A French firm offers Gaddafi ‘an inviolable solution’ against ‘Anglo-American espionage’

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In April 2006, Ziad Takieddine introduced to the Libyan regime a French group specialized in electronic warfare. Based in Aix-en-Provence, in southern France, the company, called i2e, was run by Philippe Vannier, now chairman and CEO of IT company Bull. The presentation documents i2e prepared for the Libyans boasted of the firm’s ability to counter-act the covert US-led Echelon global surveillance and communications interception system. “Echelon is a very confidential worldwide eavesdropping and analysis network operated by the UK-USA community,” it wrote. “Echelon intercepts radio and communications signals from satellites, telephones, fax machines, emails almost anywhere in the world [...] Our procedures are totally unique and offer an inviolable solution to the Anglo-American espionage system [...] Libya’s vital interests will not be spared by the Echelon system." The firm openly claimed a link to then-interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy. "The French Minister of the Interior disposes of genuine knowledge corroborated by collaboration with the company specialised in this domain. It therefore behoves us to assist you in carrying out an in-depth investigation on the nature of the information at risk of being obtained by Echelon."

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