France with its near socialist culture would be expected to have leanings towards liberty and freedom, particularly because of its close relation with the ECHR, which upholds the Human Rights Act, and includes Article 8 and the right privacy.
However, the current President Sarkozy, has put forward a law which would effectively ban illegal downloading, with the punishment of banning internet access to anyone caught. This would be enforced by monitoring access to the internet, possibly with software installed on the internet users machines, to detect file downloading activity. Which has huge ramifications.
Much of the French legal system is not keen on this, and its unlikely to go ahead. But the fact that this is being pushed forward is a worrying trend.
The President’s wife lives in the light of the media and movie industry, as do his close friends and supporters, and Sarkozy certainly does not hide from that industry.
The fact that such a strict law, which would fundamentally change peoples access to data, could be proposed by somebody who is closely linked with the movie industry is a worrying fact.
But having seen the UK’s seedy underbelly of expenses in Parliment, it is hardly surprising.