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Friday, 20 March 2015

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité – French Government Begins Blocking Websites it Doesn’t Like

Michael Krieger
Liberty Blitzkrieg

There’s no better way to show terrorists you mean business than by preemptively ending freedom before the infidels have a chance to.

Ever since the tragic Charlie Hebdo terror attacks, France has responded by turning its back on decency, freedom and civilization itself. While the counterproductive authoritarian government response to terror attacks throughout the Western world has been long noted by myself and countless others, no country has demonstrated a more enthusiastic embrace of fascism and irrationality than France.

The writing was on the wall shortly after the attacks. I noted it in the post, French Authorities Demonstrate Defense of Free Speech by Arresting 54 People for Free Speech. Here’s an excerpt:

While I’m sure many of the millions of French citizens who marched in solidarity with the victims of the recent senseless violence and in the name of free speech came with genuine intentions, the corps of professional authoritarians, I mean politicians, who tagged along in order to pose for a staged photo op, clearly had less than noble intentions. Indeed, they likely spent the entire time scheming as to how the tragedy might be used to strip more rights away from their citizens, and it didn’t take long for the apparent hypocrisy to manifest itself in real life.
Authorities said 54 people had been arrested for hate speech and defending terrorism in the last week. The crackdown came as Charlie Hebdo’s defiant new issue sold out before dawn around Paris, with scuffles at kiosks over dwindling copies of the satirical weekly that fronted the Prophet Muhammad anew on its cover.
France has been tightening security and searching for accomplices since the terror attacks began, but none of the 54 people mentioned Wednesday have been linked to the attacks. That’s raising questions about whether Hollande’s Socialist government is impinging on the very freedom of speech that it so vigorously defends when it comes to Charlie Hebdo.
In that post, I mentioned the case of a controversial comedian, Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who was arrested for Facebook comments. Yesterday, we discovered he was found guilty. I shared my sentiments on Twitter:

Yes, you read that right. He was found guilty of a joke.
Not to be outdone, French authorities are hard at work censoring the internet generally. TechDirt reported the following:

We had been noting, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, how the country that then held a giant “free speech” rally appeared to be, instead, focusing on cracking down on free speech at every opportunity. And target number one: the internet. Earlier this week, the Interior Minister of France — with no court review or adversarial process — ordered five websites to not only be blocked in France, but that anyone who visits any of the sites get redirected to a scary looking government website, saying:
You are being redirected to this official website since your computer was about to connect with a page that provokes terrorist acts or condones terrorism publicly.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.47.54 AM

Except… it already appears that France is really just censoring websites with messages it doesn’t like. In that first batch was a site called “” The owner of that site not only notes that he was never first contacted to “remove” whatever material was deemed terrorist supporting (as required by the law), but that nothing in what he had posted was supporting terrorism.
But, with no judicial review, no due process at all, the French government declared the site to be a terrorist supporter and now it’s gone.
On the positive side, France, if “they” really do hate you for your freedoms, pretty soon you won’t have anything to worry about.

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