Oh dear, the French legislators are once again proposing a ban on a bit of the Internet. Will French governments ever understand the Internet? Or realise how foolish they look to the rest of the world, when their idiot proposals crash and burn? This time around they want a national ban on the use of the encrypted TOR browser.

The legislators obviously haven’t bothered to read the TOR website for even five minutes, or they would have found the list of the browser’s plugins. It seems obvious that all a French ban would do is to provoke countermeasures, such as the deployment of TOR plugins like SkypeMorph. It cloaks the encrypted TOR browsing stream and makes it look like Skype, to your service provider. It’s already been developed and tested, but has not been deployed. But the SkypeMorph source code is out there. So, even if the original author doesn’t want to release it publicly, then someone else could. Encryption is an arms race that the censors and ban-it-now -ers can never win in a free society, but they never seem to realise that.

Nor does it seem that the legislators have read the French constitution recently, since the French civil liberties organisations say that such a ban would violate the constitution.

Update, 15th Dec: press reports have since appeared saying that the French have backed down for now, while apparently blaming the security services for being over-zealous.