Disturbing news: French police now legally allowed to spy on their suspects
Remote espionage includes covert sound recording, video recording, and pinpointing.
In France adopted a bill that would allow local police to absolutely legally spy on suspects by remotely activating cameras, microphones and GPS on their smartphones and other devices.
It all started very recently. Just last month, the Senate gave the green light to the relevant provisions of the Justice Bill. The bill allows determining the location of crime suspects through any of their mobile gadgets, whether it be smartphones, tablets, laptops, cars and other devices. Remote audio recording and clandestine photo and video recording may also be used, especially against terrorist suspects or members of organized gangs.
Of course, these espionage provisions were quickly criticized by local human rights organizations. “The provisions raise serious concerns about violations of fundamental freedoms of citizens,” said the French human rights group La Quadrature du Net.
The group referred to “the right to security, the right to privacy and private correspondence” and “the right to freedom of movement”, calling the new provisions a fast track to an arbitrary security system.
However, legislators still passed the bill, as Justice Minister Eric Dupont-Moretti assured that the provisions would only affect “a few dozen cases a year” in all of France. It is hard to believe, but members of parliament from the camp of the incumbent President Emmanuel Maron slept in the situation.
During yesterday’s debate, the aforementioned MPs moved an amendment to limit the use of remote espionage to only those cases “when justified by the nature and seriousness of the crime” and “for a strictly defined duration.” They also noted that the judge must first approve any use of this provision, while the total duration of observation could not exceed six months.
“Representatives of sensitive professions, including doctors, journalists, lawyers, judges and members of parliament, will not be targets of remote espionage,” Macron’s camp said.