“Elected president, I will make digital a priority sector for public investment,” declared Marine Le Pen in her digital manifesto. Words are strong but is it a reality? Does she really have ambitions for the digital and technology sector? In any case, this is what it expresses, through its program, where it pleads for four points: “guarantee the protection of citizens’ personal data, promote the emergence and development of local actors, impose respect for rules that too many foreign companies have become accustomed to violating, and controlling the security of the interests of France and the French in cyberspace”.

Sovereignty at all costs

“Above all, we must promote the emergence of French or European players in all digital fields”. The candidate therefore wants to have exclusive recourse to French suppliers for public procurement in the military and national security fields. At Station F, last February, she then addressed French entrepreneurs, exclaiming “you are the lungs of France”. Wishing to reconnect with prosperity, she specifies that the rest of this public order will be devoted to European suppliers. This will concern computer hardware, telecommunications, software, services, in particular cloud hosting. Also on the agenda, “strict control with the option of prohibiting foreign or non-European interests from buying leading French companies in the strategic digital sector, in the spirit of the Montebourg decree”, she specifies. . In her quest for sovereignty, Marine Le Pen also announces that the State will have recourse to the French Sovereign Fund (FSF) – under the aegis of the Caisse des dépôts – which she wishes to set up “to promote the emergence and development of French digital players”.

Similarly, it wishes to set up taxation at the level of the European Union or the OECD to increase the amounts of taxes for foreign companies in France. It also announces a strengthening of compliance by the latter with French and European law on the protection of personal data. The candidate is here targeting the Gafam, repeatedly called to order and at the heart of several investigations. When collecting personal data, it indicates that the rule will be their deactivation by default, and their total prohibition when the user is a minor. It intends to apply the principle of data minimization, “particularly in the case of interoperable identifiers (connecting to a service with identifiers from another service).

“Rule the law”

Without citing the companies, the candidate mentions “the main digital service providers – search engines, messaging services, social networks which have imposed their own rules on the States”. It intends to further compel these companies to comply with the national law of the countries concerned by requiring them to comply with several measures. It will first be a question of collaborating with the police, justice and gendarmerie services in the context of investigations relating to online harassment, defamation, counterfeiting and any crime or offence”. Apple and Facebook have repeatedly responded in the negative to this type of request and it seems difficult to compel them.

The spokeswoman for the National Rally indicates that she wants to remove “censorship [de ces firmes] on the content they broadcast according to their own rules”, a nod to Twitter which applies its own vision in terms of incitement to hatred, protection of minors, etc., but also account closures. “If private social networks were to persevere in their practices”, she proposes in particular to “establish and manage a public, free and free social network”, a proposal that few candidates have made. Wishing to put an end to certain anti-competitive practices, Marine Le Pen also wants to grant the status of employees to drivers and deliverers of digital platforms such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats, VTC.

Closing the digital divide

Observing a territory still too much impacted by the digital divide, Marine Le Pen first wants to cover the territory, under the management of Arcep, “so that there are no longer any white areas and in order to to improve the quality of networks in gray areas”. It intends, in a second step, to increase digital training capacities, both in advanced sectors and in initiation. To do this, it will engage in a “proactive policy to fight against illiteracy, or digital illiteracy, which particularly affects the elderly and those living in rural areas, by developing the already existing digital counter systems (in town halls or prefectures ) and by mobilizing the actors of administrative or associative digital mediation”. However, it remains suspicious of the increasing dematerialization of services, and wants to “maintain the physical presence of civil servants or public service agents, or, at the very least, that a telephone number allows them to be contacted”.

Promote a safe cyberspace

On the issue of cyberspace, the candidate takes the example of ransomware of which companies and individuals are victims, but also of spying on leaders, economic espionage, cyberattacks against banks, hospitals, vital infrastructures which disrupt the territory. “To guarantee a high level of security in cyberspace for French people and businesses, I will strengthen national cybersecurity in all its dimensions: infrastructure, hardware, software, attack detection capabilities, specialized training and public awareness” -she.

Finally, the candidate intends to strengthen the capacities of the National Agency for Information Systems Security (Anssi), those of the Directorate General for External Security (Dgse) and military capacities in this area. To this end, it plans to create “digital commandos” – a point mentioned by Emmanuel Macron – who would be responsible for both reacting to attacks against IT services (neutralization and counter-attack) and carrying out simulations of digital offensives to test the security of French services.