back to article France mulls tighter noose around crypto

France's state of emergency could lead to blocks on encrypted Internet connections and a ban on public Wi-Fi networks, if proposals put to the government go ahead. According to Le Monde, the (in French) extension of the state of emergency could also stretch to requiring all rental cars to carry GPS, expansion of public video …

  1. b0llchit
    Flame

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité

    Let us demolish the first, so we can get to the others more easily. There will not even pass 5 seconds before the new laws are used to suppress dissent, and égalité will be demolished. Once we have taken care of the first two, we do no longer need to think of the brotherhood of humanity, as anyone non-compliant will have to wear a mark or is deported.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité

      I do not like Putin even on his best days, but I have to admit - his reaction to terrorist atrocities on a much larger scale (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budyonnovsk_hospital_hostage_crisis, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_theater_hostage_crisis, the Rostov-na-Don bus hijacks, the Moscow subway bombings, etc) was nowhere near as knee jerk as this.

      It is difficult to understand how after in earnest considering this, we still have the hubris to try to teach the rest of the world on how democracy should look like.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité

        I really hate to sound conspiracist, but this is not about preventing terrorism. None of the overreaching powers they already have did anything and some, if not all, of the suspects were already known to them. No, this is about control and taxation. You need mass surveillance for both of those.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité

      I think fragilité is the new shorthand...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité

      Do as I say, not as I do.

      When Russia introduced mandatory sniffers on ISP networks in the late 90-es we financed them being dragged in front of the ECHR by their "independent" (quotes intended) human rights opposition. We orchestrated a massive choir of howler monkeys consisting of all the usual suspects on how undemocratic this is.

      So, what are we doing now?

      When China introduced a regime of mandatory identification of all internet users and requirement for any users of WiFi hotspots and internet cafes to be personally identifiable the same choir of howler monkeys screamed their arse off in papers and on the airwaves.

      So what are we doing now?

      We now are going way beyond Russia, which has seen atrocities like Buyonovks, Nord-Ost and most of all Beslan compared to which Paris is a boy-scout exercise. We are going beyond China, beyond East Germany and Stazi and Beyond Romania and Securitate. Even Himmler and Borman are probably spinning in their graves green with envy.

      So where is the fecking choir of howler monkeys? Why the feck I do not hear you? LOWDER!!! LOWDER!!! Not brave enough or what?

    4. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité

      Liberté, égalité, fraternité

      said no-one in power, ever.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité

      Please don't judge the French too harshly; their Sisyphean struggle is the struggle of us all.

      The only way for an authority structure to delay extinction is to become more authoritarian, there is no equilibrium. But authoritarianism only delays the inevitable; the womb for all authority is the ashes of its predecessor.

      As necessary as fire is for the forest to be reborn anew, so is war for sustainment of human civilization.

  2. DropBear Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "According to Le Monde, the (in French) extension of the state of emergency could also stretch to requiring all rental cars to carry GPS, expansion of public video surveillance, two-year telecommunications data retention, and approval for police to use IMSI-catchers (like the Stingray devices used in America)."

    Okay, that's it. It's official. FUCK France.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Yeah, how dare they copy the US.

  3. Rabbit80

    Open source?

    Surely, these proposals will just change the apps used by criminals to a multitude of open source alternatives that are easily checked for backdoors? VPN connections, TOR and open source end-to-end encryption will become commonplace and tracking the crims will become even harder.

    The terrorists in the Paris attacks were already known and used SMS, but still were not stopped. Greater surveillance just means more data to sift through, that it will be harder to decrypt and the criminals will get smarter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Open source?

      Yep, these proposals read like the security kids' Xmas wishlist: everything we've ever thought of, not necessarily sorted in order of helpfulness. Take GPS trackers on rental cars: if the terrorists use a rental vs their many other options AND if we know who they are in advance AND if we detect their use of a rental in time AND despite that we have no other way of tracking them (license plate recognition, plant a bug, tail vehicle) AND if the terrorists don't know already about this technology so don't take steps to frustrate it AND if the vehicle is somewhere with adequate GPS rather than urban canyon, multi-story carpark, etc THEN this will totally save the day. Trouble is that if you let me nest the if statements deeply enough then I can come up with a what-if scenario to justify almost any requirement. Ompah-band music in all elevators? Well if the terrorist mastermind has tinnitus from earlier IED accidents AND if thanks to technology sanctions against Iran his hearing aid has a crap low-pass filter AND if to avoid surveillance he hands over bombs in mall elevators AND if ...

      What they really should do is mandate RFC3514 - once terrorists consistently set the evil bit the job will become a lot easier.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Open source? @Mongo

        "... these proposals read like the security kids' Xmas wishlist ..."

        Yep. If these "terrorists" didn't exist, someone would have to invent them - oh, wait ...

      2. g e

        Tracked rentals?

        To be honest I'd have thought their insurance co would want trackers on them. Perhaps they're not permanently active, though, dunno how the consumer ones work.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Open source?

      "Surely, these proposals will just change the apps used by criminals to a multitude of open source alternatives that are easily checked for backdoors?"

      Eventually someone will notice they forgot to add "ban open source software" to the list. That wouldn't stop criminals from using it of course, but that doesn't appear to be the point.

  4. zanshin
    FAIL

    Colossal ignorance

    All they're going to do is surveil ordinary people who most likely have nothing sinister going on, while halfway-intelligent criminals and/or terrorists will simply use software the state does not control.

    Sure, such measures may allow them to pluck some low-hanging fruit in the form of catching on to boneheads who have poor understanding of technology or operational security. But is that really worth such whole-sale risks to civil liberty? While the really scary people laugh and carry on?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Colossal ignorance

      That's just the first step to banning any and all encryption, full stop. That way, anyone who tries sticks out like a sore thumb. Even stego has its limits if you force all data to go through filtering firewalls that scrub whitespace, correct spelling errors, and crunch down images and video to scrub stego in them.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Colossal ignorance

      Didn't you know that if it is hard to find a small number in big amount, then it is easier to find the same small number in a bigger amount? It's obviously true because governments say so.

      {That's sarcastic, by the way. There are too many irony deficient people on here on a Monday morning :-) )

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: Colossal ignorance

        I thought everyone knew this...1 chance in a thousand means 999 failures but a million to one happens nine times out of ten*

        *Many thanks for everything Sir Pterry

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Colossal ignorance

      I think they're not stupid (the authorities). They KNOW they can't increase their chances of catching the bad guys by any means, BUT they also know they need to show the public (aka voters) they do SOMETHING. So they might just as well show as doing this "something", and go on a shopping spree...

    4. dogged

      Re: Colossal ignorance

      > halfway-intelligent criminals and/or terrorists will simply use software the state does not control.

      Halfway intelligent criminals and/or terrorists avoid software.

  5. MrDamage
    Facepalm

    WW1 & WW2 all over again.

    They stood up bravely after the first attack on Charlie Hebdo, and now they have been attacked a second time, they've reverted back to cheese eating surrender monkeys.

    They're not surrendering to any religious, or political foe, but the politburo is demanding innocent civilians surrendering their privacy and liberty.

    Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em right in the ear.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: WW1 & WW2 all over again.

      Bravery is usually inversely proportional to the time to the next elections.

      As it's the second round of the French regional elections next Sunday, France's government is in full chicken mode.

    2. dogged

      Re: WW1 & WW2 all over again.

      > cheese eating surrender monkeys.

      Anyone who believes this for even a microsecond knows absolutely NOTHING about the French.

      Here's the true story - some of them are basically fascists and will always support government strongarming, even if it's a Vichy government. Some of them will always, always fight that shit to the bitter end. The rest keep their heads down and craftily support the second bunch as hard as they can without getting themselves arrested or shot.

      The French have form for this from way, way back. They'll fight. I guarantee it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    do your part

    In their scramble to counter a few Islamists, they will create enemies out of their own people.

    Encourage encryption and the spread of darknets.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's not going to be great for hotels...

    Wifi connections in hotels... nope sorry, not any more.

    Maybe the few hotels that have their act together for managing wifi might make it work (eg individual user accounts), but that seems to be about 2% of hotels. The rest have staff that don't know how to manage their own wifi, so this law will either get ignored or the wifi will be switched off.

    Might be a good time to start a hotel wifi provisioning business, to upgrade hotels with compliant wifi and a point-and-click interface for the hotel staff. :D

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Technical ignorance at its best (worst)?

    So, does "shared connections" include NAT, and in particular, carrier grade NAT that ISPs seem to find so popular these days?

    Since they're banning encryption (geez, that worked so well for the ITU decades ago), how long do you think it'll take before world+dog can see where every rental car in France is in real-time, or spoof where cars are located? (I'll bet they won't bother cryptographically signing the telemetry either.)

    Blackhats must be wetting themselves in excitement.

    1. dogged

      Re: Technical ignorance at its best (worst)?

      > So, does "shared connections" include NAT, and in particular, carrier grade NAT that ISPs seem to find so popular these days?

      Since the idea is to make every user identifiable by IP address, I'm going with a strong "yes". Hence the imminent collapse of all French government IT systems.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    So, ban all cryptography. That includes WPA on wireless connections. There's not much point in pulling the plug on "public" access points if you're going to make all access points effectively public. Or is all wireless networking to be illegal?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      …and so many "ultrabook" laptops these days lack Ethernet ports, as do the vast majority of cellular mobile phones and tablets.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try this again

    Alpha test was the Americans, beta will be the French, .... "Call me Dave" must be wetting himself with excitement! Proven and road-tested (as in The Road To Serfdom) someone else's dime and time. Also "Only Net" that the little problem of refugees in Calais will also fall to the French.

    On the flip side, playing games with the French intelligence agencies could be worth your life, dear Blackhats. Ask Greenpeace about the reach of the DGSE. If I had suicidal tendencies, then yeah.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do not live in France (though I have family ties there) but here in Australia I pass by a dozen or more cameras between my house and the train station, another dozen at the station and more still watch me on the platform. As get in the doors, another camera, and as I sit down, two more.

    30 at least track me as I get off in the city and easily 20 observe the five minute walk from there to my office.

    It makes by depressed.

    One day someone is going to understand that for many people privacy is a fundamental part of their mental well-being and treating everyone like potential threats all the time, everywhere they go and in everything they do, reduces the health and standard of life of the whole country.

    Last Thursday I decided to tally the cameras that I walked past on the daily commute described above - going in the other direction. I literally lost count.

    It may be more indicative of my mental health than anything else but by the time I got home I was wet-eyed and genuinely considering taking my own life. As a side note, I decided that it was probably time to start taking my medication again but even today I sit here again with that feeling again. It is not an exaggeration to say that this situation I find myself in every day is one that makes my life more unhappy.

    Our 'modern' Western societies have become something that is just so fundamentally opposed to something I hold to be of vital importance to my happiness: the ability to retain my privacy and, so far as is possible, my anonymity. That these things are forcibly taken from me simply in the act of living threatens to overwhelm what little strength I have left.

    Marcus Aurelius - taking from Epicurus - said in his Meditations that no pain is both unbearable and unending: if it is unbearable then it ends us. This extends to pains of the mind as well and is seen when the simple act of living becomes so distressing, so joyless and so without reprieve that it is unable to be borne any longer and so makes an end of us.

    1. Cari

      Oh anon :( *hugs* It's a cliché, but please do talk to someone about your current state of mind, and if they've worked for you in the past definitely start those meds again (she says, unable to find her own, lol...)

      I don't know you, but your post hit me "right in the feels" as it were, and what you've posted is concerning.

      You make a really good point here too, one I had yet to see even considered in the discussion on surveillance and privacy.

      It isn't great being treated the same as people who do bad things, or as if you could suddenly start doing bad things, when you know you're a good person. It's lazy and careless on the part of the people who claim to be protecting us, and is counterproductive in the sense that tarring all with the same brush belittles the damage the criminals & terrorists do.

      We can shrug off the obvious insult for only so long before it starts to dig away at us, because our own knowledge of our innocence and goodness can only do so much.

      You are not a criminal and you don't deserve to be treated by the powers that be as if you are one, all in the name of The Greater Good.

      To be perfectly honest, The Greater Good can get fucked.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But when the bad guys aren't obvious until it's too late and many are dead, you basically HAVE to live in paranoia; otherwise, you get caught with your guard down and you're dead. And the damage these ticking time bombs can inflict will only increase with time. Hyper-awareness is actually the norm for many animals; otherwise, they get eaten.

        1. dogged

          Oh, piss off AC.

          When the "bad guys" are nonobvious then you treat them like every other nonobvious threat of similar probability. Which means, in the case of terrorism, that you ignore it exactly the way you ignore the risk of your wardrobe killing you (which is statistically higher).

          Unless you're some kind of incurable neurotic coward.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            No, I will not. Terrorists are like airliner crashes. Sure, the odds are low, but when an airliner goes wrong, it tends to go wrong BADLY. In other words, low incidence, but high consequence. 20 years ago, three guys killed 160+ with a rent-a-truck and homemade ANFO. 14 years ago, some 20 guys killed 3,000 in a single morning. How much worse do you think things will get as the genie of knowledge increasingly escapes its bottle? And note there are increasing numbers of people for whom MAD is a winning scenario.

            1. dogged

              The whole point of terrorism is to change how people behave and react.

              If you do anything other than simply treat incidences as the crimes they are - yes, we don't need new laws, all this terrorism stuff is already illegal - you lose. Because they made you afraid.

              I am not afraid.

            2. Two Lips
              FAIL

              @AC: 20 years ago, three guys killed 160+, 14 years ago, some 20 guys killed 3,000...

              And there were others.

              On the other hand domestic gun crime in the US in ONE YEAR outnumbers the total killed by all terrorists. Do you see any slow down in their gun death related figures? The opposite is the case. Dramatically, and yet there is no sign of any decent gun control in that country.

              Road traffic deaths in every country outnumber all of these statistics, yet we are not banning cars, in fact we are not changing laws as they were sufficient in the first place. Driver education is the way to go.

              In the case of terrorists, education is the best solution to the home-grown types, and decent foreign policy is the best solution to foreign-grown. Changing laws and making enemies of the entire citizenry will only lead to one thing for certain, and French history is steeped in it.

            3. SImon Hobson Silver badge

              > Terrorists are like airliner crashes. Sure, the odds are low, but when an airliner goes wrong, it tends to go wrong BADLY

              And they make the headlines, not because of the numbers of casualties, but because of it's "unusuality". Ie plane crashes make the news because they are uncommon, terrorist events make the news because they are uncommon.

              The car crashes (note the plural) every day generally don't make the national news unless they are particularly newsworthy (involve a "celebrity" or an unusually large number of people, or involve children) simply because they aren't really that newsworthy - they happen every day.

              > 20 years ago, three guys killed 160+ with a rent-a-truck and homemade ANFO. 14 years ago, some 20 guys killed 3,000 in a single morning

              So you have to go back "lots of years" in order to get large numbers. More recently, the US had it's own awakening moment with their 9/11 attacks when a few thousand died. Yes I know it's easy to write that "only" a few thousand died, but I'm not trying to belittle the impact of each of those deaths on their friends and families. But what are the average figures for deaths on US roads per year ? I think the numbers are similar - in the UK I believe it's around 3000/year killed on the roads.

              There's a similar effect in most areas of life. Take electricity supplies for example. Some people like to harp on about how "safe" renewables like wind and hydro are, and how "dangerous" nuclear is. But look at the real figures and nuclear is actually quite safe - with actually at least (if not more) harm caused by over-zealous "we must be seen to be doing something" reactions from officials. Look at Fukashima for example, people love to link to the videos of gas explosions blowing the cladding off the building - and calling them "nuclear" explosions. Yes hardly anyone has been, or is likely to be, harmed by anything "nuclear". People overlook the terrible fact that around 20,000 people died in the tsunami which left huge areas contaminated with raw sewage, chemicals, oils, rotting animals and human body parts, and ... And in the "must be seen to be doing something", officials still keep large areas closed off "because - it's nukular innit" in spite of the fact that the harm of keeping people from where they consider home is almost certainly significantly higher than the potential harm from "nuclear".

              And then look at the figures for renewables. People like to point out how "safe" renewables are - yet lookup Banqiao Reservoir Dam and you'll find that it's failure (together with some others in the same area at the same time) caused an estimates 171,000 deaths - yes that's one hundred and seventy one thousand deaths. That's just one incident.

              The problem is that people have been conditioned - deliberately by those with an axe to grind - to believe that "nuclear == mushroom clouds" and "renewables == as cuddly as your kid flying a kite on the beach". And their attitude to risk is significantly modified by these "beliefs".

              The same holds for terrorism. When anything "terrorist" happens - it's splashed across the global media out of all proportion. The media do it simply because "it sells papers/airtime", but IMO such large scale coverage is aiding the terrorists by pushing a distorted view of the risk. Since the Paris attack, there's been the view cultured that (for example) going to a concert or sports match is "risky" - and of course the state authorities would like people to believe that because it means they can sell you protection from that risk.

              But go and lookup some statistics - I don't have the time right now, though some are easy to find. I can recall a few incidences of non-terrorist events that have caused considerably larger numbers of casualties. Whether it's crown mismanagement that leads to crushing (the truth now coming out about Hillsborough, 98 deaths, 766 injuries), stadium seating collapsing, building roofs collapsing, walls falling on crowds (Heysel, 39 killed, 600 injured), stages collapsing (Indiana State Fair, 7 killed, 58 injured). And not to miss out the recent deaths at Mecca (over 700 killed).

              So that puts terrorist murders (for that is what we should really call them) into something of a perspective.

              TL;DR version. These proposals are a knee jerk "we must be seen to be doing something" response to what is actually a minor problem when compared to everything else we should be bothered about. If we accept the logic in doing this, then we are aiding the terrorists and admitting defeat - giving them exactly what they want which is to change the way we live at their beckoning. To be perfectly honest, the sort of world where terrorism is "solved" by such measures isn't the sort of world I'd want to live in. I'm sure there was no terrorism in "1984", and I don't recall any in "V" either. I recommend watching the latter and looking for the parallels with where things are currently heading.

        2. Cari

          @AC#2

          "you basically HAVE to live in paranoia"

          If that's how you're (not) living your life right now, terrorism is the least of your problems.

          We are not animals. We are human beings, and in our human communities there are people paid to be hyper aware of the big dangers around us, so the rest of us can keep the country functional and go about our business freely & without fear. They do that without sifting through a huge amount of trash data from the world's cctv cameras too. Those come after the fact, save for traffic cameras.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          A/C, I don't know what your experience is of dealing with terrorism but mine amounts to 19 years living in N Ireland from the late 60s to the mid 80s and most of that time working in forensic science so I think I can claim it to be substantial.

          Firstly, one adapts. The casualties were a tiny minority of the population. One realised the odds were vastly, overwhelmingly in one's favour - even in the face of a couple of incidents which could have turned out badly.

          Secondly, what this over-reaction amounts to is the French government treating the entire French population as bad guys. That cannot be right. If my experience taught me anything it is that the presumption of innocence is a fundamental requirement of a free and civilised society. It's the terrorists who take the opposite view; they must be resisted and adopting their standards is not the way to resist them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Northern Ireland (mainly a territorial dispute local to that land) is a far cry from religiously-crazed madmen who have vowed to rule the world or destroy it trying by Allah's will. Plus technology has advanced quite a bit in the intervening 30 years plus. It's as the saying goes: nice guys finish last.

            PS. Just because we're human doesn't mean we're not animals. We're not Vulcans. Our emotions can override our reason whether we want to or not. Don't believe me? Then explain why nearly every election is won not by appealing to the brain but by appealing to the gut.

            1. Cari

              @Secret Service Intern

              Don't believe me? Then explain why nearly every election is won not by appealing to the brain but by appealing to the gut.

              Elections are won by appealing to the tribalism of the few and relying on their mindless team loyalty, while ignoring the majority that don't want any of the arseholes running the country.

              And "local territorial dispute"? Get out. That "local territorial dispute" resulted in over 3,500 deaths.

              NI, Britain, & Ireland are just one example of countries in Europe that have experienced non-Islamic (oh shit, am I allowed to call it that??) terrorism.

              Idk where you're from, but we're definitely no strangers to it in Europe. Hell, in the UK we've been celebrating the foiling of one particularly famous terrorist plot for the last 410 years.

              We handled it just fine without the endless scaremongering, privacy invasion, and erosion of our freedoms before 9/11. We will do just fine again once our governments, intelligence and secret services, police etc. get off their arses and do something instead of waiting for the needle to drop out of the growing haystack.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              "Northern Ireland (mainly a territorial dispute local to that land) is a far cry from religiously-crazed madmen"

              Thanks for explaining that to me. I must have been standing a bit too close to notice that they weren't religiously-crazed madmen.

        4. Mark 85 Silver badge

          , you basically HAVE to live in paranoia; otherwise, you get caught with your guard down and you're dead.

          I suggest you stay in your house, and make sure it's a bunker. Even walking outside and trying to cross the street can kill you. The odds being higher on that then terrorists.

          A wise man once said, "those who are afraid to die, have never really lived". Be aware of the risks and enjoy the time you have. No one gets out of this life alive.

        5. dan1980

          @AC the second.

          "Hyper-awareness is actually the norm for many animals; otherwise, they get eaten."

          Yes, animals.

          And yes otherwise they get eaten.

          So if an inference that hyper-awareness is justified in humans depends on the aptness of the analogy (that animals must be that way or else they are eaten) then the strength of the argument is reliant on showing that humans face a comparable level of threat as do animals.

          We both agree that we should be conscious of the dangers but where we differ is in the degree to which we should address those dangers. You imply that we must be "hyper aware" and that we "HAVE to live in paranoia".

          Part of my belief that we, as humans, don't have to react as animals do is that, well, we don't have to; we have a, so far as we know, a unique ability to think further, beyond the consequences immediately facing us and to the consequences for the whole community.

          Another part is that we simply don't face the same level of threat "get[ting] eaten" as many animals do. We don't have to worry constantly for our lives when we are out eating, as a zebra on a savannah does, or that a meerkat does on the prairie.

          We, as humans have a choice in how to react. We have a choice to think beyond ourselves and a choice not to give in to fear and paranoia; to not view every other human as a potential threat to be scrutinised and assessed and guarded against.

          But that choice is also a responsibility - to each other - to use that choice to make the world better rather than worse. Being afraid is not a weakness in itself and you are free to make that choice privately and act accordingly, locking yourself up indoors, being ever ready for the attack to come. But don't insist that I should have my life scrutinised and recorded because you are scared that someone might harm you.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Yes, we ARE still animals.

            And in our case, if not eaten, then exploited, raped, murdered for our loose change, and so on.

            "Part of my belief that we, as humans, don't have to react as animals do is that, well, we don't have to; we have a, so far as we know, a unique ability to think further, beyond the consequences immediately facing us and to the consequences for the whole community."

            Frankly, we'll just have to agree to disagree because, unlike you, I'm pessimistic about the entire human race. I get the feeling we're like the rambunctious teenager who just got the keys to the Ferrari on Friday night and lacking a care in the world. The point is, while we have the capacity to think higher, most of us don't want to. We're like teenagers partying on our parents' credit cards and they just haven't come home yet.

            "We, as humans have a choice in how to react. We have a choice to think beyond ourselves and a choice not to give in to fear and paranoia; to not view every other human as a potential threat to be scrutinised and assessed and guarded against."

            But many of us don't. Given the choice between us and them, 7 times out of 10 we pick us. Put us in a crisis or perceived crisis and it becomes at least 9 out of 10. When the game isn't zero-sum, we find the capacity to care because it's no skin off our nose. But make the game zero-sum, and "It's all about me," literally: I live, you don't. And for many people around the world, the game really is to them zero-sum. Either they win or they die, in which case all bets are off. And the big advantage the crazy has over the civilized man is that the crazy can think outside the civilized man's comfort zone and is willing to hide in the places the civilized man wouldn't dare to go. How do you defeat a man with no scruples without yourself losing your scruples and becoming the monster yourself?

  13. Your alien overlord - fear me

    We mock Kazakstan and North Korea but the rest of the world seems to be following them.

    What happens when the terrorists use letters? Are govts going to start opening everyones mail as well?

    As for banning encryption. Do you mass block countries IP address space if they also don't ban encryption? What if half the terrorists go to Belgium and the other half goto Germany how will France spy on them whilst they're plotting their new target?

    So to sum up, the terrorists have won. Civil liberties and basic human rights are being eroded by our own govts whilst the cyber intelligence agencies do nothing but hack celebrity p0rn with no judical oversight.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Too many times has a politcal discussion with an American ended with "...at least we're not as bad as North Korea."

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        We're going to have to change that to "We're not as bad as France, yet."

        Seems they're setting a standard which I'm sure the rest of the so-called "free world" will soon follow.

        The only thing that will really come of all this is that "after the fact", the spooks will know who did what, where they've been, and who they have commnunicated with. Not much different then now except to make the entire population paranoid.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What happens when the terrorists use letters?

      well, I bet they do, and I bet the "services" break a law or two by opening letters in general.

      ...

      wot, are you saying they DON'T BREAK THE LAW, cause it's like... a no-no?! Oh dear, I must have watched too many D-movies...

    3. NotBob

      "What happens when the terrorists use letters? Are govts going to start opening everyones mail as well?"

      Wouldn't be the first time government intelligence services opened mail...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Try since, and during, the Revolutionary War.

  14. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    Bravo France!

    You've managed to convert another tragedy into another MAJOR FUCKING VICTORY for the terrorists!

    And, even better, it looks like you've just given your version of the National Front the biggest share of the vote in your elections!

    Je Suis un Idiot!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Bravo France!

      ISIS says: "Just as planned"

    2. Cari

      Re: Bravo France!

      To be fair, their post-9/11 British neighbour has been setting a great example this last decade or so.

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Marginal Intellect Re: Bravo France!

      "......another MAJOR FUCKING VICTORY for the terrorists!...." Oh yes, because the authorities having more powers to find and arrest those local nutters seeking radical Islamist material or communicating with other known nutters, that is so going to help ISIS?

      ".....National Front....." Ah, so that's what you're really upset about, that one of the bastions of socialist group-think is about to go rogue, and won't that piss all over the Great European Dream! LOL!

      Calm down and loosen the tinfoil. France is too deeply afflicted with the socialist malaise to go more than one term with the Right in power, they'll soon be back bleating the EU line in a few years. Of course, don't stop to ask yourself how all that liberte, equalite and whatever jingoism left Paris wide open to attack....

  15. scrubber
    Big Brother

    Can we now all agree that it's clearly [all been] about finding out what communication methods were used AFTER the fact in order to ban/intercept those when used by Jaques Bloggs rather than any sane attempt to stop 'bad things' happening in the first place?

  16. David Roberts Silver badge
    WTF?

    Tie IP address to an individual?

    Next week there will be a selective repeal of gravity so all the bad people float off into space.

    As already suggested, the prevention of sharing of an IP address is technically virtually impossible . I suppose that if ALL Internet connected devices were tied to an individual by only being active after detailed genetic sampling, repeated every 30 seconds, then there might be a significant chance that the device and the allocated IP address could be tied to that individual (apart from twins) but this does present a minor technical challenge with respect to existing devices.

    There may also be some issues with rental vehicles crossing borders and suddenly needing GPS. Or just steal a car.

    All in all just pre-Xmas stupidity.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Tie IP address to an individual?

      This would require the major carriers to properly implement IPv6 at the very least, and for every device to use it.

      Yeah, waving the crazy ban hammer is simpler.

      1. Denarius
        FAIL

        Re: Tie IP address to an individual?

        Finally someone has found a way to force IPV6 into general usage. Its not as if we can change any TCP/IP and MAC addresses. Oh, wait

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tie IP address to an individual?

      Part way towards the ideal of tying a user to a unique IIP address we have the "Advertising ID" as implemented by Windows 10. This is unique per user per device.

      Now if they can just get it made mandatory and always available for interrogation, then maybe they can get something like what they want.

      Prescient of Microsoft? Dunno, but I have the feeling that the demands of our governments in this area are so unachieveable with things as they are, that they will be forced to push for mandatory user IDs embedded in the OSs and browsers.

  17. beep54
    Meh

    Gattaca

    Oddly reminded of the film Gattaca (1975) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/combined

  18. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    Another ridiculous law that will fail, even if it passes

    I'm French, and not at all in agreement with this proposal of a law.

    I am sick and tired of governments the world over bending over to terrorists and shitting on their own Constitutions under the pretence of protecting the population. I am quite dismayed to see my own government trot eagerly in this direction as well, but not at all surprised.

    The French government has historically been allergic to encryption since forever. The issue with Lotus Notes and the 54-bit key length that the French government of the time imposed on the product is the most public issue I am aware of that demonstrates this.

    The good thing is that, although my lilly-livered government is hell bent on pushing this through as "necessary", it will end up on the same scrap heap as the aformentioned 54-bit Notes key - only it will happen faster because you cannot go against the tide for very long.

    So go ahead, Mr. President, make my country even more ridiculous. It'll pass, just like you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another ridiculous law that will fail, even if it passes

      Actually, for having had to deal myself with those crypto things in the pre-2000 era, this particular example was not France's fault.

      Lotus Notes was restricted, like a lot of others, to 40-bit then later 56-bit crypto (not 54, funky number, that), because the USA forbade the exportation of strong crypto.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Export_of_cryptography_from_the_United_States#PC_era

      Strong crypto in France pre-2005 (when the LCEN law was passed) was regulated, in that the algorithms needed to be declared and an authorization given.

      But crucially, there was no notion of key escrow, once authorized, strong crypto was strong crypto.

      And common suites like OpenSSL had been authorized, so a lot of software depending on it was actually able to use that strong crypto. Also, I've never heard of a case of anybody being prosecuted under the old law (anybody welcome to correct me with an example if I'm wrong!), while what is proposed now looks like a tool they're eager to put their hands on for a ride.

    2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Another ridiculous law that will fail, even if it passes

      Encryption ban and simultaneously ban on public WiFi? Does this mean any use of WiFi becomes illegal, or is it still permitted to use WiFi "protected" by WEP or similar shit non-encryption?

      My sad experience from having lived few years under martial law in Poland is that secret services benefit in many ways from taking your liberties away, and because of that they will push relentlessly. Surprisingly, it is not making it easier to identify and track extremists, just like making more hay does not make it any easier to find the needle. However, it is in making it easier to detain and interrogate just about anyone, because everyone has violated some laws. You don't have your personal ID while on the street? Come with me please. Forgot to fill the form 27B/6 when contracting home repairs? Tax authorities will now raid your account.

      "Give me the man and I will find the paragraph" is one lesson that Western governments have taken from Stalin.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another ridiculous law that will fail, even if it passes

        But then again, how do you know whether or not the haystack you're searching has the needle? Especially if the needle's nonferrous, meaning there's really only one way to be sure?

      2. Two Lips
        Coat

        Re: Another ridiculous law that will fail, even if it passes

        @Bronek: "Give me the man and I will find the paragraph" is one lesson that Western governments have taken from Stalin.

        Actually the original quote is from Cardinal Richelieu: "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him."

  19. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I think the icon

    says it all

    it will be a sad day for common sense, let alone civil liberties if this bill passes, even if it is only for the duration of a state of emergency

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I think the icon

      There's no way it's lasting for just the state of emergency. Some of the things mentioned will take years to roll out.

  20. Sir Alien

    Laws like this (implemented or mulled about)

    In my opinion laws like this are for pretty much two reasons and none of them are related to terrorism. Just think of this, would you have protests if you can stop the planning of protests from the start? Person (A) starts to think about gathering protesters, then person (A) suddenly is arrested.

    Another good thing (sarcasm) with banning encryption is that it makes the NSA's (and other spy agencies) jobs easier regarding industrial espionage. That nice French invention suddenly patented in America would go down nicely or vice versa. It would be industrial espionage at a grand scale.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Le Orwellian

    All this despite the fact the terrorist weren't using encryption ( https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2015/11/paris_terrorist.html )

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nice shopping list...

    all rental cars to carry GPS, expansion of public video surveillance, two-year telecommunications data retention, and approval for police to use IMSI-catchers (like the Stingray devices used in America).

    Champagne corks popping up, guess where :(

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know where this is going,

    Dear Citizen,

    Based on information we have on you (location/phone/message/internet/cctv) we are bringing you in for questioning (interrogation) because you stared at a poster too long and your actions match that of someone else who did something naughty once so we want to ensure you didn't have the same thoughts.

    Kind Regards,

    The Government.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      as an AC, I don't really care about downvotes but who actually downvoted my valid rational comment and please explain your reasons.

      Obviously you have nothing to hide unless they look under your mattress and find vhs copies of electric blue...

      Edit: Or maybe you watched tutti fruitti in the 90's? 'heiß' or 'kalt'?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        as an AC, I don't really care about downvotes but

        The First Rule of Fight Club... never mention votes...Rule 1a/ complaint about downvotes ensures immediate ban from Fight Club.

        The Second Rule of Fight Club... which AC comment are you referring to? This one (recursive)? cf. 2nd Rule of Fight Club.

        You know where this is going...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - 'why the downvote?'

        It is often a puzzle why some people downvote as they do, but demanding that they explain themselves seems to me to be not far removed from prescribing how people should think.

        We should all be free to think as we wish, so the puzzle should remain unsolved.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC - 'why the downvote?'

          Alas I was not prescribing how others should think I was just curious as to the way of thinking and yes you are correct that others are free to form their own opinions however as someone who rarely downvotes I was perturbed at the reason my clearly sarcastic with a hint of truth comment could be seen in a negative way.

          c'est la vie.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Happy

            Re: @AC - 'why the downvote?'

            Nah I wasn't accusing you - I often have the same puzzled thoughts. I guess it boils down to one thing - we're not all the same.

  24. BitDr

    France I would think

    Had learned something from the Nazi occupation of their country. Where would France, and indeed the rest of the (still) free world be today without free speech & privacy in communications. Did iron-fisted tactics work for the Nazis? Are they a long-term viable way of running nations?

    The worst thing we can do is to go down the road of neighbor spying on neighbor; suspecting everyone and trusting no one. The set of people who MIGHT commit a crime is much larger than the set of people who HAVE or ARE committing crimes. Police are meant to apprehend and investigate the latter, the former is the rest of the human race.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: France I would think

      But in the case of murder (or in the case of terrorists, mass-murder/suicide), after the fact is just too damn late. The perpetrator's already dead and so are many innocent civilians. And they demand answers.

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