World

France's govt wants emergency surveillance powers in case of exceptional threat

  • FILE- This Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 file photo shows people gathering in solidarity of the victims of a terror attack against a satirical newspaper, in Paris, France. France’s prime minister Manuel Valls called for the introduction in an intelligence bill of an emergency procedure allowing the government to use surveillance powers with no delay in case of exceptional threat. The measure would be used only “in case of major crisis affecting the citizens’ security”, Valls said Monday in a speech at France’s lower house of Parliament. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

    FILE- This Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 file photo shows people gathering in solidarity of the victims of a terror attack against a satirical newspaper, in Paris, France. France’s prime minister Manuel Valls called for the introduction in an intelligence bill of an emergency procedure allowing the government to use surveillance powers with no delay in case of exceptional threat. The measure would be used only “in case of major crisis affecting the citizens’ security”, Valls said Monday in a speech at France’s lower house of Parliament. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This Dec. 22, 2010 file photo, shows a building of France's secretive international spy agency, the DGSE, in Paris France. France’s prime minister Manuel Valls called for the introduction in an intelligence bill of an emergency procedure allowing the government to use surveillance powers with no delay in case of exceptional threat. The measure would be used only “in case of major crisis affecting the citizens’ security”, Valls said Monday in a speech at France’s lower house of Parliament. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

    FILE - This Dec. 22, 2010 file photo, shows a building of France's secretive international spy agency, the DGSE, in Paris France. France’s prime minister Manuel Valls called for the introduction in an intelligence bill of an emergency procedure allowing the government to use surveillance powers with no delay in case of exceptional threat. The measure would be used only “in case of major crisis affecting the citizens’ security”, Valls said Monday in a speech at France’s lower house of Parliament. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)  (The Associated Press)

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is calling for the government to be granted emergency surveillance powers in case of an exceptional threat.

In a speech in Parliament, Valls urged a new intelligence bill for extraordinary measures that would be used only "in case of major crisis affecting the citizens' security." The law would allow intelligence services to use surveillance powers without submitting a request to an independent nine-person panel, as normally required.

Lawmakers on Monday started debating a bill aimed at legalizing broad surveillance of terrorism suspects, three months after the deadly Paris attacks. The proposal caused an outcry from some privacy advocates, human rights groups and the Paris bar association, despite the government's efforts to distance itself from U.S.-style mass surveillance.