[A2k] France's G8 Focuses on Control and Restrictions to Online Freedoms

La Quadrature du Net jz at laquadrature.net
Fri May 20 06:54:57 PDT 2011

La Quadrature du Net - For immediate release

Permanent link: http://www.laquadrature.net/en/frances-g8-focuses-on-control-and-restrictions-to-online-freedoms

France's G8 Focuses on Control and Restrictions to Online Freedoms

*** Paris, May 20th, 2011 – A detailed analysis of exchanges between the French President and his former Minister of Foreign Affairs on G8 related matters appears in tomorrow's edition of the Marianne magazine. La Quadrature du Net has accessed sources that confirm the existence of a control-oriented policy, explicitly hostile to the support to the freedom of expression on the Internet, in blatant contrast with the farcical "eG8 forum" smokescreen. Governments must be made accountable for the positions they take on these issues when they speak behind close doors. ***

** The Elysée (French Presidency) does not want to hear anything about cyberdissidents or freedom of expression, it wants “control”. **

Frédéric Martel, Marianne, 21-27 May 2011 (about the reasons behind the cancellation of a pre-G8 international conference on freedom of expression online)

This conclusion, based on factual evidence, confirms what we have claimed for months now: despite public statements that try to conceal it and the staged smokescreen of the "eG8 forum", the French presidency of the G8 has constantly tried to prevent any statement that would declare the Internet as a universal space of freedom and an essential tool for democracy, or that would promote adequate protection against online censorship and control.

This policy directly originated from the French presidency, and was imposed on the Foreign Affairs Ministry [1]. Other G8 governments (and not just Russia) also support control and restriction to free online communications, though they have not be caught in the act in such an obvious manner.

"Citizens and all parties who care for fundamental rights and freedoms must send a clear message to governments : the smokescreen debates among industry representatives at the eG8 next Tuesday will not hide what is at stake in the G8 that follows," declares Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of La Quadrature du Net.

"All the G8 documents must be made public, as well as positions of each country on Internet freedoms or control issues. Freedom of expression and democracy can not be sacrificed for the benefit of some economic or political self-serving interests," concludes Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of the citizen organization.

* Références *

1. See http://www.laquadrature.net/en/sarkozy-exports-repressive-internet

** About la Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that promotes the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. 

In addition to its advocacy work, the group also aims to foster a better understanding of legislative processes among citizens. Through specific and pertinent information and tools, La Quadrature du Net hopes to encourage citizens' participation in the public debate on rights and freedoms in the digital age.

La Quadrature du Net is supported by French, European and international NGOs including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Open Society Institute and Privacy International.

List of supporting organisations : http://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-squaring-net-la-quadrature-du-net

** Press contact and press room **

Jérémie Zimmermann, jz at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)615 940 675


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