French surveillance law is constitutional, highest court says

[IDG] A surveillance law rushed through the French parliament in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January is constitutional, the country’s highest court ruled late Thursday. The decision gives law enforcers and intelligence agencies the power to gather communications metadata — who is communicating with whom, where, and when — in real time, with few restrictions.As the law on surveillance progressed through parliament, the government declared it “urgent”, meaning elected representatives in the Senate and National Assembly had only one opportunity to amend it instead of the usual two. They waved it through anyway. Some parliamentarians challenged parts of the law on constitutional grounds, calling on the Constitutional Council to give its verdict. see:French Lawmakers Expand Electronic Surveillance Dramatically
Today, the French legislature finalized adoption of a new surveillance law – the ‘Projet de Loi relatif au Renseignement’ (roughly, the Intelligence Act). The law has been vigorously opposed by a wide coalition of NGOs, including the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT). The law was proposed by Prime Minister Manuel Valls in March 2015, and has been rushed through the French Senate and National Assembly on a fast-track procedure.”This law expands the already very extensive surveillance capabilities of the French government, has incredibly insufficient judicial review, and enables surveillance for reasons beyond national security, including economic and foreign interests. In short, France now has one of the most privacy-invasive and least transparent surveillance regimes of any democratic nation,” said Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, CDT Director for European Affairs.

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