Posted by: Lotfi Frigi | February 17, 2010

France leapfrogs past Australia in Big Brother stakes

About a month ago, (January 15th, 2010), I posted on a different venue the ramifications and the serious implications of the impending enforcement of the “Google Tax” and the two more dangerous instances of such a law, the HADOPI (Haute Autorité Pour La Diffusion Des Œuvres Et La Protection Des Droits Sur Internet) and the LOPPSI (La Loi D’Orientation Et De Programmation Pour La Sécurité Intérieure) laws in France. Well, lo and behold! Yesterday, L’Assemblée Nationale approved LOPPSI  312 votes for, 214 against.

Here is my comment from January 15th on the subject…

“While some have been paying close attention to Google and China banging heads the last week or so, something spookier is happening much closer to our shores… Big Brother, (or should it be “Le Grand Frere”?), is lurking in the land that gave birth to modern democracy, the land of La Revolution Francaise…
While “le sujet du jour”in France seems to be the “Google Tax”, a tax to be levied on online advertising revenues, not much press seems to be given to the scarier “Loi HADOPI”. The HADOPI Law, a “three strike and you’re out” kind of deal, was concocted to monitor file-sharing. If caught, your internet access is cutoff and won’t be resumed unless you install a special spyware that will report your activity to the government. Yes, you read that right! A little trojan that reports to Papa and Maman at the Elysees! And that’s not it folks! There’s more!… “La Loi LOPPSI” a law that proposes to “filter” the internet, the same way the Chinese do, might go in effect in a couple of months. Filtering the internet means, to techies like yours truly, using Deep Packet Inspection, which would be a tiny little step away from internet censorship… Sounds like a couple of Orwellian books we all read some years ago, right?”

France has something of a history of making idiotic legislation. It was the French who insisted that GSM encryption should be deliberately weakened. They were the ones also to adopt the HADOPI law only to declare it unconstitutional and bin it later on. Let’s hope that this will eventually be treated likewise! But you better believe that many other governments around the world, especially those with a Fascist penchant, are paying close attention to what’s going on in France and the public reaction to it. The sad part is, I have a feeling that a lot of  people are unaware of the implications of such a legislation; for those who are, I bet you they have “better” things to do than worry about their online privacy. Some of us simply can’t see that this is a mere test of how far governments can go before rolling out the big guns and sending us screaming into the Orwellian 1984, or worse…



  1. How far are we from it, I wonder? …

  2. Oh we don’t need such laws! We are, and have been, there for a little while now; 2002 may be? We traveled a different way though to get there. We have a few agencies that record all audio and internet communications while fishing for certain codewords…

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