France: No to new EDVIGE!

By EDRi · July 1, 2009

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Deutsch: [Frankreich: Kein neues EDVIGE! |]

A text of a draft law on Police Files initiated by the two French deputies
Delphine Batho and Jacques-Alain Bénisti has been approved by the Laws
Commission of the National Assembly. The draft law contains a new form of
the EDVIGE file, nicknamed now EDVIGE 3.0.

EDVIGE was a new database created in June 2008 with the purpose of filing
“individuals, groups, organisations and moral persons which, due to their
individual or collective activity, are likely to attempt to public order”.
Not only these persons will be filed (without any offence committed), but
also “those who undertake or have undertaken direct and non fortuitous
relations with them.” Filing was supposed to start at age 13 and the
database would be used by French intelligence services and the
administrative police. Following a massive civil society protest, the
database was initially revised into EDVIRSP (or so-called EDVIGE 2.0) and
then withdrawn in December 2008.

Although it makes some significant progress, the text of the new law is
still not good enough in respecting the human rights, as underlined by a
common press release of several unions and civil society groups, among which
the EDRi-member IRIS.

One of the major concerns that the press release highlights is the generic
global tendency that wants to extend the methods and tools used for serious
crimes and terrorism acts to the “small delinquency”.

The main step forward is that according to the new text every new Police
file needs to be stipulated by law. At the same time the “No to
EDVIGE” group considers that the law should go much further, including a
better democratic character of the CNIL (French Data Protection) by the
inclusion of some members proposed by the human rights activists. Also, the
new draft laws which receive a negative opinion from the CNIL should get an
opinion from the State Council (Conseil d’État) and all these opinions
need to be made public.

The new law proposal also includes new provisions for EDVIGE 3.0 which is
still covers all the children above13 years old. But this proposal goes even
further than the two earlier versions.

The definitions suggested in the new draft proposal introduce dangerous
provisions. Thus, the very large definitions of the attacks on the people’s
security or goods cover activities of the police which are already supported
by other existing databases. The “No to EDVIGE” group asks for a limitation
of the acts of attacks to the State security and public security committed
with violence. Also the new file should not include minors.

The French organisations also criticized the qualification given to other
files, such as STIC (Système de traitement des infractions constatées –
Recorded offences treatment system), a huge police database, which records
also data on minors, without any age limitation.

Law proposal on Police Files: EDVIGE 3.0, still NO (only in French,

Law proposal on Police Files (only in French, 7.05.2009)

The deputies want to frame the creation of police files (only in French,

EDRi-gram: ENDitorial: Massive mobilization against EDVIGE, the new French
database (16.07.2008)

EDRi-gram: French EDVIGE decree withdrawn (4.12.2008)