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PARIS, France, January 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Police surveillance of the French population is set to increase as new measures quietly installed by the government last month were approved on Tuesday by the Council of State, the highest administrative court that has the power of assessing the legality of decisions made by the administration.
The new dispositions were published discreetly on December 2 with the signatures of prime minister Jean Castex and interior minister Gérald Darmanin. The next day, an internet news outlet specialized in digital news and new technologies exposed the move, revealing that under the government decrees, population surveillance records set up by law enforcement bodies may include information regarding “political opinions, philosophical and religious beliefs, or trade union membership.”
Surveillance records may now also include “health data that reveal particular danger,” such as mental health problems or psychiatric internment.
The decrees modified existing dispositions by allowing surveillance records to extend to groups and associations: “legal entities” as opposed to individuals who to date were the only people on whom “files” could legally by started.
These government measures are executive decisions over which Parliament has no control and is not consulted. For the French, they came out of the blue at a point in time when the government and the presidential party “La République en marche” were facing demonstrations against a “global security law” presently still under discussion. The draft law aims to allow private agencies to carry out police missions, as well as drone surveillance, and would prohibit citizens from posting footage showing identifiable law enforcement personnel online.
Contrary to the proposed security law, the government decrees published on December 2 cannot be opposed or discussed by the political representation and civil society. Their only option was to take the texts to the Council of State.
Left-wing entities such as Amnesty International, the communist labor union CGT and other trade unions, as well as left-wing media criticized the decrees for having shifted and enlarged the rights of the police. Activities of the historic “Renseignements généraux” — the French equivalent of the “Special Branch” — which kept voluminous (and sometimes frankly fanciful) data files about political activists and opponents as well as potential terrorists were so decried that the body was dissolved in 2008, to be replaced by a new entity that also absorbed the “DST” or counter-espionage agency.
Surveillance has continued in a different form, not always with success as regards Islamic terrorism, as supposedly dangerous individuals with special “S” files have been able, over the years, to participate in deadly attacks.
The fight against terrorism is certainly one of the aims of the controversial government decrees, but under cover of security, personal beliefs, convictions, health data covered by medical confidentiality and mere “opinions” are now susceptible of being filed by law enforcement bodies, while until now only “activities” posing a threat to public security could be registered.
In other words, only active “radicals” could in principle be identified, registered and monitored. Now, professing certain beliefs (Islamic, but also Christian or Catholic) or political preferences (such as monarchism or anti-LGBT convictions, in theory), allows the French police or “gendarmes” to gather and keep information for future use and ongoing surveillance of individuals and groups.
Concerns over the health and safety of the human test subjects in Pfizer's European COVID vaccine study have caused two eminent doctors to launch a petition calling for an immediate halt to those studies.
On December 1, 2020, Dr. Michael Yeadon, an ex chief of research at Pfizer and Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, a lung specialist and former department head of public health lodged an appeal to the EMA, the European Medicine Agency responsible for approving drugs across the EU, asking them to suspend the ongoing Pfizer/BioNtech COVID vaccine study on BNT162b (EudraCT number 2020-002641-42).
LifeSite is joining Drs. Yeadon and Wodarg in their call for an immediate suspension of this study and we are encouraging people to co-sign their petition to the EMA which is to be found in the petition section on this page.
Please SIGN and SHARE this important petition, and then please contact the EMA at the address listed below, in the 'For More Information' section.
In their application to the EMA, Drs. Yeadon and Wodarg give the following reasons why the Pfizer study could pose dangers to the health and safety of the study participants:
- First, the doctors say that the study design must be improved as the highly inaccurate PCR test is currently being used to detect the presence of COVID in the study participants. This means that the efficacy of the vaccine is in doubt. The doctors recommend changing from the PCR test to Sanger sequencing.
- Second, and more important, the doctors advocate animal testing of the vaccine to exclude the possibility of the risks to the life and health of human participants from known side-effects of other similar studies on corona viruses.
These side-effects can include: an exaggerated immune response when the subject comes into contact with the "real world" virus; possible infertility of an "indefinite duration" for women; severe allergic responses to polyethylene glycol which is contained in the mRNA vaccine being tested by Pfizer; and, other latent, serious side effects which, because of the short duration of the study, may only become known well after the conclusion of the study.
Because of these unacceptable risks to the life and health of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID vaccine study participants, we are joining with Drs. Yeadon and Wodarg as co-signers of their petition to the European Medicine Agency, asking for an immediate halt to these studies.
Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING, today!
And, after you have signed this petition, please send the sample email in the section below to the official European Medicine Agency email: [email protected]
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Subject: Please act on the petition of Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon and stay the Phase III clinical trial(s) of BNT162b
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am hereby co-signing the petition of Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon to support their urgent request to stay the Phase III clinical trial(s) of BNT162b (EudraCT Number 2020-002641-42) and other clinical trials. The full text of the petition of Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon can be found here: https://2020news.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Wodarg_Yeadon_EMA_Petition_Pfizer_Trial_FINAL_01DEC2020_EN_unsigned_with_Exhibits.pdf
I hereby respectfully request that EMA act on the petition of Dr. Wodarg and Dr. Yeadon immediately.
Regards, [Your name]
**Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Such surveillance involves monitoring internet and social media use, including the collecting of posted images and comments under aliases. The use of artificial intelligence to collect such information is implicitly permitted. The long list of collectible data includes personal photographs (not excluding facial recognition, according to some critics), all manner of identifying information regarding personal documents, home addresses, family status (including information about minor children), sporting activities, behavior and life habits, nationality, social status, addictions … And, of course, “religious practice and habits.”
Interestingly, a person’s gender, “sexual orientation,” race and ethnicity are not included in this seemingly exhaustive list.
Official police files will also be permitted to contain complete information — and individual files — about people having had “direct and non-fortuitous” contact with registered individuals and groups. To date, such information was very limited and would be registered in “dangerous individuals” personal files.
The decree is in fact so widely worded that very large numbers of individuals and groups could be subject to very detailed surveillance without any judiciary control whatsoever, especially in a context where the French Republic has opted for strenuous defense of the culture of death and is at the same time tightening control of education and home-schooling.
Besides several trade unions and syndicates, two Christian groups decided to take the decrees to the Council of State in order to obtain their “suspension” through an emergency procedure. Both “VIA,” formerly known as the Christian Democrat Party (PCD) presided by Jean-Frédéric Poisson, a former presidential candidate in the most recent election that saw Emmanuel Macron ascend to power, and the Fondation de Service politique which stands for Christian and conservative values, underscored the grave derogations to human rights and individual fundamental liberties that the decrees will allow.
The right not to be in any way subject to “interference because of one’s opinions, even religious opinions” was in particular enshrined in France’s “Universal declaration of human rights” in 1789 (although that did not prevent the French Revolution from persecuting Catholics and mass-killing priests and religious).
The Council of State published its decision rejecting all emergency recourses against the decrees on January 4, including those of VIA and the Fondation de Service politique. The interim relief judge observed that while the filing of political opinions, religious beliefs and trade union membership had not been previously submitted to the special digital liberties commission (CNIL), this was not a problem in his view as it is “coherent” existing surveillance of such “activities,” which is “legal.”
But actions are actions: surveilling opinions is based on “presuppositions,” VIA-leader Jean-Frédéric Poisson commented on Wednesday. The decrees would allow the state to collect data about the opinions of citizens who would be considered as “a priori” threatening public security.
Nor did the judge find the wording of the decrees too wide: reserving this surveillance to persons and groups who pose a danger to public security and the safety of the State is safeguard enough, he wrote.
It later emerged that the said interim relief judge, Mathieu Herondart, was the cabinet director of a former justice minister under Emmanuel Macron, Nicole Belloubet, from 2017 to 2020.