French Parliament approves Net censorship

Paris, February 11th, 2010 - During the debate over the French security bill (LOPPSI), the government opposed all the amendments seeking to minimize the risks attached to filtering Internet sites. The refusal to make this measure experimental and temporary shows that the executive could not care less about its effectivity to tackle online child pornography or about its disastrous consequences. This measure will allow the French government to take control of the Internet, as the door is now open to the extension of Net filtering.

The refusal to enact Net filtering as an experimental measure is a proof of the ill-intended objective of the government. Making Net filtering a temporary measure would have shown that it is uneffective to fight child pornography.

As the recent move1 of the German government shows, only measures tackling the problem at its roots (by deleting the incriminated content from the servers; by attacking financial flows) and the reinforcement of the means of police investigators can combat child pornography.

Moreover, whereas the effectivity of the Net filtering provision cannot be proven, the French government refuses to take into account the fact that over-blocking - i.e the "collateral censorship" of perfectly lawful websites - is inevitable2. Net filtering can now be extended to other areas, as President Sarkozy promised to the pro-HADOPI ("Three-Strikes" law) industries3.

"Protection of childhood is shamelessly exploited by Nicolas Sarkozy to implement a measure that will lead to collateral censorship and very dangerous drifts. After the HADOPI comes the LOPPSI: the securitarian machinery of the government is being deployed in an attempt to control the Internet at the expense of freedoms", concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.

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