france-onion-tor-banShort Bytes: The French government is actively researching the options to make its surveillance options more effective. In the wake of recent attacks on Paris, the government is proposing laws to ban free Wi-Fi and Tor to counterattack terrorism and any possible state of emergency. If these proposed laws are passed, France could become the first European country to take such steps.

The need for encryption debate has escalated quickly in the past one month. In the wake of recent Paris attacks, numerous arguments were made, calling the Snowden revelations and encrypted communications responsible for this ISIS-sponsored tragedy. However, later is was revealed that the attackers were making the use of unencrypted SMS service for planning the attacks and they even used their real names.

While it looks like encryption isn’t the biggest enemy out there, the French government us considering a new law that would block the famous anonymizing network Tor and free of cost Wi-Fi networks.

The French newspaper Le Monde, citing an internal document by the Interior Ministry by France’s Department of Civil Liberties and Legal Affairs, writes about the two possible bills regarding the issue of terrorism and emergency.

The free Wi-Fi blocking is being proposed as the French police stresses on the fact the it is very difficult to track individuals using a public Wi-Fi network during a state emergency.

On the other hand, the second proposal includes counterterrorism methods like banning Tor and making them hand over the encryption keys to police.

The French newspaper also reports that Government has questioned the possible violation of the French constitution and these two legislations could appear as soon as the next year. In the past, countries like Iran and China has been largely successful in banning the Tor network. If these proposed laws are passed, France could become the first European country to do the same.

The recent encryption debate is a good example of misleading judgements by our governments regarding the cybersecurity issues. While the governments have supported such restrictions time and again, the tech companies have maintained their stance to leave the encryption technologies untouched.

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Also read: No, ISIS Didn’t Use PlayStation 4 To Plan Paris Attacks

Adarsh Verma
Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]