(AA) – The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights has urged France to make necessary changes to a proposed law that plans a further expansion of the government’s surveillance program, the council said in an official statement.
The surveillance bill was adopted by the French National Assembly on May 5 and sent to the upper house for further debate; it gives French intelligence agencies the power to have real-time access to a data connections, email contents, key log-ins and phone or mobile geo-location data without seeking permission from a judge.
In a letter sent to French senators, Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, asked them to not violate human rights and guarantee principles of the state of law while fighting against terrorism, the statement said.
Muiznieks also asked the senators to make necessary changes to the name of the state of law and protection of fundamental rights.
On May 6, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe had also urged French lawmakers to reconsider provisions of a proposed law.
It also called for the creation of a new administrative body, the National Committee of Intelligence Technical Control, composed of nine members, including four judges, four Members of Parliament and a specialist in electronic communication. The body will be responsible for verifying the compliance of monitoring measures.
Campaigners against the bill have said the proposals will produce a deja-vu effect, creating a French version of the NSA, the infamous U.S. intelligence body.