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[TheGuardian] France approves 'Big Brother' surveillance powers despite UN concern

UN says powers given to intelligence agencies, which include phone-tapping and computer-hacking, are ‘excessively broad’ and intrusive. [...]

Intelligence agencies can also place “keylogger” devices on computers that record keystrokes in real time. Internet and phone service providers will be forced to install “black boxes” – complex algorithms – that will alert the authorities to suspicious behaviour online. The same companies will be forced to hand over information if asked. [...]

On Friday, after considering the legislation, The UN human rights committee concluded: “The committee is particularly concerned that the law on intelligence, adopted the 24 June 2015, grants overly broad powers for very intrusive surveillance on the basis of vast and badly defined objectives, without prior authorisation of a judge and without adequate and independent controls.” [...]

The non-profit association La Quadrature du Net, which defends the rights and privacy of internet users, described the law as “wicked” and issued a statement headlined “Shame on France”.

“By validating almost all surveillance measures provided in the surveillance law adopted on 25 June, the French constitutional council legalises mass surveillance and endorses a historical decline in fundamental rights,” it said, branding the decision “extremely disappointing”. [...]

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/24/france-big-brother-surveill...