The French Parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill yesterday that will give authorities the ability to tap phones and read emails without first getting permission from a judge. The bill now moves the French Senate, where is it likely to pass.
In addition to phone tapping, the law would allow French intelligence services to monitor telecom and Internet operators’ networks and servers, as well as track the behavior of suspected terrorists using algorithms that analyze metadata.
French lawmakers have considered expanding the state’s surveillance capabilities since 2012, after Mohammed Merah committed a series of attacks on French troops and a Jewish day school in and around Toulouse. In the wake of the attacks, then-President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed legislation that would imprison people who frequently visited Internet sites promoting terrorism.