Menu
French police want to ban Tor, public Wi-Fi

French police want to ban Tor, public Wi-Fi

As legislators debate new anti-terror laws, police are lobbying for unprecedented powers to decrypt communications

French police have made their Christmas wish-list, and it includes banning Tor and public Wi-Fi.

As legislators debate new antiterrorism laws, police and security services have been studying how technology hinders their enquiries, according to French newspaper Le Monde.

In the hours following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris the French government declared a state of emergency, granting police sweeping powers to impose curfews and conduct warrantless searches.

A week later, legislators voted to extend the state of emergency from 12 days to three months, and extended police power of search to include the contents of electronic devices and cloud services accessible from them.

But that's still not enough for police authorities lobbying for still greater powers to be included in two further bills, one relating to the state of emergency and one to antiterrorism measures, that could be voted into law from January, according to Le Monde.

Police want emergency powers to ban open or shared Wi-Fi connections and to make operating a public Wi-Fi hotspot a criminal offense during a state of emergency because of the difficulty of identifying those connected, according to Interior Ministry and police documents seen by the newspaper.

Outside the state of emergency, the police want unprecedented powers to track suspects' movements and encrypted communications -- even though those responsible for the latest attacks communicated in the clear by mobile phone and text message.

In police sights are the Tor anonymous communication service, which they want the power to ban or block in France, and secure Internet telephony apps, for which they want developers to provide them with the keys used to encrypt traffic.

French roads are watched by a network of radar speed traps that, thanks to existing privacy laws, only report the license plates of vehicles exceeding the speed limit, but police are also seeking the power to reprogram them on the fly to record all license plates, allowing them to quickly locate a vehicle.

According to the documents seen by Le Monde, the Interior Ministry's Directorate of Public Freedoms and Legal Affairs notes that some of the proposals are not yet technically possible.

Other measures, the directorate notes, may be unconstitutional -- although perhaps not for long, as the government has already announced plans to change the constitution in the wake of the terror attacks.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Events

Why experience is the new battleground for partners

Join us for an exclusive webinar, in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) and learn about the latest industry insights and how technology services continue to evolve to deliver differentiated value, and how partners can be successful in 2021 and beyond.

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments