French prime minister says public WiFi will not be banned

Prime minister Manuel Valls called the internet 'a freedom.'

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A few days ago, French newspaper Le Monde reported on the existence of a document suggesting the country's police are seeking a bill that would severely limit internet freedom, access and privacy. Among requests noted on the "wishlist" were a ban on access to Tor, a way to shut off public WiFi access during emergencies and for providers of encrypted communications to hand over the keys to authorities. Now, prime minister Manuel Valls says a ban on WiFi is not a part of any new security measures.

According to The Connexion, he also claimed not to be in favor of any ban on the identity-masking Tor network, and said he had no knowledge of any request by police for backdoor access to services like Skype or Whatsapp. Seeming to side with voicescalling out the measures as changes that would actually make France's citizens less safe, Valls said any changes needed to be "effective." While we wait to see what rules may be enacted, France is still under a state of emergency, scheduled to last until February 26th.