How France's politicians turned a blind eye to new snooping law


On Tuesday a joint committee of French MPs and senators reached agreement on the final content of the controversial surveillance law, the 'loi renseignement', effectively guaranteeing that it will come into force this summer. The measure is one of the most intrusive laws of its kind anywhere in Europe, giving the French security forces wide-ranging powers to snoop on the population. Yet though the legislation has been bitterly opposed by civil liberties groups, judges, administrative bodies and sections of the digital community, it has been voted through by members of the French Parliament amid general public indifference. Mathieu Magnaudeix reports.

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If politics is the art of not saying what you really think, then Axelle Lemaire is a great politician. For the last three months the junior government minister with responsibility for the digital sector has done her best to keep a low profile in order to avoid having to comment on the French government's new snooping law, the loi renseignement.