New French Rules Would Expand Surveillance Of Terrorism Suspects

French lawmakers in the lower house of parliament have voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill legalizing a broad surveillance of terrorism suspects. The legislation, which must still be approved by the country's Senate, has been criticized as highly intrusive.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells our Newscast unit:

"One of the most sensitive measures of the bill would allow intelligence services to collect masses of data on regular citizens, which would be subject to analysis for potentially suspicious behavior. Intelligence agents could then follow up with a request for deeper surveillance that could yield the identity of users."

The bill was proposed before the Jan. 7 attack in Paris on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by Islamist extremists. Eleanor says that the measure's sponsors say it "now takes on added urgency with the increasing number of individuals becoming radicalized." Critics say it tramples guarantees for individual freedom and privacy.

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