France's top court backs controversial surveillance bill
Published 24/07/2015 | 11:37
France's Constitutional Council has ruled that a bill legalising broad surveillance of terrorism suspects does not violate the country's constitution.
The decision was the final step before the law can come into effect.
The bill was proposed long before the January attacks in Paris by Islamic extremists, but the government said that had added to its urgency.
One measure will force communication and internet firms to allow intelligence services to install electronic "lock-boxes" to record metadata from all web users in France, allowing algorithmic analysis to detect potentially suspicious behaviour.
The data will be anonymous, but intelligence agents could follow up with a request to an independent panel for deeper surveillance that could identify users.
The measure has drawn harsh criticism from advocates of civil liberties.