Privacy

by Glyn Moody


Filed Under:
france, surveillance



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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2014 @ 10:59am

    So in other words, CNCIS's options for dealing with abuse are no better than the options of any normal whistle blower?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2014 @ 11:00am

    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.

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ro&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fadevaru l.ro%2Fnews%2Fpolitica%2Flegea-securitatii-cibernetice-fost-adoptata-serviciile-secrete-acces-inform atii-internet-telefonie-1_5493ead0448e03c0fde0186e%2Findex.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2014 @ 11:21am

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 29 Dec 2014 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      What good is the CNCIS oversight board if they can't even alert authorities about information collection and search abuse?

      None, which makes them the perfect choice if you don't want any real oversight but want to claim that you have oversight.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 29 Dec 2014 @ 12:56pm

        Re: Re:

        In the US we've got the FISA 'court' and the Senate 'Intelligence' Committee for that sort of thing. They provide 'oversight' to be sure, but only in the 'overlooked' sense.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2014 @ 11:47am

    CNCIS

    Is CNCIS the one with Mark Harmon or LL Cool J?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2014 @ 1:14pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AMusingFool, 29 Dec 2014 @ 1:34pm

    doesn't do much...

    for equality and brotherhood either

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2014 @ 5:08pm

    what's the best way to make your citizens revolt.


    Treating them like criminals that have no rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2014 @ 6:13am

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2014 @ 12:56pm

    another country taking a leaf out of the USA book, preferring to do this than follow EU law. this sort of thing is going to break the EEC apart! and all so governments know what average joe is doing every minute and not in the least bit concerning stopping acts of terrorism!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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