France reportedly has its own PRISMlike data snooping system

The US isn't the only western country with an all-seeing digital eye... at least, according to Le Monde. The news outlet claims that France's General Directorate for External Security has a PRISM-like system that captures and processes the metadata for "billions and billions" of communications, including internet messaging, phone calls, SMS and even faxes. The goal is ostensibly to track the behavior of terrorist cells, but the Directorate allegedly shares the anonymized information with other intelligence services, including the police. Whether or not residents can do much about the snooping, if real, is another matter. One source believes that it exists in a gray area, as French law reportedly doesn't account for the possibility of storing personal data this way. We're skeptical of claims that the Directorate can spy on "anyone, anytime," especially without official commentary, but we'd suggest that locals be careful with their secrets all the same.

Dan Cooper contributed to this report.