Paris Dilemma Over Security at Electricite de France
Accusations of spying on Greenpeace have led to the suspension of two of EDF’s security executives. However, the group can’t turn a blind eye to movements that oppose it.
Regardless of how it organizes its security service in future, France’s EDF group can’t overlook the critical function carried out at present by Pierre-Paul Francois (under formal investigation) and his immediate superior, former retired rear-admiral Pascal Durieux (a material witness in the case). Assigned to the security service of the group’s nuclear production division, the two have top secret government security clearance and their job consists mainly of preventing leaks of classified data. It was in that framework that they retained the services of Kargus Consultant headed by Thierry Lohro (also under investigation) to keep an eye on anti-nuclear movements. EDF has long monitored the NGO’s and other groups opposed to its business. Already in 1999, a Security Mission at the group’s industry center in the Paris suburb of St. Ouen was tasked with infiltrating eco-terrorist groups and building up a data base on anti-nuclear NGO’s and associations, as well as keeping tabs on the most outspoken members of unions. Headed at the time by a former director of a Nuclear Power Production Center, it employed a former commando from the 17th Regiment du Genie Parachutiste and an ex-gendarme who had headed an intelligence unit. The latter was also asked to see to the physical protection of nuclear installations. The unit was downgraded following the arrival of a new security boss of the group in 1999, Dominique Spinosi, who also retained a private strategy consultancy to conduct an audit of EDF’s security set-up. EDF’s current business intelligence unit, now under the orders of the group’s risk management director Pierre Beroux, was created as part of Spinosi’s department. Spinosi was replaced in 2007 by Jean-Marc Sabathe.