Surveillance: Legislative parody from French MP, Patrica Adam at the Defence Commisson

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Paris, 30 September 2015 — The Commission of Defence of the French Lower Chamber has massively rejected all amendments presented by Laure de La Raudière, Lionel Tardy and Sergio Coronado (in the group EELV) and will only keep amendments on procedure (fr). Patricia Adam, President of the Commission of Defence, and Rapporteur of the bill, is not even trying to hide her interest to silence any eventual discussion on the regulation of international surveillance and the huge violation of Human Rights introduced by it.

Some of the presented amendments to the International Surveillance of Communications Bill were examined this morning in the Commission for Defence and Military, but it was clear that fundamental rights mean nothing to National Security in relation to surveillance and intelligence services.

The few MPs who have done their homework on amendments (Fr): Sergio Coronado and other ecologist colleagues, Laure de la Raudière and Lionel Tardy from Les Républicains (The Republicans). They tried to limit the toxic law that establishes a massive surveillance system of worldwide communications. However, they met a total rejection on switching from general surveillance to targeted surveillance, through the protection of the so-called protected professions or the reinforcement of the a priori control of the CNCTR on the authorisation of the application of the surveillance measure. Only some editorial amendments without importance have been debated and accepted.

Patricia Adam hosted an audition with La Quadrature du Net on September 22, on our request. We could barely explain our arguments, and were faced with a wall of total refusal to understand and with a show of contemptuous and offended stares. We tried explaining the technical futility of differentiating between “national” and “international” surveillance; we conveyed remarks on the nomination of Mr Francis Delon as chairperson of the CNCTR; and again we voiced our concerns on regulation that explicitly refers to massive surveillance and yet we met a door closed to discussion. As such, since even before the parliamentary debate, Patricia Adam showed that she would not accept any editorial amendments on this law.

At the time where a number of international organisations call upon French representatives to renounce to mass surveillance, how can we accept that France continue to openly trample the universality of right and present itself as the paragon of democracy and Human Rights? Because of the lack of background amendments, La Quadrature du Net calls on French MPs to refuse to vote this bill brought undercover by the government and destined to legalise on the quiet and fast-tracked the surveillance of the communications of the whole world. The respect of their own function is at stake.