Countries in Europe such as Germany and France were appalled when the surveillance friendly Patriot Act passed in the United States. Now France faces its very own law similar to the Patriot Act being pushed in the wake of the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks that took the lives of 17 innocent people.
The new law would allow the French government to collect hoards of metadata similar to the surveillance being done by the NSA. Emails, phone records, internet history and more would be available to French authorities without a warrant. The bill also allows for microphones and antennas capable of intercepting conversations and text messages to be used.
Many advocates of privacy are speaking out against the new law. Even the Editor in Chief at Charlie Hebdo opposes the new legislation. Most see it as an opportunistic law and a power grab that won’t necessarily make anyone any safer against a terrorist attack. Instead innocent people will have their privacy invaded in the name of security.
It’s clear that the government needs to do something. I just don’t think that completely eliminating the right to privacy is the answer. The NSA spy programs in the United States have already been shown to be largely ineffective.
Thanks to my friend, the best Michael Jackson impersonator in the world, Sergio Cortes for showing me this news.