A Council, set up by President Nicholas Sarkozy himself, has criticized a plan verbalized by the executive to punish visitors to websites deemed “extreme”. The National Digital Council (CNNum) Was set up to advise the government on matters of e-commerce and other electronic areas. The council released a statement aimed at President Sarkozy’s proposed policy of punishing frequent visitors to sites that the government saw as extreme. The statement pointed out some difficulties with the process including identifying a single private user as a repeated user and the right of certain groups, academics are cited, to visit these sites regularly as part of their profession. The legislation is likely to be a tricky piece of code to get through after the statement.
It is not the first time the National Digital Council has put an obstacle in the way of Sarkozy’s censorship attempts. Last year an initiative that would have seen online advertisements face a direct tax was almost unsupportable after the council’s predictions on the effect it would have had in Frances digital economy. Such a move may not be completely off the cards though as struggling European nations strive to find new sources of revenue and see the e-commerce sector, the retail sector with the greatest growth, as their hope in securing new revenue streams.
CNNum are a council under the French Minister for the digital economy is given the responsibility of advising the government on any policy that may have an effect on the country’s digital economy. The group was set up in April of last year and has responsibilities in the digital sphere ranging from advisory statement on legislation, to recommendations on future legislation as well as an educational imperative in relation to the digital economy. The cousel includes luminaries such as Giuseppe de Martino, Dailymotion.com’s head of Public affairs.
Legislation regulating user’s experience of the internet has become increasingly popular among legislators and increasingly unpopular among users themselves. 2011-2012 marked the first time Western governments have attempted to put heavy restrictions on their citizen’s usage of the internet. The moves, most notably SOPA, and PIPA in the Unied States and ACTA in Europe, were hit hard by international campaigns to protest the moves. Censorship on the internet is anathema to a generation that has grown up with almost complete freedom in their experiences on line. It will be difficult for legislators to turn them around, even when dealing with censorship of dangerous extremist groups.