The argument that the government requires the ability to enforce “digital public order” during riots or other turmoil is one that French President Emmanuel Macron is continuing to make in support of stronger censorship in France.
President Macron tried to claim victory in his first interview after the end of his 100-day window to win back public trust by highlighting a number of legislative victories, but the country’s problems with the riots earlier this month after the police shooting that killed a teenager of Algerian descent remain a major concern.
Macron emphasized the need for “order, order, order” and continued to push for further censorship as a way to stop additional violent uprisings. According to the French president, many of the young anarchists who participated in the rioting, looting, as well as building burning had become “acquainted on the networks.”
In order to “better shield young individuals from screens by carrying out partnerships with platforms,” he urged for the government to have the power to enact “digital public order” and the right to delete information from social media.
Macron allegedly said that the government may “cut off social networking” when “things become carried away” during a meeting with about 300 mayors held at the Élysée Palace earlier in the month. Party officials from all political stripes rejected the idea, and many compared the guy to the leaders of North Korea as well as Communist China.
With the passage of legislation this month allowing security agencies to eavesdrop on civilians by remotely activating cameras and microphones on cellphones, computers, and automobiles, the French government significantly increased its surveillance powers.
The president chose to emphasize on the problem of family dissolution rather than how mass migration affected the recent riots, adding that “our country needs a restoration of authority at all levels and first within the family.”
The government, he said, should “empower families and also reinvest in our youth to provide them a framework” rather than encouraging violent unrest. In order to keep children off the streets, Macron said he will also try to extend certain schools’ hours in operation.
The French government calls for an officially color-blind stance, which means it won’t disclose the ethnic background or race of any of the 600 or so individuals who were imprisoned earlier this month, despite the fact that the majority of the populace thinks that the latest uprisings were caused by the “failures of immigration policy.”
Macron did mention that his party would work with the opposition group Les Républicains to enact immigration changes with the aim to make sure France is “better safeguarded within its own borders, and better integrate the people that reside there and assist the nation to succeed.” This may have been Macron’s way of making a small admission of the disastrous effects of mass migration.