[IRP] Administrative Net Censorship adopted in France

Graciela Selaimen graciela
Thu Dec 16 13:17:06 EET 2010

Another scandalous governmental decision - filtering without judicial 



La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

Permanent link: http://www.laquadrature.net/en/administrative-net-censorship-adopted-in-france-pedophiles-unworried

Administrative Net Censorship adopted in France; Pedophiles unworried

*** Paris, December 15th 2010 - The French Parliament adopted article 4 of LOPPSI law, which established the administrative filtering of the Net through the Trojan horse of "child protection". Such a scheme will allow for the generalised censorship of Internet content while doing nothing to stop pedophiles and child pornography. Rejecting judiciary supervision clearly illustrates the will of the executive branch to control the Internet. ***

The French Member of the Parliament finally yielded by allowing the government to practice Internet filtering without judicial oversight. In the absence of a means for citizens to control the conditions under which websites will be censored or a way to challenge the decisions, the executive will now be able to police the Internet without paying attention to fundamental rights. It is an extremely disturbing mood as administrative filtering can now be extended to other fields.

" It is very worrying to see Members of the French Parliament have given their approval to the administrative censorship of the Net just as the government is trying to ban WikiLeaks without fair trial. Nobody will be able to verify the way blocking measures are implemented, through a secret blacklist, and there will be no way of challenging them. Such a provision is a blatant violation of free speech -- in particular given the fact that perfectly legal websites can be collaterally blocked -- and it runs counter to the separation of powers", says F?lix Tr?guer, legal and policy analyst at La Quadrature du Net.

The filtering of child abuse websites is a feel-good policy passed at the expense of freedom of communication. Blocking won't prevent criminals to prosper by producing and disseminating child abuse content online [1].

"The French government made the hypocritical and shameful choice of doing nothing to take down pedo-pornographic content online, while pretending to be protecting children. Just like the 'three strikes' HADOPI law didn't bring anything to artists and avoided the question of funding creation in the digital age, blocking access to Internet sites won't do anything to solve the problem of child pornography. With this vote, the Trojan horse of child protection opens the door to the generalized censorship of the Internet. The rejection by Parliament of any judicial oversight makes this very clear."concludes J?r?mie Zimmermann, spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net.

* R?f?rences *

1. Instead of instrumentalising the protection of children to make Net filtering appear legitimate, the government could have made the choice of boosting efforts aimed at taking down such offensive content from the servers hosting them. It could have also tried to improve international co-operation in this field, as suggested by the French association of information and prevention on pedophilia, l'Ange Bleu, who opposed Internet filtering measures. See: "LOPPSI : la protection de l'enfance, cheval de Troie du filtrage g?n?ralis? d'Internet ? : http://www.ange-bleu.com/article.php?type=actualites&origine=juriactu&id=113 (fr)"

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that promotes 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 : http://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-squaring-net-la-quadrature-du-net

** Press contact and press room **

J?r?mie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


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