French Patriot Act


A few days ago, France adopted a new set of law called “Loi sur le Renseignement (“Information Gathering Act”). Despite being a very controversial law that grant extensive power to the Prime Minister and his office to run any mass and personal surveillance they want, it was not really publicly debated and little is known to the public on what they could have done to express their opinion and what they could do know to protect their privacy.

I decided to list a few resources that could have been useful to be advertised by medias before the vote and actions that people can take now that the law is in place. If there was tools to automatically surface those actions from articles and put them in front of the user, raising the action threshold may be possible. (sorry, most of the content is in French…)

It started with a first law allowing censorship on the web without the accord of a judge. Many so-call Islamic websites have been blocked and some people may have seen in France this image explaining that the website they were trying to view was blocked.


Action: read more on websites blocked and read testimonies of people running those websites who explain that they were not promoting terrorism at all.

Following this wave of censorship, many organizations in defense of civil liberties tried to raise the alarms.

Action: watch video explaining the content of the new bill and its potential pitfalls.


When the bill seemed to get traction, a campaign of information tried to raise awareness and engage people into submitting their opinion to their local representatives.

Action: go on the website Sous Surveillance to read about the full project of law, get local representative phone number of Twitter username.


When a project is introduced at the French parliament, they is a way for people to share their opinion and give feedback on a the bill.

Action: read the impact analysis of the bill and share feedback to deputies. For lazy people, a tweet to a members of the government could have been a first step.


On the day of the vote, Monday April 13th, a public manifestation has been organized by many civil liberties organizations.

Action: take part in the manifestation.


After the bill was still voted into law, knowing the content and what people can do to protect themselves is the only thing left to do.

Action: watch the French Interior Minister announce that privacy is not a civil liberty, read about the vote done by only 30 deputies out of 577 or the IMSI catchers in front of Parliament during the manifestation, learn about VPN and SSL to protect privacy.