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Justice: the Assembly approves the principle of portable “snitches”

“Very dangerous slope” or “technological adaptation”? A majority of the Assembly in any case approved the article which carries this measure, by 80 votes against 24.

The deputies of the presidential camp, LR and RN voted in favor. Those of Nupes voted against, like the president of the Liot group, Bertrand Pancher.

The article allows the remote activation of mobile phones, computers and other connected objects in two distinct cases.

Within specific frameworks

The first device authorizes geolocation to follow in real time the movements of persons targeted in the context of an investigation for a crime or misdemeanor punishable by at least five years of imprisonment. The Senate wanted to limit this measure to crimes and misdemeanors punishable by ten years’ imprisonment, but the Assembly returned to the government’s version.

The second part allows remote sound and image capture of people targeted this time in cases of terrorism as well as delinquency and organized crime. The capture only concerns “dozens of cases per year”, insists Éric Dupond-Moretti.

The left is upwind against these provisions “of intrusion into private life”, LFI evoking an “authoritarian drift” and recalling the criticisms of lawyers or NGOs. An amendment by the deputy of the presidential camp Naïma Moutchou (Horizons) specifies that the recording must be put in place “when the nature and seriousness of the facts justify it” and “for a duration strictly proportionate” to the objective.

A reinforced arsenal according to the minister

But for the Minister of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti, “there are people whose lives we will save”: “We are far from the totalitarianism of” 1984 “”, the novel by George Orwell.

The presidential camp emphasizes the “guarantees” provided. The capture would be reserved for the “most serious” cases and authorized fifteen days renewable once by the judge of freedoms and detention, and two months renewable by an investigating judge up to a maximum duration of six months.

Éric Dupond-Moretti compares it to the “old technique” of microphones or cameras placed in suspects’ homes. Another argument: the remote triggering of connected devices is already used by “intelligence services”, without the authorization of the judge, who will be essential here.

As for geolocation, it “already exists” with beacons and the demarcation of telephones, for crimes and misdemeanors punishable by at least three years of imprisonment, insists the minister. But the “thugs” remove the beacons and their installation is “dangerous” for the investigator, he continues.


In committee, the deputies had reinforced “safeguards” with more professions “protected” from these investigative techniques: doctors and journalists in addition to lawyers, magistrates and parliamentarians.

Amendments from the left tried in vain to specify that journalists without press cards should also be protected, the minister deeming the precision superfluous.

The LFI group, opposed to the measure as such, however had bailiffs and notaries removed from the “protected” professions by amendment, considering that there was no valid reason for them to be so, and not the rest of the population.

Extension of night searches

In this vast article 3 of the text are also provided for the extension of the use of night searches and the possibility of using a teleconsultation for a medical examination during an extension of police custody.

MPs from several opposition groups tried unsuccessfully to remove the possibility for a judge, under certain conditions, to place under house arrest with electronic monitoring a person who was released from pre-trial detention due to an error of procedure.

Today, only placement under judicial control is possible. “It’s an additional modality,” defended the minister.

“Because of the lack of means of justice, would there be more errors (of procedures) which make you propose to cover irregularities by making them regular? “, replied the communist deputy Elsa Faucillon.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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