IRIS Actions/ Loi communication

Loi sur la liberté de communication :
Communiqué de presse de l'EuroISPA (27 mars 2000)

 


NOOSE OF RED TAPE TIGHTENS AROUND FRENCH INTERNET INDUSTRY A new French proposal requiring all individual subscribers with websites to register their personal details with their hosting providers has been passed during the second reading of a new law in the lower house of the French Parliament. The bill does not properly specify that it is only meant to deal with web pages and currently also covers activities such as participation in chat rooms, online message boards, mailing lists, etc. While in theory ISPs will not be required to police the new system, there is nothing in the bill to limit liability of ISPs for policing, nor any guarantee that ISP will not have policing duties imposed on them in the future. EuroISPA President Cormac Callanan said, 'ISPs are at the forefront of the fight against illegal content on the Web - actively participating in the setting up of hotlines and 'notice and takedown' procedures. Given the French ISP industry's exemplary record in this regard, it is particularly disappointing that their government appears bent on disadvantaging them in this way'. Those who fail to do so, or who give incorrect details, risk up to six months in prison or over 7,000 Euros in fines. French consumers using hosting services abroad will not be required to undertake this potentially cumbersome procedure. 'As a normal law-abiding French consumer, this law could push you to use non-French hosting providers, chat rooms etc, in order to avoid both the possible bureaucracy of this system and to avoid any possibility of coming under a jurisdiction where incorrect registration could land you in prison for six months,' added Mr Callanan. He added, "ISPs want maximum safety for all on the Internet and are not opposed in principle to extra legislation such as this. However, it is important that ISPs be involved in the development of new regulations, in order to make it as effective as possible. Simply making amendments in the second reading of draft legislation, as in this case, is not the way to produce effective and balanced legislation. Ironically, this law may have exactly the opposite effect from its perfectly honourable intentions. It could force French web authors into foreign jurisdictions and make it impossible for French plaintiffs and judges to obtain information on a French web author without recourse to international judiciary cooperation. The message to members of the French Parliament is simple. You should work with ISPs to provide maximum protection for all French citizens, not introduce a law which moves illegal content outside French jurisdiction, hurting French industry in the process. ENDS Contact: Joe McNamee, Bte 3, 39 Rue Montoyer, Brussels. Tel: + 32 2 503 22 65. Fax: + 32 2 503 42 95. E-Mail: joe.mcnamee@village.uunet.be.


 

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