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.
La Quadrature du Net seizes the opportunity to remind that attacks on the rights of journalists, which are indeed intolerable, must not distract from massive infringement on the fundamental rights of the whole of the population, as entailed in the various surveillance laws passed in the recent years across European Union Member-States and which, far too often, are in contradiction with the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Similarly, foreign surveillance laws should serve as warnings on conditions by which intelligence, individually targeted or wide-ranging, is being shared between European Member-States and third parties, as well as on agreements to share or access interception systems : usually downright absent from the laws on foreign intelligence (in France or elsewhere), these provisions constitute a grave danger of collateral surveillance being carried out in the greatest opacity and with no avenue of appeal.