How French soldiers risk compromising their security on social networks

By , Sébastien Bourdon and Antoine Schirer

The French military has banned soldiers from posting sensitive information online. However, via a number of different apps Mediapart has managed to discover the profiles of more than 800 French troops deployed abroad and the profiles of more than 200 special forces soldiers. The military's general staff meanwhile is reluctant to discuss the precise measures that have been taken to contain a problem that could put the security of military personnel and their operations at risk, especially from terrorists who target French troops abroad. Justine Brabant and Sébastien Bourdon report.

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When he finishes his working day Alexandre – not his real name – climbs onto the saddle of his beloved black carbon fibre-framed racing bike to head for home. Once past the gates of his workplace in the centre of Bayonne in south-west France, he turns right down Rue Maubec, hurtles past the railway station and a nearby floral roundabout and cafes, before hanging a left over Saint-Esprit bridge which straddles the River Adour. From there he cycles for just under an hour to cover the twenty kilometres to his home in a quiet village in Basque country. Alexandre has one son who is too young to cycle himself, but whom he sometimes takes for little walks in the surrounding countryside.