What Private Life ? François Hollande, the N.S.A., and Article 13.
The magazine, Closer, reported last week that the French president, François Hollande, in having an affair with the access, Julie Gayet. The fallout provoked by the revelations have been instantly scandalous for two reasons.
First, the French president is normally accorded a large zone of privacy. In the past, other presidents have had lovers, and even fathered children out of wedlock, but the press never reported these truths.
Second, François Hollande reacted in anger. He demanded that the press respect his personal zone of privacy. But the president is a hypocrite, because the French national government just enacted a controversial new law, Article 13, that allows the Ministry of Economy and Finances to spy on French citizens. When the French president says that he has a private life, I want to know, "What private life ?" The president only has himself to blame for not having a private life. Here's how : He's done nothing to stop the N.S.A. spy program or the passage of Article 13.
Ordinairily, France has privacy laws that should be respected, but the United States violates these laws as a consequence of its N.S.A. spy program, and France itself collaborates with the N.S.A., in violation of its own laws.
If the president wants that his private life be respected anew, then he should be fighting on behalf of everybody to have a private life. If the president does nothing on others' behalf, how soon before the good French people should expect that the Ministry of Economy and Finances, given their new spy powers, will disclose "selfies" of the president ?