French group on trial for using Facebook to warn drivers of speed traps

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Lawyers says 15 defendants who pinpointed location of police mobile radar traps are not 'internet terrorists' and have not broken the law.

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Members of a Facebook group that tipped off motorists about speed traps in southern France slammed the "hypocritical" nature of the case against them as their trial opened, reports The Guardian.

The case, the first of its kind in France, targets 15 suspects, including the group's co-founder.

"Here are the internet terrorists," their lawyer Rémy Josseaume sarcastically told the court in the southern town of Rodez on Tuesday. "It is hypocritical to put these people on trial while there are many products that inform drivers where radars are positioned and they are legal."

The suspects face charges of helping motorists and motorcyclists avoid speeding fines. Eight of them also face charges of insulting police officers by referring to them on the site by unflattering bird names.

The Facebook group, called "Which Tells You Where The Police Are In (the southern French department of) Aveyron", was created in 2012 and has more than 10,000 members. A message on its site says: "Alert this group if you are in a car and you see a blue (police) van, a radar or police on motorcycles in the Aveyron. It won't take you more than 30 seconds and you will be a hero for people who read your message."

Yves Delperie, prosecuting, recently said he wanted to "reprimand people who seek to break the law". But the defendants' lawyer argued that the suspects had not breached the law in any way.

Read more of this report from The Guardian.

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