A protester holds a placard which reads 'I know they tap my phones' during a rally against the proposed surveillance bill in France. (Reuters/Charles Platiau)

CPJ joins call to oppose draft surveillance law in France

By Geoffrey King/Technology Program Coordinator on October 1, 2015 5:57 PM ET

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined 30 other press freedom and digital rights groups in calling on the French government to reject a draft law on surveillance. The open letter, submitted yesterday to members of parliament, warns against giving authorities greater powers to spy on communications.

The scope of the surveillance proposed in the bill could put journalists at risk by collecting and storing their conversations with sources, and would put the country at odds with international legal norms. The "collect it all" approach that is being suggested is similar to the methods used by the U.S.'s National Security Agency. The National Assembly passed the bill today and it will now go to the Senate for debate, according to The Associated Press.

Organizations including human rights groups Privacy International, Article 19, and Pen International, and digital rights groups the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Access, European Digital Rights, the Center for Democracy & Technology, and the World Wide Web Foundation, are among the signatories.

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

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