back to article MPs rattle telcos to help kill extremist material online

Internet service providers must do better at removing violent material from websites, a group of MPs thundered today. The Home Affairs select committee published a report this morning that highlighted how extremist groups and individuals use the internet "to promote violent radicalism". MPs were told by a series of witnesses …


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  1. Christine Hedley Bronze badge

    I'm getting a bit of a sense of deja vu here...

    How did I guess before even glancing at the article that Keith Vaz's name would be in there? I guess his involvement is really all anybody needs to know.

  2. Trollslayer

    Can we get ISPs to kill rubbish from MPs?

    That would improve society more.

  3. Crisp

    Unregulated != Terrorism

    That is all.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      What I find ironic, is that given the definition of Terrorism that the UK / USA gov put together to justify certain laws, history would report the actions in Vietnam, Iraq, Afganistan as terroism and also people such as Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, etc. would be called "extremists".

      As for what constitutes "objectionable content"; almost anything that is good in some countries is objectionable in another and visa-versa. Perhaps the MPs should just close all the borders and cut the hardlines like North Korea?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        wow, I've actually been studying this aspect of our society for a year - wrote an unreadable 300 page long sociological paper. Now I'm simplifying it but basically have written in 30 pages what you wrote above. I reckon 90% of the world think differently than UK-USA mindset.

        At present I think Malawi deserves interest

        I'm not a fan of the, other news sources are available - but it was bloody hard to find those links in my Google bubble AND I knew they were there!

        it will be interesting to see how the eventual installation of a 'spy machine' in Malawi - against the wishes of the local telecom companies/ISPs might shows more use of balls than one expects in our average democracies

  4. Miek
    Big Brother

    Oh noes, there appears to be some unregulated free speech* going on. How can we stamp this out ? Perhaps we could get the BBC to run a scare story about MitB attacks and Internet banking not being safe and then label anyone posting unregulated material on the internet as a "Radical Terrorist".

    It's amusing that Free Speech is seen as "Terrorism" or "Radicalisation" to Members of Government.

    1. Miek

      * Unregulated Speech, AKA, Contra-Government Sanctioned notions.

  5. TonyHoyle

    "seek to build on the partnership approach to prevention that has proved successful in the field of child abuse and child protection"

    So... it starts. IWF becomes responsible for 'terrorism', then 'extremism'.

    Next it's 'subversive speech', and ultimately 'all speech'.

    And all the real criminals learn to use encryption..

  6. Ru

    "we cannot let our vigilance slip"

    So, following a successful operation against some would-be terrorists which was accomplished without heavy-handed censorship laws, we should, er, encourage heavy handed censorship?

    I remain surprised that Mr Vaz is still in a position of power, given his rather shady dealings in the past. it is rather depressing that someone who lends his wholehearted support to every government policy intended to curb civil liberties continues to be re-elected.

    1. Chris Collins

      Keith Vaz - paragon of virtue

      It's this kind of seditious nonsense that should be put under the hammer. Next you'll be saying that he has a history of wanting to ban freedom of speech.

  7. Graham Wilson


    The way authority/governments have been going lately (SOPA, this, et al ) will eventually see us all rioting in the streets.

    Someone should remind these bastards that the Nazis were into censorship and book-burning and that we had a rather extensive war with 50-100 million dead to stop them doing it.

    1. Miek

      Rioting? Black choppers for you then!

      Mine's the one without the Black Choppers Icon in the pocket

      1. Graham Wilson
        Black Helicopters

        @Miek -- Awww.


        Perhaps if need be.


    2. BrownishMonstr

      I guess our Gov didn't find the nazis benefit them, had that been true y'know what would have happened.

  8. [My Handle]

    I hope they ask BT to monitor all words spoken into a telephone as well, as I would guess that terrorists sometimes even "talk" to each other.

    1. Miek
      Big Brother

      Don't worry, I'm pretty sure that all telephone calls are faithfully routed via Cheltenham, for our safety.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. SJRulez

    The word terrorist gets flung around too often, a terrorist use to be someone with a political motive who's methods were questionable i.e. not distinguishing between combatants and non-combatants, killing civilians, bombing buildings etc.... Now it seems you can be labelled a terrorist just for having different views to everyone else.

    1. BrownishMonstr

      Hmm, well, Nelson Mandela was labelled a terrorist, even by Thatcher.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        In fairness

        There were a number of burnings where a rubber tyre was placed over the victim's head, filled with petrol and set alight, perpetrated by the various organisations that later became political entities, so at some point, terrorism was a fair description, before it all became mainstream political.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        But he won - you can't be a terrorist if you won.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That's strange

          It sure looks like the terrorists win when Western people lose more and more freedom.


    Keith Vaz also said;

    "We remain concerned by the growing support for non-violent extremism"

    Non violent extremism like ... those few who fund the Labour Party?

    Or those who, like Vaz, believe in the unrpvoden pseudo-science of homeopathy?

    Or people who dare to send Christmas cards to other people? (NECTU specified sending 'unsolicited religious messages' to be an example of 'domestic extremism').

    Or organisations that take extremely large gifts from extremely wealthy and extremely shady Russian billionaires?

    That type of non-violent extremism?

    Where exactly do you draw a line around 'non-violent extremism' and democratic politics?

    I thought *non-violent* protest was something we might look to encourage?

  11. Vladimir Plouzhnikov



    "Internet needs to be censored because of terrorists, radicals, paedophiles, pirates, national security threats, fraudsters and school exams cheating!"


    "We wanna shut down teh internets 'cos it makes it difficult to lie, cheat on expenses, sleep around, receive backhanders, do cosy deals and in general makes our lives soooo difficult!"

  12. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Why aren't people already up in arms about this kind of thing?

    It's not just the expression of free spech issue - it's a fundamental break with the normal rules of 'evidence' and 'innocent until proved guilty' in that it requires a non-politically elected body, often not even based in the country, to make decisions on what *might* be thought offensive to some political body.

    There are rules which define certain things may not be said; certain images which may not be taken (e.g. photographing kingfishers without a permit - what did you think I meant?); certain political bodies of which one may not espouse membership; and perhaps worst of all, knowledge one may not have - that which might be useful to a terrorist[0].

    For each of those things, and numerous others, there are specific laws which prohibit them. IF we don't like those laws, we have the opportunity to rail at our political appointees, and if enough of us do it, sometimes things change.

    But I cannot see any way in which a society can stay sane when it requires third parties to remove, on their judgment and without any judicial oversight, information which *may* fall into prohibited classes. It seems to me that a website should be removed if and *only* if judicial notice has been taken of it, and judgement against it given in respect of a specific offence.

    At least that way, while you may not like the results, you have at least the opportunity to see that the changes are occurring and the possibility of doing something about it.

    [0] information likely to assist a terrorist... where does that stop, I wonder? The old books of workshop recipes that include explosives recipes? The map of the London Underground? The ability to install alternative operating systems on a computer?

  13. ph0b0s

    Great cheat...

    Getting the ISP's to be responsible rather than a court is great. That they will probably be overzealous, so that they don't get punished by the government, is great for MP's. They get objectionable stuff removed from the Internet. And if it gets shown the ISP's have been overzealous and harmed free speech, MP's are clean as it was the ISP's responsibility.

    I also read here: '', that the governments own research contradicted what the 'witness' said to the committee. Is it me does the UK seem to be legislating more on disgust recently rather than on evidence? The extreme porn, cartoon law and this, seem to be more about peoples disgust than on whether removing the said disgusting material will actual help the situation or not.

    And if we are banning websites and media which expresses radical views, I propose the

    Daily Mail be first on the list.

    If we had had this kind of mentality a couple of hundred years ago, we never would have lost the American colonies, to those radicalized into Republicanism by John Locke, etc

  14. Jimbo 6
    Paris Hilton

    Fetch me my *broadest*, broader than that...

    Given the number of people in the UK (such as climate change campaigners & opponents of airport expansion) currently viewed by Officer Dibble as 'domestic extremists' , they're going to have to take an awful lot of stuff offline.

    Which could be tricky for ISPs when Plod aren't willing to reveal to us proles *who* they define as an extremist -

    Though I'm sure it won't be long before the radical outpourings of the Archbishop of Canterbury get censored. (Those eyebrows look like a threat to national security to me, m'lud.)

    Paris, cos she knows all about unwelcome things being posted online

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      "Archbishop of Canterbury get censored"

      Well to be fair, his website does include numerous pictures of a Jew being tortured to death

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is 2012 the year that governments have decided they will take control of the Internet? There seem to be so many "look at this bad stuff on the Internet" stories.

  16. BilboBobbins
    Big Brother

    Do these people not also walk (and who knows? perhaps talk at the same time?) on the public highway? Should the councils which provide their thoroughfares not also be subject to these requirements?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The internet was a much nicer place 15 years ago

    Sure we were on dialup, but the average intelligence of internet users was higher than it is today. Meaning we didn't get a bunch of fuckwits trying to control something they have no comprehension of.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      15 years ago more or less had to have a scientific or technical degree to get on t'internet. I vote we go back to the good old days. No BSc, no Broadband!

      1. Anonymous Coward

        "15 years ago ... you more or less had to have a scientific or technical degree to get on t'internet."

        Uhh... that was 1997. I was playing GL QuakeWorld almost 24/7. The .com bubble was starting to inflate. PlanetQuake had already started turning into GameSpy (ugh). I don't know who you were seeing online, but I can tell you that most of the guys I was gunning down in CTF didn't have scientific degrees.

        We're older than we think...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Eternal September!

  18. AnonymousNow

    When the establishment is corrupted, it seeks to silence criticism against it as an example of "extremism."

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Niel Barnes

    "...Why aren't people already up in arms about this kind of thing?..."

    Because the vast majority of people are so mind-fucked into unthinking docility by their diet of cartoon "baddies vs. goodies" news stories and zzelebrity-flavoured trivia that they'd not raise an eyebrow at the re-introduction of public burning at the stake —as long as their enjoyment of FacePuke or Celebrity Chefs Dancing on Ice wasn't effected.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ...keep you doped with religeon and sex and tv...and you think you're so clever and classless and free...but you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see...


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Panem et circenses.

      Bread and circuses. :(

  20. Anonymous Coward

    "more so than prisons, universities or places of worship"

    OK, I know what they're really getting at there, but it really sounds absurd on the face of it - "We must eliminate the internet, prisons, universities, and churches - despicable hives of sedition and terror, all of them!"

    Didn't Mao do something like that? Aside from the internet and prisons; he didn't have the internet and I guess he figured the prisons were a necessary evil.

  21. I dont believe it
    Paris Hilton

    Cool, Glad Im am athiest

    Can all you religious types please take down all your websites, I find it spurs religious and racial tension

    Can the ISP's please stop the roman catoloc church from posting on line, after all they have a history of molestation

    We had better take down all the Armed forcers sites as some people find that offensive and terrorising

    Whlst we are at it please take down anything that has anything to do with government as thats really offensive. They are always picking on people and terrorising them

    Whatr a load off twaddle.

    Paris, coz she loves it up her

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Between the Roman Catalocs and the Armed Forcers, it's a wonder any of us have survived at all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And make doggy speeling an ofence as well?

  22. Don H

    Mummy's boys

    " ... Although there are statutory powers under the Terrorism Act 2006 for law enforcement agencies to order unlawful material to be removed from the internet, the committee recommends that internet service providers themselves should be more active in monitoring the material they host, with appropriate guidance, advice and support from the government. ... "

    Oh, come on. If you have the powers, use them. Don't try and hide behind an ISP's skirts.

  23. Is it me?

    There is a View

    That having radicals and terrorists posting their ideas on-line isn't such a bad idea, as it means you know what they are thinking, you can work out where they are, some of the time, and counter them.

    If you can't see them, then you don't know where they are or what they are thinking.

    But at least Kieth Vaz won't be scared of them.

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