Friday, November 11, 2005

Is the French Government trying to censor internet traffic?

When the state of emergency was put into effect de Villepin said that there would be no censorship implemented as is allowed under the law. It probably didn’t seem necessary to the Prime Minister’s office since the imposition of restrain has been trained into the press and the media already.

They are known to stealth edit or even “stealth delete” when they get the sense that the time is right. The internet, though, which seemed to be beyond influence may not have been.One reader notes that beginning late in the afternoon of the 9th of November (right after the government gave itself emergency powers) web users in France found that they couldn't access the most popular websites which are critical of this softly-softly Jihad that a French version of the Gutmensch would call "islamophobic" such as,, or was discussed on conservative and techie forums in France, and they found this was a systematic filtering by all the French ISPs.

Our own stats showed a near disappearance of traffic to hosted sites for two days, and another correspondent tells me that even a Belgian ISP had some site specific “bozo filtering” take place. The report from Belgian may be a case of the ISP’s traffic being routed through a French internet company that later corrected it’s routing, but all of these things look like the suspicious traces of security measures.

It’s almost certain that the DGSE would be interested in monitoring specific messages out of the waterfall of data which passes through these points, but what we’re hearing about is clearly not that, it’s an attempt to censor. It may also be that the opportunity was taken to perform a field test to cut off traffic in an even worse case scenario. The only way this seems possible is to redirect internet traffic through military servers with filters and interception used as a crisis measure. After all there were at least two days where one some users who routed through proxies could see sites that others couldn’t.Said one observer who wrote to ¡No Pasaràn!:

« Note that French "moderate" Muslim sites (complete with hidden jihad call, anti-French, anti-western/anti-US and anti-Semite prejudice,...), islamoleftist (such as the infamous Radio-Islam), and leftists websites still are freely accessible.

The blocked sites are NOT neonazi, they are conservative and "Islamophobic", but the french government has been very afraid of the internet, especially after the "Radikal Web" affair, a rightwing webring of anti-islam and anti-Chirac websites, which was hounded by the "thought police" ("antiracist" & plain leftist hackers and organizations with contacts in the French police), and were later busted when there was a totally unrelated "attempted attempted" assassination against Our Dear Leader.Since then, the gvt has been pressuring Islamophobic webmasters by suing them one after the other.This is only minor, but this needs to be known in the USA that these are the people who wish to control the internet
There are similarities to China in much of this, since they have been working on information filtering and exclusion methods for years, but I’ve seen no indications that they’ve worked on this together since we’re talking about a system of protocols which are public which are relatively easy to develop independently. In general it is safe to say that security institutions such as these would only take the risk of that level of cooperation when they have no other means of access to something they see as valuable.

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