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2003-10-27 20:19

Pirates Mag', it's over


Pirates Mag' has passed over. Who is to blame? Unsurprisingly, the French Peer Commission for Publications and Press Agencies (CPPAP), who did not Renew our certificate.

Sidenote: In the past, that same commission had been instrumental in the cancellation of the certificate for another ACBM magazine, Le Virus Informatique, under the pretext one issue had been published with delay, a scandalous decision which enthralled many of our readers.

But this time, the pretext is way more disturbing. The Commission, composed among others of members of 'Ministry of Finances' and 'Ministry of Post and Telecommunication', came to the evaluation, that the information published in Pirates Mag' may "give way to computer piracy, which is against the law". These same members are also judges for women magazines, automobile or health publications. Do they have any education in Computer science or, more specifically, in the field of Computer Security? Or did they receive advice from another Ministry, such as the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of Interior? It is impossible to know. Which particular articles are at the root of this decision? Again, the CPPAP refused to answer our queries. In short, we are sentenced without being given any possibility to debate, to justify and to demonstrate our good faith. This is in total disregard of the fundamental human rights! Oh, sure, we can submit a new issue for evaluation but, without any information concerning the current dismissal, we don't know what they would want us to avoid saying. Moreover, the editorial policy has never changed since the time the first certificate was granted to the magazine, before Prime Minister Raffarin was put in charge.
Given the pitiful economical situation, many magazines suffer, in spite of generating revenue through advertisement. Without any such extra income, due to our wish to remain independent, and despite a low price of 2 EUR only, in order to remain affordable to our most modest readers, this situation is even more difficult for Pirates Mag'. The CPPAP decision is a death sentence, because from now on, the State is going to get more VAT and other taxes out of the price paid by the readers, which will not be accountable in the magazines balance any more. Add that to that the loss of the professional press card by our journalist, one can't help wondering, if the Government wanted to censor us indirectly, this would have been the way to do it.
We have filled a legal recourse to the State Council, but it will not be considered before months. Until then, we hope we'll find a solution to keep informing you.


About Pirates Mag'
The magazine is edited under the supervision of scientists and jurists, all of them holding diplomas, from Master to PhD (including Engineer's degree), who guarantee that the published information conforms to accepted standards. Thanks to the unique skills pool of this team, we often warned other magazines which, while enjoying the benefit of the CPPAP certificate, did incite or give detailed methods to commit acts of piracy. This is because, in addition to our information process, we aim at sending an educative message, and reminding people of the laws in effect as well as the legal risks, and of course morally condemn any illicit action.
Without advertisement, independent from any other company or public administration, the only goal of Pirates Mag' is the defence of consumers and citizens. Each time we know of a security flaw, we send an immediate and confidential warning to the persons in charge, to help them fix it. While the Commission accuses us of "giving way to computer piracy", the people in the field, in other terms the would-be victims themselves, thank us for the help: banks, telecommunication operators, Internet access providers, online shops, media, etc.
After the warning has been sent, either the flaw is fixed, or, if it's not the case, users are to be immediately informed, so that they may take, at their level, technical measures necessary for their security (modify settings, apply a patch, change the protection, and so on). Should we hide this information, as the Administration wants us to? We refuse to do so: this censorship would, on the contrary, "give way to computer piracy", because then malevolent pirates would have the gates wide open to take advantage of such undocumented and unfixed flaws."
Olivier Aichelbaum


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