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Censorship Communications Encryption Government The Internet Your Rights Online

France Will Not Ban Wi-Fi Or Tor, Prime Minister Says (dailydot.com) 89

Patrick O'Neill writes: Despite requests from police following the deadly Paris attacks, France will not ban the Tor anonymity network or public Wi-Fi, Prime Minister Manual Valls said on Wednesday."A ban of Wi-Fi is not a course of action envisaged," Valls responded on Wednesday. Nor is he in favor of a ban on Tor, which encrypts and masks users' identifying data. "Internet is a freedom, is an extraordinary means of communication between people, it is a benefit to the economy," Valls added.
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France Will Not Ban Wi-Fi Or Tor, Prime Minister Says

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  • Vive la France (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EvilEddie ( 243404 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @12:38PM (#51095205) Homepage

    Vive la France

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Vive la France

      Politicians say A and do B. Be afraid, very afraid of what the government will really do.
      If you think the US government is bad on transparecy issues you've never lived in France.

      • by Trepidity ( 597 )

        In this case afaict the politicians never said that public wifi was going to be banned. It was the police who requested public wifi to be banned, which isn't surprising since police always want these kinds of things shut down. The government initially didn't comment on their request, and now commented that it's not in favor.

  • Actions of a few.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2015 @12:38PM (#51095209)

    The fact this was even proposed shows how disconnected many are from reality. Feel good legislation will not fix anything and will only impose problems on common folk.

    The actions of a few must never dictate the life of the many.

    • by CaptnCrud ( 938493 ) on Thursday December 10, 2015 @12:41PM (#51095219)

      “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

        Benjamin Franklin

      • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

        Problem is - a soundbite sentence like that can have its goalposts moved to suit either side of the argument. Well all surrender a certain amount of freedom for security. If that wasn't the case you'd have anarchy and while that might appeal to a small group of posturing delusionals, the reality is you'd have murder, theft. rape , you name it, with true absolute freedom.

        • by delt0r ( 999393 )
          It can be argued that we do indeed have these freedoms. Since you are free to commit murder, theft and rape, nothing is stopping you for the most part. And indeed people obviously do that. However we enforce consequences to these acts after the fact.
          • It can be argued that we do indeed have these freedoms. Since you are free to commit murder, theft and rape, nothing is stopping you for the most part. And indeed people obviously do that. However we enforce consequences to these acts after the fact.

            The real trick is that you are free to do absolutely anything so long as you don't complain when others do the same right back to you. You want to go out and murder people? Fine, but don't complain when you receive a death sentence. You want to be a thief? Fine, but don't complain when others don't respect your property rights.

            Where you find injustice and lack of freedom is when the "enforcement" involves a disproportionate response, doing to other people what they did not do to you. A death sentence for th

      • Odd for the French to not be surrendering. ;-)

        Je blague, je blague ...

      • by amorsen ( 7485 )

        The quote is actually:

        "They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty not safety."

        Benjamin Franklin is commenting on those who will give up the liberty to tax a rich family just because that rich family donates weapons to the ongoing war.

        It is interesting that Benjamin Franklin considered government taxation not just a liberty, but an essential one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      If I was in charge, the moment a senior level of a police or security service made such an utterance in public, he'd immediately fired and permanently blacklisted.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        How's that freedom of speech working out for you?

        • It has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is about expressing a private citizen's opinion. As a private citizen, anyone can campaign for banning anything they (don't) like, but the role of a senior public official is not to express random opinions but to preserve what the people regard as their fundamental rights and freedoms. If you are the CFO of a large corporation and you recommend to the Board that the best course of action would be to donate half the assets to ISIS, transfer the r
        • by dave420 ( 699308 )

          Dereliction of duty is not protected by free speech.

      • Yeah, because you always know the right solution to any problem you encounter, right ?

        Being wrong is absolutely ok if you are able to listen to what others say and change your opinion (that's called learning and this is good !). This is the only sane way to go. But politicians can hardly do this because the press (and the whole society) would only talk about how wrong their previous declaration was.

    • Nobody really wants to discuss the real issue, out of political correctness and fear of becoming a "hater".

      We have counter productive statements, nullifying each other, coming as a directive.

      1) If you see something, say something
      2) Don't be a racist,.

      These two things are incompatible with each other, as we found out in San Bernadino, where a neighbor had suspicions but didn't want to be a racist (#2) so they didn't report them (#1) . So, the question is, which is worse, the killing of 14 people or being a r

      • Finely nuanced positions are useless. Directions need to be clear and simple for all the simple people out there.

        Unfortunately, the real world isn't always simple, and finely nuanced positions are often the only sensible positions to adopt.

        By the way, you forgot to mention the alternative ending to your "being a racist" story, where the totally innocent but coincidentally foreign/Muslim/shy neighbour gets shot when they panic in reaction to the unexpected, unjustified and violent intrusion into their home by the police and security services as a result of the racist/paranoid report.

      • So, the question is, which is worse, the killing of 14 people or being a racist? Finely nuanced positions are useless. Directions need to be clear and simple for all the simple people out there.

        I think it's extremely ironic that you whine about "statists" [slashdot.org] when your own post reads like a Nazi propaganda guide.

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )

          He actually sounds more like a page or two from the Stasi handbook. They were all about reporting suspicions to the authorities. The irony is palpable, and totally lost on that muppet.

      • So, the question is, which is worse, the killing of 14 people or being a racist?

        Which is worse, a world where 14 people out of 7 billion are killed occasionally or a world where everyone is instructed to inform on their neighbors whenever they have poorly supported suspicions? How long do you think geeks will last in a world where behavior that looks odd or scary or antisocial to the average person is reported? What if your garage project looks like a bomb to someone, or a rumor circulates that you're a hac

    • I don't see how they could implement it reliably anyway.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      The fact this was even proposed shows how disconnected many are from reality. Feel good legislation will not fix anything and will only impose problems on common folk.

      I think it was good it was proposed, because it got people talking.

      Too many people are probably thinking "those terrorists use the Internet. I don't use WiFi, or whatever this "tor" thing is. So ban it."

      And as we all know from that famous quote, well, they'll take away everyone who isn't X until you're left and no one will defend you.

      So gettin

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2015 @12:49PM (#51095283)

    Please stop saying "[country] will/did do this ...".
    Instead, say "The current government of [country] will/did do this ...". Governments come and go.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      and the name of the land mass run and generally managed by the government is the name of the country they have chosen.

      If the government changes, it could very well change their name.

    • People have the courage to protest and go to the barricade in some countries, and France is among them. Make a rule which enrage most french, expect to have nasty consequences. See De Gaulle and the protests of 68.

    • You knew what it meant. I knew what it meant. Everyone knew what it meant.

      What else could it have meant?

    • Why do you hate synecdoche?

    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      Please stop saying "[country] will/did do this ...".
      Instead, say "The current government of [country] will/did do this ...". Governments come and go.

      How in the world was this upvoted? The leader for a country talks for the country. This is especially true in France - in some ways they are more libertarian than the US (hint: when I was there 10 years ago they didn't even pre-pay their income taxes - if you don't give your 80% of estimated income to IRS in the US you get fined up the wazoo).

      In other ways France is a lot more authoritarian - the leader speaks for the group. They talk in terms of consensus even in political realms. Where were you for

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Forward-thinking, no knee-jerk reactions, no inflammatory rhetoric to rile up his base, not immediately jumping on an open opportunity for a power-grab... are we sure this guy's a politician?
    • Forward-thinking, no knee-jerk reactions, no inflammatory rhetoric to rile up his base, not immediately jumping on an open opportunity for a power-grab... are we sure this guy's a politician?

      This Prime Minister SHOULD be praised. When a politician does the right thing, he or she should get just as many hyperbolic e-mails as when they screw up. Yeah, yeah, I'm well aware I'm living in a dream world, but It's always been harder to build up than tear down.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "...our impulses are being redirected. We are living in an artificially induced state of consciousness that resembles sleep⦠...the movement was begun eight months ago by a small group of scientists who discovered, quite by accident, these signals being sent through television... ...the poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are nonexistent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices... ...their intention to rule rests with the anni

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's a vent for angry people to express their anger in a non-destructive manner, rather than get more frustrated to the point of actions.
    Anonymous speech is a way for them to be confident that their words won't bite them in the ass if they have to express extreme anger.

    See, when you do mass surveillance, and you say "your words are watched so watch what you say", you are actually saying "your words are watched by people with their world view and their grudges and their opinions and biases, so be careful not

  • So now I'm really confused. Is the French government allowing Tor to stay feral because they can tame it whenever they want, and the cops were too stupid to know?

    Or did the question come up because Tor reallyis a good way to maintain a fairly decent level of privacy, and the cops were hoping to get rid of it?

  • Police are not thinking on all cylinders. Anonymity works both ways. They need some undercover agents on Tor joining (and reporting on) plans ASAP (at least to the extent they are leaked to new recruits). I suspect, however, that ISIS recruits have to meet physically with handlers at some point - and at that point the undercover work becomes exceedingly dangerous.

  • The largest number of WiFi nodes I have seen in one place was 34, right outside Le Châtelet Metro station in Paris.

  • The U.S. government wants to be able to see your private conversations... soon everyone will have to implant a mic as well to please the government because speaking in person is encrypted by walls.
  • I'm late on this, but I think it's worth stating.

    Step One: a government's minister makes an statement about planned policies that cause an outrage.

    Step Two: the prime minister of said government claims reassuringly that said policies aren't actually on the table.

    Step Three: the government implements less outrageous policies of the same nature that wouldn't have looked acceptable to the public if it weren't for step One and Two having been performed.

    I'm pretty sure there's a name for this trick, but I couldn

    • I'm not claiming that's what they are actually doing but, if they were, it would look exactly like that. And it's a trick that's especially useful on populations that are prone to protesting. Like, say, the French.

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