An anonymous reader writes: Storing passwords as hashes instead of plain text is now illegal in France, according to a draconian new data retention law. According to the BBC, "[t]he law obliges a range of e-commerce sites, video and music services and webmail providers to keep a host of data on customers. This includes users' full names, postal addresses, telephone numbers and passwords. The data must be handed over to the authorities if demanded." If the law survives a pending legal challenge by Google, Ebay and others, it may well keep some major services out of the country entirely.