(credit: Freepenguin)

In the wake of last Friday’s attacks in Paris, France is bringing in new legislation extending the country’s temporary state of emergency to three months, and granting the authorities new powers to carry out searches of seized devices, and to block websites.
Under the new law, police searches of digital equipment are no longer limited to the device itself, but may also extend to include any data that is “accessible from the initial system or available for the initial system,” as the French digital rights site La Quadrature du Net explains. In practice this means police may use seized devices in order to search for “any type of information on any type of electronic device of any French resident and especially any information available via usernames, passwords collected during a police search, any content stored online.”
The state of emergency legislation also extends measures put in place in November 2014 that allow France’s Minister of the Interior to block any website “promoting terrorism or inciting terrorist acts.” Previously, the Minister was only able to force sites to be blocked after a delay of 24 hours, but now this happens immediately.
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