dans le cul
profrv at nex.net.au
Tue Apr 20 07:24:37 PDT 1999
Threat to Internet freedom posed by new security law
RSF has expressed its serious concern further to the French government's
introduction of a bill concerning the general direction and programme
planning of internal security (Loi d'orientation et de programmation sur la
sécurité intérieure, LOPSI). The National Assembly adopted the bill at the
first reading on 17 July 2002. It outlines the present and future security
policies of the Interior Ministry and government as a whole. The Senate
will examine the bill on 30 and 31 July.
In a 29 July letter to French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the
organisation denounced "the latest step to be taken concerning security
matters. [The organisation is] alarmed by the setback for civil, collective
and individual rights brought on by this bill."
"It is generally recognised that the Assembly's adoption of the very
controversial Law on Daily Security (Loi sur la sécurité quotidienne, LSQ)
in November 2001, and the European Parliament's 30 May adoption of the
disturbing amendment to the Directive on the Protection of
Telecommunications Data and Information have already restricted these
fundamental constitutional liberties. This bill threatens to simply erase
decades of struggle for their establishment and preservation," stated RSF
Secretary-General Robert Ménard.
"We deplore the general climate of surveillance that is introduced by the
new measures submitted to the legislature ; the universal climate of
suspicion that is encouraged by the fact that, henceforth, each citizen is
considered a possible offender or terrorist, and the serious attacks on
freedom of expression and the confidentiality of work-related and private
correspondence. Our organisation specifically questions the possibility of
guaranteeing the confidentiality of journalists' sources, to the extent
that data from Internet connections and e-mail exchanges (Internet
connection logs) could be requisitioned and examined with disconcerting
ease by police officers," underlined Ménard.
These concerns are amplified by the objective outlined in the bill to
allow, "judicial police officers, acting in the context of an official
investigation, and with a magistrate's authorisation, to gain direct access
to computer files and enable the long-distance seizure, via telematic or
electronic means, of information that appears necessary to the
establishment of the truth". This excerpt refers to the authorities'
licence to carry out off-property "searches" of Internet service providers'
computer servers, which store logs of users' online activity, and
automatically seize the information stored therein.
RSF has, therefore, asked the interior minister :
to specify the exact details of implementation under which the authorities
will have access to data from Internet connections, sent and received
e-mails and specify the policies governing the "seizure" of personal
to reaffirm his commitment to the protection of the confidentiality of
professional exchanges, and especially the basic principle of
confidentiality of journalists' sources
to ensure, together with the Justice Ministry, that a sufficient number of
magistrates who are experienced with these issues are given the means to
deal calmly and impartially with police officers' requests for examination
RSF also renewed its 6 June appeal to Internet service providers, asking
them not to retain user data, and urged Internet users in general, and
journalists in particular, to use cryptography software in order to
preserve the confidentiality of their exchanges.
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