France Adopts Controversial Spy Bill

France Adopts Controversial Spy BillFrance Adopts Controversial Spy Bill

The French senate has adopted an anti-terrorism bill that grants sweeping powers to French intelligence services despite strong criticism from rights groups.

The bill was adopted Tuesday by 345 votes in favor, while six senators rejected it. The same bill was backed earlier by French Members of Parliament during a vote on May 5, World Bulletin reported.

According to the bill, French intelligence agencies will now have the power to get real-time access to anyone in France’s data connection, email content, key logins, phone and mobile geo-location data without seeking permission from a judge.

French Internet rights group La Quadrature du Net strongly denounced the bill and feared it would create a French version of the infamous US intelligence body, the NSA.

“This law was discussed urgently and under the pressure of government, using the extreme risk of terrorism to impose mass espionage on the French population for broad aims,” the group said in a statement after the vote.

The bill is now expected to be signed into law by the French president within 15 days.

The controversial law comes in the backdrop of deadly attacks in France, including the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January and reports that several French citizens have traveled abroad to join extremist groups such as IS.