Marseille’s battle against the surveillance state

Security cameras in Marseille

Gabriel Voynot

Increased oversight for the Nano has an individual echo. She grew up in Albania as she slipped through various political regimes in the 1990s. His father, a politician, was opposed to the party in power at the time. “It was a very difficult time for us, because we were all being watched,” he says. Her family suspected that officers had installed bugs in the walls of their home. But even in France, liberties are fragile. “In the last five years, France has been living in a state of crisis most of the time,” she says. “I see more and more obstacles to our freedom.”

Concerns have been expressed across the country. But the surveillance rollout has met with special resistance in Marseille, France’s second-largest city. The sad, rebellious Mediterranean town sits on some of the defective lines that run through modern France. Known for hip bars, artist studios and startup hubs, it is also notorious for drugs, poverty and criminal activity. It has the most ethnically diverse population in Europe but is trapped in Provence-Alpes-C ડીte d’Azur, a region to the far right. The city pushes back. Its trend can be summarized by graffiti as you drive through the A7 motorway:La vie est (re) belle,

All of this makes Marseille a fantastic testing ground for surveillance tech. When President Emanuel Macron visited the city in September 2021, he announced that an additional 500 security cameras would be provided to the city council. They will be placed in an area of ​​the city where large numbers of immigrants live and have become synonymous with violence and gang activity. He voiced law and order: “If we cannot succeed in Marseille, we cannot succeed in France.”

The announcement was the latest in a series of developments in Marseille that show increased reliance on cameras in public spaces.

Activists are fighting back by highlighting the overreach and underperformance of the current surveillance system. His message seems to resonate. In 2020, the city elected a new administration, which promised a moratorium on video surveillance devices. But have Marseille residents succeeded, or are they just fighting rising tides?

Technopolis, a campaign and activist network The digital rights advocacy group La Quadretre du Net was launched in collaboration with other groups, starting in 2019. Felix Treguer, a collaborating researcher at the CNRS Center for the Internet and Society, was one of the pillars of the campaign. He saw an increase in the number of articles in the French media about new surveillance projects and was shocked to see how vague they were. ,[One] Just re-hashed the press release of the Marseille Council, “he says.

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