PARIS — French security officials, sobered by the destabilizing effect that computer hacking and email leaks had on the U.S. election, have taken the unprecedented step of allowing government cyber-snoops to share their expertise with political parties.
The goal is to help France’s Socialists, conservatives, and other parties defend themselves from electronic attacks during the country’s 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections.
France’s democratic process also is at risk from the cyber-subversion that roiled Hillary Clinton’s campaign, in particular, according to Louis Gautier, who heads the French prime minister’s General Secretariat for Defense and National Security.
The Obama administration has openly accused Russia of hacking Democratic organizations and officials, and the CIA has gone further, telling U.S. lawmakers in a closed-door briefing that Russia’s intention was to help Republican Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election. Other U.S. intelligence agencies have said it’s less clear what the Russians’ intent was, other than to disrupt the American political system. They say the emails of Republican consultants may also have been compromised. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails were stolen and posted on the internet, along with others.
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