France Flushes Free Speech

In an attempt to curb violence in the streets France passed a new law making it illegal to photograph or film violence unless you are a professional journalist.
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law, which came exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991. The officers' acquittal at the end on April 29, 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles.
Under this new law George Holliday could be sent to prison for filming a similar scene in France today. My favourite part is this,
The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules.
Government-approved sources of information? Can you imagine the hue and cry if something like this was tried in Canada? I can't believe French citizens put up with that kind of stuff.

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