French Police Will Be Able to Spy on People through Their Cell Phones

The French police are getting new surveillance powers:

French police should be able to spy on suspects by remotely activating the camera, microphone and GPS of their phones and other devices, lawmakers agreed late on Wednesday, July 5.


Covering laptops, cars and other connected objects as well as phones, the measure would allow the geolocation of suspects in crimes punishable by at least five years’ jail. Devices could also be remotely activated to record sound and images of people suspected of terror offenses, as well as delinquency and organized crime.


During a debate on Wednesday, MPs in President Emmanuel Macron’s camp inserted an amendment limiting the use of remote spying to “when justified by the nature and seriousness of the crime” and “for a strictly proportional duration.” Any use of the provision must be approved by a judge, while the total duration of the surveillance cannot exceed six months. And sensitive professions including doctors, journalists, lawyers, judges and MPs would not be legitimate targets.

Posted on July 13, 2023 at 7:20 AM40 Comments


Anonymous July 13, 2023 7:40 AM

What is not mentioned is how will the smart phone’s microphones and cameras be activated?

This is the main point.

K.S. July 13, 2023 8:18 AM

Not impossible, just requires mandatory surveillance app installed that FR telecoms would be compelled to do. Just like in China.

Vadim Lebedev July 13, 2023 8:48 AM

If all phones in France will have mandatory surveillance app installed,
all evidence collected from the phone could be contested in the tribunal on the grounds that the surveillance app could be planting evidence.

Ulf July 13, 2023 8:52 AM


Most people don’t get their phones from their service providers any more. How would the provider ensure that such an app gets (and remains) installed? I think there must be more behind it.

Winter July 13, 2023 9:19 AM

Re: What is not mentioned is how will the smart phone’s microphones and cameras be activated?

The baseband processor is independent of the “smart” part of the mobile. The baseband processor controls the “phone” part of the smartphone. It is not entirely clear whether the baseband processor is really powered down when the smartphone is powered off. Maybe, because the baseband processor might not always power up correctly (something with “preserving state”). It does not help that 3 suppliers deliver 90+% of all baseband sets.

The baseband controls the microphone and the connections with the cell network, and might even be able to start the “smart” part of the mobile. But it all seems to depend on what chips and models you have. But they already found a bug/backdoor in Samsung baseband software that allowed to access and modify the data on a phone.

In books and movies, they leave their mobiles in another room (or the fridge). Maybe that is not unwarranted.

So, it depends:

anonymous July 13, 2023 9:36 AM

“Most people don’t get their phones from their service providers any more.”

But they do get their service from the service provider, by way of a SIM card or eSIM in the phone. In other words, adequate opportunity to activate nefarious software.

Tony H. July 13, 2023 9:39 AM

To say nothing of visitors (network roamers) to France who come from a country without such laws/spyware/requirements. Line up at airport arrivals to have the spyware installed? Oh wait, there are the other Shengen countries with which France normally has no border controls. I just walked across the France/Germany border last week with nobody appearing to care, and a good many people commute across that border.

I suppose the network providers could be ordered to not support phones to which the network can’t make a secured connection to the spy app, and then tell people they have to report to the local Police to have it installed.

Autist Reading July 13, 2023 10:13 AM

“…in crimes punishable by at least five years’ jail”

Not a lot of offenses in practise, so no need to cry wolf and fear implants at the airport. Irrelevant for a good 99.9999% of people crossing the border.

How they do it is another ball game: telcos will most likely do most of the job and black bag operations will deal with other cases, such as vehicles or ‘serious crimes’.

Chelloveck July 13, 2023 10:53 AM

@John, @K.S.: What makes you think that current phones don’t already have this functionality built-in?

I see that the politicians wasted no time in exempting themselves from this law.

Aaron July 13, 2023 11:12 AM

Paris, France

Field Officer: Sir, we lost the target, he has evaded foot patrols

Senior Officer: No worries, track the target’s cellphone

Field Officer: We can’t

Senior Officer: What do you mean we can’t?!!!! We spent millions of Euro’s to enable us to do so. I want GPS and a video feed immediately.

Field Officer: Sir the target seems to have dumb-phone… it can only make calls; it has no camera and no GPS. More and more people have been buying them.. sir

Senior Officer: Then why did we pay for the technology to infiltrate any citizens cellphone, at anytime, for any reason to pull exceedingly valuable, yet morally questionable access to information and managed to get the legislation to make it actually legal????

Field Officer: … because we’re either completely incompetent or the bad guys

Ted July 13, 2023 11:12 AM

La Quadrature du Net tweeted a thread with a few enlightening articles.

One article seems to suggest it is software that is facilitating this spying.

A 2022 report from the French ‘National Commission for the Control of Intelligence Techniques’ says privacy affecting techniques were up 30% over the previous year, in part due to encryption.

The French National Assembly actually passed the justice reform bill – with the new surveillance measures – in a vote of 80 to 24.

It will be worth keeping an eye on La Quadrature du Net for updates.

AL July 13, 2023 11:18 AM

I’ve always treated these devices as open mics. Hey Siri, or Google – need an open mic.

I don’t have those capabilities on, because it implies that I have authorized this listening. With only two main operating systems, IOS and Android, the competition on privacy is superficial at best.

Andrew July 13, 2023 11:18 AM

How about dumb phones?
Sales aren’t want they used to, but those are still around.

Apps won’t cut it there, unless as Winter above suggested they go for a baseband access.

Also if they go for the baseband access, will they… ahem… negotiate with the two or three baseband providers to have their backdoor standardized and thus available on any phone in the world?

Last point – I seen to recall a laptop manufacturers that booster physical switches disconnecting the mic and the camera of the laptop. How long do you reckon it’ll take for a company to develop the idea for a phone? And will owning sich a thing automatically put you on all kinds of secret lists?

To be clear: I honestly expect this to be normalized in France. And half I expect they can manage to push it to every phone on the planet – surely there are enough governments interested in the idea.

Clive Robinson July 13, 2023 11:19 AM

@ ALL,

Re : Use the standard Luke.

What @Winter forgot to mention is that the Five-Eyes “Finessed the standards” before mobile phones were a thing…

Under the ruse of “Health and Safety” since the earliest days of “Digital Telephony” via the British “General Post Office”(GPO) –later split to be British Telecom and Royal Mail– System-X development that migrated into ISDN and later GSM there has been a requirment “In the Standards” for “operators” to make Digital Phones “go off hook” as an extention for the earlier “listen in” facility of analog “Plain Old Telephone System”(POTS).

Because MI5 who stole the design of a device using RF to “jump the hook switch”[1] realised it would nolonger work with digital… So they had to “change the standards” which was almost trivial to do.

I’ve seen first hand this manipulation of standards, and have mentioned it before… I got the usuall “your imagining”, “your paranoid” and similar you always get. Then the NSA repeatedly over played their hand through NIST… And NIST highly embarrassed was forced to withdraw the standard and remove the NSA’s back-doored Digital Random Bit Generator.

The thing is humans are way to trusting especially hard engineering types. Those in the NSA and other SigInt etc agencies who have worked up the organisation over the bodies of more honourable folk see such trust as just another human weakness to exploite (look up what the acronym MICE is all about).

Such folks will use any crack they can to thrust a knife in as a rung to climb that little bit higher…

[1] Such a device is actually quite trivial to make, the hard part is keeping other RF out of the system. If you’ve ever seen a phone “hook switch” you will see it’s construction is a little odd. It uses “blade contacts” much like those in old style “Post Office”(PO) relays like the PO600 and similar. The down side of such construction is high contact capacitance… Now for those that do not know the effrctive impedence of a capacitor goes down with increasing frequency. So either a carbon granual resistive or moving coil inductive microphone will form a “series circuit” and the microphone will “Amplitude Modulate”(AM) any RF comming in on the phone line with the audio in the room. The hard part is filtering out interfering signals at the “RF Noise Bridge” you use to inject your RF signal and pull off it’s AM signal.

sterling July 13, 2023 11:47 AM

sensitive professions including doctors, journalists, lawyers, judges and MPs would not be legitimate targets.

That’s worded almost as if it’s an explicit prediction of a future scandal. Place your bets for when they’ll be caught spying on an “illegitimate target”. I’ll take 2029. Of course, none of the spies will go to jail, but they’ll have to promise not to break the law anymore (wink, wink). Perhaps the bigger question is when the criminals outside of government and law enforcement will use these backdoors.

Disillusioned July 13, 2023 12:33 PM

If something can be misused, it will be ! I have no doubt that this technology will be misused to spy on various opposition leaders, dissidents, journalists, protesters, and others, that the government of the day, considers undesirable.

Clive Robinson July 13, 2023 12:39 PM

@ sterling, ALL,

“Perhaps the bigger question is when the criminals outside of government and law enforcement will use these backdoors.”

They already have if you think “helicopter parents” and “Private Eyes” are criminals…

There have been several Apps/services that not just tracked phones, but also could have “silent calls auto-answered”. It’s known that Private Eyes have used them and they got discussed when Rupert “The Bear faced liar” Murdoch of News International was having his organs inspected by the UK Parliment and later criminal prosecutions of his direct and indirect employees.

But from arrests and convictions we might think that the average criminal does not use “Intelligence” in the “espionage” form.

However there is an assumption under there… It’s known from nearly a life time ago that it was the US Maffia bugging the FBI not the other way around for quite some time… Which is why the Maffia managed to avoid getting arrested by the FBI because “they knew in advance” so the FBI could not make cases that could lead to arrests of the top guys, hence the reliance on “Witness Protection” for the little guys who sold out their bosses. Aledgadly the inventor of the “Harmonica bug” or “Infinity bug”[1] was working for the Maffia.

[1] The original infinity bug used a vibrating reed tone detector and a relay to “latch up” then phone and keep it’s mic active, then drop out when the distant “call in” was dropped. This modern version works slightly differently in that it hust needs the phone line “pair” not the phone,

Note : the ‘secret sauce’ that makes you pay the money, is the “latch-up” which is not shown. If you want a full working circuit then you can find them on the internet or just build your own tone decoder and drop it in (I’ve picked this hobbled version to limmit the odds of it being removed by moderation).

Winter July 13, 2023 12:40 PM


I’ll take 2029. Of course, none of the spies will go to jail, but they’ll have to promise not to break the law anymore

The whole case Will be thrown out with prejudice. The same when evidence is obtained illegally.

JonKnowsNothing July 13, 2023 12:44 PM

@sterling , @All

re: Place your bets for when they’ll be caught spying on an “illegitimate target”. I’ll take 2029. Of course, none of the spies will go to jail, but they’ll have to promise not to break the law anymore (wink, wink).

And the Spy Masters will still have Private Back Channel Chats about

  • “What to do about UKR”. (1)

Should UKR get resolved (temporarily), insert another country, plenty to chose from.


1) HAIL Warning. Reads like a Smiley…

Clive Robinson July 13, 2023 12:51 PM

@ Andrew, ALL,

“Also if they go for the baseband access, will they… ahem… negotiate with the two or three baseband providers to have their backdoor standardized and thus available on any phone in the world?”

They have no need to…

They just need to know the encryption key “Root of Trust”(RoT) used for the SIM production. As most SIMs in the world come via just a couple of suppliers…

If you remember back, exactly the same issue happened with several “National ID Cards”… either an employee was a plant/suborned or a “black bag job” got the “keys liberated”… It’s the same with Passports you know the key then making fakes is easy for a “Level III” organisation.

It’s the same with all “Code Signing” and “Certificate Authorities(CAs). When the “root of trust” walks all your security that depends on it takes a hike with it.

Winter July 13, 2023 1:16 PM

Re: They just need to know the encryption key “Root of Trust”(RoT) used for the SIM production.

The people who do the protection for high risk targets do it differently.[1]

They get some phone number (Google?). The target gets a smartphone that is never used to call. No one knows the number of the SIM card, not even the owner ever uses it. The phone is only used to go online and is used as a hotspot.

All communication is done from another gadget, smartphone or tablet, that works over internet only. That second gadget does not need to have baseband or imei.

Communication is done over some VPN via some foreign country of choice. Calls over the phone number are initiated and received over IP with encryption of choice.

There is no phone whose number can be traced. There is some number that is public, but it is not linked to any device and it will even be problematic to show who uses it.

[1] This was explained in some OSINT podcast. Not sure which one it was.

modem phonemes July 13, 2023 1:52 PM

@ Winter


The ”author” if I recall correctly said somewhere he did not think any current privacy methods would be valid for more than about 10 years.

Winter July 13, 2023 2:04 PM


The ”author” if I recall correctly said somewhere he did not think any current privacy methods would be valid for more than about 10 years.

Sounds credible. I would not vouch for anything to last a decade.

lurker July 13, 2023 2:38 PM

Please Install this Spyware?

As @Clive has pointed out the hardware is already designed to do this; then Pegasus is the first that comes to mind in a long list of no-click installers repeatedly mentioned in this blog.

More interesting is how the French govt have reconciled this behaviour with their obligations to privacy under EU law.

Wannabe techguy July 13, 2023 2:50 PM

I’m confused by some here not thinking it’s possible. IF NSA can suck up data from every phone, why can’t France?

Clive Robinson July 13, 2023 3:00 PM

@ lurker, ALL,

“More interesting is how the French govt have reconciled this behaviour with their obligations to privacy under EU law.”

Have you ever read any EU Directives?

I used to have to go through a lot for “Puting on the Market” to get the CE mark for electronic rquipment including high power RF kit that could cook a chicken as it was doing a “fly by”…

Well there are certain bit of technology like “tasers” used by LEO’s etc that can never pass any of the relevant or related directives (especially those for safety).

So you would thing they could not be “put on the market”(sold) or used…

Well that’s where you find the magic words “National Security” all those relevant directives have “carve outs” for Governments and those working for them… So they just pretend that wiring you up to those electro shock machines that can wipe your brain and stop your heart all whilst making you do the 100m break dance, are being used for “National Security” all because your pet pooch peed against a lamp post or similar…

So the Macaroon flakes just have to claim National Security and rainbows appear along with purple unicorns with golden horns…

Winter July 13, 2023 3:23 PM


“More interesting is how the French govt have reconciled this behaviour with their obligations to privacy under EU law.”

Have you ever read any EU Directives?

Law Enforcement is a legitimate cause to collect and store PI and sensitive information. They are bound to the limits of the law. Divulging this information is a crime.

Our police force gets rapped periodically for not doing everything they should or shouldn’t under the GDPR. And if they mess up, privacy law can get them thrown out of court.

But given that French police is renowned for shooting and torturing suspects (look it up), I do not have much hope in this case.

Clive Robinson July 13, 2023 3:40 PM

@ Wintet, modem phonems,

“The target gets a smartphone that is never used to call. No one knows the number of the SIM card, not even the owner ever uses it. The phone is only used to go online and is used as a hotspot.”

Some sailint points to consider,

The phone has an electronic serial number just like your network card has a unique MAC address. This number is given to the network ad part of all it’s connections.

The SIM has it’s own electronic serial number ID that identifies it thus the Service Provider.

The service provider is responsible for putting the SIM ID in it’s Database against one or more phone numbers.

Whilst a Phone Number is not used by the phone, it is used by the user, so as a courtesy it is stored in the SIM card along with certain other numbers like the numbers to call for sending SMS messages, getting voice mails, and making data connections between devices.

Yes, unbeknown to most the use of data sends both the phone and SIM IDs to that part of the network service provision so thay the right “contract holder” gets billed…

One of the issues with SMS in particular, is that it’s “contracted out” to just one of a couple of service providers. Data provision / Intetnet connection –no they are not the same– likewise gets contracted out.

The simple fact is that mobile phone companies own next to nothing these days, they contract out the entire network to others who manufacture and opetate the equipment for them. Some even contract out their back end databases…

So your mobile phone company could be as little as it’s name, a registered company title and minimum board of directors… Every thing including the HQ receptionist can be contracted out or leased… Money flows in they skim a percentage for share holders and the rest goes to those contract companies, many of whom work the same way… So the whole industry is not so much “A house of cards awaiting a knock” as “A bonfire of contracts awaiting a match”. Oh and a cupboard in some office block in a tax haven like Luxembourg…

It’s kind of a similar model to the Film Industry and it’s magically named “Hollywood Accounting” where no taxes or similar gets payed and the worlds highest grossing films just never make any income above expenses etc…

So if you know which hard drive to pull, you could walk away with everything in your pocket…

Winter July 13, 2023 4:30 PM


Some sailint points to consider,

All true, but it is now an extra burden to find out which phone is connected to which person and which messages. And what devices to target and compromise? And the simple switchboard stuff won’t work.

Otherwise, you have a phone number that connects the person talking in the phone to the phone, and the message.

A phone number on a SIM card that lets you find your target and also target his phone.

Without a SIM card phone number, you need have to find the person, his phone, and trace the VPN and try to catch the messages. Every step can fail and then you have nothing.

There is no perfect security, but there are budget limitations.

Winter July 13, 2023 4:42 PM


Yes, unbeknown to most the use of data sends both the phone and SIM IDs to that part of the network service provision so thay the right “contract holder” gets billed…

All true. But the target did not buy the prepaid SIM, paid with cash. The target does not initiate or accepts voice calls or SMS calls over the SIM. The only thing it does is being a hotspot for VPN tunnels, which can be paid in many obfuscated ways.

It takes time to connect all the pieces.

An attacker must trace back messages through a VPN the target can choose to their liking. Then find the sending SIM/phone. And VPN, SIM/phone can be changed in a second. Then it all has to start again.

lurker July 13, 2023 4:50 PM

@Clive Robinson, Winter

More interesting is how the French govt have reconciled this behaviour with their obligations to privacy under EU law.

I intended “interesting” as in the apocryphal Chinese proverb, i.e.

The French now live in interesting times

Flotsam July 13, 2023 6:19 PM

As the 20th century’s greatest philosopher once observed, “There is no hell. There is only France.”

Clive Robinson July 14, 2023 12:32 AM

@ Wannabe techguy,

It’s complicated, but you have to step back a bit first to answer,

“IF NSA can suck up data from every phone, why can’t France?”

Firstly and most importantly the NSA can not suck up data from every phone, only the ones it has access to…

Thus the question more people should ask is,

“Who gives the NSA Access?”

The answer to which is US corporations via legal requirments, and US Gov Agency blackmail (there are a couple of cases where this latter point has been made clear even to the US public). Also the NSA is known to put “spin” on obscure legislation, the use it to threaten crypto researchers, the best known was via the then little known restriction on arms, sent to the IEEE in a letter from some “wonk at NSA”. Initially it worked, but when challenged by a single researcher the bluf fell apart and officially the NSA disowned the wonk and his letter as “his work only” (very unlikely to be true). What happened to the wonk after that is not exactly clear.

The same sort of blackmail behaviour is open to all sovereign nations, but France has lots of back history on having a real downer on Encryption and Communications. Look into the history of the A5/1 and A5/2 ciphers used for “privacy” in the original European Cellular Phone specifications and later GSM specifications. It probably was the driver to the NSA being behind the appaling “Wired Equivalent Privacy”(WEP) used in the early IEEE standards for WiFi (which the IEEE claimed had not happened, but events subsequent to that strongly suggest otherwise, the same as it did with NIST).

But you also have to consider one point that few do,

“Who watches over the watchers?”

Is the historic question. The SigInt agencies see themselves above not just political but legal control, (via Cicero’s observation of “Silent enim leges inter arma”). In most cases the former is true but the latter is not. To get around this second issue the National SigInt agencies have formed various Super-National coteries[1] of which the Five-Eyes[2] is the first and probably most widely known.

All Western nations of note have laws to prevent their citizens being spied upon by their own spies / SigInt agencies (except France untill a few decades ago). But obviously not foreign citizens, as a result most nations have two surveilance organisations the broader “foreign service” and the more limited “Domestic service”. In the UK that is nominally the SiS (MI6) and MI5 respectively and in the US the CIA and it’s assumed the FBI (though there are questions over that). The solution, the British SiS (MI6) out of Hanslope Park, and GCHQ out of Cheltenham, spied on US citizens for the NSA and CIA, in return the NSA and presumably CIA did the same for GCHQ, SiS, and MI5. And through them some very select parts of the Met Police “Special Branch” who got tasked with getting “Domestic spys for foreign hostile nations into court”, it sounds complex but gives “plausable debiability” and protection of “Methods and Sources” at every step, as well as by the modern name of “Parallel Construction” a method that goes back a long way in history due to the “Gentlemen do not read each others mail” notion of civility and heathens and “The Estates of Man”.

The French however have certainly since before the times of Cardinal Richelieu and even the Italian Machiavelli two centuries befor that, have had an attitude about the Court and Church and their place above all others locking them into “The three estates of man” (that most of Europe had effectively dropped by then). Seeing all others no matter “how noble” as nothing more than thieving banditry and peasant scum to be repressed and exploited (which might account for the Revolution nearly two centuries after and the rise of Napolian and all the troubles that caused not just in Europe but the Americas that gave rise to the 1812 war and the invasion of America by Britain and the formation of Canada as a true nation not a protectorate/collony of Britain and France).

Thus the French model for centuries was to repress the citizens by terroristic activities based on spying and other tactics fronted by unacountable “Guard Labour” behaviours we now ascribe to “Police States”, Tyrannies, and Dictatorships. Which if recent events are anything to go by is still the “on the ground” reality in many parts of France.

So yes France does “spy on it’s citizens and others in their teritories” as standard and passes legislation to enable it. However the obviousness of it sets France apart from much of the rest of Europe… Which in effect brings it into conflict with the European Union it in part founded for it’s own protection, from other European States (politics is never easy 😉

[1] More correctly a “clique” or when used as it is to transgress the law a “cabal” or “unlawful cartel”.

[2] What became the Five-Eyes was the realisation of three people at Bletchly Park during WWII that for a short while Briton had a stronger “intelligence” hand than the US, but importantly that situation would not last, so it was best to make the most of it or “finesse it”[3] whilst Briton could. This gave rise officialy to the two page BRUSA letter that later became UKUSA. What was agreed in the letter was actually quite unimportant it was how it could be leveraged that was. The result was Briton gave the US agencies that later became the NSA and to a lesser extent the CIA access to places that the US did not have. This was via the old colonial now commonwealth nations of Australia, Canada and New Zeland (and other Middle East and other areas of interest like India and Singapore). Why were the NSA interested, well it was because Briton had turned them into the worlds major communications nodes or “choke points”. Arising from the early Victorian Sub-Sea cables through satellite ground stations and modern Sub-Sea cables something like 97% of international traffic goes through them (though this is dropping quite rapidly now). The NSA wanted access as the Cold War developed and that ment going “cap in hand” to the British for quite a few things (see the “Berlin Tunnel” or Operation Gold / StopWatch as one well known example, and Elint from British Aircraft and Submarines and later “boots on the ground” work that the US pulled out of due to the U2 incident Mayday 1960 and coincidental founding of the NRO just under four months later. The NRO is sometimes called “The Son of Rand” as it was a rush job and had virtually no “Federal Employees” primarily to try and stop “turf wars”).

[3] Finesse is a term from the card game “Contract Bridge” for a specific “play” or strategy. Bridge is basically the card game whist with a strong stratigic biding/gambling system slapped on top hence “contract”. Thus it has a very high cognative input and was thus as popular in the general Bletchley population as chess is with mathmaticians and theoretic scientists. The term “To Finesse” is also used by SigInt people because of Bletchly and because of what the strategy is,

“A finesse in bridge is a technique for taking tricks with lower honor cards (jacks, queens, and kings) when your opponents have higher honor cards (queens, kings, and aces). You need to finesse your lower honor cards past your opponents’ big-bully higher honors.”

(From : The Art of the ‘Finesse’ in Bridge, published online by ‘dummies’).

And it’s odds are 50/50 or “so-so” of working… So you can see why the expression started as a short hand term for certain inteligence stratagies in Britain and just stuck… The NSA getting the Dual EC RBG past the NIST standards body was thus a “finesse”, as was WEP with the IEEE. With the combined effort of the Five-Eyes getting the “Silent call” equivalent of a “Harmonica Bug” in the Phone Standards that moved forward into the international ISDN standards, then cellular, then mobile phone standards which have give us the globe spanning GSM networks, on the excuse of “Health and Safety”. An excuse which the US SigInt agencies also used to get a GPS chip in every phone to be used in the US into legislation. Thus by market preasure in all GSM Smart phones world wide and any Smart Pads/Tablets etc with Mobile Connectivity… Also called “The Domino Effect” or “Line your ducks up”. The latter having also made it into “Managment Speak” with the oft useless saying by incompetent managers to juniors of,

“Line your ducks up, double down then, sink your teeth in and tear out a deal.”

Which is perhaps better than the G.D.Awful “Make it so” perloined from “StarTreck Next Generation” in the 1990’s…

JonKnowsNothing July 14, 2023 11:07 AM

@Clive, @ Wannabe, All

@W: “IF NSA can suck up data from every phone, why can’t France?”

@C: “Who gives the NSA Access?”


The NSA gets indirect access through global exchange protocols. 5EY an alliance of 5 English speaking countries + a secondary group which includes non-English speaking countries including Israel.

All of these get various levels of dump-access to the inbound and outbound streams. There is a hierarchy of who gets First Dibs, but they all get a flood. There are other pipelines such as the previously unadvertised ones in EU, such as Germany and the Nordic Countries.

So, the NSA doesn’t have to pull the data from Germany, the German Security Services do it, under whatever laws or authorities the German Security Services have.

It’s when the NSA doesn’t have access to whatever it wants, then it gets involved in a direct method of collecting data. Such as, rerouting all data entering Brazil from the Africa internet cable, pushing it up through their Miami collection hub and then shooting them into Canada for a boomerang return.

Their deal with AU to harvest data from Asia, using AU-Asia internet cable with the cooperation of the Security Services on the Asia landing side is a 3way deal getting data from Turkey to Japan – Siberia – China – India. It’s all legally acquired data.

2) France has a very complex security system of national, regional, local, municipal authorities, split vertically into many separate agencies. There are a dozen or so intermediate government agencies each allocation just a few tasks.

As @Clive mentioned, the period pre-post Cardinal Richelieu and finalized during Napoleon’s reign severed the direct forms used by other countries.

The USA has 28+ Federal Agencies charged with “surveillance and policing”, of these only 3 are well known: CIA, NSA, FBI. When you roll down the State, County, City, District levels the number of agencies skyrockets. They each hold sway over large and overlapping areas of security and surveillance.

The French severed their system into “columns”. You need 1 from A and 2 from B and 3 from C to get the bonus dish. Without all of them, nothing much can be done. Each watches the others.

The French law change will affect some of other columns, as the main services can get anything they want directly or indirectly the same way the NSA does.

Clive Robinson July 14, 2023 12:44 PM

@ PaulBart, ALL,

“So, democracy is a sham”

No actuall democracy is not a sham.

But have you ever seeb actualk democracy anywhere?

Overly simplifified in a “Democracy” you “Vote on substantive issues” directly.

In the shams we call “democracy” like “representational democracy” you “Vote for a monkey in a suit”.

The thing is the monkey does what “the organ grinder wants” not what “the audiance wants”.

In the US the monkey grinder is “special interests” working through “corporations”.

Untill you get that fully cognativrly you will keep saying the incorrect things such as,

“yet so many on this board want to give away more of their choices (health, money, taxes) to ever larger more totalitarian regimes…because “corporations” are evil and the state loves me.”

Which is realy just silly, because in the US “health care” comes from corporations not the “state” and interestingly for about three times better individual outcomes European States spend way less than half what US Corps charge per person.

It’s why mother and baby mortality rates in the US are worse than some African Nations, and unlike the majority of other Western nations where the average age of death is rising and around 80years, in the US it’s falling twice as fast and is down below 70years in more places than you could name with a map in front of you.

As someone who has lived not just most of their life outside the US and has traveled to many many nations on business and pleasure I can tell you for free in most places in the US it’s realy not what the people who live there –and have been indoctrinated since birth– think it is.

Oh you might want to look up the stats, on US “registered political orientation” and who on average has traveled wider, further and more frequently… Likewise their average age of death and financial circumstances…

I think most of the readers here can take a reasonable guess about you.

Grim July 17, 2023 2:11 PM

Some of you are wondering how they will do it.

Working in that field at the electronics level, I’m gonna try to explain.
This is not 100 % true for ALL phones, but most of them.

To be able to sell a phone, in the USA or in Europe, your phone must comply with some standards when it comes to the electromagnetic part they are going to emit. Most brands like Samssung or Apple will buy and use all-integrated chips that will offer 5G + 4G and so on right down to 2G or even lower. Instead of building in-house a chip or software that does all that part, it is cheaper and easier to buy one of those SoC (silicon on chip) beasts that will take your data, and handle all the EM part of emitting and receiving waves for your phone to talk to the network.

The companies that build those chips have been in contact with governments (at the government’s request) and they have inside of their circuits all that is required for at-distance activation, even if the phone is OFF.

Those chips are installed inside your phone. They are always powered. So they can receive on the EM spectrum while the phone is turned off. At the beginning, this has been designed to be able to find someone wounded in nature, with their phone almost our of battery. Phones are designed to turn off WELL BEFORE their batteries are really empty. So when the phone is turned off, there is still enough power to keep active the EM receiving chip.

If “pinged” with a specific signal, the chip will reply back. This was designed so we are able to ping, again and again, a phone, and triangulate its position to find the wounded person.

This tool is being now used by government agencies to find and track people when their phones are turned off.

The most newer chips will ask the designer of the circuit board to “wire” to the chip a lot of stuff, including the microphone. So when the phone is turned off, it becomes possible to emit to the chip, which decodes the order, and then can in theory power-up the phone, give power to the microphone, record, and emit back. With the phone either turned ON or OFF.

While most of those technologies ARE currently available inside those “certified for network transmission” chips, most brands DO NOT wire those chips to the microphone or the parts inside their phones. This prevents the governments, currently, from using your phone as a microphone for spying when it is either ON or OFF.

The governments have asked for those technologies to be inserted inside the certified communication chips, and they did comply because otherwise, their chips would NOT be cerified or be certified YEARS after the oher brands. When you are working for a company that builds those chips, you undertand quickly that you either comply with the government requests, or you start losing money, or you chip ends up not being used by big phone sellers because it’s not certified for communication use in most countries.

If you grab those chips and study at the electronic level what can be wired into them, you will be able to see which ones are ready for “wire the microphone to me” ones.

The only thing saving us actually from this is the governments cannot ask Apple or Samsbug to “please confirm your microphone and/or camera is wired to the all-integratde communication chip” because they are not stupid : they will quickly understand that if those chips are wired to a microphone or camera, then they can receive a PING from outside that will start recording or taking pictures…

Those capabilities are already inside the “certified” chips being used in most phones. We can already PING those phones, ON or OFF, and get a ping back.

I think that the French intelligence services will probably do what everyone else is doing right now : use bugs and security holes to inject phones with trojan horses, and turn them into spying tools. Or have someone, the famous “evil maid” help them in turning a phone into a spying phone if you are a target ot them.

But my job is currently to design and test those communication chips, and we have already implemented in silicon everything required to spy on you. But most brands refuse or do not accept that microphones, cameras or GPSs be wired to your chips because they understand the security risks (and they cannot reverse-engineer what we put into the silicon of our chips anyway to see why we want those components to be wired to the chips we design, whose official main job is to receive and emit data, under conformance of what the networks allow then it comes to 5G, 4G and so on).

If your phone is turned off, but has a battery inside, we will reply back to PINGs from communication towers and this will be used to track or find you even if the phone is turned off. As explained above, we designed this to help find wounded people lost in nature who carry a phone.

philippe boulerne July 30, 2023 8:28 AM

I have been hacked by the police in Canada (Montreal SPVM)

In canada they call this an ODIT, On device Investigation Tool

“As for what an ODIT is, an ODIT is a computer program that’s installed covertly on the cellphone and/or computer of a suspect.
ODITs assist investigations by maintaining law enforcement’s ability to covertly collect private communications and other data that can no longer be acquired using traditional wiretaps and/or less intrusive investigative techniques.”

They hack by sending a link. In my case the link was sent through Signal.
But in general they hack through facebook

You can go my linkedin posts for more details

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