News

Open letter to the MEPs: don't haggle over the right to privacy

Paris 13 February 2017 — Tonight the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) will have to decide which political group will be in charge of the draft report and thus to supervise the negotiations over the future ePrivacy regulation concerning respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications. The choice of political group, and therefore of the rapporteur, is often neglected in following up a legislative dossier, and yet it has substantial implications for the negotiations to come, because this person will set the general orientation and have a preponderant weight in these negociations.

La Quadrature du Net wishes to remind Members of the LIBE Committee, that the ePrivacy rule's rapporteur should be aware of the text's importance so as to respond to the expectations of millions of Europeans.

Let's dump CETA once and for all!

Update, 15 February 2017 — The European Parliament adopted CETA by 408 votes against 254 (and 33 abstentions). The “not mixed” parts of the text could thus enter into provisional application in April, until consultations of the regional and/or national Parliaments of the Member States.

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Paris, 10 February 2017 — On 15 February, the European Parliament will decide whether to ratify the Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA)1. In choosing to back this agreement, MEPs would allow its partial implementation and would open the door for the next steps of the legislative process, which could lead to its complete and definitive implementation. On the other hand, rejecting it would be a death-blow for the agreement, just as it was for ACTA in July 2012. Beyond the unacceptable procedure of its elaboration, CETA is a grave threat to our liberties and fundamental rights. Therefore, La Quadrature du Net calls upon MEPs to oppose it strongly.

  • 1. The free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada. The final version of the text is available online.

2016 Support Campaign: thank you!

Paris, 16 January 2017 — 2017 starts well: the yearly annual campaign of La Quadrature du Net gathered 244 191€ of donations on the closing day. We deeply thank all the person that contributed to the continuation of the action of the organisation. Combined with the support of foundation, 88% of the estimated budget of 2017 have been covered among which 77% of individual donations.

La Quadrature du Net calls to support the campaign #SaveTheLink!

Paris, 12 January 2017 —  A group of MEPs of all political orientations, including Julia Reda, representative of the Pirate Party, calls on citizens to mobilize to prevent the introduction of dangerous measures in European copyright reform. Their campaign "Save the Link!" aims to preserve our ability to share information on the Internet, by preserving the freedom to make hypertext links and preventing widespread automated filtering of contents. La Quadrature du Net calls for support of this campaign to prevent the copyright reform from leading to further incursion on our freedoms.

ePrivacy: Commission's weak proposal forecasts harsh debates

Paris, 11 January 2017 — On Tuesday 10 January, the European Commission put forward a series of new texts on personal data protection in the EU. It includes the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation which will frame the confidendiality and security of our electronic communications, as well as the famous internet cookies, among other things. Before the legislative process had even started, lobbies from the digital industry and telecom operators collaborated closely to water down as much as possible the reform that was supposed to not only provide better security and confidentiality to electronic communications, but also to give users control of their data back. Nonetheless, civil society has not had its last word just yet. In the coming months, we are set to engage in a harsh legislative battle to make the ePrivacy a really ambitious Regulation that protects our rights and freedoms.

Generalised data retention: a blow to mass surveillance!

Paris, 22 December 2016 — The European Court of Justice published a very important decision last 21 December, condemning the principle of generalised data retention by operators, including when mandated by Member States implementing this principle on issues linked to security or fight against crime. Data retention must be the exception and not the rule and can only be used with strong safeguards due to the very serious violation that such retention constitutes for privacy. La Quadrature du Net welcomes this very positive decision and is asking French government to acknowledge European decisions by cancelling all legislation linked to the exploitation or conservation of internet users data.

French State of Emergency: same player, play again

Update of 10 January 2017: French Senate adopted the extension as well. The text is available here.

Update of 14 December 2016: French National Assembly adopted yesterday the extension of the state emergency until July 2017. On Thursday 15 December, it is Senate's turn to decide.

Paris, 14 December 2016 — The French National Assembly and Senate are about to extend the state of emergency established in France one year ago, on 13 November 2015, for the fith consecutive time. PM Bernard Cazeneuve's administration is requesting a renewal until 15 July 2017 with no guarantee that this state of emergency will end. France is settling into a permanent state of Human Rights suspension and in limitations of civil liberties that become more difficult to block everyday. La Quadrature du Net is calling on MPs to deny this renewal and return to the Rule of Law and the respect of rights and liberties, in this period of crucial elections.

Open Government in France: an Empty Promise?

Paris, 9 December 2016 — As France is hosting the Open Government Partnership Global Summit, a number of Civil Society Organizations point out the inconsistencies of the French government. Some have decided not to attend.

The report on "open government" in France is co-signed by the following Civil Society Organizations (CSO): ANTICOR, April, BLOOM, DemocracyOS France, Fais ta loi, Framasoft, La Quadrature du Net, Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, Regards Citoyens, République citoyenne, SavoirsCom1.

ePrivacy: unraveling the lobbies' falsehoods

Paris, 8 December 2016 — The review of the European ePrivacy directive on the confidentiality of electronic communications may not have reached the limelight yet, but this doesn't mean that the influence work and the fight over interests haven't started. On the contrary, as the draft text is tabled by the European Commission to be published in January 2017, interest groups are at the doors of the European executive power to get their two cents in the upcoming text.

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.

Net Neutrality: BEREC on the Right Path, Let's Keep the Pressure on

Paris, 30 September 2016 — Net Neutrality is one of central challenge in the application of fundamental rights in the digital space. Too often it has been only considered as a technical or commercial issue, but it has serious impact on the real exercise of right to freedom of speech, right to information and on how the society build and think of itself; but also has important impacts on industrial and commercial issues. La Quadrature du Net has followed this issue since its start in the European debate circa 2009 by trying to defend a definition and wording in EU law of a strict Net Neutrality, protecting users and guaranteeing opportunities of development in a sane digital environment. As the BEREC guidelines for the Telecom Regulation adopted in October 2015 have been published, it is time to come back on the few years of campaign and to present the next fights and challenges for fundamental rights.

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.

ePrivacy Directive: The EU Commission Must Protect the Confidentiality of Communications

Paris, 21 September 2016 — The European Commission should submit this autumn a draft revision of the 2002 directive on privacy in the electronic communications sector, also called "ePrivacy directive". This future draft follows a public consultation launched by the European Commission in April 2016 that La Quadrature answered. While for months the telecoms industry, GAFA and member States have been intensely lobbying against this fundamental text, the European Commission must resist these pressures and seriously take into account the proposals from civil society associations in order to produce legislation respectful of fundamental rights, including the right to encryption.

On Facebook, French Antiracists Fall Victim to Censorship

Paris, 19 September 2016 — La Quadrature du Net publishes an OpEd by Félix Tréguer, co-founder and member of the Strategic Orientation Council of La Quadrature du Net.

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.

Copyright reform: Could EU Commission do worse?

Paris, 2 September 2016 — A few days ago, an impact assessment and a draft EU directive leaked, exposing the plans of the EU commission on copyright reform. After years of prevarications, the Commission remains stuck in a vision of copyright revolving on defending of cultural industries. Its proposals are still very much out of touch with the need to adapt to digital practices, and even table a couple of dangerous proposals.

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.

Encryption and privacy: La Quadrature du Net Welcomes the Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor

Paris, 8 August 2016 — In its opinion on the draft revision to the ePrivacy directive, published on 25 July 2016, the EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor) took a stand for stronger regulation in favour of privacy. La Quadrature du Net approves the main propositions of this opinion and encourages European legislators to follow them.

Net Neutrality: High quality connectivity and net neutrality go hand in hand

Paris, 8 August 2016 — Today, a coalition of more than 30 NGOs and civil liberties organisations from around the world sent an open letter to lawmakers in charge of telecoms regulation encouraging them to support the development and implementation of robust net neutrality rules alongside the deployment of high quality broadband and next-generation networks.

The letter is a response to the recently published “5G Manifesto” in which telecoms operators threaten to withhold 5G investment unless regulators water down European Union rules on net neutrality and other rules, including provisions on network access and privacy. This attack comes at a time when the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) is currently developing guidelines for the implementation of the adopted net neutrality rules.

French State of Emergency: Overbidding Mass Surveillance

Paris, 21 July 2016 — Once again. The State of Emergency in France has been extended until January. In reaction to violence shaking the country and with the presidential election of 2017 only a few months away, political leaders are indulging an ignominious orgy of security-driven policy. Not satisfied with merely prolonging the state of emergency, lawmakers have also amended the 2015 Intelligence Act passed last year to legalize domestic mass surveillance.