France spying on New Zealand - report

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 15:01 05/07/2013

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France's secret service is monitoring phone calls, text messages, emails and faxes out of New Zealand and Australia from two bases in the South Pacific, according to Paris newspaper, Le Monde.

The data was being collected by the same people behind the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior in 1985 - the Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE), the report said.

It said the service was using the military base at La Tontouta Airport in New Caledonia and facilities in Papeete, French Polynesia.

All the data was being held in a supercomputer at the DGSE headquarters in Paris.

Under the headline Revelations sur le Big Brother francais (Revelations about France's big brother), the newspaper noted the revelations from US whistleblower Edward Snowden about US spying in Europe.

But Le Monde said France was guilty of doing the same.

"The (DGSE) systematically collect electromagnetic signals from computers or phones in France, as well as flows between French and abroad," it said.

"All emails, text messages, telephone records, access to Facebook, Twitter, are then stored for years."

The computer holding the data occupied three floors and was open to the DGSE, the Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence, the Directorate of Military Intelligence and the Intelligence Service of the Prefecture of Police of Paris.

Le Monde said the DGSE was mainly interested in the metadata - who makes calls, from where and to who - rather than what was being said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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