October 24, 2020

French police want to ban public WiFi during emergencies

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497113968By Steve Dent From engadget

The ‘Gendarmes’ also want to ban the Tor network outright.

The isn’t the only law enforcement agency that wants to restrict privacy for the sake of national security. Following the attacks of November 13th, French police and gendarmes have submitted a wish list of security measures for a new bill, according to a document discovered by LeMonde. Among other things, police want to ban public WiFi during states of emergency, “because of the difficulty of identifying people connected to it,” according to LeMonde. French law enforcement also wants the Tor network banned completely and would force companies like Microsoft to hand the encryption keys for apps like Skype to police.

The bill could go up for a vote as early as January 2016, but there’s no guarantee that the proposed measures will be in the final draft, let alone passed into law. In the , the FBI has also requested that companies like Facebook, Apple and Microsoft give it backdoor access to encrypted voice, video and chat messages. However, companies have pointed out that such measures would make such applications less secure for everybody, or drive users to other apps.

The idea of banning Tor also seems unrealistic, given that it is a loose, volunteer-run network with servers located around the world. It’s also used by journalists and other groups with legitimate needs for privacy, and not just terrorists and drug dealers. The French police proposal seems like it would be difficult to implement, and also be problematic given that privacy is a huge concern across . With recent events, however, security has obviously become a much higher priority than privacy in the Gallic nation.

For more on this story go to: http://www.engadget.com/2015/12/07/french-police-want-to-ban-public-wifi/

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