France to ratchet up legal capacity to access overseas data

PARIS – France’s government wants to increase the legal tools available to demand data from overseas tech companies during cybercrime investigations.

In a speech Tuesday, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the measure would be introduced next week. It would expand the criteria allowing France to quickly access data for cybercrimes committed overseas if the victim is in France.

Cazeneuve also called for the European Union to adopt rules already in place in France that allows the government to block websites it believes recruit extremist fighters or encourage terrorism. In December, the EU launched an “internet forum” to detect and counter harmful material online. But the program is voluntary — a public-private partnership that includes the union’s 28 interior ministers, major Internet firms, Europol, the EU’s counterterrorism co-ordinator and the European Parliament.