Global Affairs

How France fought off influence ops in the last election

A new study details how a coordinated, pre-emptive response by French state agencies helped presidential candidates fight off cyber security threats

LONDON • The election of Mr Emmanuel Macron as France's President was always regarded as an unusual affair; he had scant prior government experience, enjoyed no support from either of the country's major political parties, created no serious party structure of his own and espoused no ideology apart from a promise to have no ideology - and yet he became the youngest man to rule France in more than two centuries.

But as Mr Macron marks a year in the Elysee presidential palace, information is now emerging that his election was a trailblazer in another crucial respect: The success of the French authorities in defeating a massive and concerted cyberspace campaign aimed at discrediting Mr Macron's candidacy.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2018, with the headline 'How France fought off influence ops in the last election '. Print Edition | Subscribe