[DW] France set to join the spy game
French MPs are due to approve a bill reforming French intelligence law to counter terrorist threats. But critics warn that the draft law is a license to spy on citizens' private lives. Erin Conroy reports from Paris. [...]
The bill proposing a new set of intelligence-gathering measures would be the first update to France's current surveillance laws which date back to 1991, long before mobile phones and the Internet became mainstream. But experts say the government is going too far in spying on French citizens. [...]
Félix Tréguer, a founding member of Paris-based advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, says the language of the bill is simply too broad and does not define the motives under which intelligence authorities would be able to gain access to someone's information. He is also alarmed by the provisions for long data-retention periods.
"All of the legal challenges, checks and balances are veiled in secrecy, and in terms of avoiding abuse, it's going to be difficult," he says.
"There are several provisions in the bill which allow intelligence agencies to engage in hacking computers, servers or any computer equipment to have access to data and to copy that data, and this is a very concerning piece of it," he adds. "The kind of infringement of privacy by accessing someone's computer and copying data through Trojan horse-type viruses is very concerning." [...]