France enacts law allowing govt to snoop on private internet user data – report

AFP Photo / Miguel Medina

RT News

The French government has published a decree enacting an internet surveillance law that was passed a year ago. The controversial measure, allowing authorities ‘administrative access to connection data,’ reportedly comes into force the first day of 2015.

The decree, providing French officials with access to data from a wide range of telecom services in the country – including phone calls, text messages and internet access by both private users and operators – was published over the Christmas holidays, France’s Le Point reported.

The legislation was passed in December last year, and was a surprise to many: less than two months before it was approved, the country’s president Fran├žois Hollande – during a phone conversation with Barack Obama – expressed his “deep disapproval” at revelations that the NSA had been intercepting millions of phone calls in France, having described it as an “unacceptable practice.”

Starting from January 1, French government itself will be in control of its residents’ connection data, with an “interdepartmental group” being in charge of security interceptions and administrative access, gathering requests for certain data and obtaining it from operators.

Departments, authorized to issue data requests, include several branches within the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Defense and a directorate at the Ministry of Finance. Laws, empowering state officials to monitor the population by means of communication and information access, have been passed under the flag of protection from terrorist threat, the French media wrote.

Powers, granted to the government by the new surveillance law, have been met with protests in France. Before it was eventually enacted, authorities have set up an oversight body – National Control Commission for Security Interceptions (CNCIS), which should supervise governmental data control powers. Although it is allowed to oversee documents and information asked to be disclosed to the authorities, it has no power to sanction anyone, or alert of a reported abuse, Le Point wrote.

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After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.

Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.

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