Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
No More Internet Anonymity.... In France

By Commienst in News
Wed May 24, 2000 at 06:45:17 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The Liberty of Communication Act according to this Abcnews.com article, would require all web page authors using French ISPS to register using an electronic form which would identify the webmaster. The bill was prompted when a nude photo of model Estelle Halliday was posted on a website without her consent. It seeks to place legal liability for what is published on a Web site on the individual that creates it rather than on Internet Web hosting companies.

This legislation coming after a French court ordered Yahoo to censor French users from Nazi related auctions which you read all about at this CNN.com article, shows that many government officials not only in France but elsewhere as well are not too familiar with the internet and what how policing it would affect the free distrubtion of information we currently have.


Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Yahoo
o Abcnews.com article
o CNN.com article
o Also by Commienst


Display: Sort:
No More Internet Anonymity.... In France | 30 comments (30 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Governments still don't get that th... (none / 0) (#5)
by mind21_98 on Tue May 23, 2000 at 07:17:50 PM EST

mind21_98 voted 1 on this story.

Governments still don't get that the Internet revolution cannot be stopped, and their futile laws to censor it are unenforcable. This is also a result of the Internet being used for a purpose completely unintended: to sell stuff. About the only way we can stop this stuff from happening is if we make the Internet a non-commerence zone. But we all know that's impossible now, and we as a community should do our part in protecting privacy, etc. That includes things like using SSL in your browser and getting an encryption program like GnuPG.

--
mind21_98 - http://www.translator.cx/
"Ask not if the article is utter BS, but what BS can be exposed in said article."

Commerce causes problems? (none / 0) (#13)
by PresJPolk on Wed May 24, 2000 at 07:47:02 AM EST

Governments still don't get that the Internet revolution cannot be stopped, and their futile laws to censor it are unenforcable. This is also a result of the Internet being used for a purpose completely unintended: to sell stuff. About the only way we can stop this stuff from happening is if we make the Internet a non-commerence zone.

How would banning commerce over the internet discourage government intervention?

It seems to me that the governments are only encouraged to levy taxes on internet commerce.

The desire to regulate comes from the dissemination of information, which would still take place if commerce disappeared. In fact, without commerce, I think governments (especially the US government) would be *more* likely to regulate, because the internet would be seen as a toy, rather than something valuable to society.



[ Parent ]
You can censor the internet (none / 0) (#23)
by Commienst on Wed May 24, 2000 at 08:39:28 PM EST

You must be assuming you are untraceable on the internet. It is quite easy for goverments to censor their citizens on the internet. A citizen does something illegal on the internet you trace him and put him in jail or any other penalty they decide. If stuff like that happened I know I would make sure I did not break any of my country's internet laws and most other people as well. No one wants to go to jail after all.

[ Parent ]
the french are irrelevent on the in... (1.00 / 1) (#8)
by joshv on Tue May 23, 2000 at 08:30:33 PM EST

joshv voted 0 on this story.

the french are irrelevent on the internet. who cares what they do to make themselves less relevent

...irrelevAnt on the internet (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by farlukar on Wed May 24, 2000 at 07:27:51 AM EST

The internet is a worldwide network. The French part of it is irrelevant in the same way the part of, say, Washington DC is irrelevant. Pull the plug and the internet will go on.
It's all the parts together that make the 'net, and that what's made the law in one part of it today can become the law in "your" part tomorrow.
______________________
$ make install not war

[ Parent ]
I think they are fully aware of wha... (none / 0) (#4)
by deimos on Tue May 23, 2000 at 09:32:39 PM EST

deimos voted 1 on this story.

I think they are fully aware of what the effects of legislation will have on the free flow of information. The main reason a government is in power is because they can control the information flowing through the populace. Total anarchy, encryption, and anything that cannot be controlled scares the living hell out of most politicians. Of course, you also have to remember that a good 50% of the politicians are the people upset over pornography on the 'net in public, yet they also read/browse/oogle it in private. In my lifetime, the 'net will become as regulated as the phone systems are today; it's just a matter of time.
irc.kuro5hin.org: Good Monkeys, Great Typewriters.

Somewhat Traceable Content + Still ... (1.00 / 1) (#7)
by fulltide on Tue May 23, 2000 at 10:07:33 PM EST

fulltide voted -1 on this story.

Somewhat Traceable Content + Still Anonymous Clients = "No More Internet Anonymity"??? a good discussion topic, but the subject is a little silly
~tide~
"Linux is only free if your time has no value."
- Jamie Zawinski, former Mozilla team leader

This issue has been brought up in o... (1.50 / 2) (#9)
by justdave on Wed May 24, 2000 at 12:49:58 AM EST

justdave voted -1 on this story.

This issue has been brought up in other forums in this general regime; a lengthy discussion on this would be yet another case of preaching to the clergy. Let's bop out and discuss this issue where those who are not 'well-informed' (or at least moderately clueful on the subject) can see what we have to say, in a forum more appropriate to those we want to communicate with...However distasteful that may be, in some cases.
-- I'd bite you, but you might enjoy it.

Lovely. C'est la vie, ne c'est pas... (none / 0) (#2)
by warpeightbot on Wed May 24, 2000 at 01:17:28 AM EST

warpeightbot voted 1 on this story.

Lovely. C'est la vie, ne c'est pas?

The gendarmarie have never been ones for keeping their noses out of your stuff, but this is pushing it....

On the one hand they're pushing crypto; on the other, "your papers please".... I'm confused...

France. What a useless fucking cou... (1.00 / 9) (#1)
by buzzbomb on Wed May 24, 2000 at 02:59:11 AM EST

buzzbomb voted 1 on this story.

France. What a useless fucking country.

Re: What a useless fucking comment (none / 0) (#16)
by Peureux et anonyme on Wed May 24, 2000 at 09:14:58 AM EST

I wonder why expressing an opinion in a "non anonymous" way is worse than doing it "anonymously" ? --

[ Parent ]
Re: France. What a useless fucking cou... (none / 0) (#17)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 24, 2000 at 10:10:52 AM EST

Ca veut dire quoi ca ? "a useless fucking country" ? C'est la première fois que je viens sur kuro5hin.org parce qu'on me dit que desormais c'est mieux que /. et voila sur quoi je tombe ! please US people, think twice before post such insanity ! (or just think once already ?)

[ Parent ]
Re: France. What a useless fucking cou... (none / 0) (#18)
by rusty on Wed May 24, 2000 at 12:14:38 PM EST

No kidding! He should have at least said "What a useless and beautiful fucking country, with such great food!

I'm joking. :-) But not about the beauty or the food. Seriously people, think before you post. Do you really, honestly think that? Do you have any kind of ground to stand on? Or are you just full of random venom? We have no use for random venom here. Take it to Slashdot.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: France. What a useless fucking cou... (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by Inoshiro on Wed May 24, 2000 at 05:03:14 PM EST

Now, now. Don't judge a country by its rulers. If we did that, I'm sure everyone around the world would have a synonym of United States Citizen with onanism. It's not sex if you don't cum, right?

That aside, it should be noted that the main reason such capitalist countries enact such legislation is because the "average" proliterate is too stupid to understand things. The other extreme is communism, where the centralized figures become stupid and decadent over time (this was also a problem with classical absolute monarchies, although some, such as the Sun King, were well liked and seemed alright).

It's obvious that you can't simplify such an advanced governmental situation to a single statement, so why try? You just end up sounded closed minded and ignorant. Oh, wait, right, you're a troll, I forgot

Note: I have yet to see this BuzzBomb fellow contribute besides -1 votes and negative comments. It's also egg on my face if this fellow is not from the US as I assume :-)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Could be an interresting discussion... (1.00 / 1) (#6)
by HiQ on Wed May 24, 2000 at 04:21:08 AM EST

HiQ voted 1 on this story.

Could be an interresting discussion, although it probably will be a repeat of the discussion on exactly the same topic on /.; so go ahead and post it!
How to make a sig
without having an idea
just made a HiQ

Intrnet should be a politics-free m... (2.00 / 1) (#3)
by h on Wed May 24, 2000 at 04:37:06 AM EST

h voted 1 on this story.

Intrnet should be a politics-free media,what do you think?

A little analogy (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by HiQ on Wed May 24, 2000 at 07:36:10 AM EST

A little analogy:

Here in the Netherlands we have a fairly liberated view on drugs-use, much to the annoyance of France. Every weekend Amsterdam & Rotterdam are flooded with Frenchman, all trying to 'score'. Although France regularly protest to the Dutch government that the Netherlands are not strict enough concerning drugs, there's not a thing they can do about it - France cannot change Dutch law.

So why should this be the case on the internet? I mean, every country does or sells things that another country objects to; the only difference being that surfing to another country is much easier than physically travel there. So if a Frenchman travels to the USA (physicallly that is) and buys some Nazi memorabilia, shouldn't that be illegal too? Should all shops in the world have list with what to sell and wat not to sell to people from this or that country? I think not!

To follow this example : if such a French traveller came back to France with his recently bought Nazi flag, he should be checked at the airport in France that he arrives at - let them handle their own problems, don't demand solutions from the rest of the world!

The same goes for the internet - because every country has problems with the beliefs or morals in other countries. Solve your problems locally. There are only so many places where French ISP's connect to the Internet - let France put some filters there, or block access to sites they want to ban. Like I said earlier, let countries solve their own problems, not demand solutions from others!
How to make a sig
without having an idea
just made a HiQ

Re: A little analogy (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 24, 2000 at 08:35:55 AM EST

Firstly, I agree with most of what you have said. However,

Like I said earlier, let countries solve their own problems, not demand solutions from others!

Unfortunatly, this assumes that they ( the people in government ) have any idea of how to solve the problems that they are addressing. So far there has been very little to indicate that the governments of any nation really have much of an idea of how the internet works and because of that, they keep proposing "solutions" that don't work.

One of the other things that must be kept in mind as well is that politicians will often pass legislation that they know won't work, simply in order to keep some group in society satisfied that the government is "doing it's job".

As a point in case, Australia has enacted legislation that effectivly removed all "adults only" sites from Australian servers ( the majority of which simply re-located to servers in the USA within less than 24 hours ).

The basic upshot is that nothing has really changed. Only one of the Australians that I have spoken to has had any problems ( their ISP is apparently blocking access to the entire alt.binary heirarcy ), but the majority of Australians are still acessing R and X rated material without any problems.

Wading through all of the details of the Australian situation, it basically turns out that the legislation was enacted simply for the sake of appearences. All of the members of the public who don't use the Internet have a nice warm feeling that "the right thing" has been done and those who do use the internet are to busy downloading pornography to contradict them.

The article at ABC was light on details. I'm just wondering if this particular situation in France is similiar or if it might have more important implications.

Are their any French netizens present who can provide background information to this case?

You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.



[ Parent ]

Re: A little analogy (none / 0) (#15)
by HiQ on Wed May 24, 2000 at 09:05:51 AM EST

Well, you've got some good points there!

You see time and  time again that society is losing track on 'technological' progress; the changes are coming too fast for society to follow. In my analogy I tried to sketch on solution to the problem; only for that solution a little knowledge is necessary. On the other hand you could say that a realworld-analogy doesn't make sense, because the internet knows no boundaries, and should be treated as an entity of it's own, with it's own 'laws & regulations'.

On of the big questions is "should the Internet  be free, lawless and without regulations?". On the one hand perhaps yes, people should be free to see what they want to see and let them decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. OTOH the Internet is giving people room to express their opinions in an unprecedented way, and act in a almost uncontrollable environment. Is that right? In any case, I haven't got an answer to that one!
How to make a sig
without having an idea
just made a HiQ
[ Parent ]

Internet needs a little regulation (none / 0) (#22)
by Commienst on Wed May 24, 2000 at 08:27:22 PM EST

"Should the Internet be free, lawless and without regulations?"

That would be bad. If that happened people could do stuff like publish peoples personal information on the internet. Which is happening. There are anti abortion sites out there that display the personal information of doctors that perform abortions. Alot of rabid anti abortion fanactics try and do harm the doctors that are published on such websites. This is the kind of information that should be illegal to publically distrubite on the internet no matter what country the server is in.

[ Parent ]

Re: A little analogy (none / 0) (#26)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu May 25, 2000 at 11:29:11 PM EST

On of the big questions is "should the Internet be free, lawless and without regulations?".

*Grin* That's arguably the number one question out here, isn't it?

To say "yes" means that people in places like the Iraq, Iran, Peoples Republic of China, etc, etc have an oportunity to meet and discus things that the ruling class in their own country don't want them talking about or hearing.

It also means that people can use the internet for questionable purposes ( as Commienst has pointed out ).

To say "no" effectively ends the internet as a forum for the free exchange of ideas, since in many parts of the world, an honest opinion can land you in serious trouble with the authorities.

...and should be treated as an entity of it's own, with it's own 'laws & regulations'.

In many ways that makes more sense. However, it's unlikely to be acceptable to many people ( especially the rulers of many nation states ). Likewise, it's unlikely to be acceptable to many vigilante groups, who seem to be incapable of understanding that values and laws vary considerably from one place to another in the world.

Whatever the solution to these problems are, I don't think that we can allow it to be imposed on us by a government ( any government ) or by corporate interests.

Whatever the solutions are, I think that they must be discovered and implemented by us - the people who actually use this medium. For this to happen, the education of the public is arguably the first step and at this point in time, it looks like that is going to be a very long and tedious job. Never the less, it looks like were stuck with it. ;)

You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.



[ Parent ]

Free distribution of information? (none / 0) (#12)
by PresJPolk on Wed May 24, 2000 at 07:37:53 AM EST

I think the French government *does* understand the free distribution of information that takes place on the internet. They understand it, and they don't like it. Therefore, they're taking the steps they can to prevent the bad side of it.

Let us not misrepresent everyone opposed to an open internet, and portray them all as ignorant. So what if the French can't enforce their law as well as they might like? Consider that if a French resident is harassed, it's most likely a French resident who's doing the harassing, and that it's probably taking place via French ISPs, and you'll see that passing these laws isn't as silly for them as it may appear.

No, I don't think it's a good law for them. But, I'm not French, so I'm not going to complain. :-)

Whoa! Isisisay now holon a minute (none / 0) (#19)
by jovlinger on Wed May 24, 2000 at 02:01:00 PM EST

Look,

someone has to be responsible for content that is posted, can we agree on that? In some cases anonymity is crucial, but in others it can lead to flagrant disregard for other's privacy and whatnot. Even if you don't agree, nod your head for the sake of argument.

Now if anyone is to be held responsible, it should be the person who created it, not the ISP who's hosting it. Now that I'm sure we all agree on.

The main question here is how to maintain accountability for illegal/bad/harmful content while providing the necessary anonymity for some situations. I'd argue that we already have this.. almost. Pretty much everything you post is traceable, if the person wanting to trace you has a court order for opening the ISP's records. All we need to do is to make the standards for obtaining such an order sufficiently high.

Take a look at the crowds project (from ATT?) for a good way of making this search such a hassle your anonymity is pretty much guaranteed.

For those interested in an SF view of these things, I'd have to recommend the always excellent Greg Bear's "Queen of Angels", in which central oversight knows everything you do, but won't let even the police have access that information w/o exceedingly strict need-to-know.

Ok, that's utopian. We all know that the reactionary right would pretty soon pre-empt the database for their own agenda, but at least it works in SF.

A view from France (none / 0) (#21)
by efge on Wed May 24, 2000 at 06:44:10 PM EST

First, this law is not passed yet, it's being discussed, and a number of people have problems with it.

What it mandates is that web hosters be able to know who publishes what, so that in case of litigation they can find who is legally responsible. I think it's pretty important that the ISP not be responsible for what is published by its users, but, in turn, someone has to be. That's, basically, the position held by the backers of the bill.

And it's a great step from what was previously upheld by our courts, namely that the ISPs where responsible (see the Estelle Halliday case, where nudes photos of her were published, and where the ISP was heavily fined for it).

So, readers, what would be your solution for simultaneously allowing anonymity on the net, and having a way to track down offenders (of copyright matters or libel laws for instance) ? As another poster commented, the whole issue is the one of responsibility.

 
Now, the Yahoo/Nazi stuff case in another matter altogether, where a French court (a court, and not the government) asked Yahoo (is it Yahoo France or Yahoo.com ? the articles are not clear about it) to "make it impossible" for surfers to access stuff prohibited in France. I'm pretty dubious about the legal feasibility of it all, and generally you should view this as a specific case of the general problem of "how to apply local law to an international medium".

As commented in this C|Net article,

It is the first case where a judge in one country feels that he is competent to decide over what actions he thinks an actor (in another country) should be taking.
and I really don't think he is competent (in a legal sense). (I also doubt it's the first such case, but I digress).

 
Finally, note that all this (public awareness of the Internet) is very new, and more importantly very fluctuating. What is upheld in courts today can be overturned tomorrow, and what laws were passed yesterday could very well be changed in six month. We, like many other countries, USA included, are searching for a firm ground.

Thank you.

France bans anonymity on the web... (none / 0) (#24)
by shepd on Thu May 25, 2000 at 08:39:44 PM EST

...and suddenly ftp, archie, and PDF enjoy a huge newfound popularity in France. ;-)

[Chantepie said the law would apply only to Web pages.]

I don't get it (none / 0) (#25)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu May 25, 2000 at 11:04:48 PM EST

No more internet anonymity? That's a bit harsh - if I put up a web page now I'm not anonymous. I'm sure my ISP would give my details to the first policeman who asked for it, and even free sites will give up your contact e-mail address.

This is just trying to save those lazy Gendarmes some legwork, but will probably backfire by driving potentially offending french websites overseas (just like Australia).



How is it... (none / 0) (#27)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri May 26, 2000 at 06:24:48 PM EST

How is it that so many people think nazi propaganda is information ?

Re: How is it... (none / 0) (#28)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat May 27, 2000 at 10:46:09 AM EST

How is it that so many people think anti-nazi propaganda is information ?

[ Parent ]
Re: How is it... (none / 0) (#29)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun May 28, 2000 at 06:05:22 AM EST

Hello, it's me again. When I first ask the question "how is it so many people think nazi propaganda is information" my intention was not to begin a political discussion which has nothing to do here, but I'll ask one last thing : what do you consider anti-nazi propaganda ? History ? This is my last message on that subject.

[ Parent ]
It doesn't make sense (1.50 / 2) (#30)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon May 29, 2000 at 11:08:55 PM EST

Why would the French ban Nazi items when they have shown with both the Yahoo!/Nazi action and this new proposed Act that they are, in fact, Nazis themselves??

No More Internet Anonymity.... In France | 30 comments (30 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!