While it is logical for Western governments to intensify their fight against terrorism, sometimes their measures pose a threat to individual liberties. A French man has been sentenced to two years in prison for having numerous visits to pro-ISIS web pages in his record, which were found in a police record, but without any indication that he planned a terrorist attack .
This case reminds us of another Frenchman arrested by the name of his Wi-Fi network, since he seems to have sympathy for radical Islamism, but not direct support. The man convicted of visiting pro-ISIS pages showed signs of being radicalized: he had an ISIS flag as his wallpaper, he kept videos of executions and his access password was mocked of the victims of an attack. His family pointed out that he became more and more ex alted when talking about religion, and that he had grown a long beard and wore breeches .
In any case, there was no evidence that this Frenchman planned any violent act, nor that he collaborated with ISIS for practical purposes. But French law contemplates pen alties for those who habitually visit pages that support terrorism Exceptions are cases in which they enter for investigations, journalistic purposes or prosecutions judicial .
The man, who apart from a two-year prison sentence will have to pay a fine of 30,000 euros, assured that he accessed those pages out of curiosity, and that he now understands that this vision of Islam is not the correct. However, the court that tried his case did not find this explanation satisfactory.
The truth is that ISIS uses the Internet as its main source of recruits, but many jurists consider that French laws go beyond what is reasonable, and that they do not respect individual liberties. The highest French court is scheduled to rule shortly on the constitutionality of punishing the simple visit of terrorist web pages.
It is clear that what we do on the Internet has clear implications in the real world. This conviction for visiting pro-ISIS pages shows that we must be very careful about the sites we enter, because we may be breaking the law .
What do you think about this topic? Should it be illegal to access pro-terrorism sites on a regular basis, or is this not a good reason for a conviction?