French lawmakers pass sweeping surveillance law following terror attacks

Police in France
(Image credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Four months after terror attacks rocked France, the lower house of the nation's parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would broaden the government's spy powers. The bill, which passed by a 438 to 86 vote, heads to the Senate where it is expected to easily pass as well.

Drafted days after gunmen killed 17 people in separate attacks — including one on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdothe bill would allow intelligence agencies to tap phones and monitor email accounts without first obtaining permission from a judge. It would also compel internet service providers to hand over user data upon request. Critics contend the bill is an unnecessary encroachment on liberty, likening it to America's Patriot Act.

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