Feeds

No BlackBerries for Sarkozy cabinet, say French spooks

Nous crachons sur la baie noire - tool of Anglo spies

Website security in corporate America

French ministers and other government bigwigs (perruques-grands?) will no longer be allowed to use BlackBerries, in sharp contrast to British MPs.

The French ban, however, is a matter of security rather than one of politeness or the dignity of government. The servers which BlackBerries rely on are located outside France, in the UK and America.

The Secretariat Général de la Défense Nationale (SGDN), the French security agency, says the BlackBerry is "a problem of data security." The French Cabinet and staffs have been barred from using the popular handheld.

The Financial Times says the French foreign service got rid of its BlackBerries some time ago, but that other ministries had ignored guidance and were still using them.

French paper Le Monde reportedly was quite explicit regarding who might be seeking to spy on the secrets of France, pointing the finger firmly at the USA's National Security Agency interception spookshop. There was no mention of the UK's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, aka MI6) or Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), but one can be sure they too have figured in the SGDN's decision.

Apparently, the French civil servant in charge of economic intelligence, Alain Juillet, is a strong BlackBerry basher: and the French oil operation, Total, has never had any truck with Anglo-Saxon hosted push email. SIS is known to have a close relationship with British-based multinationals like British Petroleum - exiled Brit spook Richard Tomlinson says BP actually has an SIS liaison officer on staff who provides secret intel to the company.

Total would surely be very foolish to send its email via servers in the UK with this sort of system in place. In many ways, it's a wonder the French government didn't act long ago.

More from the Financial Times here. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.