back to article College IT departments told to deploy anti-terror dragnet

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 …


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  1. Luther Blissett

    Fail-safe back-to-the-wall information systems

    The UK Government would like to express every confidence in the IT industry, and robustly refutes any suggestion that it will not very shortly know everything about who is doing what on-line (or anywhere else for that matter).

    Is not a myth also an "information system"?

  2. Adam Salisbury
    Thumb Down

    All Hail...

    Adolf Brown & Eva Smith - Winding back race relations by decades and surrendering in the "War on Terror".

  3. MattW

    That's discrimination!

    The Irish are going to feel really left out.

    After all, they're all in the IRA aren't they?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Learning together to be afraid

    Nice touch there, mentioning Al Qaeda and Right Wing groups in the same paragraph. Not surprising you had MP Damien Green arrested for embarrassing Jacqui Smith.

    "In addition to the severe threat posed by Al-Qaida influenced groups, dissident Irish republican terrorist groups who oppose the Northern Ireland peace process still pose a threat to British interests."

    Wait, those who oppose the Northern Ireland peace process are terrorists like Al Qaeda? Are they not allowed to disagree?

    "Other UK-based extremist groups including racist and fascist organisations and far right extremist groups also pose a threat to public order and the British multicultural way of life."

    Wait, "far right" are now classed as terrorists? Calling them extremist but failing to explain what makes them extreme, other than their right wing political views?

    Look Kids, it's perfectly OK to be a dissenting voice. It's perfectly OK to not agree with 'mainstream' NuLabour. The reality is that 75% don't support 'NuLabour' and they are not the mainstream voice, they are just a smothering nanny voice trying to impose their views by threatening dissenting voices with prison time.

    Brown can't face election within his own party, the loonies are firmly in charge and Brown cannot control them. But he cannot suppress the election without declaring a Civil Emergency.

    Which means, be careful what you say online and to whom, keep your head low and be silent even when you want to speak out. Once there is an election we can kick these people out, and then we can prosecute them for what they've done.

  5. Master Baker
    Thumb Down

    Political correctness again

    That's right, the government shouldn't focus on Isamic groups because there are tons of extremist Christians, Jews, Mormons, Quakers, Hindus and Budhists all queuing up to blow things up... What's that? Actually there are no extremist Christians, Jews, Mormons, Quakers, Hindus or Budhists wanting to blow us up in the name of their respective gods???

    If Muslim communities do fuck all to tackle their own extremism then the government has to act.

    These idiots should stop crying victim "Oh the government is picking on XXX community...".

    If said XXX community took responsibility for their own inbreedings of violence and hatred then the UK would be a better place. The government is not targetting Muslim groups for the fun of it. Since Sept 11th there have been a recorded 12,757 deadly worldwide attacks by Muslims who justify their actions by passages from the Koran.

    Don't want to get targetted by government legislation - take some responsibility and change your behaviour.

    I'm sure people may take offence to this post. Don't really care. Any debate on Islam and the roots of it's violence are always silenced. Why is everyone scared about debating the issues?

    Paris, because in a Sharia world she'd be forgotten.

  6. dervheid
    Black Helicopters

    Just how many more examples...

    of NuLabours Totalitarian intentions do the sheeple actually need?

    Restricting student's (or anyone's) access to information. It'll be an "Approved Reading List" next, followed by an "Authorised Reading List", followed by a single "This is All You Need to Know" document. And it'll be a very small document at that.

    Be afraid!

    "Papers, Citizen!"

  7. Yorkshirepudding

    what if...

    ...your doing it as a study in one of your courses?


  8. Graham Marsden

    More FUD

    What are these idiots smoking? If there was ever a way to "promote their message and to encourage engagement" of extremists by students, this is it! "Hey, are you a Muslim student? Then we think you're a terrorist! WE'RE WATCHING YOU!"

    If I was still a student I'd do my damndest to look at these sites every day and if anyone left their computer unattended, sneak a quick look at these sites on their ID too and if (as I managed when I was a student) I managed to shoulder surf a lecturer's log in details, you can be certain that they would be looking at the most extremist material of all!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Extreme Violence

    I understand our actions in Iraq may have broken International Law. Do I report that to the DUIS?

  10. Greg


    I'm sorry, let's read that first paragraph again...

    "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."

    Once more, for good measure...

    "The government has told colleges to monitor web browsing...and report students to police"


  11. Anonymous Coward

    Of Jackboots and Jackquis....

    "I'm sorry, let's read that first paragraph again...

    "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."

    Once more, for good measure...

    "The government has told colleges to monitor web browsing...and report students to police"


    That, my learned friend, is the sound of the Jacqui Smith Jackboot marching across the free and democratic nature of our society, bringing repression and fear-mongering in its wake.

    When students are no longer allowed to research subjects for fear of imprisonment - we truly have done the Terrorist's job for them. A sad day indeed.

  12. evilbobthebob

    Hmmm fun

    So, one of the guys at my college, who actively supports the BNP and is openly fascist can now be arrested? And if I jokingly send 'terrorist' emails, I will get arrested?

    "Actually there are no extremist Christians...wanting to blow us up in the name of their respective gods???"

    No, there are extremist Christians wanting to blow up Muslims in the name of their god.

  13. dervheid

    "and then we can prosecute them for what they've done."


    Has to be.

    You don't *really* believe that the Tories (for it will, likely, be them) , or any other party, will actually "prosecute them for what they've done."

    Not a chance, matey.


  14. Martin Silver badge

    Minimum porn browsing requirement

    Religious fanatics (of all brands) don't like porn.

    Therefore if you look at porn your aren't a religious fanatic.

    So anybody that doesn't browse enough porn is a probable terrorist.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    Is it war to stop the theorists now?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @David England

    That is a perceived grievance and an incorrect interpretation to boot.

    I'm afraid it's my duty to denounce you to teh authoriteeez.

  17. Cameron Colley

    Your Cuntry Needs You... inform on your friends and family! Win prizes!!!! Escape prosecution!!!!

    Vote Fascist for a third glorious decade of total law enforcement!!!!!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Is the following now correct?

    far right extremist groups = wacqui & co.

  19. Sajjad Syed

    Does the UK even have a constitution anymore?

    I'm just wondering. I mean here in Canada we at least are told that we do. Your country scares me where it once had a quaint charm.

  20. Lionel Baden

    @Master Baker

    Nice to some some perspective in here !!!!

  21. R Callan

    Is it possible

    to report the extreme-left wing neo-stalinists, aka NewLabour, as well as the right-wing groups? The arrest of a few (like all) of these pollys would do wonders for the British peoples peace of mind. They seem to be the only terrorists that are effective.

    Non-resident Briton

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bunch of amateurs

    Should take a lesson from the Stasi... at least they got teachers to rat on others IN SECRET!

  23. mike
    Black Helicopters

    Not a memo I have received

    I work for a College I.T dept, we haven't been told about this yet, and we won't do it either. The police can do their own dirty work.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Master Baker

    Somehow I'm not surprised that someone of your towering intellect can't tell the difference between Paris Hilton and a thumb.

  25. Cameron Colley

    @Sajjad Syed

    Tony sold Magna Carta and other rights to the EU for an honoury title.

  26. Nebulo

    @Sajjad Syed

    Re "Your country scares me ..."

    That's probably because the effect is weakened after travelling several thousand miles, like radio waves. I promise you, it's bloody terrifying living here.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lacking common sense

    I work in a University. I believe in freedom of speech. I also believe in freedom from being blown up. On balance, I think the former is far more under threat than the latter.

    If I happened to become aware that one of my students was plotting (not sure how I'd become aware of that; but hypothetically speaking, if I did), sure, I'd tell the police.

    Am I going to go out and watch them, just in case? No way.

    If the elected Govt. wants to proscribe looking at certain materials online, let it try to legislate, and place a monitoring requirement on every provider of networks. Don't ask me to second-guess what's acceptable and what's not, or to enforce some supra-legal banned-list.

  28. blue

    re. Minimum porn browsing requirement

    >Religious fanatics (of all brands) don't like porn.

    No. Fanatics (of all brands) don't like porn.

    See the New Labour Party's™ secular hatred of porn and sex.

    Take a photo of a naked 17 year old you're not married to or in a long term relationship with (merely shagging for a week or two) and you are a sex criminal in New Labour's UK.

    Marriage and 'established long-term relationships' enforced by the full force of the law. Why it's almost like we were living in some puritanical country in the Middle East.

  29. Walking Turtle

    We Have Been Warned Before...

    ...on the Beeb, no less, back about 2001 or so.

    Recommend a mass national re-viewing of the BBC's fine Adam Curtis documentary series, "The Power of Nightmares" to one and all worldwide. Once the mediocre-to-moronic and likely-inbred fuckwits whom we NEVER see in publick office ran out of ways to retain their quasi-hereditary and 'way over-princely overlordship positions in the Mammonite World by means of Harmless Nice Political Ideas, they themselves immediately turned to terrorizing all the Rest of Us right the fsck out of our everloving-though-vulnerable wits by any and all means available. These means clearly included of late a massive staged urban demolition the likes of which we had only seen on the "When Buildings Collapse" film afore. An innocent Brazilian man was also shot in the back of the head as "Counterterror Practice Drill" fodder, one odd-parsed truthy day in the Tube, as I remember?

    But nobody remembers how that celebratory controlled-demolition-tech entertainment VHS cartridge just disappeared from the viddy-shops all over the lot right quick post-kerfluffle, do they, hm?

    Wherefore I, Reverend C. Walking Turtle ______ (rules, y'know), being a duly ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church and in Continuous Good Standing besides, ever since a whole month afore that filthy Ninesey-'Levvensey Controlled Demolition Kerfluffle of everlasting infamy worldwide was done (for "Happened" is aught but a blinkered copout, yes it is), do hereby before Heaven and Humankind+dog alike exhort all I meet at all times every day in the following manner, and encourage all others to take up and do likewise starting from deep within their very own selves:

    Increase the Peace.

    Reverse the Curse.

    Reject ALL Terror.

    (You KNOW you WANT to.)

    John 8:32 is Just All Right by ME!

    Live that way for a few years (and insist that anyone running for office do likewise or no go Jack geddoutnow) and we can just watch, smiling a bit, as it all melts away like a bad dream's shadows come the dawn. IMHO certain elite 'n' IT-enabled hands really do need a bit more than a mere vultural biting-at... mustn't sit on our hands and just wait for them to just die.

    In the US normal dissenting people like myself, one gathers post-Obamanation, are still tagged "Domestic Insurgent" and proactively databased every day in certain fanatical Pentagonal squarepants circles, you know. (All hail General SpongeBob of the NSA!) That is why we merkinz have now got a million+ of ourselves on the Patriot Terrist Witchlist and are thus prevented from flying to safety via commercial airways, y'know.

    We dress like students. We dress like housewives. Or inna' suit-and-tie. It riles them to believe that we perceive the web they weave. Fukkum 'cause the joke in onnem' all to begin with anyway.

    I for one think the Rothschild/Davos/Trilateral/Thule322/Bohemiangrove/etc crowd really DO hate our freedoms - why else would they all just keep chip-chip-chipping away at them (us too) and lying to us all about why they are so doing, year after year after sodding-me-granny year as they have, and still do to this day? Some few of that ilk clearly miss the robust rule of Old King John 'n the heady head-onna'-pike days that their ancestral forebears all enjoyed so bloodily much afore that famous and historic confrontation in the Royal hunting-field, that much is plain as day.

    It'd be the Black Helicopter but for the fact that this is no drill. Utter terrorfraud, utterly convenient to the fat-bellied 'n' voracious terrorfraud warmaking racketeer/artistes who have by now got us to just by and large hand 'em the keys to the henhouse these days - and exactly as real as Hell on Earth's horrendous mammonite stench. This one has studied the Hegelian underbelly of our national leaders' planet-breaking ethos for thirty-odd years by now. Paid both the dues and the price for so doing, too, having been chased from nine villages already and occasionally quite savagely pursued by terrorfraud-induced others for my pains. (I write from Village Ten; it is much better here.)

    Ergo the Boffin.

    NB - The Power of Nightmares: Seek out and download. Burn, view, share, repeat. Share with less clueful loved ones. Ignore at own grave personal risk, one and all.

  30. Steven Raith

    @master baker

    Wihle your point about there not being extremist [insert religion other than Islam here] trying to blow us up is dodgy at best on a global scale, the general point about getting to the roots of extremism through community action is a fair one.

    If the elders/patriarchs of a particular community would stop turning a blind eye to what is quite clearly incitement to racial hatred and bigotry [and I'm talking about anyone here - dodgy imams, BNP meetings, whatever] then you don't have as much of a source for the sort of crap that comes out of it - everything from muggins to race riots to suicide bombers.

    Alas, the sort of people who attend those types of meetings aren't exactly the sort who would embrace itelligent debate about thier situation and grievaces, so I also vote that we eat the stupid, too. From meanns tests to The Menu. That aught to help ;-)

    Will it fix it? Course not, someone, or a group of people, determined to cause trouble, will.

    Can't hurt though, can it?

    Steven R

    [sorry if the spelling is a bit iffy, me keyboard is buggered]

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Well, here's another of those initiatives nobody's ever heard of

    I'm another university sysadmin, and once again this is the very first I've heard of it. Now, way back when the world was young, when wooly mammoths roamed the snowy steppes and universities paid JANET for the bandwidth they used then we had webcaches to try to cut down on bandwidth use and implementing this would have been easy: pull off the webcache log and email to

    Fast forward to today and we pay a flat rate based on how many students we have. We don't have webcaches because we just don't need the things and the less garbage is sitting in the machine room sucking up power, emitting heat and leeching off the maintenance budget the better.

    We don't have transparent proxies either, and we don't monitor websites visited at all, since to do so would be to give ourselves an ethical pain in the backside and a load of data to store securely which we have no use for; in any case all some student would need to do is buy a VPN connection from somebody like and that's him out of the monitoring loop straight off and nothing we can do about it at all.

    So, I reckon that if Jackboot Jacqui and her moronic minions want to monitor university web traffic then they can come up with the kit, and the running costs for the kit, and they can accept that they're only ever going to trap software spiders and assorted morons and will never get anywhere near any real villains at all. But hey, if they want to rent space from us for a waste of space machine, that's their lookout.

  32. Master Baker
    Paris Hilton

    @David Wiernicki

    "Somehow I'm not surprised that someone of your towering intellect can't tell the difference between Paris Hilton and a thumb."

    And your great contribution to this comment page was what exactly? Sarcasm? Do you have anything to say on the story or as your post suggests, are you just a cock?

    Paris just for you.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    another pointless proposal

    Once the students learn of the policy they won't use the college's computers to access the islamic material: they'll just go to a public library and use the computers there or the local cybercafe.

    It isn't going to help much. I'd suggest the public computers in cybercafes which can be used anonymously are a bigger problem: if I recall in recent high profile prosecutions it was established that some of the defendants had used such computers.

  34. kain preacher

    @master baker

    Actually there are no extremist Christians

    Well then I guess those people that blow up abortion clinics and shoot the Drs are in the middle then.

    Eric Robert Rudolph I guess he is in the middle . I mean after all he did just plant a bomb in a crowd of 100's . Oh and the klan guess what they claim to be Christians . The crosses the burn are just to help those poor people see at night . Then there is christian Identity. christian Identity movement believe that non-Caucasian peoples have no souls, and can therefore never earn God's favor or be save . Well those aren't extremist. See Eric Rudolph which he was them. Aryan Nation, guess they are not extreme.

    Since we have established that there is no such thing as extremist Christians, we can tell the FBI to chuck their files on people like right-wing Christian fundamentalist Randy Weaver.

  35. chris

    Remember the despicable behaviour of Nottingham University

    ""Approved Reading List" next, followed by an "Authorised Reading List","

    That's no safeguard, considering the case of the guy in Nottingham who had the police after him for downloading a text that was on his course reading list. And then they try to deport him to cover this up.

    Unbelievable(*) they're trying to turn that monumental fuck-up into a general case.

    (*) - or maybe not

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dissident Republicans are a Real Threat

    The last 2 attempted attacks by Islamic terrorists both failed due to being incompetently carried out (I mean the NHS doctors & the bloke who tried to blow up that Exeter restaurant). It seems Islamists manage at best 1 attack a year. The government & media say they are the greatest threat to national security. Are they? In the past 10 years dissident republicans in Northern Ireland have carried out hundreds of attacks, murdered dozens of people, & are growing in sophistication. Yet the media gives hardly a peep. Only 2 weeks ago a massive car bomb was defused near a school. It contained real explosives, not a few cans of petrol or propane cylinders. Every week passes with another incident. Last week a man was shot dead. Yesterday there was an elaborate security hoax. They are a more significant threat to our nation's safety. It's only a matter of time before another bombing campaign begins on the British mainland.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here you go , situation normal

  38. Rex Alfie Lee

    Teacher becomes an LEA

    How wonderful to have Law Enforcement Agents in our universities & college campuses. It's your duty as a law abiding citizen to turn in these infidels. May the infidels suffer the torment of a college degree, paid for with 25 years at her Majesties Pleasure.

    Don't you just love pigs when you run over them. Problem comes when their bikes get tangled in the bull bar.

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