Appeal from the Durruti Group of the CGA-Lyon

The government may have changed the name of its computerized database from EDVIGE to EDVIRSP[1] but this doesn't deceive us: political files are in place right now in France and several modifications to the text of the law will not change anything. They only relieve those -- at the fore, Bayrou and the Socialist Party -- who only oppose this law quite late in the game and due to pure political opportunism, leaving in the shadows the remainder of a security arsenal that remains well-stocked.

EDVIRSP, as it is now called, will continue to gather information about people "whose activity indicates that they could harm public safety," in other words -- because everything is only a matter of context -- whatever takes part in social life, be it associative, political or union-based, as this law explicitly states. Everyone over 13 must register their civil status, physical addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers, as well as "particular and objective physical characteristics, photographs and behavior" (!). This is in addition to the other existing systems of data collection, among which STIC and CRISTINA (of which even the CNIL will know nothing) are top-secret. These databases can be constituted and consulted by the police forces without any infraction whatsoever being committed.

The fact is that security logic in all its forms is more present every day of our lives. This logic -- which has each of our steps videotaped (400 surveillance cameras on the streets of Lyon at the end of 2007, without counting those in stores, banks, etc), and which authorizes the police (upon simple suspicion of a crime being committed, without any proof) to sample our DNA -- creates and maintains files on us for many years. Subsequent generations will have little chance of revolting against this logic: one gets us used to them in school, where, under the eye of the cameras, children must roll their thumbs over biometric terminals, where digital imprints (and, soon enough, scans of the iris) alone will allow them to obtain their meals.

If it should happen that we want to revolt, the police are more than ever in evidence, and equipped with new technologies and the weapons that go along with them (TAZER, drones, etc). The same thing goes for the general intelligence service that henceforth will be fused with counter-espionage under the name "Interior Intelligence." The second Perben law already authorizes wiretapping (four million "telephonic searches" in 2007),[2] microphones in and searches of people's homes, without the "targets" ever being aware of these attacks on their private lives, or the measures taken against them.

We must not raise our heads for fear that "Big Brother"[3] will immediately know of it. Thus we must continue to live a life of little soldiers, in which we can, indeed, we must only work and consume. The repression of different social movements is intended to remind us of and maintain our places in a society in which social inequalities are more and more blatant.

Such facts cannot leave us indifferent: each day our society expands its files on individuals a little more, and yet what is human cannot be reduced, shut in, filed, and denounced. And it is because we are suspicious that they try to inculcate in us, from the earliest age, this docility with respect to labeling. Starting now, we will act against this logic and will not let it be imposed upon our lives; we will revolt as much as we still can; we will utilize all the means at our disposal, just like the high school students at Gif-sur-Yvette who, faced with the installation of biometric scanners, preferred sabotage to submission and labeling.

It is not a question here of attacking the "mission creep" of security measures, but of attacking these measures themselves, along with everything fascist and totalitarian that they are redolent of.

In answer to security: social and libertarian riposte!

[1] Exploitation Documentaire et Valorisation de l’Information Relative a la Securite Publique ("Documentary Exploitation and Valorization of Information that Relates to Public Safety").

[2] Source: issue of Le Canard Enchaine dated 5 November 2007. There were four million searches, only 27,000 of which were authorized by judges.

[3] Translator's note: English in original.

Appeal from the CNT UD of the Rhone

The mass media have vigorously denounced the collection of data about the "people," from Bruno Rebelle (Greenpeace) to Bernard Thibault (CGT) and Laurence Parisot (MEDEF). These denunciations have served to mask the liberty-killing aspects of the new databases EDVIGE and CRISTINA. The government has responded by replacing EDVIGE with EDVIRSP, that is, with the same system but without the mediatic[1] personalities. Nevertheless, various police-related databases collect information about the entire population. For example, the French police, in the framework of STIC (which has an error rate of 25%), has files on 23 million people.

Databases are only one aspect of the social control that is now imposed upon all of the working classes. The instruments of control seek to surveill us, to know us and to count us. Together, they violate our intimacy in the hope of foreseeing any deviant behavior (in other words, any behavior that isn't profitable for the market economy).

Social control interferes with all the moments of everyday life. There is control at work and by work: rule-book infractions and ASSEDIC and RSA. There's control of our movements and our neighborhoods: surveillance cameras; closings of the Metro; and urbanism. Our communications (the Internet, the "Echelon" network, and digital radio) are controlled. Our consumption is controlled: cellphones, bank cards, credit cards, and nano-technologies. Public services are controlled: Base-Student programs and investigations of "White Weddings." There is control of our thoughts: advertising, the mass media, weak consensus. There's control of our bodies: biometrics, DNA databases, electronic bracelets. . . .

We could multiply examples, but one must insist upon the [importance of the] development of paid informants. The State demands that the poor surveill each other. For example, the police in certain jurisdictions have set up a postal address for "honest citizens" to denounce their neighbors who do not toe the line. But the most vicious form remains control by oneself, which is a practice more and more used in business firms that employ new management techniques (self-evaluation, profit-sharing, etc.)

In fact, the plan is to surveill all the workers (and not only the terrorists and pedophiles, as one seeks to have us believe). Our leaders are clairvoyant, they see the workers slaving away to the profit of the bosses and bankers (the very ones who have plunged the world into crisis). The ruling classes are pressed to discipline the "dangerous classes" so as to impose upon them a system based on exploitation. To do this, they have relied upon repression, leaders, prisons and other guard dogs. Henceforth, they will rely upon social control to assure the continuity of this alienation and especially to bury us in the role of "consumer." And so, any exploited person who is restless will immediately be spotted and put into place.

Generalized [social] control isn't an inevitability; one must not forget that identity cards have only been obligatory since Petain's regime. We begin to struggle, not just as individuals, but through collective struggle in everyday life. It is by direct action (disobedience, strikes, demonstrations, etc.) that the control society will be countered. The anti-informant collectives created by the social workers who refuse to follow the laws concerning the prevention of delinquency and the teachers who mobilize against the Base-Student database show us that only struggle works.

[1] Translator's note: there is no adequate equivalent in English for the French word mediatique, which not only refers to the media, but to the spectacular, as well.

(Originally published on-line by on 13 October 2008. Translated from the French by the Surveillance Camera Players, 18 November 2009.)