I’m a supporter of transparency, especially when some meetings can impact other people. So, yes, I had a lunch with spies from the DCRI. French FBI as Mr. Guéant, former Interior Ministry, called them.
They paid for the lunch in a Parisian restaurant (around 20€), and the interview was one hour long (the length of my lunch break) and it was on the 16th of May, 2012.
Sleep in bed with the enemy
The question you may ask is ‘Why?’, Why would I talk with the enemy? Well, it’s quite simple. I always think you have to talk with every one who wants to talk to you, at least to say ‘shut up, I do not want to speak with you’.
But, I want to know who’s spying on me. They are paid to spy on the population, especially on people who hang in hackerspaces or hacker groups. That’s their purpose, that’s what they’re paid for.
We always assumed that, on any non restrictive channel we could use, there is spies silently recording everything that is said. If you think that’s not the case, you’re putting yourself in danger.
So, they already know what we’re doing and what we are. And, well, the funny part is that, since I tend to publish everything I do, finding what I do is not that hard.
But I wanted to know them. To have faces to look for in meetings to spot them better. To know what they know about me, what they think I am. Sun Tzu said that you have to know your enemy. And they’re one of them.
So, that’s why I accepted to see them, in public meat space, to have a chat.
What is it about
They wanted to know what Telecomix is, how it’s organized. I told them nothing more than what’s in the newspaper or in the intertubes already. I didn’t mention names or pseudonyms, nor anything that could be legally argued against.
They wanted to know if we had enemies, if we had trouble with threats in real life and they offered their help, which I refuse. They immediately denied that they’re spying on people, arguing that they have not enough time or budget for that, which is a lie.
They also denied, too fast to be honest, that they’re using an eagle system in France. They didn’t liked the streisand effect and the datalove thing, for they seemed to infiltrate radicals political groups and that I could mirror anything that has been censored. They do liked what we’ve done to fight censorship however, as long as it’s abroad.
They were friendly, trying to make me tell them that there actually is a leader, besides Cameron, in the cluster.
I did not spoils them any dark secret of the cluster, for we have none I’m aware of. Stay reassured, I did not told them about the take-over-the-world-agendas we all have.
It happened before, it will happen again
I’ll see them again, and I’ll try to write about it each time. I’m not sure it went well, but now I know their faces, and I know what their interested into. They do not know nothing more than you can find using seeks.
If it makes you uncomfortable, I do not understand, but that’s ok. Run away. I mean, if you’re close enough of me to think that you can get in trouble, well, you’re already under spying.
It’s a cat and mice game we always plaid with them. Let’s bring the game to another level. We need to know them.
Editing, links, some grammar corrections, and I found teh date so added it