UK Prime Minister Wants To Ban Suspected Rioters From Facebook & Twitter

from the oh-come-on dept

After initially blaming the Blackberry and suggesting that Blackberry's messaging service be shut down to try to quell the UK riots, it seems that UK politicians are trying to up the level of "bad ideas in reaction to riots" with Prime Minister David Cameron suggesting that those who are suspected of rioting be banned from social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
David Cameron has told parliament that in the wake of this week's riots the government is looking at banning people from using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook if they are thought to be plotting criminal activity.

The prime minister said the government will review whether it is possible to stop suspected rioters spreading online messages, in his opening statement during a Commons debate on Thursday on the widespread civil disorder for which MPs were recalled from their summer recess.
I'm at a loss to see how anyone believes that cutting off communication for people who feel disenfranchised will suddenly make them less interested in rioting. There's this rush by people in charge to think that "if only we could stop them from spreading messages, that will calm them down." That seems likely to be a giant miscalculation. It's not hard to get around any such ban, and instituting such a ban is just likely to piss off the very people they're trying to calm down.

Filed Under: david cameron, free speech, london, pre-crime, riots, social networks, uk
Companies: facebook, rim, twitter


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  1. identicon
    Nicedoggy, 11 Aug 2011 @ 5:54pm

    Locking the door in a house without walls.

    I just remembered something, banishing those people from using social networks is not even possible.

    Can those people not use Retroshare? It is anonymous and encrypted
    TOR is available for cellphones too(see: Orbot).

    Pirate radios that the government has zero censor powers over are abundant and most of the same people rioting are the ones that listen to them.

    There are so many, many ways around those government measures that people have proved around the world like in China and Iran just to name a couple, that I don't see the usefulness of such tactics, it only enforces the view that the government is out to get people and hurt them and not make things better.

    The more you try to control the more out of control those things become, so why are the government not dealing with the real issues the issues that brought this crap to happen in the first place?

    Those people who had to live under fear of law enforcement being harassed and murdered don't deserve better?
    They don't deserve a voice is that it? they should just shut up and put up and take it like a man?

    Did anybody caught on the riots felt safe can those people imagine how it is like to feel that way year round because you can't even trust your own government?

    Do those in power really think that these things will go away if they smack people hard that already get smacked everyday by the same law enforcement? Could this not escalate and cement the determination of those people who apparently are not afraid anymore of being jailed and hurt by the law?

    They expect angry people that have already proven they don't care about the law right now that much, to just obey something that can be circumvented as easily as one can breath?

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