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France’s govt wants emergency surveillance powers

Valls urged a new intelligence bill for extraordinary measures that would be used only emergency.

By: Associated Press | Paris | Published: April 13, 2015 9:43:41 pm
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speaks during a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, March 19, 2015. France's government pressed a surveillance bill Thursday that would give French intelligence services legal backing to vacuum up metadata in hopes of preventing an imminent terror attack. Text in background reads: respect freedom. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool) French Prime Minister Manuel Valls speaks during a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Thursday, March 19, 2015. France’s government pressed a surveillance bill Thursday that would give French intelligence services legal backing to vacuum up metadata in hopes of preventing an imminent terror attack. Text in background reads: respect freedom. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is calling for the government to be granted emergency surveillance powers in case of an exceptional threat.

In a speech in Parliament, Valls urged a new intelligence bill for extraordinary measures that would be used only “in case of major crisis affecting the citizens’ security.” The law would allow intelligence services to use surveillance powers without submitting a request to an independent nine-person panel, as normally required.

Lawmakers on Monday started debating a bill aimed at legalizing broad surveillance of terrorism suspects, three months after the deadly Paris attacks. The proposal caused an outcry from some privacy advocates, human rights groups and the Paris bar association, despite the government’s efforts to distance itself from U.S.-style mass surveillance.

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