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 leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments