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France considers restricting public Wi-Fi and Tor to combat terrorism

Often more frightening than terrorist attacks themselves are the asinine laws that politicians will propose in their wake. When the horrors of a terrorist attack are still fresh on everyone’s mind, and the fear of future attacks is as strong as it will ever be, that’s when politicians will, without fail, propose laws that infringe on our rights and restrict our freedoms, all in the name of national security and public safety. They know that people will be much more open to these laws, which is why the French government is considering a new laws that would restrict people’s access to public Wi-Fi and Tor.

In the wake of the deadly Paris attacks, the French government is considering new legislation that would restrict access to the anonymizing network Tor and free Wi-Fi networks, according to a report in French newspaper Le Monde. Le Monde’s report cites an internal document prepared for the Interior Ministry by France’s Department of Civil Liberties and Legal Affairs that lists restrictions to be considered for inclusion in two bills—one on the state of emergency and one on combatting terrorism. The state of emergency proposal suggests that free or shared Wi-Fi connections be prohibited during a state of emergency, and that owners of public Wi-Fi connections could face criminal penalties if they did not disconnect. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency in the wake of the Paris attacks, and parliament later voted to extend it for three months. The state of emergency expands police powers in the country—French police may search residences without a warrant, border controls can be tightened, and public protests can be banned.

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