France passes broad surveillance act allowing NSA-style metadata collection
A new, sweeping surveillance bill has been approved by France's Constitutional Council, the highest authority on constitutional matters in the country. The law grants broad privileges to the government to surveil suspected terrorists without prior approval from a judge.
The bill was introduced after the offices of newspaper Charlie Hebdo were attacked by armed jihadists in January. In May, the French parliament passed the bill. President François Hollande asked the Council to review the bill. This is the first time a French president has ever requested such a review.
The Council rejected three of the bill's provisions but upheld the majority. French citizens will now be subject to the same kind of metadata collection that Edward Snowden exposed at the NSA in the States.
International human rights organizations condemned the bill. "The US and UK security agencies’ mass surveillance was denounced globally," Gauri van Gulik , Amnesty International's deputy director for Europe and Asia, said, "yet French authorities appear to want to mimic their American and British counterparts in allowing the authorities to intercept and access people’s communications at will."
Facts about international surveillance:
The UK recently decided that even government ministers will be subject to surveillance.
International outcry over the practices of America's NSA continues. Germany issued an angry statement this week demanding answers over allegations that the NSA spied on their foreign minister.
Reports this week revealed that Pakistan is also trying to build a NSA-style mass surveillance organization.