French spy bill referred to Constitutional Court

French rights groups say new law creates French version of infamous US intelligence body NSA

French spy bill referred to Constitutional Court

World Bulletin / News Desk

The French President Francois Hollande has referred the controversial anti-terrorism bill, which grants sweeping powers to French intelligence services, to the Constitutional Council after it was adopted by the parliament.

The National Assembly passed the bill on Wednesday by a large majority. 

"The President of the Republic referred the Intelligence Law to the Constitutional Council after it was definitively adopted on June 24 by the Parliament and adopted by an overwhelming majority in both houses," read a French presidency statement on Thursday. 

"The Head of State asked the Constitutional Council to examine the overall framework of implementation and control of technical intelligence provided by the law and the conditions in which it authorizes the use of new techniques," it added.

According to the bill, French intelligence agencies will now have the power to receive real-time access to anyone in France’s data connection, email content, key log-ins, phone and mobile geo-location data without seeking permission from a judge.

The law also calls for the creation of a new administrative body, the National Committee of Intelligence Technical Control, composed of nine members including four judges, four MPs and a specialist in electronics communication. The body will be responsible for verifying the compliance of monitoring measures.

French Internet rights group La Quadrature du Net strongly denounced the bill and feared it would create a French version of the infamous U.S. intelligence body, the NSA.

"By renouncing to all their obligations to defend the Constitution and citizens' freedoms, MPs validated, in the name of group strategy, widespread surveillance in France. It's a sad day for freedom," said the group in a statement.

"As an ironic echo to the recent WikiLeaks revelations about the NSA spying on French political authorities, this vote calls for a new type of resistance for citizens," it added.

In a report entitled Espionnage Elysee (Elysee spying), WikiLeaks revealed “NSA surveillance of communications of French presidents Francois Hollande (2012–present), Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–2012), and Jacques Chirac (1995–2007), as well as French cabinet ministers and the French ambassador to the United States”. 

La Quadrature du Net said it would pursue legal action before the French Constitutional Court against the bill.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Haziran 2015, 17:29
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