French Law Enforcement 'Wishlist' Includes Banning Open WiFi, Tor Connections And Encrypted Communications

from the the-War-on-Citizens dept

More bad news for French citizens. Not only were they recently attacked by terrorists, but now their government is using these attacks against them to strip away civil liberties and shift more power to police and intelligence agencies.

A document viewed by Le Monde contains several very concerning suggestions from government agencies on how to better combat terrorism -- starting with blacklisting suspicious people and detaining them with administrative police orders. (via Galou Gentil and Numerama)

That's only the beginning of the wishlist. The document is not, by any means, a formal presentation of future legislative issues, but rather the equivalent of an open "suggestion" box, which has now been filled with terrible ideas by law enforcement agencies. How seriously French legislators take these suggestions won't be seen until early next year when the legislature reconvenes.

Other suggestions from "local police and gendarmes":
  • Nonconsensual searches of vehicles and luggage (apparently without proper legal justification)
  • "Papers please" identity checks, again with minimal legal justification
  • Forcing those on the receiving end of administrative searches to give up DNA samples

From that point, law enforcement starts asking for more ways to control communications.

  • Banning open WiFi connections during a state of emergency.

It's unclear whether they're looking for a preemptive ban or simply a kill switch. Either way, the state of emergency in France has been extended, and may never truly go away. If so, the ban/kill would be as permanent as the state of emergency itself. Open or shared connections would be subject to criminal sanctions.

  • Blocking TOR connections in France
  • Identifying communication sources (including VOIP) in France and forcing purveyors to hand over encryption keys

Back in the physical realm, police also want the power to shut down roads to search for vehicles -- again with little to no legal justification. They also want a centralized database containing information on anyone renting hotel rooms or vehicles.

As Le Monde notes, some of the requests fall outside of the realm of possibility and several fall outside the constraints of France's constitution. But the latter is definitely malleable. The government can't do anything about the impossible but it can use the current state of emergency to carve more holes in the rights of its citizens.

How seriously these requests will be taken remains to be seen. The post-terrorist attack spitballing by law enforcement agencies almost reaches the point of self-parody. Le Monde snarkily notes that it's not sure if this wishlist was meant for legislators or for "Santa." But it also notes that the expanded-government-power Santa may actually be presiding over this wishlist, unfortunately.

Santa has a new name: State of Emergency.
Whether or not any of this makes its way into actual law, it still clearly documents the law enforcement mindset -- one that never stops looking for ways to expand its own power at the expense of the citizens it's supposed to serve.

Filed Under: bans, encryption, france, going dark, law enforcement, open wifi, over reaction, paris attacks, state of emergency, tor


Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 5:02am

    TL:DR version:

    "We'd love it if you could get rid of all privacy the french people currently enjoy, and if you could destroy any rights that they have that might impede any whims of ours that pop up, that's be great too." -French law enforcement and spy agencies

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

  • identicon
    Jason, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:07am

    The government can't do anything about the impossible...
    Impossible? Surely if the smart folks in the tech industry just put their minds to it then they'd find a way to make something happen. You know, if they really wanted to. They just need a little government prodding to do the right thing.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:12am

    Soon the police will be the worst gang in the world for terrorizing people. Further this overreaction will further alienate them from the people, reduce the peoples willingness to give them the information they need to do their job properly.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:15am

      Re:

      They'd better get cracking then, the various governments have a serious head-start.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:22am

        Re: Re:

        The governments are handing the security services everything that they need to become the puppet masters.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nonsense, they've raised that dog/intelligence agency from childhood, fed it only the choicest bits of liberties and the finest cuts of freedoms, the very idea that it would ever turn around and bite them is beyond belief. /s

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:55am

      Re:

      They already are.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      Seems like a spiral of societal decline: Further overcollection of information, will further the peoples unwillingness to share information, will make the police ask for more surveillance, will cause the politicians to grant further overcollection etc.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 7:54am

      Re:

      yeah but you are missing the whole ingenious point.

      They terrorists hate us for our freedoms (and not because we treat them or allow those that oversee them to treat them like scum, so we can get our hands on their oil). We know this for a fact cause the politicians tell us so and they never make shit up. BUT the politicians also have the answer,, TAKE AWAY ALL FREEDOM. Then the terrorist will have nothing to hate us for.

      It's ingenious I tell you, defeat them by letting them win...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re:

        it is not because we deploy our infidel troops and corporations on their GOD given lands (and OIL)
        and bomb their weddings...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:21am

    As I've posted elsehwere, they are targeting the wrong tools. They should be targeting the mobile phones of those on the 'wtach list', as these guys were already on multiple 'watch lists' well before the actions in Paris.

    ...So, to respond to the French 'intelligence' agencies, "Moral cowardice it is, then."

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:37am

      Re:

      "... they are targeting the wrong tools. They should be targeting..."

      OMG
      you sheeple still do not get it, do you?

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

    • identicon
      kallethen, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:46am

      Re:

      They should be targeting the mobile phones of those on the 'wtach list', as these guys were already on multiple 'watch lists' well before the actions in Paris.

      And what happens when everybody is on a 'watch list?'

      Cuz really, our governments are heading in that direction.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        Surgical strikes are better than destorying society.

        Bin Laden said he didn't really need to do anything else to destroy the West. He was right.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 9:22am

        Re: Re:

        you haven't heard about the leaks????

        everybody is targeted already, EVERYBODY.

        get out of denial and DEAL WITH IT.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:25am

    Massive Muslim Immigration -- a blessing or a curse?

    If the Paris street riots weren't enough of a wakeup call, this is one more example of why France's policy of welcoming massive immigration from Muslim countries might not have been such a well-thought-out idea.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/17/5-facts-about-the-muslim-population-in-europe/

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:39am

      Re: Massive Muslim Immigration -- a blessing or a curse?

      you can always read
      "the camp of the saints" to find out for how long they have been thinking about this project

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 8:41am

      Re: Massive Muslim Immigration -- a blessing or a curse?

      Nonsense. The Paris street riots were a product of welcoming massive numbers of people, not as immigrants, but as "temporary" workers. And then a generation later France had massive numbers of teenagers and young adults born in France who, lacking birthright citizenship, aren't even second-class citizens. And so they don't mix in with society, and you get enclaves and riots.

      The United States (and Canada, and virtually all of the western hemisphere) has birthright citizenship, so we tend to avoid that problem. Europe is slowly adopting birthright citizenship too.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 9:29am

        Re: Re: Massive Muslim Immigration -- a blessing or a curse?

        it is exploding AS PLANNED,
        there are millions of books about it, for example "the camp of the saints".

        if you are disabled and cannot read full books,
        then good luck surviving

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

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 9:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Massive Muslim Immigration -- a blessing or a curse?

          Ah, yes; the French equivalent of The Turner Diaries, a racist, xenophobic and paranoid fantasy novel widely revered by American white supremacists.

          Thanks, but I'll survive by living in the real world.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 10:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Massive Muslim Immigration -- a blessing or a curse?

            late news happen to match the 50 year old novel
            exactly line by line

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 10:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Massive Muslim Immigration -- a blessing or a curse?

              I am not saying such a novel could not be considered inappropriate or politically incorrect...
              what I am trying to show is that proposing that such outcome happens by accident
              and that EU governments do not have hundreds of scenarios talking about this outcome for decades...
              is kind of sheep- ish

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

            • icon
              Roger Strong (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 10:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Massive Muslim Immigration -- a blessing or a curse?

              Except that it doesn't match at all, beyond "France exists, immigration exists."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:26am

    The terrorists managed to smuggle actual physical weapons into France, and they think they won't be able to "smuggle" an app like Tor? Are French authorities this delusional?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:31am

    come on
    somebody leak the real classified wish list

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:53am

    suspicious equals carte blanche to get rid of anyone that has undesireable traits to those running things. Be they physical, political, religious, etc traits.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 7:10am

    "police also want the power to shut down roads to search for vehicles -- again with little to no legal justification."

    It's France. French farmers have been blocking roads for years whenever they feel like it, and without legal justification. Surely the police everywhere have been shutting roads for years to chase terrorists, that hardly sounds new. The only new thing is adding search.

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

  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 7:44am

    He’s Coming to Town

    Is a list to Santa less scary?
    You better watch out
    You better not cry
    Better not pout
    I'm telling you why
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    He's making a list
    And checking it twice;
    Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    He sees you when you're sleeping
    He knows when you're awake
    He knows if you've been bad or good
    So be good for goodness sake!
    O! You better watch out!
    You better not cry
    Better not pout
    I'm telling you why
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    Santa Claus is coming to town

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 7:57am

    Small Graces

    At least they didn't mention bread, cake or guillotines....yet.



    Shhhh, don't remind them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 8:38am

    Vive le Act Patriotique!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 9:11am

    He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.

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

  • identicon
    Rikuo, 7 Dec 2015 @ 9:18am

    I'm surprised no-one's mentioned once the ridiculousness of banning open wifi. What if I'm being held captive in a building by terrorists, a building that offers free wifi that's still switched on and I've run out of cellular data on my phone?
    I might, in that situation, if I'm lucky, be able to use my phone to connect to wifi and use that as a communications channel.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      yes, what about if I am in the middle of a false Flag attack and I could upload tons of high res photos and videos of what is REALLY happening instead of ...
      the government ...
      pre-produced photos and videos?

      ooooooooooooooooooh!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 6:38pm

      Re:

      If you aren't willing to take some overage charges on your phone in that situation, then I advocate leaving you to the terrorists. You clearly deserve one another.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 8:41pm

        Re: Re:

        If you aren't willing to take some overage charges on your phone in that situation, then I advocate leaving you to the terrorists.

        Might there be carriers in Europe who completely cut off a customer's mobile data once he has reached his limit?

        A better question than the original though, is what if I am not a mobile data subscriber at all, but I do have a wifi device?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2015 @ 8:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I didn't actually think anyone would take this seriously. But in response:

          1. 911 (or your local equivalent) is always available on any phone, even if it's out of data or the screen's locked. Also, what mobile carrier would give up the ability to charge people insane amounts of money for extra data?

          2. WTF? What are you going to do if you can communicate with people? Hello police, maybe you're not aware of this, but I'm being held captive by incompetent terrorists. Oh, you already know? Ok well uh... that's nice.

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

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 9 Dec 2015 @ 7:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I didn't actually think anyone would take this seriously.

            It's not particularly relevant as it's such a tiny fringe case, but hey why not kick it around?

            911 (or your local equivalent) is always available on any phone, even if it's out of data or the screen's locked.

            Sometimes it can be hard to get through if there's a lot of crap happening like there was in Paris. I mean in the US anyway, maybe France's system is better.

            What are you going to do if you can communicate with people?

            I would imagine it would be invaluable to have a line of communication to a hostage. The hostage takers will only tell you what they want you to know.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2015 @ 2:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Sometimes it can be hard to get through if there's a lot of crap happening like there was in Paris. I mean in the US anyway, maybe France's system is better.

              So if you're not trying to communicate with the police, who are you talking to and why talk to them? If we're now narrowing this down to somebody who knows a police officer and has their personal number on his phone then we're probably at the point where we can expect an asteroid to hit the building any second now.

              The hostage takers will only tell you what they want you to know.

              And why would they be more likely to inform the hostages of things they don't want anyone to know? Real life doesn't usually involve villain monologues, even if that would make everything more awesome.

              Basically, either the hostages are being held under observation, in which case they'd prevent you from using your phone, or they're being locked up in a room somewhere, in which case they can't tell what's happening in the rest of the building any more than the police can.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 9:20am

    Liberté, égalité, insecurité

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 10:47am

    I'm TOR'ified because of what's going on in France

    These people don't have a Clouseau.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 1:45pm

    so now we have 'The Peoples Republic of France'! i suppose the next thing is we will all be told what we can think, what we can read and what we can say! seems to me the 'FREE WORLD' is getting less and less free and it's basically all because of governments reacting in the ways they intended to, given their leanings towards Conservatism. their whole aim is to make the planet a giant business where nothing matters except making money for the very elite few. any and all laws that are supposed to protect the people, the wildlife and the planet are all being systematically destroyed, all in the name of profit!!

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

  • icon
    nasch (profile), 7 Dec 2015 @ 1:47pm

    I wonder how many of them think this will actually keep French people safer, and how many of them just want more power without regard for public good. It's hard to tell the difference between being misguided and evil from the outside.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2015 @ 7:24pm

    Not Surprising

    Remember, France welcomed the Nazis at one time.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2015 @ 8:50pm

    The Paris attackers met thru Facebook and left an unencrypted cell phone in a trash bin. The San Bernardino shooters pledged isis-allegiance via facebook (as the attacks were happening, of course) and left an unencrypted phone in the trash at the scene. Notice a coincidence? If you believe 100% of the evening news then even with all these laws no attacks would have been stopped.

    The intelligence services HAVE TO leave bread crumbs when carrying out false flags so the news folks will know what narrative to push. It's no coincidence they were all reported to be on Facebook. The social media connection justifies all kinds of existing and proposed spy programs. This connection is so important that with San Bernardino they ridiculously say the female shooter made her facebook pledge to ISIS as she was carrying out the attack. My point is these bread crumbs are essential to these false flag attacks meaning encryption will never EVER play a big part in any attack because the intelligence services carrying out these false flags need painfully obvious trails to lead the media and huddled masses to the desired predetermined conclusion.

    If anything these laws would more likely be used to seal up any loose ends after aa (false flag) terror attack (confiscating video, detaining witnesses, blocking encrypted uploads from witnesses). None of you bothered to ask why cell phone video was nonexistent from the Paris attacks - I'm betting the targets of those 100s of raids carried out in France in the days after were people who's phones were stingrayed in the vicinity of the attacks and later tracked down. Russia released a boatload of evidence exposing Turkey's ISIS involvement a couple days before San Bernardino. Which did you hear more of? The news story that exposed our coalition partner (and NATO member) directly arming, trainging, and smuggling oil for ISIS with complete US complicity, or the bizarre shooting in Cali where three tall white guys in military gear turned into a husband-wife terris team with the 90lb wife facebooking while she slung a heavily modified assault gun?

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.