Feeds

Keep calm and carry on networking, says UK.gov

Tweeting while London burns is OK

Security for virtualized datacentres

Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry representatives met with Home Secretary Theresa May at lunchtime to have what ended up being a somewhat lighter discussion than expected about social networks used in relation to criminal activity.

Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs, who were forced to cut short their holidays and return to Parliament on 11 August in the wake of the English riots, that he was considering such tech being barred when used by baddies.

But such a consideration, which has been rejected by pretty much every right-thinking netizen across the land, appears to have been shelved today.

Instead the Home Office said its talk with Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry focused much more heavily on how those companies can cooperate with law enforcement agencies.

In a statement, the government department made no mention of threats to cut off access to would-be crims who were using social networks to incite violent disorder in the UK.

The Register understands that the meeting mainly involved talks about how the police could more effectively use social networks during times of potential crisis in Blighty, rather than working out ways to restrict usage.

"We found today's discussion at the Home Office constructive and built on much of the work we are already doing with the UK authorities to ensure Facebook remains one of the safest places on the internet," said Facebook in a statement.

We welcome the fact that this was a dialogue about working together to keep people safe rather than about imposing new restrictions on internet services. We were pleased to highlight our array of effective reporting tools and the relationships we have built with Law Enforcement to keep the site safe for the 30 million people in the UK use Facebook – especially during times of crisis.

We were also able to revisit the positive role Facebook played during the riots – from letting friends and family know they are safe to helping facilitate local clean-up operations. There is no place for illegal activity on Facebook and we take firm action against those who breach our rules.

Blackberry hadn't immediately provided us with a statement at time of writing.

Twitter offered this canned statement:

"Governments and law enforcement agencies around the world use Twitter to engage in open, public communications with citizens. We've heard from many that Twitter is an effective way to distribute crucial updates and dispel rumors in times of crisis or emergency.

"People also use Twitter as a the first place to get information, monitor quickly changing events in real-time, and connect with friends, family and their communities. We are always interested in exploring how we can make Twitter even more helpful and relevant during times of critical need."

During the England riots it was indeed clear that the cops were just as engaged with social networks as the rest of the British population.

Many police officers used Twitter and other sites to respond to reported disturbances that had been fabricated, for example. They also tweeted plenty of info about individuals who had been cuffed for taking part in looting, arson and other criminal behaviour. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.