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French rights groups target internet giants over Prism snooping

media Reuters

French rights groups are to launch legal action aiming to establish the role of internet giants in the worldwide spying scandal exposed by former US security contractor Edward Snowden. They have Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Paltak, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple in their sights.

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the Human Rights League were to file a “complaint against X” in Paris on Thursday. 

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Under French law such a complaint allows a wide-ranging inquiry without naming an individual or organisation.

It aims to establish whether "the companies made their servers available to the FBI and NSA" for collection of personal data, , one of their legal team, Emmanuel Daoud, told France Info radio.

They may not have told “the whole truth” when they denied knowledge of the Prism programme, exposed by Snowden in Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

If collusion is proved, the companies could face prosecution in France for violating data protection and privacy rules.

Snowden is currently holed up in Moscow airport to avoid charges in the US.

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