I write this addition to my ongoing series of thoughts on the implications of the Wikileaks scandal, en Francais because according to Le Point, the the Assemblée Nationale has passed a bill, Loppsi 2, which, amongst other things, in its Article 4, allows the French government to ban particular websites, and essentially to ‘filter’ the Internet. The Bill of course has ‘good intentions’, in this case, it is aimed at paedophiles, but the wording is such that it allows a far wider use against “la cybercriminalité en général”. Regardless, as the article points out: “Les expériences de listes noires à l’étranger ont toutes été des fiascos,” in other words such bills have generally been a complete failure as in most cases the state’s technology and expertise cannot deliver what the law allows.
However, I am left wondering what makes this any different from what China does, and what moral right the French state now has to criticise Chinese censorship or indeed any other regime that is repressive of information rights. And of course, what other very reasonable ‘good intentions’ could be drawn upon for closing the Net – opposing ‘information terrorism’, par example?