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Censorship The Internet

French President Proposes Jail For Terrorist Website Visitors 402

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-it-quacks-like-a-terrorist dept.
howardd21 writes "French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is only a month away from an election, argued that it is time to treat those who browse extremist websites the same way as those who consume child pornography. 'Anyone who regularly consults Internet sites which promote terror or hatred or violence will be sentenced to prison,' he told a campaign rally in Strasbourg, in eastern France. 'Don't tell me it's not possible. What is possible for pedophiles should be possible for trainee terrorists and their supporters, too.' Is this a good move for security, or just another step towards a totalitarian society that prohibits free expression?"
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French President Proposes Jail For Terrorist Website Visitors

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  • by AwaxSlashdot (600672) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:53AM (#39450527) Homepage Journal

    This is a law-project tailored specifically to address the crazy killer that shot 7 people recently in France.

    The presidential election is less than 1 month away and no more laws would be discussed or voted in the mean time. So this law would never pass.

    The killer was under scrutiny since his return from Afghanistan. Since he hasn't done anything in France, he could be arrested and jailed. They weren't able to detect any suspicious behavior like planning to plant a bomb which is the most common terrorist act in Europe. We have very few gun-related deaths compared to the US, so such a killing spree is very unusual. This is the most obvious reason his planning went undetected.

    The point of this stupid law is to give an excuse for the Police to arrest and jail anyone with a slight hint of suspect behavior, before they might be planning to commit actual crime.

    As usual, this is stupid and inefficient.

  • What is this... (Score:3, Informative)

    by cyberworm (710231) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [mrowrebyc]> on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:54AM (#39450545) Homepage
    I don't even
  • Re:bring it on. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:08AM (#39450737)

    "The fourth victim was Myriam Monsonego, seven, daughter of the head teacher, who was reportedly grabbed by the hair and shot in the head."

    From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17428860 [bbc.co.uk]

    Is that good enough for you? Cunt.

  • by nstlgc (945418) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:17AM (#39450831)
    I'm guessing you are referring to the banning of burkas in France, which is not so much a restriction of the rights of a Muslim than it is an end to the positive discrimination of Muslims -- it was already illegal for everyone to walk around masked.

    We had the same thing in Belgium, where pupils have never been allowed to wear hats, caps, etc. in class. So to treat everyone equally, neither can Muslims. Which then, according to them, infringes on their right of religious freedom. Which is ridiculous, of course.

    If you were referring to anything else, ignore my comment.
  • by residieu (577863) on Friday March 23, 2012 @10:23AM (#39450903)

    doesn't matter. If elections are in just one month, he doesn't need to get this law passed, he doesn't even need to actually flesh out the details of the law, he's just making noise.

    And he (probably rightly) assumes that his target audience assumes that muslim and terrorist are synonyms and their favorite websites would not be counted.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 23, 2012 @11:16AM (#39451583)

    That was in Norway, though your point is still valid.

  • by jc42 (318812) on Friday March 23, 2012 @09:39PM (#39458267) Homepage Journal

    I hope the next massive trojan, doesn't start "visiting" these websites, and of course, it won't infect congressmen or even the president's computer.

    Well, I'm a bit surprised that it hasn't already happened. Or maybe it has, and just hasn't been publicised. The basic technique was documented in the late 1990s. Google for "javascript preload". It's pretty well documented, and useful for legit purposes. Its main use is for a site to download its images to your cache while you're reading their main page(s), so those images will already be there when you go to other pages that use them. This can materially speed up a site's apparent response time. But it's easy to abuse.

    When I read about it way back then, I did a bit of experimenting, and found that it was quite easy to fill the browser cache of anyone (who had javascript enabled) with any images or other files that I wanted them to have, from any other site on the Web. Unless they know to look through their cache, they'd never see those files and would never know they were there. In my tests, I used assorted innocuous-looking images (with only an occasonal "artsy" image of nekkid wimmin ;-). But it was pretty obvious that the technique could as easily be used to fill their disks with stuff that would get them fired or fined or jailed.

    I still have my code, so I just tested it on a few of the current browsers. It still works just fine, as long as JS is turned on. And google reports that "javascript preload" gets more than 3 million hits, with some on the first page saying things like "How to Preload an Image", so presumably other programmers are using these JS features, too.

    And, lest you think I'm some sort of ï½ber-hacker (who even knows that that word contains an umlaut ;-), I won't tell you where to find my demo. I'll just suggest you talk to any web-programmer friends you may have, and ask them to try it. You may be surprised at how quickly they get it working. Or they may show you that they already have it working on their sites. They're likely to say "Hey, every JS programmer knows that!"

    And I don't believe that Congress or the President are immune. Can you imagine them running with scripting disabled? Their only immunity is that they can prevent the investigative agencies from examining their browser caches, or if some investigator does so, they can have him fired.

    The only actual defense is turning off all scripting. Anything that downloads code and runs it on your machine is an easy entry path for such malware, especially when it's using popular JS features that are there to speed up your web access.

    Sarkozy's proposal would be a good way for his minions to frame their opponents by tricking them into downloading lots of illegal stuff. Probably the only way to fight it would be to organize a project to fill his colleagues' disks with files of the sort that they want to make punishable by law. And up above, I told any interested readers how to find instructions on doing that. (I wonder if they're available in French? ;-)

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