France’s new security law


Paris has been rocked by street protests after the government introduced a controversial security bill in parliament that seeks to provide greater powers and protections for police officers.

  • The proposed law, being pushed by President Emmanuel Macron, is being opposed by civil rights liberties groups, journalists and migrant activists.
  • Three articles of the bill, which have caused controversy, concern enabling the police to organise ground and air mass surveillance, while at the same time restricting the filming of police officers.
  • Articles 21 and 22 of the proposed “global security” law allow the police and the gendarmes (paramilitary forces) to use body cameras and drones to film citizens, and allow the recorded footage to be livestreamed to the command post. 
  • Article 24 penalises publishing “the image of the face or any other element of identification” of a police or paramilitary official who is acting in “a police operation”, if the dissemination is done with “the intent of harming their physical or mental integrity”. Punishment for the crime will be imprisonment for up to 1 year, with a maximum fine of 45,000 euros.
  • Those opposed to the new law have decried what they describe as the hardening of police response to protests in recent years, especially after the Yellow Vest demonstrations of 2018.
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