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France Implements Administrative Net Censorship

Paris, February 6, 2015 - After review by the French Cabinet last Wednesday, the implementation decree for the administrative blocking of child pornography and terrorist websites was published today.

Open Letter to the World’s Governments in the Wake of Attack on Charlie Hebdo

La Quadrature du Net reposts here an co-signed letter by a number of European associations calling on world's political leaders to protect privacy and human rights in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

Paris, 30 January 2015 – In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, the undersigned call on our political world leaders to uphold international human rights. It is more important than ever that our governments work to protect journalists, activists and members of the public, without increasing the scope and scale of government intrusions into our private lives.

In 2015, More Than Ever, Fighting For Our Freedoms Is Our Mission

Paris, 28 January 2015 – On the occasion of the European Data Privacy Day, the Observatoire des Libertés et du Numérique (Freedoms and Digital Observatory) recalls on its first year's work and reminds us that privacy is more crucial now than ever. As the terrorist attacks on early January provide an excuse to give in to the temptation of mass surveillance, the OLN reasserts its commitment to contest a society turned against citizens' privacy and freedoms, based on mistrust and surveillance.

New Measures Against Terrorism: No Doublespeaking On Liberties!

Paris, January 26, 2015 — After the attacks of 7 and 9 January, French Prime Minister Valls announced this morning a series of measures to "fight against terrorism". Given this long speech evoking increased information retention and surveillance, La Quadrature du Net recalls that many recent announcements prepare a further decline of civil liberties on the Internet, and calls for greater political and citizen alertness on the measures to be implemented.

#CharlieHebdo: No to Securitarian Instrumentalisation

Paris, 9 January, 2015 —Without even waiting for the end of investigations on the despicable attack against Charlie Hebdo on January 7th, the French government is set on increasing the counter-terrorist arsenal, first by notifying Brussels the decree implementing “terrorists” or child pornography websites blockade but also by announcing new counter-terrorism measures. La Quadrature du Net calls on citizens to reject this absurd escalation and to show determination in defending freedom of expression and information.

Open Letter: Proposed Trade Secrets Directive Risks EU Health, Environment, Free Speech And Mobility

Paris, 16 December 2014 — A couple of days before the European Council summit where will be discussed European economy and social policy, La Quadrature du Net signs an open letter written by Health Action International Europe against the directive's project on trade secrets. Initiated by the business community, put forward by the Member States and the European Commission, it gives the possibility for private companies to sue any person that "unlawfully acquires, uses or discloses" the "trade secrets". Whistleblowers are poorly protected in this text, the directive creates a judiciary insecurity as it will dissuade from leaking from private companies. It participates to a movement reinforcing secrets, perceptible on the legislative and jurisprudential plan, against the claims of transparency coming from the civil society, and constitutes in this respect an unacceptable anti-democratic drift.

"Right To Be Forgotten": Privacy Watchdogs Turning Censors of the Net

Paris, 2 December 2014 — Here is La Quadrature du Net's reaction to the publication of the European Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) guidelines on the so-called "Right To Be Forgotten".

Oettinger's Hearing: All for the Industry, Nothing for Citizens

Paris, 30 September 2014 — The European Union's “Digital Agenda” should not only be about digits and economy. It is also about rights and freedom. After several hours of hearing of Günther Oettinger, the designated EU Commissioner for the “Digital Economy and Society”, one question remains unanswered: what about the protection of fundamental rights in the digital environment?

France Adopts Anti-Terror Law Eroding Civil Liberties

Paris, 22 September 2014 — Last week, a nearly empty French lower house (National Assembly) voted with a large majority in favour of the “bill strengthening provisions on the fight against terrorism”. In an atmosphere heavy with “apocalyptic” anxiety and speeches on the terrorist threat – particularly online –, interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and rapporteur Sébastien Pietrasanta wore down all opposition, blocking any further thought on the serious breaches of the Rule of Law contained in this bill.

France's New Anti-Terror Bill: All Presumed Terrorist Until Proven Guilty?

Paris, 22 July 2014 — The proposed French anti-terrorism law [fr] presented by Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior of the Valls government, was discussed by the committee on legal affairs of the French National Assembly today and will next be discussed in plenary session in September. It introduces deeply anti-democratic measures that presume a person's guilt and attempt to prevent intention rather than actions, bypassing judiciary control in the name of the fight against terrorism.

The Right to be Forgotten: Don't Forget the Rule of Law!

Paris, 10 July 2014 — On 10 July, the Working Group on Information Exchange and Data Protection (DAPIX), in charge of the General Data Protection Regulation, worked on the regulation's Article 17, the “Right to be forgotten and erasure”. In this framework, the legislator must consider the harm to freedom of expression and information, harm which the law currently makes possible, and provide citizens with procedures that safeguard that freedom.

Civil Society Calls on the ECHR's Grand Chamber to Overturn Delfi v. Estonia Ruling

Paris, 15 January 2014 — Last October, the European Court of Human Rights issued a ruling against an Estonian news portal (“Delfi”), making the platform liable for defamatory comments posted by third users. This ruling threatens to encourage privatised censorship and to severely undermine public debate online. From a legal perspective, as NGO Article 19 wrote at the time, “this judgment displays a profound failure to understand the EU legal framework regulating intermediary liability. In addition, it conveniently ignores relevant international standards in the area of freedom of expression on the Internet”. Many organizations and companies all across Europe have sent the following letter to the ECHR's president to support Delfi's appeal to the Court's “Grand Chamber”, which still has the power to overturn this dangerous ruling.

Snowden Should Get the Sakharov Prize

Open letter by 23 European organisations in support of Snowden's nomination for the Sakharov prize

Today, 23 European non-governmental organisations released an open letter to the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament in support of Edward Snowden's nomination for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2013.

[UPDATE: The Sakharov prize 2013 was awarded to Malala Yousafzai]

European Parliament Must Vote (Again) Against Censorship

UPDATE: The text adopted on 10 September 2013 by the European Parliament "recommends the exchange of best practices between Member States on enforcement measures – such as on establishing white and black lists of illegal gambling websites", but no longer mentions censorship measure. Although the choice of MEPs could be seen as inconsistent, it is still a victory for citizens and for freedom of expression.

Paris, 9 September 2013 – During a plenary vote scheduled for 10 September 2013, the European Parliament will vote on a report of Ashley Fox (ECR - UK) on “Online gambling in the internal market”. On behalf of such laudable goals as child protection, fight against money laundering and addiction to gambling, the report calls for the setting up of dangerous online censorship. Thus, La Quadrature du Net warns the Members of the European Parliament and urges citizens to contact their representatives to ask them to remain opposed to these anti-democratic measures during the vote of tomorrow (by supporting the split vote on §19 - 1st part).

Net Neutrality Neutralised in France?

Paris, 12 March 2013 — Questioned by the French government on the need to legislate on the protection of freedoms on the Internet, the National Digital Council (Conseil national du numérique or CNNum) published today an opinion on Net neutrality1 [fr]. It recommends that the French government makes this principle of non-discrimination into law, broadening its scope to include search engines and other online services. But by overbroadening the neutrality principle, the CCNum's recommendations could result in a meaningless law.

  • 1. Net neutrality, or network neutrality, is a founding principle of the Internet which guarantees that telecoms operators do not discriminate online content, services or applications, be it according to the source, the recipient, or the nature of the information being transmitted. This principle ensures that all users, whatever their resources, access the same and whole network, and makes freedom of communication and innovation possible.
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