Is France shortly to become a surveilled society?

I’ve noticed comments on SF in the past, that France doesn’t see privacy and individual rights in the way that one might expect from the UK - for example monitoring internet communications to determine if someone were working remotely while living in France but paying tax in a different country.

The article below is the first I’ve read about possible introduction of surveillance into France. Granted nothing may come of it if there are sufficient protests, never the less it’s something that we should be aware of, and perhaps worth discussing on SF, especially for those who are residents of France. The article is by the general secretary of Amnesty International, so it may not be simply an opinion piece to provoke argement.

Just don’t shoot the messenger, OK?


At first reading, it seems very tendentious.

For example, “Under the guise of ensuring security and fighting terrorism, the French authorities will be able to monitor the movements of millions of people from around the world, whether they are heading to or near stadiums, or using public transportation leading in or out of the premises of the grand sporting event.” (Emphasis added.)

That is an assertion that the French authorities have another purpose in the monitoring, and are using security as a disguise for this. The writer doesn’t seem to offer any justification for the claim.

It doesn’t sound like the proposals are any different to the UK and US: CCTV is public places. I don’t accept the argument “you only need worry if you have omething to hide”, but (given the writer accepts) there must always be a balance between human rights and any security proposals, I don’t see that the balance has been disturbed.

All paranoia aside, I actually don’t have an issue with CCTV in the streets. Might help against crime, if anyone is watching.

I generally am not doing anything in public that I wouldn’t want seen by anyone, so seems fine. As long as it is clear who are the people watching and assuming I can trust them.

That is he crux. With facial recognition and tracking currently being used to control dissent in China, because it can, we will really need to trust the folks behind the cameras. (Even the facial recognition on my new iPhone can ID me with a mask on!)

Actually, I think the very healthy French distrust will hobble this. :sunglasses:

My problem with this question is always, that it is those who have something to hide who benefit from being protected from surveillance. Frankly I could not give two hoots whether somebody in authority is casting an eye on my online activity or my comings and goings past a security camera. I am under no illusion that I have the least importance in their eyes as an individual, it is only if I am doing something I should not be doing that they will take any interest.

I do not see how people can be protected from the various threats without surveillance. And I believe it is better to protect the innocent at the expense of those who have something to hide, rather than protect those who have xomething to hide at the expense of the innocent. Of course there is a balance to be struck but I think it should be in terms of strictly restricting the use of the data rather than from collecting it in the first place.


I’m all in favour of CCTV for the above reasons; incidentally France prohibits private security cameras from being pointed inadvertently into public space.

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In the Luberon village where we used to live, there were one year three separate but undoubtedly linked arson incidents. The last two resulted in burnt out cars sitting in the village police parking spot.

The ever active and frankly very good Mairie cleaned away all the burned bits, repainted and put up a camera.

Unfortunately, the blighted location was next to a public convenience. ‘People’ were concerned! Solution - shut the loo for a year before reopening and taking away the camera. But, leaving the security surveillance sign up, just for good measure. Result. - no more arson events.

Nothing succeeds like fear :eye:



We all want to be both protected by and protected from the state. While I recognise that software can be very good at some things, my expectation is that the individuals for whom this is intended will find ways of avoiding detection, while everyone else is monitored anyway.

Perhaps the good people of France will break out their pitchforks and torches again, though I suspect if the battle over pensions is a long one, they may give this the gallic shrug.


Ugly MAGA hats

I am all for cctv - just not on the roadside :rofl: