France, unlike the U.S., has had relaxed rules on whether Internet service providers can block online content -- until today that is.
The French government has ruled that one of the country's biggest Web providers, Free, must halt all online ad blocking, according to the New York Times.
"An Internet service provider cannot unilaterally implement such blocking," the French minister for the digital economy Fleur Pellerin said at a news conference, according to the Times. "This kind of blocking is inconsistent with a free and open Internet, to which I am very attached."
Pellerin has now persuaded Free to restore full access to all content on the Web, including Google ads.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has rules that say Internet service providers must not block online content since it can hinder net neutrality. Europe's guidelines are far more lax. However, the French government's decision today may be a sign that those loose guidelines could soon become a thing of the past.