Extremists “are using less and less phone lines and more and more internet connections,” said French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin at a recent press conference. It makes a lot of sense: for one, everyone’s using less phone lines and more internet connections, and in addition, internet conversations can be harder to track down than phones.
After the terrorist attacks in 2015, France started a trial using algorithms to detect terrorist activities online. In 2017, the country passed a law allowing it to monitor instant messaging apps (though actually enforcing it is sometimes a challenge). But this was mostly experimental in nature until now.
The new bill would give France more power to detect potential terrorists, with Darmanin noting that intelligence services will, for instance, be able to spot someone who has accessed extremist websites several times.