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the Constitutional Council censors the remote activation of mobile phones

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The measure constitutes “an attack” on the “right to respect for private life” which “cannot be considered proportionate to the aim pursued,” say the Sages in a press release.

The Constitutional Council censored on Thursday, November 16, one of the most sensitive measures in Eric Dupond-Moretti’s justice bill: the remote activation of mobile phones and electronic devices to listen to and film people targeted in the certain investigations.

The measure is “infringement” At “right to respect for private life” Who “cannot be considered proportionate to the aim pursued», Estimate the Sages in a press release. The Council, however, validated the use of this technique for geolocation. During the examination of these measures in the Assembly, the left rebelled against these provisions “intrusion into privacy», LFI evoking a “authoritarian drift» and recalling the criticisms of lawyers or NGOs.

The deputies of La France insoumise (LFI) filed an appeal before the Constitutional Council after the adoption of this law on October 11. By censoring remote video and audio capture, the Sages emphasize that the measure “allows the recording, in any place where the connected device owned by a private person may be located, including residential places, of words and images concerning both the people targeted by the investigations and third parties“. They see “a particularly significant violation of the right to respect for private life“.

A technique already used

The government intended to authorize this new investigation technique in cases of terrorism, delinquency and organized crime. The left had denounced a “very dangerous slope”, or even a “authoritarian drift», in the wake of criticism from NGOs and lawyers.

This concerns “dozens of cases per year“, which is “far from the totalitarianism of 1984”, the novel by George Orwell, replied Eric Dupond-Moretti. The Minister of Justice compared the measure to “old technique» microphones or cameras placed on suspects. Above all, he highlighted that remote triggering of connected devices is already used by “intelligence services», without the authorization of the judge, which must have been essential here.

This partial censorship comes on the day the minister’s trial has just ended before the Court of Justice of the Republic, pending the decision scheduled for November 29, for suspicion of illegal taking of interests, which he contests. . On October 11, Parliament largely adopted its programming bill with the support of the right and the far right, and the abstention of the socialists.

For “halve» judicial delays, this text promises a Justice budget of nearly 11 billion euros in 2027, compared to 9.6 in 2023, and the hiring of 10,000 people in five years, including 1,500 magistrates and 1,800 clerks. The Constitutional Council validated another provision contested by LFI: the expanded possibilities of carrying out night searches.

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