France One Step Closer to Net Filtering

Lawmakers in France have approved the draft of a law that would enable ISP-level Internet filtering.

Dubbed the Loppsi II bill, the measure passed a National Assembly vote in a count of 312 to 214 reports the Good Gear Guide. The bill will next be read in the Senate, which could be its final reading if no amendments are introduced, as the government has pinned an “urgent” tag on the bill.

Among the bill’s Internet measures are provisions to make online identity theft a crime and allow police to tap Net connections, in addition to allowing authorities to order ISPs to filter Internet connections to remove child pornography materials.

Critics of the bill are concerned that any Internet filtering could lead to more widespread government induced censorship online.

Other parts of the bill deal with “boosting the amount the police spend on ‘security,’ multiplying penalties for counterfeiting checks or credit cards, increasing use of CCTV cameras, extending access to the police national DNA database and authorizing the seizure of vehicles driven without a license.”

It’s estimated that the filtering technology would cost France €140 million (approximately $190.0 million U.S.)and would be “largely ineffective” against the distribution of child pornography, which experts say is done via P2P networks.

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