(LifeSiteNews) — French lawmakers have agreed on a law that enables the police to surveil suspects by remotely controlling and turning on the microphone, camera, and GPS of their mobile phones and other devices.
On the evening of July 5, French legislators voted in favor of a justice reform bill that includes the highly controversial spying provision, the French newspaper Le Monde reports.
According to Le Monde, the new surveillance provision will “cover laptops, cars, and other connected objects as well as phones; the measure would allow the geolocation of suspects in crimes punishable by at least five years’ jail.”
The legislators added an amendment that limits the use of remotely accessing devices to “when [it is] justified by the nature and seriousness of the crime” and “for a strictly proportional duration.” All instances of police spying on devices must be approved by a judge, and the duration of surveillance must not exceed six months. “Sensitive professions” including journalists, doctors, judges, lawyers, and MPs would be excluded as targets, according to the bill.
The digital rights advocacy group La Quadrature said that the new law “raise[s] serious concerns over infringements of fundamental liberties,” regarding privacy and freedom of movement, and called the provision part of a “slide into heavy-handed security.”
French government officials responsible for the bill attempted to downplay the danger it will help to create a surveillance state. Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti claimed that the law would only affect “dozens of cases a year,” and stated that Franc is “far away from the totalitarianism of 1984 [George Orwell’s dystopian novel].”
He insisted that “people’s lives will be saved” through the new surveillance law.
The legislation allowing police to remotely access devices opens the door for the state to legally spy on its citizens in a broader manner. The French government, led by globalist and WEF “Young Global Leader” Emmanuel Macron, appears to be using the recent migrant riots to push for more digital surveillance and censorship. A day before the new surveillance bill passed, Macron suggested cutting off access to social media as a response to the violence on the streets of France.