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French privacy advocates protest new spying laws


Several hundred people have gathered in front of the National Assembly in Paris in protest over a new bill that would grant French intelligence agencies more power to track suspected jihadists-to-be, thus potentially jeopardizing online privacy.

Protesters, holding signs “#UnfollowMe”, “Protect our freedoms” and “I am tapped” gathered in the center of the French capital to voice their concern over a bill that was debated in parliament on Monday.

The new legislation turned out to be controversial among civil liberties advocates, as well as France as a whole.

“The bill as it stands is vague, risks abuse and casts the net of surveillance disproportionately wide,” said deputy director at Amnesty International Gauri van Gulik, as cited by Reuters, warning that it might be a step “toward a surveillance state.”

Rights groups united under the banner of The Observatory of Digital Freedoms denounced the proposed bill as “wrongly being presented as…anti-terrorism” while it instead “gives intelligence services massive surveillance powers without any controls.”