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First Victory for Citizens against Surveillance: French Military Planning Act before Constitutional Court!

Paris, 5 June 2015 — The French Council of State published today its decision to refer of the Question Prioritaire de Constitutionalité (Prioritary Question of Constitutionality1) brought by the FDN Federation, French Data Network and La Quadrature du Net against the article 20 of the 2014-2019 Military Planning Act voted in 2013. This decision is fundamental in the fight against generalised surveillance and the access to connection data by French intelligence services. It takes an important place in the current debates on the French Intelligence Bill.

On 1st June 2015, the rapporteur advised (fr) to refer to the request of FFDN, FDN and La Quadrature du Net to the Constitutional Court to verify its conformity regarding the direct access of citizens' connection data by intelligence services. Today, the French Council of State recognised that our questioning was new, serious and required clarification2.

"This decision comes just as the French Senate prepares to vote the Intelligence Bill, which contains provisions similar to those justifying the QPC. This shows the French Government should not be overly confident about the constitutionality of this very dangerous bill. Today's decision is a call for Members of Parliament to abstain from supporting a bill whose constitutionality is put in doubt by the the highest judicial institutions. Instead, they must commit to protecting the privacy of citizens by rejecting mass surveillance." says Félix Tréguer, cofounder La Quadrature du Net.

  • 1. The QPC is a procedure in French Law system to control the constitutionality of the laws after they are promulgated.
  • 2. When a QPC is brought before the Council of State, this one proceed, within 3 months, to a first examination of the question. It sends this question to the Constitutional Court if the contested law is applicable to the dispute, if it hasn't been certified as conforming to the French Constitution and if the question is new and serious. See : http://www.conseil-etat.fr/Actualites/Communiques/Acces-aux-donnees-de-c... (fr)