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.

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Comments on “French ISPs Agree To Censor The Web”

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22 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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…

Not French says:

Re: 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!

A.J. says:

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.”

John (profile) says:

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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