UK Report Blames The Internet For Terrorism, Says ISPs Should Take Down Content

from the can't-even-understand-the-role-of-an-isp-then? dept

It appears that technologically clueless, reactionary politicians blaming the internet for terrorism and demanding ways to censor content are not just limited to US Senators named Lieberman. Nope, it appears that some elected officials over in the UK have similarly allergic reactions to the internet. The Home Affairs Committee in the UK Parliament has released this fear mongering report about how the internet is somehow radicalizing the youth into being terrorists, and how ISPs need to pull down content.

All of these reports seem to assume that because some kids used the internet to learn about terrorism, that it's the internet's fault they became terrorists. There's no thought to the idea that these disenfranchised kids were likely to seek out whatever way they could to join a terrorism organization. That would involve actually understanding the root causes of terrorism, though, and it's much, much easier to just point a finger and blame the internet. Of course, since it appears these luddites don't understand the internet at all, it's no surprise that they confused ISPs with hosting companies -- and demanded that the ISPs "take down" content, when the only thing they really could do would be to block content. Hosting companies would be able to remove it. David Meyer, the ZDnet UK reporter who wrote the story linked above, asked a spokesperson for the committee to explain this rather glaring error, and the person "was unable to explain." That should tell you just about everything you need to know about this report, and it should be laughed out of any further discussion should it ever be brought up again.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Colin, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:32am

    Well...duh. What bad thing ever happened before the internet? That's right, nothing. No piracy, no child porn, no terrorism.

    Check and mate.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:31am

      Re:

      Before the internet, it was incredibly hard to communicate around the world. Many child pornographers would have been isolated, with no way to "hook up" with others that have similar interests.

      The internet makes it so that the single pervert in each town or city can become friends with the other lonely perverts out there, which gives them a sense of community, training in how to hide their activities, and sources for new materal - as well as encouragement to go out and do more.

      This is one of those areas where the effects of the internet are clear and very negative.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:42am

        Re: Re:

        There were alkways ways to disemminate information without government oversight - see also: Galileo's Discourses. The Web made it easier for people to connect, regardless of intent.

        The Internet is an amoral tool, the common connection is people.

         

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        PaulT (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:55am

        Re: Re:

        "Before the internet, it was incredibly hard to communicate around the world. Many child pornographers would have been isolated, with no way to "hook up" with others that have similar interests."

        But not impossible. Child porn most definitely existed before the internet, and the lack of media hype meant that it often went unnoticed.

        Also, the same argument as above could be made about connecting people with purely decent interests (e.g. Linux was made possible by the internet, as have a huge number of educational resources).

        "This is one of those areas where the effects of the internet are clear and very negative."

        Only if you take one side of the argument.

        The flipside, of course, is that it also makes it easier for these people to be tracked. If ordinary people anywhere in the world can access these images, then so can law enforcement. If used correctly, they can not only catch the people ultimately responsible for child porn, but also gather intelligence to enable future gangs to be caught more easily. It can be used as a fantastic tool to monitor and catch criminals, and even set up honeypot and other traps to catch would-be paedophiles before they can abuse a single child.

        It's not cut and dried, but the argument is there that the internet has helped catch as many of these people as it has allowed to do evil things. The internet is ultimately a benign tool - what it allows ultimately isn't anything new, although the scale and accessibility might be.

         

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        :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:02am

        Re: Re: Blanks Law

        So, Godwin's Law covers Nazi references, what's the one for child porn?

        In any case, I'm going to repeat your statement replacing a couple words:
        Before the internet, it was incredibly hard to communicate around the world. Many researchers would have been isolated, with no way to "hook up" with others that have similar interests.

        The internet makes it so that the single researcher in each town or city can become friends with the other lonely researchers out there, which gives them a sense of community, training in how to enhance their activities, and sources for new (sic)materal - as well as encouragement to go out and do more.

        This is one of those areas where the effects of the internet are clear and very positive.
        FTFY
        Of course, there's lots of things you could put in there for a positive example. I challenge you to come up with 5 legitimate (affects more than 5% of the global populace) negative effects.

         

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          Badger (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Blanks Law


          Before the internet, it was incredibly hard to communicate around the world. Many researchers would have been isolated, with no way to "hook up" with others that have similar interests



          Not entirely true, there were printed media in which researchers would discuss their work. They could even ring one another if they wanted to.

          The Internet has made it much easier for people to contact one another in a manner that cannot be regulated and is largely 'unseen'. It differs from 'traditional media' in that don't even need to know who you are talking to or even how to contact them.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Blanks Law

            "there were printed media in which researchers would discuss their work. They could even ring one another if they wanted to."

            And, of course, this was true for pedophiles as well.

            The internet is a communications tool. It is fundamentally no different than the phone system, mail system, telegraph, radio, or even the highway & train systems in this way. All of those things can and are used for anonymous communications as well.

            Criminals use all communications tools. Always have and always will. To single out the internet as particularly pernicious is just wrong.

            If you are saying that the internet is bad because it lets people talk more easily, then I think you have a bigger beef with society at large than the internet in particular.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:08am

        Re: Re:

        When you think about Internet empowering perverts you should really think what do you prefer:
        1) Pedophiles running on the streets hunting our kids
        or
        2) Pedophiles browsing images on their computer screens

        I think any rational person would prefer option 2...
        There is a lot of research showing that availability of porn on the Internet reduce actual rapes: This one for example: http://www.toddkendall.net/internetcrime.pdf
        So in my opinion your conclusion:
        "This is one of those areas where the effects of the internet are clear and very negative" is really unproven.

         

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        Colin, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:01am

        Re: Re:

        You can replace those words with "terrorist" and prove this article correct.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re:

        So the answer is to bolocks the internet, and the legitimate uses of it be damned

        The equivalent of using a nuke, when a precise surgical incision is required, yes there are problems that need sorted, but its not a freaking nuke, just because surgery is too damn hard

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The internet is a revolutionary, perfectly, working tool

          You dont blame you're tools for user error, unless you're THAT stubborn

          and because of certain users, the TOOL, not the user, must change.........i dont bloody think so

          keep you're hands of the bloody internet *raises shaky hands

           

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        Richard (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Before the internet, it was incredibly hard to communicate around the world. Many child pornographers would have been isolated, with no way to "hook up" with others that have similar interests.


        You sir are on a par with the Duke of Wellington , who disliked the railways because they would allow "the lower orders to move around" Go back to the 18th century where you belong.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:33am

    That's what you get when you hire Melvin Watt as your technical adviser.

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:33am

    Isn't that just a shock. Those in power are realizing that the general population is becoming unsettled. That leads to their cushy government jobs being threatened. So they do the only thing they know how to do. They lash out cluelessly trying to silence and suppress people instead of asking why they are upset to begin with.

     

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    George W. Bush, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:33am

    The internet is for terrorists! It is a place with information of mass destruction.

     

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    Violated (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:35am

    ACTA Protest Day

    A CALL TO ARMS

    The main ACTA Protest Day is this Saturday, February 11, 2012.

    All of Europe is involved along with a few sites in Canada & the United States. You see the full schedule here...
    https://www.accessnow.org/policy-activism/press-blog/acta-protest-feb-11

    We have already won Poland where over 40,000 people marched where the Government has now said ACTA will not be ratified and they will seek to stop ACTA in the European Parliament. Now we need to convince other countries to do the same.

    Pick your location & come armed for this fight...
    http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/images/7/76/Acta-infographics.png
    http://www.derechoalee r.org/images/2010/stop_acta-color_rgb-web.png
    http://goo.gl/hCtz4

    Loads of designs to choose from so look around for the best one & I will see you there. Warm clothing strongly recommended!

    Please sign the online petition when they only need a few more people to hit their 2 million goal...
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet_spread/?fndLIcb&pv=307

    See how Hollywood always fears technology and fights progress. Now they fear the Internet and want to censor you...
    http://i.imgur.com/8ubzj.jpg

    It is time to recover the many freedoms that these Governments have taken from us. Please spread this news.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 5:54am

    Yeah i was getting bored with US getting all the attention for stupidly not understanding the internet, go UK... wait what.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Parallels

    Something like this happened previously... only it was the printing press & literacy which sabotaged the power of various regimes around the world.

    I guess history really does repeat itself...

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:36am

      Re: Parallels

      Back then, the transit times of books and news was extremely long, information spread at a very slow rate. Now we live in a time when information and news spreads at an unbelievable rate. Centuries ago for like minded individuals to come together, for a conspiracies to form, or for people to come to a consensus, it took years. Now you do not need to wait six months for a letter to reach you. It doesn't take 3 months to travel to conference to meet face to face.

      Due to modern communications, we are seeing an acceleration of consensus, and a shortening of the time it takes for systems to be attacked for being corrupt or overbearing. This trend is accelerating at an amazing rate.

      I actually posted this elsewhere also

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:07am

    typical UK. haven't got a fucking clue! what the governments dont like is that the internet is the best way of organizing people. fine when it's to try to overthrow what is deemed a dictatorship, not so fine when yours is the government about to be overthrown!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:15am

    But wait

    According to the UK politicians last year,during the riots, it was RIM and Blackberry's that were the root of all evil. Wish they'd make up their minds so I know who to point fingers at.

     

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:24am

    Blame. Target. Get reelected.

    With politicians it is always some "evil doers" or something bad that they must fight against. They need "crises" to do three things. Show the voters that they are working for them and to then use that as a "see the good I did" so reelect me platform.

    The third is the opposite of what Descartes said "A state is better governed which has few laws, and those laws strictly observed.". They have to make laws or they will lose their power.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:26am

    these UK political morons have probably had some lessons from the equally internet clueless Lamar Smith!

     

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    Cowardly Anon, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:28am

    My goodness Mike! Haven't you learned by now, if you can't see it, it doesn't exist!

    If they kids can't see the terrorist organizations, then they can't join them b/c such organizations don't exist!

    It's really quite simple. It's like peek-a-boo, but with adults......

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:33am

    There was certainly no terrorism in the UK prior to the internet.

     

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    Bob, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:33am

    New report blames Internet for politicians revealing stupidity to the world

    Says Citizens should take down current government

     

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      The eejit (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:45am

      Re: New report blames Internet for politicians revealing stupidity to the world

      I've already contacted my MP and set up three e-petitions (all rejected for "language that may offend" like 'open', 'publicly consulted' and 'released to the public'.)

       

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:35am

    Labeled

    If you are against the status quo then you are a radical and a terrorist in these dopes eyes. The disgusting display of corruption in the crony capitalist government, that the internet has helped bring to light with widespread reach, is what causes radicalism. The internet is "Power to the People!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:44am

    At least they didn't blame videogames this time.

     

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    Warren, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:45am

    It's these types of reactions

    This make me glad that in Canada (I don't know the status in other countries) George Orwell's book, 1984, is in the public domain. The way things are going, this book should be required reading material, with a follow-up report, for a politician. Each and every time they are elected.

    This would serve a dual-purpose. First off, they would hopefully wise up to the follies of such attempts by the government to control the freedoms of the people, and make them learn a little about copyright issues (a la the similarities of plagiarism and copyright)

     

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    identicon
    Warren, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:47am

    It's these types of reactions

    This make me glad that in Canada (I don't know the status in other countries) George Orwell's book, 1984, is in the public domain. The way things are going, this book should be required reading material, with a follow-up report, for a politician. Each and every time they are elected.

    This would serve a dual-purpose. First off, they would hopefully wise up to the follies of such attempts by the government to control the freedoms of the people, and make them learn a little about copyright issues (a la the similarities of plagiarism and copyright)

     

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      Kaden (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:58am

      Re: It's these types of reactions

      In the early '70's Fahrenheit 451, 1984 and Brave New World were on my required reading list in grade 10.

      Cautionary tales, doncha know.

      Unfortunately, many of my generation assumed they were instruction manuals.

       

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:01am

    I'm just sick of it

    We must stop terrorism!!! Now I'm completely qualified to make laws in the US and UK.

    On a side note...

    Yeah the US cares about terrorism and has declared war on the evil doers. The KKK has had a website for how long?

    Look up terrorism in the US in Wikipedia and see what organization has committed the most terrorist acts on US soil. Yep it's the KKK.

     

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      indieThing, Feb 9th, 2012 @ 2:55am

      Re: I'm just sick of it

      Yeah, and not forgetting that a vast amount of funding came from America for the I.R.A. All with the knowledge of the American government during the '80s. Not much was done to attempt to stop it for a fair while.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1563119.stm

      Let's face it, governments around the world use 'terrorism' as an excuse to legislate whenever it suits their political needs and ignore it the rest of the time.

       

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    Overcast (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:13am

    Terrorism...

    Here's a couple questions for you government types:

    In who's hands have guns killed more people? In the hands of private citizens or in the hands of governments?

    Who starts wars? Governments or people?

    Now again - who are the terrorists?

     

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    Overcast (profile), Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    Oh but I do digress - they are right - the internet was creating terrorists back in the 60's and 70's too, remember that?

    What browser was most common then? My memory fails me here... ;)

     

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    Prisoner 201, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:16am

    The Arab Spring has made people in power around the world realise that their power stems from the people, and that these days the people can get organized through some newfangled contraption called "the interweb".

    Clearly, it is unacceptable that mere plebs are allowed to rock the boat, so the interwebs has to go.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:28am

    Re: It's these types of reactions

    Well what is free online is Little Brother.

    http://craphound.com/littlebrother/download/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    Also, what we have here is a slippery slope. Take Newgrounds.com which has been targeted by clueless politicians who wanted games "banned" from one reason or another, but couldn't because it was simply an online game. Would this request finally allow the critters to force ISPs to bend over backwards and censor or ban any flash games that they find "offensive"?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:11am

    wonder why the 'internet is evil' emphasis has moved from file sharing to terrorism in the UK? they have a convicted terrorist that they cant deport, (on human rights grounds from what i understand) but manage to rule that a guy that has links on a website can be extradited. i guess that shows the misplaced priorities the UK has. seems like file sharing is obviously more dangerous than terrorism!

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 9:28am

      Re:

      Another to the list of buzzwords

      -Terrorism
      -Jobs
      -Copyright
      -Child pornography



      Government Guidebook
      Government 101 :Passing laws

      -Raise an "issue", that usually gets a rise from the public
      -Produce you're bill/law as the solution to these problems
      -Puclic outlash at the "issue"
      -Public demands a solution
      -Oh but wait, you have something prepared,
      -Public sighs in relief
      -You pass the bill/law with the publics consent
      -You now have another avenue of consented control, to do with, whatever you feel necessary
      -Public are glad they brought the issue up

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    I hope you follow this story mike, as im sure there are a few brits myself included, who dont like where this is headed

    Links, info............especially on who are the officials behind this

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Typical government mandate, use a *theoretical* nuke to solve you're problems

     

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      tqk (profile), Feb 9th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

      Re:

      Typical government mandate, use a *theoretical* nuke to solve you are problems

      FTFY. People who can't use contractions correctly should avoid trying to. You were looking for "your".

      /grammar_nazi

       

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    Rekrul, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    I happen to know know for a fact that every single terrorist on the planet breathed something called "air". Obviously this "air" is a leading cause of terrorism and must be eliminated. Let's all band together and rid the planet of this terrorist producing "air".

     

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    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Bit-Flip Wilson Says ...

    ... “The Internet made me do it!”

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 8th, 2012 @ 6:10pm

    People rebel against stupid laws.
    Government responds by making more stupid laws.
    Gives me a mental image of an ouroboros.

     

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