News

Antiterrorism Censorship: Macron teams up with the Web giants to set up mass surveillance

14 November 2018 - Two months ago, the European Commission published a proposal for a Regulation on terrorist censorship. We denounced it, explaining that this project would destroy the entire decentralized Web. Since then, we have met the French Ministries in charge of the file: our fears have increased.

France, with the support of Germany and the European Parliament, will do everything to prevent a democratic debate on this text: the government does not talk about it in the press, wants to force its urgent adoption and invokes "national security secrets" to avoid any facts-based debate.

Why so many secrets? Probably because this text, written with Google and Facebook, will submit the whole Web to these giants, to whom the State is already selling out its role in the fight against terrorism online. The collaboration announced on Monday by Macron between the State and Facebook is just a small, but revealing, step towards such a broader alliance.

Content regulation: what legal obligations for the GAFAM?

op-ed by Arthur Messaud

7th of November 2018 - Last week, we explained that decentralizing the web would bring hope to organize our online exchanges democratically, to counter the hegemony of the online attention economy. Indeed, the GAFAMs are distorting our exchanges for economical reasons while propounding hateful, caricatural, violent or even paid statements... to the detriment of others. This must be fixed.

Regulating the Web through decentralisation

30th of October 2018 – The adoption of the Copyright Directive and the recent debates about "Fake News" have been an introduction to the more general discussion about the regulation of the Internet, which will be held (FR) this year. Today, La Quadrature du Net submits some practical proposals.

The Squaring of our Lives (Les Quadratures de nos Vies)

OpEd by Jérémie Zimmermann. 10 years after co-founding La Quadrature du Net, 4 years after leaving full-time coordination and representation to progressively take distance, Jérémie quits the organization today by resigning from his membership.

To my comrades of past, present and future adventures,

Antiterrorist Censorship: The EU Commission Wants to Kill the Decentralized Internet

12 September 2018 - This morning, as everybody was looking at the Copyright Directive adoption, the EU Commission released a proposal for a Regulation on the censorship of terrorist propaganda.

This proposal would impose new obligations to hosting service providers, including the removal in less than an hour of the reported content. This proposal trivializes police and private censorship as well as the circumvention of justice. Automated filters, which play a crucial role in the debate on the Copyright Directive, are becoming the core component of censorship regimes in the digital era1.

  • 1. According to the proposal, every hosting service provider on the Internet, whatever its size or its operation, would have to remove terrorist content within one hour upon receiving a removal order by a national authority (Article 4). These authorities would also be able to impose censorship, based not on national law but on the terms and conditions of these providers (Article 5). Finally, providers are invited to take proactive measures, including through automated means, to scan online contents and block those they consider a terrorist content (article 6)

Copyright Directive: the cultural industry and press publishers feed on the crumbs of the mass surveillance business

12 September 2018 - The European Parliamant has just adopted the CopyRight Directive, despite delaying it last summer. Having successfully passed this Directive, the cultural industry and press publishers feed on the crumbs left by mass surveillance businesses. Rather than preventing such a capitulation to the GAFAM, French Government has vigourously promoted it.

Teemo, Fidzup: French privacy watchdog bans rogue geolocation, EU considers legalising it

3 September, 2018 - On 20 July 2018, France's data protection authority the CNIL declared (FR) that the activities of two French start-ups, Teemo et Fidzup, are illegal. They geolocate millions of people for advertising purposes and without their consent. The companies have three months to cease these activities. Unfortunately, in the long run their model could become legal. That is what the European Union is debating in an upcoming ePrivacy regulation.

In France, Smart City Policing is Spreading Like Wildfire


In March, we started unveiling what is surrounding the Orwellian project
"Smart City™" in Marseille. But, as it turns out, Marseille is but a tree hiding the forest, as predictive policing and police surveillance centers boosted by Big Data tools are proliferating all over France. Nice is a good illustration: The city's mayor, security-obsessed Christian Estrosi, has partnered with Engie Inéo and Thalès -- two companies competing in this thriving market -- for two projects meant to give birth to the "Safe City™" in Nice. Yet, in the face of the unhindered development of these technologies meant for social control, the president of the CNIL (France's data protection agency) seems to find it urgent to... follow the situation. Which amounts to laisser-faire.

Tor is for everyone

Op-ed by Lunar, member of La Quadrature du Net

German Police searches Tor-supporters Zwiebelfreunde on flimsy bases

Op-ed by Taziden, member of La Quadrature du Net

On 20 June, searches were carried out1 at the homes of several board members of the German association "Zwiebelfreunde". All their computers and storage media (hard drives, USB keys) were seized by the German police.

Tomorrow, European Parliament Must Reject Automated Filtering

4 July 2018 - Tomorrow, the whole European Parliament will vote on the new Copyright Directive. Two weeks ago, Parliament's "Legal Affairs" Committee has adopted a first text, forcing commercial platforms to actively block copyright-protected contents uploaded by their users. Tomorrow, Parliament must reject this text.

Massive claims against unlawful data retention

June 25, 2018 - 62 NGOs, community networks, academics and activists are sending a joint open letter to the European Commission, along with various complaints against EU Member States' policy on blanket data retention.

Copyright Directive: Let's Fight Automated Filtering... and Web Centralisation!

12 June 2018 – On 20 June, the European Parliament will make its decision regarding the Copyright Directive, symbol of a new era of Internet regulation. La Quadrature is calling on you to call the Members of European Parliament and demand they act against automated censorship in the name of copyright protection and, more broadly, against centralisation of the Web.

La Quadrature is ten years old! Assessing the past and opening fresh perspectives

This year, La Quadrature du Net celebrates its tenth year anniversary. It has been a long road since March 2008, where in the face of a disturbing wave of repressive policies, five activists –  Christophe Espern, Jérémie Zimmermann, Philippe Aigrain, Gérald Sedrati-Dinet and Benjamin Sonntag, who had met during the fight against the DADVSI law and software patents and for the promotion of commons – decided to create a collective to carry the values of the Free Internet against repeated mercantile and securitarian threats.

Net Neutrality Has No Future Without a Strong And Independent Supervision

27 April 2018 - La Quadrature du Net signs with other European organizations a letter to Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to ask them to stand for strong, independent regulatory authorities. During the non-transparent trilogue1 that took place on Wednesday on the European electronic communications code, the Member States and some MEPs agreed on an article that could create ambiguities on the competences of the national regulatory authorities (NRAs), enabling other national authorities such as Governments to enforce Net neutrality rules.2 The lack of independence of the authorities that enforce, monitor and assess Net neutrality regulation3 will inevitably lower efficiency of the implementation and favour economic interests of oligopolistics telecom industries.

  • 1. Negotiations behind closed doors carried on by delegates of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union.
  • 2. The new draft is: "Under the scope of this Directive the national regulatory authority shall be responsible at least for the following tasks: (...) Assessing and monitoring closely market shaping and competition issues regarding open Internet access".
  • 3. Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 laying down measures concerning open internet access

It's Time to Tackle GAFAM and Their World

18 April 2018 - Last Monday, we launched our class action campaign against GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft). Until May 25th (the day complaints will be brought to the CNIL - the French Data Protection Authority), anyone living in France can join us on gafam.laquadrature.net. These first steps will, over the long term, pave the way to steadily counter the world they are trying to force on us.

La Quadrature du Net opens to new members

Paris, 12 march 2018 - As announced in November 2017, in the conclusions to the summary of its first ten years [FR], La Quadrature du Net has formally incorporated around thirty of its valued partners as members. Most of them long-term volunteers, these members joined the organisation at the beginning of January 2018, at the invitation of the office and its paid employees.

"Fake news" : bringing the European debate to the source of the problem

Paris, 2 March 2018 - The European Commission recently launched a consultation on “fake news and online disinformation” to which La Quadrature has responded. The current debate about these phenomena seems to be dominated by a prevailing confusion and risks to lead to measures restricting freedom of expression and the right to information. Nonetheless, the big platforms' system of commercial surveillance needs to be addressed seriously, as it disrupts public debate by treating our attention as a commodity.

Founding Campaign 2017: Thank You, Everyone!

Paris, 19 February 2018 - Although admittedly our annual donation campaign did not reach its goal, thanks to our supporters we have managed to gather enough funding to pursue our work for another year. At the end of January, we had collected 220,758€ from individual donations, reaching 68% of our goal (320,000€). Our total budget for 2018 is estimated at 380,000€ and is presently covered 90% (of which 66% are from individual donations).1Thanks again to everyone who supporting us <3

  • 1. This figure also includes the unspent part of last year’s individual donations still on hand when the campaign began on 14 November 2017.

Fake news: Macron's future law is dodging the real issue

12 January 2018, Paris - Last week, Emmanuel Macron announced a future law against the spreading of "fake news". By aiming for a rather cynical announcement effect, his proposals exemplify an actual lack of interest for a matter which, however, needs to be addressed seriously. The spreading of "fake news" as a symptom of distortion in public debates is caused by the commercial surveillance system of the big platforms - with which the established political parties perfectly got along so far.