France is next in our International Spotlight series. The country has one of the biggest economies and populations in the European Union. France has wide internet penetration. The country is facing threats from Islamic extremists and a growing reactionary far-right movement. State-based internet censorship and surveillance are on the rise. Plus the neoliberal data factories are just as at home in France as the US.
France’s State of Emergency
Following the deadly attacks in Paris Friday 13 November a state of emergency. These powers were to last for 12 days. But then they extended on for three months. Currently, they’re making their way into the constitution.
The powers target France’s Muslim population. Those with dual nationality can lose their French nationality. Over 2,500 raids have taken place and hundreds of people detained. Critics of the new laws say that mission creep is occurring. Environmental activists protesting COP21 were under house arrest. There is broad support for the state of emergency in France, over two-thirds of the population are in favor.
Surveillance measures are increasing to the point where France surveilled and analyses its citizens as much as the United States and the United Kingdom.
“This bill would take France a step closer to a surveillance where nothing is secret except the surveillance itself. Even journalists, judges, politicians and people who have unwittingly come into contact with alleged suspects could be subject to invasive surveillance.”
–Gauri van Gulik, deputy director for Europe and Central Asia (Amnesty International)
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
France has a long history of promoting free speech and freedom of the press. Most content is unfiltered. Sites containing child pornography or incite terrorism, racial violence or hatred are removed. But privacy for the masses is dead.
Internet governance in France had deteriorated since 2004 when the Law for Trust in the Digital Economy was signed. But copyright legislation in 2009 and 2011- the Hadopi laws- made it possible to ban people from the internet after three violations.
France sent 1 million emails to copyright infringers and 99,000 registered letters, the consequences of the first and second strikes. Ironically the agency in charge of enforcing the Hadopi laws used an unlicensed font in its logo.
Ne pas utiliser un VPN gratuit
Opera recently announced that they were adding a VPN to their browser. Read our post here on why you shouldn’t ditch your subscription just yet.