How typical of the French: As they lambast America for its behavior, a report emerges that the French practice the very behavior they condemn in others. At the U.S. ambassador’s July 4 garden party, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls ripped the U.S. for its snooping on other countries through its intelligence program. Valls said: “In the name of our friendship, we owe each other honesty. We must say things clearly, directly, frankly such practices, if proven, do not have their place between allies and partners.”
Valls was echoing French President Hollande, who said earlier this week that he would block negotiations on transatlantic trade because of the snooping:
We cannot accept this kind of behavior between partners and allies. We ask that this immediately stop. There can be no negotiations or transactions in all areas until we have obtained these guarantees, for France but also for all of the European Union, for all partners of the United States.
Valls and Hollande have egg on their faces now. Le Monde reported on Thursday that the DGSE, France’s infamously ruthless intelligence agency for external intelligence, routinely spies on people’s phone calls, emails, and social media activity. Even though wiretapping is illegal in France, the DGSE intercepts signals from computers and telephones, even outside France. Le Monde said, “All of our communications are spied on,” and added that seven other intelligence services of the French government, including domestic secret services and customs and money-laundering overseers, can access the DGSE data.