France's Parliament pursues its goal to censor the Internet

By EDRi · February 24, 2010

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Frankreichs Parlament verfolgt weiterhin sein Ziel das Internet zu zensurieren |]

On 16 February, the National Assembly, the lower house of the French
Parliament, passed the first draft of the so-called Loppsi 2 bill allowing
the authorities to control the Internet under the pretext of improving the
citizens’ security.

The new legislation deals not only with child pornography sites, but has in
view a long blacklist of other types of websites that ISPs will have to
block. The list of banned Web sites would be provided by the Interior
Ministry and it would be “the responsibility of each Internet service
provider to ensure that users don’t have access to unsuitable content.”
According to article 4 of the draft law, the ISPs contacted by the
authorities must block without delay the designated sites under the threat
of being fined up to 75 000 euro and one year of imprisonment for their
administrators in case of non-compliance.

The new legislation also allows the French police and security forces to
enter a suspect’s house and clandestinely install software to spy on private
computers, following a judge decision.

Loppsi 2 contains other provisions as well, including improved
interoperability between police files and personal data kept by institutions
such as banks and a tripling of surveillance cameras in France under the
pretext of “video protection.”

MEP Sandrine Béllier believes the bill represents “a serious threat” to the
neutrality of the Internet. “The filtering and blocking of the Web has
become a standard weapon in the legislative arsenal of a government which
has been shameless in its handling of personal freedoms,” she said in an

“Protection of childhood is shamelessly exploited by Nicolas Sarkozy to
implement a measure that will lead to collateral censorship and very
dangerous drifts. After the HADOPI comes the LOPPSI: the securitarian
machinery of the government is being deployed in an attempt to control the
Internet at the expense of freedoms”, stated Jérémie Zimmermann from La
Quadrature du Net.

The draft law will go for a second reading in the Senate and, if approved,
it could come into force this summer.

The French Senate also started on 23 February 2010 the discussions on the
draft legislation for the opening of the online gambling market that would
require the ISPs to block any unauthorised gambling websites.

France Moves Closer to Unprecedented Internet Regulation (17.02.2010),1518,678508,00.html

French Parliament approves Net censorship (11.02.2010)

Loppsi was adopted by the National Assembly (only in French, 16.02.2010)

Loppsi: the installation of software spies to suspects is adopted (only in
French, 11.02.2010)

Filtering of web sites: ISPs simple executants (only in French, 9.02.2010)

Online gambling filtering examined this Tuesday in the Senate (only in
French, 23.02.2010),

EDRi-gram: LOPPSI 2 French law – to block or not to block websites