Post-Charlie Hebdo France votes through Internet surveillance law, relinquishes liberté

May 5, 2015
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A photo from the May 4th protest aginst the Loi sur Renseignement 

France’s national assembly has voted in favor of the Projet de Loi sur Renseignement, the controversial bill which creates a legal framework around illicit tapping into meta data communications from internet-enabled devices – the law passed 438-86.

Highly regarded as the French equivalent of the US Patriot Act, enacted in a post 9-11 context where vengence trumped civil liberties (63% of French citizens said they were in favor of the bill last month – cf LesEchos), France finds itself in an oddly Bush-esque environment: an unfavorable president, a country with a wounded ego & increasing unemployment – all of which has led many to get behind a law that, in any other environment, would get suppressed by France’s liberté, egalité, fraternité mentality.

Vocal opponents took to twitter to share their reactions:

While there are still a few steps for the bill to get ratified – approval by the president, approval by the Constitutional Council – the two bodies have already had an active role in the bill’s preparation, and so it is unlikely the outcome will change.

Photo Credit: Mediapart