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Victory for the Exegetes Amateurs! French Surveillance Overturned by Constitutional Council

Paris, 21 October 2016 — The French Constitutional Council overturned this morning the article of the 2015 French Surveillance Law on radio surveillance. Following a Priority Preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality (QPC)1 submitted by the Exegetes Amateurs (FDN Federation, FDN and La Quadrature du Net and the Igwan.net NGO), this is a clear victory for advocates of privacy against the disproportionate surveillance promoted by Manuel Valls's government. La Quadrature du Net is happy with this decision, which comes into immediate effect (although deploring the extended time allowed the legislature to comply with this decision in the long term), and calls on all citizens concerned with civil liberties to support the tireless judicial and technical work accomplished with our friends at FDN and the FDN Federation.

  • 1. This action is a French Constitutional Law procedure allowing parties involved in a pending case to ask the Constitutional Council to check the constitutionality of laws related to the case at hand.

Terrorism Directive: European Parliament to Cowardly Surrender to Outrageous Security Call

Paris, 28 September 2016 — For a few months, the European Parliament has been discussing a directive aimed at updating the European legislation on combating terrorism. After a vote in the LIBE Committee, MEPs agreed to send the text directly to a trialogue discussion; this reduces opportunities for a democratic debate on an issue that bears strong consequences for fundamental rights.
Today, Wednesday 28 September, the third trialogue between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union is to take place. Faced with the deadlock organised by European institutions, La Quadrature du Net emphasises the dangers of this text.

Status of the hyperlink: (hyper) disappointing decision of the ECJ

Paris, 8 September 2016 – The European Court of Justice published today an important decision on the legal status of hypertext links, a key element of the Web. Sadly, it has chosen to discard the conclusion of the General Attorney, by ruling that posting a link to content illegally published online is a copyright infraction. This jurisprudence has contributed to weaken hyperlinks and how the Web works, at a moment were the European Commission is also questioning the liberty to link.

La Quadrature du Net supports Reporters Without Borders against the German Surveillance Law

Paris, 12 august 2016 – La Quadrature du Net supports Reporters Without Borders with its action against the German bill on BND surveillance, which would allow the German foreign intelligence service to spy on foreign journalists. This bill is a direct attack on freedom of information, and thus undermines democracy and fundamental rights. German MPs must refuse to yield on values that they would defend for their own country just as well as foreign surveillance is concerned. Fundamental rights cannot simply be accommodated whenever convenient.

Directive on Terrorism: The EU on a Security and Post-Democratic Drift?

Paris, 5 July 2016 — Yesterday evening, the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) adopted the draft Directive on Combating Terrorism proposed by the European Commission by 41 votes to 4 with 10 abstentions. The EPP (conservative) Rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier had turned the directive into a text that will give credence to the worst anti-terrorism and surveillance laws from across the European Union. She clearly bowed under pressure from the French Government (FR), who is seeking to whitewash its own controversial laws regarding surveillance and websites censorship at the European level. La Quadrature du Net denounces this "europeanisation" of extrajudicial surveillance and censorship, all the more considering that the process surrounding the directive is in and of itself a staggering denial of democracy: Indeed, the draft Directive will be further discussed in secret trialogue negotiations, which will preclude any substantial amendment during the plenary debate of the European Parliament. Under the guise of security, the European Union is undermining its own fundamental values.

Encryption and human rights: La Quadrature du Net takes part in a UN conference

Paris, 14 June 2016 — La Quadrature du Net is participating at the panel "Encryption and Human Rights" organised at the United Nations by the Committee Justice and Peace of the Dominican Order. This conference will talk about the right to encryption and to privacy in a time where in Europe, those rights are at regularly at risk. The video of this conference will be available on the Mediakit of La Quadrature du Net.

Directive on Terrorism: The European Parliament against our freedoms

Paris, 1st June 2016 — Far from the French and European media spotlights, a draft directive on terrorism is being discussed at the European Parliament and will be voted on 15 June. This directive, aiming to frame the European counter-terrorism policies and laws, is crucial for Europeans to enjoy their fundamental rights.
But the current political discussions and negotiations would lead to widespread fiasco on freedoms and to an alignment of the worst policies violating civil rights, especially on the Internet, through censorship and surveillance. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) must redress the balance and strengthen the safeguards provided for the European citizens.

Copyright in Europe: Minimal Reform to Avoid Crucial Questions

Paris, 9 December 2015 — Today, the European Commission has presented its proposal to reform copyright law in the European Union. This package includes a proposal for a regulation on portability of online services, as well as a communication to announcing future reforms to follow in 2016. The European Commission has thus confirmed that it does not wish to reopen the file on the InfoSoc directive 1, reflecting its reluctance and lack of ambition on this issue.

  • 1. Directive 2001/29/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society

Letter to MEPs of LIBE Committee: Do Not Jeopardize Our Freedom of Speech!

Paris, 19 October 2015 – On Monday afternoon, members of the European Parliament's LIBE Committee will vote on the Dati report on the “prevention of radicalisation and recruitment of European citizens by terrorist organisations”. This report contains dangerous provisions, which aim to make online platforms and hosts responsible for the distribution of messages glorifying terrorism, creating a high risk of pre-emptive censorship. Such provisions severely threaten European citizens' freedom of speech.

Surveillance: We Must Support Netzpolitik Against the German Government Pressure!

Paris, 15 July 2015 — La Quadrature du Net strongly condemns the attempts to intimidate the German website Netzpolitik, accused of treason by the German court for publishing documents revealing the extension of Internet surveillance by the German secret services. La Quadrature du Net supports the German activists being pressured by the authorities for defending fundamental freedoms.

French Surveillance Bill: LQDN Files an Amicus Brief to the Constitutional Court

Paris, 25 June, 2015 — This morning, La Quadrature du Net, French Data Network and the FDN Federation filed an amicus brief to the French Constitutional Court against the Surveillance Act that was just adopted yesterday by the Parliament. The three organizations, who have opposed the French Surveillance Bill since its adoption by the government on March 19th, will now continue their fight against this dangerous law in court.

France in the Era of Mass Surveillance! We must resist!

Paris, 24 June 2015 — It's a sad day for freedom! French representatives just adopted the French Surveillance Law. As an ironic echo to the recent WikiLeaks revelations about NSA spying on French political authorities, this vote calls for a new type of resistance for citizens.

French Surveillance Bill: a Major Defeat for Liberties

Paris, 19 June 2015 — The Commission Mixte Paritaire — a joint parliamentary committee responsible for reaching a compromise between the lower and upper house — met on 16th June to reach an agreement on the final version on the Surveillance Bill, between the version approved by the National Assembly on 5th May, and the one approved by the Senate on 9th June. However, a last minute change modified deeply the spirit of the Bill and its application on French territory. La Quadrature du Net regrets this umpteenth anti-democratic procedure and renews its call to French representatives to reject this text during the final vote on the 23rd and 24th June.

Promote Strong Encryption and Anonymity in the Digital Age

Paris, 18 June 2015 — The undersigned civil society organizations (including La Quadrature du Net) and independent experts work to promote human rights and press freedom online. We welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression on the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communication (A/HRC/29/32), which was presented at the UN Human Rights Council on June 17.

French Surveillance Bill: Public Liberties Abandoned as Senators Cast Disastrous Vote

Paris, 9 June 2015 – The Surveillance Bill was adopted today by the French Senate with 251 votes for, 68 against and 26 abstentions. This bill was fast tracked and discussed under the pressure of a government wielding the argument of an extreme terrorist risk to impose massive spying of the French population with expansive purposes. It will put France under a surveillance all at once diffuse, intrusive, indiscriminate and without effective control. La Quadrature du Net bitterly regrets the blindness of the French Parliamentarians and calls on citizens not to give up on their liberties.

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