French President Emmanuel Macron has continued his push for increased censorship in France, arguing that the state needs the authority to impose “digital public order” amid riots or unrest.
In his first interview following the end of his 100-day time frame to restore faith in his government, President Macron attempted to claim success by pointing to a number of legislative successes, however, the issue of the riots earlier this month following the police shooting which took the life of an Algerian-heritage teenager continue to loom over the country.
Stressing the need for “order, order, order”, Macron doubled down on his pitch for more censorship as a means of preventing further destructive riots. The French president noted that many of the anarchic youths who engaged in the rioting, looting, and burning of buildings had “met on the networks”.
He, therefore, called for the authority of the government to institute “digital public order” with the ability to remove content from social media in order to “better protect young people from screens through partnerships with platforms,” Le Figaro reported.
In a meeting with some 300 mayors at the Élysée Palace earlier this month, Macron had reportedly suggested that the state could “cut off social networks” when “things get carried away”. The suggestion was condemned by party leaders from across the political spectrum, with many comparing him to dictators in Communist China and North Korea.
The French government vastly expanded its surveillance capabilities this month, passing legislation allowing security services to spy on citizens through the remote activation of cameras and microphones on phones, laptops and cars.
The president did not address the impact of mass migration on the recent riots, opting instead to focus on the issue of familial breakdown, saying that “our country needs a return of authority at every level, and first in the family.”
He called for the government to “empower families and reinvest in our youth to give them a framework” other than engaging in violent rioting. Macron suggested that he will also seek to extend the hours of operation of some schools to keep kids off the streets.
Although the vast majority of the public believes that the recent riots were a result of the “failures of migration policy”, the French government takes an officially colour-blind position, meaning that it will not reveal the race or ethnicity of the some 600 people who were jailed earlier this month.
Perhaps in a slight admission of the disastrous impacts of mass migration, Macron did say that his party will seek to partner with the opposition Les Républicains to pass through immigration reforms to ensure France is “better protected within its borders, and better integrate those who are there and help the nation to succeed.”
It remains to be seen what the details of such immigration reform will be, however, and will not likely satisfy the demands of populists on the right, with Rassemblement National (National Rally) Member of European Parliament, Patricia Chagnon-Clevers telling Breitbart London that she would seek for a total “halt of all immigration” in order to restore order to France.