French Government Quietly Enacts Controversial Surveillance Law On Christmas Eve

from the probably-just-a-coincidence dept

Techdirt has noted that the NSA chose to release embarrassing details of its illegal surveillance of Americans on Christmas Eve. By an interesting coincidence, the French government picked the same date to enact a hugely controversial new surveillance law, which had been passed back in 2013, and will now enter into operation almost immediately, at the start of 2015. One of its most troubling aspects is the vagueness of its terms. As reported by Le Point, here’s what can be collected (original in French):

Information or documents processed or retained by electronic communications networks or services, including technical data related to the identification of subscription numbers or connections to electronic communications services, the inventory of all subscription numbers or connection of a designated person, location of the terminal equipment used as well as a subscriber’s communications including the list of numbers called and callers, duration and timing of communications.

Not unnaturally, the very broad but vague powers granted here have been met with protests in France, and so the government has provided an oversight body, supposedly to ensure these powers are not abused. However, as Le Point explains, although the CNCIS (“National Control Commission for Security Interceptions”) can demand to see any information about how the law is being used, it has no power to sanction anyone, or even alert the authorities that abuse has taken place. It is nothing more than a fig leaf, in other words, and offers zero protection for the “liberty” part of France’s national motto.

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Comments on “French Government Quietly Enacts Controversial Surveillance Law On Christmas Eve”

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Anonymous Coward says:

They tried the same in Romania. Fortunately, the opposition party sent it tot the Constitution Court (after their own people voted for it “by mistake” in the Senate), where it has a high chance of being rejected.

Anonymous Coward says:

What good is the CNCIS oversight board if they can’t even alert authorities about information collection and search abuse? Such as cellphone location record searches, which contain years worth of real-time tracking information. Does that responsibility fall to France’s Central Directorate of Interior Intelligence, the very agency CNCIS is providing oversight for?

Anonymous Coward says:

Before the doors open on the CNCIS, it will already be staffed with members coming from the security agencies it’s to oversee. Of course nothing will ever be out of the ordinary because they will have great oversight that sees no problems.

What could possibly go wrong?

This solution is pretty common to all the various countries that have a spy agency with an oversight committee and it will wind up just like ours or worse.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bunch of scumbugs criminal manipulators………they KNOW this is something we would’nt want, so what do they do, release it on days no doubt “researchers” have told them is the best days to release, and i use that term lightly, contraversial material, so as not to risk opposition………how can folks oppose when they know nothing of whats going on, and on days folks are trying to get into the spirit of things for the sake of the community…..fucking manipulators………no better then criminals, they are litterally in my definition of a criminal, the HIGHEST kind………our way of life is being run by the moral compass of the highest kind of criminals

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