WASHINGTON — The arrests came quickly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. There was the Muslim man suspected of making anti-American statements. The Middle Eastern grocer, whose shop, a tipster said, had more clerks than it needed. Soon hundreds of men, mostly Muslims, were in American jails on immigration charges, suspected of being involved in the attacks.
They were not.
After shootings last week at a satirical newspaper and a kosher market in Paris, France finds itself grappling anew with a question the United States is still confronting: how to fight terrorism while protecting civil liberties. The answer is acute in a country that is sharply critical of American counterterrorism policies, which many see as a fearful overreaction to 9/11. Already in Europe, counterterrorism officials have arrested dozens of people, and France is mulling tough new antiterrorism laws. […]
The details of any new French law are unclear, but discussion has focused on increased Internet surveillance and new authority to remove content. Adrienne Charmet-Alix, the coordinator of La Quadrature du Net, a group that advocates Internet freedom, urged caution. Everyone, she said, “must keep a cool head.” […]