France to teach kids how to react to terror attacks

A French soldier stands guard at the Eiffel Tower

A French soldier stands guard at the Eiffel Tower

Cazeneuve said encrypted messages such as those exchanged on texting apps like Telegram should be allowed to be identified and used in judicial proceedings, and he announced the proposal of European Union legislation to that end.

Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, said the number of people arrested over terror offences in the first six months of this year was greater than the entire total for 2015.

The move echoes the view of former British Prime Minister David Cameron, who in January 2015 said it was unacceptable that messaging apps provided "a means of communication between people which even in extremis with a signed warrant from the Home Secretary that we can not read".

France and Germany officials say they believe terrorists are using messaging apps such as Telegram and WhatsApp, rather than more traditional messaging services, specifically because they like these. The ministers urged the European Commission to discuss encryption at a summit on security next month in Bratislava. He feels that trying shut off access to encrypted apps, even though the proposal doesn't mention that outright, is "frankly ridiculous".

Telegram says on its website that it blocks terrorist-related public channels but doesn't intervene in private chats.

US authorities have also pressed tech companies to work with the government against extremist activity online, with varying degrees of success.

"Exchanges carried out via applications like Telegram must be identified and used in the course of judicial proceedings", French Interior Minister, Mr Bernard Cazeneuve said.

The Arizona Republican, who chairs the panel, said, "There's an urgency" to finding a solution to the matter of protecting privacy while also not closing out police, prosecutors and intelligence agencies from lawfully pursuing criminals and terrorists.

France and Germany - where nerves are raw following a wave of attacks on civilians this summer, including two claimed by Islamic State - are also seeking closer links between the continent's databases of personal information.

They said Europe's border-free zone should require visitors to register in advance on an electronic database via a system similar to the ESTA database used for visitors to the United States.

The French government has heightened security across the country following a series on Islamist militant attacks since January a year ago that has left people on the edge, with schools a feared target.

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