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French authorities ordered 2,700 pages be blocked or removed in 2016
French internet censorship rose steeply throughout 2016. It was announced by the country’s interior minister, Bruno Le Roux, that last year French authorities made 2,700 orders that pages be blocked or removed. This is up from around 300 blocks and 850 ‘de-listings’ throughout 2015. Le Roux said that the French police had given themselves “unprecedented means to reinforce the efficacy of our actions” due to the country facing an “extremely serious terror threat”. However, the release of the information was met with criticism in some corners, such as the founder of OVH, one of Europe's top internet hosting providers, who said that the growth of censorship could merely be seen as “political posturing”. The clampdown on extremist online content in France began after it was hit by the Paris terror attacks in 2015.
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