France to block child pornography websites

French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie (R) and Justice Minister Rachida Dati leave the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, November 21, 2007. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - France plans to use the help of Internet service providers to block websites which disseminate child pornography, Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said on Tuesday.

In a speech on fighting cybercrime, Alliot-Marie said Internet users would from September be able to flag sites which carried child pornography, incitement to terrorism and racial hatred, or attempted fraud.

This real-time information would help the French state to draw up a blacklist of sites that disseminated child pornography which it would transmit to Internet service providers, who have agreed to block such sites, Alliot-Marie said.

“It is not a question of creating a Big Brother on the Internet,” she said in the speech.

“What I am responsible for as Interior Minister is to protect children and their families from pedophiles.”

Alliot-Marie said the French state would pass on information about any illegal sites which were run from overseas to the host countries, EU police agency Europol, or to international police agency Interpol.

Reporting by Swaha Pattanaik; Editing by Stephen Weeks