It was almost a fait accompli that the early January terror attacks in Paris would draw a reaction from the government. The home of liberté, égalité, fraternité will be buying new weaponry and protective gear for its police, hiring more spooks and creating a database of citizens that need to be tracked. These sweeping new measures are meant to counter homegrown terrorism which reared its ugly head this month. Total anti-terrorism cost France is expected to 425 million euros over the next three years.
France has repeatedly strengthened its counterterrorism laws over the years, including a measure passed in November that focused on preventing French extremists from joining fighters abroad. Another measure — expected to be activated in the coming weeks — would allow authorities to ask Internet service providers to block sites that glorify terrorism.
Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, head of France’s national data protection agency CNIL, told reporters Wednesday her agency would insist that any additional snooping privileges for France’s intelligence services should only be allowed if they are matched by greater protections for personal data. (CBC News)