French President Sarkozy Sees Opportunity for Censorship, Seizes It | Electronic Frontier Foundation
In the wake of a horrific rampage, in which Mohamed Merah (now dead after a 32-hour standoff with police) reportedly murdered three French soldiers, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has begun calling for criminal penalties for citizens who visit web sites that advocate for terror or hate. “From now on, any person who habitually consults Web sites that advocate terrorism or that call for hatred and violence will be criminally punished,” Sarkozy was reported as saying. Apart from the obvious flaws in Sarkozy’s plan—users, can, of course, use anonymizing tools to view the material or simply access it from a variety of locations to avoid appearing as “habitual” viewers—there are numerous other reasons to be concerned about criminalizing access to information.
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