A year of surveillance in France: a short satirical tale by La Quadrature du Net

From the so-called Country of human rights to a surveillance State

Noémie and Marne and Nono

Playlists: '37c3' videos starting here / audio

Fighting against surveillance has never been easy. But in the past year it has been specially tough in France. This talk is about shedding light on the many situations where the French State used surveillance to increase repression, mainly against activists, during the last months. Not to despair of this, but willing to provide a sincere overview to the rest of the world, La Quadrature du Net proposes to depict this situation as a satirical tale, with its own characters, plots and suspense. We want to show the political tension going on right now in France and how the checks and balances are lacking to stop this headlong rush to a surveillance state.

Looking back to France in 2023, what do we see? Implementation of new technologies such as drones, DNA marking or new generation of spywares. Also, an intensification of political surveillance, either by law enforcement deploying disproportionate means of investigations towards environmental activists or intelligence services using cameras or GPS beacons to spy on places or people that they find too radical. It was also the year of the “8 December” case, a judicial case where among other things, encrypted communications of the prosecuted persons were considered as signs of "clandestinity" that reveal criminal intentions.

On top of this, we also had to deal with the legalization of biometric surveillance for the Olympics and massive censorship of social networks when riots erupted in suburbs against police violence.

This talk is about showing the reality of the situation at stake right now in France, and how it could influence the rest of Europe. At the end, we hope to raise awareness in the international community and start thinking about how, together, we can put pressure on a country who uses its old reputation to pretend to be respectful of human rights.


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