dans le cul

Matthew X 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 
information ;

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 
and seizure.
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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