Espionage: the former director of the IT department of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region sentenced to 6 months in prison suspended

Suspected of having spied on the emails of a union in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region in 2016, the former director of IT services is sentenced to six months in prison suspended and a fine of 5,000 euros. The emails were filtered with keywords after information leaked to the press.

A former director of the IT department (DSI) of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, accused of having set up a system of spying on agents and elected officials at the end of 2015, was sentenced on Friday in Lyon to six months in prison. suspended prison sentence and a fine of 5,000 euros.
Now stationed in Occitania, engineer Benoît Dehais, 53, was found guilty of “breaching the secrecy of correspondence by an agent in charge of fraudulent service, access and maintenance in an automated data processing system” by the criminal court which followed the requisitions of the prosecution.

In its deliberation, the court also awarded a symbolic euro to the SUD union, which had first detected irregular access to its mailboxes within the Rhône-Alpes region in 2016. The judges also awarded 1,000 euros in damages and interest for non-pecuniary damage to the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, which is a civil party.
Benoît Dehais was suspected of having opened for his benefit access to the mailboxes of the administration of the Region, by organizing a detection of the keyword “dangele” in the emails of the community.
It was then a question of detecting leaks intended for the former satirical weekly Lyonnais “Les potins d’Angèle”, which at the time multiplied the revelations on the end of the mandate of the former socialist president Jean-Jack Queyranne.

The affair had been discovered when SUD wanted to have its mailbox reconfigured. According to emails found by the investigators, Benoît Dehais had demanded the search for the keyword from his service and the IT service provider.

We are in front of something completely opaque“, had estimated at the hearing, last May, the prosecutor of the Republic Hélène Descout.
The defendant had for his part denied having wanted to spy on the content of the messages of the agents or elected officials. According to him, access to messaging had been set up “for audit control purposes“, but “without any content intrusion“. He claimed that his superior had asked him to seek out the sources behind the leaks in the press.
There is no indication that he did so apart from a request from his superiors“, pleaded his lawyer Me Frédéric Doyez, who appealed the decision on Friday.
Cited as a witness, the former director general of services (DGS) of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region Philippe de Mester had affirmed at the bar that he had given no instructions to carry out searches in the region’s emails. “The reasons were technical“, he had declared.
They installed a poor spy system “, launched for his part André Soulier, a civil party for the former journalist Gérard Angel.

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Espionage: the former director of the IT department of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region sentenced to 6 months in prison suspended


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