By extending state of emergency, France can now block websites

The country's interior ministry can now "ensure the interruption of any public communication service" that has links to or hosts terrorism content.

(Image via Salon/Twitter)

France will be in a nationwide state of emergency for the next three months, bringing powers of internet censorship to the state.

The French parliament voted Thursday to extend the emergency powers introduced by president François Hollande in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks earlier this month, killing 129 people and injuring hundreds more.


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The controversial measures give the government, specifically the interior ministry, the power "to interrupt any online communication service that commissions or glorifies acts of terrorism."

The measures that come with a state of emergency haven't been updated since the 1950s, during the Algerian war.

The measures specifically allow warrantless searches, as well as border and port-of-entry restrictions.

Under a state of emergency, the French government also has the right to control the press and media, including television stations and broadcast outlets -- even which films and movies can be screened in theaters. According to the BBC, those measures haven't been actively put into force yet, but can be activated at any time under the emergency powers.

The bill passed Thursday allows the government to extend those measures to the internet, which the bill says is the most "preferred vehicle of radical Islamism and jihadism."

Earlier this week, Islamic State fighters, who are believed to be behind the attacks in Paris were thought to be using encrypted messaging app Telegram to communicate.

The app, which was criticized by security experts and researchers for weaknesses and flaws in its design, later cracked down on dozens of various channels thought to have been used by Islamic State sympathizers.

It comes as US and European intelligence officials blamed tech companies in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations for doubling-down on device and message encryption.

Other reports suggested the terrorists involved in the attack used unencrypted text message-based communications, negating the apparent concerns that tougher encryption made it impossible to thwart the attack.