French billionaire claims he spied on ex-president for security agency | World news

A French billionaire has mentioned he spied on a former president and on the automotive big Renault for the nation’s security agency.

Xavier Niel, a co-owner of Le Monde newspaper, claimed that as a youngster within the 1980s he labored for the state inside security providers after they have been taken with hacking, which was then a comparatively new method.

Niel, 52, a telecommunications tycoon, instructed a parliamentary TV channel that he hacked quite a few cell phones together with that of the then president, François Mitterrand.

“In 1986, I was in the newspapers for having hacked into the data of mobile phones in France, including that of President Mitterrand,” he mentioned.

Niel additionally admitted focusing on Robert Pandraud, who was a junior minister for security below President Jacques Chirac.

“I was not in the secret services. I was – I don’t know what you’d call it – a sort of honorary agent,” Niel mentioned.

He admitted he “flirted with illegality” throughout his youth. When he was 17, having dropped out of college, he was interviewed by police after hacking the decoders of the pay TV community Canal+ as a way to promote the codes.

“They said: ‘That’s great, the pirating isn’t so serious, but you’re doing something interesting,’” he claimed. “They mentioned we kids have been stepping into laptop websites with delicate information and so they proposed that we get a bunch of younger folks and go forward and assist them perceive it higher.

“We were doing it for ourselves as a laugh and we would pass on the information.”

Niel, who stormed France’s closed community of phone and web suppliers when he arrange the group Iliad Free, is value round €8bn and listed as France’s 21st richest individual. His companion is Delphine Arnaud, the daughter of Bernard Arnault, the president of the posh group LVMH and France’s richest man.

Niel first made his title providing grownup providers on Minitel, the web precursor in France. In 1997 Niel bought most of his pornography pursuits however stored a peepshow in Strasbourg and one in Paris.

In 2004 he was arrested for allegedly cashing in on prostitution and for tax evasion. He was discovered not responsible of the previous and fined €250,000 and given a suspended two-year sentence for the latter.

Niel and companions acquired Le Monde in 2010.

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