French Digital Council with no representative from Internet users
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Deutsch: Frankreichs Internet-Rat ohne Konsumentenvertreter
On 27 April 2011, French President Nicolas Sarkozy officially installed the National Digital Council (Conseil national du numérique - CNN) which is to advise the French government on digital issues. Among the 18 personalities belonging to the newly established body, there is no representative of Internet users but only of private companies.
On the occasion of the establishment of the council, Sarkozy seemed to want to reconcile the Internet by recognizing some errors related to the most criticised Hadopi and Loppsi laws.
However, this impression was soon after clarified as Sarkozy's statements were meant to justify the creation of CNN "useful at the time of the elaboration of the two laws having instituted (...) to formalize even more the dialogue between the economy actors and the Internet." The president had no intention of amending these laws which, in his opinion, are the best tools to defend copyright.
Furthermore, while CNN was created to advise and give recommendations to the government for "the development of the Internet in France" and in order "to avoid past errors", it has come up that, actually, the decree on the creation of CNN, which deviates from the original recommendations drafted by Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, shows a significant decrease of its powers. The government has decided to limit the role of the body by refusing to systematically consult it in all draft texts in the digital area.
The decree says that "the National Digital Council has the mission to enlighten the government and to participate in the public debate in the digital domain" and therefore, it can be "consulted by the government in any legislative and regulation draft measures susceptible of having an impact on the digital economy".
The council will however be able to make its recommendations and will draft an annual activity report that will be submitted to the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the minister in charge of the digital economy. The report will not be seen by the Parliament, as it was recommended in Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet's report.
The decree has raised serious criticism particularly as the council members include no representation from civil society. Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net considers CNN, "one more machine where the citizens are not even represented" and which "will never be legitimate".
The Council officially gathered on 27 April 2011 when its 18 members elected Gilles Babinet, founder of Musiwave, as its president.
Sarkozy answered the critics arguing that the consumers have their own authorities and gave assurances as to CNN's independence. On this occasion, the opposition has again reacted and asked once more for the abrogation of the infamous Hadopi laws. Meanwhile, Hadopi authority continues its graduated response activities passing to the second phase of the operation.
The National Digital Council forgets about the Internet users (only in
Nicolas Sarkozy comforts Hadopi but recognises errors (update) (only in
CNN will not be systematically consulted by the government (only in French,
No representative of the public at the National Digital Council (update only
in French, 27.05.2011)