Menu
French surveillance law is unconstitutional after all, highest court says

French surveillance law is unconstitutional after all, highest court says

Giving government spies unfettered access to everyone's wireless communications is not such a good idea after all

The French Constitutional Council has taken another look at a new security law it waved through in July 2015, and found it wanting.

A key clause of last year's Surveillance Law essentially allowed security agencies to monitor and control wireless communications without the usual oversight applied to wiretapping operations.

This is unconstitutional as the lack of oversight is likely to result in a disproportionate invasion of privacy, the council ruled Friday. It was responding to a complaint filed by La Quadrature du Net (LQDN), an association campaigning for online rights, the ISP French Data Network (FDN) and the Federation of Non-Profit ISPs.

The complainants welcomed the decision, saying it "deprived intelligence services of a legal cover unleashing all kinds of illegal surveillance measures," and showed how precise and persistent work can still change the law even after an unfortunate vote. "This is an encouragement to keep fighting for the protection of freedoms and the rule of law," they said.

The spies needn't worry just yet, however: Rather than strike out the offending clause immediately and put an end to the bulk collection of radio communications, the council has given the government over a year in which to pass new legislation making their operations legal. In the meantime, the spies will have to keep the National Commission for the Control of Surveillance Measures informed of the scope and nature of any surveillance operations conducted under the offending clause.

LQDN said it regretted the extended time given to the legislator to conform to the decision.

In reaching its decision, the Constitutional Council was concerned that the bulk collection of data would allow the unauthorized identification of individual conversations or communications. In addition, the council noted that although the law gave the spies new powers "necessary to protect the fundamental interests of the country," it did not prohibit them from using those powers for other purposes. Finally, the council objected to the way the law granting the new powers contained no definitions of the surveillance and control measures allowed, nor any means for monitoring or challenging their application.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Show Comments