Once upon a time, the world was outraged by Iran and China filtering and blocking access to content on the internet. Then Australia got into the game which started people scratching their heads, and now with France being the latest entrant into the censorship arena it appears that this is going to be the norm from now on.
However, once that is in place it is only a few policies away from an Orwellian “1984” scenario. If you think that this is an excessive statement, consider the policies France expects to implement if the security bill named “LOPPSI2” is passed.
– State sanctioned computer Trojans
– A new database of citizen data, named Pericles
– Requiring ISPs to censor websites that are blacklisted by the government
Now these are only a few of the policies within the bill but the right to free speech, information and privacy are all being infringed upon here, in one way or another. President Sarkozy sees it as solving the problem at its roots. He maintains the view that if you do not allow access to the offending content then people cannot commit the crime; of course he was referring to child pornography and file sharing.
German and British newspapers have already started citing Orwellian examples. The main worry for now is about the rights of the people of France, but in the long term the worry is that the French bill might set a precedent that would be followed by other European countries.