back to article France's 3-month state of emergency lets govt censor the web

Following last week's Paris attacks, the French National Assembly has today voted to extend the nation's state of emergency for a further three months. It will also amend powers established in the original 1955 legislation in light of technological developments. Despite the murders of 129 victims, and the deaths of the seven …

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  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

    I still remember the kind of discussion about the "surveillance state" and whether Germany should go down that kind of dark road after the early 80's "Red Army Faction" hits.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

      Time and again our politicians have shown they are not fit for the job by allowing themselves to be stampeded into passing liberty reducing legislation, at the drop of a hat, thus doing the terrorists job for them.

      When are more than just a few of them going to stand up and say NO - we refuse to allow these people to change our lives. Presumably only 6 French MP's did so - the rest should be ashamed.

      Maybe I'm remembering through rose tinted glasses but the UK endured an active 20 year bombing campaign with less restrictions on our liberty - oh for one of our representatives to show the spine we had in those days.

      1. Velv
        Big Brother

        Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

        Perhaps there is a genuine public demand for "something to be done" or perhaps it's just media spin.

        Either way politicians everywhere are under the impression the public needs "more protection". I don't know what the answer is to this, but if we value "liberte" we need to make sure that voice is heard.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          @Velv -- Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

          Perhaps there is a genuine public demand for "something to be done" or perhaps it's just media spin.

          It's a combination of both with each feeding each other. Here in the States, the frenzy has everyone stirred up. I live in a small town and some of the locals are scared shitless. But the media, candidates for offices, and Congress has them convinced that the locals are a target. It's madness and carefully constructed madness. The media sells it's advertising space and gets read. The candidates make headlines, and Congress gets to put more power in the hands of the government.

          It has become a damn vicious cycle and also plays into the hand of the terrorists. The winners in this is government with more power and control and the terrorists who create more terror.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Risk Aversion

            Maybe I'm a bad person, but I have taken a very different lesson from the Paris attacks than the various governments want me to. Despite what seems to have been a well-organised and well-equipped attack on many unarmed and unsuspecting people, many grouped very closely together, there were *only* 129 dead people and a number of injuries.* I think this goes to show just how difficult it is to kill a lot of people, and that it is just unlucky if any individual is a victim. I have also taken away the message that it is easy to find the attackers - it didn't take long, did it? Now, I don't want to get into conspiracy theory here (though it would be very easy!), but it seems to me that the correct message to take away from all this is that there is no need for any extra powers at all, and it would be good if a lot more people would say so.

            *I know that there are grieving relatives and friends in each case, but that would be the case regardless of how they had died. I have great respect for the citizens of Paris that went out on the streets in defiance of the cowardly advice of the government.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

        "Maybe I'm remembering through rose tinted glasses but the UK endured an active 20 year bombing campaign with less restrictions on our liberty"

        Not really although it was NI which took the brunt. However the response there was internment without trial which was rather counter-productive. Spine or not, oh for one of our representatives to show an ability to learn from past mistakes.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

          > "However the response there was internment without trial which was rather counter-productive."

          To say the least (for a short while at least), it polarised things more. ('response there' not exactly the right wording to use, there was no local legislature present at the time, just the N.I. Minister).

          The fight against terror then heavily involved use of informants, which unfortunately resulted in a few 'Coventry' type decisions on a number of arranged murders.

          Never mind not learning from mistakes, I am increasingly suspicious that each tragedy is being used as an excuse to take the free world down a dark path. It must be clear to the politicians by now that blanket surveillance would not help prevent these types of incidents, they had information on these people, they chose to disregard it

      3. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

        "Maybe I'm remembering through rose tinted glasses but the UK endured an active 20 year bombing campaign with less restrictions on our liberty"

        I think the current enthusiasm for surveillance stems from a combination of our more risk-averse society (it's safer to sit behind a computer than to go into the field to gather intelligence) and also the misguided belief that the technology can actually work; the latter is encouraged by the Military Industrial Complex, since it means money spent on equipment from them rather than wages and training for field operatives.

        1. Tim Brown 1

          Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

          "It's safer to sit behind a computer than to go into the field to gather intelligence"

          Indeed, and that leads on to trying to fight a war with bombs and drones instead of putting 'boots on the ground' because it's safer. Wars can never be won solely from the air, they just create more refugees and more radicals out for revenge. Also, sad though it is to say it, casualties on your own side help to get the politicians talking to find a peace.

      4. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

        It's the French regional elections in December and they all want to look tough against the FN.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

        No need to look at the UK. This type of actions occur in France with certain regularity (2005, 1995) and from a security point of view they have been dealt with successfully in the past.

        It'd be good if they could take a long hard look at themselves and do something about the root causes though.

      6. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Toute votre base sont appartiennent nous, Singe

        > 20 year bombing campaign with less restrictions on our liberty since the liberty went with the end of WW2

        There, one has fixed that for...a given interpretation of the word fixed.

    2. Erix

      Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

      More like a remake of the 2002 Attack of the Clones

      Palpatine: "It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love democracy. I love the Republic. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me!"

      Worked out nicely for that Republic

    3. NoneSuch
      Stop

      Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

      Yup, and not a single thing they are doing would have prevented the attacks in the first place.

      No one can guarantee your safety, 100% of the time. This is being done so the politicians are being seen to do something. It's completely ineffectual and removes your liberties, but they're doing something.

      All they are doing is an Orwellian erection of a fence around you. They are not keeping ISIS out, they are penning you in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

        "No one can guarantee your safety, 100% of the time. This is being done so the politicians are being seen to do something. It's completely ineffectual and removes your liberties, but they're doing something."

        No guarantees is right. Pity they've already removed the one liberty the citizens had which would be effective: Self defense.

        Gun 'bans' accomplish this by leaving guns only in the hands of police and criminals. The bulk of citizenry have no real defense against either. So as long as European societies remain helpless, the problem will continue.

        Of course the various governments don't mind all this; witness the French power grab in progress. But would it not be better for the people to have an actual ability to defend themselves, against both aggressors? Or is the current sorry state of things preferable still?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

          @Big John: you're an idiot. There is essentially unlimited evidence that guns in the hands of the proles doesn't prevent crime. In fact, in the few batshit crazy places that practice this crime is not only higher, it's more lethal. It's more lethal because not only does more violent crime occur, when it does the criminals do more damage.

          Not only that but on the very rare occasion where civvies packing heat pull out their pieces to threaten the criminals with guns they almost always cause additional civilian casualties.

          A gun in your pocket makes you feel powerful, nothing more. It doesn't make you able to stop crime. Training and some actual fucking courage do that.

          You want a great example of how to stop crime? Look to those trained folks who stopped that attack on on a train in France a few months ago. They handled a touch situation unarmed. Because they had training and courage.

          Guns don't give you courage. Not being a terrified pissant hiding behind a need for a feeling of metallic power gives you courage.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

            Trev, I notice you make a lot of big assertions we've all seen before (with no links I might add). Are you aware that the US has experienced a rather surprising and large reduction in actual total crime (including violent crime) over the last 20 years? And I guarantee we have not disarmed. How does that fit into your theory?

            But hey, don't mind me, TP! I'm just a fool from a batshit crazy place. ;-)

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

              @Big John

              I am indeed aware of America's declining crime rates, which are, just by the by, related to a reduction in poverty and an increase in education, not availability of guns. Because you seem to be sorely lacking in education and worldliness, I'll direct your attention to actual first world nations. They've experienced even greater reductions in crime (especially violent crime) over the same period by reducing poverty even more than America and increasing their level of education even more.

              And yes, you are a fool from a batshit crazy place.

              Cheers, from a place with gun regulations that ensure that even with a higher per capita gun ownership than America we don't tote the things around, own the really crazy stuff and - above all - don't kill eachother with the damned things anywhere near as much as the cuckoos to the south of us.

              Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go safe the lab because it's Friday and I am doing a regular safety check on my firearms.

            2. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

              @ Big John: "Are you aware that the US has experienced a rather surprising and large reduction in actual total crime".

              On the flip side, how many gun related incidents have happened in America this year? Try this - http://shootingtracker.com/wiki/Mass_Shootings_in_2015 and note that it lists some 300 incidents for this year alone.

              Now, how many have happened in France since the institution of the Fifth Republic? (that's 1958)

              How many massacres in the UK? I can drop some names - Dunblane, Hungerford, Cumbria. Wiki has a list at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_massacres_in_Great_Britain which contains "massacres" as opposed to just guns. There are 33 entries and it goes back to 61CE.

              Here is a global list of school shootings since 1996 - http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777958.html - spot which country figures in it the most.

              Reducing violent crime involves a lot more than simply arming everybody. Any halfwit ought to be able to figure that out.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

          > Gun 'bans' accomplish this by leaving guns only in the hands of police and criminals. The bulk of citizenry have no real defense against either.

          As a European gun licence holder, including the (hard-earned) right to carry concealed weapons for personal protection, please allow me to say you're talking utter bollocks and should probably stop watching so much Hollywood rubbish.

          Aside from the sheer responsibility involved (firearms are dangerous, I don't know if you've ever handled one), the amount of training required to use one safely and effectively is not to be underestimated.

          But beyond that, the idea of a civilian with his little handgun attempting to repel a carefully planned operation being carried out by well-armed, trained, and motivated individuals (effectively, engage in military combat) is laughably ridiculous.

          While you're at it, might as well take some Kung Fu lessons or something, and polish your nunchakus. That way if you ever come across a terrorist, you may not defeat them, but you will certainly amuse them.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's just like a bad French remake of the US 2001 bullshit

      Well, we know just what to do in 'Murica, by gum. We ain't lettin' no more of them camel humping terrists in, we don't care what the plaque on the statue of liberty says.

  3. James Micallef Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    They had this ready?

    Since the attacks happened less than a week ago, and it's pretty much impossible for proper new legislation to have been drafted in 4 days*, I can only conclude that some right-wing totalitarian organisation already had this draft legislation ready to pull out at the first opportunity. That type of taking advantage of tragedy is absolutely effin' disgusting.

    *Also keeping in mind that the people with most experience in such matters would have spent the last few days doing actual anti-terror work rather than drafting legislation

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: They had this ready?

      some right-wing totalitarian organisation

      It's hard to think of any credible political party in France that meets that description, and certainly not the bunch of wet champagne socialists currently in power.

      1. Thought About IT

        Re: They had this ready?

        It doesn't have to be a political party. The security services could have presented this as a fait accompli to incompetent politicians.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They had this ready?

          "incompetent politicians" - Are there any other kind?

          Well, apart from the corrupt ones, I suppose...

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: They had this ready?

        Phil, I'd like to comment on your comment, but you'll have to supply your definition of 'credible political party' first. By my definition the Front national (French pronunciation: ​[fʁɔ̃ na.sjɔ.nal]) would qualify, but maybe we're not on the same page here.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: They had this ready?

          That's why I said "credible". If the FN presented something to parliament they'd vote against it on principle, even if they agreed with it. Le Pen may be getting increasing support among ordinary people these days, and be less of a pariah than her father was, but the main French political class won't touch anything do do with her.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: They had this ready?

      Bad laws can be written very quickly.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: They had this ready?

        Bad laws can be written very quickly.

        Indeed. I'd say that was almost a prerequisite.

    3. Turtle

      @James Micallef Re: They had this ready?

      "I can only conclude that some right-wing totalitarian organisation already had this draft legislation ready to pull out at the first opportunity."

      Ah! I see that you are taking all the lessons you learned from "Loose Change" and other 9/11 conspiracy theories and applying them to real life. Nice!

      Also, perhaps you can explain why this had to be the work of a "right-wing totalitarian organization" and not a "left-wing totalitarian organization"? (Unless of course you are one of those naive and gullible political illiterates i.e. "useful idiots" who subscribe to the idea of "no enemies on the left" - and that you are is, I suppose, more than likely.)

      "it's pretty much impossible for proper new legislation to have been drafted in 4 days ...the people with most experience in such matters would have spent the last few days doing actual anti-terror work rather than drafting legislation"

      ...because legislators who and draft enact laws and the people who actually carry out the field work in any field are the same people, right? Oh, I can just see it now! The mass exodus of French lawmakers as they leave the National Assembly for a few days and migrate over to the Ministry Of The Interior and local law enforcement agencies, in order to use their finely-honed criminal-investigation skills and experience to get to the bottom of terrorism in France!

      I'd pay to see that.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: @James Micallef They had this ready?

        > "Also, perhaps you can explain why this had to be the work of a "right-wing totalitarian organization" and not a "left-wing totalitarian organization"?"

        The political spectrum, like the world, is round. Go too far right or left and you end up at the same place (at least by the evidence of the the last century). It doesn't really matter what you label them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @James Micallef They had this ready?

          > "It doesn't really matter what you label them."

          Not true. If one wishes to 'otherize,' then labels are critical.

          Okay, I'm guilty too. But only when i'm sorely tried...

        2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
          Childcatcher

          Re: @James Micallef They had this ready?

          Why does it have to be right or left, Churchill got selected because his alternative was thought to be an appeasement officer. Then Britain's all time biggest hero ...ever, went and gave Poland to Joseph Stalin.

          1. James Micallef Silver badge

            Re: @James Micallef They had this ready?

            Yeah, OK right or left is a lazy label, and it could have been far-left as easily as far-right. It was best put by whoever said that both far left and far right go right round and meet on the other side.

  4. Ian Bush

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité ...

    Well at best they're down to 2/3 now.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      "Two out of three ain't bad!"

      - Charles Keenan Blitz, Mayor of Chicago

      1. Dr. Mouse

        "Don't be sad, 'cause two out of three aint bad"

        - Meatloaf

  5. Tony S

    Ironic...

    ...that it was a Frenchman that made the following comments.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities"

    "To learn out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise"

    "It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."

    François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ironic...

      Quoting Voltaire on ElReg? Can't help upvoting. :-)

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    3 months?

    Be careful what you give away. You might not get it back.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " Le Quadrature stated these searches "can happen on any equipment, including storage present on the place or reachable 'through a initial system or available for the initial system'.""

    Hang on, so they can search Dropbox? or AWS? regardless of where in the world the servers are?

    That, surely, is just as wrong as a US Federal judge saying Microsoft must provide data that is held in Ireland, subject to Irish law .....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Red alert

    Terrorist attack? Censor the internet.

    People are protesting? Censor the internet.

    Porn on the internet? Censor the internet.

    President de la Republique ate a dodgy boeuf en daube? Censor the internet.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So an extension for 3 months and 400 raids since the attack. Presumably the police's special powers also expire at the end of the 3 months?

    That doesn't sound unreasonable, on the face of it. It was an horrific attack and it does look like they are putting some serious effort into mopping up.

    Better than Teresa May's "We want all of these powers in perpetuity because reasons". Time will tell whether France keeps extending the extensions or not.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Considering the police pulled over a car with one of them, failed to realise who it was at the checkpoint, and let them go through the French-Belgian border after declaring a state of emergency, I don't see how France passing another grab-bag of surveillance stuff that they didn't manage to get through last time (June, I think) on top of a three-month or more state of emergency will help.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So they fucked up. They also had the Chrliie Hebdo murderers tagged and had called off surveillance six months prior to the attack. I find the fact that we -the public- know about these fuckups a bit reassuring; as it does indicate some transparency. France's government is made up of humans, as is the motley collection of daesh arsetrinkets.

        The article isn't clear...is this a "grab bag of surveillance stuff" on top of emergency powers or is this a 3-month relaxation of due process because they need to get shit done? The article reads like the 'extras' are to bring the emergency powers up to date from the original 1955 definitions; and will expire with the rest of it when the state of emergency ends in 3 months.

        There is lots of room for abuse there; but if it is for only 3 months and only used for the specific purpose of nailing these daesh motherfuckers then that's fine by me. Terrorists move fast; and due process is slow; so from the article it seems like France is temporarily overclocking the justice system to get the job done.

        It bears watching closely; specifically for extensions and uses of the powers for things other than terrorist-hunting; but the state of emergency seems understandable from here.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          What I've read leads me to believe it's the following...

          1. State of emergency which means police can place suspects under house arrest, search, and seize data from phones and computers (and cloud providers used by them) without judicial approval.

          2. An amendment to the state of emergency which allows accounts and websites to be shut down without judicial approval and without any work on the ISP's behalf under a broader range of circumstances (suspicion, basically). The new surveillance law gave ISPs 24 hours to shut websites down, somehow this amendment means the government can take them offline immediately, maybe by using the black boxes installed at ISPs under the new surveillance law. What will happen after three months?

          3. Constitutional change. Allows citizens to be stripped of citizenship and banned from the country.

          4. Tighter intra-EU border checks, pushed by EU directive. Seems to mean extending passenger checks to air travellers between Schengen countries and "systemic" border checks between Schengen countries... doesn't that mean Schengen is dead?

          1. Commswonk Silver badge

            Tighter intra-EU border checks, pushed by EU directive. Seems to mean extending passenger checks to air travellers between Schengen countries and "systemic" border checks between Schengen countries... doesn't that mean Schengen is dead?

            And that is a bad thing how exactly?

            Various EU functionaries have come over all precious about how a borderless Europe is central to the existence of the EU; a cornerstone of its very existence.

            Quite apart from the niceties of that argument there is no escaping the fact that "Schengen" was set up 30 years ago with full operation coming to pass 20 years ago.

            Things have changed since then, and those getting hot under the collar about the fact that border checks may have to be reintroduced could do worse than remember the words of John Maynard Keynes, even if they were not said in the context of terrorism:

            "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              I didn't say it was a bad thing to have border checks, but I'm a little confused as to why they would bother to carry on with the pretence that people are in the Schengen free-movement area if that area has border checks at national borders.

              1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                I said to Mrs IP within an hour of seeing the report on the news that Schengen was dead. Sometimes I hate to be right.

          2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

            > doesn't that mean Schengen is dead?

            No it just means that the French are our French. I had never been so obvious to so few until the last few days.

            I was wondering how things would have been if the police were armed and then it occurred to me it is worse than ever in the USA since 9/11 as the armed police think brown skin = terrorist, yet anyone can get guns.

            Then I realised that since the French police are already armed that it only required their training. It only took the US 2 or 3 years to get the idea and to be honest a lot of their brown skinned troops were already conditioned, far superior to the ones the Brass considered superior -even Patton.

        2. Vic

          if it is for only 3 months and only used for the specific purpose of nailing these daesh motherfuckers then that's fine by me.

          And therein lies the problem; from the article,

          Since the beginning of the emergency last Saturday, many searches are conducted for administrative cases under common law, with no connection to the fight against terrorism

          We're a week in, and they're already using these powers for things entirely unrelated to terrorism.

          Vic.

      2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        In all fairness.

        They have come a long way since they invented newspapers to publish news about their King's bowel movements.

        ho ho il eh-ho. Le sale Anglais pensent qu'ils les ont inventé, pour essuyer leurs fonds. Merde!

    2. CanadianMacFan

      Sure, they'll let the special powers expire at the end of three months just like the special laws brought in after 9/11 in the US were left to expire.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Uh-oh....

        "Terrorists move fast; and due process is slow; so from the article it seems like France is temporarily overclocking the justice system to get the job done."

        Due process is slow for a very good reason, so you can have the time to A) find out the truth about complex and often very fleeting and stressful events and B) give people's emotions some time to cool down so that rational decisions are being made about what constitutes justice in the case.

        As for "temporarily overclocking the justice system", history has shown that it is a hell of a lot easier to start a government program than to shut it down once it gets going. Plus the justice system is there to protect the accused, as well as the public. I'm happy to see jihadis and their recruiters and financiers dispatched from this world to a particularly warm corner of Hell, but let's make sure that they really are that before we pull the trigger.

        In the meantime, I've heard that something like 100 people have been placed under house arrest in France. Why? I'm prepared to believe that a large majority of this 100 are at least islamist sympathizers, but I'm pretty sure that at most 5-10 of them had anything to do with the Paris attacks. So why exactly are these people being detained, and how do they challenge that detainment if they think they are not guilty?

  10. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Presenting: The Continuous State of Emergency...!

    Did you know that the USA has been in "State of Emergency" for over 35 years?

    And there are plenty more examples of states with on-going "emergencies"

    To quote George Orwell "It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going well or badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist." - 1984

    1. TimeMaster T

      Re: Presenting: The Continuous State of Emergency...!

      what do you mean 35 years?

      We've always been at war with Eurasia and Eastasia

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All flags are false.

  12. earl grey

    slippery slope

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: slippery slope

      Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

      Pretty words, and doubtless a noble sentiment. Perhaps you might like to come up with some alternative way of dealing with the terrorist problem?

      I cannot speak for others but to me the freedom not to be killed by a religious fanatic pushes other freedoms down the priority list.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: slippery slope

        Your chances of being killed by anyone, let alone a religious fanatic, in a European country is so small as to be negligible. Far less than the chance of any given individual being killed in a country which is having Freedom(TM) brought to it by Europe and the EU. I'm still more afraid of governmental actions than da'esh or Al Quaeda.

      2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: slippery slope

        That is a good argument for arming a politician with an inhumane law draughted by a military adviser who loves the idea of a police state?

        Please bear in mind that there is no such thing as a "police state" there is a condition known as peace and the alternative is war, when war is declared all effort to get peace is terminated with prejudice, at least, if the war is to be successfully prosecuted.

        The problem is that you are restricted to "police actions" if there is no country to war with. So we are facing another Korea or Vietnam... umm... Iraq and Afghanistan....

        The French saw another Indo China situation under Chirac and Sarkosy and bowed out amid acrimony from GOP. (Sarkosy called Islam "one of the greatest and most beautiful civilizations the world has known".)

        Would it not be better to examine why anyone would want to start a war with France the day after the Americans announced they killed an English maniac?

      3. Roj Blake

        Re: slippery slope

        "Pretty words, and doubtless a noble sentiment. Perhaps you might like to come up with some alternative way of dealing with the terrorist problem?

        "I cannot speak for others but to me the freedom not to be killed by a religious fanatic pushes other freedoms down the priority list."

        If you're a UK citizen, you're more likely to be killed by air pollution than by a terrorist.

        You're more likely to die on the roads than be killed by a terrorist.

        You're more likely to be killed by a family member than by a terrorist.

        You're more likely to die in police custody than be killed by a terrorist.

        The risk of being killed by a terrorist is infinitesimally small. Who says that we need to come up with a solution to it before we come up with solutions to the things above?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's pretty obvious

    ...that the carnage in Paris was preventable had nations worked together and shared intelligence from electronic communications. When are people going to wake up to the reality of the digital generation?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: It's pretty obvious

      It is my opinion that all the evidence was there, and that it wasn't acted on. So, what was your point about the digital generation?

  14. Amorous Cowherder

    This is exactly what will happen, the politicians will ride the coattails of the Paris tragedy. Camer-moron and May are already using the Paris attacks to get the latest version of the snoopers charter through.

    Who will oppose them, they'll simply trot out some line, "If you're not with us, you're against us and supporting those who killed our countrymen.", no one wants to have their name smeared all over the gutter press as a supposed terrorist sympathizer.

  15. Hellcat

    To be honest, having a time limit is something I'd like to see in the legislation heading through the UK parliament more. Sure, have greater powers now while we face a genuine threat. But when we're through, and I honestly believe we must get through or the world won't be worth living in, then I'd like back our privacy thankyou very much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Hellcat

      "...having a time limit is something I'd like to see..."

      Didn't you get the memo? Tony Blair et al. got us into an endless war. The emphasis being on the endless. The same will apply to their "special measures".

      "But when we're through, and I honestly believe we must get through or the world won't be worth living in...",

      Dangerous talk that these days. Will get you on a watch list ;)

      "...then I'd like back our privacy thank you very much."

      Only terrorists / terrorist sympathisers value privacy. According to call-me-Dave.

  16. Chris G Silver badge

    Two out of three ain't.........good!

    If Liberte is out of the window then Fraternite is too, being a member of any kind of Brotherhood will likely get you labeled as a terrorist.

    That leaves Egalite, at least everyone will be treated the same, as potential terrorists with no rights.

    It seems to me that while Western countries are worrying about stopping terrorists from without coming in, some of the biggest threats to the way of life of those countrie's peoples are the ones making the laws.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: Two out of three ain't.........good!

      Hey! France is batting 1 for 3. If this was baseball they'd be headed for the Hall of Fame!

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: Two out of three ain't.........cricket!

        Is that knocking them for 6 or ducks?

        I am not familiar with rounders.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 months down the line...

    state of emergency lifted, while the internet "measures"...

  18. Dr_N Silver badge

    France: How it works...

    France is probably one of the least liberal countries in Europe when it comes to policing.

    The Gendarmerie is a branch of the military, not the civil police force.

    The state-of-emergency powers my be shocking to Anglo-Saxons but no one here is batting an eyelid.

    And some of the said powers make sense. e.g. allowing the police to carry out raids before 6AM which is normally not allowed under French law. (And currently no need for the equivalent of a warrant either.)

    I think it's pretty clear what kind of tactics are being brought to bear given that over 5000 rounds of ammunition and grenades were used in the Saint Denis raid.

    Web restrictions and censorship? Pfft. That's the least of it!

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Re: France: How it works...

      ammunition for 50 soldiers was 5000 bullets is only standard issue in the pre-automatic rifle days.

      50soliers should have been able to contain it easily. But it sounds like everyone panicked and are caught up with the magic.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Temporary" like the USA Patriot Act

    Who wants to lay odds on the state of emergency (or at least the powers they're getting as a result of it) lasting only three months. The Patriot Act was supposed to be temporary too, but the congress keeps extending it with only a few voices of sanity calling for it to finally sunset.

    Funny how it is the right wingers (the ones who preach "small government") that want the government to keep all this extra power. Apparently the government is way too incompetent to regulate or handle anything itself from health care to national parks, but are magically on the ball when it comes to security. All the money being fed to Homeland Security, the DoD, the TSA and so forth is apparently being so well spent we need to keep giving them more every year!

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: Re. "Temporary" like the USA Patriot Act

      Ooooh AC... you so clever!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re. "Temporary" like the USA Patriot Act

      What we really need is some restrictions on anyone buying strong acids etc, maybe a training course on safe handling etc which expires after three years like the safe pesticide handling courses.

      As it stands any random muppet can buy drain cleaner and lye, mix them together and do serious damage to themselves because they don't know any better.

  21. Tubz

    On the night of Feb. 27, 1933 the Reichstag building was set on fire. At the urging of Hitler, Hindenburg responded the next day by issuing an emergency decree “for the Protection of the people and the State,” which stated: “Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.”

    France has now on a slippery slope and the UKGov is desperate to follow !

  22. DanceMan

    "Just Watch Me"

    UK and USA commentards may wish to read up on the October Crisis in Canada in 1970. I don't think the invoking of the War Measures Act or the arrest of hundreds of political activists had anything to do with the resolution of this killing and kidnapping.

    Did all the surveillance and invasion of privacy prevent this killing in France? It seems that it helped to the degree that the authorities were quickly able to identify these people and knew where to look and find most of them. But prevent it?

    I think the real answer is twofold:

    Bite the bullet in the Mid-East. Why is it only now that the oil wells/refineries financing ISIS are being attacked (bombed -- by the Russians)? I know all the good reasons against boots on the ground. How has that worked so far?

    Deal with the disaffected locally. In Canada the guy who attacked the parliament buildings was a troubled soul who asked for help while in court in Vancouver. He got none.

  23. TimeMaster T
    Mushroom

    Two words

    Reichstag fire.

    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, with the same consequences.

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