Feeds

Home Sec in anti-terror plan to control entire web

'I will remove illegal material from internet'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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".

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?