France’s Sarkozy plumps for censorship

French President Sarkozy has announced plans to censor the internet. He’s threatened a new law, but it looks like he’s hoping for a voluntary system among ISPs, as occurs in Britain. Rabid opposition is expected from French citizens.

France’s Sarkozy wants to impose filtering

French President Nicholas Sarkozy plans to try to impose censorship on the internet as part of his presidential emphasis on the politics of family life.

"I want ISPs to block access to pedophile and illegal sites listed on a black list. The internet is not beyond the reach of the law. It is not necessary to leave accessible pornographic sites so that disturbed people can get in touch with minors,” he said.

Reuters reported that relevant French ministeries (home, family and economic statistics) will be tasked with shutting down sites on the black list, similar to what’s happening in the UK (where the process is voluntary for ISPs).

French citizens are expected to be up in arms about the Sarkozy proposal: state interference with private rights  usually motives the French masses to direct action.

As the French ended their term in the chair of the European Union, the Secretary of State for the Family, Nadine Morano, launched a film alerting children and adults to the dangers of the internet.

During the French presidency, she called together her counterpart ministers for a day’ s workshop  last year on protection of children on the internet.

The 27 officials, representing members of the EU, commited to common action: information, prevention, techniques for blocking pornographic sites and strengthened cooperation between businesses and public safety authorities.

Notably, however, there was no EU-wide push for censoring the internet with a mandatory filtering program.

Here’s the story in French:

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