The french Big Brother Awards

The french Big Brother Awards are held in Paris since 2000; see some of our press releases : 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2001, 2000 (sorry, we failed to translate the 2002 and 2007 press releases). Contact : infobbafr(AT)

Big Brother Awards France 2009 : The Palmares

The French Big Brother Awards ceremony, or ’Orwell Party’, was held this year on Saturday 4 April, for the 9th consecutive year. The 2009 edition awarded 12 of the 35 nominees, in 6 categories, one of them being the positive ’Voltaire Award’. Armand Mattelart, a renowned professor of Information and Communication Studies, chaired the 2009 jury composed by 10 other members, among them academics, artists, and representatives from French NGOs, including EDRI-member IRIS.

Awarding almost one third of the nominees is a sign that the Jury task was hard this year, with the increase of surveillance and social control in France.

The French ministry of Interior, Michèle Alliot-Marie, received the lifetime menace award, for her ’immoderate taste for police files’, which quantity has increased by 70% in 3 years, as well as for her other ’qualities’ : her ’novlang’ (video-surveillance is now called video-protection by French officials), her ’incitements to denouncement’, and her talent to construct the ’internal enemy’.

The French ministry of Budget, Eric Woerth, received the State award. The Jury wanted to particularly alert against the centralised database RNCPS to be created, massively interconnecting data from the social sector in view of fraud fighting, using the social security number as identifier. This, of course, reminds the SAFARI project scandal that led to the adoption of the French Data Protection Act in 1978.

The award for companies was given to the French mutual insurance system, a not-for-profit organization, for ’its joint activism with private insurance companies in order to access some medical data from the social security administration’.

Paris Mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, earned the local authorities award for ’his conversion to video-surveillance’, after he agreed to contribute to the government efforts in this field, increasing by 4 times the number of cameras in Paris, reaching 1200 of them in public areas.

The Novlang award has two ex aequo recipients. The first one is Humabio, an EC funded research project on multimodal biometrics, most notably relying on behavioural biometrics to ’increase freedom of movement’. The second recipient is the family benefits sector of the social security system, for having trained its employee using a method, called IGGACE, which goes even further than a simple lie detector, since it is supposed to detect ’lying intent’. The method was originally developed for the police sector.

Not only the jury gave an additional award as a ’special mention’, but it also awarded two ex aequo recipients. Frédéric Lefebvre, French MEP and spokesperson of Nicolas Sarkozy’s party, certainly deserved his award for his ’incompetence and insistence to control the Internet’, including by supporting the French ’three strikes law’. The other recipients is the ’anonymous zealot’ : having seen the number of individual civil servants who denounced irregular migrants, sometimes in breach of the professional secret, decided to highlight this phenomenon through a generic category.

Finally, the Voltaire award or positive prize was given to three ex aequo recipients, actually three coalitions that have been particularly active and gain some success : the coalition against the EDVIGE police file, the coalition of elementary and primary school directors against the central database of children (Base élèves), and the coalition against the use of biometrics in schools. In addition, another Voltaire prize was awarded, as a ’special mention’, to Mireille and Monique, two volunteers who help irregular migrants based in Calais with the hope to reach the UK. This simple humanitarian help is a highly risky activity in France, a country where such help is now criminalized.

From EDRIgram 7.7, April 8, 2009.

Winners of the 8th edition of French Big Brother Awards

Paris, March 21, 2008. — We regret to inform you that, once again, newly elected President Nicolas Sarkozy has been banned out from the competition this year, because of his "genetic predisposition" to violations of privacy and civil liberties.

Last year, we recalled that he had been nominated 6 times in 7 years, that his first nomination was a "Lifetime Menace", and that this year (2001) the jury unanimouslyhad excluded him of the competition for "doping and exhibitionism." Nicolas Sarkozy had finally won French BBA Awards 3 times in 3 years, and been again excluded from the competition for "active and passive touting, exhibitionism and multiples and repeated disrespect towards courts and judges". If he had been prosecuted, he would have incurred several years of prison and, under the law on recidivism, been invited to wear an electronic bracelet.

As the newly elected french president, he could eventually claim for presidential immunity. Nevertheless, in rewiewing his case, the jury came to the conclusion that his privacy threats problems was probably due to a genetic predisposition.

Conversely, the jury of Big Brother Awards 2007 has effectively rewarded the Constitutional Council, a genetician researcher working for the public medical institute Inserm (State Award), Taser France for its drone prtototype "Quadri-France" and another drone maker (Corporate Award), Claude Journès, president of Lyon II University (Local Menace Award), the tv show Envoyé Spécial of France 2 for an unbalanced report about foreigners expulsions procedures (Orwell Newspeak Award), and finally, Google Inc. (Lifetime Menace) — who all have no genetic excuses for their Big Brother-like behaviors.

The non-profit group "Refus ADN" (DNA Refusal) receives the positive prize "Voltaire Award", for its ongoing fight in Courts against the obligation to give a DNA sample for any minor offenses.

Orwell 2007 Award Winners

1. State & Administration Orwell Award: The Constitutional Council (who reviews laws in the light of the 1958 Constitution), composed of 11 high-level State civil servants, including two former Presidents, wins for validating a law establishing the principle of "safety retention". It allows to retain former convicted persons who have terminated their jail sentences. This "retention" would be pronounced not by a Court but by a special "expert group" that will decide if the former prisonner is classified as "dangerous" to society. The CC has therefore not fulfilled its role as the last resort to protect civil liberties and failed to protect the fundamental right to a fair trial.

The jury also decided, in this category, to give a "Special Mention" to Professor Philip Gorwood, researcher at the State-funded medical research institute INSERM. For the purpose of a survey relating genetics to "addictive behaviour", he authoritatively collected DNA samples and private family informations on 6000 secondary school students. Brice Hortefeux, minister of Immigration and "national identity", arrived in 3rd position.

2. Corporate Orwell Award: two French drones makers, including one promoted by the French importer of the US-made "stun gun" Taser . The jury was unanimously shocked to see these military devices trivialized for the purpose of monitoring civilians, especially in suburbs. Antoine Di Zazzo, French taser importer, plans to install on its drone (named "Quadri-France") "taser-like" bullets along with night-vision cameras and chemical substances to crush civilian demonstrators.
Lobbies of the medical technology industry (Lessis, Snitem and Getics) for the deployment of Personal Medical File, decried by an official report last year, and the CEO of FNAC (biggest CD and DVD reseller in France), Denis Olivennes, accused of promoting global surveillance of Internet users, won respectively the 2nd and 3rd places.

3. Local Orwell Award: Claude Journès, president of Lyon II University and political science professor specializing in the "comparative analysis of police politics", wins by an overall majority. He accepted to fund a small start-up company specialized in "smart CCTV" systems, which then used local students as guinea pigs of these monitoring and surveillance technologies. He was also spotted as personaly crushing recent student strikes using violence and other anti-democratic measures.

4. Newspeak Orwell Award: The TV show "Envoyé Special", aired on the State-funded France 2 channel, wins the price for agreeing to carry out an "embedded report", simply entitled "Expulsion manual," inside the Immigration police of the French government. This complacent report painted illegal immigrants as cheaters and liars, presented "retention centers" (special jails that retain people prior to their expulsions) as nice places, and thus gave a justification of the French government policy establishing quotas of people being ousted from France.
The police chief and the State prosecutor of the Var district (South of France) arrived second, for their project to open an e-mail adress aimed at collecting anonymous complaints, considered as a call to public "tattling". And Paris-based MP Philippe Goujon came 3rd for renaming, as a true Newspeak gesture, the word "video surveillance" as "video tranquilité." (ie, "peaceful video monitoring").

5. Lifetime Menace - Prix Spécial du Jury: Google Inc. wins for its overwhelming capacity to retain personal data of internet users, for having been rated the "worst company" among worldwide Internet groups surveyed last year by Privacy International, for not compling to the EU Data Protection directives, and for filtering search results for political reasons. Google founders Larry Page and Steve Brin, as well as Global Privacy Officer Peter Fleischer, were named for their personnal contribution.
French Ministry of Education came second, for its database "base élèves" aimed at registering primary schools pupils (from 3 to 10 years old), and the Ministry of Culture and Communication came 3rd for its repeated laws and decrees aiming to filter the internet, organise global monitoring of internet users without court warrants, and being complacent to the music and film industry lobbies in their fight against online piracy.

6. Voltaire Award: The non-profit group "Refus ADN" ( wins this price for its constant fight against systematic DNA samples on people accused of petty crimes, civil desobedience or just "suspected". These samples are collected in the national DNA database (called "FNAEG") which was initially launched to keep track of very dangerous criminals and sexual offenders. Refusing to give your DNA not only leads to up to 1 year jail sentence and 15.000 euros fine, but has become a perpetual offense if you keep on refusing.

Paris, 20th January 2007.
Nicolas Sarkozy, the current French Minister of Interior and candidate to the coming elections, is the only personality to have been nominated 6 times to the Big Brother Awards France. He has won no less than 3 Orwell awards over the past 3 years. But as it was the case on his very first nomination, he has been disqualified from the 7th edition (2007) of the competion.

This year’s jury has, after careful deliberation, decided once again to exclude Nicolas Sarkozy on motives of "active and passive touting, exhibitionism and insult to magistrate", for his repeated undermining of privacy, and to have actively promoted general surveillance and filing systems.

If legal action was to be taken against Nicolas Sarkozy, he would end up with a sentence to a few years imprisonment. In virtue of the law on repeated offence, passed by his friend Pascal CLEMENT (Minister of Justice), the repeated offender Sarkozy could find himself forced to wear an electronic bracelet. Fortunately for Nicolas, the CNIL (National Commission for Data Processing and Liberties) has decided that wear of bracelets is no longer compulsory. Oh, if only Nicolas SARKOSY could be prosecuted!

Jacques Lebrot, "security" under prefect of Seine-St-Denis, Sony-BMG and its "rootkit", Paul Anselin, mayor of Ploërmel in the Morbihan (Brittany), Frédéric Péchenard, head of the Judicial Police, and Pascal Clément, Garde des Sceaux (Minister of the Justice), they have all been awarded for their promotion of surveillance and their undermining of privacy and liberties.

The Voltaire prizes (award for vigilance), has been awarded to the directors of primary schools who’ve rejected the database “BASE-ELÈVES” on pupils, and to Pierre Muller, webmaster of (aka

The 2006 Orwell’ prize winners:

1. Orwell Etat & élus (Most intrusive administration / public servants / member of parliament):

Jacques Lebrot, "security" vice prefect of Seine-St-Denis, distinguished himself this past year by depriving employment to a few thousand workers after trusting a police census, not of proved delinquents, but of simple suspects, thus violating their presumption to innocence on the basis of clearly discriminating practices (most workers were of Islamic faith).
Nicloas Sarkozy came in second place but was subsequently excluded from the competition.
Gilles de Robien, Minister of Education, came third with his database "base élèves" which gathers a multitude of information on nursery and primary school pupils – children between 3 and 10 years old!

2. Orwell Entreprises (Most intrusive firm) :

Sony-BMG particularly distinguished itself with its "rootkit", a small spy program incorporated in its commercialised audio CDs to monitor its usage by a purchaser. Once the CD is used on a computer, “rootkit” will gather information at the detriment of the customer by bypassing any security system. As a result the spy program will leave a flaw in the customer’s computer security system.
In second place comes, Sacem (an organisation protecting music authors rights) & SCPP (protecting music production rights).
They have filed a number of internet users in their database in violation with the law.
The eternal outsider, GIP-DMP, in charge of developing the Personal Medical File database, came third.

3. Orwell Localités (Most intrusive city officials)

Paul Anselin, mayor of Ploërmel in the Morbihan (Brittany), has been awarded for his eagerness on video surveillance (soon over 50 cameras for 9000 habitants), and the creation of a free call number encouraging “rating”. Yet Ploërmel is known for having virtually no offenders.
In equal place comes:
Conseil Général de Haute-Savoie, (General Administrative Council for the Haute-Savoie), installed video surveillance systems in 10 of the 48 regional colleges but omitted to obtain authorisation from the CNIL (National Commission for Data Processing and Liberties), and forgot to notify parents and teachers.
Gérard Gaudron, mayor of Aulnay sous Bois (on the outskirts of Paris), for his local security policies and his involvement in the purchases of security systems, notably CORTO (a software for mapping and risk surveillance of public places).

4. Orwell Novlang (Newspeak Award):

Frédéric Péchenard, head of the Paris Judiciary Police, encouraged the genetic filing of the local population under the pretence that “the innocents could be cleared of all suspicion…”
Next come the ASSEDIC and ANPE (the unemployment offices), for creating a computer program that selectively determines the future course of a long term unemployed (i.e. the machine who decides). The software is 60% reliable and can worsen more precarious cases.
Third but not least, Sophie Planté et Philippe Melchior, from the Ministry of Interior claim that “secured” electronic I.D, biometric and RFID chip equipped, would not merely be utilised by the police, but would primarily used… to facilitate electronic commerce.

5. Orwell Ensemble de son Oeuvre (Lifetime Menace Award):

Pascal Clément, “garde des Sceaux” (Minister of Justice) had already been nominated for imposing retroactively the wear of electronic bracelets to sexual offenders after their release, and in spite of the Constitution. In 2004, he was awarded for ardently promoting the electronic bracelet and this year has been given the Orwell award for his overall work for so persistently controlling and locking people up, and for his contempt of institutions and human rights. He just came ahead of the RATP (the Paris Transport Company) with its now famous “Navigo” pass (travel card), and the Direction Générale de la Gendarmerie Nationale (judiciary police division of the armed forces) accused of filing, in all illegality, million of citizens over the past few years: the JUDEX data-base (2.8 million individuals who could be used on any suspect list) has just been legalised… after 20 years of existence, the people born abroad data-base (7 million filled individuals) and the FAR, which is used to evaluate the “dangerousness” of the population (60 million filled!), are all remaining illegal data-bases.

6. Prix Voltaire de la vigilance : were awarded, in equal place, some fifteen Directors of primary schools who refused to inform the data base “BASE-ELÈVES” on young pupils (3-10 years old), and Pierre Muller, webmaster of (aka, for the persistence of his vigilant work and assessment of the electronic vote as a potential threat to democracy.

A special citation goes to Christophe Espern, commentator on (information group against the DAVSI), for its constant work alerting MPs and the public against the side effects of new copyright laws on the internet.

Also nominated were: a retired policeman who denounced the “manipulation” of the statistics on offenders, the student activist group of collège-lycée Ravel, Paris (opposed to a biometric entrance to their refectory), and the FNAG (activist group against the genetic filling).

This year’s jury was composed by:

 Maurice Rajsfus, co-founder of the l’Observatoire des Libertés Publiques (Observatory of Public Freedoms) and the bulletin Que fait la police ?
 Hélène Franco, general secretary of the Syndicat de la Magistrature (a Judges and Magistrats’ Union)
 Kiki Picasso, designer, painter and video artist, member of the "Un regard moderne" (A Modern Perspective) group.
 Yannick Kergoat, representative of the association Action-Critique-Médias.
 Maître Eolas, Paris Lawyer, and a keen “bloger”
- Loic Dachary, pioneer of free software, founder of the Free Software Foundation France and
 Isabelle Bouyer, Jean-Noël Destrehem, Nathalie Federico et Marlène Jérôme, representatives of the "collectif anti-délation" fighting recent laws against juvenile incivilities (Prix Voltaire 2005);
 Julien Pain, in charge of the internet sector at Reporters Sans Frontières

Paris, february 4th 2006- The sixth edition of the french Big Brother Awards ended on February 3rd 2006. 5 Orwell and 1 Voltaire prizes were publicly awarded to the 2005 surveillance champions.

The jury, composed of academics, magistrate, lawyers, journalist, free software and media advocates, writers and artist, gathered by Privacy International to honor projects, institutions or firms who have struck a blow on privacy or neglected to protect it. 33 candidates were nominated for the 5 Orwell Prizes in competition, as well as 7 Voltaire *Prize* contestants, which recognizes the efforts of those who fight for privacy, liberty and against "Big Brothers".

Most intrusive administration / public servants :

. Jean-Michel Charpin, director of the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), a "General Directorate" of the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance, and Industry (MINEFI), who unilaterally accepted to modify the rules of the RNIPP (the biggest population database dedicated to statistics). The database will have a permanent link with "homeland security" ministery services in order to help the deployment of the future french identity card (with biometrics and RFID), although after world war II a clear separation between statistical and police functions had been established to avoid discriminative practises.

Most intrusive firm :

. Lidl France, one of the leading low cost supermarket chain, which installed a CCTV network of 65 cameras in order to spy 60 employees in one of its warehouses, and which has
already been "dishonored" by the Big Brother Awards in Germany.

Most intrusive city officials :

. Thierry Sénichault and his deputy Michel Pagès, heads of the national police in the district of Aude (South-West, city of Carcassonne), who organized a systematic control and filing of all of the homeless of his town, whithout any judicial approval.

Because of numerous candidates, the jury decided to create a special Biometrics distinction. It was awarded to :

. Armand Deprez, director of a (teenage) public school in Carqueiranne (South-East, near Toulon), who was the first to install a hand-recognition biometric system in order to control the access to the canteen. He also deployed a internet based system to let parents consult their children files, and a SMS service to inform them when they are late.

Newspeak Award :

. ex-aequo, the MP Jacques-Alain Benisti, and the INSERM (french national institute of medical and health research). In two reports published in 2005 they suggested systematic tracking of the first signs of delinquency among children of less than 3 years old, especially when they live in suburbs, and are not "french" natives, and the end of professional secret for social and education workers.

Lifetime Menace Award :

Nicolas Sarkozy, Homeland Security, Internal Security and Local Rights minister, president of the leading presidential party, for his continuous zero tolerance policy, his use of fear of terrorism to lower protection of human rights and privacy, his efforts to empower the police and reduce the power of magistrates and for his third antiterrorist law. This law facilitates and extends CCTV surveillance, imposes data retention for one year and facilitates administrative police access to these communication datas, and other files. He is also guilty of violating french privacy law by spamming hundreds of thousands of people for electoral purposes.

Voltaire prize : the "Collectif National Unitaire de résistance à la délation" (National collective of resistance to the denouncement), for its 3 years struggle against a pending law on prevention of petty crime : this law would oblige social workers to report every incident, suspected felony, family problems etc concerning supposed "difficult kids" in the suburbs to the mayor and the police.

For a detailed (french) version of the Orwell & Voltaire prizes, &
nominees, see :
+ some images here : and here :

Paris, january 22th 2005- The fifth edition of the french Big Brother Awards ended on January 21th 2005. 7 Orwell and 2 Voltaire prizes were publicly awarded to last years’s surveillance champions.

The jury, composed of academics, magistrate, lawyers, journalist, free software and media advocates, writers and artist, gathered by Privacy International to honor projects, institutions or firms who have struck a blow in privacy or neglected to protect it. 30 "Orwell" prizes were nominated, as well as 7 Voltaire contestants, which recognize the efforts of those who fight for privacy, liberty and against "Big Brothers".

Special Award : Mr Douste-Blazy, health minister, main sponsor of a law that created the "Dossier Medical Partagé", renamed "Dossier Medical Personnel" ("shared medical record", renamed "personal medical record"), whose purpose is to put on the internet the entire medical records of every citizen in order to spend less money, and "optimize" the french medical care.

Most intrusive administration / public servants : deputies CLEMENT, LEONARD & FENECH, whose bill propose to impose electronic bracelets -with GPS geolocalisation incorporated- for 30 years on sexual criminals (and, perhaps, other kinds of ex-inmates), after their prison terms.

Most intrusive firm : Visiowave, a subsidiary company of TF1 (the -private- n°1 TV french & european company), whose "intelligent & embedded CCTV" products can detect "suspect behaviors", but also put commercials on CCTV & public screens.

Most intrusive city officials : Mr Biard, Mayor of Vitry-le-Francois (Marne District, east of Paris), and Mr Savary, president of the Marne District Assembly (Conseil général de la Marne), who ordered social workers to gave them the detailed records (name, address, incomes & "problems" of every citizen they try to help.

Novlang Award : Gixel (Association of Electronic Interconnect, Component and Sub-system Industries), which propose to "educate" children under 6 -and their parents- to biometric products in order to help the industry, and the government, spread this kind of "security values".

European Award : the Council of Justice and Home Ministers (JHA Council), for their biometric passport proposal to become mandatory, as everyone of the 450 million people with passports in the EU will have to queue up in "processing centres" and compulsorily have their fingerprints taken and have a "facial scan".

Lifetime Menace Award : french "homeland security" ministers Vaillant ("left" wing), Sarkozy & Perben ("right" wing), who let the french DNA centralized database record, not only the sexual & violent criminals samples, but also every kind of suspects, and minors ones.

Voltaire prizes : members of the humanitarian organization C-Sur, who were accused of being "criminals" because they helped "illegal" aliens, as a new french law put this kind of humanitarian activists under a "presumption of culpability" regime + Charles Hoareau, an unionist who refused to give his DNA sample after having been engaged in a fight with policemen during an illegal expulsion af an alien without papers, & who told the policemen he was OK to give them his saliva, but only if he could spit on them, rather than being obliged to open his mouth to let them take the sample. His story made the headlines in France, & some young detainees began to refuse to give their DNA (which is criminalized by the french law) following his refusal.

For a detailed (french) version of the Orwell & Voltaire prizes, & nominees, see : + diplomas :

See you next year for the sixth edition of the Big Brother Awards France :

The 4th edition of the Big Brother Awards was held in Paris last Wednesday, February 4, 2004.

Here are the final results:
State & Public Figures: Justice and Home ministers Dominique PERBEN +
Nicolas SARKOZY, co-sponsors of the "law of justice adaptation to
organized crime", that breaches fondamental rights and defense
powers, extends wiretaps, authorizes remote audio-video
surveillance, extends DNA database to ordinary crimes...

Private Sector Organizations: French Federation of Insurance
Companies (FFSA), for its long-running policy to get access to
medical records, urging the end of anonymization of such data
and a closer "partnership" between patients and insurance companies.
 Pascal Negre, Universal France chief, was then given the
"doping award" (as got Sarkozy last year) for its continuous lobbying in
Parliament and the media to build tougher EUCD-like schemes in France.

Local Administration & Urban Policies: Catholic Schools in Angers,
for their biometric-based devices (fingerprints) instaled at their
school restaurants - children are screened every day to have food,
and can be excluded if the parents have not paid on time.

Technologies & Systems: RFID tags, especially those sold by the
French high-tech company Inside Contastless - based in Aix en
Provence (South - near Marseille). These long-range RFIDs have
been sold in China, officially to counter fraud in public
transports, but ultimatly used inside... official Students Cards.

Special Price - pour l’Ensemble de son oeuvre (Lifetime Menace
Award) goes to French defense electronics conglomerate THALES, who
was selected last year for its contract with the Chinese government
on a 1 billion-worth smart cards deal to be used in next generation
Thales won also for its internet surveilance schemes, smart video
systems, biometric devices, and also for its last "SHIELD"
concept - a homeland security "package", unveiled at the last MILIPOL
trade show in Paris. Thales is pleased to say it has been choosen to
implement the cyber police network of Brizilian city Porto Alegre,
where World Social Forum delegates met last time in January 2003.

THALES won with a 1 voice advance with French Senator Alex TURK,
newly elected by its pairs president of the Data Protection
Commission (CNIL) - he was elected juts the day before the BB
Awards ceremony. Former & actual head of "data protection authorities"
of EU-wide databases like Eurodac, Schengen (SIS), and Europol; he
has been a loose protector of citizens privacy, justified post 9/11
security measures, reduced private sectors obligations and
approved recent music industry plees to create database of suspected
music file traders.

Orwell EU went to the JHA Council of Ministers. For its long
list of democratic threats passed through security measures in the wake
of 9/11, especially the data retention directive of 2002, the Eurodac
and Schengen database, biometric IDs in passeports, its ability to
use "3rd pillar" matters - of which the EU has no official
authority - to bypass Parliament and democratic debate.

Our Voltaire price - positive award - was given to a small
group of public educators in Chambery (Savoie), that opposed a recent
cooperation signed by their employee and the national police; it
should oblige them to report every suspected felony from the kids
they are supposed to look at during their difficult teenhood.

All the winners are exposed here (in french):

Paris, january 29th 2002- The second edition of the french Big Brother Awards
ended on January, the 28th, 2002 by the presentation of the awards given to
the surveillance champions during last year.

A jury gathered by Privacy International to honor five project, institutions
or firms who have struck a blow in privacy or neglected to protect it. Two
special prizes have been awarded, as well as the Voltaire Prize which
recognize the effort of those who fight for privacy, liberty and against "Big

Most intrusive administration:
French prison authority and ministry of justice.
The jury is worried about the degradation of the prisoners’ privacy. The jury
noted that the prisoners basics rights, being supposed guaranteed by the
European agreement of human rights, are most of the time not fully respected.

Most intrusive firm:
Cegedim (data mining of the health system Sesame Vitale card network)
This firm’ data processing does not respect the complete anonymity of the
data gathered by its network, while selling them to a lot of private
contractors. Besides, the website of this "Leader in pharmaceutical
marketing, European Leader in the field of doctor’s computerisation and
networks, Leader in business-to-business marketing" doesn’t have a single
word about privacy.

Most intrusive city:
Mante la Jolie, for its CCTV set up of the Val Fourré, a relatively poor
suburban district mostly populated by immigrants.
A special prize has been awarded to the Paris city which files all the
beneficiaries of the minimum welfare to allow them free transport tickets.

Most intrusive project:
The Navigo and Prismatica projects (sponsored by the RATP, paris public
transport authority)
Navigo is a project of an electronic transport card which will soon be
compulsory and will give the ability to trace any cardholder on the whole
paris transportation system.
Prismatica is a project aiming to electronically detect any diverting or
suspect behaviour. This project is also in use in 4 other European capitals,
which could well be awarded in their respective country; let’s name the UK
(Newham, London Underground Limited-LUL), and Belgium (Brussels, STIB) -
2 others are Lisbon and Prague.

Special prize to the french governement and parliament for the LSQ law.
The LSQ (Loi sur la Sécurité Quotidienne), passed short after the september
terrorist’s attacks, allows magistrates unlimited discretion to issue search
warrants for vehicles and homes, telephone and Internet communication data
 including encrypted data- to be accessed and surveilled, violates the rights
to anonymous and private personal communications and places into one category
terrorism, immigration, civil protest, political opposition and petty crimes.

Voltaire prize:
 European deputy Alima Boumediene Thierry for having protested against the
security drift.
 The french syndicate of the judiciary for having protested against the LSQ

See the video : (lowband) (broadband)

See next year for the third edition
Big Brother Awards France :

17 december 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 :

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 :

Big Brother Awards International:




zeligConf .