UK Bill: Nursery Staff Must Let Us Know When Toddlers Are At Risk For Becoming Terrorists

from the er,-what? dept

Spying is just all the rage these days, you guys. The CIA is spying on Congress, we’re all spying on each other, our eBook readers are spying on all our stuff, and the NSA is spying on the entire world. If you’ve been following Techdirt for any measure of time, you realize that any rebuttal of these policies is occasionally met with safety concerns, specifically when it comes to kids. “Think of the children!”

No, seriously, think of them. What if they are the real threat to the glory of freedom and peace? Well, the UK is taking this question head on by asking caregivers in the country’s nurseries to inform the government if any of those little shits look like they’re going to become radicalized.

The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan. The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.

The consultation paper adds: “Senior management and governors should make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.

Oh, this should go well. Turning nurseries into tiny little spy centers where the staff are required to inform the state if they think that any children might become radicalized in the future sounds like a foolproof plan. Hey, Marge, do you think little Tommy might be a suicide bomber in the future. “No.” What about cute little Jenny? “Nah.” Okay, next we have to ask about sweet little Usman Jaffer? “IT’S HIM! IT’S HIM! I DONT’ KNOW WHY, BUT I’M SURE IT’S HIM!”

Critics of the law, including some within the government, are equally unimpressed.

David Davis, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, said: “It is hard to see how this can be implemented. It is unworkable. I have to say I cannot understand what they [nursery staff] are expected to do.

“Are they supposed to report some toddler who comes in praising a preacher deemed to be extreme? I don’t think so. It is heavy-handed.”

No kidding. As far as silly government requests of civilians went, I thought Chicago’s “If you see something suspicious on public transportation, tell someone.” campaign was as bad as it got. I mean, have they never ridden a CTA bus or train? Everyone’s suspicious looking. But to try to get nannies involved in the spy game? C’mon guys, dial back the crazy a few notches.

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Comments on “UK Bill: Nursery Staff Must Let Us Know When Toddlers Are At Risk For Becoming Terrorists”

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74 Comments
Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Report the Toddler

Dear Mr. Cameron PM,

I should like to report a toddler that has some weird tendencies. He seems to be schizophrenic, sometimes going by the name Timothy Geigner, and sometimes by the name Tim Cushing, as you can see he is very confused. He also uses two different aliases, Dark Helmet and Capitalist Lion Tamer (talk about weird, huh?). In both cases (er…personalities) he suggests that [REDACTED] is evil. Since most of what he (er they) talk about IS evil, then he or they must BE evil.

I am hoping that you may take care of this (these) potential terrorists before they actually graduate from Kindergarten as he (they) will be doubly (quadrupaly?) dangerous in the first grade.

Yours Truly,

Mike Streisand Effect Masnick

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ideas

Kids who think bribes are wrong
Kids who believe lieing in politics is unacceptable
Kids who think secret spying governments are unacceptable
Kids who care for ALL life
Kids who believe we are all equal
Kids who believe laws are’nt suppose to be bought
Kids who exibit any signs of a caring sharing nature, instead of a profit orientated nature

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

2025 American anthem

Well I don’t know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain’t right
Im scared incase i fall off my chair,
And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs,
Terrorists to the left of me,
Terrorists to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.

Bemusement aside i sure hope i dont get techdirt in trouble with the big bad powerful mpaa by using the letters abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

We’ve had terrorist throughout our histories

You’ve got those terrorist that gained independance from the british and created that thing thats suppose to give people more rights then they deserve

And we had that spout of terrorists that one time that someohow managed to put the notion into peoples minds that we are all equal regardless of skin

These terrorists are always fucking up our shit

Anonymous Coward says:

Baby Terrorists!

And you people thought it was a mistake for babies to be on the no fly list in the US! That was most certainly on purpose!

Or the time a plane kicked a baby off for saying “bye bye plane” repeatedly! Obviously the baby was making terrorist threats!

We never know when babies might be plotting to kill us all in a suicide attack! Don’t be fooled by those innocent looking eyes, behind them might lurk another evil terrorist!

lars626 says:

Terrorist toddlers

My wives college room mate once made the comment that her three year old was going to grow up to be an “international terrorist”. He grew up and became a highly respected police officer.

I suspect that if you start treating them as terrorists early enough that they will become one just to take revenge on you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Is it any wonder that people with some modicum of common sense are calling out the crazy in this? Now think about it, if the security agencies have devolved into thinking this is a valid concern, just how far out there are they when it comes to the real world? I mean this is right out of some of these insane movies of the future, only it is with us now.

With idiots like this thinking this is a good policy to implement, is it any wonder why so much of the world is in turmoil and how much of it is a direct result of just such mentality?

If ever there was proof that the whole government, much less the security side needs reigned in, this should be the wake up call. China’s actions in dealing with it’s population are seeming less and less strange given the actions of our perspective governments.

David says:

Did I miss something here?

I thought children were the epitomes of terrorism anyway.

That’s why nature evolved them to have weak limbs. They grow strong only once they are old enough to have had a reasonable chance of becoming responsible. There are ages of legal responsibility (and according reductions of parental governing responsibility) and of consent.

Now of course it is understandable that the UK wants to have a close look at who might grow up to retain antisocial behavior, a dysfunctional conscience, blind faith in authority figures and other signs of mental immaturity. Which government wouldn’t?

Just to call dibs on their recruitment. Not everybody is suitable for operating drones (killer and spy drones), wiretapping equipment and other stuff the government needs done on people suspected to have cheered the wrong side.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cowardly and fucking disgusting

Preying on impressionable minds in order to be the one that “educates” on how things “should” be according to the almighty master peasant food chain

Its not about terrorisism, its about manipulation of easier to manipulate impressionable minds before they get some sense of independance to have CRITICAL thought, i.e. their dwindling current base

Anonymous Coward says:

Swat team
“Mam, why do you believe the baby is a radical?”

Caregiver
“He said no to the medicine”

Swat team
“You’re right mam, clear case of terrorism, nigel, bring some water”

Caregiver
“Oh thankyou Mr Swat man, i cant say how much i respect what you do”

Swat
“Just doing my job mam…………….MOVE OUT TEAMS G.O.T.Y.R.E.N.T AND S, we’ve got reports of a todler rampaging a bus…..apparently its got a WMD that creates some sort of annoying crying like sound……westminister is pepering a statement……….GO!GO!GO”

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Radicalization: the deeper problem

This bill is sublime in both its cluelessness and insanity. However, it strikes me as being just another manifestation of a terrible notion: that “radicalization” is a problem that must be stamped out. That’s just another way of saying that thought itself must be controlled by the state.

“Radicalization” is not only a totally subjective term, but trying to stop it is like trying to cure a cold by taking decongestants. It’s treating a symptom rather than the underlying problem, and exacerbated the whole situation by actively hiding the underlying problem, allowing it to spread without anyone noticing.

Anonymous Coward says:

” I have to say I cannot understand what they [nursery staff] are expected to do. “

Its so they can have a “legal” framework excuse to invade someones life bypasing the rights of an individual thats suppose to prevent them from doing that, without looking like the tyranical government they’re becoming…….become?

tqk (profile) says:

You people have completely missed the point!

*Every* grown up terrorist who ever lived was once a toddler! Think about that. Honestly, how can you expect us to protect you when you question everything we try to do … for you?

Just wait, in ten years time, every single person in the country will be on a terrorist watch list so we won’t need to fart around with warrants or rights or any of that poofter crap anymore, and you’ll all finally be safe forever! Now get back to work and stop bugging, er, bothering us.

PS. Tim, April Fools is almost three months away, damnit!

Sheesh. Try to do the right thing and look what you get.

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