keep the guards – Liberation

The control of this intelligence apparatus, of which we reveal the wings, is a primordial civic stake.

The doors are closed. They present to rare visitors the mysterious acronym of an owl with outstretched wings and talons darting towards a terrestrial globe filled with binary numbers. The owl, as everyone knows, is a night raptor with a very developed hearing, allowing it to locate its prey by the source of the sounds, without even seeing them. The doors open: we are in the basement of the Hôtel des Invalides, at the heart of the spy-wiretapping system, where the men and women of the GIC hunt without being seen, text messages, telephone conversations and geolocation metadata. . We are also faced with a question as old as civilization, which has come down to us in the Latin version of the poet Juvénal, Who watches the watchers ?, “But who will keep these guardians?”

Because the gigantic scale of this 21st century espionage poses questions that remain unanswered for the moment. If it is obvious that it makes it possible to thwart crimes and attacks, and therefore to save lives, it is just as obvious that the control of this state apparatus is a primordial civic stake. No state can boast of having found the right balance between internal security and individual freedoms; but the French system is a historic anomaly which challenges. Because if we are at the heart of a state apparatus, there is no judicial judge around us: it is in fact Matignon who manages the more than 300 daily requests from security organizations, and who decides their relevance. , validity and legality. Hundreds of requests a day, one of which could save lives, while the other could expose the secrets of perfectly innocent people. In many democratic countries, this process would be unthinkable. Are they right to think so, and to hesitate to cooperate fully with their French colleagues? Should they, on the contrary, be inspired by it? It is very fortunate that the doors are opening, because the debate is urgent.

Source: Libération by

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