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Les exégètes amateurs

Legal working group shared by French Data Network (FDN), La Quadrature du Net (LQDN) and the Federation of non-profit Internet access providers (Fédération FDN). Since December 2014.

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Cases / Legal Actions

Privacy Shield ongoing

The Exégètes challenge the deal between the European Commission and the United States Government (the so-called "Privacy Shield"), at the European Court of Justice. According to the European Commission, US laws grant an adequate level of personal data protection, despite the massive surveillance powers of NSA and others... Read More

Sophie in 't Veld v DGSE (French foreign intelligence services) ongoing

The Exégètes are helping Sophie in 't Veld, Member of the European Parliament, in her case against mass monitoring of international communications, implemented by the DGSE (the French foreign intelligence services) since 2008. Read More (in French)

Data Retention ongoing

French law requires from electronic communications operators and internet hosting providers to systematically retain metadata about their users for one year. These "digital footprints" are the results of our use of electronic communications. Together, they reveal a lot of precise information about people, and about each individual. Following the caselaw set by the European Court of Justice, the Exégètes challenge the French legal and regulatory framework. Read More (in French)

Real-time traffic data interception prevailed

The law on the state of emergency of July 2016 extended the scope of targets of real-time metadata to include the "entourage" if it may potentially provide information on a person potentially linked with a [terrorist] threat. The Exégètes have obtained that the French Constitutional Council strike it down. Read More (in French)

Surveillance Law and International Surveillance Law ongoing

Laws related to intelligence and international surveillance of July and November 2015 drastically reformed and extended the surveillance powers of intelligence services. The Exégètes challenge these laws at the French Council of State, to ensure consideration for the fundamental rights to the protection of private life and personal data, as provided for by international law and, in particular, by European law. Read More (in French)

Wireless surveillance prevailed

The Exégètes have obtained a preliminary ruling from the Consitutional Council to strike down the "wireless [hertzian] exception" that could potentially lead to unchecked monitoring of all wireless communication modes by intelligence services. This "exception" existed since 1991... Read More (in French)

Secure Electronic Identity Document ongoing

The decree for the Secure Electronic Identity Document creates a new common database for holders of French national ID cards or passports, including biometric data. The Exégètes are submitting a case at the Council of State, arguing over the lack of security and of lack of appropriate protection for citizens' personal data. Read More (in French)

Secret Censorship "Cazeneuve/Loppsi" ongoing

The Council of State rejected the Exégètes' arguments against secrete administrative censorship of websites. The European Court of Human Rights dismissed the case... without explanation. The only remaining case is at the French data protection authority (CNIL). Read More (in French)


  • Intervention in the preliminary ruling at the Constitutional Court against the "usual" viewing of terrorists websites (version 2) [pdf in French] (video of the hearing in French) (article 421-2-5-2 du code pénal) (censure par le Conseil constitutionnel avec effet immédiat) prevailed

  • Intervention in the preliminary ruling at the Constitutional Court against the Financial Markets Authority access to metadata (article L. 621-10 of the Monetary and Financial Code) (stroke down by the Constitutional Court, with delayed effect) prevailed

  • Intervention - Electronic judicial seizure under the state of emergency (rejected by the Constitutional Council) rejected

Old cases