The entire world was shocked when terrorists struck at the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. It was seen as an attack on the freedom of expression, something which France has a history of defending and fighting for. Liberty is something sacred to France.
So, it comes as a surprise that France would pass its own version of the Patriot Act. Known as 'Loi Renseignement' or Surveillance act, it gives the police the authority to monitor almost everyone without the need for a warrant.
This law will enable French intelligence services to monitor any calls, text messages, and internet activity of a chosen target, as well as installing hidden cameras in aid of this. There will be no oversight, although authorities have to consult a panel composed of officials in the legislative and judiciary,
in the end they can only advise and recommend a course of action, but authorities can choose not to enforce it.
Understandably, the security of the French people is important, but at what cost? Seems ironic that an attack on a magazine that stands for liberty and freedom is the cause of such a law. More than a 100,000 people had signed a petition against
the act. And Amnesty International has called it "a major blow to human rights in France.".
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is standing by the Act, tweeting out in french that "France now has a security framework against terrorism that respects liberties."https://twitter.com/manuelvalls/status/624334876964179969