The French Constitutional Council has just issued its decision on the compliance of the Avia Law (on various requirements relating to taking down / blocking content online) with the Constitution. Most of the articles of the law have been deemed non-compliant with the Constitution, as violating freedom of speech and communication principles. 

The decision highlights the inherent tension between, and seemingly impossible solution to, overly onerous takedown, blocking and monitoring requirements and ensuring freedom of speech and access to legitimate information. 

Provisions deemed unconstitutional notably include:

  • Obligation to take down within 1 hour content related to terrorism and child pornography;
  • Obligation to take "hateful content" down within 24 hours;
  • Duties to cooperate with the CSA as provided under various provisions of the law;
  • Powers granted to the CSA for the monitoring of the application of the Avia law.

We are looking into the decision.