BlackBerry handheld computers, or "Le BlackBerry" as they are known here, have been called addictive, invasive, tiresome for thumbs - and, now, a threat to French secrets.
That, at least, is the fear of French government defense experts who have advised against their use by officials in France's corridors of power, reportedly to avoid snooping by US intelligence agencies and the loss of commercial and other secrets.
"It's not a question of trust," French lawmaker Pierre Lasbordes told The Associated Press. "We are friends with the Americans, the Anglo-Saxons, but it's economic war."
E-mails sent from BlackBerries pass through servers in the United States and Britain, and France fears that makes the system vulnerable to snooping by the National Security Agency, the ears and eyes of US intelligence, Le Monde reported. The company that makes BlackBerries, however, denies such spying is possible.