The remote activation, for certain investigations, of the microphones and cameras of connected devices pes the course of the Senate

The Senate adopted in first reading, Wednesday, June 7, article 3 of the bill of orientation and programming of justice of the keeper Eric Dupond-Moretti, which brings several modifications to the criminal procedure. One of them crystallizes the concerns of the left, lawyers and ociations.

It plans to authorize the remote triggering of cameras or microphones of computers and other connected devices, such as telephones, without the knowledge of the persons concerned, with two different purposes. On the one hand, real-time geolocation for certain offences. On the other hand, the activation of microphones and cameras to capture sound and images, which would be reserved for cases of terrorism, and delinquency and organized crime.

The Freedom and Digital Observatory (OLN) denounced a “security overkill” allowing to transform any connected object into potential “snitch”. The left has tried without success to completely or partially remove provisions deemed “disproportionate”. It is “the door open to widespread surveillance”said the ecologist Guy Benarroche.

Extension of night searches

“These techniques are already applied”, underlined the minister, but they require the installation of beacons or microphones and cameras, which involves risks for the investigators. The layout is “surrounded by important guarantees”, he added. Its implementation will in particular have to be approved by a judge.

Against the Minister’s advice, the Senate adopted an amendment by the leader of Les Républicains senators, Bruno Retailleau, which provides for limiting the possibility of using geolocation to offenses punishable by at least ten years’ imprisonment, against five years in the original text. The left would have liked to go further, in particular in the explicit protection of journalists, in the same way as lawyers, magistrates or parliamentarians will be.

Article 3 of the bill also provides, among other measures, to extend night searches for the most serious crimes. The Senate has again adopted a government amendment allowing the extension, under certain conditions, of the deadlines for the preliminary investigation.

The World with AFP

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