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[IndexOnCensorship] While you weren't looking, France passed sweeping surveillance laws

The French senate has voted through a controversial new law which gives huge government agencies huge powers to snoop on citizens communications.

The Defence Bill 2014-2019 was passed yesterday in a tight 164-146 vote. According to French digital freedom activists [La] Quadrature Du Net, Article 13 of the act allows government agencies to:

  • Authorise live capturing of data and documents (“that on request may be captured and transmitted in real time by operators and agents mentioned”) by hosting services and service providers.
  • Allow the harvesting and capturing of “data and documents treated or stored by their networks or services” and not solely the connection data.
  • Extend the list of public offices that may request surveillance, to include, for instance, the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
  • Extend the reasons for which surveillance may be requested to include information related to “the scientific and economic potential of France” and the prevention of “organised crime and delinquency”

[...]

It is still possible that courts may find the new powers unconstitutional. But it’s a grim fact that France and other European governments, even while we still debate the Guardian’s revelations on NSA surveillance, are determined to push through stronger snooping laws. [...]

http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2013/12/werent-looking-france-passed-sw...