Digital Civil Rights in Europe

Big Brother Awards 2009

Article published in EDRi-gram 7.7 – 8 April 2009

The French Big Brother Awards ceremony, or ‘Orwell Party’, was held this year on Saturday 4 April. 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’.

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