France Continues Its Campaign To Pass The Worst Internet-Related Laws Around

from the who-can-keep-up? dept

Perhaps it’s a race of some sort to see which country can pass the worst laws related to the internet possible, and France feels that it’s falling behind other countries? After approving a “three strikes” law that will kick those accused (not convicted) of file sharing off the internet, someone in our comments reminded us that France is also looking to implement a file sharing tax on ISPs (Google translation) — even though there’s already such a levy on storage media. So… your connection gets taxed in case you’re sharing music, your storage gets taxed again for that same shared music… and you can get kicked offline for it anyway.

And then a bunch of folks have pointed out that French politicians are looking to implement new laws that give police the ability to use keylogging software, force ISPs to censor certain sites on a “banned” list, and create a massive database of information on citizens. All of these things have appeared in other forms around the globe. All with great controversy. So it’s quite impressive that France is trying to take them on all at once. Who knows if this latest bill will pass, but it really cements the idea that Sarkozy seriously dislikes the internet, and would like to put as many controls on it as possible.

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Comments on “France Continues Its Campaign To Pass The Worst Internet-Related Laws Around”

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Tgeigs says:

It is indeed kind of enjoyable to watch the member countries of the EU, who banded together in order to compete with the Americas, subsequently shit all over themselves and their citizens. I mean, I get it, you guys want to to be socialist, which there’s nothing wrong with, but why does that mean you have to piss on your constituents’ feet?

Tgeigs says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Nothing wrong with being socialist? I think we’ve seen socialism to its extreme before, and that didn’t work out so well. They were called NAZI’s”

You seem to have two viewpoints.

1. Socialism is wrong
2. Extreme socialism resulted in the Nazi party

Those two don’t have much to do with one another. Extreme forms of any government tend to be counterproductive. Socialism is a perfectly acceptable form of government. If that’s what the people want, that’s what they should get.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Arrgh my brain hurts.

Extreme Conservatives are Nazis/fascists.
Extreme Liberals are communists.

Why do you think Hitler’s Nazi army were trying to overthrow the current powers that be? It was to “go back to the good ol days” where you had only Aryans and clean ethnic races in control and not all these new comers. While they were all for technological progress their social progress was to stay at worst what it currently was, and at best what they think historically was the best through gestapo policing methods.

What the hell does socialism have to do with any of this? If anything this is a highly conservative stance they are taking against new technologies since the internet challenges and changes the playing field for politics, economics, information, etc. So all of this change is BAD.

I know there seems to be plenty of bashing against conservatives here but there is plenty of bad to be had with extreme liberal policies much like extreme conservative policies is bad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

mmmm, not really.

Yes, really. The fact that they were also anti-communist did not somehow make them pro-socialist by any means. The Nazi’s were strong believers in survival of what they considered to be the fittest (e.g. Aryans) and believed that socialism only served to support those who were not fit to survive.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

National Socialists would not support today’s socialism.

They didn’t support it in their day either. Don’t confuse “national socialism” with “socialism” because of the semantic similarity of the names. “National socialism” referred to the belief that individuals had a social duty to support their national government. That was pretty much the opposite of “socialism” both then and today.

Tgeigs says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Excuse me, but there is A LOT wrong with being socialist. It’s a failed, inhumane, horribly ineffecient system compared with free enterprise and capitalism.”

Riiiiiight. Well, now we get to play the definitions game, namely, how are you defining the following: capitalism, free enterprise, socialist, and failed.

Most of Europe is socialist to one degree or another, and by most definitions I don’t think you would define Europe as a “failed” state. We are also socialist in this country to a much lesser degree as well. FDA? Socialism. EPA? Socialism.

So, unless you happen to be from or supporting supposed “free market” societies like South Africa (hey, there’s a winner!), I can only guess that you’re arguing about the DEGREE of socialism, despite the verbage of your comment.

Unless of course you know of a successful capitalist, free market state that I’m ignorant of?

NullOp says:


Sounds like its time for another revolution to me! It also sounds like the French government does not know its internet from a hole-in-the-ground. AND the French government wants to tax you on that which they will fine you for and then kick you off the net so you can’t get any more files for which they can tax you and then fine you…

What the Hell, over

Desertboy says:

French Internet Laws

What a silly country. Maybe they should get that committee of French Architects who designed the new airpirt (that collapsed after completion) to design some really cool, French Internet Laws?

It is SO NICE to have a different country be the International Laughingstock for a change.

Ross Nicholson (profile) says:

Glorious France is right.

Lobbyists for thieves and pornographers here may decry valiant French and European efforts to protect copyright holders from wanton depredations, but the people of France and Europe and the west generally know that protecting intellectual property is in everyone’s best interests. For instance, if left to the savage people of Saudi Arabia, pornographers would have their uh, well, something else cut off for infractions rather than paying a tax.
The idea to tax blank media imposes burdens on law-abiding people, but the greatest burden is upon ‘downlow’ ders, streaming porn. Apple’s system would seem to be preferred, but downloaders always go cut rate if they can.
God bless the French Republic for trying and doing their best to uphold the values and the interests of all people everywhere.

Tgeigs says:

Re: Glorious France is right.

So…much….wrong….can’t contain….hatred.

“Lobbyists for thieves and pornographers here may decry valiant French and European efforts to protect copyright holders from wanton depredations”

First of all, this isn’t a children’s book, so tone down the adjectives, you smelly wanton vile villainous jackass, they’re distracting. Second of all, where are the lobbyists for thieves and pornographers? I tend to see lobbyless individuals being persecuted as thieves (which is an inherently incorrect characterization) against the lobbyist kings (RIAA, ASCAP, etc.). So where is “here”?

“For instance, if left to the savage people of Saudi Arabia, pornographers would have their uh, well, something else cut off for infractions rather than paying a tax”

Hello, my name is cultural tolerance and understanding that American values don’t apply to every society on the planet. I don’t think we’ve met.

“The idea to tax blank media imposes burdens on law-abiding people, but the greatest burden is upon ‘downlow’ ders, streaming porn”

Uh…what? Childish sentence structure aside, how does taxing blank media impose ANYTHING on people “streaming porn”? Do you know what streaming means? And how can taxing EVERYONE on blank media possibly put the greatest burden on a specific group? When you tax everyone blindly, you tax…you know…everyone…like….blindly.

“God bless the French Republic for trying and doing their best to uphold the values and the interests of all people everywhere”

No, God DAMN the French government for infringing on other people’s basic rights and having ANYTHING to say about what goes on outside of their borders.

Jim (user link) says:

Download Tax

The download tax is a bad idea, if combined with the ludicrous “three strikes” law; however, I think it’s potentially a great idea, if combined with a law that makes ALL downloading legal. It’s possibly the most realistic way to allow people to get all the downloads they want efficiently and at a low cost, and still ensure that rights holders will get paid for their work. Companies like BigChampaign already know what people are downloading. A service like that could be used to determine how much rights holders get paid (based on popularity).

trollificus says:

O rly?

“Fascism IS the far right end of the spectrum, no?”

Huh? Why would you say that? Besides knee-jerk response, having heard it said so many times before.

See, you have all these little tags on the word “socialist”…and they are “progressive”, “tolerant”, “enlightened”, “well-intnetioned”…clearly all the “good” and “right” things.

And you have little tags on the Nazis…”evil”, “murderous”, “genocidal”, “depraved” etc…clearly a whole bunch of bad things.

But the tags represent value judgements that don’t really work to aid comparison between the two. I propose that these tags, however accurate they may be, preclude your accurately assessing how much the Nazis actually had in common with those we, today, label socialist.

After all, they (the Nazis) nationalized industries, which is a VERY socialist thing. And they tried to control political expression to make sure everything was “correct”, also a very socialist thing. And they wanted to enroll all the “correct-thinking” people into service to the state, which is very, very, very, almost Obama-like, socialist. Also, they were very strong on gun control, a position most socialists support. They were anti-smoking, believed in vegetarianism, mysticism and perfect health and fitness…you recognize any of that?

No, once you move past the labels, it’s clear the Nazis had a lot in common with today’s socialists.

Starting with top-down control of other people’s lives. (and there’s nothing much different there than the real right-wingers, I’ll admit.)

Tgeigs says:

Re: O rly?

“Huh? Why would you say that? Besides knee-jerk response, having heard it said so many times before”

-According to the simplest left-right axis, communism and socialism are usually regarded internationally as being on the left, opposite fascism and conservatism on the right- from the Wiki article on the political spectrum…

So, in addition to hearing it poli/sci classes in college…yeah, kind of. When it’s the generally accepted view, I suppose lots of people say it.

trollificus says:


Virginia Postrel has proposed a much more useful dichotomy…between ‘stasist’ and ‘dynamist’ viewpoints.

It goes a long way towards explaining the strange bedfellows we seen opposing NAFTA and genetically-engineered products, luddites and technocrats, sleeping together, mass hysteria!!

Ghostbuster refs aside, I won’t go into a long explication, but rather recommend her book “The Future and Its Enemies”.

trollificus says:

well, you have to admit it requires a lot of unsatisfactory and awkward mental gymnastics to make every political position fit along that “simplest axis”.

When I read Postrel’s book, I thought it provided original and amazingly useful alternative axes to such thinking.

Your mileage may vary, especially if you have vested any self-esteem in being on the “good” political side.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

To be fair

To be fair, when your Internet connection is cut off, you still have to pay for it. (And of course the tax if it gets passed)

Though the most amusing thing is that the 3-strike law has an interesting loophole where if you have a government approved bug setup, (most likely software it seems) you are considered to have your Internet connection “secured” and are immune from the 3-strike law. (Basically, it is assumed that someone went out and hacked the government bug and then downloaded with your Internet connection) Now, I don’t know how many of you have a background in computer security, but the idea that you can create such a system such that a competent person cannot hack it and bypass it while it still looking like it works fine is ridiculous.

Oh, also, the government bug will not be free, (let’s make people pay for the device that spies on their private communication) and there is no provision for incompatible OSs. (Who said anti-trust?)

To the attention of the socialist debate:
The US is a socialist state. Medicare, social security, medicaid, unemployment benefits, free education etc… Get over it. It’s not that bad as long as you are smart about it.

Nelson Cruz (profile) says:

Calm down, it's not gonna happen!

This idea of a file sharing tax, which they called “global license” or “cultural license” was actually defended by the opposition (socialist party) in the parliament as an ALTERNATIVE to the 3 strikes law, and strongly rejected by Sarkozy’s government.

So this is not gonna happen. At least not until 3 strikes fails miserably and/or the socialists rise to power in France again.

PrometheeFeu (profile) says:

Socialists are not NAZIs

OK, the first guy to have called socialists NAZIs gets a Godwin Point. Also, just to set the record straight, while the NAZI party did support some aspects of socialism, the implication that NAZI=socialist is demonstrative of a lack of historical understanding and political awareness. Some fascists supported some aspects of capitalism. I don’t suppose many of you here would argue that because you defend the free market, you also support killing off the opposition. (At least I hope) Similarly, there are people who support government services without supporting killing the Jews.

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