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Date: 2000-07-08

FR: Netz/feinde von rinks & lechts

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Diese Schilderung Meryem Marzoukis [IRIS, Global Internet
Liberty Campaign] des momentanen Stands der Internet-
Gesetzgebung in FR liest sich echt spaßig. Auch im Haupt-
und Stammland der europäischen Ideologien wechseln
plötzlich die altvertrauten Grenzen: der Feind deskommt
abwechselnd von links und rechts.

Members of Parliaments from three right wing parties (current
opposition) have submitted the adopted law to the
Constitutional Council (CC). This is the last possible step of
the process (apart from revision in the framework of another
draft law). The CC only examines if the law is compliant with
the Constitution. In France, only the president, the prime
minister, or a group of more than 60 members of the
Parliament can submit a law to the CC (former president
François Mitterand promised to open this possibility to
citizens and civil society groups, but of course he did nothing
such... But this is another story...)

The text of the appeal lodged against the law doesn't mention
the amendment we are interested in. It is rather focusing on
very different matters, and invokes freedom of commerce and
competition (it has been written but the ultraliberal party).
BUT : the CC generally examines the whole text of the law
submitted to it. This is our last chance with this law. If the
CC says, as we claim, that the amendment is infringing the
Constitution (since art 34 of the Constitution states that any
provisions which may attempt to or limit civil liberties should
be detailed in the law), then the consequences will be very
good. If it says nothing about that, then the consequences
will be very bad, including for the next information society law

The appeal has been lodged on June 30th. Normally, the CC
decision should occur within one month. The process is
secret, in the sense that the members of the CC decide by
themselves (this is not a trial).

What is interesting is that the CC has suppressed in 1996
major provisions of the 'Fillon Amendment', which was an
attempt to introduce Internet censorship in the
telecommunication law. Article 34 of the Constitution was the
basis of this decision by the CC.

What is funny (?) is that in 1996, the government was right
wing, and the appeal was lodged by socialists members of
the Parliament. They were not really concerned with the
Fillon amendment, but they wanted to get the gov into trouble
with this law privatizing the telecom. Now this is exactly the
same situation, only exchanging the players. Note that the
right wing members of the Parliament were'nt against current
Internet amendment. Rather the contrary.

Next episode : the report on Internet coregulation. But for the
moment I've to finish reviewing the thesis document of one of
my students, who is ready to kill me if I don't do that _now_.

-- Meryem Marzouki - Pages personnelles : IRIS - 294 rue de Charenton,
75012 Paris, France Tel/Fax: +33(0)144749239 -

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edited by Harkank
published on: 2000-07-08
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