Tuesday, June 10, 2008

France To Block Hate Sites

Hatred is in the eyes of the beholder. It ought to be interesting to see who the French government decides is a hater.

From Associated Press:

PARIS - The French state and Internet service providers have struck a deal
to block sites carrying child pornography or content linked to terrorism or
racial hatred, Interior Minister Michel Alliot-Marie announced Tuesday.

The plan, part of a larger effort to fight cybercriminality, is to go into
effect in September when a "black list" will be built up based on input from
Internet users who signal sites dealing with the offensive material, the
minister said.

The announcement comes on the heels of a similar deal in the United
States, also announced Tuesday. There, three service providers — Verizon, Sprint
and TimeWarner Cable_ have agreed with New York state officials to block child
pornography sites nationwide.

Alliot-Marie said all service providers in France have agreed to block
offending sites but did not name them.

"We can no longer tolerate the sexual exploitation of children in the
form of cyber-pedopornography," Alliot-Marie said. "We have come to an
agreement: the access to child pornography sites will be blocked in France.
Other democracies have done it. France could wait no longer."

Among other countries that have already implemented similar measures
include Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Canada and New Zealand.

Under the French plan, Internet users, via a platform, will be able to
signal inappropriate sites and the state, receiving the complaints in real time,
will then decide whether the sites are to go on a so-called black list to be
passed on to Internet service providers to enforce site blocks.
containing what appear to be blatant crimes will be referred to judicial
authorities, the minister said.

As for offending sites hosted in other countries, France will pass on
the information via Interpol or Europol, the two police agencies, or seize
judicial authorities there, Alliot-Marie said.
She insisted that the plan
would not "create a Big Brother of the Internet" and pledged her support for the
"fundamental liberty that is Internet access."

France's upcoming presidency of the European Union will be a chance to
coordinate efforts between countries, she said, adding that efforts are often
needlessly duplicated and sites shut down in one country often pop up in


Damien said...

Yes, and the French equivalent of this site will be among the first to be blocked. This is just one of many reasons I am glad we have the first amendment.

Pastorius said...

Which is exactly the reason I started this site.

I figured this was coming, so I thought, if we have a site based in America, on which Euros can blog (like Seppo Lehto, and our other European writers), then it is less likely they will be quieted.

Damien said...

Good thinking Pastorius!