On air
  • RFI English Live
  • RFI French Live

France Economy Spying Finance Digital data Security

Issued on • Modified

France vulnerable to economic espionage, report

The Ministry of Finance building in Paris. Wikimedia commons

France is extremely vulnerable to economic espionage because the importance of secure data protection is not fully appreciated, according to a report just released.

“Paradoxically our intelligence services are extremely well organised, very efficient … but their findings are often unheeded”, the author of the report, MP Jean-Jacques Urvoas, said on France Inter radio station on Thursday.

Senior civil servants at the Ministry of the Economy had “no security and intelligence culture whatsoever, which means that we are extremely vulnerable” he added.

“When you talk to senior civil servants at [the Ministry of Finance], when you raise the issue of intelligence - which could be a useful weapon for them, to wield influence, to gain access to documents - they are rather inclined to consider this a dirty subject, that because of our French elegance we do not get involved in such things.”

Criticising a form of “naivety” and “imprudence” faced with the predatory practices of certain allies and partners, Jean-Jacques Urvoas also voiced concern that small and medium-sized companies were “completely exposed” and in need of “urgent” protection.

We have become aware that there are “no friends or allies, just interests and we are very badly defended”, he said.

The authors of the report suggest amending French legislation to include new measures on industrial secrets.