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After the Griveaux affair, scattered calls for more “regulation” of the Internet

The site will have remained online for less than three days: “Pornopolitique”, on which the Russian artist who took refuge in France Piotr Pavlenski claimed to have published two intimate videos of Benjamin Griveaux, disappeared from the Web Saturday February 15, twenty-four hours after the withdrawal of Mr. Griveaux from the campaign for the City of Paris. The site “Was blocked by the French authorities”said Pavlenski on Facebook on Saturday morning. “This is freedom of speech and expression! But I will not let any power destroy what I have put so much effort and time into. And I promise to all viewers and readers of pornopolitics that the porn resource will be restored. “

The site does not appear to have been blocked, however: it is completely inaccessible, regardless of country, and its server is unresponsive, as if it had been completely erased. The site was hosted on the Israeli Wix platform, which allows you to quickly create simplified websites. Requested by The world, the company had not followed up on this article.

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Unlike other recent scandals, including the broadcast of Emmanuel Macron’s campaign emails, Mr. Griveaux’s videos have not been anonymously posted online. Mr. Pavlenski had signed most of the articles published on the site with two other people appearing under their real names. The site also used a commercial platform that must be registered and managed by a company, where the “MacronLeaks” had been disseminated via tools allowing much greater anonymity.

An offense already punished by law

This major difference did not prevent some elected officials, or even lawyer Eric Dupont-Moretti, from calling for measures against Saturday “Anonymity on social networks”. The MP for La Répulique en Marche (LRM) Bruno Bonnell thus castigated “Deviances that anonymity condones like slander or defamation”, while the president (Les Républicains) of the Senate, Gérard Larcher, estimated who should have “Regulate the torrents of mud that pour on social networks”.

The online publication of intimate images is already punished by French law. A 2016 law provides for a two-year prison sentence and a 60,000-euro fine for the dissemination of this type of recording, a more severe penalty than for invasions of privacy that are not of a sexual nature. These sanctions could theoretically apply to all those who contributed to the dissemination of the videos, but the courts essentially apply them to the persons who initially put the file online. Prosecuting everyone who posted links to the site would be impossible: tens or hundreds of thousands of Internet users shared it Thursday and Friday, especially in very popular Facebook groups of the “yellow vests” movement. Pavlenski said some pages on his site had been viewed by more than 130,000 people before it went offline.

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According to LCI information, a group of LRM deputies is already considering a “Legislative initiative” from ” next week “ for “Improve” the 2016 text. The government seems to want to take more time: “The current crisis, like others, questions the respect for the rule of law in a digital world, writes Secretary of State for Digital Cédric O. We need collective reflection on this subject. But the end of anonymity (which is often just a pseudonym) is a bad fight, dangerous and probably in vain. “

Pavlenski and his partner, suspected of being the original recipient of the 2018 videos, which were posted online, were taken into police custody on Saturday. Mr. Pavlenski was wanted in another case – he is suspected of having stabbed two people on December 31, 2019, during an evening in an apartment in the beautiful Parisian districts. Benjamin Griveaux complained on Saturday for “invasion of privacy” and an investigation was opened.

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Our selection of articles on the renunciation of Benjamin Griveaux

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