Remember the « ce n’est pas illégal, c’est a-légal » episode ? That is what the French government is claiming that the surveillance laws being voted are about : no new surveillance powers – just giving a legal framework to the existing illegal ones… Which are implicitly confessed by the way. So thanks – I guess we should feel happy that open bar surveillance will soon be done entirely legally instead of illegally !

By the way, there was no question of judicial oversight : “in the context of the antiterror fight, day to day, it’s impossible”… Using the T word to steamroll objections never gets old it seems – and judicial oversight is such a drag on productivity that we should be thankful for the savings that foregoing it will bring to the French budget.

That claim by intelligence agencies that judicial oversight would slow them too much to catch the bad guys  comes up every time, but it is just as exaggerated as the terrorist thread, as the White House’s “Report and Recommendations of The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies” attests last week (page 104):

Our review suggests that the information contributed to terrorist investigations by the use of section 215 telephony meta-data was not essential to preventing attacks and could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional section 215 orders.

Oh – and here is a picture of François Hollande expressing support to Brazil’s Dilma Roussef in her crusade against Internet surveillance. No, I don’t understand either.

When even the USians frame us as surveillance hypocrites, you know that some soul searching is long overdue.