Strengthened control of those leaving prison, increased use of algorithms: Parliament adopted, Thursday, July 22, a bill strengthening the measures “Anti-terrorism” and intelligence.
The text was voted by 108 votes against 20 and three abstentions in final reading by the National Assembly, which thus validates it on behalf of Parliament. The Minister for Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa, welcomed the “Broad consensus on the majority of the planned measures”.
The deputies of La France insoumise (LFI), supported by the communist group, failed to pass a final motion of prior rejection. The Socialists also voted against this text. On the right, Les Républicains (LR) lamented, through the voice of Raphaël Schellenberger, that the text only includes “Some patches”, but voted it on behalf of the “French security”.
This vote precedes that of the bill against the “Separatism” Islamist, which includes multiple security provisions. The final adoption of this text was postponed from Thursday to Friday due to ongoing debates on the bill providing new measures to fight the Covid-19 epidemic.
Avoid “dry outings”
The bill on “Prevention of acts of terrorism and intelligence” adopted Thursday brings into common law emblematic but experimental provisions of the law on “Internal security and the fight against terrorism” from 2017.
These include in particular individual administrative control and surveillance measures, which may be extended to two cumulative years for certain prisoners convicted of terrorism who have served their sentence. This is to avoid “Dry outings” detention for people “Still showing extremely worrying profiles”, underlined the rapporteur Raphaël Gauvain (The Republic on the move).
On Wednesday, in a last standstill, the Senate dominated by the right-wing opposition had reintroduced its changes made at first reading. The senatorial majority defended another position on the methods of monitoring people convicted of acts of terrorism leaving prison. For the rapporteur of the Senate Law Commission, Philippe Daubresse (LR), “The divergence concerns the means of ensuring this monitoring in an effective and legally sound manner”.
The intelligence component intends to draw the consequences of the technological and legal developments of the last five years. It perpetuates the so-called algorithm technique: automated processing of Internet connection and browsing data, thanks to the cooperation of access providers, in order to identify risky profiles.
For LFI, Ugo Bernalicis argued on this subject that the “Scandal” spyware Pegasus shows the possible abuses of these technologies.
The text also includes a controversial article reforming access to classified archives. It plans to liberalize access to certain archives for study and research purposes but introduces in return, for the most sensitive documents, exceptions to the fifty-year period provided for declassification, arousing the ire of historians and senators from different sides, left and center.