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EU Observer: French court backs mass surveillance

Posted by Soledad Vega on Fri, 07/24/2015 - 13:07

Bad news. French intelligence agencies can now spy on citizens with almost complete impunity.

Article by Nikolaj Nielsen for EU Observer

The constitutional court in France on Thursday (23 July) broadly approved a new law that gives the state wide-sweeping surveillance powers.

First proposed in March in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, the Surveillance Act allows French intelligence agencies to spy on citizens with almost complete impunity.

“From now on, France has a security framework against terrorism that respects liberties. It's decisive progress”, said French prime minister Manuel Valls in a tweet.

Dubbed by opponents as the French Big Brother, the act empowers intelligence agencies - under the authority of the prime minister’s office - to monitor anyone.

Security officials will be able to hack people’s computers as a last resort. 

They will be able to use a so-called “IMSI Catcher”, which picks up and records all text messages, phone calls, and Internet communication in a given area. This includes people not suspected of any crime.

- Read more at EU Observer