France to vote on bill to give police more surveillance powers

France to vote on bill to give police more surveillance powers

France’s parliament is to vote on a Bill aimed at legalising broad surveillance of terrorism suspects that has sparked an outcry among privacy advocates and others.

One of the most sensitive measures of the Bill would allow intelligence services to vacuum up metadata, which would then be subject to analysis for potentially suspicious behaviour.

The metadata would be anonymous, but intelligence agents could follow up with a request to the independent panel for deeper surveillance which could yield the identity of users.

The Bill that goes to parliament today was proposed long before January’s attacks by Islamic extremists on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.

But the Bill’s sponsors say it takes on added urgency with each person who is radicalised.

Opponents say it legalises highly intrusive surveillance methods without guarantees for individual freedom and privacy.

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