• France edition
 
France rapped by internet freedom report
Reporters Without Borders

France rapped by internet freedom report

Published: 13 Mar 2012 09:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Mar 2012 09:25 GMT+01:00

France is the only European Union country to be placed "under surveillance" in a new report on internet freedom.

The annual report, published by campaign group Reporters Without Borders, lists countries considered to be "enemies of the internet" for censorship, restriction of internet freedom and harassment of online bloggers.

The list of internet enemies covers twelve countries, including China, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.

Bahrain and Belarus both joined the list in 2012.

France is the only European country to feature on the "under surveillance" list, which identifies countries that are not yet considered "enemies of the internet" but are on the organisation's radar.

France is criticised for policies which threaten to cut off internet access for people who repeatedly download content illegally.

Under the controversial HADOPI law (an acronym of the government agency set up to administer internet rights), users face a "three-strike" procedure if they download content illegally.

An email message to the offending user is followed by a certified letter. If the user continues to offend the internet service provider is required to suspend internet access for a period between two months and one year.

The country is also accused of "escalating lawsuits against journalistic sources" in a reference to criminal indictments against reporters covering a number of corruption and spying stories.

France was also criticised for ruling that Facebook and Twitter should not be mentioned by name on TV or radio.

In June 2011, broadcasting regulator CSA ruled that "redirecting [people] to pages by naming the social networks concerned is a form of publicity that violates the provisions of Article 9 of the March 27, 1992 decree prohibiting surreptitious advertising."

Other countries to be added to the "under surveillance" list in 2012 include Australia.

The country was criticised for its "dangerous content filtering system."

The Australian government has been successful in persuading internet service providers to create a system that blocks access to child pornography sites and others deemed inappropriate. 

France and Australia join countries including Russia, India and Egypt on the list. 

Reporters Without Borders said that "supposedly democratic countries continue to set a bad example by yielding to the temptation to prioritise security over other concerns and by adopting disproportionate measures to protect copyright."

 

 

Matthew Warren (news@thelocal.fr)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France plan air lifts to help fight Ebola
Liberian Red Cross health workers, wearing protective suits, carry the body of a 18-old-month baby, victim of the Ebola virus in Monrovia. AFP Photo/Zoom Dosso

France plan air lifts to help fight Ebola

France and Germany will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Moody's keeps France on negative outlook
Credit ratings agency Moody's said that France till has significant credit strengths. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Moody's keeps France on negative outlook

Moody's maintained its negative rating on France on Friday but -- despite earlier reports -- did not deal the struggling economy a downgrade. READ  

Air France strike to continue another week
Air France pilots have voted to continue their strike for another week. Photo: AFP

Air France strike to continue another week

Air France pilots voted on Friday to extend their strike for another week, while management has showed no signs of compromising, according to French media reports. Roughly half of the flagship carrier's flights have remained grounded due to the action. READ  

‘Red tape France’ tops UN e-efficiency list
France apparently isn't the world capital of red tape. Photo: Department for Communities and Local Government/Flickr

‘Red tape France’ tops UN e-efficiency list

France, notorious for its jungle of red-tape, has apparently been undersserving of some of that criticism. A new report ranks France as the best country in Europe when it comes to online government services. READ  

Sarkozy announces his return to French politics
Nicolas Sarkozy is back in French politics. Photo: AFP

Sarkozy announces his return to French politics

In a long-expected announcement, Nicolas Sarkozy said he will return to French politics with a bid for his party's presidency, which many believe is the first step toward a run at France's top elected office. READ  

Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze
The days of the love locks craze in Paris may be numbered. Photo: AFP

Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze

'Love locks' have become such a problem in Paris the city has just installed panels intended to block couples from latching their passion to the town's infrastracture, leaving it straining under a dangerous load. READ  

Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack
Photo: Heel: Shutterstock

Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack

A Paris taxi driver has died after angry passengers beat and stabbed him with stiletto high heel shoes during a drunken night out in the French capital. READ  

France launches first bombing runs on Isis
France got praise from US President Barack Obama for its decision to bomb Isis militants. Photo: Jean-Luc Brunet/AFP

France launches first bombing runs on Isis

France launched its first airstrikes on Friday against the Isis militants who have seized swathes of Iraq and Syria. Word of the bombing came less than 24 hours after French President François Hollande promised military action. READ  

French crook fakes his funeral to escape cops
The reports of one French crook's death were, it turns out, greatly exaggerated. Photo: Graves: Shutterstock

French crook fakes his funeral to escape cops

A wanted French criminal crafted a detailed plan to fake his own death, but there was just one problem: the police turned up at his 'funeral'. READ  

French leaders relieved by Scotland's 'No' vote
French leaders heaved a sigh of relief over Scotland's 'no' vote. Photo: Andy Buchanan/AFP

French leaders relieved by Scotland's 'No' vote

There was plenty of relief in France's political classes on Friday after Scottish voters decisively rejected independence from the United Kingdom. One top minister said a 'yes ' vote would have hurt the European Union. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
National
Ten great bars in Paris only locals know about
Society
France's top expat tribes: Which are you?
National
France to set flat-rate for Paris airport taxis
Politics
French separatists want Scots to say 'yes'
National
Anti-dog poo offensive launched in French town
National
Scammers attack Paris's top cop at tourist hotspot
National
French leader didn't pay his rent for three years
National
'WW2 bomb' kills camper on French island
Does France have a racism problem?
National
National
'Enough gloom, France is an amazing country'
Gallery
The top ten tourist traps to avoid in France
Politics
The juiciest bits from Trierweiler's tell-all book
Politics
Trierweiler tells all: 'Hollande wanted me back, at any price'
Education
'Sacre bleu!' Do the French really say that?
Politics
Manuel Valls has plenty in common with Tony Blair, but not background
International
Votes for expats: Plan to end UK's 15-year rule
Gallery
Ten dos and don'ts for keeping your French in-laws happy
National
Unemployment: How does France compare to Europe?
International
Are all the talented professionals really leaving France?
National
La France profonde: Is it a rural idyll or a backwater hell?
Travel
Check out the four new attractions coming to Paris this autumn
Gallery
The French words you can't translate literally
National
Ten things you need to know about France's economics whizzkid
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se