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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 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.

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.

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.

La Quadrature du Net answers to BEREC EU consulation on Net Neutrality

Paris, 18 July 2016 — Today ends the BEREC consultation on Net Neutrality. This consultation aimed at consulting the people on the guidelines clarifying the implementation of the telecom regulation1. The version sent by La Quadrature du Net is the one written by the FDN Federation, we believe this answer is appropriate and we support its provisions.

  • 1. The regulation was adopted on 25 November 2015 and entered into force in April 2016

Directive on Terrorism: The EU on a Security and Post-Democratic Drift?

Paris, 5 July 2016 — Yesterday evening, the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs) adopted the draft Directive on Combating Terrorism proposed by the European Commission by 41 votes to 4 with 10 abstentions. The EPP (conservative) Rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier had turned the directive into a text that will give credence to the worst anti-terrorism and surveillance laws from across the European Union. She clearly bowed under pressure from the French Government (FR), who is seeking to whitewash its own controversial laws regarding surveillance and websites censorship at the European level. La Quadrature du Net denounces this "europeanisation" of extrajudicial surveillance and censorship, all the more considering that the process surrounding the directive is in and of itself a staggering denial of democracy: Indeed, the draft Directive will be further discussed in secret trialogue negotiations, which will preclude any substantial amendment during the plenary debate of the European Parliament. Under the guise of security, the European Union is undermining its own fundamental values.

Directive on combating terrorism: LIBE Committee must oppose dangerous provisions!

Paris, 4 July 2016 — This evening the committee of the European Parliament on Civil Liberties (LIBE) will vote on the draft directive on combating terrorism. La Quadrature du Net already warned about the dangerous provisions of this text and urges once more MEPs to oppose this text.

Terrorism Directive: No Plenary vote, No Democracy

UPDATE 30 JUNE 2016: The vote of the draft in LIBE committee is postponed to the 4 July 2016.
UPDATE 21 JUNE 2016: The vote of the draft in LIBE committee is postponed to the 27 June 2016.

Paris, 20 June 2016 — Unless it is postponed in the last minute1, a vote will take place tomorrow in the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament on the directive on combating terrorism. The rapporteur Ms Hohlmeier also asks for a mandate to open negotiations with the EU Council in trialogue2 before the EP plenary. This unjustified and dangerous bypassing of democratic process aims at preventing MEPs and citizens from looking too close into the dangerous provisions of this directive.

  • 1. Our latest informations tell us that the vote could be postponed to the 27 June.
  • 2. Trialogues are conciliation committees between the European Parliament, Council of the EU and the European Commission.

Letter to MEPs: Do Not Enable Censorship within the EU

Paris, 20 June 2016 — The undersigned civil society organisations are deeply concerned about the Directive on combating terrorism and the European Commission's initiatives that could enable and encourage needless or even counter-productive censorship, both by platforms and by governments, without judicial oversight. The NGOs sign a joint letter to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to urge them to avoid making this mistake.

Net Neutrality: BEREC's "consultation" (or the discouragement policy)

Paris, 7 June 2016 — BEREC1 just published its draft guidelines that aims at clarifying the telecoms regulation2 and therefore the net neutrality. After secret negotiations between the national regulators (ARCEP in France) within BEREC it seems that nothing was put in place in order to facilitate the consultation process. La Quadrature du Net calls on all Internet users who care about a strong defense of net neutrality to join and to respond together to this consultation.

  • 1. European Regulators for Electronic Communications
  • 2. The regulation was adopted on 25 November 2015 and entered into force in April 2016

Directive on Terrorism: The European Parliament against our freedoms

Paris, 1st June 2016 — Far from the French and European media spotlights, a draft directive on terrorism is being discussed at the European Parliament and will be voted on 15 June. This directive, aiming to frame the European counter-terrorism policies and laws, is crucial for Europeans to enjoy their fundamental rights.
But the current political discussions and negotiations would lead to widespread fiasco on freedoms and to an alignment of the worst policies violating civil rights, especially on the Internet, through censorship and surveillance. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) must redress the balance and strengthen the safeguards provided for the European citizens.

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