"Cameron didn't single out any specific social networks."
He's just specifically named BBM and Twitter.
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 …
To be fair, the news channels did a frankly shite job of reporting the news.
I was watching News 24 on Monday night and they had their chopper hover over the places that were on fire - where the rioting had been and was no more. I was getting better info from friends who live in London than the news was letting out.
Every time they interviewed a reporter it was by phone and the chopper was never overhead to show us what the ground situation was like.
I watched the local evening news and the reporters were on the street in the middle of a riot virtually wetting themselves in excitement. They still had buggerall to say other than they fully expected a small crowd currently outside cash converters to swell to a large baying mob that might have a go at trashing the place, and then there is JJb next door which the rioters love. Sure enough - worst nights rioting, JJB trashed.
Next night, same place, interviewing the victims and crocodile tears about how could this ever happen inthe UK.
They are not the cause but they stir it up through rather too specific speculation then feign horror when having given away the locations in precise detail of where something might go down, thus enabling it. More of a worry for me than BBM or facetwit.
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 ....
We let them run riot and take no action, then blame the police for their inaction, then bitch about a lack of powers with which to discipline the yoof, then prevent government from enacting powers to let us discipline them.
Before you so quickly berate the suggestions being proposed how about you start suggesting alternatives?
I'm in no way advocating these powers become widely available and there is scope for abuse of any power given to a government official, that's par for the course and in ofitself one of the reasons there's been riots to start with.
How about leaving the networks open, then _recording_ who said what, and who listened, and then using it as evidence to arrest and prosecute the genuine troublemakers?
By banning them, you will only force people to use other means, like direct phone calls etc., and if you extend things to shut down the phone networks, then how are people supposed to call the police/ambulance/fire service?
with the idea of turning off the social media, My point is that you can't compare the two in as simple terms as this.
There were no freedom fighters at these riots. They would have stolen off each other if they could, I'm sure that probably did happen.
To try and compare people fighting for their lives for freedom, and those destroying the town they live in because they want to steal a new shiny toy shows you up as an idiot.
Of course this is only my opinion, and you are entitled to yours, because we live in a free socienty, unlike those freedom fighters.
As the PM is very persuasive, his statement that 'it was all looting' to paraphrase, may be an over-simplification;
it looked more as though people were in the streets for a variety of reasons including the main one of disaffection, then the looting happened as an opportunist reaction to the police standing around;
while clearly there was some organized looting, the initial 'organized' nature of it is hardly different to hardcore troublemakers causing confrontations at peaceful demonstrations
so banning facemasks, banning known troublemakers from organizing via social media during protests, may be workable legally although dubious technically, providing there is the proper level of supervision;
However we should be alert to the mischaracterization of the majority of the looters, as their original primary purpose was in most cases very different.
Even facemasks there is the potential of it restricting peaceful anonymous protest, I myself would say that without more jury trials generally, there's no guarantee that peaceful serial activists won't be the subject of harassment
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... and perpetual war, Big Brother
War on terror / war on drugs / war on communism / war on criminality etc etc etc. Permanent wars that by definition can never be won, and that are used as an excuse to extract ever more civil liberties and concessions by an increasingly oppressive government.
Incidentally, mentioning "War on drugs", I couldn't help but note that none of those chavs would be out looting if they were quietly smoking a joint at home.
Exactly what I was thinking yesterday having just finished reading it for the umpteenth time and you're perfectly right! There always has to be a bogeyman to rally the people in Victory Square, we always seem to have to have a Goldstein being put up for the Sun readers to get into fits of rage over!
Have people forgotten how much legislation for use against terrorists was abused. How short are peoples memories. Have people not learnt that they should not support these knee jerk power grabs off the back of a rare event, as you will only suffer for it later. Let's at least see if this even was a one off or not before bring out the banhammers. The gov / police have a track record, so it is not paranoid to raise concerns.
And no this was obviously not the same as the protests in Iran, but the question is should a government be given the power to decide what is classed as 'good' and 'bad' communication. As the original poster put it the arguments used by our gov seem very similar if not the same to those used by other less scrupulous govs
Just love how social networks have gone from lauded 'saviour of democracy' status, to root of all evil in just a few months. And the same MP's saying how brilliant it was then, heaping condemnation on it now, without a hint of irony....
The real problem was not the social media, or people wearing masks. But that there were not enough police around. It is very nice if you have the power to ask people to remove their masks, if there no police around to do the asking....
And only morons would think that when cutting loads of social programs and being in an economy having lots of problems that the crime rate won't go up, so lets cut police numbers. I though it would be obvious that if you were going to do lots cuts that would increase unemployment, that you might actually need quite a few bobby's around to deal with the fallout, but that's just me.
... and any government will make use of that for its own purposes. During the initial civil unrest - as a result, if you remember, of the police shooting a man outdoors in broad daylight - I was appalled to hear phrases straight out of the politbureau handbook: "These people are just criminals", "... Heart ripped out of the community", " ... only a small minority", and so on. BBC radio news even found some woman to refer to them as "like rats". Never any suggestion that there was a justification for the people there to be pissed off.
Since then, I have been dismayed that there has been no clear reason for protest for people to rally behind, I am sufficiently aware that there is a huge number of people feeling so disenfranchised that this was only a matter of time, and I'm not feeling particularly sanguine that the Olympic London will be a great place to be next year.
1. What has "broad daylight" goto to do with it?
2. I rather think some facts would be good to know before condemning either side
3. One agreed fact is that the dead man was reputed to be involved in violent gangs and drugs and another is that he had a gun in the car, that, though perhaps usual in some countries, is considered a serious offence in the normal course of things in England, as is mere possession without the proper rigmarole being followed and passsed.
"but the question is should a government be given the power to decide what is classed as 'good' and 'bad' communication."
They (arguably) already do. From section 128 of the Communications act (presumably Social Media falls under this category?):
"A person misuses an electronic communications network or an electronic communications service, under subsection (5), if the effect or likely effect of its use causes another person unnecessarily to suffer annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety or if he uses a network or service to engage in conduct the effect or likely effect of which causes another person unnecessarily to suffer annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety."
I think that "Let's go and nick some stuff and set fire to things" constitutes "causing another person unnecessarily to suffer annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety" and we would also argue constitutes "bad".
If the messages over the network were actually of the order "Let's go and protest at the state of our nation" then that doesn't (necessarily) constitute "causing another person unnecessarily to suffer annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety" and nor would most of us argue that it would constitute "bad".
I'm willing to bet that the messages being debated were more the former than the latter, and this is what people are (quite rightly) upset about
The rest of the section talks about time scales in the order of days and months for various parts of the process (appeals etc. ) so as far as I can see, not being a lawyer, itself is not much use as an existing piece of legislation to limit the impact that social media undoubtedly had on the speed of escalation at the time.
There, we're looking at brave freedom fighters are revolutionaries and democratic activists casting off the shackles of an oppressive regime. Whereas here we've just got a bunch of thieving chavs.
Its just fine to oppress that section of the populace via any means possible. Only when you see a thieving chav wielding an RPG7 will they have made the transition to freedom fighter, and DC will cease to be justified in blocking twitter.
But comparing the events here with anti-government rioting overseas is poor nalaogy-making at best. Those people were united in (mostly) peaceful protest, thier governments then proceeding to try and silence and intimidate them.
While the ritoitng could be attributed to the travesty of a job all parties have done of running this country and therefore be described as anti-government protest it was also a spate of blatant organised raids and as such you've got to at least consider these courses of mitigating action.
Now the analysis has begun we need to watch closely, the article could be twisted to make a great case for the IMP for example, not just loosening up RIPA again.
Why not shut down the whole mobile phone network? They use that to communicate about riots too.
But then they'd use landlines - so best shut them down.
But then they'd use carrier pigeons.. I think it's best to cull the lot - just to be on the safe side.
But then they'd use smoke signals. Nothing for it but to embark on an extensive deforestation programme and.. er.. burn down all the trees.
*slow handclap for the shaven ballbag that is Call Me Dave - Telephone Sanitiser extraordinaire*
but the reality is, post to a web page and you notify dozens, hundreds, thousands, or millions. Make a phone call from a mobile and you communicate with one. Yes you can setup phone trees, but that takes pre-planning, shows malice, and requires a leader against whom leverage can be applied. So there is some logic in what he is proposing.
A better idea would be to use social media to mobilize the population for self-defense and real community self-policing. The problem there is, you Brits are about 20 years ahead of us 'Merkins on the march of Progressive Fascism to the soft totalitarian communist state, so that concept is anathema to anyone in government. Although I will give the citizenry fair marks for the other night: actually engaging in just that sort of self-policing seems to have broken the cycle. A bit late so I can't grant good marks, but better late than never and if you build on it, you just might start taking the first steps away from economic stagnation, possibly even leading Europe to recovery.
whilst we're at it I'd have :-
BMW , Cab and White van drivers
idiots who post fatuous comments on the register (that could also be me !)
all hung , and that's just for starters :-D
give me time and I and a few close family and friends would probably be the only people left alive on the planet. :-D
I don't think shutting down such networks at times of strife would be reasonably feasible or practical - will it be national or just local?
BBM (& Twitter etc used on a mobile device), I suppose, could just be knocked out on certain masts, but is a bit 1984.
I have hardly used Twitter myself but did during the looting, only to be amazed at some of the inciteful comments posted, though many were from law-abiding people shocked and disgusted.
So why not just let people that use such media have somewhere to snitch on/forward on such messages to the law? Self-policing, cheap and should let the criminal barstewards get caught much quicker. Of course, it would mean a tech police force (or a better one anyway).
"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."
If we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality, why not get the police to go and arrest them, or is tracking people via there twitter and facebook accounts not possible by today’s plod.
How to handle a RIOT is written in the RIOT ACT.
That wise piece of legislation clearly specifies that the police is responsible for upholding law and ORDER. Nowdays the police has forgotten the second bit because to uphold the second bit you often have to act preventively and ensure that shit does not hit the fan. Yeah, it may not always be pleasant and some yoof may get a few knocks here and there (had that myself 25 years back in a different country). However it is necessary.
That is exactly why the original riot act was written to make the police (and the state) responsible for any riot damage. It is similar in other countries by the way too - the insurers are not responsible for public unrest damage. It is the state that foots the bill and rightly so.
IMO, Cameron lost any of credit he had for handling this the moment he supported the Police moaning about the update of the RIOT ACT to remove police responsibility for any riot damage. The moaning about the social networks was secondary and insignificant compared to that.
"...the update of the RIOT ACT to remove police responsibility for any riot damage."
The Riot Act was repealed by the Statute Law (Repeals) Act (E&W) 1973. Only the Riot (Damages) Act (E&W) 1886 remains in force.
The Riot Act did not make the state responsible for damage. The Riot (Damages) Act did.
The Riot (Damages) Act doesn't create or structure police powers or behaviour during public disorder. The Riot Act did - until it was repealed more than thirty years ago.
What was your point again?
Getting elected requires people to be persuaded you are the best choice. Several indendents have managed that and you are free to try. If you believe in the power of parties, join one and work from the inside.
Personally, I find this idea of all voting for some top dog, whether called a "mayor" or a "president", somewhat akin to choosing an all powerful monarch (some monarchies are elected, as were Saxon monarchies). I prefer a system where we elect MPs "locally" so that they can be held to account locally and locals have a chance of knowing or at least meeting them on their home ground. As the term implies, pace the efforts and Thatcher and Blair to go American, the Prime Minister is just the first, as in the leader, among several ministers and can be got out of his job when necessary, as Thatcher and Blair discovered.
What an odd idea, a "supremo" to wield central power through one person. I thought our society had spent some time getting rid of that dictatorial concept and only countries such as the USA retain an active vestige of it. That's the brilliant part about a constitutional monarchy, as Spain rediscovered and we experience: There is a nominal top person; just they are essentially powerless, their function being to represent us and to fill the chair so noone else can claim to be the leader. As they can not claim legitimacy through election, they can not change the constitution. Brilliant.
We vote for an MP to represent us in parliament. The political parties are controlled by a bunch of unelected faceless puppet masters.. They like to pretend that we are voting for a party, an ideology or a media friendly poster boy because it keeps them in the driving seat.
In most constituencies the only way to get elected is to be put up for election by one of two political organisations. In a lot of place only one will do. This means that your MP is more beholden to the party the to the electorate. If where up to me I would make it an offence to attempt to coerce an MP. This would make the chief whips office illegal. All votes would be 'free votes' (and what is the point if they are not?) and take power from the party power brokers to give it back to the people.
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)
Don't be silly! Those sounds like CAUSES. Here in the UK we only address SYMPTOMS.
What this needs is a ban on facemasks, and new laws controlling use of a couple of social messaging and telephone networking (not Facebook, natch), maybe some further controls on freedom of assembly, and some waffle about spirit of the blitz and a photo of Dave with a broom with a few minority types. And then maybe a quick world tour reassuring sponsors about the Olympics.
There are laws in place to prevent incitement, racial hatred etc. and some of them apply specifically to electronic communication. So use them. If necessary wave some lawsuits under the noses of corps to cough up log files that can be used to track down offenders.
I certainly see no way at all that social networks can proactively prevent people inciting to riot. There are millions of tweets / Facebook posts a minute and most of these riot monkeys can't even write properly. So how can you scan their words in realtime? How can you vet these people for approval beforehand? You can't. All you can do is put a framework in place to prosecute and perhaps a standard of data retention that assists with investigation. But squeeze too hard and yoofs will simply move to another form of communication which is harder to track. It's not hard to obtain encrypted messaging products so push too hard and people might actually start using them.
People inciting violence via social networks et.al. should be rather easy to trace after the fact. Restricting the networks won't stop the inciting of violence, but it will push it to channels that don't leave a bright shining data trail back to the perp.
Find them and throw the whole damn legal library at them all. Leave an example that will make future riot organisers thing realy hard about what they intend.
I'd go as far as to suggest that they count the number of people demonstrably taking part in the riots and divvy up the punishments for the ones that can't be identified amongst any proved inciters (on top of their own punishments).
No, those were not rioters, those were roaming mobs of thieves, vandals, arsonists, and (in at least one incident) murderers.
Nor was it "civil unrest", though that's what the BBC seemed to like calling it for some reason. "Civil unrest" might be peaceful but obstructive protests such as sitting down peacefully in Harrods entrance, which seems more like the kind of thing the Met is geared up to handle.
There is a story to tell about deprivation and hopelessness and the like, and not just among the young (how easy does the Millionaire's Cabinet think it is for a person over 50 or a person with a disability to find a job, let alone find ongoing employment to age 65+ because the banksters have robbed all our pension piggy banks?) but these last few days are nothing to do with it, and the next few weeks will not reveal anything about a solution to it that hasn't been known but ignored over the last two decades by the various flavours of conservative government.
Watching the police in Birmingham (and elsewhere) on Monday night stand idly by as shops etc were smashed and torched wasn't much of a recommend for any of them. They seem to have got their act together a bit now. Thanks also to the organisers and supporters of #riotwombles etc cleanup teams, and deepest sympathy and special thanks also to Tariq Jahan, who has (for some at least) restored faith in human nature.
They skip out on realising the good that communication networks were doing at the same time, allowing people to organise the tidy up and get information as to where trouble was occurring so they could avoid it. To name but two uses.
As we saw in North Africa when you cut the information stream people go outside to find out what's going on.
The are little criminal scum, the reason that it got out of hand, was that the police were scared crapless that if any of the little scummers weher hurt being arrested then they would end up on mansalughter charges like the dude who hit that druken waste of space tomilinson. Sorry he was a drunk, and being hit on the frigging legs does not lead to you dying, neiother does being pushed to the ground.
Drinking every day for 30 yers like a fish leads to you dying early.
The rioting stopped, when the police were told to actually go in and kick ass,as the GMP should with great effect couple of days ago.
Crap heads and sod human rights!
If you were a coroner you'd have been fired for incompetence by now, like the original coroner who conducted the first autopsy was, who said it was nothing to do with being beaten by the police. He was incompetent and he was wrong. But you're not even a medic of any kind and you're twice as wrong. Also nasty.
Ian Tomlinson was a working man and a parent. Having a drink problem doesn't make people worthless. Being spiteful and hate-filled like you are makes people worthless.
Human rights try to guarantee that I don't get a job with a uniform, come round your house at 1am, drag you out of bed and stuff a truncheon up you or your partners genital areas, simply for talking about freedom of speech in a public cafe the day before!
Human rights try to make sure the ruling party can't just insist that you be a good little lad and do as you're told else they'll have you in a blood-stained cell screaming to have the big guy with the dirty shirt stop ripping your finger nails out because you spoke to someone on train about forming a political party to improve your local neighbourhood's sanitiation!
Human rights were hard fought and won by countless men, women, children and sometimes even animals in wars and peace-time demonstrations, so that obnoxious little fuckers like you could be free to voice your shitty pathetic comments in a public forums without fear of some armed thugs busting down your door and doing things to your reletives, while you watch, that the writers of films like SAW only dream about being able to film!
Bloody idiotic idea. A lot of people are going to have convicted themselves by what they've texted/tweeted/BBM'd over the past few days. If they're going to be stupid enough to post evidence of their crimes on public media, we'd be even stupider to try and stop them.
Nicely put. Only with your help will we continue to live in a country where black-bagging is hinted at by our LIBERAL party leader. ("Dep PM Nick Clegg - there will be "knock on the door" for rioters+looters: there are consequences to breaking the law") - OK, it's not literally black-bagging but you give enough power to a state which is backed into a corner and forced to defend itself: you'll love the hard punishments until they come for you.
Get an open third eye, you blinkered idiot. You want to live in a police state, go live in Syria for a while and see how much you enjoy it. And your high and mighty title is at odds with your spelling BTW. Racking up the pressure only racks up the pressure cooker.
Oh - and BANGING YOUR HEAD OFF A PAVEMENT CAN LEAD TO DEATH. Don't try that out though, wouldn't want to give you ideas.
Just take away their bloody Raspberry/ipwn or whatever and ban them from having said item again (its paid with by benefits) for a minmum of 2yrs.. Vodafone / Orange Everywhere and O2 could share the costs of a database matching IMEIs with billing addresses etc.. So if they attempt to take another contract out... bollocks.. dosent work too great with PAYG Sims....
I can sense another costly disastrous IT project coming along!
So they 'borrow' someone else's.
How long is it before someone writes an app for each platform that can send messages using strong encryption to another copy of the app on another phone?
Perhaps using sms to send the encrypted messages, perhaps an ip protocol? No central server. Just a single plain text sms to swap keys. BBM without the server.
William Gibson "The street finds its uses for things"
Thought about it, what you seem to be asking is to draw similarities between something that was designed for communication and something that was designed for threatening and killing.
While Social Networking can be used for bad and good (although often pointless and insane) reasons. Guns have a single reason for existence, that reason is expelling small objects at high velocity… which really only has a single practical use.
I accept, that as one of our country's leaders and shining example of reason and virtue, Mr. Cameron feels obliged to comment and suggest ways of dealing with the issue, but shouldn't it be something more than a knee-jerk draconian swipe at media platforms?
Think it through Mr. C... think it through...
Big Bro, 'cos we know where this can lead...
Cameron is so out of touch, he should step down.
Over the past 20 years the british gov have shut down borstals and remand centres, done away with discipline in schools and in the home, consequently removing the bounderies that previous generations have had, and removing the consequences.
Cameron doesn't have a clue about how ordinary people live. So now he blames social networks,... what a total ARSE - if it wasn't for idiots like Cameron and his gang of criminals we would never have been in this situation in the first place, and we'd still have social networks.
does anyone else think this all seems a bit contrived - so whats the gov's plan, to make facebook, twitter, and txt msg'ing illegal - consider the impact these services have had on exposing corruption! If I was a corrupt politician i'd want them shut down too, but how,.... i know, if i could somehow secretly organise some riots where i could then blame these services (which have exposed some of my friends and colleagues and could potentially expose me),... of course I'd have to make sure my firnds and i were all on hols at the time,.. yes, yes, a cunning plan, no-one would ever guess
How do you know a person is the sort of person who should be banned [*] from social networking until, you know, it's too damn late?
* - not that I can see this being much use, it's already against a dozen laws to riot, steal, and burn stuff down, but that didn't seem to be much of a consideration.
Of course, the conspiracy theorists will be along in a minute to explain that the riots were started by "Da Gubmint" in order to reclaim their control over the dear peepul, which has been bypassed by all this "social netw*nking 'n' stuff".
Not a black helicopter, Murdoch's illegal spy drone.
We last had national riots about 30 years ago. Who was in power? Oh yes, the Tories, good job they did not get enough votes to get back in. Oh!
Treat people like s**t and don't be surprised if they behave like s**t.
As always, a bit of political objection gets hijacked by alot of criminals just out for themselves. Line them up against the wall and throw all the books from the closed libraries at them
The best solution would be to create some kind of man and machine hybrid - let's call it a cybernetic organism for want of a better name, or cyborg if you will because today's yoof can't spell cybernetic.
Send this `cyborg` back in time to Boston 1876 to shoot Alexander Graham Bell in the face and voilà! - no telephones.
"To the law-abiding people who play by the rules and who are the overwhelming majority in this country, I say, “The fight back has begun. We will protect you. If you’ve had your livelihood and property damaged, we will compensate you. We are on your side.” To the lawless minority, the criminals who have taken what they can get, I say: we will track you down, we will find you, we will charge you, we will punish you. You will pay for what you have done." David Cameron
Was this supposed to be said during the banking crisis?
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