Home / News

France’s Proposed Web Blocking Law: A Threat to Internet Freedom, Warns Mozilla Foundation

France’s forthcoming SREN Bill could mandate web browsers to block websites deemed illicit by the government, setting a precarious standard for digital freedoms, warns Mozilla Foundation in a recent blog post.

Article 6 of the proposed law could empower the government to compile a list of websites to be blocked at the browser level, subverting long-standing moderation norms. While the intention is to combat online fraud, the Mozilla Foundation warns this approach risks providing an operational model for oppressive regimes and could undermine the effectiveness of censorship circumvention tools.

Key issue: Currently, browsers such as Mozilla’s Firefox employ phishing and malware protection systems like Google’s Safe Browsing and Microsoft’s Smart Screen. These systems merely flag potentially harmful sites, leaving the final decision to users. In contrast, the French proposal focuses on outright blocking websites with no option for user override, a move not yet seen even in the most repressive regimes.

The proposed measure is alarming for the global internet community. Once enacted, it could set a precedent that allows governments to dictate the content users can access at the browser level, posing severe threats to free expression.

Suggested alternatives: Mozilla advocates for the optimization of existing systems like Safe Browsing and Smart Screen instead of implementing mandatory browser-based blocking. The organization suggests legal frameworks to set reasonable timelines for anti-phishing systems to respond to authorized governmental requests, basing these on a transparent set of criteria subject to independent review and including a provision for judicial appeal.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

Visit Page

Filed Under


Comment Title:

  Notify me of follow-up comments

We encourage you to post comments and engage in discussions that advance this post through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can report it using the link at the end of each comment. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of CircleID. For more information on our comment policy, see Codes of Conduct.

CircleID Newsletter The Weekly Wrap

More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet



Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

IPv4 Markets

Sponsored byIPv4.Global

Threat Intelligence

Sponsored byWhoisXML API

Brand Protection

Sponsored byCSC

New TLDs

Sponsored byRadix


Sponsored byDNIB.com


Sponsored byVerisign