David Cameron turns water cannons on social networks
PM shoots Web2.0 messenger, but what about the Sky 'copter, Dave?
David Cameron picked on social networks in Parliament this morning, when he told MPs – who were forced to cut short their holidays following four nights of looting, arson and violence in England – that he was considering such tech being barred when used by baddies.
"Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck [sic] by how they were organised via social media," said the Prime Minister.
"Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.
"So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality."
Cameron didn't single out any specific social networks.
It's been alleged that Blackberry's group messenger service, BBM – which operates within a private network – had played a big role in helping thugs crew-up in hotspots in London, Birmingham, Manchester and other parts of England.
The Daily Mail and the Sun, meanwhile, have pinpointed Twitter for helping apparently "feral" youths to incite violence by encouraging people to loot businesses and cause havoc across the land.
It's unclear, however, how Cameron might enforce such a move. Interestingly, he didn't mention the role played by television broadcasters in the riots – Sky and the BBC's seemingly omnipresent helicopters documented exactly where the violence was taking place.
So any naughty young man or woman watching the live footage arguably knew exactly which location to move on to if they fancied raiding Carphone Warehouse's stock. ®
Re-read this article changing David Cameron to the leader of Iran in the protests there a few months back and it works just as well.
It is very interesting that while 'defending' the freedom's provided by social networks in the north african and middle eastern troubles there is no correlation drawn by our esteemed leaders regarding it's use here in these troubles ....
But the wish to be able to censor communications is worrying, however seemingly good the CURRENT reason
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.....
The right to free speech is always more important than the governments' right to randomly listen in or block. People aren't rioting BECAUSE they have social networking available. Communications are just a tool. If governments want to prevent rioting, they should...
(a) improve education (including the basics of civic responsibility)
(b) Fix social services to exclude bummers ( means-testing, disability testing, mandatory employment at whatever job comes up after a period of unemployment or benefits cut, limit children's allowances to 2 or 3 children etc etc )
(c) fix economical / tax incentives to narrow the rich-poor gap and reward productive work and punish laziness and greedy speculation ( lower income tax across the board + remove ALL tax credits / rebates / loopholes , double VAT on luxury items, stricter banking regulation...)
(d) improve copper training so that they behave in ways that earn public respect rather than contempt (clue: arresting photographers for being too tall, allowing police officers to get away with crimes and standing by looking on helplessly at looters fall on the 'contempt' side)