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Censorship Your Rights Online

French Net Censorship Plan Moves Forward 108

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-is-gonna-be-just-swell dept.
angry tapir writes "French lawmakers have voted to approve a draft law to filter Internet traffic that Slashdot previously discussed. The government says the measure is intended to catch child pornographers. The Senate, where the government has a majority, will soon give the bill a second reading. If the Senate makes no amendments to the text, that will also be its final reading, as the government has declared the bill 'urgent,' a procedural move that reduces the usual cycle of four readings to two."
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French Net Censorship Plan Moves Forward

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  • Bon chance! (Score:4, Funny)

    by edittard (805475) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:29AM (#31184026)

    Bon chance avec ça!

    P.S. Preimer!

    • Re:Bon chance! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:54AM (#31184390)

      The fallacy here is that this measure will do nothing to stop the PRODUCTION of child pornography.
       
      Wait, that can be shortened.
       
      The fallacy here is that this measure will do nothing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        The fallacy here is that this measure will do nothing.

        I wish I could say otherwise, but you're wrong about that. It will do nothing to stop the production or spread of child pornography, but it will constitute another erosion of freedom of speech or information.

        Governments all over the world are using the child porn issue as a stick with which to beat their citizens (I am posting from Australia), but it seems the regular law enforcement bodies are actually pretty good at catching a lot of the malefacto
        • Re:Bon chance! (Score:5, Informative)

          by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @12:11PM (#31185612)

          The fallacy here is that this measure will do nothing.
          I wish I could say otherwise, but you're wrong about that. It will do nothing to stop the production or spread of child pornography, but it will constitute another erosion of freedom of speech or information.

          I wish I could say otherwise, but even this is not entirely correct. The measure will actually HELP the spread of child pornography.
          It's pretty simple really:
          1) Net censorship will eventually of course mean less access to "illegal" information. For example access to information deemed illegal at sites like Wikileaks [google.com].
          2) Without widespread access to "illegal" information such as the illegal ACTA leaks [michaelgeist.ca], there will be little to no organized resistance to the ever-tightening Copyright and IP laws and treaties being signed (ACTA, GATS, TRIPS etc)
          3) Strict IP and copyright laws keep third world countries poor [1]. The majority of Child Pornography stems from human trafficking from third world countries, an unfortunate risk of growing up in a third world country [2].
          ...

          If the French Government really cared about Child Pornography, it would be taking studies like [1] below seriously and not playing cloak and dagger with treaties like ACTA.

          [1]

          Commission on Intellectual Property Rights declared the internationally-mandated expansion of intellectual property (IP) rights unlikely to generate significant benefits for most developing countries and likely to impose costs, such as higher priced medicines or seeds. This makes poverty reduction more difficult. The intensively researched, 180-page report is entitled Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy. It is the culmination of much study and follows on more than a dozen meetings and workshops, 17 working papers, an exhaustive literature review of the field, visits to several developed and developing nations and a major conference. The report makes some 50 recommendations aimed at aligning IP protection with the goal of reducing poverty in developing nations. Topics include IP and health; agriculture; traditional knowledge; copyrights, software and the Internet; and the role of WTO and WIPO in advancing developing country interests. The Commission is an independent international body made up of Commissioners from both developed and developing countries with expertise in science, law, ethics and economics. The Commissioners come from industry, government and academia* (see list of Commissioners below). "Developed countries often proceed on the assumption that what is good for them is likely to be good for developing countries," said Professor John Barton, Commission Chair and George E. Osborne Professor of Law, Stanford University. "But, in the case of developing countries, more and stronger protection is not necessarily better. Developing countries should not be encouraged or coerced into adopting stronger IP rights without regard to the impact this has on their development and poor people. They should be allowed to adopt appropriate rights regimes, not necessarily the most protective ones."

          http://www.biotech-info.net/independent_commission.html [biotech-info.net]

          [2] Third world are the major "Source Countries" of child pornography and other human trafficking related crimes [google.com].

          • If the French Government really cared about Child Pornography, it would be taking studies like [1] below seriously and not playing cloak and dagger with treaties like ACTA.

            Politicians care about child pornography. They just care about power and money more.

            Oh, and helping out their buddies. But don't worry, child pornography is somewhere in the top five... ten. Probably top ten.

            Oh, and hiding their misdeeds. Top twenty, almost definitely. Maybe.

          • The third world needs to find something valuable it can export.

            If they can figure out how to grow whatever it is you've been smoking then poverty will be history. I'd certainly buy some.

      • Re:Bon chance! (Score:5, Informative)

        by DrSkwid (118965) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @04:54PM (#31190778) Homepage Journal

        And the terrible fact that web based CP is not how it's distributed any more, paid for cp is done through virtualisation connected to via encrypted VPN. These laws are ridiculously out of date / lies.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bonne chance.
      Premier.

      Almost, ou presque.

    • ...and your father smelt of elderberry!

  • Why stop there? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by calibre-not-output (1736770) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:36AM (#31184106) Homepage
    Let's also filter the mail, cellphone conversations and text messages, walkie-talkie and other short-range radio transmission devices and fax. We should also outlaw the lending and borrowing of pendrives, memory cards and home-recorded CDs and DVDs.Those child pornographers are sneaky bastards.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Europe is so ahead of you. Greece plans to make cash transactions of more than 1500 Euros illegal "to curb tax evasion".

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The above post is completely irrelevant with the article and misinforming, at least. The plan in Greece is to prohibit people from doing any transactions over 1500 euros done in *cash*, in order to reduce tax evasion. Such measures already apply in most European countries. In fact Greece is the only country in the EU where one can go to a car yard with a suitcase full of money (ie 30.000 euros) and buy a car, without a receipt.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          English isn't my native language, but I would be very surprised to find that "cash transactions of more than 1500 Euros" does not mean "transactions over 1500 euros done in *cash*". And of course the requirement that merchants document sales is completely separate from the payment type.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by vegiVamp (518171)

            Common use where I live (.be, so also non-native english) makes a difference between "cash" and "in cash".

            "cash" means "payed on the spot", while "in cash" means "with physical monies issues by the government". Thus, payment with a credit or debit card also counts as "cash".

            Wikipedia doesn't mention any of that in the article about cash, though, so this may be a local thing.

            • Actually, by your logic, a payment by card is precisely not cash: it involves no physical monies :)

              Which is what was meant here. See, the universes is coherent!

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Since alcoholism causes many deaths each year and is a far larger problem than pornography, I think we should prohibit the sale of French wines in America.

    • Why not after all; if you have nothing to hide (from me) then you have nothing to fear (from me).

    • I’m not against filtering the media. As long as we only filter everything that is not deliberate disinformation and fearmongering. And as long as we include politicians and advertisements of all kinds as “media“.

      Because then, there would not be anything left for them to send anyway. ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Horst Köhler signed the "Zugangserschwerungsgesetz" yesterday. A veto from the Bundespräsident was the last thing that could have stopped the law in the normal legislative process. To stop the law now, the Bundestag would have to agree on annulling the law before it goes into effect in about three weeks when it is published in the Bundesanzeiger.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:14AM (#31184682)

      Yes, but with all five political parties in the bundestag against the law, it is pretty likely that it will 1) never be enforced 2) get cancelled eventually

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Horst Köhler signed the "Zugangserschwerungsgesetz" yesterday. A veto from the Bundespräsident was the last thing that could have stopped the law in the normal legislative process.

      Yes, but he only signed after the government answered to his request for more information. In this answer, the government assured that they will order the "Bundeskriminalamt" (something like the FBI) to not produce any lists of addresses to be blocked.

      The situation is rather absurd now: the (previous) government passed the law last autumn, then the coalition government changed (conservatives with liberals instead of conservatives with social democrats), and by now no party is in support of the law anymore.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Hurricane78 (562437)

        Yes, but he only signed after the government answered to his request for more information.

        Not relevant to the problem. Fact is still: He signed something, whose only known effect is the protection (trough concealment) of child abuse, and which is unconstitutional. Making him de-facto punishable for treason (usually at least 10 years jail) and aiding of child abuse (also not a small thing). And he is fully aware of this.

        In this answer, the government assured that they will order the "Bundeskriminalamt" (something like the FBI) to not produce any lists of addresses to be blocked.

        Yeah because the BKA is oh such a trustworthy source when it comes to “assuring” something. This is more a guarantee that they will produce those lists, but want to ke

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:38AM (#31184134) Homepage

    If IMMI goes ahead in Iceland, then all that censorship may turn out to be nothing more than a colossal waste of bureaucracy.

    You can only attack content in the place where it is hosted - filtering the reception end just doesn't work reliably. Even China doesn't have a perfect rate, and Iran had to throttle its whole network in order to cut off communication...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It's about instilling the acceptance of top-down control, about obeying, and perhaps even coming to view as necessary, government-determined access to information\. The French have already given themselves over to a Democratic (state) socialist government, so it's not a huge surprise that this is happening there and not here in the USA, at least not yet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mornedhel (961946)

        Except that France's Parti Socialiste is *against* this legislation, which is being pushed by the current UMP government (which is on the right side of our political spectrum).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ltap (1572175)
      Especially in Europe. East Germany's censorship model failed in most places in the west because people could get signals from West German TV stations. In a place like France, people could easily get wifi signals from Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, etc depending on where they lived.

      Of course, Burlesconi will almost certainly jump on this bandwagon, and then France and Italy will try to leverage this on other EU countries.
  • by e70838 (976799) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:46AM (#31184254)
    The main consequence of these "laws" will be the development of cryptography and anonymous browsing. As a result, real criminals will have better tools to hide their activity. Normal people will just lose a part of their liberties.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ltap (1572175)
      I think in discussions like these we need a new disclaimer: IANAP (I Am Not a Paedophile). However, I doubt anything more than a minority are violent people, just like everyone else. The reality is that the non-violent ones who used child porn will either be harrassed or might be driven to the paedophile stereotype of kidnapping/abusing kids. This does nothing but escalate it, and rather than try to talk to these people and work out their problems or give them a safe way to channel it (sort of like how BDSM
      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        I think in discussions like these we need a new disclaimer: IANAP (I Am Not a Paedophile).

        Hey, it's a better acronym than "I ANAL"!

    • AFAIK strong cryptography is already forbidden in France.

    • by xenobyte (446878)

      Actually - I talked with a guy who's part of the Danish police computer crimes division (the guys that among other things investigate CP), and he told me that they've processed just under a thousand computers for CP and only ONE used any kind of cryptography to hide his CP. Didn't work either as the moron used a common password which was broken in hours... go figure.

  • Pensez aux enfants!?

    Apologies if the French is totally wrong, just ran it through babelfish. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dragonslicer (991472)

      Pensez aux enfants!?

      Apologies if the French is totally wrong, just ran it through babelfish. :)

      If I remember my high school French correctly, that would translate to "Think in the children", which is hilarious by itself. I would think the correct French would be "Pensez des enfants", though penser may be one of those weird verbs that takes an article that doesn't match the literal translation. I'm just gonna ignore the fact that "pensez" is second-person plural (i.e. a command), since I'm not sure which form is supposed to follow "somebody".

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, "Pensez aux enfants" is correct.

      • "pensez aux enfants" is actually far better.

        I understand you can't translate it easily, but "Think about the children" is probably the best way to go about it. "pensez des enfants" doesn't mean anything by itself. "think of the children"

      • by fafalone (633739)
        Actually it doesn't even seem like the most appropriate verb to begin with. Songer would seem to make more sense, which does take à. Furthermore, penser would take à if you were going to use it in this sense anyway; since the non-literal but equivalent phrases are penser à->to think about. Remember à literally translates to 'at', not 'in'. "Think in the children" would have been penser dans enfants, or perhaps penser en enfants.
      • by ubercam (1025540)

        As rusty as my French is, I'll try to give this a shot..

        In the indicative present tense, the second person plural of the verb "penser" is vous pensez, whereas in the imperative case, the second person plural is pensez.

        If you're speaking formally, you normally use the 2nd person plural (vous) if you're speaking to a single person. Informally, speaking to a single person, the use of the 2nd person singular is called for*. This differs from, say, German where the formal person is the 3rd person plural (some mi

    • Isn't that what the child porn is for?
      • I'm not a native English speaker but I think your sentence would be better phrased with "about" instead of "for".
  • Urgent? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ltap (1572175) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @10:48AM (#31184292) Homepage
    I don't think anyone could call this bill urgent. This is stating the obvious a bit, but I'm going to call it right now - the French government is trying to force this through as quickly as possible before anti-censorship, net neutrality, and freedom of speech groups get to mount a decent defense and inform the French people about what is happening. Although, the populace could be complicit, sort of like Italy, where Burlesconi has managed to brainwash almost everyone.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are aware the general populance here in europe doesn't even know what net neutrality actually is?

      • by Ltap (1572175)
        Exactly. The French government is obviously trying to force it through before their people are as educated about it as they are in other countries.
    • by kemenaran (1129201) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:23AM (#31184838)
      The "urgent" status is actually because this censorship bill is part of a larger law, named LOPPSI 2, that addresses several "security" matters : more jail for everyone, Internet filtering, trojans for cops in "organized crime" investigation, and so on.

      There are regional elections in France in about one month. The government tries to scare people on security matters — the good old "I want *everyone* to *remember* _why_they_need_us_ !". They want to pass the law before the elections, and gave it an "urgent" status that of course isn't justified in any other way.
    • The current government of France has a tendency to overuse the urgence procedure. In my not even remotely humble opinon, the aim is most probably to prevent the media from catching up and starting examinating the proposed actions thoroughly before it's too late. It's characteristic of Nicolas Sarkozy's habit to go all news-surfing and claim action will be taken and new laws will be voted each time a tragic event happens gets to the news.

      Judges, advocates, and even some prosecutors complain that this endless

  • Radio Free _____ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:03AM (#31184512) Journal

    I, for one, will be using my "end of Cold War" era Yaesu FRG-7700 shortwave radio to search for broadcasts from the Free World. Could any of you guys tell me which direction I should be pointing my antenna, in order to get the best reception from signals bouncing over the Wall? My map isn't even clear where the border lies any more; all I know is that I'm on the wrong side.

    • by Ltap (1572175)
      It depends. State of Europa, anyone?

      In all seriousness, what would be truly heroic would be some kind of organized circumvention effort near the borders - people setting up free, public, long-range wifi in the bordering countries and mapping out areas where it's available.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by discord5 (798235)

      I, for one, will be using my "end of Cold War" era Yaesu FRG-7700 shortwave radio to search for broadcasts from the Free World

      Purely from a technical point of view, one could use such a shortwave radio together with a modem to create a network that could broadcast kitty porn, so, I'm afraid we're also going to have to confiscate that.

      We're also going to have confiscate any flashlights you have, so you can't broadcast aforementioned kitty porn in binary signals to your neighbours. You don't happen to own two tin cans and a piece of string? We've had disturbing reports of people luring kitties by mewing loudly into one can.

      I hate to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I'm afraid we're also going to have to confiscate that.

        In the UK, the government is already allowing pollution to the 3-30MHz spectrum, which will lead to a reduction in short wave listeners and HF amateur radio users, which will in turn eventually lead to closing down of services due to "lack of demand".

        This is done through generous EU self-certification requirements for electronic devices, so in particular HPA and other BT-provided home powerline networking products radiate broadband noise up to a few hundred metres away. With hundreds of thousands of units i

    • by baKanale (830108) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:42AM (#31185124)

      I'm beginning to doubt there's a single place on this entire planet that's on the right side of the border.

  • "French lawmakers have voted to approve a draft law to filter Internet traffic that Slashdot previously discussed."

    I didn't read the article. I didn't even read the rest of the text beyond that sentence. Any traffic related to something which has previously been discussed on /. should be filtered in France...
  • Commencer l'opération tempête de le téton !
  • Misplaced effort (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Thursday February 18, 2010 @11:23AM (#31184824)

    If the French legislature -- or, for that matter, ours, the British, or the Australians -- were genuinely concerned about child pornography, there are any number of productive, real-world efforts they could pursue. On the technical side, they could fund research into automated image analysis, so computers could look for the stuff specifically instead of having uniformed thugs, er, gendarmes pawing through everyone's data manually. That, obviously, is not going to produce overnight results, so maybe the kiddie porn-obsessed countries of the world could take concrete action against the human trafficking that fuels so much of the child porn business. Of course, that would end up hurting business interests, whereas violating everyone's rights in a largely fruitless pursuit for evidence of crimes after the fact -- cast in the appropriate light, of course -- generates some free publicity prior to elections, without the unintended side effect of actually doing something to reduce a very valuable hot button issue.

    We have the same kind of politics here with respect to abortion. Both sides fear a final resolution to the issue because it's such a huge source of votes. Consequently, the pro-life faction always stops just a little bit short of overturning Roe v. Wade, and the pro-choice faction never actually gets around to even discussing a constitutional amendment. The politicians (and professional pressure groups) involved want an unresolved controversy, lest the issue be reduced to driving as many people to the polls as the Runaway Slave Act does nowadays. The voters on both sides are quite sincere and feel strongly about their respective positions, but their elected representatives? Not so much.

  • ...think of the fucking children.

    Oh wait, fucking children are the problem...
    • by Duradin (1261418)

      I say we end this child porn menace once and for all!

      To protect children from child porn we must kill all children so they cannot be used in child porn!

      (And as a side benefit restaurants and airplanes will be slightly more tolerable.)

  • These "for the children" net censoring countries sure have a lot of child porn in their country. So much so that they're willing to spend a few hundred million dollars to just build some giant blindfolds to ignore it. Do they really not have any more pressing concerns? I'd be willing to wager they have more unemployed people than pedophiles and molested children combined.

    Last I checked, there were plenty of other 'issues' that could use the attention: poverty, cancer research, alternative energies, food p

  • So France wants to stop people from looking at child porn on the internet cos it's such a BAD THING... but they complain about Roman Polanski being arrested and they want him freed?

    He didn't merely look at child porn, he drugged and raped a 13 year old for fuck's sake.
  • Child abuse for the purpose of child pornography happens IN THE REAL WORLD, not in cyberspace! - No law acting on the Internet only will ever do the slightest bit to PREVENT the actual child abuse which must be the primary purpose of any child pornography law!

    Don't they get it? - The abuse will happen and the materials will be produced. Once they exist they will be disseminated one way or the other. Making distribution harder will make them more valuable thus more attractive to produce. It is likely it'll a

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