The end of bloggers' anonymity in France?

By EDRi · June 2, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Das Ende der Anonymität von Bloggern in Frankreich? |]

This article is also available in:
Macedonian: [Крај за анонимноста на блогерите во Франција? |]

The French senator Jean-Louis Masson submitted on 3 May 2010 a draft law
that would end anonymity of bloggers who, according to the text, would have
to provide on their blogs identification data such as name, phone number and

The proposed legislation would prohibit the use of pseudonyms for bloggers
and would apply the same regulation as for the written press.

The senator justified his proposal with the argument of protecting Internet
users from deceit, lies or defamation. In an interview for France 3, the
senator stated he wanted bloggers to take the responsibility of their
statements. In his opinion, a person who does not reveal his identity has
something to hide, while generally bloggers choose anonymity out of reasons
related to their professional or personal life.

An appeal addressed to the French deputies and senators was signed by
several Internet hosting sites such as Wikio, OverBlog, Blogspirit and
Canalblog and organisations such as Reporters sans Frontieres and La
Quadrature du Net.

The appeal asks the French Parliament to reject the draft law as it would
not serve the declared purpose of the protection against defamation which is
already covered efficiently by the present legislation. The French law
implementing the E-commerce directive already stipulates that hosting sites
must immediately suppress any litigious publications at a simple request and
notify to the authorities the blogger’s identity if applicable. Therefore
there is no need for an additional law that would only harm the freedom of
expression on the Internet.

A law proposition puts again in question bloggers’ anonymity (only in
French, 26.05.2010),37570.html

Call for the Defence of the right to anonymity on the Internet (only in
French, 25.05.2010)

Anonymat of bloggers : Jean-Louis Masson persists and signs (only in French,

À lire sur Numerama : Anonymat des blogueurs : Jean-Louis Masson persiste et signe