France: CNIL's opinion on LOPPSI draft law

By EDRi · July 29, 2009

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Deutsch: [Frankreich: CNILs Stellungnahme zum LOPPSI-Gesetzesentwurf |]

The French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) has now made public its opinion
of 16 April 2009 on seven articles belonging to LOPPSI, the French draft law
on orientation and programming for the performance of the domestic security
that may give the police the possibility to spy on electronic communications
and which introduces Internet filtering by administrative decision.

The draft law was presented on 27 May by Minister of Justice Michèle
Alliot-Marie to the French Council of Ministers but it’s only now that CNIL
can make its opinion public due to new legal provisions introduced in May.
The Minister did not choose to take CNIL’s opinion into consideration.

In its opinion, CNIL was expressing fears related to several provisions of
the draft, especially in relation to the collection and retention of data,
installation of Trojan horses on computers as well as the surveillance of
public access to the Internet.

CNIL considered that such instruments should be installed and used by
“guaranteeing the proportionality of the surveillance measure with the
targeted objectives” and warned on problems that might be caused to
professional users dealing with sensitive data such as lawyers, politicians,
medical staff, or journalists.

The opinion also stated that the legislator was the one who had to
“provide conciliation between, on the one hand, preventing disturbances to
the public order and finding infringers, both necessary for the preservation
of the rights and constitutional principles and, on the other hand, the
exercising of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms amongst which there are
the freedom to come and go and the respect of private life, protected by
articles 2 and 4 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of
1789, as well as the individual freedom, that article 66 of the Constitution
places under surveillance of the legal authority.”

In the meantime, the digital rights campaigners continue to fight laws such
as LOPPSI or Hadopi. Thus, ODEBI league, an Internet users association,
launched on 20 July a “numerical army” meant to fight the lack of
information or disinformation in the presentation of projects with a final
objective to protect the rights of Internet users.

CNIL’s opinion on LOPPSI draft law made public (only in French, 25.07.2009)

Deliberation n°2009-200 of 16 April 2009 bearing the opinion on seven
articles of the draft law on orientation and programming for the performance
of the domestic security (only in French, 16.04.2009)

ODEBI league launches a “numerical army” project (only in French,

EDRI-gram: The French Government wants to spy on electronic communications