French secret services seek to recruit technological assistants in the era of the new Coronavirus where virtual communication is king
The technical director of the FRENCH secret services Patrick Pailloux seeks to recruit geeks rather than James Bonds to adapt to the new requirements of the post-coronavirus world.
Pailloux said there was a risk that many well-informed young French people would simply consider themselves unfit for the stereotypes of the French Directorate General for External Security (DGSE).
“We need people who are very connected to new technologies – so young people,” said Pailloux.
The DGSE has already acknowledged that it has seen renewed interest in its work thanks to the very popular television series “Le Bureau des Légendes”. In the series, spies from dangerous missions around the world work in close collaboration with IT experts deep within the headquarters of DGSE Paris.
Young people “have James Bond and special forces in their heads,” said Pailloux.
“They think, ‘I’m not Rambo, I’m a geek,’ and it doesn’t occur to them to join DGSE. “
“But it’s not just the supermen who are overfed. If you are overfed with science, you can also serve your country. “
And this will be even more crucial in the changed world after the coronavirus where communication will be even more virtual and less in person.
“Cybersecurity is the alpha and omega of global security in the world we live in,” said Pailloux. “If we are unable to make our systems secure, then all other security is useless.”
It was then said that 65,000 students participate in an annual competition in France, with the support of the DGSE, in decoding and cryptography.
Matthieu Lequesne of the National Research Institute for Digital Science and Technology (INRIA) and one of the co-organizers of the competition declared that “behind mathematics, logic, computer science, the stakes are political”.
“If we are to take advantage of artificial intelligence, for big data to work, it has to process tons of data belonging to individuals,” he said.
“And we have to make sure that the platforms that manage this data don’t learn anything from us. So the answer is good cryptography. “