France strengthens its response to Social Warfare

For several years, France has been the subject of several attacks aimed at manipulating part of public opinion via social networks, attacks mainly piloted from foreign countries sometimes hostile to the country, or to certain political orientations. Several emblematic cases of these coordinated attacks have been revealed to the general public, such as the social excitement driven from Turkey around the murder of Samuel Paty, this professor murdered by a radical Islamist in his classroom, or the false revelations around emails of the campaign team of candidate Macron two days before the second round of presidential elections, revelations which ultimately turned out to consist of false documents and false information, and whose origin would point in the direction of Moscow and the ATP2 hacker group . As new electoral deadlines loom at the end of 28 and in 2021, the French government has announced the creation of a new agency specializing in the fight against these campaigns Of which we chose to call Social Warfare.

Concretely, this new agency, which should see the light of day by September 2021, will be attached to the Defense and National Security Secretariat, and will have up to 70 employees. Its objective will not be to arbitrate the fake news or to play a role of sensor, as many will be those who will accuse it precipitately, but to identify the origins of these campaigns, in particular those which are orchestrated since and / or by a foreign country, as well as to analyze its methodology, in particular the use of robots and fake social network accounts to increase its distribution, or what is commonly called "troll factories", namely teams specializing in the dissemination and extension of the messages of this hostile campaign. This area is rapidly becoming militarized, as major component of Information Warfare.

Identified by several journalistic investigations, this building in Saint-Pertesbourg is said to be one of the most important troll factories in Russia, and would have played an important role in Hilary Clinton's smear campaign in 2016 during the American presidential elections against Donald Trump.

In view of the sensitivity of the subject, particularly at the political level, the agency will be under the supervision of an ethics committee composed of a representative of the Superior Audiovisual Committee or CSA, of an ambassador to assess the implications. international revelations, a magistrate for legal matters, researchers and specialized journalists, as well as a member of the Council of State, the highest national legal body in the country. Surprisingly, there is no mention of any member belonging to ANSII, the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems, or any member of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, both yet at the forefront in this field, and at the origin of several surveys and expertises in this field.


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