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Net filtering

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.

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).

Freedoms Online in France: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

Paris, 28 February 2013 — Following an intergovernmental seminar on digital policy [fr], French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced a law “on the protection of digital rights and freedoms” for early 2014. While this announcement offers hope for the defense of freedoms online, recent statements made by members of the French government suggest it is not yet ready to break away from the repressive trend initiated by its predecessors.

Commission's Plan for Online Gambling: Risk of Anti-Democratic Censorship, Again

Paris, 24 October 2012 – While the European Commission sets out an action plan for online gambling, La Quadrature du Net warns about the risk of Internet content censorship, and urges Member States's governments to refuse the instrumentalisation of child protection for unacceptable measures.

EU Governments Push Global Alliance for Net Censorship

Paris, June 8th, 2012 - In an unanimous decision, EU Member States have decided to promote website censorship at the global scale under the pretext of tackling child pornography. This dangerous initiative must be denounced by lawmakers and citizens: Europe cannot give up on its commitment to the rule of law by legitimizing Net censorship internationally.

Net Filtering Violates the Rule of Law

Last year, in their decision regarding the controversial LOPPSI bill, French constitutional judges held that Article 4 of the bill, which allows the French government to censor the Internet under the pretext of fighting child pornography, is not contrary to the Constitution. In doing so, the French constitutional court failed to protect fundamental freedoms on the Internet, and in particular freedom of expression. Hope now lies with European institutions, the only ones with the power to prohibit such administrative website blocking and its inherent risks of abuse.

Online Copyright: EU Court of Justice Rules Out Private and Automatic Censorship

Paris, February 16th, 2012 – The European Court of Justice rendered another decision in defence of freedoms online. In the SABAM vs. Netlog case, it declares that forcing a hosting service to monitor and filter online content violates EU law. This is a crucial and timely ruling, just when initiatives such as ACTA and the revision of the IPRED directive aim to generalise private and automatic online censorship to enforce an outdated copyright regime.

EU Court of Justice: Censorship in Name of Copyright Violates Fundamental Rights

Paris, November 24th, 2011 — The European Court of Justice just rendered a historic decision in the Scarlet Extended case, which is crucial for the future of rights and freedoms on the Internet. The Court ruled that forcing Internet service providers to monitor and censor their users' communications violated EU law, and in particular the right to freedom of communication. At a time of all-out offensive in the war against culture sharing online, this decision suggests that censorship measures requested by the entertainment industry are disproportionate means to enforce an outdated copyright regime. Policy-makers across Europe must take this decision into account by refusing new repressive schemes, such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and engage in a much needed reform of copyright.

The Entire Internet Under Governmental Censorship In France?

Paris, June 15th, 2011 – Information website PC INpact revealed today a draft executive order which would give the French government the power to arbitrarily censor any content or service on the Net. The French government is furthering its policy to control the Internet, in complete disregard of citizens' rights and freedoms.

G8: The Internet Take-Over Goes to Deauville

Paris, May 26th, 2011 – Despite the huge PR campaign surrounding the “eG8 forum”, citizens and civil society must hold their ground to reclaim a free Internet and its social and democratic values. A club of corporation CEOs (Publicis, Facebook, Orange, Google) is going to Deauville, pretending to carry the message of the Internet to the heads of States. There is one answer to this take-over: the Internet is ours!

“eG8 forum”: Governments and Corporations United to Control the Net

Paris, May 24th, 2011 – The “eG8 forum” is a smokescreen behind which hides an alarming alliance of governments attempting to control the Internet and a few corporations making profits from restricting online freedoms1.

  • 1. Every plenary and workshop at the “eG8 forum” is mostly filled with the event's corporate sponsors or officials from the French Government. The few folding chairs, hastily added for a few members of “the civil society”, will not fool anyone.
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