Feeds

Undercover teachers to track gang members online

Beware - dangerous minds at work

High performance access to file storage

Teachers will be forced to become undercover homies as part of a government strategy to combat the rise of teenage gangs, the children’s minister will say today.

However, this won’t mean swapping their cords for do rags and baggy jeans, rather that they will have to scour social networking sites for evidence that their charges are in danger of being sucked into gangs and keep tabs on whether they acquire new trainers or phones.

Beverly Hughes is due to outline the strategy at a meeting on gang crime in Birmingham today. She will call on schools to respond to “signs or rumours” that children might be involved with dangerous gangs, according to The Guardian.

She will advise heads to develop emergency plans to deal with weapons-related violence, and get in touch with child protection experts if they suspect girls are being abused by gangs in initiation rituals or revenge attacks.

So far so arguably sensible. However, she will also call on schools to get into the active intelligence gathering game, and to train staff to watch out for gang’s “tags”, whether in graffiti or on exercise books. Where they do suspect gang activity, they should then gather evidence, including photos.

One sure fire sign of gang behaviour would appear to be the sudden acquisition of expensive trainers or mobile phones – gang culture having clearly eradicated the celebration of Christmas, birthdays, Bar mitzvahs etc. in the modern UK.

As if this recasting of teachers from the classroom to the intelligence community wasn’t enough, schools are advised to consider monitoring students’ activities on social networking sites, and consider using screening software to monitor their accounts.

This isn’t necessarily a barmy idea, as the nation’s young crims do have an astounding tendency to broadcast their exploits on the likes of YouTube.

However, it also raise questions over how far teachers should be expected to act as policemen, and intrude into students’ private space to decide whether they might indeed be at risk of gang activity.

Students are already being subjected to weapons searches, and asked to supply biometrics information to speed up register taking. Will having their out-of-school activities constantly monitored make the state seem more endearing and persuade them to become good little citizens?

That's even without considering the data protection issues involved - which at time of writing, no-one seemed particularly clear on.

And if nothing else, the prospect of thirty somethings trawling social networking sites looking to get down with the kids has a tendency to end in tears, embarassment, and, occasionally, court proceedings. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.