French ISPs Agree To Censor The Web

from the moving-in-a-bad-direction dept

Well here's a news story that actually combines two separate recent stories here. France, who we've just talked about for its repeated mistake in blaming platforms for the actions of their users, has followed down the same path that New York state just trekked concerning misguided concepts on how to stop objectionable content online. That is, France is now requiring ISPs to block a list of sites that it determines as objectionable. Apparently the list will be based on sites flagged by web users. Again, this is targeting the wrong thing and won't do much to actually stop the dissemination of the content. If the content itself is illegal, go after those responsible. Simply blocking it opens up all kinds of censorship questions, and opens the door to that slippery slope of what's considered "objectionable." With no real way to make sure that the content is actually objectionable, it's easy to see this system being abused in an attempt to silence people or viewpoints.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Johnny Wrath, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 1:28am

    I am eager to see what the French deem objectionable. I mean, I know that isn't the point of the article, but its definitely an interesting tangent.

     

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  2.  
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    Jake, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 1:48am

    If they were serious about this, one suspects they'd be doing something a bit more proactive than relying on user-flagging; apart from the odd spam email, it's fairly rare to stumble across child pornography or snuff movies by accident.

     

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  3.  
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    Dan, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 2:45am

    The French?

    This surprises me about the French - they are usually very stubborn with any civil liberties and revolt at the drop of a hat! I would have thought that they'd feel strongly against this sort of thing, but then most Internet users won't even realise so it's easy to implement without fuss.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 2:47am

    Re:

    Well, I suppose you can count on those anti-pedophile brigades to try to hunt every last site to get it banned.

    I don't think ANYONE can unwittingly stumble across child porn.

    I am concerned about how many controversial yet perfectly legitimate sites might end up flagged by prude puritans...

     

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  5.  
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    Matt, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 3:40am

    here's one for their list

    ye olde 'french military victories' page: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/text/victories.html

     

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  6.  
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    Rick, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 4:18am

    Typical French

    I hear that there is an exception to this rule, all.fr domains are excluded because they do not want to restrict their own rights!!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Alex, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 4:41am

    proxys?

    Surely then the people could just used a proxy server to get round this filter/blocker.

     

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  8.  
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    colony, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 4:51am

    nuke france

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 6:33am

    Re: proxys?

    They could use a proxy server, and don't call me Shirlie.

    (But presumeably that proxy server would need to be outside the country)

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Jun 11th, 2008 @ 6:34am

    Takedown request

    Cher Orginasation de Removale des Sites Objectionables sur l'Internet,

    Please remove google.fr since they are hosting objectionable materials.

    Merci,
    yahoo.fr

     

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  11.  
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    swampfox, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: proxys?

    lol

     

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  12.  
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    Overcast, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 8:04am

    Just like a virtual book burnin'!!

     

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  13.  
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    John thomas, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 9:47am

    Objectionable? In France?

    LOL, the French get to smoke in restaurants while others nearby eat their food. I can't imagine the French would find much objectionable.

    JT
    www.FireMe.to/udi

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Justin, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 10:19am

    I find the whole concept of Jesus objectionable. Lets block every site that mentions him.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    A.J., Jun 11th, 2008 @ 11:13am

    granted the premise...

    ... the conclusion follows.

    If you accept that the state has any legitimacy or authority to rule in one aspect of individuals' lives, making the argument that it should stop short of dictating in THIS aspect seems arbitrary.

    The French are obsessed with government. The "this goes too far!" arguments don't seem right to me. They just sound like "I want the government to do everything I do like, but nothing that I don't like."

     

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  16.  
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    Ad, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 11:56am

    Re: here's one for their list

    Ever heard of Napoleon?

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Norikazu, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Objectionable? In France?

    > the French get to smoke in restaurants while others nearby eat their food.

    Not any more. A new law forbidding smoking in restaurants is in application since the beginning of the year.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Not French, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Legitimate Sites

    Funny, because when I got to the portion of the article that said it would be based on user-flags, all I could think of was to go and flag ALL religious sites, ALL government sites, AFP, Le Monde and any site that is hosted by the prudish organizations that pushed for this. Let's see how they implement this if it's the French Gov't's site that is being blocked!

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 4:09pm

    But of course!

    Of course they should be blocked.

    Say, where can I get the list of whats being blocked? :)

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    John, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 4:32pm

    Maybe the French like a bland internet

    If a handful of people can file a complaint with the FCC over Janet Jackson at the 2004 Superbowl and cause the FCC to fine CBS stations an ungodly amount of money, imagine what a crowd of people in France can do.

    It's just a matter of time before all the "critic" sites get taken down because too many users "flagged" them. I can see groups like Scientology telling their followers to flag all the anti-Scientology sites. And guess what? The sites come down in France.

    There may be laws against government censorship, but when you're dealing with organizations and ISP's, then the government's "right to free speech" no longer applies.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Q, Jun 11th, 2008 @ 8:55pm

    Really?

    Yawn.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Toscan, Aug 4th, 2008 @ 2:28pm

    Re: The French?

    No, it is only that the information is not reaching us properly....

    Our gouvernement is keeping things out of our sight.

    We have to stand up and fight......Before it is too late

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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