France looking at banning Tor, blocking public Wi-Fi

According to leaked documents from the Ministry of Interior, the French government is considering two new pieces of legislation: a ban on free and shared Wi-Fi connections during a state of emergency, and measures to block Tor being used inside France.

The documents were seen by the French newspaper Le Monde. According to the paper, the new bills could be presented to parliament as soon as January 2016. The new laws are presumably in response to the attacks in Paris last month where 130 people were murdered.

The first piece of proposed legislation, according to Le Monde, would forbid free and shared Wi-Fi during a state of emergency. The new measure is justified by way of a police opinion, saying that it's tough to track people who use public hotspots.

As for the second proposal, the Ministry of Interior is looking at blocking and/or forbidding the use of Tor completely. Blocking people from using Tor within France is technologically quite complex, but the French government could definitely make it difficult for the average user to find and connect to the Tor network. If the French government needs some help in getting their blockade set up, they could always talk to the only other country in the world known to successfully block Tor: China, with its Great Firewall.

Country: France

Domains: Privacy

Stakeholder: Government

Tags: public WiFi, Tor, censorship, Internet blocking, legislation, leaks

Posted on Monday 7 December 2015

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