Thank you Stacy for pointing me to this conversation, I hope I can help answering questions you may have.
There are tons of things to say about the France surveillance bill.
It’s being discussed this week at the French Parliament (which has 2 chambers).
The biggest issue with this bill is that it would allow “black boxes” (“boites noires” in French), in fact computers running classified software, within data-centers (Internet Service Providers, Web hosting companies, Internet services, telecommunication operators) that would monitor the traffic in order to “detect suspicious behavior”. The definition of what is suspicious behavior is classified and changes over time.
Note that this surveillance is only to fight terrorism (for now) and relies on meta-data (and we know how much meta-data can reveal).
So, with a few other people, I have created a Website, http://ni-pigeons-ni-espions.fr/ (means “not dumb birds nor spies”), in order to list “Internet makers” – mostly companies, but also non-profit or organizations from the academic world, while trying to avoid random individual users – who are against these “black boxes” because they are bad for the growth and health of the Internet. The declaration explains that these black boxes and Internet surveillance is bad for business. France is having a severe economic downturn, and it badly needs the economic activity that digital businesses can bring to the table.
This business angle has been chosen because it seems that it’s the only one that can be heard by politicians.
Explaining that it’s a matter of liberty unfortunately has zero impact. One thing to know is that this whole thing is taking place 3 months after the “Charlie Hebdo” attacks, where 2 terrorists killed 12 people, mostly journalists, while another attack killed 4 additional people.
Therefore, I decided to chose the business angle, which seems to be the only one that could work.
Large organizations are already signed and the list is growing:
- OVH, Gandi and Online.net are large Domain registrars and hosting companies.
- Linagora, XWiki, Open Wide and several other established open-source companies
- Highly visible startups like Criteo, Captain Dash, Capitaine Train, JoliCloud
- Non-profits such as Videolan/VLC, DotClear, WordPress Francophone…
- Medias such as Mediapart
- Orgs that represent parts of the IT industry: Syntec Numérique, France Digitale, etc.
- Academic orgs such as INRIA.
I think that it would be really nice for Mozilla to sign this declaration. It’s very well aligned with Mozilla values and recent declarations regarding privacy. It would also show that Mozilla is taking position in markets other than the US. It would show support to local communities in causes that they care about.
I’m happy to answer questions you may have!
Mozilla Europe co-founder