Quad'news about Privacy - Personal Data

Open Letter to Věra Jourová: From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield, Words in the Wind

Paris, 10 February 2016 — On 6 October 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) invalidated the Safe Harbor, the agreement concluded in 2000 with the USA in order to give a legal framework to data transfers between the European Union and the USA. The WP29, a working group bringing together all Member States' national data protection authorities, waited until the end of January for the European Commission to draft a new agreement taking into account the requirements of the ECJ. This agreement called "Privacy Shield" was announced on 2 February but only contains vague promises.

Data Retention: Will the French Council of State Defy the ECJ?

Paris, 10 February 2016 — As the French Council of State is set to render a first decision on this burning issue this Friday1, Privacy International (PI) and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) have submitted a third party intervention aiming to support the legal challenges brought by FDN, the FDN Federation and La Quadrature du Net. The goal: repealing the provisions enforcing the generalised retention of metadata in France and allowing the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to play its role of guardian of fundamental rights.

Open letter to the world’s governments: protect encryption!

Paris, 4 January 2016 — La Quadrature du Net joins other organisations and individuals around the world by signing the open letter to governments in order to encourage them to promote encryption techniques for communications and IT systems. The original letter and its signatories can be found on the website "SecureTheInternet.org".

Surveillance: would French socialist MEPs have anything to hide?

Paris, 29 October 2015 — French socialists have, once again, betrayed liberties to strenghen surveillance! Claude Moraes' report has been adopted today by the European Parliament. This report was condemning mass surveillance and calling for an investigation of French surveillance laws. But thanks to the pressure exerted by French Socialist MEPs on their party, any mention of investigation into French laws has been erased.

Surveillance law: France carefully listening to the world! (at last...)

Paris, 28 October 2015 — French Senate has approved last night the bill on international surveillance (fr), legalising mass surveillance beyond French borders, incidentally affecting numerous French people. La Quadrature Du Net salutes French consistency in terms of serious violations of Human Rights.

Safe harbor: abusive data collection and mass surveillance repealed by the European Court of Justice!

Paris, 6 October 2015 — By a decision published this morning, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the highest European jurisdiction, repealed the Safe Harbor agreement. This agreement in effect since 2000, allows data transfers between Europe and the United States under different versions, authorised the processing of European citizens' data by US companies, with fewer guarantees than those existing in Europe. Max Schrems, an Austrian citizen, has put Facebook on trial since the monitoring by the NSA of his data hosted by Facebook had an impact on his freedom and privacy. The CJEU today confirmed his viewpoint by invalidating the Safe Harbor and held that the European Commission abused its power by approving it. The CJEU also affirmed that a local data protection authority may dissent a European agreement if guarantees granted to citizens were modified.

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

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.

French Intelligence: the mad race to international mass surveillance

Paris, 30th September 2015 — The review of the bill related to international electronic communications surveillance measures will insidiously start on the 1st October 2015. It can already expect a bright future, made of flash reviews and hurried debates. After the censorship by the French Constitutional Council, which cut off its general approach on international intelligence, this text claims to fill the void and provide "key progress": the regulation of foreign intelligence activities.

Joint communiqué from the Observatoire des Libertés et du Numérique (Freedoms and Digital Observatory)1

Safe Harbor Suspension by EU Court of Justice Is an Essential First Step

Paris, 24 September 2015 — The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) published on 23rd September his conclusions in the case "Maximilian Schrems against Data Protection Commissioner". The Advocate General, Yves Bot, recommends an invalidation of the Safe Harbor agreement which regulates the transfer of personal data of European citizens by online services like Facebook, to the United States. The Advocate General considers that the surveillance carried out by US intelligence services hinders fundamental rights of European citizens. La Quadrature du Net welcomes these clear and protective conclusions, and hopes that the EU Court of Justice will have the courage to follow him in challenging Safe Harbor as demanded by civil society since the first Snowden revelations. Additionally, putting Safe Harbour aside, his analysis of the NSA's practices should also apply to mass surveillance by European governments, such as France.

French-American Lawyer to Refer to French Surveillance Watchdog against International Surveillance

Paris, 16 September 2015 — After yesterday's announcement by the French government that the bill on International Surveillance will be discussed on a fast track procedure, the bill was adopted this morning at the Defence Committee by the French Lower Chamber in only twenty minutes and without almost any debate. A French and American lawyer has just legally challenged the National Commission of Control of Security Interceptions (CNCIS, French Surveillance Watchdog) regarding the secret implementing decree of 2008. Could it be that the French government is worried about opening up its surveillance practices?

Data Protection: Unambiguous is Ambiguous

Paris, 16th September 2015 — The main pending issues for the European Data Protection Regulation will be discussed on 16th and 17th September during the coming trialogue meeting. The latest proposals from the Council visibly aim at limiting the guarantees provided to the users in favor of private lobbies.

International Surveillance: A New French Bill to Collect Data Worldwide!

Paris, 15th September 2015 — After the French Constitutional Council censored measures on international surveillance in the Surveillance Law voted last June, the government fires back with a bill that will be discussed at the end of September in the National Assembly. La Quadrature du Net strongly rejects the unacceptable clauses which would launch an “intelligence war” against our European and international partners.

Three French NGOs Challenge French International Surveillance

Paris, 3rd September 2015 — Today, the non-profit ISPs FDN and the FDN Federation as well as La Quadrature du Net announced the introduction of two legal challenges before the French Council of State against the Internet surveillance activities of French foreign intelligence services (DGSE). As the French government plans the introduction of a new bill on international surveillance, these challenges underline the need for a thorough oversight of surveillance measures.

Surveillance of all citizens: French government has now carte blanche

Paris, 30 July 2015 – On 23th July, the French Constitutional Council adopted a historical decision, standing out by its disregard for individual freedoms, right to privacy and freedom of speech. The "elders" have decided to avoid a real analysis of the proportionality of the new surveillance laws, and have shown their will to not stand in the way of the political game, becoming a mere rubber-stamping chamber.

Shame on France: French Constitutional Council Widely Approves Surveillance Law!

Update (24 July 2015): The French Constitutional Council shows again its disregard for fundamental rights. This morning, after approving almost all dispositions in the Surveillance law, the Constitutional Council builds momentum by rejecting the Question Prioritaire de Constitutionalité1 handed by La Quadrature du Net, FDN and FDN Federation on the 2014-2019 Defence Law as a whole.

The Constitutional Council considered that "the legislator has sufficiently defined connection data, which cannot be related to the content of the communication or to the consulted information". As such, the notion of "information and documents" found in the Surveillance law, as well as in the 2014-2019 Defence Law, stays blurry.

Moreover, the Constitutional Council, which yesterday approved very weak dispositions concerning the protection of professional secrets for lawyers and confidentiality of sources, confirmed this morning that confidentiality of correspondence is only related to the content of said communications, hence sweeping away the notion of secret of sources for journalists.

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Paris, 23 July 2015 — By validating almost all surveillance measures provided in the Surveillance Law adopted on 25 June, the French Constitutional Council legalises mass surveillance and endorses a historical decline in fundamental rights. Algorithmic black boxes have been approved. Only international surveillance has been deemed to be non compliant to the Constitution.

  • 1. The QPC is a procedure in French Law system to control the constitutionality of the laws after they are promulgated.