. . .[I]n the wake of the recent killings by a Muslim extremist, the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy is proposing a new law that would jail repeat visitors to extremist web sites. It is a measure that strips away core free speech rights of citizens and gives the government a new ambiguous power to arrest people for the things that they read. . . .
Sarkozy’s Internet law would leave it to the government to determine what sites are espousing “terrorist” viewpoints. Authoritarian governments have long defined critics as criminals and terrorists from China to Iran to North Korea. . . .
It is a pattern that is all too familiar to Americans. After an individual or group commits a heinous act of terror, the government immediately uses the attack to limit freedoms of all citizens and to expand its own ill-defined powers.