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The Electronic Bastille

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the panoptiquonnes dept.

Privacy 267

smooth wombat writes "Imagine a database whose aim is to centralize and analyze data on people aged 13 or above who are active in politics or labor unions, who play a significant institutional, economic, social or religious role, or who are 'likely to breach public order.' At first glance one might think the country in question is Russia or Zimbabwe but the truth is, it's a democratic nation which is implementing this database. Specifically, France. Now, with the summer break over and as the people of France return to work, there is a small but growing movement to storm this electronic Bastille. Michel Pezet, a lawyer and former member of a body charged with protecting French citizens from electronic prying, had this to say about this new data-gathering law: 'The Edvige database has no place in a democracy. There is nothing in the decree that sets limits or a framework. Whether the database is used with or without moderation depends only on orders from up high. The electronic Bastille is upon us.'"

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Am I going to jail? (-1, Offtopic)

Fanboy Fantasies (917592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885319)

I'm not trying to defend my actions; but I honestly don't feel I was in the wrong here. After my mother posted bail ($35,000!) I have a few months before any more tough shit happens, and my public defender said I can talk about it as long as I change the names.

Anywho, I was driving down 495 to Providence when an Asian-American Woman driver cut me off. Now, I'm not racist, but my blood did boil a tad when I saw exactly what kind of person it was. Like fulfilling a stereotype that is obviously wrong, but I was angry that they fulfilled the stereotype. I wasn't seeing red or anything but I was deffinitely not happy.

I blame my father. He taught me the code of Massachusetts drivers: 1. Defend your honor. This means tailing those flip you off, act like an asshole, etc. 2. Drive fast. This is vital and ensures you get to your location quick. 3. NEVER let someone cut you off.

Naturally the way I was raised had an immediate affect on this greivous error by the Asian-American lady driver. I turned on Deffcon 3 and tailed them in the standard way; aka getting right on their ass and flashing my brights on-off for 30 or 45 seconds. This is where things go wrong.

The car SLAMMED ON IT'S BRAKES. I am not kidding. I swerved to the right and just barely avoided contact. The driver then sped off and THREW A COFFEE CUP OUT THE WINDOW. It didn't come near my car but I know the intent, and I'm pretty sure it will aid in my upcoming defense trial.

Anywho, I bring it up to Deffcon 5. I slam the gas and pass the woman, then cut her off. I then throw the car in neutral so I slow down without break lights, ensuring they have no warning. The lady hits the back of my car and her airbag deploys. Apparantly she broke both her wrists and fractured a rib, but her airbag naturally saved her life.

I keep driving because my car is fine and I was certain I did not have the obligation to stop. 10 or so miles later I'm pulled over by the Rhode Island state tropper and cuffed, and they tell me several other drivers witnessed the whole thing and I'm screwed. They take me to the station, mugshots, pictures, some bullshit reporter for some local daily even asked me a few questions and I basically told him to fuck off. They try to interrorgate me and I keep my mouth shut, even using that famous Goodfellas line and saying "what, you gonna bing bang boom me?" and moved my arms around, but they didn't laugh (lol). A few hours later my mom picks me up and says "you're moving with your aunti and uncle in bel air" I whistled for a cab and when it came near, the license plate said "fresh" and had dice in the mirror. If anything I could say that this cab was rare, but I thought now forget it, yo home to bel-air! I pulled up to a house about seven or eight, And I yelled to the cabby "yo home, smell ya later!". Looked at my kingdom I was finally there, to settle my throne as the prince of bel-air.

Re:Am I going to jail? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885421)

Wow, good shit from a troll.

Re:Am I going to jail? (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885693)

Maybe it's some kind of David Lynch fan-fiction or possibly he's just taking his pills in the wrong order...

Re:Am I going to jail? (0, Offtopic)

pisto_grih (1165105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885567)

+1 Hilarious, and +1 even funnier twist at the end

-1 troll stroking to me tho :(

Re:Am I going to jail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885719)

If you've posted this on /. I'm sure you need friends.
Anyway, enjoy Bel Air!

Sorry... (-1, Flamebait)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885347)

How appropriate for the French to be submitting... their personal data, I mean.

NWO (1)

LogicallyGenius (916669) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885425)

NWO will screw U all

Re:NWO (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885535)

What does Hulk Hogan have to do with anything?

Re:Sorry... (5, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885473)

To be honest if there's one country I'd expect to actually get out of their chairs and protest in the streets over this, it's the french.

Re:Sorry... (5, Funny)

johndmartiniii (1213700) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885497)

Well, they wouldn't necessarily get out of their chairs in protest, but they might raise a glass from a seated position in a sidewalk cafe in protest.

Re:Sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885553)

haha, what a joke about this.

French People are really good for protest, but they protest for big shit.
They don't care that Their gouvernement are watching theim.

Re:Sorry... (2, Insightful)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886005)

"They don't care that Their gouvernement are watching theim." According to the French Government, 50% of the people that are employed in France, are employed by the government. This means they are watching themselves.

Convincing politicians (2, Interesting)

Tazor (775513) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885603)

Maybe they should start using one of these [wikipedia.org] again? Maybe that would convince the politicians to think again.

Re:Convincing politicians (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885867)

Thinking without a head is pretty difficult, I'd say.

Re:Convincing politicians (5, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885951)

Thinking without a head is pretty difficult, I'd say.

Would it make that much difference to a politician ?

Re:Sorry... (4, Funny)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885901)

Nos trois principes sont Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.

Je m'excuse, nos quatre principes sont Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, et d'etre surveille.

Entre nos principes sont...

Re:Sorry... (2, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886131)

Et uniformes rouges interessants

Re:Sorry... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886097)

Nope, french people (I am one) are more willing to strike for salaries, work week duration, educational strategic changes, be paid for 15 month per year (in the Lyon public transport company) than protesting against our world record taxes on gasoline (> 80% +19.6% VAT !!!), or against our entire population filled into a database we don't know wich it will be used for.
That's it : we know, but consequences are obscure for everybody (specialized lawyers included) who don't work in government.

Moreover, the most frightening is the variety of contents in this electronic bastille :
- Political or syndical association
- Sexual orientation
- Drug abuse reports
- DNA footprint
- fingerprints
- pictures
- lot of other various data minded by police services
Of course, honest people her will say : we dont't care, we have nothing to reproach, they sucks and are totally inconscient of damage ths kind of database causes to liberty and democraty.

Unlike in the US (from our froggies point of view), here police violence and abuses is some kind of normal, and is never revealed by journalists (they work for gov too), and there are case everydays that passes.

If you were thinking the France is still a democraty, you're totally wrong !!! we are no more than other western countries, and by some ways we tend to be like eastern country called Russia.

Probably not a first (5, Insightful)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885349)

I'd be shocked if other Western governments, or at least their security services, didn't do something similar. The CIA and MI5 have been known to do this sort of thing in the past, especially during WWII and the cold war. At least the French know about theirs.

In Britain they can take and keep your DNA if you're suspected of a crime, even if you've been acquitted. Many suspect this is why there were so many accusations of breaches of public order at this year's Notting Hill; the Met wanted the DNA of black Londoners.

Re:Probably not a first (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885387)

I'd be shocked if other Western governments, or at least their security services, didn't do something similar.

Yeah but only in France are the DBA's going to the guillotine.

Re:Probably not a first (5, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885435)

What a lot of people suspect and what some anonymous sources acknowledge is that edvige is not something new, it is an old illegal and hidden practice that they are trying to make more transparent and legal. There has been a lot of reorganization in our intelligence agencies recently, akin to a merge between your CIA and FBI (Our president is a huge fan of all that Bush has ever made). I suspect this edvige file is a part of it. Probably a merge between two shadowy databases of the two agencies.

Now, protests are two edged swords. If protests are too loud, this file will still exist, in a concealed way, if it is not loud enough, it will be abused. I'm going to the big protest in October but at least, I must admit that admitting the existence of this file was a very positive step.

Re:Probably not a first (4, Informative)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885539)

Not my CIA and FBI, I'm British. :p

Interesting reply. It's nice to get this sort of thing out in the open, but the case of the British DNA database has left me feeling somewhat powerless in the grasp of an over-zealous-yet-strangely-ineffective police state (introduced by our country's socialists, I hasten to add, before people start trying to blame the right).

Re:Probably not a first (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885663)

introduced by our country's socialists, I hasten to add, before people start trying to blame the right

You unwittingly did, allow me to Godwin it for you to make the point clear. New Labour [isj.org.uk] are to socialism what Hitler was to liberalism!

Re:Probably not a first (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885967)

In which way was Hitler a liberal? There are many varieties of liberalism but all varieties share the idea that as a general rule of thumb, the smaller the government is, the better. Hitlers regime was in no way an example of a small government.

Re:Probably not a first (2, Funny)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886007)

I believe our anonymous comrade's point was that the relationship New Labour have with socialism is that they mention it in their constitution. The idiom is akin to "chocolate is to dieting as water is to fire-starting". Or "Darling is to fiscal prudence as Thatcher was to industrial relations".

Re:Probably not a first (0, Troll)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886033)

Hitler never claimed to be a liberal either. Or am I confusing Hitler of the NSDAP [wikipedia.org] with Hitler of the the NLDAP [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Probably not a first (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886071)

Correct; Hitler never claimed to be a liberal. the AC's quote was "New Labour [isj.org.uk] are to socialism what Hitler was to liberalism!" The point they were making was that Hitler wasn't a liberal; New Labour are not socialist. I apologise for muddying the waters by trying to explain it to you.

Re:Probably not a first (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886173)

Ah I see. I was confused by the fact that the Labour party does claim to be a (democratic) socialist movement.

Re:Probably not a first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886089)

In which way was Hitler a liberal?

He wasn't; thus mirroring the relationship between New Labour and socialism.

Re:Probably not a first (4, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885669)

introduced by our country's socialists, I hasten to add, before people start trying to blame the right

Are you saying that the Lib Dems are the puppet-master which is really responsible for Labour's legislative output?

Re:Probably not a first (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885689)

(introduced by our country's socialists, I hasten to add, before people start trying to blame the right)

I wish New Labour would stop giving the left a bad name. Check the political compass [politicalcompass.org] , Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are about as left wing as Margaret Thatcher.

Re:Probably not a first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885905)

I'm sorry - New Labour has as much to do with socialism as Soviet-Union style communism has to Marxism.

Political philosophies are an excuse, a sop to the public to obscure the fact that our 'elected' politicians are in a race to sell out their people and their country. We are a resource to be branded, traded, and controlled, like cattle.

Left wing, right wing, socialist, conservative, communist, fascist, it's all bread and circuses.

Re:Probably not a first (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885953)

an over-zealous-yet-strangely-ineffective police state (introduced by our country's socialists, I hasten to add, before people start trying to blame the right).

It should be pointed out here for those who are not from the UK, that while the Labour party has historically been broadly socialist, their policies have been drifting to the right for some time and they haven't really been socialists for at least 15 years.

Re:Probably not a first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885961)

When did the socialists get elected?

Re:Probably not a first (5, Informative)

JCWDenton (851047) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885705)

A specific example of this happening in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org]

COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert and often illegal projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political organizations within the United States. The FBI used covert operations from its inception; however the formal COINTELPRO operations took place between 1956 and 1971.[2] The FBI motivation at the time was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order." Targets included groups suspected of being subversive, such as communist and socialist organizations; people suspected of building a "coalition of militant black nationalist groups" ranging from the Black Panther Party and Republic of New Afrika, to "those in the non-violent civil rights movement," such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE), and other civil rights groups; "White Hate Groups" including the Ku Klux Klan and National States' Rights Party; a broad range of organizations lumped together under the title "New Left" groups, including Students for a Democratic Society, the National Lawyers Guild, the Weathermen, almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, and even individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; and nationalist groups such as those "Seeking Independence for Puerto Rico."[3] The directives governing COINTELPRO were issued by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of these movements and their leaders.[4][5]

Re:Probably not a first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885829)

and even individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation;

I was in college during that time. One of the suggested acivities in my poli sci class was to attend a Communist Party meeting, just to see what went on there. However, we were supposed to get a form signed by the school stating that our attendance was a class assignment. We were supposed to keep this in a safe place, to be used if we were ever asked about why we had been seen there.

I never did attend one. I dropped the class after the third meeting when it was explained to us that we were supposed to write ten "short" papers (min. 10 pages each), one "long" paper (min. 25 pages), keep up with the Christian Science Monitor (good for political reporting, even if I was in a Catholic college), subscribe to (or read in the library) the Journal of the American Political Science Association, etc., etc., etc.

After hearing all that crap, I decided I just wanted to get one of many alternative required courses out of the way, not run for POTUS.

I had to get the drop signed off by the dean, so I told him I'd reviewed my schedule of classes and that I needed to take one class in my major that was only offered every two years, by which time I should long since have graduated.

Re:Probably not a first (2, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885993)

What a lot of people suspect and what some anonymous sources acknowledge is that edvige is not something new, it is an old illegal and hidden practice that they are trying to make more transparent and legal. [...] I'm going to the big protest in October but at least, I must admit that admitting the existence of this file was a very positive step.

It does indeed seem that this is nothing more than the opening to a larger audience (of police forces) of the existing DCRI [wikipedia.org] (a mix of the two former intelligence agencies) database. This includes some rather detailed stuff on anyone who has had any kind of political / syndicate activity, etc.
It's probably better if it's in the open but safeguards on its use would be very welcome as well.

Re:Probably not a first (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886075)

What a lot of people suspect and what some anonymous sources acknowledge is that edvige is not something new, it is an old illegal and hidden practice that they are trying to make more transparent and legal.

The RG (Renseignements Généraux) database was neither illegal or hidden practice. Edvige is the old RG database + under 16 people + the right to record sexual orientation (why they need that?).

The big problems with edvige are:
- the records are potentially never deleted,
- acces control (the database is available for consultation with minimal control to any police officer)
    When I was 16, the pastor of my parents inform my mother that there was a note about me at gendarmerie. I wonder how a pastor can have access to this kind of information.

Re:Probably not a first (5, Insightful)

vandan (151516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885509)

This is already quite widespread. Here in Sydney, Australia, I talked to an ASIO officer who openly admitted he was 'gathering data on activists'. He was walking around at a demo, with a digital video player and a notebook & pen, and interviewing people ( not telling them who he was ). I've also seen evidence that this data was then used to target individuals.

To those who mindlessly parrot the old "if you're not doing anything wrong, you've got nothing to worry about", I have 2 responses ( well I have more, but 2 will do for now )

1) The individuals targeted ( who were friends and comrades ) were violently attacked by riot police at a subsequent demonstration. They were arrested, roughed up, and released without charge. One was so shaken up by the experience that she pulled out of activism ( for 6 months anyway ).

2) There's a difference between what's "wrong" and what's technically against the law. There are such things as bad laws. Here in Australia, we have some VERY bad laws. There are a group of a hundred or so builders who are facing losing their homes for not being able to pay fines imposed because they had the 'audacity' to protest over unsafe working conditions, and the high number of deaths in their industry. Sounds like a valid reason to be protesting to me ... but illegal.

Re:Probably not a first (3, Interesting)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885587)

I don't know if it is the same in Australia, but over here in N.Z. half our government is made up of ex-activists, including the prime minister.
In short, our activists of today are our government of tomorrow.

Re:Probably not a first (1)

Yer Mum (570034) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885759)

Most of Labour in the UK were activists too (CND, student union activists, Marxist groups, etc...).

Personally I think it's the saying absolute power corrupts absolutely still holds, and databases linked to ID and surveillance technology and like give government at least an illusion of absolute power and, in time, possibly absolute power.

Most public organisations from local, to national, to international (e.g. EU) are playing a game where one steps a little further down the road then waits for the rest to catch up.

However I have more faith in the French to make their dissent known than other countries, but they're up against the EU and other countries in the EU using the EU to do their policy laundering. In the end the EU Parliament is just window dressing and doesn't have any real power to stop this.

Re:Probably not a first (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885977)

In the Netherlands an MP just had to resign because he was responsible for publishing the names and addresses of public servants of the ministry responsible for keeping track of potential locations of nuclear power stations. They were consequently threatened by left-wing activists.

Re:Probably not a first (2, Interesting)

LEMONedIScream (1111839) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886039)

Question: is the New Zealand government a good or bad one in your opinion?

I'm actually a bit lost as to what you're saying; are you suggesting all people in the government are bad? Or was it just a statement with nothing meant by it?

Surely, wouldn't it make more sense to become a politician if you're an activist then?

Anyway, direct democracy for the win!

Re:Probably not a first (2, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885605)

Not all activists are the same though. If you look at the recent activists arrested before the RNC they were planning some serious shit -

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/09/02/anarchists_republican_convention.html [ajc.com]

The affidavit paints a picture of a group that recruited participants from 67 cities and was intent on creating havoc.

According to the document:

* The RNC Welcoming Committee held two "pReNC" gatherings, one from Aug. 31 through Sept. 1, 2007, and another on May 3. At the first, 150 to 200 people - including one of the informants - talked about tactics to "shut down the RNC." At the second, St. Paul was divided into seven sectors for various anarchist groups to claim.

* The affidavit also talked about an "action camp" held July 31 to Aug. 3 at Lake Geneva, Minn.

* "An individual by the name of 'Henry' told the action camp group that he was throwing a liquid-filled balloon and that members of the group should stay away from the area ... because it would be very dangerous," the document said.

* Another person talked about using large puppets to conceal and transport Molotov cocktails, bricks, caltrops (devices used to stop buses and other vehicles), shields and lockboxes, the affidavit said. They also planned to throw marbles under the horses of the mounted patrol to trip the horses.

I like this bit

On Tuesday, District Judge Kathleen Gearin denied an emergency motion brought by eight plaintiffs - including at least one of those arrested - to have some of the items seized by police returned to them.

"Who should we return the urine to?" Gearin asked.

In addition to buckets of urine, investigators seized homemade devices used to disable buses and other vehicles, weapons, gas masks, flammable liquids and rags that could be used to make Molotov cocktails, computer storage devices, documents, pamphlets and banners. Some materials, such as banners and signs, were returned Monday for demonstrators to use during the protest marches. Albert Goins Sr., attorney for the plaintiffs, said they are likely to file an emergency appeal to get the rest of it back.

So the evil government did infiltrate the group and seized a bunch of stuff. But they gave back banners and signs. Then the group complained they needed the Molotov cocktails, balloons full of dangerous chemicals, bricks, caltrops, marbles and buckets of urine back!

Who should we return the urine to indeed.

Look at this pictures of 'anarchists' attacking an RNC delegates

http://img70.imageshack.us/my.php?image=photo05qi8.jpg [imageshack.us]

These people are more like the brownshirts breaking up their opponents meetings than hippies.

Re:Probably not a first (3, Insightful)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885823)

Fella, I have just wasted 15mins of my life reading news articles trying to figure out whether there was any truth in what you were saying. None of the news stories agree with each other (including such gems as them being recruited from 67 cities (when there were 35 people)) and it turns out the afadavit [twincities.com] (pdf warning) is attached to the request for a search warrant and has nothing to do with what was actually found when the search warrant was actioned. All the shit that has been reported sounds wonderful, but most of it was never found when the houses were searched.

I must regretfully conclude you believed this shit without ever researching it.

If I am wrong, point it out. However,I would like documentation and citations please. Not random newspaper reports.

Re:Probably not a first (1)

n dot l (1099033) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885921)

Not all activists are the same though.

That's true. I'm not going to argue with that statement.

A few nitpicks though, since I think you're (intentionally or otherwise) exaggerating this particular case:

...and buckets of urine back!

Who should we return the urine to indeed.

This particular point has been gone over several times. Two of the buckets had dirty water in them, they were being used to flush toilets because there were a lot of people staying at the house and the occupants were trying to save water. The third (the one with the urine) came from an illegal apartment with no bathroom in it (thus the bucket of piss), and the occupant of that apartment was not found to have been connected with the planned protest.

And they probably just want their buckets back.

Look at this pictures of 'anarchists' attacking an RNC delegates

As for the pictures and the affidavit, let's not forget that the violent retards around the RNC were a tiny minority of those who went out to protest. A few random idiots at a protest doesn't constitute a long-running, organized, nation-wide campaign of intimidation, no matter what color clothing the asshats are wearing.

Re:Probably not a first (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886023)

They also planned to throw marbles under the horses of the mounted patrol to trip the horses.

I got to write this one down.

Too bad nobody rides horses around here any more. Damn you civilization!

Re:Probably not a first (4, Informative)

dascritch (808772) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885579)

Except that in France, we have an established institution (ssince 1978) , the Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés (Nat. Commission Coputers and Liberties, note the meaning plurial), that cannot be overruled by the State.

In fact, it is more than probable that Edvige wouldn't be accepted in front of the State Council. Or the European Commission.

Re:Probably not a first (4, Informative)

Mornedhel (961946) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885647)

Well the CNIL is good and all, but they really have no power whatsoever in this case.

The law from August 2004 (modifying the Loi Informatique et Libertés from 1978) states that public administrations and organisms will not need the CNIL's authorization anymore in order to create precisely such files. Private enterprises and such still need it.

What's more, the 2004 law is an adaptation of a EU directive to the French LIL laws. So basically, I have no doubts it would be accepted by the EU Commission. It's up to us now...

Re:Probably not a first (4, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885779)

That's really too bad as the Loi Informatique et Liberte [wikipedia.org] (link in french) is a law meant against abusive data gathering from the state. In short, the original intent was that every entity (ministers, private companies, ...) can keep you in their files, but they are forbidden to correlate their files.

You can have a tax number, a social security number, an ID card, a driver's license, etc, but those numbers cannot be mixed in a bigger database. That was the original intent anyway, and it did prevent a lot of abuse. It was a good law while it lasted. Sob.

Re:Probably not a first (1)

Permutation Citizen (1306083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885745)

CNIL gives you constraint when as an individual, association or company you create a database with nominative entry. You have to declare your database to the CNIL. You are not allowed to store all type of data (like political and religious affiliations). People can request to be removed from your database or know what you keep about them.

This, of course, doesn't apply to the army and police. If you ever dream to have access to the file the french national security organisation(RG: renseignements généraux) has about you, the CNIL won't help you.

I afraid all countries have this kind of database. This is not so bad in this case to publicly admit it.

Re:Probably not a first (1)

diegocn (1109503) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885875)

This kind of reminds me how French government was among the active protesters on other countries' human right record. The fact is, things are never pretty as long as there's a government, be it Chinese or French.

Re:Probably not a first (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886161)

You Europeans are just beta testing it for U.S.

The most interesting part of this is that this and other projects like it were begun before 9/11 and other large scale attacks.

Private enterprise is so much more efficient (4, Insightful)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885381)

If they were the US, they'd just license it from Google [tinyurl.com] .

(If they were the UK, they'd probably license it from Microsoft.)

Re:Private enterprise is so much more efficient (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885483)

Nah. In the UK we pay EDS an outrageous amount of money to fuck it up, then get something 10 years late and 20 times over budget.

The only positive thing about UK ID card scheme is that the companies tasked with implementing the database couldn't organise a pissup in a brewery. If it was ever going to work I would be scared.

Re:Private enterprise is so much more efficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885537)

The only positive thing about UK ID card scheme

You're mistaken, there is nothing positive about the NID.

Re:Private enterprise is so much more efficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885611)

No one can organise a piss up in a brewery. At least not in a brewery that wants to stay in business.

nothing to see move along (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885411)

The summary is totally misleading. Each and every country has a political police and it is important for establishing public order. The debate in France is not about the need of this database, which is considered obvious since it is a very old one. In fact we speak about it because of a reorganizing of the french police which imply a reorganizing of databases.
There is a problem because there are two informations which many do not accept to be stored :sexual orientation and health. The governement says they will be stored exceptionally, but has not succeeded in convincing that it will not be misused. But it is quite unlikeliy that it will be changed, since there is a strong support in the population.

Re:nothing to see move along (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885479)

political activities and friends as well. Plus a physical description that will not forget skin color. People also complain that 13 is a low age to be inside an intelligence gathering database.

Why do the French Hate Freedom so Much? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885437)

Leave it to the cheese-eating surrender monkeys to have a problem with a law that so obviously helps in the War on Turr (tm).

Pass the Freedom Fries.

Re:Why do the French Hate Freedom so Much? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885615)

You know what AC? /me puts arm round AC's shoulders like a father explaining something to an over-enthusiastic, ignorant son.

If any of your ancestors are English, there's a good chance that you are French, or have some French blood running through your veins.

Ever heard of the Battle of Hastings in 1066? Where those 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys' sucessfully invaded England. Or the Hundred Years War, where the Frenchmen who originally invaded England got nostalgic for their old lands, decided the food in England was crap anyway, and re-invaded France.

There is a reason why around 1,600 words in the English language are French [wikipedia.org] .

Ever heard of Napolean? The Frenchman that successfully invaded most of Europe, he did better against the Russians than other Westerners ever have. He, and his armies, successfully invaded Russia and occupied Moscow. We had to wait until the Soviet Union collapsed from the inside.

Here's a fun fact, these are all the French words in your post:

  • pass
  • terror
  • war
  • surrender

The reason they're there is because the French aren't as shit at fighting as you'd like to think. And since it seems that you're a Yank, you should remember who got your country freedom from the British Empire: Napoleon. Imagine, if it weren't for him, the US might have ended up like Canada.

Disclaimer: yeah I know you're being sarcastic, but some people actually believe that bullshit.

Re:Why do the French Hate Freedom so Much? (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885937)

You make valid points (I hate the constant cheese-eating-surrender-monkey jokes whenever the French are mentioned). But didn't you think that perhaps the GP was doing a parody of knee-jerk American patriotism, and not serious?

Re:Why do the French Hate Freedom so Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885943)

Problem, and law, also come from Old French - in fact it's hard to write an English sentence without French-derived words.

Re:Why do the French Hate Freedom so Much? (1)

rpjs (126615) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885989)

Magnus Magnusson always used to say that "law" was a eord we got from the Vikings.

Re:Why do the French Hate Freedom so Much? (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886035)

I normally don't respond to ACs but I feel the need here

Disclaimer: yeah I know you're being sarcastic, but some people actually believe that bullshit.

I live an hour south of Washington DC and despite our proximity to the international culture there, I find an incredible number of people here who share his outlook. There is a really good chance he was not being sarcastic.

But since he did not have the balls to post as a real /. member, we may never know.
On the other hand, despite your excellent and informative points, it looks like you could use some balls yourself.

Re:Why do the French Hate Freedom so Much? (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886193)

Napoleon wasn't French. He was Corsican. He also completely changed traditional warfare. And, ummm, keep his "successfully invading Moscow" in context. IT WAS WINTER. IN RUSSIA. Not bright - and he followed the same trail going home that he took to Russia, which was "scorched earth" - had he taken a different route home, his armies may have survived through Waterloo - that was the beginning of the end for him.

And the Norman conquest is about the only victory that the French can claim on their own, and that was almost 1000 years ago.

And I think that it's safe to say that NO ONE really won the Hundred Years' War, cause they were all too stupid to give it up.

America DOES owe a debt of gratitude to the French for during the American Revolution (which was more about the French getting at the Brits than anything else), where they played a critical part in helping us gain our freedom...and then promptly screwed up in their over-zealousness in their own version of the French Revolution.

By the way, I'm part cajun (see the name). We're the ones that had the good sense to leave both France AND Canada.

Sounds good (3, Insightful)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885503)

People who are "active in politics... play a significant institutional, economic, social or religious role... 'likely to breach public order.'"?

So that would be a database of politicians, CEOs and cult leaders then? So long as this database is freely accessible to all on the net, it sounds like a great idea to me.

Re:Sounds good (5, Informative)

w3c.org (1039484) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885583)

Well I doubt if it's the case. In my opinion, it'll be a growing database of youngsters living mainly in residencies, the 'jeunes des cités' that every journalist talk about on the news. It'll be accessible only to cops and immigration police. But it gets worse: teachers are asked, in schools, to 'help complete the database' by giving every information about every children (country of origin, parents' nationality, everything), to help prevent immigration and to help track the 'sans-papiers' (people who just immigrated in France ans don't already have IDs, or people who just have their IDs discarded).

Not just the original person but all friends. (5, Informative)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885541)

In addition to the person who is concidered to possibly being a threat the database will contain all relatives and people who contact with the person except for in a one-time only type relationship.
The information stored will contain "civil status and occupation; physical addresses, phone numbers, email addresses; physical characteristics, photographs and behaviour; identity papers; car plate numbers; fiscal and patrimonial information; moves and legal history"

Re:Not just the original person but all friends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885609)

I believe sexual orientation is to be included also.

Re:Not just the original person but all friends. (1)

josiebgoode (754961) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886179)

Yes, but only "a titre exceptionnel" (unusual circumstances). It will be the same for the health condition. So, straight people in good health should not be worried.

Re:Not just the original person but all friends. (1)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885927)

You know, there once was an organization that compiled this kind of extensive information. What was its name, you wonder? Das Ministerium fur Staatssicherheit [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not just the original person but all friends. (1)

jmhoule314 (921571) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885947)

Fix your sig. It's 'than' not 'then'.

People are ignorant... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885543)

... I wish it wasnt' so but it is.

3...2...1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885549)

OK, let the France-bashing begin! Because we all know that all French are spineless cowards and that this would never happen in, say, the USA or the UK.

Anglo-French rivalry at its best (4, Funny)

rpjs (126615) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885569)

For years now the UK has been leader in the "Western Nation Most Likely To Become A Police State" league, and the French just can't bear to be beaten by us at anything, so in one daring move they've grabbed the crown from us. Vive la France!

The French Point of view. (3, Insightful)

ze_jua (910531) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885581)

In fact, French police already had such files for decades (aka "le fichier des RG", the file of the inside information gathering service), but they were "secret", and it was impossible for people to know exactly what kind of information was recorded.

Then, are files of this kind of files usefull or good for Democracies ... ? usefull maybe (You never watch The Experts or NCIS ? ;) . Good ? I dont know (1984, Equilibrium, ... what else ?)

Re:The French Point of view. (2, Informative)

Meumeu (848638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885709)

You never watch The Experts or NCIS ?

For those in the rest of the world who wonder what Les Experts are, it's the french translation of CSI.

Re:The French Point of view. (1)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885861)

"For those in the rest of the world who wonder what Les Experts are, it's the french translation of CSI."

Damn!

Re:The French Point of view. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885769)

Well, in theory you can access to the content of your data (if any) stored in the "fichier des RG" : you request to the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés -- National commission for digital data and freedoms) and you get the info... ... provided of course the "Ministre de l'Intérieur" (homeland security) agrees the released info does not threaten the security of the state...

See additional info in french about the CNIL and the RG files here : http://www.cnil.fr/index.php?id=1995 [www.cnil.fr] (Google [mis?]translation here: http://www.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnil.fr%2Findex.php%3Fid%3D1995&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&sl=fr&tl=en [google.com] )

Re:The French Point of view. (3, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885783)

I do indeed watch NCIS, and as much as I enjoy the show, the way it glorifies both huge databases with everything you ever wanted to know about everybody but were afraid to ask, as well as agencies blatantly overstepping their jurisdictions, perform searches without warrants etc, bothers me quite a lot.

It's fictional. I'm sure there's plenty of good people in law enforcement fighting the good fight and struggling against pesky regulations, but all it takes is one asshat abusing the information he has at his fingertips for people's lives to get permanently ruined.

Re:The French Point of view. (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886069)

It's fictional.

Well, um, yes... but then again, no! I see it as propaganda which serves to show the people what can (could) be done. It says: don't count on privacy laws or due process, we'll get you anyway. Live in fear, don't even think of wrongdoing and pray you'll never come across that one asshat abusing the information.

Repeat this over and over, show the reruns, and it'll sink in. And don't even get me started on 24, Sleeper Cell and the likes - the sheer amount of "terrorists are everywhere!" propaganda boggles the mind! If you watch it, watch closely for underlying messages and paradigms. It's brainwash, lowest rung and easy to see through. Poorly written most of the times, too.

Re:The French Point of view. (2, Informative)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885837)

That's right, the RG (Renseignements Generaux) was a French intelligence agency which has been merged with the DST a couple of months ago. I guess they are reorganizing their agencies hence the revised database system.

Quoting the French interior minister:

Edvige will differ from the old RG file on two points only, "it will take into account underage individuals and be extended to sensitive data", such as sexual orientation.

I doubt it's different from the methods use by other countries to track potential troublemakers. What's different is that now all these decisions related to intelligence services go under public scrutiny and become all the rage among self-proclaimed champions of the civil liberties. In short, much ado about nothing.

Truth: (5, Insightful)

caliburngreywolf (1218464) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885617)

Public order is antithetical to democracy. Democracy can only be effective in a system where some social disorder is present.

Re:Truth: (0, Flamebait)

butlerdi (705651) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886147)

Just as Capitalism only work when there are sufficient number of poor and unemployed. Democracy is the same ... Carrot and Stick ....

Almost like... (2, Funny)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885631)

Sounds like wikipedia :-)

mission creep (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885659)

Dear World,

Please stop giving our government these ideas.

Thanks,

USA

Controlling the Islamic thugs. (0, Troll)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885679)

More power to the database people. This will be one method of controlling those young Islamic thugs who like to terrorize Paris.

Re:Controlling the Islamic thugs. (2, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885791)

You are a racist troll, but are those "active in politics... play a significant institutional, economic, social or religious role..." ?!?

Nah, didn't think so.

DBA's to the power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885773)

Until some pissed off DBA locks up the database, or some parent names their child a funny name http://xkcd.com/327/ ...

Thank God (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885787)

I live in the UK where we don't stand for this kind of nonsense.

Sounds like... (1)

cca93014 (466820) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885821)

Imagine a database whose aim is to centralize and analyze data on people aged 13 or above who are active in politics or labor unions, who play a significant institutional, economic, social or religious role, or who are 'likely to breach public order.'

You mean like WalMart?

Kudus facebook comes.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885855)

Wow France finally has facebook...good for them.

from the original decree (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24885957)

i believe "edvige" was introduced the 1st of July 2008 and not in 2004, see http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do;jsessionid=952C97B66AAC8C45F624671F93C6A89E.tpdjo07v_2?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000019103207&dateTexte=&oldAction=rechJO (in french).

moreover it does not abrogate or put an amendment to "loi informatique et liberté" (LIL1978). For a digest of the law see http://www.service-public.fr/actualites/00930.html (in french).

the main points are (my own inaccurate translation):

- Article 4: the files cannot be subject to interconnection, aggregation, or any kind of relation with other information systems or files

- the right to access its own file is granted indirectly through CNIL as stated by the LIL1978

-all data are checked and updated on a yearly basis and cannot be kept for more than 5 years

I am not a lawyer nor a jurist. I am not a big fan of this new law, but felt like playing the devil's advocate as TFA and the comments look inaccurate or incomplete. I am not working for the french government either.

It was the best of 74 69 6d 65 73 , (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#24885999)

it was the worst of dGltZXM= .

dictators, 'secret' police, concentration camps.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886019)

nothing new here/there? greed, fear & ego are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece
 

Petition against Edvige (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886101)

Please, help us!
Sign the petition against Edvige!

Here [milpat.tv]

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24886139)

Comparing democratic and free countries like Russia or Zimbabwe to modern totalitarian police states like Great Britain or France or USA?

That's too much even for slashdot!

New name for existing trade (2, Insightful)

andr0meda (167375) | more than 5 years ago | (#24886197)

I'm surprised to see US and UK people make fun comments about the French over this. US and UK governments aren't exactly known for managing their own records on their citizens with much care either.

The UK has lost, what, 400.000 personal records on it's citizens?

The US has had terrorist lists made, leaked to the press, remade, leaked again..

It's not like France is in this trade alone. Privacy is at stake in every country, including your own. Or what else do you think the War on Terror realy is, other than building databases. The only new thing here, which is truely shocking, is that the system is about minors, who have practically no means to exercise pressure on a governmental system.

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