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French firm Suez may face criminal spy charges

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French firm Suez may face criminal spy charges

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A legal council is to review charges of industrial espionage by French utility company Suez against its Belgian unit Electrabel to determine whether a criminal case should begin. Suez and five people are accused of computer hacking and attempted interception of private communication in 2004.

Brussels Deputy Prosecutor Wenke Roggen said it appeared that something called a ‘sneak’ had been put on an employee’s computer which enabled someone to intercept what was typed. The case began more than two years ago when an Electrabel worker noticed a computer had been tampered with.

At the time a majority shareholder, Suez has previously said it carried out the exercise to test the security of IT systems at Electrabel. However Roggen says prosecutors still think the actions could constitute a crime. Suez bought out minority shareholders in Electrabel last year.