France
PLSI: draft law on internal security - the age of suspicion


Paris, 25 October 2002

The Fédération Informatique et Libertés (FIL) has issued a call to oppose Nicolas Sarkozy´s "projet de Loi pour la Securité Intérieure" (PLSI, draft law on internal security), which makes French society enter, in no uncertain terms, into what can reasonably be called "the age of suspicion" and of generalised surveillance.

The measures will seriously undermine civil liberties, the content of the PLSI would legalise:

- genetic databases of ordinary suspects (except for white-collar criminals), through the unprecedented expansion of the FNAEG database (National Database of Genetic Prints) which up to now only covered people found guilty of particularly serious crimes;

- the opening of data collection "without age limits" and the interconnection of police and gendarmerie (paramilitary police) databases, previously not allowed because of the dangers posed for civil liberties;

- granting access to these police databases to foreign law enforcement agencies, as well as to people working in the field of security in an administrative police function;

- the non-return of "objects" seized during criminal investigations without any provision being made for the return of IT "data", which can represent a serious danger for the work and for the economic survival of the people, associations and companies to which they belong;

- the expansion of the concept of falsification of electronic signatures which, under the guise of combating mobile telephone theft, calls back into question the right of private copies recognised by French law;

- the putting into place of "intelligent" video-surveillance systems and facilitated access to vehicle registration and driving license databases.

Moreover, the LSQ provided for the abrogation of exceptional measures that have been adopted on 31 December 2003. Sarkozy´s PLSI, on the other hand, states that their abrogation may not take place before 31 December 2005 ... thus ratifying provisions concerning the searches of vehicles, frisking of persons without their consent and outside of legal hours, searches and frisking undertaken by private security agents, the retention of communications data, as well as the criminalisation of cryptography.

FIL strongly calls on French MPs to carry out their responsibility and to vote for civil liberties and against the PLSI.

FIL is a federation of associations, NGOs and individuals engaged in the defence of privacy and of freedom of expression: http://www.lafil.org contact: ca@lafil.org

See the detailed analysis of the PLSI on LSIjolie: http://www.lsijolie.net/article.php32id_article 123



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