[A2k] Publication of a Statement of Case at the French Constitutional Court against Surveillance Bill!

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Thu Jun 25 03:56:53 PDT 2015


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Permanent link: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/publication-of-a-statement-of-case-at-the-french-constitutional-court-against-surveillance-bill

Publication of a Statement of Case at the French Constitutional Court against Surveillance Bill!

*** Paris, 23 June, 2015 — La Quadrature du Net, French Data Network [1] and the FDN Federation [2] are publishing an essay to accompany their legal action before the French Constitutional Court against the French Surveillance Bill. The three associations, opposed [3] to the French Surveillance Bill since its introduction in the Council of Ministers on 19 March, continue their mobilisation against this unjust law, in spite of its adoption in the National Assembly [4] and the Senate [5]. Citizens are invited to support this approach by sharing and commenting [6] on this essay by Thursday 7am to bring their thoughts or suggestions for improvement before sending it to the Constitutional Council. ***

The Surveillance Bill has exposed, during the entire length of a stormy legislative process which began last March 19, the government's and the intelligence service's wish to have accepted – particularly in the name of the struggle against terrorism – surveillance practices which are intrusive, often indiscriminating, still barely supervised, and which massively affect the fundamental liberties of all citizens.

As numerous opponents [7] have emphasized during the last three months, this law establishes:

    * A widening of the range of intelligence practices, potentially permitting placing under surveillance entire segments of political life, union activities, militancy, but also economic and scientific life and so forth;
    * Massive legalisation of the intelligence services' illegal practices and the introduction of mass surveillance over the entirety of electronic communication;
    * A lack of real, independent control a priori by the future CNCTR [National Centre for the Supervision of Intelligence], and largely illusory recourse by citizens;

While the two chambers are rather indifferently finalizing the vote on this law today and tomorrow, June 24, people have wanted to judge the outcome of the process, and will address to the Constitutional Council an amicus curiae brief denouncing the unconstitutionality of the Intelligence law, whose conditions are proliferating the attacks on rights and liberties.

The team of pro bono lawyers and analysts on behalf of La Quadrature du Net, the French Data Network and the FDN Federation have worked in recent weeks to product this legal and technical analysis of the law. Not all its measure have been screened, the brief dealing principally with the measures relating to the surveillance of communication on the Internet. But this collective work has resulted in a document of more than 100 pages.

This brief will be sent Thursday morning to the Constitutional Council by the procedure known as petit porte [8]. Before filing it, we thought it necessary to submit this work to the public enable citizens to propose improvements to the legal arguments, missing data or inconsistencies, proposals for better writing, and even spelling corrections. Unfortunately, deadlines are extremely tight if we want a chance to see our arguments considered by the Constitutional Council.

"Although conducted in a hurry, this work has enabled us to deepen the criticism against the text, and even discover new arguments demonstrating its incompatibility with the rule of law. Given the near total deference accorded by the political power to intelligence services, it is now up to the judges to reason the National's interests by censoring this law surveillance. We hope that the Constitutional Council will take into account our arguments, and it will show a larger open-mindedness to citizen participation than Jean-Jacques Urvoas, rapporteur of the text to the Assembly, who put civil society down to the rank of "amateur scholars" during debates. 

We also hope that our work will be useful to some parliamentarians who have fought against this law and who are currently preparing the text of their appeal to the Constitutional Council. If the Sages do not hear us, we're ready to go bring these arguments to the judges of the European Court of Human Rights ... " said Felix Tréguer, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

Read and comment the statement of case [9]

PDF version [10]

* References *

1. http://x.fdn.fr/blog42
2. http://www.ffdn.org/fr/article/2015-06-23/pjl-renseignement-vos-commentaires
3. http://x.fdn.fr/blog42
4. French lower legislative chamber
5. French upper legislative chamber
6. https://lqdn.co-ment.com/text/S2rnRkNZ68T/view/
7. https://wiki.laquadrature.net/PJL_relatif_au_renseignement/Positionnements
8. The "narrow gate", expression to express the difficulty of this action
9. https://lqdn.co-ment.com/text//S2rnRkNZ68T/view/
10. http://www.fdn.fr/pjlr/amicus1.pdf 

** About La Quadrature du Net **

La Quadrature du Net is an advocacy group that defends 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: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/they-support-la-quadrature-du-net

** Press contact and press room **

contact at laquadrature.net, +33 (0)972 294 426


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