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Man Who Named His Wi-Fi SSID 'Daesh 21' Prosecuted Under French Anti-Terror Law (arstechnica.com) 247

An 18-year-old man from Dijon was convicted for "praising terrorism" and was given a suspended sentence of three months in prison because the SSID of his Wi-Fi network was "Daesh 21." From an article on Ars Technica:Daesh is the Arabic acronym for Islamic State, and "21" in this context represents the number for the Cote d'Or, the French department, or province, where Dijon is located. The unnamed man was prosecuted under a new French anti-terrorism law (Article 421-2-5) passed in November 2014 that makes it a crime to "directly provoke acts of terrorism or to publicly praise one such act." If convicted, offenders can be punished by up to five years in prison and a $83,000 fine. Such penalties are raised to seven years and $111,000 if the crime was committed by using a "public online communication service." A local newspaper, Le Bien public, described the man as being "totally dazed" in front of the court and said that he was "not a terrorist." He was first sentenced to 100 hours of community service, which he refused, but he was finally given a three-month suspended sentence.
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Man Who Named His Wi-Fi SSID 'Daesh 21' Prosecuted Under French Anti-Terror Law

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  • by RandomSurfer314 ( 4412795 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:22PM (#53214529)
    How is that sentence possible? Using "daesh" does not appraise IS at all. They hate that name.
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:32PM (#53214599)

      More to the point: how does naming a Wifi access point "Daesh" possibly constitute apology of terrorism, or aiding terrorists? It's not like some random dude will drive by with a laptop and suddenly go "Well, would you look at that: that there Wifi access point is called "Daesh". I suddenly want to kill infidels! Allahu akbar!!!"

      What that is really is a clear example of the french democracy going 1984...

      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:59PM (#53214797) Journal

        One of my neighbors has his WiFi access point named after the local pro football team. I think a reasonable person would conclude he's a fan of that team. Same thing here.

        Wars are as much about moral support as they are about soldiers and weapons. Giving moral support to the enemy is on par with helping them get weapons. That really is the way war works.

        When a group (nation or otherwise) makes a habit of killing people in your country, showing support for them is a bad life strategy.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2016 @04:10PM (#53214865)

          I had my wifi named "fbi surveillance van" for several years, currently it is named Virus_distribution. Does that mean i support FBI surveillance of my community or am distributing a virus?

        • by Joviex ( 976416 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @04:20PM (#53214913)

          One of my neighbors has his WiFi access point named after the local pro football team. I think a reasonable person would conclude he's a fan of that team. Same thing here.

          Ah yes, the good old assumption law.

          Instead of asking his intent, and getting his take, like maybe he wanted to mark the NAME and the PLACE where a POS was held, in a public way, for people to remember, and never forget a POS's NAME.

          Luckily, we don't need to know his INTENT. We can just go arrest him, because of the good old assumption law!

          We have this here too! Brought to you in America by first world privilage birth, and re-enforced by the Patriot Act.

          • Instead of asking his intent

            Ah yes, asking for his intent, wherein he'll lie, distort or otherwise come up with some lame excuse. I keep seeing this theme throughout internet arguments. Intent is really hard to prove. Which is why conspiracy charges rarely require it, where you have to prove they intended to carry out the conspiracy.

            Next time you're caught speeding, try telling the cop, "I didn't intend to speed" and see where it gets you.

            • by Joviex ( 976416 )

              Instead of asking his intent

              Ah yes, asking for his intent, wherein he'll lie, distort or otherwise come up with some lame excuse. I keep seeing this theme throughout internet argument

              LOL! So your first specious reason is invalid, but here is the second specious reason the first one is re-validated?

              Bro, thanks for the laugh off my ass today.

            • Ah yes, asking for his intent, wherein he'll lie, distort or otherwise come up with some lame excuse. I keep seeing this theme throughout internet arguments. Intent is really hard to prove. Which is why conspiracy charges rarely require it, where you have to prove they intended to carry out the conspiracy.

              Next time you're caught speeding, try telling the cop, "I didn't intend to speed" and see where it gets you.

              I didn't intend to wipe my server with a cloth.

            • by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @05:27PM (#53215379)

              A better analogy is you being arrested and convicted for supporting illegal racing because your license plate reads "ND4SPD".

              • by lgw ( 121541 )

                If you had that license plate, you can bet you'd start getting far more tickets. Another bad life strategy.

            • Next time you're caught speeding, try telling the cop, "I didn't intend to speed" and see where it gets you.

              I did. After the officer stopped laughing he gave me a ticket anyway and said "Nice try Hillary"

        • My SSID is "Your kids scream too much". Would you really think I am praising your children?
        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          Giving moral support to the enemy is on par with helping them get weapons. That really is the way war works.

          No its not there is no moral equivalence there at all in fact! The right to question your own people/nations motives and the justification or lack there of for a war is crucial part of democracy. I am not suggesting at all there won't be am impact in doing so but the right to speak out is one of the core western values we should be fighting to up hold. Yes even when the occasional moron wants to make the argument we should reform our society into violent extremist Islamic theocracy. The correct response

          • by lgw ( 121541 )

            The right to question your own people/nations motives and the justification or lack there of for a war is crucial part of democracy.

            Find a way to do that without looking like you're supporting the enemy in an ongoing war. The terrorism thing can get a bit muddy, but ISIS in particular is killing people in France in particular, no ambiguity there, and you don't go around supporting the other side after the shooting starts.

            • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

              There is a difference between lending material support and holding / advocating the opinion that the other side should win. Is supporting the enemy of ones own nation adopted or otherwise disgraceful? I would I think agree with you that it is. I would have some pretty choice words for anyone suggesting there is one iota of goodness in ISIS and what they stand for, but I would not seek jail them.

              • by phayes ( 202222 )

                France also has laws on the books condemning those who deny the Holocaust. Are you taking a stand against those too?

              • by lgw ( 121541 )

                There is a difference between lending material support and holding / advocating the opinion that the other side should win.

                Not according to centuries of military theory, there isn't. Man, material, morale - these are the components of an army.

                When A and B are in a war, you can fight for A by shooting at B, sure, but also by making stuff for A or sabotaging the industry of B, or by boosting the morale of A or dragging down the morale of B. 20th century history showed that attacking industry is actually less important than attacking morale, BTW.

                I would have some pretty choice words for anyone suggesting there is one iota of goodness in ISIS and what they stand for, but I would not seek jail them.

                If the casualties were more widespread, jail would be the least of his worries. Jud

        • by quax ( 19371 )

          So if I call my WiFi access point "Drumpf", will you mistake me for a Trump fan?

        • by haruchai ( 17472 )

          "One of my neighbors has his WiFi access point named after the local pro football team. I think a reasonable person would conclude he's a fan of that team. Same thing here."

          No one who supports those murdering towelheads calls them Daesh and they've threatened to cut out the tongues of everyone they can get their hands on that calls them by that acronym

        • When a group (nation or otherwise) makes a habit of killing people in your country, showing support for them is a bad life strategy.

          One small problem with your fine theory: The name "daesh" is regarded as an insult by ISIS. So the WiFi network name didn't support them, it insulted them. Sort of like someone naming their WiFi "Hillary2016" and being branded a Trump supporter.

      • My interpretation of this would be a criticism of the state's immigration/refugee policy. If "21" is his district's number, "Daesh 21" sounds like he thinks his district is turning into an outpost of Islamic State.

        But, you know, far be it from the state to persecute people for disagreeing with them by abusing stupid laws.

      • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

        I think in this context since it's well known they hate the name it's plausible they prosecuted them for the 'provoke an attack' portion of the law.

        It's still BS though. It just proves that France has caved completely. Though I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

        Pretty sure naming your Wifi hotspot 'Viva La Sharia Law' would be perfectly legal.

    • Incidentally, what does that group call themselves? Be it in Arabic or English?
    • It is an acronym, and it is near other word pronunciation, daes for example, that is why they dislike it. But it is not per see pejorative and some youth have been praising it and using it even tagging it on wall (see north banlieu la courneuve, saint denis, even heard a rap on it)..
    • That's actually a myth. "Daesh" is just the Arabic version of "ISIS". The fact that it sort of sounds like a word they don't like isn't really a factor.
      • I looked it up [wikipedia.org]. Daesh is abbreviated, but not the Arabic version of ISIS - GP is right. The group calls itself ad-Dawlah al-Islmiyah ( ), which one can easily guess translates to 'Islamic State'. Before 2014, when their ambitions were more local, they were called ad-Dawlah al-Islmiyah f 'l-Irq wa-sh-Shm ( ) - which translates into either Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

        I prefer just calling them 'Islamic State', given that various Islamic groups worldwide - f

        • Primary sources [independent.co.uk] say otherwise; it is just an Arabic abbreviation [twitter.com] of their name. It's not a pejorative.
          • The claim is that Arabs don't abbreviate terms to coin such words. The Wiki article I cited pointed to the Syrian government as the one who coined it, and it got rapidly adapted by everybody
          • by vux984 ( 928602 )

            Just like calling Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece & Spain the PIIGS to concisely call out the 5 weakest countries in the eurozone financial crisis. That's not perjorative either right? It's just a simple acronym. Nobody was offended by it right?

            Oh wait..
            "The term is widely considered derogatory .."
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

            But your right Daesh is just an arabic abbreviation; and nobody is offended by it...

            "The term âoeDaeshâ is strategically a better choice because it is still accurate

        • I'd rather call them Daesh. By calling them "Islamic State" you're actually following their propaganda. They are neither a state nor are they islamic. They are savages.
    • by quax ( 19371 )

      Exactly. This is stupid on so many levels, it boggles the mind.

  • by NewtonsLaw ( 409638 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:25PM (#53214543)

    When your own government acts like terrorists -- you know the terrorists have won.

    The terrorists have very effectively smashed the US Constitution and removed a huge swathe of "freedoms" that were previously enjoyed by Western nations. They did not do this alone -- the governments of those nations were complicit with the terrorists' objectives by bending to the pressure.

    As Midnight OIl said: I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees. Sadly, Western governments have opted to strip their peoples of the freedoms they're (allegedly) trying to protect, in promise of security.

    Benajin Franklin quote goes here [....]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by eepok ( 545733 )
      Riiight. And that's evident how? Tell me how your life exhibits the Constitution having been smashed. Which freedoms did you have, but do not have today? Ya, Western governments are over-stepping bounds, but I'm fairly certain you weren't shot for typing your response. Nor will you be prosecuted. Nor will anyone else give much of a damn. Your freedoms are 99.999% intact and the police will still come to protect them when you call and the legal system will continue to prosecute and defend the accused. But
      • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:47PM (#53214693)

        Western governments are over-stepping bounds, but I'm fairly certain you weren't shot for typing your response. Nor will you be prosecuted.

        The government prosecuting speech of an individual is precisely the point of this whole post.

        • by tsqr ( 808554 )

          Western governments are over-stepping bounds, but I'm fairly certain you weren't shot for typing your response. Nor will you be prosecuted.

          The government prosecuting speech of an individual is precisely the point of this whole post.

          Free speech is not unlimited. There are quite a number of restrictions on speech (e.g., encitement, slander and libel, child porn, fighting words, false advertising. Of course, that's in the USA, and TFA is about France.

      • by bigbang137 ( 2953369 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:47PM (#53214695)
        How dumb do you have to be to ask this question? It was just a few weeks ago that the FBI forced all people in a building to unlock their iphones if they had a fingerprint unlock. People get subject to ridiculous security theater and their skin to radiation-intensive scanning in airports everyday. When they google pressure cooker, they get a visit from the bureau. What else do you want?
      • by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:59PM (#53214793)

        Which part of the US constitution was smashed so that it no longer applies to France?

      • Which freedoms did you have, but do not have today?

        The freedom to travel [by air] without having one's nutsack groped.

      • Which freedoms did you have, but do not have today?

        Why don't you ask Susette Kelo?

      • by quax ( 19371 )

        You really didn't pay attention to this whole Snowden thing, did you?

    • While I agree with your general sentiment, I think there are some subtleties to this, somewhat analogous to the "fire in a crowded theater" sort of thing.

      For instance, at least in the US, one doesn't (AFAIK...) have the "right" to call in a bomb threat. This is, if you like, removing some freedom of speech -- but I think it's entirely justifiable. So, what if someone names their SSID, "I_put_a_bomb_in_PS118" -- should we allow that? What about, "I will kill your family, $NameOfNeighbor"?

      And regarding
      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        personally i like the "all Mexicans are rapists" SSID
        or my guest network SSID "Grab the Pussy"

        subtle enough?!!

      • Except, at one point in time, saying "Black people and white people should have the right to marry each other." could incite violence. People could, and did, get hurt for saying those things; so should we have shut those speeches, rallies, protests, and marches down because someone could get hurt?

        The hard part about freedom is fighting for the other person's right to say things that you think are sick and twisted. No one fights because they think $DEITY is with the other side - everyone thinks they are "i

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lgw ( 121541 )

      Even in the US, free speech does not extend to giving aid and comfort to the enemy. And, yes, showing public support for the enemy counts. I do think a suspended sentence was appropriate here, of course, since he probably had no ill intent.

      Showing public support for a group that makes a habit of killing people in your country is just a bad life strategy.

      • by quax ( 19371 )

        Even in the US, free speech does not extend to giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

        How exactly is insulting the enemy, giving aid and comfort?

        http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/why-i... [ibtimes.co.uk]

      • by Pluvius ( 734915 )

        "Aid and comfort" is a fairly well-defined legal term, and simply praising a terrorist group or act would not meet the necessary criteria for it beyond a reasonable doubt. And this specific case where someone just named something after a terrorist group would be laughed out of court here.

        https://www.jstor.org/stable/7... [jstor.org]

        Rob

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      They did not do it, the panicky idiot republicans and democrats that have been waiting for a reason to gut the constitution and it's pesky rights did it.

      The fuckers in Washington have been WAITING to fuck up the constitution for decades. The terrorists are not at fault, it's the shitbag leaders we have empowered by panicky idiot citizens.

    • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @04:23PM (#53214929)

      Benajin Franklin quote goes here [....]

      Yes, we need to remember those quotes by Benajin Franklin and those other famous founding fathers like
      Tosam Jefferson
      Groeg Washington
      Alexnader Hamilton
      Jasm Madison
      Samle Adams
      and others.

    • by quax ( 19371 )

      They may me riding to their ultimate triumph come Tuesday.

  • by orospakr ( 715849 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:26PM (#53214547) Homepage

    "Daesh" is a pejorative term for ISIS. Referring to it by that name is hardly "praise".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • be more precise (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That wiki is mega long. You want us to read it ? It isnt pejorstive per see as it is either is acronym or a shortening. And some (stupid) french youth have been using it as oraise form. That said either the court over reacted or , as usual, the aritcle is omiting some serious side which led to the judgment. Would not be the first time.

    • Europe generally outlaws speech that upsets people and might provoke violence. So, you can get prosecuted for praising a radical organization, but you can also get prosecuted for insulting a radical organization, on the theory that you might be provoking violence.

  • "He was first sentenced to 100 hours of community service, which he refused..." How does that work?
    Judge: I sentence you to community service.
    Defendant: No thanks.
    Judge: Is a suspended sentence OK?
    Defendant: Meh,.. I guess.
    • He refused the deal went before a tribunal and got a harsher sentence. That alone tells me there is a whole unsaid part, or the tribunal judge are idiot. I tend to think unsaid part, as very usually important details are left out. But hey it is the french, so let us bash happily, and show how unürejudicied we all are ....
      • He refused the deal went before a tribunal and got a harsher sentence.

        Actually he got a milder sentence for a law-abiding citizen. A suspended sentence is just a warning, unless you do it again.

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          Actually he got a milder sentence for a law-abiding citizen. A suspended sentence is just a warning, unless you do it again.

          No, a suspended sentence goes on your record until the suspension period is over, which is much longer than the community service. It also counts as a prison sentence, whether it has been served or not.
          It can ruin a man's life for a long time.

          Thankfully, France isn't the US, where pretty much every sentence is a life sentence as far as employment opportunities go. But still, very harsh.

  • H. L. Mencken (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."
    -- H. L. Mencken

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @03:57PM (#53214771)

    When I setup my sister in law's access point in a small apartment building and I was explaining why she should use a password, we ended up naming her SSID "Fuck off, freeloaders".

    I named mine "Shocking Porn", which was all well and good until I ended up with my wife and six other women seated around the dining room table planning an event for the elementary school and one of them wanted wifi....

    • by pz ( 113803 )

      I've seen SSIDs that were designed to repel freeloaders through an emotional response. My favorite was "Boston Police". Maybe it was the police, maybe not. Are YOU going to risk running a torrent through that AP?

      • Yeah like people wearing those Female Body Inspector t-shirts, I mean how would you know they're not undercover federal agents hiding in plain sight?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    People assume that, because of France's exported image of liberty/equality/fraternity, it must be a bastion of freedom. It isn't. It's one of the most restrictive states in the Western world. Remember this is the country where women were recently fined for not exposing enough of their skin on beaches, because it's "un-French" to cover up.

    If you wonder why there are so many acts of terrorism in France, it's because - unlike most of the West, which just leaves peaceful Muslims alone to do whatever - there is

    • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Friday November 04, 2016 @05:05PM (#53215243)

      If you wonder why there are so many acts of terrorism in France, it's because - unlike most of the West, which just leaves peaceful Muslims alone to do whatever - there is an on-going internal cultural war between things that are considered French and non-French, and that war isn't just of words but enforced by laws. For example, everyone marched under the ostensible freedom-of-speech banner of je suis Charlie, but this is the same publication that was being regularly attacked in the courts by the government when poked fun at some aspect of Judaism.

      tl;dr do NOT trust France. They do not bring the same values to the table as the US, the UK, Ireland, post-Franco Spain, the Low Countries, Scandinavia, Finland, or even post-Nazi Germany. They have been the model so far of severe, irrelevant restrictions of rights with the excuse of "terror!" - nothing like the US, which while imposing temporary bullshit that undoubtedly curb the principles enshrined in the Constitution, still has a massive public voice in opposition, and has not crept in scope anywhere like in France. The best thing we can do is NOT follow them.

      While there may be problems w/ France, whenever I read about terror attacks anywhere in the world, I don't wonder what the recipient did wrong. I assume - and am frequently proven right - that it's Muslims being Islamic. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Take the Charlie Hebdo paper, for instance. Yeah, they did cartoons mocking Jews, but Jews did not take it up to themselves to shoot up the place. A lot of people and media outlets, particularly in Europe and particularly of the Left, are downright obnoxious, but none of the targets of their attacks take it upon themselves to resort to violence. Even in the US, you have media outlets regularly attack all sorts of groups, barring one. Muslims. B'cos they know that they'll be attacked for being 'racist' by terror groups like CAIR on one end, as well as get targeted by Muslim vigilantes on the other.

      If you think France is an exception, look at Denmark. You had those Danish cartoons, followed by not just protests and boycotts of Danish products (perfectly legitimate) but also death threats. And you've had terror attacks in the UK, Germany and other places. Normally, I'm against any government ordering its citizens to undress, but the presence of burqinis or burqhas in beaches is definitely intimidating, given how jihadist terror can occur anywhere

      Also, on the issue of what is French and non-French, that's a perfectly valid 'cultural war' to have. First of all, not all countries are 'international' countries, and any nation is at liberty to define itself not just by borders, but also by language and culture. France was at one time a Catholic country that has morphed into a secular one, but it is still well within its rights to impose curbs on people wanting to be a part of it. While religious freedom is there, it's perfectly legitimate for them to tell Muslims, 'If you are going to have 4 wives, you're not welcome here. If you are going to honor kill your daughter for wanting to marry a French non-Muslim, we will toss you in jail. If you are going to spraypaint graffiti on synagoges, you are going away. If you behead a priest at an alter, we will kill you.'

      So yeah, France is not a country I admire, but on this issue, they have it dead right. They need to make it tough for Muslims to practice Shariah law within their countries. Those who want to do that can be deported back to Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco or whichever country they came from. Or give them a one way ticket to Raqqa to join ISIS, and see to it that they can never enter Europe again

  • I like my guest network name:
    DHS Monitoring Van

  • At least you have égalité and fraternité left.
  • Daesh is actually an insult to the Islamic state people. It's anti-terrorist not pro-terrorist.

    https://www.freewordcentre.com... [freewordcentre.com]

  • A pub I frequent has a community above or in a neighbour house where the SSID of the WLAN is "Terrornetzwerk".

  • ... and if you RTFA you would see he was offered 100 hrs community service, but he declined. So he had a soft exit and passed on it. Dijon had back to back IS terrorist attack in 2014 with people run down in the street and knifed. No way they are going have a sense of humor about his cute WIFI name; Kid deserved what he got..
  • Perpetually offended and afraid.

  • Does that mean I should rename my wifi SSID from "Homeland Monitoring Station 325" to something more innocuous?

    (Seriously, that's what it's named, so if you see it you're in my neighborhood!)

  • I trust it's still OK to refer to present day France as "Vichy 2.0" and to refer to its current leader by the honorary title of "Marshal Putain"?

  • The French. Who can understand their bureaucratic lunacy? Just eat a snail and move on.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato

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