French authority wants users to install spyware on their computers

By EDRi · August 25, 2010

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Deutsch: [Französische Behörden wollen Nutzer zur Installation von Spyware verpflichten |]

Hadopi (the French Authority for the implementation of the 3 strikes law)
did not make public the document regarding the draft specifications of the
security measures for the Internet (part of the three strikes system),
although the document should lay at the basis of a public consultation.

However, under the pretext that the document was a preparatory one, the
authority decided to treat it as confidential. The website has made the document public on the basis of the right to
information and having in view that a public consultation should rely on a
public document and not a confidential one.

According to the document, French Internet users could soon be required to
install spyware on their PCs tracking down their searching habits and
analysing the applications installed on their PCs, in order to prevent
“file-sharing piracy”.

The three strikes law came into force in June 2010 and it is still unclear
what technical measures will be used to apply the scheme. According to the
leaked document, Hadopi’s spyware, that could be included in an antivirus
and/or parental control solution, would log Internet usage on a certain PC
with a clear text log file and an encrypted log file, that could be sent to
Hadopi in case of a complaint.

The log files that are supposed to be kept encrypted for a year, should
include detailed information regarding the date and time when certain
applications were launched and the search for keywords that are blacklisted.

There will be several types of lists such as a black list of the sites
forbidden by court order, a gray list of the suspicious applications, a gray
list of suspicious key-words and a white list of the sites with a legal

The document states that the respective solution should have a minimum
effect upon the performances of the equipment, be easy to install and use,
be available under an open source licence to all operating systems and not
allow transmission of data to a third party. The registration of navigation
or downloading history will be forbidden. Also, the use of the software
would have to be voluntary, and the account holders would have the
possibility to disable the application at will.

La Quadrature du Net has condemned the proposal and its spokesman Jérémie
Zimmermann stated that it was worrying that “the government may seriously
consider these log functions, recording the slightest facts and gestures of
the users, and extending the system to all future devices”.

Hadopi decided to explain the three strikes system by distributing
during weekends 20-22 and 27-29 August, 260 000 information flyers to
drivers coming back from their vacation, at toll points on France’s

Exclusive: Hadopi secret document on securing means (only in French,

À lire sur Numerama : Exclusif : le document secret de l’Hadopi sur les moyens de sécurisation

Securing: Hadopi, future referee of a “box” match? (only in French,

Hadopi Gone Wild: France Plans Spyware for Three Strikes (4.08.2010)

Hadopi: leaflets distributed at the toll posts this week-end (only in
French, 20.08.2010)