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The authorities introduced on Wednesday the ban in New Caledonia on the social community TikTookay to restrict contacts between rioters. A call that some researchers take into account “unprecedented” and whose authorized framework raises questions. Explanations.

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TikTookay not has authorized rights in New Caledonia. The authorities introduced, Wednesday May 15, the ban on the social community within the archipelago to restrict particularly contacts between rioters, a measure permitted by the proclamation of the state of emergency and the presence of a single telecoms operator on the territory.

What are the explanations for this ban?

The social community, owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is likely one of the most well-liked vectors of communication between teams who’ve dedicated violence for 3 nights, estimates the federal government.

This ban additionally comes towards a backdrop of fears of interference and disinformation on social networks coming from international international locations which might search to gas tensions, authorities and safety sources indicated, referring to China or Azerbaijan.

Read additionally“Baku connection”: France, a punching bag of selection for Azerbaijan

Contacted by AFP, TikTookay thought-about it “regrettable that an administrative decision to suspend (its) service was taken (…) without any request or question, nor request for content removal, from the local authorities or the French government”.

“Our security teams are monitoring the situation very carefully and ensuring that our platform is safe, assures the social network. We remain available to the authorities to initiate discussions.”

Is this authorized?

On the , though linked to the state of emergency proclaimed earlier at present by the federal government.

Because it’s certainly the regulation “relating to the state of emergency” which permits this “exceptional” ban, explains to AFP Amélie Tripet, lawyer specializing in media regulation on the August Debouzy agency.

In accordance with the regulation of April 3, 1955, “the Minister of the Interior may take any measure to ensure the interruption of any communication service to the public online provoking the commission of acts of terrorism or advocating them” .

“To have such a general measure to block the communication service, which is an exceptional measure and which must necessarily be proportionate over time, it is really necessary to justify a particular necessity,” underlines Amélie Tripet.

“If this is ever challenged before the judge, there would be three questions: was it provided for by law? Was it necessary? Was it proportionate?”, adds- she stated. “It’s a potentially legally fragile decision.”

“I wonder if blocking TikTok will not be counterproductive by contributing to fueling the narrative of those who seek to harm us by designating the State as a liberticide,” warned MP Éric Bothorel (Renaissance) on X.

How is that this technically potential?

“It is the post and telecommunications office of New Caledonia (public establishment of the government of New Caledonia) which has intervened since yesterday to block access to the TikTok application,” stated Matignon on Wednesday night, within the strategy of his announcement.

This ban, facilitated by the existence of this single telecoms operator, “works operationally” on cell phones within the archipelago.

“Technically, it would have been much more complicated to go see all the operators” in mainland France (Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, Free, and so on.) to place in place such a ban, underlines lawyer Amélie Tripet.

In element, the “most likely” technical methodology that would have been used is obstructing the “domain name system” (DNS), i.e. what permits an internet site title to be transformed right into a numerical IP handle, which is utilized by Internet customers to search out the positioning, estimates Adrien Merveille, cybersecurity professional at Check Point Software Technologies.

“The mechanism to prevent access to TikTok would simply be to say that requests made to TikTok will not have a response. This is something that can be put in place at the operator level,” he provides.

But this impediment stays simply circumvented through the use of a digital personal community (VPN) or one other location masking service, and lots of consultants additionally level out the existence of options to TikTookay, equivalent to Snapchat or the messaging providers Telegram and Signal.

“State blocking has been practiced in China and the Middle East for decades and it works. But it has its limits, it can be circumvented by VPN, rebound in another country”, confirms Arnaud Lemaire, professional in cybersecurity on the firm F5.

With AFP