News / Europe

France Expands Internet, Phone Monitoring Powers

FILE - A woman walks past a store of French internet service provider and mobile phone operator 'Free' in Paris.FILE - A woman walks past a store of French internet service provider and mobile phone operator 'Free' in Paris.
x
FILE - A woman walks past a store of French internet service provider and mobile phone operator 'Free' in Paris.
FILE - A woman walks past a store of French internet service provider and mobile phone operator 'Free' in Paris.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— France expanded the government's powers to monitor phone and Internet connection data without judicial review as a last-minute opposition attempt to block the move failed to gather support.
 
The French Official Journal on Thursday published a military budget law that grants monitoring powers to more agencies such as tax and finance authorities, broadens the grounds for surveillance, and strips judges of the power to review monitoring requests.
 
The proposed law had come under fire from Google Inc and Microsoft Corp, telecom operators such as Orange and Internet advocacy groups, who argue that it is too broad and violates people's privacy.
 
Parliament members of the Green Party had tried to make an alliance with the left-wing Front de Gauche and a dissident group within the conservative UMP party to force a review by the top constitutional watchdog, but failed to get the backing of 60 senators or 60 deputies to initiate the procedure.

‘Political quarrels’

“Despite citizen's action and the engagement of 48 parliamentarians, the appeal to the Constitutional Council did not proceed because of political quarrels,” the Digital Renaissance group said in a statement.
 
Green party parliamentarians Barbara Pompili and Francois de Rugy blamed the failure on the refusal of UMP MPs to link up with green and far-left groups.
 
Center-right UMP parliamentary floor leader Christian Jacob wrote to his 190 colleagues last week that the group would not seek a legal review. The UMP is the largest opposition party to the majority Socialists, whose leaders support the new surveillance policy.
 
According to Article 13 of the new law, French government agencies will be able to request connection data from telecom operators and Internet companies transmitted in real time, including location information from mobile phones.
 
The grounds on which the government may carry out such surveillance have been expanded to include not only national security and counter-terrorism, but also to protect “the scientific and economic potential of France” and “fight criminality.”
 
President Francois Hollande's government argued Article 13 was needed to clear up a legal gray area and that it actually grants stronger civil rights protections to individuals.
 
Critics, which include the MEDEF, France's biggest business lobby, worry the measures will undermine confidence in Internet services such as cloud computing and email.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Resigns

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid