[P2P-F] Fwd: [opennetcoalition] Final Adoption of Generalised Surveillance in France: a Disturbing Political Drift

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Tue Dec 24 05:56:20 CET 2013

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: La Quadrature du Net <jz at laquadrature.net>
Date: Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 2:05 AM
Subject: [opennetcoalition] Final Adoption of Generalised Surveillance in
France: a Disturbing Political Drift
To: opennetcoalition at laquadrature.net


La Quadrature du Net – For immediate release

Permanent link:

Final Adoption of Generalised Surveillance in France: a Disturbing
Political Drift

*** Paris, 19 December 2013 — The French President promulgated [1] the
2014-2019 Defense Bill last night. Adoption of article 20 (former article
13) opening the door to generalized surveillance of communications and the
failure to request its constitutional challenge demonstrate the deep crisis
of a political system which does not hesitate anymore to massively
compromise fundamental rights. La Quadrature du Net thanks all those who
contributed to oppose this article. It calls for the continuation of the
fight against surveillance of our communications on the Internet, by any
means: before Parliament or judges, through technology and usage choices.

The French 2014-2019 Defense Bill [2] has been officially published last
night in the Journal Officiel. Its article 20 (former article 13) opens the
way to generalised surveillance of online information and communications,
notably through live capturing of data from hosting services and Internet
service providers and for purposes going way beyond the mere national

The adoption of this article – with its ambiguous wording and misleading
place in a Defense Bill meant to schedule the military budget – and the
faillure to obtain its constitutional review reflect the deep crisis
democratic representation is going through, failling to protect citizens
fundamental rights. This Bill has been unanimously adopted by François
Hollande's left wing party – Parliament's majority group –, despite wide
inner divisions on article 20 and a previous opposition on similar but
temporary and less harmful texts in 2006 and 2008. The right wing,
ecologists and the far-left voted against the Bill in both chambers.

However, once the Bill was adopted, despite the strong citizen mobilization
and numerous warnings [3] by various organizations [4], political divisions
and group discipline prevented the collection of the 60 signatures required
to call upon the Conseil Constitutionnel (French constitutional court) to
review any new law. A strict party discipline from the left-wing majority
party (PS), sectarianism from the right-wing party (UMP) refusing to sign
together with green and far-left groups, and an aggressive campaign by the
leader of the right-wing group against its MPs signing the request, will be
remembered as symbols of the drift toward a post-democratic system.

Many other steps will enable citizens to continue the fight against the
development of a generalised surveillance, which has become a tool for
political powers unable to act for the common good. In legal terms, the
future publication of the Decree by the Conseil d'État (Highest
administrative court) and announced French laws on intelligence and
freedoms online will provide new opportunities for discussion, decision,
and challenge. But it is on the political and usage fronts that our rights
and freedoms will be determined.

“With the others associations of defense of human rights and freedoms who
have acted on this issue, we will campaign restlessly against surveillance
and these violations of the separation of powers. We call for a strong
affirmation of the role of the judiciary, of the right to privacy and of
the individuals freedoms in the upcoming laws, and any form of challenge”
concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, cofounder and spokesperson of La Quadrature
du Net.

“A balance of rights can only be restored if citizens strongly demonstrate
that there is no democracy or human beings free to express themselves in a
surveillance State, and if everyone, in their choices of services, tools
and usage, reclaims what we abandoned to centralized operators” concludes
Phillipe Aigrain, cofounder of La Quadrature du Net.

* References *

1. https://www.laquadrature.net/files/joe_20131219_0294_s000.pdf [fr]

2. Loi n° 2013-1168 du 18 décembre 2013 relative à la programmation
militaire pour les années 2014 à 2019 et portant diverses dispositions
concernant la défense et la sécurité nationale :



** About La Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends the rights and
freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for
the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding
principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge.

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better
understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and
pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage
citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the
digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international
NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society
Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations:

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


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