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French Official Arrested for Allegedly Selling State Secrets for Bitcoin

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:45 PM
Jimmy Aki
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:45 PM

A French security official with the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Intérieure (DGSI) was indicted last week and taken into custody on charges of selling state secrets in exchange for payments in bitcoin.

According to local French media Le Parisien , the unnamed agent was allegedly arrested for peddling economic information and falsifying administrative documents.

Protecting French Data

While no link to terrorism has been found yet, the news outlet reported that the agent had contact members of the organized crime, as well as “specialists of economic intelligence” interested in obtaining such secrets. The leaks were first discovered by members of the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police before investigators at the DGSI traced the agent’s activities online using his personal code. Every official working with the GDIS has a personal code that tracks their computer activity. For this investigation, the DGSI focused on the “origin of file queries.”

The Central Office for the Repression of Irregular Immigration and the Employment of Untitled Foreigners ( OCRIEST ), the agency in charge of the fight against irregular immigration, dismantled  the criminal network setup the agent had leveraged on.

Data files within the GDIS are either classified as “secret defense” or “confidential defense,” leaking documents with this level of security clearance comes with a hefty penalty.

The agent faces seven years in prison and a potential fine of 100,000 euros, if found guilty at the court.

Protecting French Consumers

Last month, the French stock market regulator, the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), blacklisted  21 new investment websites, including multiple crypto related websites, reminding French consumers to be wary of such investments and that “no advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk.”

The regulator, which recently received legal powers to grant licenses to companies issuing Initial Coin Offerings, would see the agency provide additional guarantees for ICOs, as companies applying now have to provide detailed information regarding the offer and the issuer.

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