Feeds

College IT departments told to deploy anti-terror dragnet

Union criticises UK.gov web snitch plan

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The government has told colleges to monitor web browsing for Islamic extremist sites and report students to police, drawing criticism from union chiefs that it could alienate muslim communities.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) released a "toolkit" yesterday calling on IT departments to "prevent staff or students from accessing illegal or inappropriate material through college ICT systems, including having appropriate monitoring systems in place with recourse to police and other partners as necessary."

"Using college computers to email terrorist publications to others would be a criminal offence," it continues. The DIUS document also notes the use of social networking sites by extremist groups to "promote their message and to encourage engagement".

A DIUS spokeswoman said the government was not pushing a particular technology or policy, but that it hoped colleges would be prompted to "look at their IT policies".

A spokesman for the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) said such systems could make lecturers and students afraid to hold legitimate discussions of terrorism or carry out research. He called for the guidance to be changed.

The wide-ranging document places particular emphasis on Islamism rather than extremism generally.

"We are concerned about the emphasis on the Muslim community," said UCU general secretary Sally Hunt. "There is no getting away from the fact that the government's laudable plans for community cohesion will be damaged by the emphasis in the guidance on targeting colleges with large numbers of Muslim students."

Similar guidance was sent to universities last year after a series of news stories exposing that they were being targeted by banned Islamic groups.

The DIUS document, "Learning to be Safe - a toolkit to help colleges contribute to the prevention of violent extremism", is here (pdf). ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.