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It is written in black and white in article 3 of the École Polytechnique's own code. “Outside, Comrade, the people you speak to will form their view of the École from your comments. Be discerning and avoid flaunting our customs because they are idiosyncratic, even impenetrable, and sometimes shocking for those who don't practice them.” For a long time the students at this prestigious school of engineering south-west of Paris, where military training is still compulsory, have felt bound by a duty of confidentiality, which has stopped them from reporting potentially criminal acts.
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