Tuesday, February 10, 2015

France can now block suspected terrorism websites without a court order

Supporters say new measure is critical to combating terrorism, but civil rights groups fear crackdown on free speech

By Amar Toor
on February 9, 2015 07:01 am 


A new decree that went into effect today allows the French government to block websites accused of promoting terrorism and publishing child pornography, without seeking a court order. Under the new rules, published last week by France's Ministry of the Interior, internet service providers (ISPs) must take down offending websites within 24 hours of receiving a government order. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says the decree is critical to combatting terrorism, but civil rights groups say it gives the government dangerously broad powers to suppress free speech.

The regulations have been under consideration since 2011, but gained new momentum following last month's terrorist attacks at the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The French government has launched a massive anti-terror campaign in the wake of the attacks, countering radical online propaganda with its own anti-jihad website and arresting dozens of suspected terrorism supporters. Last week, French President Fran├žois Hollande announced plans to hold major internet companies accountable for sites hosting extremist content, saying the new law would make companies like Facebook and Google "accomplices" to terrorism.

"FRANCE'S GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT WHETHER THIS LAW WILL STOP TERRORISTS, OR MERELY CHILL SPEECH."

Editors Note: So if you want to take your oppositions site down just call them a terrorist.