French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week decided to respond to the terror killings in France by a racist Islamic fundamentalist by going after people on the internet who dare to look at the wrong web sites or blogs. If, I guess he or one of his henchmen, decide a site is "extremist" and you look at it, well, you could be in big trouble.
Ars Technia web site reports:
Lucie Morillon of the watchdog group Reporters Without Borders ... that what particularly is worrying about the proposed law is that the French government would not be able to tell precisely who is looking at a site unless total surveillance of Internet traffic was adopted by France.
...such surveillance also would necessitate a new, menacing bureaucracy, its basic purpose to monitor Internet communications. Presumably, major carriers such as Google, You Tube and Facebook would be compelled to collaborate with that new effort.
What this is reminiscent of is how the US of A utilized the September 11th terror attacks to ratchet up oppressive laws that go far beyond terrorism. States around the world are more than happy to use a terror attack to make more "secure" the security state.
Under current French laws those who post hate speech on line can be charged with a criminal act. Personally, I have little trouble making hate speech a crime. However, I also do not claim some objective view. It is clear to anyone familiar with SCISSION just what I would regard as hate speech. What Mr. Sarkozy regards as hate speech is likely to be a little different. However, forget that "civil liberties" argument for now (we can argue about this some other time).
What I would not do is criminalize looking at a site with hate speech terrorist connections. If I did, I would be criminalizing myself. I look at such sites to monitor what such folks are up to and to report and organize against them. Lots of others do so for the same reason. Others still look just out of curiosity. A few, I am sure, actually use such sites for nefarious purposes. Mr. Sarkozy would, I guess, arrest all of us if he could.
The other point here is that while there is lots of attention on this one issue, Sarkozy and all the rest of those like him around the world are implementing a hell of a lot more "laws" to "protect" us all. Most of those "laws" go unnoticed.
It's a scary world out there...in more ways than one.
The following is from Dissident Voice.