BBA 2000: English Press

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Paris, 16 décembre : french BIG BROTHER AWARDS 2000 ! (see the gallery)

17 décember 2000. ### The first french Big Brother Awards have been bestowed at a special event on 16 December in Paris during the zeligConf’, european meeting of digital counter-cultures. Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, was exceptionnaly attending the ceremony in Paris, with other english, swiss & austrian representatives of the BBA.

Simon Davies said this was much important for Privacy International to see that France, the human rights’ country, finally enter the international Big Brother Awards movement, one of the main step towards an international ceremony that will take place afterwards.

And the winners are...:

Most intrusive administration

Ministère de l’Intérieur / STIC

The Système de Traitement des Infractions Constatées (STIC) is an police database that registers each time one has to do with the police, wether the person is suspected, condemned, innocent or even victim, and which is illegaly used since 1995 by the services of the french Home Office.

Most intrusive company


Sonacotra is a private company which manage social housing estates for foreign workers. One of its office used to illegally provide to the police an database filled with entries like race, country, and the nature of the identity cards of the foreign workers.

Most intrusive city

VILLE de VAULX-EN-VELIN / Vidéosurveillance

This city was the first, and the leading one, to spread videosurveillance cameras, even in its suburbs. The mayor, who is communist, had this idea after an extreme-right wing campaign based on insecurity.

Most intrusive products

LOGICIEL VSIS / INRIA (Institut de recherche publique en informatique)

VSIS is an "intelligent" videosurveillance system developped since 5 years by a public research center. VSIS replace the human eye by a computer charged of detecting "suspects" events in public areas.

Life Time Awards


This Sagem subsidiary is proud to be the leader in biometric systems and police databases. Working with police forces from all over the world, its AFR (Automatic Fingerprint recognition systems) & AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification system) manage identification datas from more than 100 millions people in the world.


The Voltaire Price, who recognized the effort of those who fight for privacy, liberty and against "Big Brothers", has been given to Souriez vous êtes filmés (Smile, you’re being filmed), a collective that protest against videosurveillance since 1995. A few days ago, an international "camouflage" protest movement initiated by Souriez vous êtes filmés took place simultaneously in Paris, Times Square (with the Surveillance Camera Players collective) & Brême (Germany).

Other nominees were the Tax Administration, which crossed its datas with the Social Security Number, France Telecom, for its overall lack of privacy concerns, a school which wanted to manage its canteen with the fingerprints of the children, the videosurveillance system of Thomson CSF (Thales), the french Parliament for its inconsistency, for the past 20 years, to effectivly protect the privacy of its citizens.

More information on :

french Big Brother Awards’ website : email

16 november 2000. ### The first french Big Brother Awards will be bestowed at a special event on 16 December in Paris. "Voltaire" awards will also be given to individuals and organisations which have made an outstanding contribution to the protection of privacy, as well as to people who have been victims of privacy invasion. An open "Orwell Party", during the zeligConf, european meeting of digital counter-cultures, will host the ceremony. Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, will attend to the parisian’s Orwell Party. The awards will be judged by a panel of experts, comprising lawyers, academics, consultants, journalists and civil rights activists.

Each year, the members and affiliated organizations of Privacy International present the "Big Brother" awards to the government and private sector organizations which have done the most to threaten personal privacy in their countries. "Big Brother" awards are presented to the government agencies, companies and initiatives which have done most to invade personal privacy. A "lifetime achievement" award is also presented. Awards are also be given to individuals and organizations which have made an outstanding contribution to the protection of privacy. Big Brother Awards have already been delivered in the United Kingdom (1998, 1999), USA (1999, 2000), Austria (1999, 2000), Switzerland and Germany (2000), and next year in Nederlands and Australia.

Privacy International (PI) was formed in 1990 as a non-government watchdog on surveillance and privacy invasion. The organisation has campaigned throughout the world on dozens of issues ranging from identity cards and encryption policy, to workplace surveillance and military intelligence. PI’s membership includes IT specialists, lawyers, judges and journalists from forty countries.

More information on :

french Big Brother Awards’ website : email

Big Brother Awards International:




zeligConf .

© 2000,

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