Amid all the fury and outrage from European politicians over NSA spying, a rather old piece of information has surfaced in the news that France was itself world’s top industrial espionage offender.
Germany and France in particular are demanding answers from the U.S. government over global espionage. Also, while expressing support for the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, French MEP Jean-Luc Melenchon said France should grant the ex-CIA agent political asylum and called for a suspension of all trade negotiations with the US which indicate the severity of the situation.
But back in 2011, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, France and not China or Russia, was found to be the country that conducted the most industrial espionage on other European countries. WikiLeaks also revealed that the spying network was so widespread that “damages it caused the German economy were larger as a whole than those caused by China or Russia.”
This is not to imply that the outrage coming from France is not justified, but one cannot ignore the fact that they should be looking internally as well. They must have an idea as to why the U.S. wanted to hear their politician’s phone calls or read their emails as they also did something similar to Germany in the past.
One can say France just had a taste of its own medicine. Or maybe that’s the case with all the “developed” nations. The pattern of U.S. spying might be a little less “industrial” in nature but it is what the French did to the Germans. Isn’t it?
Berry Smutny, the head of German satellite company OHB Technology had called France “the Empire of Evil in terms of technology theft” after the cables were leaked and the industrial espionage was exposed.
Turns out, China and Russia have always had a tough competition in global “surveillance” and they were not as good with it as everyone thought they were. Proud and developed democracies such as France and the U.S. have always been ahead of these authoritarian states even in the field of espionage! Bravo!