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October 16, 2014

France: Counterterrorism bill would breach free movement, expression

A counterterrorism bill before the French parliament would provide overly broad and vague powers that would breach rights to free movement and expression, Human Rights Watch has said. The bill, proposed by the French government in July 2014 under an accelerated procedure, was adopted by the National Assembly in September and is now before the senate. The bill would introduce new measures such as barring anyone from leaving France who the authorities suspect would participate in terrorist... MORE
August 14, 2014

French news site Rue89 suffers cyberattacks, staffers harassed

There have been repeated cyberattacks on Paris-based news website Rue89 and members of its staff and their families have been harassed since the site published a profile of an Internet hacker last month. Rue89 on July 29 published a profile by Benoit Le Corre of a self-described "militant Zionist" hacker, identified as a French national named Gregory Chelli, who says he is based in the Israeli city of Ashdod. The article described how the hacker had attacked and disabled websites of... MORE
May 6, 2011

France: Senate rejects bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has welcomed this week’s decision by the French Senate to reject a bill that would have had made it a crime to deny that there was a genocide of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915. “There is of course no question of denying the reality of the Armenian genocide, but we think this proposed law threatened personal freedom,” RSF said. “Like other genocide-denial laws, it violated the principle of protecting freedom of expression and... MORE
January 19, 2011

Second wave of warning emails under controversial HADOPI law in France

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed concern over the decision of French authorities on the second stage of enforcement of the controversial HADOPI law, under which Internet users suspected of illegal file-sharing could end up having their Internet connection suspended. After starting to send warning emails on October 5, the authorities have announced that they are now sending out a second wave of emails accompanied by a certified letter. If violators... MORE
January 14, 2011

France wants to put Internet regulation on the G8 agenda

A member of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's administration has that Sarkozy wanted to gather representatives of Internet operators from each of the G8 countries prior to the upcoming international summit. That summit, which is currently slated for May 26-27, is to be held in Deauville, in northern France, according to Deutsche Welle. "The idea is that representatives from each G8 nation should meet in Deauville before the G8 and produce a report on these questions: What regulation is... MORE
January 14, 2011

France: Bill that would threaten online freedom continues its way through parliament

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expressed concern that the French government and parliament seem deaf to the concerns being voiced by civil society about a proposed domestic security law known as LOPPSI 2 and the threat it poses to online freedom of expression. “Despite all the criticism from free speech groups and certain legislators and despite reports showing that Internet filtering systems are ineffective, this bill is advancing steadily without the major... MORE
December 22, 2010

Video proving French TV hostages “still alive” is not enough, says RSF

With just days to go to the first anniversary of the abduction of French TV journalists Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier and three Afghan assistants in northeastern Afghanistan, the French foreign ministry announced Monday that it has received and authenticated a video from their captors showing that they are still alive. “This is of course good news for the families, who have been reassured by being able to see that their loved-ones are still alive and apparently in good health, albeit... MORE
December 21, 2010

Process under way to scure release of French journalists in Afghanistan

A French government spokesman indicated Tuesday that progress being made to secure the release of two French TV journalists abducted in Kabul nearly a year ago. Spokesman Francois Baroin told the broadcaster RTL: "The liberation process is ongoing, but this will still take some time." His remark came after a video surfaced in which the two journalists sent private messages to their relatives. Baroin said the video had been examined and judged to be genuine. "It dates to November and shows that... MORE
October 25, 2010

Security forces in France must respect public’s right to be informed, says RSF

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) says it has received several calls from journalists complaining of the difficulties they have had in covering the ongoing street protests against the government’s pension reform plans. A Canal+ reporter was hit repeatedly by members of the CRS riot police in Paris on October 17. On the grounds of an alleged “invasion of the privacy” of police officers, a Reuters journalist was banned from filming, and his equipment was seized,... MORE
September 17, 2010

France: Bill would sacrifice online freedom for sake of security

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has expresses concern over the negative impact that a French national security bill known as LOPPSI 2 could have on online free expression. The version of the bill that was passed by the Senate on first reading on September 10 envisages an ineffective and dangerous online filtering system that could jeopardise the work of journalists and bloggers. Under the Senate-amended version of article 4 (on combating online porn and... MORE