by Scott Creighton
Last month, a new anti-terrorism bill went through the French parliament which many fear will change the landscape of the internet in that country as well as threaten all sorts of dissenters with all sorts of unconstitutional measures.
The translated version of the bill can be found here.
During the afternoon, Bernard Cazeneuve refused any change in his position, and all alerts coming from the civil society. The Bill was voted with all its dangerous provisions: ban from leaving the country, creation of individual terrorist enterprise offense, administrative blocking of websites, substantial changes to the criminal procedure beyond terrorist actions.
Even worse, the French Senate commited a serious violation of the equality principle before criminal law by reintegrating into the Bill the Article 4 concerning the glorification and provocation to terrorism into the press law of 1881 unless it is commited on the Internet. In the spirit of the Minister and few senators, the Internet is a danger in itself that needs derogatory measures: the vote of this amendment introduces a serious inequality between the Internet and other medias, a serious confusion between mean and content. This inequality has already been condemned by the Constitutional Court2. La Quadrature
And another view of this contentious law:
Anti-terror laws have been used in various countries around the world to prosecute individuals for their speech about unpopular ideas. In the United States, the prosecution of Tarek Mehanna—a young Muslim who translated and posted material referred to by prosecutors as “Al Qaeda propaganda”—involved the use of conspiracy and so-called “material support” laws. In Ethiopia, anti-terror laws have been used to silence journalists and are currently being used to prosecute the dissident Zone9 Bloggers. And the list goes on.
France’s attempt to “cleanse” the Internet of terrorist content isn’t a first in the EU either. In 2012, a leaked document showed that the European Commission sought to make use of private Internet companies to remove terrorist content, without oversight or accountability. EFF
Some of you may recall, right here in the states even directly after the attacks of 9/11, the USA Patriot Act was meeting with serious resistance both in congress and in the general public, including various news publications.
Suddenly there was the anthrax attacks. The “terrorists” once again displaying the worst timing, decided to sent anthrax to offices of congressmen and journalists who OPPOSED the Patriot Act. The bill was quickly rushed through and signed in the aftermath.
Turns out, the anthrax came from a DoD contractor and not Saddam as we were told. The story quickly dropped off the radar as more and more evidence showed it was a false flag attack designed to generate an atmosphere in which no one could possibly vote against the bill.
This French bill apparently went into effect on the 1st of this month. Or it’s about to be signed into law. Whatever the case may be, anyone posting information about this event which calls it into question, in France or elsewhere, will now be subject to having their website blocked by the French government. And this highly public trip down the streets shooting Ak-47s and tossing flashbangs will certainly provide ample justification for doing so.
What tawdry manipulation. Hundreds of thousands of people holding up little pens in a demonstration chanting support for free speech while simultaneously creating a fascist state with no civil liberties? That is particularly sad.