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Paris attack is a wake up call to indifferent nations: French envoy

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New Delhi: The horrific Paris terror attack of November 13 is a “wake-up call” for countries indifferent to this rising global threat to take stern action against perpetrators and this will be raised at the UN Security Council this week, the French envoy to India has said.

“The horrific action has created a warning among many countries which were inclined to compromise (on terrorism), and this attack is a wake-up call,” French Ambassador Francois Richier told IANS in an exclusive interview at the embassy here.

He expressed solidarity with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stance that the world should be united in fighting terrorism.

Simultaneous shootings and explosions at multiple locations in Paris attack killed at least 129 people and injured over 350.

Richier was especially concerned about how “the attackers are not targeting politicians or high profile people but commoners”.

“I believe no country in the world will tolerate this. Terrorism is an important issue. It needs to be addressed. We are currently raising this issue at the UN Security Council this week and will propose an amendment against terrorism,” he said, without divulging any further details.

France is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power. This high table of geopolitics is entrusted with the maintenance of international peace and security.

On terrorist outfit ISIS, which claimed responsibility of the attack, issuing the warning of more such attacks, Richier said: “We’re not afraid.”

“I think the ISIS is betraying the very value of Islam. Those who attacked are trying to create fear in the minds of people and curb freedom. But we would like to spread the message that it won’t affect the freedom of people,” he said.

“It’s a war which has been declared on us, but we are fighting that war. We are not afraid.”

Following the attack, Paris is already back on its feet to host the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, scheduled to start on November 30. There is tight security.

“Around 50,000 people from all over the world are expected to come for the conference. It’s a major event, and there are many side events that happen. This time, we are thinking of keeping only the extremely necessary side events, for security purposes,” he said.

(Nivedita, IANS)

 

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Facebook Allows French Regulars To Oversee Hate Speech Control

France's use of embedded regulators is modeled on what happens in its banking and nuclear industries.

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Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

Facebook will allow French regulators to “embed” inside the company to examine how it combats online hate speech, the first time the wary tech giant has opened its doors in such a way, President Emmanuel Macron said Monday.

From January, Macron’s administration will send a small team of senior civil servants to the company for six months to verify Facebook’s goodwill and determine whether its checks on racist, sexist or hate-fueled speech could be improved.

“It’s a first,” Macron told the annual Internet Governance Forum in Paris. “I’m delighted by this very innovative experimental approach,” he said. “It’s an experiment, but a very important first step in my view.”

The trial project is an example of what Macron has called “smart regulation,” something he wants to extend to other tech leaders such as Google, Apple and Amazon.

Facebook
Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg meets with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace after the “Tech for Good” summit, in Paris, France. VOA

The move follows a meeting with Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg in May, when Macron invited the CEOs of some of the biggest tech firms to Paris, telling them they should work for the common good.

The officials may be seconded from the telecoms regulator and the interior and justice ministries, a government source said. Facebook said the selection was up to the French presidency.

It is unclear whether the group will have access to highly-sensitive material such as Facebook’s algorithms or codes to remove hate speech. It could travel to Facebook’s European headquarters in Dublin and global base in Menlo Park, California, if necessary, the company said.

facebook, U.S. Politicals ads, dating
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“The best way to ensure that any regulation is smart and works for people is by governments, regulators and businesses working together to learn from each other and explore ideas,” Nick Clegg, the former British deputy prime minister who is now head of Facebook’s global affairs, said in a statement.

France’s approach to hate speech has contrasted sharply with Germany, Europe’s leading advocate of privacy.

Also Read: Online Hate Thriving Even After The Recent Hate Crime in The U.S.

Since January, Berlin has required sites to remove banned content within 24 hours or face fines of up to 50 million euros ($56 million). That has led to accusations of censorship.

France’s use of embedded regulators is modeled on what happens in its banking and nuclear industries.

“[Tech companies] now have the choice between something that is smart but intrusive and regulation that is wicked and plain stupid,” a French official said. (VOA)