Romain Rouillard 17:25 pm, September 19, 2023As of Tuesday, a bill to secure the internet and fight cyberbullying is presented to MPs. The elected Renaissance of Haute-Savoie, Antoine Armand, at the origin of the project, detailed the contours on Europe 1 at the microphone of Céline Géraud in "Europe 1 13h".
How can we protect our children from the dangers they face on social networks? To this question, many parents remain unanswered, as if helpless in the face of a process that sometimes seems inevitable. Those of little Marie, 15, who ended her life in September 2021 in Cassis in the Bouches-du-Rhône, have had a very bitter experience. And have even gone so far as to file a complaint against TikTok, because of the algorithm of the Chinese platform, which, they believe, has encouraged the presence of suicide-themed content on Mary's TikTok news feed.
It was also on social networks that the teenager suffered cyberbullying that helped motivate her action. The threats that reign on the internet are multiple and have pushed some politicians to act. Foremost among them Antoine Armand, Renaissance deputy of Haute-Savoie, and bearer of a bill to secure the Internet and fight against cyberbullying. The elected unveiled the main lines this Tuesday at the microphone of Céline Géraud in Europe 1 13H.
"A digital identity"
In the first place, the MP evokes "two measures", intended to identify potential harassers and put them out of harm's way. "The first is the creation of an additional penalty of banishment. Cyberstalkers may be banned from platforms," says Antoine Armand. In this way, the users in question will be unable to open a new account on social networks. Objective: "to put an end to this jungle and this virtual harassment that has extremely real and personal consequences".
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The second measure aims to put an end to anonymity on social networks. "The idea is that in the long term, each person who registers has, behind, a digital identity that can be verified in case of infringement." A way to identify each user when creating the profile and to put an end to "this feeling of unbearable impunity".
No VPN removal
Antoine Armand, however, calls for patience and evokes a horizon of "several years". But in the long term, the elected official wants to abolish this natural shield behind which some harassers hide once behind their screen. "When you are on the street, you have to give your identity to the authorities. If you insult someone, you have to respond. It is you, personally, who must do it. There's no reason why in digital life there shouldn't be the same rules."
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However, the bill does not prohibit VPNs, virtual private networks that mask your IP address in order to provide you with secure internet access. According to Antoine Armand, this technology has too many advantages to be brushed aside. "When you're at the airport and connecting to the wifi network, if you want to secure yourself, you use a VPN. When you are an expatriate worker abroad and you connect to a French network, you use a VPN," he recalls, while stressing that these virtual private networks "do not prevent you from finding people and fighting against anonymity".