Internet down in multiple cities across France after suspected sabotage

France — Link

Underground cables which feed major cities are believed to have been cut overnight.

Idea of total freedom of expression on internet has 'never been true' says US academic

Culture et idées — Interview

The American academic Sarah T. Roberts explains that social media networks have become popular by posing as supporters of freedom of expression with no limits. But, she argues, this promise has in fact never been kept and instead content moderation has become a globalised industry. Medapart's Géraldine Delacroix spoke to Sarah T. Roberts ahead of a seminar in Paris on digital culture.

To be or not to be on Facebook


Facebook is a continent beyond whose frontiers nothing else exists; the barrier between those who are on and not on Facebook is virtually insurmountable ... Mediapart's film critic Emmanuel Burdeau, who turned off his Facebook account for a period, gives his personal reflections on the social media platform and how its presence is changing the very nature of how we discuss things.

Google says France wants to apply its internet laws to every country

France — Link

US giant is appealing against ruling by French data regulator to apply so-called 'right to be forgotten' worldwide, rather than in just the EU.

Google unpaid taxes: France seeks €1.6bn from search giant

France — Link

News came as US company's boss Sundar Pichai arrived in Paris where he was due to meet France's economy minister Emmanuel Macron.

France and Libya drop furthest in internet freedom rankings

France — Link

Restrictions on online activities imposed after January's Charlie Hebdo attacks have contributed to France's decline in rankings, says report.

French public asked to review digital rights bill

France — Link

A draft law will been offered to the public for a first reading, with officials saying move could be a great success or a 'complete flop'.

Tech firms threaten to leave France over mass surveillance moves

France — Link

Seven companies, including web-hosting and technology firms OVH, IDS and Gandi, said 'real-time capture of data' will force them into exile.

France launches video campaign to deter would-be jihadis

France — Link

Stark message tells viewers that rather than 'defending a just cause' jihadists will 'discover hell on earth and will die alone far from home'.

France's new internet anti-terror law branded 'ineffective' and 'dangerous'

France — Analysis

The French Parliament this week formally adopted a new anti-terrorism law, part of which aims to stop terrorists using the internet to attract recruits and plot attacks. It will allow the authorities to block websites that “condone terrorism” and will create a new offence of “individual terrorist enterprise”. One key objective is to stop the “preparation” of attacks via the web. The government, which has rushed these measures through, says they are needed to combat the growing use of the internet and social media by terror groups and in particular to tackle the threat of so-called “lone wolf” terrorists operating in France and elsewhere. But civil liberties groups, judges and the state body that oversees the impact of digital technology have condemned the law as an attack on freedom, ineffective and unworkable. Jérôme Hourdeaux details the new measures.

French bank shuts branches during long summer lull

France — Link

The country's second-biggest listed bank, Societe Generale, 'experiments' with temporary closures as internet banking starts to take hold.

French blogger fined for negative restaurant review

France — Link

Caroline Doudet was fined 1,500 euros after Riviera restaurant owner complained her blogpost featured highly on Google searches.

French minister whines at new web domains

France — Link

Minister says that allowing new domain names such as .vin and .wine could undermine the EU-US transatlantic trade deal negotiations.

French journalist convicted for using 'secret' documents found in Google search


The hacker, IT specialist and journalist Olivier Laurelli has been ordered to pay a 3,000-euro fine for downloading files from a government agency that he found by chance during a routine internet search. The court of appeal in Paris ruled he was guilty of 'theft' and fraudulently remaining inside an unauthorised computer system. Apart from the disturbing implications for all journalists and internet users of the verdict, the court case also highlights the worrying lack of knowledge among judges who appeared not to know what 'Google' or 'login' were. Jérôme Hourdeaux reports.

French officials can monitor internet users in real time under new law

France — Link

Clause that allows police and other agencies to spy without authorisation is passed weeks after France expressed outrage at NSA revelations.