[P2P-F] Fwd: [opennetcoalition] French State of Emergency: Overbidding Mass Surveillance

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Thu Jul 21 15:36:39 CEST 2016

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: La Quadrature du Net <contact at laquadrature.net>
Date: Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 7:48 PM
Subject: [opennetcoalition] French State of Emergency: Overbidding Mass
To: opennetcoalition at laquadrature.net

Press Release


La Quadrature du Net — For immediate release

Permanent link:
French State of Emergency: Overbidding Mass Surveillance

Paris, 21 July 2016 — *Once again
<https://www.laquadrature.net/en/again-op-ed-philippe-aigrain>. The French
State of Emergency has been extended until January. In reaction to violence
shaking the country and with the presidential election of 2017 only a few
months away, political leaders are indulging an ignominious orgy of
security-driven policy. Not content with prolonging the state of emergency,
they have also modified the Surveillance Law passed last year to extend,
once again, mass surveillance.*

It is hard to believe that only 48 hours have passed since the bill
<http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/14/projets/pl3968.asp> was sent to the
French National Assembly. With incredible speed, in the middle of summer,
the Law Committee of the Senate has given carte blanche to rapporteur
Michel Mercier (UDI - centre-right wing and former Minister of Justice) to
erase so-called "rigidities" in the Surveillance Law, last year

The provision
much criticised during the parliamentary debates at that time, provides for
real-time scanning the connection data of individuals suspected of
terrorist activities.

As soon as of the November attacks, with ink on the Surveillance Law not
yet dry, an official for the Ministry of Interior was explaining that with
lightened control procedures, "by cross-referencing data with an
already-known very powerful algorithm, we could be able to monitor those 11
700 persons in real time"1

Then, again according to *Le Monde*, during the previous National Council
of Intelligence last January, the decision
was taken to "put under surveillance all the communication data of the 11
700 persons with a *S-File* linked with radical islamism".

Until now, this form of surveillance targeted only individuals who had been
"identified as a [terrorist] threat". But now, in accordance with this
the code of national security stipulates that an individual has to merely
be identified as "potentially related to a threat" or to belong to "the
entourage" of individuals "potentially...", to have his or her traffic data
analysed in real time, for four months, by intelligence services.

Despite the vagueness of the terms, it is fairly clear that several dozens,
hundreds or even thousands of persons are directly concerned here -- not
only the 11 700 individuals who are already identified as "S". This severe
extension of the field covered by this disposition is all the more shocking
that in late May, testifying before the parliamentary investigation
committee on 2015 terrorist attacks
François Delon, president of the CNCTR, said that this technique [of
surveillance in real time] " was beginning to be applied, but only on a
small group of people." He also repeated
that the number of interceptions of communications (real time surveillance
of both metadata and content of communications) was much lower than the
authorised quota, 2700 individual and simultaneous individual surveillances
- quota he judged "sufficient".

And yet there we are. Two months later, in less than 48 hours and without
any real debate, the disposition that was supposed to be a relatively
targeted measure becomes mass surveillance. In the short run, it feeds the
political strategies of a few irresponsible people seeking exposure. But in
the long run, it could come to epitomise the mismanagement of security and
methodical destruction of the rule of law, that almost all parliamentarians
have been voting for the past 2 years.

Besides prolonging the state of emergency, the law as adopted also changes
the regulations on house searches for digital data. Censured after a
of the French Constitutional Council last February, those searches can now
resume (without anyone knowing what will happen to the enormous data
collected during the first three months of the state of emergency).

Tuesday evening, as an anchor on a news channel was asking a Far Right-Wing
personality (not short on crazy proposals) if carrying fire guns
should be legalised
"for all citizens" <https://youtu.be/Fe7MX3hJz0M?t=11m30s>, MP Isabelle
Attard was saying those words at the National Assembly:

We have witnessed, since the night of Thursday to Friday, a security-driven
overbid as we have never seen before. It has been a race to the more months
of state of emergency prolongation, all the way up to making it permanent.
More weapons, more war, more mass surveillance, more prison, more
preventive confinement, more internment camps.

The full report shows that to this sentence, "several MPs from Les
Républicains" answered: "So what?".

*So? So we repeat what Philippe Aigrain wrote here
<https://www.laquadrature.net/en/again-op-ed-philippe-aigrain> on Tuesday:
that "those who want to resist the mechanics of violence will have to
plough the soil of the possible, when it is the very idea of politics that
some are burying."*

   - 1.
   See the anonymous official source quoted in the article of the French
   newspaper, Le Monde
   on the 19 November.

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

contact at laquadrature.net – +33 (0)972 294 426

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*La Quadrature du Net60, rue des OrteauxParis, 75020*

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