According to French newspaper Le Monde, authorities in Paris are considereing banning the use of TOR, a service that anonymises users on the internet. It would be one of a range of measures passed in response to last month’s terror attacks, and also a difficult-to-enforce attack on internet privacy.
Le Monde obtained an internal document laying out two proposed changes to be brought before France’s parliament. The first addresses the use of “shared or open” Wi-Fi networks during a state of emergency: according to the police, suspects can use public Wi-Fi networks to communicate without being tracked down, so the legislation would shut down public Wi-Fi hotspots during a state of emergency (like the one established after the attacks in Paris).
The second measure would propose “to block or forbid communications of the Tor network”, and not just during a state of emergency. TOR (the onion router) is a volunteer-run anonymising network, which bounces user’s data requests around the globe, making it very difficult (but not impossible!) to find out who’s behind the computer screen.