Extensive powers allowing French authorities to monitor people online and offline will come into force in a matter of days after the country’s highest constitutional authority endorsed all but three sections of a new surveillance law, Amnesty International said.
The French government rushed the Intelligence Bill through parliament in the wake of the Paris attacks earlier this year, turning a deaf ear to strong opposition from rights groups, judges, tech companies, trade unions, lawyers and parliamentarians, as well as criticism from international human rights bodies.
"Last night’s decision clears the last hurdle for a law that will deal a major blow to human rights in France. The surveillance measures authorized by this law are wildly out of proportion. Large swathes of France’s population could soon find themselves under surveillance on obscure grounds and without prior judicial approval," said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia.
«The US and UK security agencies’ mass surveillance was denounced globally, yet French authorities appear to want to mimic their American and British counterparts in allowing the authorities to intercept and access people’s communications at will."