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French telecom operator Orange threatens to sue NSA over cable tapping

Published time: December 30, 2013 18:30
Edited time: December 30, 2013 20:01
AFP Photo / Eric Piermont

AFP Photo / Eric Piermont

France’s largest telecom group, Orange, has threatened to sue the NSA over hacking the underwater cable that it jointly owns with 15 other companies, French media reported in the wake of the latest Snowden revelation.

In response to the recent report published by Germany’s Der Spiegel, Orange said it was not aware of any intrusion or unlawful actions of this kind.

"We will take legal action in the next few days because we want to know more about the eventuality that Orange data may have been intercepted," an Orange spokeswoman said as cited by Reuters. She added that Orange had had no role whatsoever in the spying.

Orange has reiterated that the privacy of correspondence and negotiations can be broken only by special court order, and that the conditions and reasons for such action should be clearly defined in French law, the statement said, according to L’Express."Piracy to intercept data is not possible directly through the system of Orange, and such intrusion has not been previously reported," the company said in a statement, as quoted by Le Figaro.

The company now plans to take action in civil court.

On Sunday, Der Spiegel revealed that US intelligence was spying on the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable system that connects Europe with North Africa and the Gulf states and continues through Pakistan and India to Malaysia and Thailand.

According to the report, the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO) “successfully collected network management information for the SEA-Me-We Undersea Cable Systems (SMW-4)” on February 13, 2013.

As a result, the NSA was able to “gain access to the consortium's management website and collected Layer 2 network information that shows the circuit mapping for significant portions of the network.”

The document, leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, said that TAO hacked an internal website of the operator consortium and copied documents stored there pertaining to technical infrastructure.

“More operations are planned in the future to collect more information about this and other cable systems,” the leaked document said, according to Der Spiegel.

Comments (9)


Ally Hauptmann-Gurski 13.02.2014 04:35

Now that's why Hollande was best of buddy with Obama in the WH yesterday!!!

They also said that they had reached an understanding on the snooping. So this court case will probably not go ahead. Once again they have a turncoat like Mitterrand in the Elysée.

It was also a reward for Hollande (inspecting the troops!) for agreeing in Petersburg (G20) to join the US using force in Syria. I found this in an article from Sept. 8th, 2013. The British House of Commons had rejected sending their boys in harms way on August 30th, 2013. (I know this does not look logical, but that's what has been reported, go figure.)


Yanni Slavov 31.12.2013 11:14

Oh noooo ze french ,what are they going to do throw a michellin bomb ?


Gerr 31.12.2013 09:45

As they say in French "C'est pour la gallerie" which means it's all a show....

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