Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tempest in une théière

The first couple in France has tried to reign in bloggers according to "Rumor of Sarkozy Infidelities Sets Off a Modern French Farce." Editors at Le Journal du Dimanche disciplined two supposedly rogue bloggers at the paper, removed the blog in question, and then issued a formal apology for posting titillating gossip online without a proper sources. Under fire from pro-Sarkozy media outlets, the JDD filed a criminal complaint, which set off a police inquiry and allegations that the law had been violated by "introduction of fraudulent information into a computer system," a law which was also used against political opponents accused of dirty tricks by Sarkozy in the Clearstream trial. Nonetheless, readers of Techdirt expressed amazement at this provision in French law. As one commenter wrote:

So in France, it is illegal to enter fraudulent information into a computer system? How do test data generators or sample data work in France? If I enter a fake name when opening a Facebook account, am I a criminal?

What if I enter a fake name into my contact list on my phone?

Apparently the French head of state has ordered "an investigation by the French domestic intelligence agency" of stories being generated about each partner's possible adultery that circulated not only via the news site blogosphere but also through the Twitterverse when journalists reposted the rumors.

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