Feeds

Home Sec in anti-terror plan to control entire web

'I will remove illegal material from internet'

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has decided to mount a push against cyber terror, in which the internet itself will somehow be modified to prevent people using it for terrorist purposes.

Today, Ms Smith addressed an international conference on radicalisation and political violence. Much of the speech was about engagement with the Muslim community, preventing the use of schools and prisons for jihadi propaganda etc. There was also some suggestion that "dirty bombs" are jolly dangerous, and that this shows how serious the domestic terror threat is*.

However, the Home Secretary also reiterated the Brown government's promise of technical measures against web terror:

The internet is a key tool for the propagandists for violent extremism... Let me be clear. The internet is not a no-go area for Government.

We are already working closely with the communications industry to take action against paedophiles... we should also take action against those who groom vulnerable people for the purposes of violent extremism... I will be talking to industry... about how best to do this.

Where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed.

The government's moves still appear to be focused more on perception than action. Yesterday, UK media outlets - for instance the Times, the BBC and the Daily Mail - obligingly rehashed the old, not-very-terrifying case of Younes Tsouli (aka "Terrorist 007") the most fearsome web terror mastermind yet snared, despite the complete absence of any new revelations. Only a cynic would suspect that Home Office briefers were behind the sudden news-free flood of web terror ink.

Today, Ms Smith followed in the less-than-illustrious footsteps of EC vice-president Franco Frattini and indeed her political master Gordon Brown.

Frattini memorably said last year that: "It should simply not be possible to leave people free to instruct other people on the internet on how to make a bomb." He reportedly planned to prevent this by unspecified actions at the level of European ISPs.

Brown went down a similar route in November, saying: "The Home Secretary is inviting the largest global technology and internet companies to work together to ensure that our best technical expertise is galvanised to counter online incitement to hatred." This turned out - thus far, anyway - to be no more than political posturing for the technically challenged, however.

UK internet service provider group ISPA confirmed to the Reg today that it still hadn't heard anything from the government regarding the web terror crackdown. It had asked for a meeting following the Brown speech, but so far has heard nothing.

An ISPA spokesman added: "It is important to note that many of these sites are hosted overseas... there is a working takedown procedure but censorship is the remit of the government not of industry."

The industry spokesman added that the government should "bear in mind that the internet is not the only place for this activity".

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.