French President vows to criminalize visiting terror/hatred/violence-promoting websites

In the wake of France's recent scooter-shootings (the suspect was recently shot by police), French President Sarkozy has apparently placed some of the blame on the big bad interwebs.

http://news.yahoo.com/sarkozy-jail-t...

Sarkozy, who is only a month away from an election, argued that it was time to treat those who browse extremist websites the same way as those who consume child pornography.

"Anyone who regularly consults Internet sites which promote terror or hatred or violence will be sentenced to prison," he told a campaign rally in Strasbourg, in eastern France. "Don't tell me it's not possible. What is possible for pedophiles should be possible for trainee terrorists and their supporters, too."

French law calls for up to two years in prison and €30,000 (roughly $40,000) in fines for repeat visitors to child porn sites, although whether the proposed anti-terror rules would carry similar penalities isn't clear.

When asked, Sarkozy's office directed a query seeking details to the Ministry of Justice, which didn't immediately offer clarification.

This just seems wrong on so many levels.

*Slaps forehead*

What.... Next up, the thought police!

It's not like someone might want to, you know, research the extremist websites to better figure out how to stop them.

That would never happen.

Now that's a stupid idea (Sarkozy's, I mean).

SallyNasty wrote:

Visiting a site should mother criminalized, but I am ok with some sort of penalty (non-jail) for the person who hosts/puts out the content.

Was this some sort of weird Freudian slip?

LobsterMobster wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:

Visiting a site should mother criminalized, but I am ok with some sort of penalty (non-jail) for the person who hosts/puts out the content.

Was this some sort of weird Freudian slip?

I think he wants Sarkozy to spank him...

Duoae wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:
SallyNasty wrote:

Visiting a site should mother criminalized, but I am ok with some sort of penalty (non-jail) for the person who hosts/puts out the content.

Was this some sort of weird Freudian slip?

I think he wants Sarkozy to spank him...

Damn you Android autocorrect!

Visiting a site should not be criminalized, but I am ok with some sort of penalty (non-jail) for the person who hosts/puts out the content.

SallyNasty wrote:

Visiting a site should not be criminalized, but I am ok with some sort of penalty (non-jail) for the person who hosts/puts out the content.

Promoting terror or violence sure, but who decides what is "hatred"?

Laws with long-term consequences in response to a terrible but unique event are always the best solution to problems.

Kraint wrote:

Laws with long-term consequences in response to a terrible but unique event, completely unrelated to that event, are always the best solution to problems.

I mean, what does the Internet have to do with anything? The guy physically visited Afghanistan. Passing some thickheaded law about what websites you're allowed to see isn't going to do anything about that.

And I can't help but wonder if "was radicalized", in politician-speak, actually means "saw what NATO is doing there".

Promoting terror or violence sure, but who decides what is "hatred"?

Congress. Why do ask?

Given that there is nothing inherently illegal in viewing this material I seriously doubt that this is enforcable on a national or EU level. The ECHR would finally rule on this but the ECJ has already stated that's it illegal to legislative force ISP's to monitor its users traffic and given national courts cite the ECHR and ECJ I don't see how this could fly. This falls under the "Something must be done. This is something" rule.

Don't forget that this is an election year as well, folks. Sarkozy is currently trailing in the polls behind Hollande, so put it that context as well.

Axon wrote:

Given that there is nothing inherently illegal in viewing this material I seriously doubt that this is enforcable on a national or EU level. The ECHR would finally rule on this but the ECJ has already stated that's it illegal to legislative force ISP's to monitor its users traffic and given national courts cite the ECHR and ECJ I don't see how this could fly. This falls under the "Something must be done. This is something" rule.

Don't forget that this is an election year as well, folks. Sarkozy is currently trailing in the polls behind Hollande, so put it that context as well.

It can be made illegal by the law.

Malor wrote:
Kraint wrote:

Laws with long-term consequences in response to a terrible but unique event, completely unrelated to that event, are always the best solution to problems.

I mean, what does the Internet have to do with anything? The guy physically visited Afghanistan. Passing some thickheaded law about what websites you're allowed to see isn't going to do anything about that.

And I can't help but wonder if "was radicalized", in politician-speak, actually means "saw what NATO is doing there".

The scenario is being compared to child pornography for a reason, the same things could be argued about child porn, that viewing it on the internet doesn't have to do with anything, unless you go out and molest children. That is what line of thought will be given.

rosenhane wrote:
Axon wrote:

Given that there is nothing inherently illegal in viewing this material I seriously doubt that this is enforcable on a national or EU level. The ECHR would finally rule on this but the ECJ has already stated that's it illegal to legislative force ISP's to monitor its users traffic and given national courts cite the ECHR and ECJ I don't see how this could fly. This falls under the "Something must be done. This is something" rule.

Don't forget that this is an election year as well, folks. Sarkozy is currently trailing in the polls behind Hollande, so put it that context as well.

It can be made illegal by the law.

Indeed it can. My point was that even if the law was passed and they tried to enforce it eventually a case would be taken to the ECHR. My money would be on it losing as the ECHR has a strong record of protecting rights over arguments of security.

I think Sarkozy knows this and is really only pandering to his base. I suspect little will come of this.

Robear wrote:
Promoting terror or violence sure, but who decides what is "hatred"?

Congress. Why do ask?

What's to stop them from declaring political views they don't like to be terrorism? That already happens in many cases; organizations that fight the US too hard are deemed 'terrorist', even if they only target soldiers, and Congress does its level best to make sure they can't make their political case to anyone.

Trailing in the polls? Better make up some derp!

/Can we ever have actual adults as leaders?

What's to stop them from declaring political views they don't like to be terrorism? That already happens in many cases; organizations that fight the US too hard are deemed 'terrorist', even if they only target soldiers, and Congress does its level best to make sure they can't make their political case to anyone.

First Amendment. Does that apply to foreigners outside the country? Which groups did you have in mind, and how are they prevented from affecting the *political* process in the US by Congressional acts?

I think there's a real difference between declaring a domestic political party in the US "terrorists" without reason, and declaring a foreign organization terrorists. These are not equivalent; are you drawing the distinction, or raising fears that this will be done to domestic groups?

rosenhane wrote:

The scenario is being compared to child pornography for a reason, the same things could be argued about child porn, that viewing it on the internet doesn't have to do with anything, unless you go out and molest children. That is what line of thought will be given.

The sexual exploitation of children is a necessary part of the creation of child pornography. What illegal and unsavory acts are part of creating an extremist website?

Having an opinion the authorities don't like, silly.

There's something about being in charge that makes people go into CYA mode when tragedy occurs. Sarkozy knows there's absolutely sh*t he can do to stop this from happening again, so he proposes some security theater bullsh*t to appease the voters who don't have the sense to see how useless or how insidious it is.

plavonica wrote:

Trailing in the polls? Better make up some derp!

/Can we ever have actual adults as leaders?

There has to be something at least a little bit wrong with someone for them to think a) they are the best person to run the country and b) that their countrymen would agree.

So, no. We cannot. Actual adults are off doing grown-up jobs.

Sometimes GWJ promotes violence! Just saying. Do we have any French members?

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Sometimes GWJ promotes violence!

Sure, but you're asking for it.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

There's something about being in charge that makes people go into CYA mode when tragedy occurs. Sarkozy knows there's absolutely sh*t he can do to stop this from happening again, so he proposes some security theater bullsh*t to appease the voters who don't have the sense to see how useless or how insidious it is.

Politicians have to justify their existence (like any job, I suppose) and when incidents like this happen the cry goes up "Something must be done". Usually there is nothing that can be done beyond what is being done already and when there is something to be done they are incredibly complex and require a multifaceted approach.

So the politician then reaches for something simple to understand and describe and proposes it. It may have nothing to do with the incident at hand but he/she is saying to their electorate "Something has to be done. This is something, so I'll do it."

To be fair to politicians, I think most people suffer from this trait to some degree or another. Its just they have a fickle public they are trying to keep happy.

What illegal and unsavory acts are part of creating an extremist website?

Usually, it involves the exploitation of graphic footage of killings for the cause. So I'd have to say that terrorist acts are necessary precursors for much of the content on these sites.

Robear wrote:
What illegal and unsavory acts are part of creating an extremist website?

Usually, it involves the exploitation of graphic footage of killings for the cause. So I'd have to say that terrorist acts are necessary precursors for much of the content on these sites.

So, uh, use the laws governing those, instead of writing up new laws just begging to be abused?

How many Western and Israeli polictical websites does this encompass?

They terrify the hell out of me, and a lot of them seem to be spreading nothing more than rumour in order to provoke war...

Where is the logic in this?

I would rather be able to debate with someone than drive them underground where they magnify their grievances because they feel as though their voice has been unheard.,,

o, uh, use the laws governing those, instead of writing up new laws just begging to be abused?

Hey, I'm not for the restrictions, I just answered your question.

Robear wrote:

Hey, I'm not for the restrictions, I just answered your question. :-)

Nah, wasn't aimed at you, just pointing out that new, abuse-ready laws for something we can handle the only reasonable problem the new law would cover with a bit of sense.

(It also wasn't my question. )