Feeds

College IT departments told to deploy anti-terror dragnet

Union criticises UK.gov web snitch plan

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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). ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.