Today, international conflicts can take various forms. Their nature, their number and their intensity are still evolving.
Threats are everywhere, including in the cyberspace. Conflictuality has become permanent.
Within this context, our role is more crucial than ever.
Our ability to know, analyze and foresee is vital, thus allowing France to decide and act autonomously and with full sovereignty. This is true for our own strategic choices, but also for the actions we conduct along with our partners and allies.
The terrorist threat faced by France and its European neighbours, mainly comes from radical Islamist organizations. Their offshoots grow because of the social, political and economic difficulties experienced by some States, notably in the Middle East and in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Over the last years, the military action led by the international coalition in the Levant and in the Sahel has allowed to inflict serious setbacks to the main terrorist organizations. The threat to the national territory remains high. In order to face it, we work closely with the Directorate General for Internal Security (DGSI).
Our objective is to prevent the perpetration of attacks on the national territory or against French interests abroad.
Our intelligence allows to identify terrorist groups, to know their organization and their recruitment rings and also to thwart the attacks they project from abroad. We also work to identify the roots of terrorism and to struggle against the evils that are the source of it.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and of their means of delivery is a major factor of internationaldestabilization. As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and as a signatory country of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT), France has a duty to anticipate and curb the nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical threats (NRBC).
Our objective is to detect weapons procurement networks and the proliferation flows of dual-use items (civilian and military) in order to hinder them.
Our intelligence allows to identify the States willing to develop or to acquire weapons of mass destruction, in violation of international treaties.
France is an attractive target for hostile or rival foreign powers. Through various structures, they seek to take over our expertise, our technologies and our research and development results. This interference can take the form of actions of espionage, information manipulation and economic predation.
Our objective is to identify aggressive entities, their targets, their purposes and methods, to allow our authorities to respond to their machinations. We contribute to limit the risks of destabilizing, weakening or capturing our strategic assets in the international competition.
Our intelligence aims at preventing any malicious act against French political, strategic, economic, scientific or industrial interests.
Whereas the cyberspace has become a place of communication and daily exchanges, it is also a place of confrontation. Espionage, destabilization, sabotage, trafficking, the cyberthreat keeps on increasing in intensity. The actions carried out against the State, critical infrastructure or the major French companies have been on the rise, without it always being possible to identify their origin, or to establish, whether State or non-State actors, who instigates them and who carries them out.
Our objective is to identify the perpetrators and those behind the cyberattacks targeting France, in particular when they are carried out by a State, whose intentions are related to espionage or to diplomatic intimidation. We thus allow our authorities to take the relevant decisions.
Our intelligence aims at anticipating the cyberthreats targeting French interests, in order to obstruct them.
From the Sahel to the Middle East, we are directly engaged, together with our partners and allies, in complex, simultaneous and unpredictable crises. In these zones of friction and areas of strife, players are involved and have capabilities likely to threaten the political stability of France.
Our objective is to detect any risk of political instability and to allow France to develop a strategy of influence within the international bodies, to ensure compliance with the peace or assistance agreements negotiated there.
Our intelligence allows us to know the individuals, the political movements and the insurgent groups, whose organization, strategy and means are likely to destabilize regions or States and to threaten French interests.
In France, intelligence is now a managed and controlled public policy.
The law of 9 October 2007 established a Parliamentary Delegation for Intelligence (DPR), common to the Senate and to the National Assembly, to monitor the Government’s action in the field of intelligence and to assess the policy conducted in this field.
The laws of 24 July and of 30 November 2015 established a protective and demanding legal framework for the intelligence services. It is at the highest level of European standards in terms of guarantees and protection of freedoms. This legislative framework ensures the fundamental balance between the two requirements that are, on the one hand, privacy protection and, on the other hand, the defence and promotion of the fundamental interests of the Nation.
The oversight of the intelligence services is notably ensured by different bodies, notably by the Committee for Auditing Special Funds (CVFS), the Inspection of the Intelligence Services (ISR), or the National Commission for Monitoring Intelligence Techniques (CNCTR), which controls the legality of the techniques implemented by the services.
The information processed at the DGSE is covered by national defence secret. Its disclosure would harm France’s fundamental interests.
To protect their secrecy, access to these sensitive documents implies some degree of clearance.
There are two levels of classification: « SECRET » and « VERY SECRET ». These degrees depend on the sensitivity of information. Two conditions are required to have access: the security clearance ant the need to know.
Compromising the secrecy of a document is punishable with a prison sentence of seven years and a fine of €100,000 (article 413-10 of the penal code).
To carry out our missions, we have tight and daily links with our national and international partners. Those links contribute to the defence of the interests of our country and of our allies.
Attached to the ministry of Armed Forces, we are part of the « inner circle » of the French intelligence community.
It brings together:
the Directorate General for Internal Security (DGSI),
the National Directorate of Customs Intelligence and Investigations (DNRED),
the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DRM),
the Defence Intelligence and Security Directorate (DRSD),
Intelligence Processing and Action Against Illegal Financial Circuits (Tracfin) ;
We share our intelligence with these services.
The National Coordinator of Intelligence and the Fight against Terrorism (CNRLT) ensures cooperation between services and offers guidelines to the President of the Republic.
The inspectorate of intelligence services is in charge of missions of control, audit, study, advice and assessment.
As we have significant means, we also share our technical expertise with the other services.
Finally, the intelligence academy contributes to training the staff of the services, to strengthening links within the French community and to disseminating the culture of intelligence.