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Demonstrators hold placards reading 'Stop to Mass Surveillance' and 'Members of Parliament Protect our Freedom', during a gathering in Paris, to protest against the emergency government surveillance law, May 4, 2015. (AP/FRANCOIS MORI)
After months of heated debate, a controversial surveillance law was approved by the French parliament on Friday. The bill, which had been in the pipeline for some time, was rushed through in the wake of January's Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, which left 17 people dead.
Many human rights organisations, along with the United Nations, are criticising the bill for its sweeping surveillance powers, warning it would allow for intrusive measures, including eavesdropping and computer-hacking. The law would also empower Prime Minister Manuel Valls to authorize surveillance in any circumstance deemed necessary to protect France's foreign policy interests.
@manuelvalls: France now has a secure framework against terrorism and respect of freedoms. It's a breakthrough!