Feeds

Terrorism chiefs don't know what they've censored online

You jolly well wanted records? Oh

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Police are shutting websites without keeping any records, hampering government efforts to address online extremism, it's been revealed.

The Terrorism Act 2006 granted powers for police to compel web hosts to shut down websites promoting terrorism. But the powers have never been used, and forces have instead persuaded providers to take down websites voluntarily, according to the security minister Lord West.

He told the Lords on Wednesday that he could not say how many websites have been censored because no records have been kept.

"When we passed the Act in 2006, we laid down a requirement to make such records, but it has not really been done," he said.

"The Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism is now talking in great detail to the Association of Chief Police Officers, and the requirement will be met. We need to make sure that records are properly kept because we need to have precise facts to work on."

When measures against extremist websites were announced, the government suggested ISPs might introduce filtering arrangements similar to the Internet Watch Foundation's blocklist of URLs leading to images of child abuse. No system has emerged, however, and industry sources say the idea is not being discussed.

SOCA and GCHQ are both involved in investigating extremism online, and regional police act to shut websites down where possible. However, in common with abuse sites, most extremist sites are hosted overseas.

"A lot of this is abroad — it is carried on by ISPs abroad," West said.

"We have to deal with them internationally. However, I can assure this House that we are really working hard in this area. We will jolly well get there, and we will jolly well knock them for six finally.

"Finding out who has done something, finding out which server the information is on and where it has come from, is very difficult. It takes very detailed and hard work. I am glad to say that we have some of the best people in the world doing this work, but it is highly complicated." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

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 ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'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
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
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
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
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.
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.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.