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France: Hundreds protest surveillance law reforms set to be approved by MPs01:13

France: Hundreds protest surveillance law reforms set to be approved by MPs

France, Paris
May 4, 2015 at 01:01 GMT +00:00 · Published

Hundreds of activists gathered in Paris on Monday to protest against encroachments on their liberty and asking to for their 'liberties to be protected.' Olivier Besancenot, the founding member of the New Anti-Capitalist Party, addressed the crowd stating that the "French Government had used the attacks for their own interest," with apparent reference to the Charlie Hebdo shootings that took place on January 7. He also praised the nation's response to the attacks, affirming that the "popular reaction has been a commitment to freedom of full expression" and not just mere "freedom of expression."

The protest comes as French MPs are set to vote on a new intelligence bill, which would give new surveillance powers to the state. The draft of the law passed the French Parliament's lower house on April 28, and with the support of both main parties, is expected to be adopted when MPs vote on May 5.

The current intelligence and surveillance laws date back to 1991, with supporters of the reforms arguing that given the fact that 1991 was before mobile phones and the internet became accessible to the masses, it is justified. However, critics, including privacy and human rights experts, are said to be worried that if the reforms are approved, it paves the way for the government to spy on people living in France.

The protest was organised by various trade unions, left-wing parties and charities, including Amnesty International and the League of Human Rights. Some activists held signs urging French deputies to protect their liberty whilst another held aloft George Orwell's dystopian classic '1984'.

France: Hundreds protest surveillance law reforms set to be approved by MPs01:13
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Hundreds of activists gathered in Paris on Monday to protest against encroachments on their liberty and asking to for their 'liberties to be protected.' Olivier Besancenot, the founding member of the New Anti-Capitalist Party, addressed the crowd stating that the "French Government had used the attacks for their own interest," with apparent reference to the Charlie Hebdo shootings that took place on January 7. He also praised the nation's response to the attacks, affirming that the "popular reaction has been a commitment to freedom of full expression" and not just mere "freedom of expression."

The protest comes as French MPs are set to vote on a new intelligence bill, which would give new surveillance powers to the state. The draft of the law passed the French Parliament's lower house on April 28, and with the support of both main parties, is expected to be adopted when MPs vote on May 5.

The current intelligence and surveillance laws date back to 1991, with supporters of the reforms arguing that given the fact that 1991 was before mobile phones and the internet became accessible to the masses, it is justified. However, critics, including privacy and human rights experts, are said to be worried that if the reforms are approved, it paves the way for the government to spy on people living in France.

The protest was organised by various trade unions, left-wing parties and charities, including Amnesty International and the League of Human Rights. Some activists held signs urging French deputies to protect their liberty whilst another held aloft George Orwell's dystopian classic '1984'.