WikiLeaks: France Leads Russia, China in Industrial Spying in Europe

voiceprint technology and intelligence surveillance; biometric, cell phone intercept spy espionage6929552 CBS/AP

voiceprint technology and intelligence surveillance
France, not China, Russia or the U.S., leads the world in industrial espionage on its European neighbors, according to leaked diplomatic cables.
CBS/AP
Back in 2001, European leaders accused the United States government of operating a vast industrial espionage network that was eavesdropping on European businesses and giving trade secrets to American companies.

According to the latest WikiLeaks cable release, they should have been looking internally.

France is the country that conducts the most industrial espionage on other European countries, even ahead of China and Russia, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, reported in a translation by Agence France Presse of Norwegian daily Aftenposten's reporting.

"French espionage is so widespread that the damages (it causes) the German economy are larger as a whole than those caused by China or Russia," an undated note from the U.S. embassy in Berlin said.

Special Report: WikiLeaks
Cables: U.S., Germany Plan Spy Satellite Project

In October, 2009, Berry Smutny, the head of German satellite company OHB Technology, is quoted in the diplomatic note as saying: "France is the Empire of Evil in terms of technology theft, and Germany knows it."

The cable discusses OHB's contract for the Galileo satellite navigation system, a European challenger to the American-developed Global Positioning System (GPS), AFP reports.

  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at CBSNews.com.

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