France flexes its tech muscle with pending bill, new policies

If Digital France 2012 passes, l'Hexagone could see a slew of new tech-related laws.

Topics:

The French seem to be all over all kinds of new, far-reaching digital policy.

First, the French Senate “voted overwhelmingly” (297-15) late last week to create a sort of digital three strikes law, which after the third strike, would cut people off from the Internet. It’s not entirely clear how a law like this would be enforced, especially considering the fact that people can access the Internet from home, from their workplace, and also from free, public Wi-Fi hot spots, not to mention at other locations such as a public library.

The bill now heads to the French National Assembly for final approval.

But, as the BBC reported this morning:

If enacted, the law will put France on a collision course with Brussels, which rejected a call to impose such “three strikes” laws across Europe in April 2008.

Throwing people offline, it said, conflicted with “civil liberties and human rights”.

Second, late last month Eric Besson, a Sarkozy cabinet minister in charge of the “development of the digital economy,” presented a new 81-page Digital Plan 2012 for France, which apparently was one of Sarkozy’s presidential campaign promises.

If enacted, this would be one of the most ambitious technological policy plans in Western Europe in recent years. (And while I don’t mean to harp on Estonia, the Baltic powerhouse has had a few of these items, like digital ID cards and health records, for some time now.)

Among other things, the report says that “high-speed Internet,” like water and electricity , is “essential.” And as such, 2 million to 4 million French citizens are without it — and the government needs to work such that by 2010, every single citizen has 512 kbps that costs no more than 35 euros per month. Further, every French citizen should have access to high-speed mobile Internet as well, which only covers 85 percent of the citizenry as of today.



Other proposals include:

- allowing the old analog television signals to be opened up to wireless and mobile Internet access.

- an electronic national identity card for each citizen starting in 2009 (Estonia already has this).

- a doubling of cyber-crime law enforcement agents by 2012

- the promotion of telecommuting in the public sector

- a digital medical file for each citizen by 2012

- a Green IT and Cleantech prize

- a migration away from the American-dominated ICANN toward a more multilateral and international organization to run the infrastructure of the Internet.

As of yet, this remains but a proposal — but an interesting and ambitious one — and if Sarkozy is serious about keeping his campaign promise, especially while France holds the the Presidency of the Council of the European Union until the end of the year, it could be a boon to France.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>