Le Monde: ‘France Set to Allow Police to Spy Through Phones’

Le Monde:

French police should be able to spy on suspects by remotely activating the camera, microphone and GPS of their phones and other devices, lawmakers agreed late on Wednesday, July 5. Part of a wider justice reform bill, the spying provision has been attacked by both the left and rights defenders as an authoritarian snoopers’ charter, though Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti insists it would affect only “dozens of cases a year.”

Covering laptops, cars and other connected objects as well as phones, the measure would allow the geolocation of suspects in crimes punishable by at least five years’ jail. Devices could also be remotely activated to record sound and images of people suspected of terror offenses, as well as delinquency and organized crime.

It’s unclear from this article whether the law would simply allow police to try to do this, using security exploits to plant malware on targets’ devices, or if France is going to mandate that all devices include back doors to enable it. Either way, good luck with that. The way the article is written, it’s made to seem that the police have the technical ability to just do this. They don’t.

Friday, 7 July 2023