THE French consultative body, Conseil National du Numérique (CNNum), has questioned Nicolas Sarkozy's idea to make it a criminal offence to read websites that advocate terrorism or hate crimes.
The president put forward the proposal soon after the shootings of three Jewish children and four adults in south west France by Mohamed Merah.
But CNNum, which was set up last year by presidential decree, has said (English translation) placing such restrictions on internet users would for a start make it difficult for journalists and researchers to do their job.
CNNum questioned whether people would face being tracked online, and wondered how it would be possible to track users when internet service providers don't currently track website visits to the degree required.
It is interesting to note that one of the key elements that allowed the French police to narrow down their search for Mohamed Merah was by tracking the IP address of people who had consulted a web page on the Leboncoin.fr.
Mohamed Merah's first victim was a soldier selling a motorbike through the small ads on the site, and the police were able to trace an IP address to the home of Marah's mother.
CNNum said that before any legislation is introduced it needs to be discussed by interested bodies, although this might not even be necessary as it seems likely Nicolas Sarkozy will fail in his presidential election bid as the Socialist, François Hollande, continues to head the polls.