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Surveillance: France wants to spy freely in the name of “national security”!

For several years, the European Union has seen the situation of the press and the media deteriorate, through spyware or state laws strengthening the authority of a government over the journalists of a country. Many governments have indeed taken control of the independence of information. It was therefore to protect media pluralism that the European Commission launched the legislative work of the Media Freedom Act.

A text emptied of its substance

This text is judged as secondary by a certain number of actors in the media world. However, in addition to having the merit of existing, it also had the advantage of encouraging the emergence of a commission of inquiry into the use of the Pegasus software in Europe. A committee whose investigation report has just been made public, recommending a stricter framework for surveillance tools in the Union.

With all this, can we say that all the lights are green to make the EU a sanctuary territory for journalism? Yes but no. It was without counting on certain member countries which, with forceps, imposed a new direction on the Media Freedom Act.

Spying for ‘National Security’

Thus, certain countries, including France, pushed the rewriting of this text to introduce article 4. This article will allow, in the name of the famous National Security, the wiretapping of journalists in order to identify their sources. Thus, a State may use surveillance software, a clever camouflage of spyware, in order to monitor any person suspected of a felony or misdemeanor punishable by at least three years in prison.

Yet another thrust to individual freedoms in the name of security. On the initiative of this article 4, the 24th country in the RSF ranking, namely France. An initiative in line with certain national texts currently under study, such as the possibility of activating an electronic device remotely as part of an investigation.

For now, the Media Freedom Act has yet to pass before the European Parliament’s Committee on Freedoms. A new discussion of the text which should lead to new modifications, which will therefore have to be followed carefully.

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