UK Prevent Strategy For Identifying Potential Terrorists Identifies 3 Year Old Because Of Course It Did

from the no-child-left-uncovered dept

We’ve talked a lot about the UK’s ambitious plan to marry Orwellian thought crime designations with Minority Report style crime-prediction when it comes to stopping all the terrorism that’s barely occurred in the country. The basic idea is that the government will create a boogeyman-list of suspected future-terrorists, people who are not strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up marketplaces filled with children — but might! — while tasking the educational system with weeding out tiny, little terrorist children using software so laughably flawed that it ought to belong on HBO’s Silicon Valley. In other words: hey, great plan!

Well, counted amongst the fruit of all that idiotic labor is the result we all probably saw coming: a goddamn three-year-old has found his/her way onto the watchlist.

The three-year-old in the programme is from the borough of Tower Hamlets, and was a member of a family group that had been showing suspect behaviour. Many of the government’s counter-extremism measures typically relate to older children and adults – buy very young children can be referred if authorities are concerned about the effect of their families on them.

The idea being that the UK government’s “concern” is centered around extremist parents will produce extremist children as a matter of course and the best way to combat these must-eventually-be extremist toddlers is by putting them on a watchlist run by the same people who did all the stupidity I mentioned in the first paragraph. Sigh.

As it turns out, the number of people getting caught up in this prevent strategy system is pretty astounding.

They show that a total of 1,069 Londoners have been referred to the government’s “Channel” counter-extremism programme since the start of 2012. That means that the capital accounts for about a quarter of the 4,000 referrals to the programme nationwide since then. The Standard, which obtained the figures from the London Assembly, can also reveal that: Since September last year, 400 Channel referrals were made for teenagers and children under 18.

This is exactly what you’d expect when the government tasks a great many people who have no formalized training in identifying bad guys with identifying bad guys. It’s also exactly what you should expect when the government plan for building up a watch list of future-terrorists, including hundreds of innocent children as young as three years old, comes with a complete lack of common sense and is instead the product of fear mixed with nationalism. And this doesn’t even touch on the potential or real-life cases of abuse of the system, which are as inevitable as the sunrise.

Look, security is important, and terrorism is an actual thing, but going off the deep end to the point where you’ve got government eyes on toddlers isn’t a solution to any problem.

Filed Under: , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “UK Prevent Strategy For Identifying Potential Terrorists Identifies 3 Year Old Because Of Course It Did”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Get 'em while they're young

With the right procedures, the programme can become self-fulfilling. Look at how many liberty-oriented adults gripe about the American Transportation Security Administration and related absurdity. Now consider that, with this designation, this toddler has a decent chance of experiencing that level of government-initiated abuse on a regular basis. Even if the kid was otherwise destined to be a good law-abiding citizen, the government is now contributing to an anti-authority/anti-government mindset in this child, and may well be able to steer the kid onto a path of violent extremism. Good job!

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Get 'em while they're young

This is why it’s probably a good idea to work out the new constitutional details before the old government is overthrown.

Otherwise you get same as the old boss.

But revolution isn’t about fixing things. It’s about stopping the suffering. It takes some mindfulness in order to actually get it to fix things.

Anonymous Coward says:

The King of a Nation

should always be its citizens.

Shockingly no society has ever learned this. Sure some people have, but NOT any society. One could argue that America in its infancy came close, but still didn’t really even come close enough. Rampant slavery and heafty bias where still the MO of the day, and oddly enough still is in one form or another.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Program abuse

Any program will be abused, and one like this just screams out “Abuse me!!” Probably most of the people on this list were referred by someone who just doesn’t like them. A pub-pal owes you 50 pounds and refuses to pay? Refer them! The baby-sitter used your phone for personal calls? Refer them! That dweeb in first period refuses to give you his lunch money? Refer him!

Capt ICE Enforcer says:

Dear NSA

Dear NSA,

My 2 year old son broke my nose intentionally by head butting me while I tried placing him in bed for the night. I feel that he is a wannabe terrorist as he consistently terrorize my wife and I with extremest demands, such as Milk, Juice, Gummies, and Go away, I don’t want to go to bed. Please help us, we are trying to be great parents but it is hard. The kid spits out his vegetables. Even after we say it is good for him… Please help, and watch over his every move, every second of the day, to include while he sleeps. And notify us immediately if you see more extreme behavior. And don’t forget, my money is taxed which is your pay, so you work for me and must do as I want or I will fire you.

Thanks, oh saviors of the United States.

Capt ICE Enforcer.

Ninja (profile) says:

*Random guy looks at the watch list*

RG: Hmmm, sir, there is a name here, Johann Average McDoe that doesn’t exist in the record, the list is flawed.
LAW ENFORCEMENT: No, it’s the future daughter of John “We Say He’s a Terrorist” McDoe.
RG: I didn’t know his wife was pregnant.
LE: She isn’t.
RG: Huh?
LE: Based on their genetic information we collected under this program there is a higher probability that they will have a girl.
RG: Oh. But how did you get the name?
LE: Based on our collection of the conversations between the couple we identified that they like cats and he’s kind of narcissistic so we assumed he’d like to put a name resembling his own.
RG: Sinister. And why would a non-born child be listed?
LE: The individual mentioned engages in heavy Government criticism, a clear sign of impeding terrorism so it is obvious this future child will be a terrorist.
RG: *quietly puts down the list and decides to leave the country*

And this, dear fellow readers, would be a joke or a satire like 10, 20 years ago. Now I don’t know what to think.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I know what you meant by you don’t know what to think, but its not like no one didn’t see this coming.
This has been coming for a long time… even George Washington pretty much predicted this in his farewell address and has been specifically foretold by many of the founding fathers.

There is just something self destructive about a people that have known only peace and petty criminal activity. So risk adverse that their solutions to the risks are more destructive than the poison they attempt to save themselves from.

DB (profile) says:

No doubt the 3 year old is currently engaging in practice torture, including sleep deprivation.

Every time we hear the details of these program, and similar web-nanny filters, we find that they are based on the simplest of filter.

Not every search for “nipple” is trying to locate porn. Sometimes it’s just looking for plumbing parts. Filtering for supposedly terrorist term is much more likely to identify people interested in world events.

Anonymous Coward says:

the UK seems to me to want to carry on being a clone of how the USA was under Bush. even worse, it’s got two of the most ridiculous people in government that it could have. Cameron who is so Hollywood and entertainment industries orientated, he wants to shut down every site they tell hem to and then add a few in for himself. he also thinks it’s his job to tell UK parents how to raise their kids, what they should be allowed/disallowed to see, do, take about, read etc etc. he’s now got another weed up his ass about porn! i dont suppose he ever looked at a pussy while he was growing up, especially at University (which was free for him!)
then you have May. she must be as dangerous a woman as ever there has been in any government. she seems to want to bring the UK to being a complete Police State! she wants to be able to track the minutest of movement of every person, read every single written message, listen to every conversation, check every item bought from every type of shop visited and make sure that, not only is there nothing untoward in amongst the fruit and veg, but there is a valid reason for everything that is in the bag!! i thought the USA was totally paranoid but suck back, between them, these two take some beating!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Refer all the real terrorists

Find and submit the name of everyone who is associated with running and funding this program. Submit them with proof of their ideological extreme views that are causing fear in specific people as well as the general populace. They are already supplying us with the verbiage in their releases so just fill in the blanks with their own names. I’m sure a couple hundred people a day submitting your name as the director of the agency investigating people with examples of how you are doing what you are accusing others of doing, will go over well.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...