or stealing trade secrets rather than the capital crime of stealing state secrets. As the premier agency leading such investigations, the FBI has clearly made a policy decision to refocus on counterintelligence after an overwhelming focus on counterterrorism following 9/11, and its capability to conduct such investigations has grown. In 2010, 11 Chinese espionage cases were prosecuted in the United States, the highest number yet, and they featured a wide range of espionage targets.

Ten of the 11 cases involved technology acquisition, and five were overt attempts to purchase and illegally export encryption devices, mobile-phone components, high-end analog-to-digital converters, microchips designed for aerospace applications and radiation-hardened semiconductors. These technologies can be used in a wide range of Chinese industries. While the mobile-phone technology would be limited to Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) such as China Mobile, the aerospace-related microchips could be used in anything from rockets to fighter jets. Xian Hongwei and someone known as “Li Li” were arrested in September 2010 for allegedly attempting to purchase those aerospace-related microchips from BAE Systems, which is one of the companies involved in the development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Similar espionage may have played a role in China’s development of the new J-20 fifth-generation fighter, but that is only speculation.

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Five other cases in 2010 involved stealing trade secrets. These included organic light-emitting diode processes from Dupont, hybrid vehicle technology from GM, insecticide formulas from the Dow Chemical Co., paint formulas from Valspar and various vehicle design specifications from Ford. These types of Chinese cases, while often encouraged by state officials, are more similar to industrial espionage conducted by corporations. Since many of the major car companies in China are state-run, these technologies benefit both industry and the state.

But that does not mean these efforts are directed from Beijing. History shows that such espionage activities are not well coordinated. Various Chinese company executives (who are also Communist Party officials) have different requirements for their industrial espionage. In cases where two SOEs are competing to sell similar products, they may both try to recruit agents to steal the same technology. There are also a growing number of private Chinese companies getting involved in espionage. One notable example was when Du Shanshan and Qin Yu passed on technology from GM to Chery Automobile, a private, rather than state-run, manufacturer. In the five trade-secret cases in 2010, most of the suspects were caught because of poor tradecraft. They stored data on their hard drives, sent e-mails on company computers and had obvious communications with companies in China. This is not the kind of tradecraft we would expect from trained intelligence officers. Most of these cases probably involved ad hoc agents, some of whom were likely recruited while working in the United States and offered jobs back in China when they were found to have access to important technology.

These cases show how Chinese state-run companies can have an interest in espionage in order to improve their own products, both for the success of their companies and in the national interest of China. The U.S. Department of Justice has not provided specific details on how the stolen defense-related technologies were intended to be used in China, so it is hard to tell whether they would have enhanced China’s military capability.

First-generation Chinese carried out 10 of the 11 publicized cases in the United States last year. Some were living or working temporarily in the United States, others had become naturalized American citizens (with the exception of Xian and Li, who were caught in Hungary). The Chinese intelligence services rely on ethnic Chinese agents because the services do not generally trust outsiders. When recruiting, they also use threats against family members or the individuals themselves. Second- and third-generation Chinese who have assimilated in a new culture are rarely willing to spy, and the Chinese government has much less leverage over this segment of the ethnic-Chinese population living overseas.

In the 11 cases in 2010, it is not clear what payments, if any, the agents might have received. In some cases, such as those involving the trade secrets from Valspar and Ford, the information likely helped the agents land better jobs and/or receive promotions back in China. Cash does not typically rule the effectiveness of newly recruited Chinese spies, as it might with Western recruits. Instead, new Chinese agents are usually motivated by intelligence-service coercion or ideological affinity for China.

The outlier in 2010 was Glenn Duffie Shriver, an American student with no Chinese heritage who applied to work at both the U.S. State Department and the CIA. His was the first publicized case of the Chinese trying to develop an agent in place in the United States since Larry Chin. Shriver studied in China in 2002 and 2003. The recruitment process began when he returned to China in 2004 to seek employment and improve his language capabilities. After responding to an ad for someone with an English-language background to write a political paper, Shriver was paid $120 for producing an article on U.S.-Chinese relations regarding Taiwan and North Korea.

The woman who hired him then introduced him to two Chinese intelligence officers named Wu and Tang. They paid Shriver a total of $70,000 in three payments while he tried to land a job with the U.S. government. Shriver failed the exams to become a foreign service officer and began pursuing a career with the CIA. He was accused of lying on his CIA application by not mentioning at least one trip to China and at least 20 meetings with Chinese intelligence officers. It is not clear how he was exposed, but customs records and passport stamps would have easily revealed any trips to China that he did not report in his CIA application. On Oct. 22, 2010, Shriver pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide national defense information to intelligence officers of the People’s Republic of China and was sentenced to 48 months in prison in accordance with his plea agreement.

A few Americans have been accused of being Chinese agents before, such as former Defense Department official James Fondren, who was caught and convicted in 2009. These cases are rare, though they may increase as Beijing tries to reach higher levels of infiltration. It is also possible that the FBI has been reaching only for low-hanging fruit and that Chinese espionage involving Americans at higher levels is going undetected. If this were the case, it would not be consistent with the general Chinese espionage MO.

China takes a mosaic approach to intelligence, which is a wholly different paradigm than that of the West. Instead of recruiting a few high-level sources, the Chinese recruit as many low-level operatives as possible who are charged with vacuuming up all available open-source information and compiling and analyzing the innumerable bits of intelligence to assemble a complete picture. This method fits well with Chinese demographics, which are characterized by countless thousands of capable and industrious people working overseas as well as thousands more analyzing various pieces of the mosaic back home.

Another case in 2010 was an alleged China-based cyberattack against Google, in which servers were hacked and customer account information was accessed. Last year, more than 30 other major companies reported similar infiltration attempts occurring in 2009, though we do not know how widespread the effort really is. China’s cyber-espionage capabilities are well known and no doubt will continue to provide more valuable information for China’s intelligence services.

The Renault Case

Few details have been released about the Renault case, which will likely remain confidential until French prosecutors finish their investigation. But enough information has trickled in to give us some idea of the kind of operation that would have targeted Renault’s electric-vehicle program. Three Renault managers were accused: Matthieu Tenenbaum, who was deputy director of Renault’s electric-vehicle program; Michel Balthazard, who was a member of the Renault management board; and Bertrand Rochette, a subordinate of Balthazard who was responsible for pilot projects. Various media reports — mostly from Le Figaro — claim that the State Grid Corporation of China opened bank accounts for two of the three managers (it is unknown which two). Money was allegedly wired through Malta, and Renault’s investigators found deposits of 500,000 euros (about $665,000) and 130,000 euros (about $175,000) respectively in Swiss and Liechtenstein bank accounts.

Assuming this is true, it is still unclear what the money was for. Given that the three executives had positions close to the electric-vehicle program, it seems that some related technology was the target. Patrick Pelata, Renault’s chief operating officer, said that “not the smallest nugget of technical or strategic information on the innovation plan has filtered out of the enterprise.” In other words, Renault uncovered the operation before any technology was leaked — or it is intentionally trying to downplay the damage done in order to reassure investors and protect stock prices. But Pelata also called the operation “a system organized to collect economic, technological and strategic information to serve interests abroad.”

Renault is convinced a foreign entity was involved in a sophisticated intelligence operation against the company. The question is, what foreign entity? On Jan. 13, Renault filed an official complaint with French authorities, saying it was the victim of organized industrial espionage, among other things, committed by “persons unknown.” French Industry Minister Eric Besson clarified Jan. 14 that there was no information to suggest Chinese involvement in the case, though he previously said France was facing “economic war,” presuming that the culprits came from outside France. The source for the original rumors of Chinese involvement is unclear, but the French clearly backed away from the accusation, especially after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei called the accusation “baseless and irresponsible” on Jan. 11 (of course, even if the Chinese were the culprits they would certainly not admit it).

The Chinese have definitely targeted energy-efficient motor vehicle technology in the past, in addition to the Ford and GM cases, and Renault itself is no stranger to industrial espionage activities. In 2007, Li Li Whuang was charged with breach of trust and fraudulent access to a computer system while working as a trainee at Valeo, a French automotive components manufacturer, in 2005. The 24-year-old was studying in Paris when she was offered the trainee position at Valeo. Investigators found files on her computer related to a project with BMW and another with Renault.

The new Renault case, however, is very different from most Chinese espionage cases. First, it involved recruiting three French nationals with no ethnic ties to China, rather than first-generation Chinese. Second, the alleged payments to two of three Renault employees were much larger than Chinese agents usually receive, even those who are not ethnic Chinese. The one notable exception is the case of Larry Chin, who is believed to have received more than $1 million in the 30 years he spied for China as a translator for U.S. intelligence services. Renault executives would also be paid as much or more in salaries than what was found in these bank accounts, though we don’t know if more money was transferred in and out of the accounts. This may not be unprecedented, however; STRATFOR sources have reported being offered many millions of dollars to work for the Chinese government.

Another problem is the alleged use of a Chinese state-owned company to funnel payments to the Renault executives. Using a company traceable not only to China but to the government itself is a huge error in tradecraft. This is not likely a mistake that the Chinese intelligence services would make. In Chin’s case, all payments were made in cash and were exchanged in careful meetings outside the United States, in places where there was no surveillance.

Thus, STRATFOR doubts that the Renault theft was perpetrated by the Chinese. The leak suggesting otherwise was likely an assumption based on China’s frequent involvement in industrial espionage. Still, it could be a sign of new methods in Chinese spycraft.

Higher-level Recruitment?

The Shriver and Renault cases could suggest that some Chinese intelligence operations are so sophisticated that counterintelligence officers are unaware of their activities. They could mean that the Chinese are recruiting higher-level sources and offering them large sums of money. Chin, who got his start working for the U.S. Army during the Korean War, remained undetected until 1985, when a defector exposed him. There may be others who are just as well hidden. However, according to STRATFOR sources, including current and former counterintelligence officers, the vast majority of Chinese espionage operations are perpetrated at low levels by untrained agents.

There is little indication that the Chinese have switched from the high-quantity, low-quality mosaic intelligence method, and cyber-espionage activities such as hacking Google demonstrate that the mosaic method is only growing. The Internet allows China to recruit from its large base of capable computer users to find valuable information in the national interest. It provides even more opportunities to vacuum up information for intelligence analysis. Indeed, cyber-espionage is being used as another form of “insurance,” a way to ensure that the information collected by the intelligence services from other sources is accurate.

If China is responsible for the Renault penetration, the case would represent a change in the Chinese espionage MO, one aiming at a higher level and willing to spend more money, even though most of the cases prosecuted in the United States pointed to a continuation of the mosaic paradigm. Nevertheless, counterintelligence officers are likely watching carefully for higher-level recruits, fearing that others like Chin and Shriver may have remained undetected for years. These cases may be an indication of new resources made available to Western counterintelligence agencies and not new efforts by the Chinese.

One thing is certain: Chinese espionage activities will continue apace in 2011, and it will be interesting to see what targets are picked.

Security Weekly
THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2011 – 03:53 Print Text Size
By Sean Noonan

Find this story at 20 January 2011

Copyright © 2014 Stratfor

Renault cars spy case: French intelligence investigates

The French president has asked the intelligence service to investigate suspected industrial spying at Renault.

The French carmaker has suspended three senior managers after an investigation into the possible leaking of electric vehicle secrets to rivals.

The firm has said industrial espionage poses a serious threat to its “strategic assets”.

The French industry minister has described the case of Renault, which is 15% state-owned, as “economic warfare”.

The right-leaning Le Figaro newspaper reported that, according to several sources, the information passed on relates to the technology in the battery and the engine of electrical vehicles that will be rolled out after 2012.

Advanced technology

The three executives suspended are alleged to have sold new patents not yet registered to one or several intermediaries specialising in economic intelligence.

One of the three – who have all been given the opportunity to respond to the charges made against them, before any sanctions are imposed – is a member of the carmaker’s management committee.

Continue reading the main story
Analysis

image of Mark Gregory
Mark Gregory
BBC News
The incident comes at a time of rising concern in Europe and America about protecting intellectual property rights.

The picture emerging from French media reports is that the three suspended executives may have leaked details of battery and engine technologies developed for Renault’s new generation of electric cars.

Whether or not the allegations are true, they have touched a raw nerve. Western firms are worried about rivals in emerging economies grabbing their best ideas without paying for them.

The issue is becoming more serious as China and other new industrial powers become more sophisticated in what they produce.

Stories about stolen industrial secrets will probably become more frequent as competition between old industrial powers and new ones intensifies.

The BBC’s Christian Fraser, in Paris, says that it is a mark of how seriously the French government is taking this breach of trust that it has asked the intelligence service to investigate.

Car manufacturing is an important part of the French economy, and a major employer, our correspondent says.

One of the biggest advantages that Western carmakers have is their advanced technology, which enables them to compete against cheaper labour costs outside Europe.

According to sources within Renault it is suspected the final recipient of this information was likely to have been a Chinese rival.

“We cannot accept that an innovation financed by the French taxpayer ends up in the hands of the Chinese,” one, anonymous industry ministry source told Agence France Presse.

The carmaker, alongside its partner Nissan, has invested heavily in electric vehicle technology.

Both plan to launch a number of new electric vehicles over the next two years.

7 January 2011

Find this story at 7 January 2011

BBC © 2014

Korean spy’s deportation reveals web of intrigue

ASIO headquarters in Canberra … reports say the agency alleges Yeon Kim, a senior agricultural trade specialist, was involved in “foreign interference” by the Korean spies. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Relations between Australia and South Korea have been strained after the east Asian economic powerhouse was caught soliciting sensitive information from public servants, and the deportation of a South Korean spy for espionage in 2009 was disclosed.

New details of South Korean espionage in Australia were revealed in an unfair dismissal case before the Fair Work Commission brought by a former intelligence officer with the Australian Federal Police, Bo-Rim “Bryan” Kim.

The commission this week rejected an unfair dismissal appeal by Mr Kim, who previously worked part-time at the South Korean consulate-general in Sydney. He then worked as an information technology staffer for the AFP in Sydney before transferring to criminal intelligence for Sydney Airport.

A Fair Work judgment released this week said Federal Police management terminated his employment in August 2012 after the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation recommended revoking his security clearance.

Commissioner Geoff Bull said ASIO alleged Mr Kim had committed an “act of foreign interference” by passing sensitive information to the intelligence services of a foreign government.

“Mr Kim attempted to diminish the complaints made against him on the basis that he had not attempted to gain any benefit from his conduct and some of the allegations made against him were not accurate.

“In any event, Mr Kim was remorseful and recognised his mistakes,” he said in the judgment.

Mr Bull said Mr Kim told ASIO a consular employee who had sought information from him in January 2009 on terrorism responses at Sydney Airport was understood to be an intelligence officer or “secret squirrel”.

“This consulate employee was deported from Australia in March 2009 for espionage,” his judgment said. “Mr Kim had also been invited to and attended a dinner at this consulate employee’s apartment, which Mr Kim did not consider an important enough contact to report.”

In a separate case, an immigrant and senior trade specialist at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Yeon Kim, lost his job after an adverse ASIO security assessment against him in 2011.

A Federal Court judgment this year said Dr Kim was alleged to have provided information to an intelligence officer working for what was then described as “country X”.

The information concerned negotiations between Australia and country X on an “important bilateral trade agreement” and its disclosure was alleged to have been an act of foreign interference under the ASIO Act.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal last year rejected an appeal by Dr Kim over his adverse assessment, but there has been subsequent litigation in the Federal Court on a planned appeal.

In March, Federal Court judge Lindsay Foster refused to extend non-publication orders on details of the case that were sought by the head of ASIO, David Irvine, ruling the information did not go to issues of national security or defence.

Dr Kim, the main author of an ABARES study on the South Korean beef market, is alleged to have met a South Korean diplomat in mid-2010 who was a known officer of that country’s National Intelligence Service.

Mark Skulley and John Kerin

PUBLISHED: 02 May 2013 09:11:00 | UPDATED: 03 May 2013 08:12:40

Find this story at 2 May 2013

© Copyright 2011 Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd

Spies caught in Canberra

South Korean spies have been caught cultivating public servants in Canberra to obtain trade secrets, with one Australian official sacked for disclosing sensitive information.

Previously suppressed information released by the Federal Court reveals that South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) had sought “to obtain sensitive information” on trade negotiations between Canberra and Seoul.

A senior Australian agricultural trade specialist, Dr Yeon Kim, has lost his security clearance and employment with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation alleged Dr Kim was involved in the “foreign interference” by the South Korean intelligence operatives.

The revelation of economic espionage is embarrassing to Seoul and Canberra as Australia has strongly backed South Korea in its stand-off with North Korea. Last month Australian troops took part in joint military exercises with South Korea and the United States for the first time.

Although engaged in what ASIO described as “inappropriate activities” harmful to Australia’s interests, no South Korean spies have been expelled from Australia. Instead, in an effort to maintain good relations with the NIS, ASIO took legal action to prevent disclosure of the incident and protect the identities of the South Korean agents so they might continue their clandestine careers.

In mid-2010 ASIO learnt Dr Kim had been meeting a South Korean diplomat declared to the Australian government as an NIS liaison officer. Dr Kim, the principal author of an ABARES study of the Korean beef market, had taken part in free trade agreement negotiations between Australia and South Korea in December 2009.

ASIO officers interviewed Dr Kim in October 2010. On September 15, 2011, ASIO director-general David Irvine issued an adverse security assessment of Dr Kim “after finding that he had had contact with successive NIS officers who he had not reported as required by Australian government policy”.

ASIO alleged Dr Kim had been involved in clandestine contact with and provided sensitive information to an NIS officer, South Korean embassy minister-counsellor Hoo-Young Park.

ASIO determined that Dr Kim had been “successfully cultivated” by the NIS; that he had been “deceptive” in his responses to questioning; and there was a “specific threat” to Australian government information. ASIO recommended his secret-level security clearance be revoked, effectively ending his career as a public servant.

Dr Kim has said his contact with South Korean diplomats was purely social and any discussion of trade issues was confined to publicly available information.

Philip Dorling
Published: May 2, 2013 – 7:57AM

Find this story at 2 May 2013

© 2013 Fairfax Media

South Korean spies sought Australian trade secrets

Australia’s foreign minister says issue has caused no diplomatic tension with Seoul

Agents from South Korea’s national intelligence service have tried to get secret information about Australian trade, triggering the dismissal of an Australian public servant over his links to the agency.

The spy case dates back to 2010 and relates to efforts by South Korea to find out about Australian agricultural trade when the two nations were in early negotiations on a free-trade agreement.

Australia’s foreign minister, Bob Carr, refused to comment on details of the case on Thursday, citing “matters of security or intelligence”, but said the issue had caused no diplomatic tension with Seoul, a strong ally and key trading partner.

“I believe the relationship with the Republic of Korea is so strong, so robust, that this will have no effect on it,” Carr said.

South Korea is Australia’s fourth biggest trade partner, with bilateral trade worth more than A$32bn (£21bn). The two countries launched free-trade talks in 2009, but have yet to clinch a deal.

Reuters in Canberra
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 2 May 2013 08.14 BST

Find this story at 2 May 2013

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