News

La Quadrature Joins the Legal Struggle Against Mass Surveillance

[Update: The ECHR has adjourned the case until after the decision by the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal which might take up to ten months]

Paris, 4 April 2014 — In October 2013, Big Brother Watch, Open Rights Group, English Pen and Constanze Kurz launched a legal challenge1 to the UK's internet surveillance activities before the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the unchecked surveillance through programmes such as PRISM and TEMPORA is a breach of our Right to Privacy. La Quadrature du Net joined a coalition formed to support this legal challenge.

Data Retention: EU Court of Justice Denounces Mandatory Data Retention

Paris, 8 April 2014 — In a judgement issued this morning, the Court of Justice of the European Union opposed itself to the bulk data retention of our online communications by ruling the 2006 European Data Retention Directive invalid. In the midst of the ongoing debate on mass surveillance, this legal decision represents an important step towards regaining our fundamental right to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data.

Net Neutrality: A Great Step Forward for the Free Internet!

Brussels, 3 April 2014 — Today the European Parliament adopted in first reading the Regulation on the Single Telecoms Market (see the vote call). By amending the text with the amendment proposals made by the Social-Democrats (S&D), Greens (Greens/EFA), United Left (GUE/NGL) and Liberals (ALDE), the Members of the European Parliament took a historic step for the protection of Net Neutrality and the Internet commons in the European Union. La Quadrature du Net warmly thanks all citizens, organisations and parliamentarians who took part in this campaign, and calls on them to remain mobilised for the rest of the legislative procedure.

Only a Few Hours Left to Save the Internet!

Brussels, 2 April 2014 — In a few hours the European Parliament will vote on the regulation concerning the European single market for electronic communications. This vote in plenary will be the most important vote on the rights and freedoms of citizens since the rejection of ACTA in July 2012. With the right amendments adopted, this text will put in place solid measures that protect Net Neutrality throughout the European Union. These have been tabled1 but their adoption depends on a small number of votes, especially of those in the liberal group (ALDE). The outcome of the vote will either be the protection of competiton, innovation, users freedom of choice, and the freedom of expression and information or signal the end of the Internet as we know it.

  • 1. The amendments tabled by the Social-Democrats (S&D), the Greens (Greens/EFA), the United Left (GUE/NGL) and by the Liberals (ALDE) are very similar on the important points.

Net Neutrality Vote In EU Parliament: MEPs Must Protect the Internet!

Paris, 31 March 2014 — A few days before the vote that will decide the future of Net Neutrality and the Internet commons in Europe, La Quadrature du Net calls on all Members of the European Parliament to support the amendments proposed by the Social-Democrats (S&D), the Greens (Greens/EFA), the United Left (GUE/NGL) and the Liberals1 (ALDE). These amendments contain strong provisions to protect freedom of expression and freedom of information online, reassert the principle of fair competition and guarantee that users may freely choose between services online. From now until 3 April, citizens should urge their representatives to support this cross-party package of amendments in order to preserve the Internet commons.

  • 1. The amendments tabled by ALDE are identical on the key points to the amendments tabled by other groups.

La Quadrature du Net Gaining in Strength!

Paris, 28 March 2014 — La Quadrature du Net is delighted to welcome Adrienne Charmet-Alix to the operational team as campaign manager and Jean Cattan, Laurent Chemla and Laurence Vandewalle as new members to its strategic directions council. With these reinforcements and the continued support of citizens, La Quadrature du Net is ready to overcome all obstacles in the defence of rights and freedoms in the digital sphere.

Day Seven Before The Vote to Save Net Neutrality! Parliamentarians Must Protect The Open Internet!

Paris, 27 March 2014 — Next week, on 3 April, Members of the European Parliament will vote on the future of Net Neutrality and the open Internet in Europe1. After years of struggle across the European Union, either solid legal protections for the freedom of expression and innovation online will be introduced or telecom operators will be given free reign to discriminate between online communications and use this to force out competition. In light of approaching European elections, citizens must call on their representatives to vote in favour of the protection of fundamental rights and the internet as we know it.

  • 1. The “Industry” Committee's repport is here.

Mass Surveillance: French Spooks and Telcos Hand in Hand

Paris, 24 March 2014 — Since May 2013, consecutive revelations have increasingly exposed the extent and severity of the extralegal surveillance activities conducted by French authorities. It is time for the French government to break its deafening silence on this issue and allow for an open and democratic debate on the extent of its surveillance practices. This is all the more important following the "Loi de programmation militaire" and these recent revelations regarding the cooperation of network operator Orange with French intelligence services. France must make it a priority to revise its current legislation in order to respect international law on privacy.

Net Neutrality: Dangerous Loopholes Remain After Key Vote by Lead EU Parliament Committee

Brussels, 18 March 2014 — The “Industry” (ITRE) committee has just adopted its report on the Telecom Regulation and Net Neutrality. Despite improvements – especially in comparison with Neelie Kroes' proposal –, the committee and its rapporteur, Pilar del Castillo Vera, bowed to the pressure of the telecom lobby, and major loopholes remain in the text. If the Internet as we know it is to be protected from the rent-seeking behaviour of big corporations who dominate the digital economy, these loopholes must be closed during the European Parliament vote in plenary session on 3 April.

EU Parliament Committee to Cast Crucial Vote on Net Neutrality

Paris, 14 March 2014 — On Tuesday, 18 March at 10 a.m., the “Industry” (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament will take a crucial decision for the future of Net Neutrality in Europe. The adoption of the report could mark a point of no return. Two conflicting visions for the future of the Internet oppose the two largest political groups in the EU Parliament, the social democratic party (S&D) and the conservative party (EPP). The outcome of the vote might be decided by the MEPs of the liberal group (ALDE) who appear not to have chosen which vision they will support, although their rapporteur, Jens Rohde, is pushing for the adoption of anti-Net Neutrality provisions. If adopted, these provisions would end the Internet as we know it, harming the freedom of communication and innovation.

European Commission Must Listen to Parliament's Call to Act Against Surveillance Programmes

[ERRATUM: Due to a misreading of the final report, the press release originally published on this page contained errors on the content of the resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 12 March 2014. These errors are corrected in the text below. We apologise for any inconvenience.]

Paris, 12 March 2014 — Today, the European Parliament passed an important resolution condemning the US and EU surveillance programmes. La Quadrature du Net welcomes this non-binding resolution as it calls for the suspension of both the “Safe Harbor” agreement and of the illegal mass surveillance programmes and reaffirms the importance of the protection of citizens' fundamental right to privacy. Ahead of European elections, citizens should now act to ensure that privacy will be a major concern of the next legislative period so that this call is listened to by the European Commission.

Major Loopholes Remain in European Parliament's Data Protection Regulation

Paris, 12 March 2014 — Today the European Parliament adopted Jan Philipp Albrecht's report on the General Data Protection Regulation at first reading. MEPs finally succeeded in resisting pressure by lobbyists, rejecting most of their harmful proposals. Although important improvements were adopted, the dangerous concepts of “legitimate interest” and “pseudonomyous data” remain and could make the final text ineffective in protecting citizens.

Copyright Reform: EU Commission Must Rapidly Publish Responses to Consultation

Paris, 7 March 2014 — The European Commission's Public Consultation on the review of EU copyright rules closed on 5 March 2014 (LQDN's answer). It is now essential for the Commission to publish as soon as possible all responses to ensure a transparent policy-making process.

EU Parliament Negotiations on Net Neutrality Taking a Disastrous Turn

Update: The vote scheduled for February 24th was postponed and is now scheduled for March 18th.

Paris, 18 February 2014 — On 24 February, the “Industry” (ITRE) committee of the European Parliament will take a crucial decision for the future of Net Neutrality in Europe, by adopting its report, on the basis of which the whole Parliament will vote. As things currently stand, Members of the European Parliament in ITRE still have the possibility to ensure a genuine and unconditional Net Neutrality principle, as proposed by others committees, so as to protect freedom of expression and online innovation. But instead, all might be lost because the liberal (ALDE) and socio-democrat (S&D) political groups seem ready to adopt the disastrous proposals made by Pilar Del Castillo Vera, the lead rapporteur in charge of this dossier. Unless citizens act and key MEPs show political leadership, we may be about to lose the Internet as we know it.

Update: During the shadow meeting, held on the afternoon of February 18, Catherine Trautmann has opposed to anti-Net Neutrality provisions proposed by the rapporteur Pilar del Castillo Vera

European Commission Public Consultation on Copyright: La Quadrature du Net's Answer

Paris, 14 February 2014 — The European Commission's public consultation on copyright reform is open until 5 March [The European Commission extended the deadline by a month]. This consultation represents an important opportunity for European citizens to demand that access to culture and knowledge be recognised as their fundamental right. It also allows the interests of authors and creators to be defended against those of the cultural industries, major distributors and intermediaries, and heirs of rightholders who currently receive the greatest share of income from copyrighted works. La Quadrature du Net therefore calls on the maximum number of citizens and organisations to reply to the consultation and support a positive reform of copyright.

EU Parliament Civil Liberties Committee Paves the Way for Real Net Neutrality

Brussels, 12 February 2014 — Today, the “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee of the European Parliament adopted its opinion report on the European single market for electronic communications. Key amendments were adopted which, if included in the final text, would guarantee that network neutrality becomes an enforceable rule across all of the European Union. La Quadrature du Net warns against attempts in the Industry committee (ITRE), the lead committee on this dossier, to adopt watered-down amendments that would allow telecommunication operators to distribute specialised services in a way that would radically undermine freedom of communication and innovation on the Internet.

[Video] Reclaim Our Privacy

Thanks to the generosity of supporters who helped crowd-fund it, and of Benoît Musereau who volunteered to direct it, La Quadrature du Net publishes ”Reclaim Our Privacy”, a three-minute movie that explains the threat to, the importance of protecting, and the tools to reclaim our privacy online. If you want to contribute to the funding of this movie, it is still possible to do so here. Any funds received above the target amount will be shared between Benoît Musereau and La Quadrature du Net. The movie is released under CC BY-SA, so feel free to share or remix it! <3

The Day We Fight Against Surveillance and in Support of Privacy

Paris, 11 February 2014 — Over the last year the public across the globe was made aware of massive global surveillance conducted by the NSA and its partners or counterparts, but also by private tech companies. In response, and in celebration of the victory against SOPA, PIPA and ACTA two years ago and in memory of one of its key architects, Aaron Swartz, La Quadrature du Net joins this day of mobilisation The Day We Fight Back against mass surveillance, which will mark actions by civil rights groups from all over the world. This day is a perfect occasion for all citizens to get informed, and to act to defend our privacy against private and public surveillance. Below are actions carried out by La Quadrature and its supporters today.

EU Parliament Will Soon Vote on the Fate of Net Neutrality in Europe

Paris, 6 February 2014 — In the coming days, committees of the European Parliament will decide the fate of Net neutrality in Europe. Ahead of European elections, our representatives cannot miss this opportunity to truly defend EU citizens' rights, protect communications online and thus guarantee freedom of expression and information throughout Europe.

Support the Making of the Animated Movie "Reclaim Our Privacy!"

Paris, 31 January 2014 — La Quadrature du Net launches a crowd-funding campaign to support the making of the upcoming animation movie about privacy, mass surveillance, and the urgency to rethink our relationship with technology. Help us finance this project!

Support La Quadrature du Net!