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.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments