France's flood of anti-left hoaxes

France — Link

Malicious rumours and fabricated stories, some of them racist, are doing the rounds of the internet and tapping into the French public's discontent.

France pushes EU to regulate U.S. internet companies

International — Link

Ministers want to establish tax regime for digital companies that ensures the profits they make on the European market are subject to taxation.

Against the ‘state of exception’, the crucial battle to save freedom of information

International — Opinion

The game of diplomatic bluff played out in the row between the Unites States and Russia over the asylum offered to former NSA computer analyst-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden disguises an essential issue that concerns all of us, writes Mediapart editor-in-chief Edwy Plenel. That issue, he argues here, is how a ‘state of exception’, symbolized by the US Patriot Act and which cites supposed security concerns above the just rule of law, is surreptitiously extending its already vast power amid hitherto widespread indifference. A battle is on to force its retreat, and it is being fought here, on the internet.

France to invest €20bn in high-speed broadband for entire country

France — Link

French president François Hollande says he wants very high-speed internet to reach every household in the country by 2023.

Is free speech on the internet under threat in France?

France — Analysis

The so-called Twitter Affair in which anti-Semitic and other racist comments were Tweeted has provoked a major outcry in France over the use and abuse of the internet. The government has promised to take action and a senator is currently overseeing plans for new legislation to 'supervise' the web in France. But many internet rights campaigners fear that freedom of speech could become the first casualty of this war on racist, sexist and homophobic language on the internet. Jérôme Hourdeaux reports.

The 'strangely secret' deal between Google and an ailing French press


There was all the atmosphere of a joint press conference between heads of state when French President François Hollande and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt this month announced an agreement had been reached between the US search engine giant and the French press over Google’s use of article contents. Google will make a one-off payment of 60 million euros to fund development of the publishers' presence on the internet, while it will also offer to increase their online revenues using Google’s advertising platforms. However, as Dan Israel and Jérôme Hourdeaux report, what was presented as a "historic" compromise is in reality a long-term victory for Google over an ailing, cash-strapped press, while the details of the deal are, curiously, to remain secret.   

France studies new tax measures on web giants

France — Link

Options could include new type of levy on the personal data of web surfers that the likes of Google and Facebook use to make money.

From penniless youth to billionaire – how Free boss Xavier Niel became one of France's most powerful men

France — Investigation

He is one of the most powerful and influential men in France today. Not only is Xavier Niel the founder and main shareholder of the country's second biggest internet service provider, Free, the billionaire businessman is also part-owner of the nation's best-known newspaper Le Monde. Such is his power – and personality – that he is not afraid to take on Google, while he is friends with some of the most prominent families who make up France's wealthy business elite. Yet in the late 1980s Niel was a 'brilliant but penniless' youth with no formal qualifications working as a technician in the twilight world of sex chatlines and dating in central Paris. In an investigation Mediapart charts Niel's career from his lucrative ownership of sex shops in Paris and Strasbourg to the day he seized total control of the company that would ultimately make him France’s 12th wealthiest man. Laurent Mauduit and Dan Israel report.

France, for a moment, becomes focus of digital optimism

International — Link

Sacrebleue, last week it seemed that France had stopped worrying and learned to love the internet, comments NY Times writer Eric Pfanner.

French court shuts down police monitoring site

France — Link

A Paris court has ordered French internet providers to block access to a website of images and personal information about police officers.

France acts against net pirates

France — Link

Sixty French net users could become the first to have their connection turned off for a month after ignoringwarnings to stop infringing copyright.

Sy Hersh: Judging the cyberwar terrorist threat (NYer)

International — Link