PARIS, (Sputnik) – The French government started empowering its secret services after a terrorist attack in January 2015 despite numerous objections from civil rights activists who claimed that the new legislation is a European version of U.S. Patriot Act.
The French National Assembly, the country’s lower house, on Wednesday approved an article in a legal reform package that would allow the remote eavesdropping of devices if their owners are suspected of involvement in a terrorist attack or organized crime, according to the live broadcast of the parliament meeting.
The article was approved in an 80-to-24 vote.
In early June, the French Senate, the upper house, approved a controversial provision to a justice bill that allowed law enforcement to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists and criminals using their devices. Moreover, senators approved a provision in the bill allowing law enforcement to track devices’ location if the owner is suspected of committing a crime, which implies a sentence of more than ten years in prison.