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Update on the French surveillance law

You may have heard that the French government is working on a law similar to the Patriot act in the USA. It's true, and Gandi is working to oppose it, since we feel it is unjustified, unfair, and takes the internet in the wrong direction. We are not alone, and stand with the La Quadrature du Net, and the #NiPigeonsNiEspions movement. Still, despite our efforts, this bad law is progressing towards implementation, and was passed by the French National Assembly on May 5th.

If you are concerned about the effect this will have on your privacy, and the security of the accounts you have at Gandi (and you are right), we have some updates for you.

First off, the law is not in force yet. It is headed for a vote in the French Senate in June, and will then have to pass a review by both the commission mixte paritaire and the Constitutional council. If it survives these challenges, it can then be implemented by decree, or by being published in the government's official journal.

It won't be law until September at the earliest. Therefore, there is time to prepare, and we have been working on ways for you, our concerned customers, to stay informed and ahead of this.

This law (if it happens) is going to primarily affect hosted content. Domain names remain subject to the same privacy laws as before: A court order is generally needed to take down your domain. That will not change, even if the law is enacted.

Choosing the Luxembourg data center for any new Simple Hosting or Gandi Cloud VPS systems will insulate them from the new law's effects, so we suggest using that option. The cost is the same, and the peering is excellent for France and all of Europe (which is why we chose that location in the first place).

For existing hosting: we've already created a few tutorials for moving hosted sites to a Gandi datacenter outside of France (Luxembourg, to be exact) where your data will be outside the reach of this law:

There is still work to be done to help you stay safe from the black boxes. Your communications will still run the risk of being picked up if they travel through the networks of French national service providers. That is why we're actively supporting the Caliopen project, led by Laurent Chemla, to develop the tools that will enable our customers to better protect their privacy, and their businesses from snooping by anyone, anywhere, anytime. That's our goal.

We will keep you updated.