TOR and public WI-FI not to be banned in France

Despite the French Ministry of Interior’s demands, France will not ban the TOR anonymity network or Free Public Wi-Fi as a way to help the law enforcement fight terrorism.

French Prime Minister Manual Valls has gone on record saying that a ban on free public Wi-Fi is “not a course of action envisaged,” and he is not in favor of banning the TOR anonymity network, either.

Following the deadly terror attacks on Paris last month, an internal document obtained by the French daily, Le Monde indicated that the French government wanted to block communications of TOR as well as ban the use of Free Public Wi-Fi during states of emergency in an effort to fight terrorism more efficiently.

However, according to the French PM, banning Encrypted Communications could affect the country’s economy and security.

“A ban of [free public] Wi-Fi is not a course of action envisaged [and never has been],” Valls said on Wednesday.

Neither is he in favor of banning the TOR network, which encrypts and re-routes user traffic through a network of volunteer-operated servers, masking the real identities of users.

“Internet is a Freedom, is an extraordinary means of communication between people, it is a benefit to the economy,”  Valls added. “It’s also a means for terrorists to communicate and spread their totalitarian ideology.”

Therefore, he said the police must take some measures to improve their fight against terrorism in light of recent Paris attacks, but whatever measures they take to combat terrorism “must be effective.”

Following the recent attacks in Paris lawmakers in the United States and Europe had called for new laws on technology, forcing the tech companies to put “backdoors” in their products and hand over encryption keys to the government on court orders.

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