[Mediapart] France's new internet anti-terror law branded "ineffective" and "dangerous"
The French Parliament this week formally adopted a new anti-terrorism law, part of which aims to stop terrorists using the internet to attract recruits and plot attacks. It will allow the authorities to block websites that “condone terrorism” and will create a new offence of “individual terrorist enterprise”. One key objective is to stop the “preparation” of attacks via the web. The government, which has rushed these measures through, says they are needed to combat the growing use of the internet and social media by terror groups and in particular to tackle the threat of so-called “lone wolf” terrorists operating in France and elsewhere. But civil liberties groups, judges and the state body that oversees the impact of digital technology have condemned the law as an attack on freedom, ineffective and unworkable. Jérôme Hourdeaux details the new measures. […]
The internet freedom campaign group Quadrature du net has meanwhile attacked the law as “harmful ... dangerous ... and intrusive”. The group's co-founder Philippe Aigrain said: “Democratic states harming fundamental rights by adopting ineffective measures in the name of fighting the glorification of terrorism is exactly what the terror groups are looking for.” […]
However, in a joint MP-Senate committee examining the text, parliamentarians added a new element that could also turn an internet user into a potential terrorist, namely “the fact of producing, transporting, distributing by whatever means and by whatever medium” a message inciting terrorism and which might be “susceptible of being seen or received by a minor”. This measure directly targets social networks and the practice of re-tweeting on Twitter or sharing items on Facebook. […]