The French government has outlawed the filming of violent acts by all but professional journalists in legislation passed by the parliament earlier this week. As one French civil liberties group warned, bloggers and amateurs filming for documentation, or those filming to collect evidence of a crime, are not exempt.

The new law is intended to target those involved in 'happy slapping' - the act of attacking someone and filming it for entertainment.

Anyone caught publishing violent images that they have filmed face five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros (£46,000). According to InfoWorld , that's potentially heavier than a sentence for committing a violent act.

The French government is also considering a proposal for a certification system for websites, blog-hosters, mobile-phone operators and internet service providers. If approved, the system will credit them as "government-approved sources of information".