France adopts anti-terrorism law

By EDRi · January 18, 2006

In November 23, the anti-terrorist draft law proposed by the Ministry on
Internal Affairs of France, Nicolas Sarzoky was voted by a large majority of
the deputies of the National Assembly. The law facilitates the surveillance
of communications allowing the police to obtain communication data from
telephone operators, Internet Services Providers, Internet cafes. ( see
EDRI-gram 3.18)

In December, the Senate voted also (202 for and 122 against) the law, even
though it was harder than expected. Several members of the socialist and
communist groups sent the law to the Constitutional Council considering that
this law gives a too high power to the Internal Affairs taking at the same
time the issue out of the hands of the judges.

Adopted in an emergency procedure, this law comes after a series of other
laws such as the law on the Daily Security meant to prevent terrorist acts.
The law creates serious concerns to the advocates for public freedoms as
well as to the magistrates.

The text of the law states that Internet Service Providers, Internet cafes,
hosting providers and operators must communicate the traffic data, called
numbers, IP addresses to specialised services in case of investigations
related to suspect terrorist activities. Mobile phone operators and internet
cafes will be required to keep records of client connections for one year
under its provisions. The law also gives the possibility to use surveillance
cameras in public spaces such as train stations, churches and mosques,
shops, factories or nuclear plants.

This procedure ignores the magistrates and needs no judge involvement thus
creating a sort of administrative police and ignoring all the guarantees
related to public freedoms.

According to CNIL this law and its provisions must be considered as
“exceptional measures taken to respond to an exceptionally serious threat”.
But concerns are that the measures are out of proportion. According to Bruno
Thouzellier, national secretary of the Magistrates Union while true that
certain terrorist groups may use the cybercafe to organize their actions,
the measures taken must be appropriate and “An inquiry
should not involve all or too large a number of traffic data”.

Traffic data retention proposal sent back to the Constitutional Council
French, 26.12.2005)

French parliament adopts tough anti-terrorism law ( 22 12 2005)

Anti-terrorist fight, a draft law and more unknowns (only French,

EDRI-gram 3.18, New French anti-terrorism surveillance plans