Europe France Adopts Anti-Terrorism Law Expanding Surveillance Powers

France Adopts Anti-Terrorism Law Expanding Surveillance Powers

Copies of the latest issue of Chalie hebdo newspaper
Copies of the latest issue of Chalie hebdo newspaper

The French parliament adopted Wednesday the final version of an anti-terrorism law that gives a wide range of surveillance powers to the country’s intelligence agencies, French media reported.

The bill legitimizes country’s intelligence services to perform different interceptions, including digital spying on anyone allegedly linked to a terror-related activity without warning and any judicial authorization, the French Le Figaro newspaper reported.

The law is not going to be promulgated immediately. Before it takes effect, the court should decide if the law is consistent with France’s Constitution, the newspaper added.

The opponents to the bill who defend digital and civil rights are planning to appeal to the Constitutional Council, the highest constitutional authority in France.

The controversial law passed through the French Parliament just a day after WikiLeaks began publishing documents revealing that the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) has been eavesdropping on French President Francois Hollande and his predecessors Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac, as well as other senior French officials.

Since early 2015, France has been boosting its anti-terror measures in the wake of January’s Islamist attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, known for its cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Shortly after the deadly attack, the French government announced a 425 million euros ($476 million) national program to combat terrorism.