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Information wants to be free, but the French establishment is shackling it

French law on survey etc publication reads thus: "The publication, diffusion and comment of any survey, by whatever means, on the eve of the ballot and the day itself is prohibited".

Bans on polls on the day itself are fairly common, but this would seem to go way, way further, in that speculation about results is reckoned to fall foul of the law. A journo at Europe 1 is intent on breaking the 8PM emabargo (When the polls close): ""I think that we should all have same the info. Thus, from 6PM on the days of the first and second rounds I will post the "rumours" circulating (...). We should all know the figures and the trends and not just VIPs, the privileged the journalists." This is fairly bold, given that fines for breaking the embargo can reach €75,000 (£51,000)

Naturally the French blogosphere has taken sides, and upholders of the law can get themselves a nifty little logo like so:


The profoundly sinister sounding Commission Nationale de Contrôle de la Campagne will be keeping its beady eyes on naughty bloggers and hacks in general. More here.

Further investigation shows that it is also laying down the law on campaign websites: "it orders candidates not to change the contents of their Internet sites from the closing date of the election campaign and thus not to post new information...from this date. It also orders the cessation of any interactive activity, in particular in the form of online dialogue with net users". And, curiouser still, it asks "asks the candidates to deactivate links to sites which are likely to carry surveys". Given the foregoing, all 12 of the brass ring grabbers would be well advised to delete all their links at zero hour. I feel rather sorry for the webmasters, frankly.




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Blogger gitanodemurcia said... 12:43 pm

WAN*ERS  



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