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France

In the media
Publisher: 
Le Monde
Publication date: 
28-Mar-2014
Author(s): 
Louise Couvelaire
Original story link: 

"Aujourd'hui, il peut enregistrer les conversations téléphoniques, avoir accès aux textos... Ce qui n'était pas le cas il y a encore un an", fulmine Matthew Rice, de l'organisation à but non lucratif Privacy International, basée à Londres.

Countries: 
Blog
Matthew Rice's picture

Let's be clear: private surveillance companies are not just selling a product. Companies do not merely pack their product into a box and put it in the post. More often than not, surveillance firms sell a consultancy service, one that actively provides pre-sale consultancy, installation of the product, and training on how to operate the technology. When the product breaks, companies often provide ongoing technical support, with some companies sending over of consultants for up to 18 months to provide in-depth support to agencies. A number of companies also operate 24/7 support lines for agencies to contact with their queries.

The consultancy services provided must not be overlooked. Indeed, it is just as dangerous as the technology itself and increases the level of complicity in the perpetration of human rights abuses between Western surveillance companies and the regimes that make up their customer base.

In the media
Publisher: 
Deutsche Welle
Publication date: 
04-Nov-2013
Author(s): 
Ben Knight
Original story link: 

 Though it is unsurprising that allied intelligence agencies cooperate and share information, the document did reveal a new facet of the relationship. "What we weren't previously aware of was the level of collusion when it comes to getting round surveillance law," Privacy International spokesman Mike Rispoli told DW. "We can't really be sure, but what we can infer is that when government officials discuss information sharing, they say, 'look at our laws here, look at what we're doing, look how lax our surveillance law is here, … you should get on board with this.' "

Blog
Matthew Rice's picture

When a product line becomes engulfed in controversy, the PR team's first move is to distance the corporation from the damage. The surveillance market is not immune to this approach, so when companies products are found to be in use by repressive regimes, the decision many boards make is simply to sell off that technology. This increasingly repetitive narrative is failing to solve any of the problems inherent with the sale of surveillance technology and in fact, is creating more.

In the media
Publisher: 
Financial Times
Publication date: 
01-Jul-2013
Author(s): 
Chris Bryant
Original story link: 

Eric King, head of research at Privacy International, says: “Lawful interception can only happen when there is the rule of law. [The export of] arms, weapons, bulletproof vests – even flares – are controlled. But surveillance equipment is not. And in the wrong hands this technology is just a dangerous,” he says. “No government has taken anywhere close to the steps required to control it.”

Press release

Google's latest Transparency Report, released at 3pm GMT this afternoon, shows that requests by European governments for the browsing history, email communications, documents and IP addresses of Google's users have skyrocketed since the Transparency Report was launched three years ago. Countries in the European Union made 7,254 requests about 9,240 users or accounts between July and December 2012, averaging over 1,200 requests a month. This represents over a third of all requests made by governments worldwide in this time period, and a 100% increase over the past three years. Overall, government requests to Google have increased by 70% in the past three years.

The figures also suggest that Google is denying a very high proportion of requests for user data from European countries. Italy, France, Spain and Germany all had less than half of their requests fully or partially fulfilled, suggesting that over 50% were disproportionately broad in scope, unlawful or submitted incorrectly. Just 17% of user data requests from the Polish government were fulfilled.

Press release

In his response to the third report from the Foreign Affairs Committee Session 2012-13, Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed for the first time the government's firm commitment to putting in place new export controls on "telecommunications equipment for which there is a reasonable expectation that it might be used to restrict freedom of expression on the internet". He added that the government was committed to "working with international partners through the mechanism of the Wassenaar Arrangement in order to agree a specific control list of goods, software and technology" and that this work would continue into 2013.

Blog
Georgia Ardizzone's picture

Privacy International welcomes reports that the French Government has come out against the export of surveillance technology to oppressive regimes. According to the French website reflets.info, the State Secretary for the Digital Economy Fleur Pellerin announced her opposition to such exports last Friday, during a radio show hosted by Le Monde and public broadcaster FranceCulture. The statement may indicate a sea change in the government's policies regarding surveillance technology, which have until now been marked by significant investment in the sector.

Blog
Eric King's picture

Privacy International has compiled data on the privacy provisions in national constitutions around the world, including which countries have constitutional protections, whether they come from international agreements, what aspects of privacy are actually protected and when those protections were enacted. We are pleased to make this information available under a Creative Commons license for organizations, researchers, students and the community at large to use to support their work (and hopefully contribute to a greater understanding of privacy rights).

The categories

Though the right to privacy exists in several international instruments, the most effective privacy protections come in the form of constitutional articles. Varying aspects of the right to privacy are protected in different ways by different countries. Broad categories include:

Report
01-Jan-2011

This country report is an evaluation of privacy and surveillance laws, policies and practices in France. The 2010 report was updated with the support of the European Commission's Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme 2007-2013.  In 2010 the report was updated by Pascale Gelly and Caroline Doulcet of Cabinet Gelly.

We aim to keep our knowledge of the state of privacy across the world as up-to-date as possible - it is a huge undertaking and we are always keen to gather more local knowledge. If you have some information to share or you spot an error, please drop us a line at info@privacy.org. If you would like to support this crucial research project, please consider making a donation

 

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