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David Cameron has told parliament that in the wake of this week's riots the government is looking at banning people from using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook if they are thought to be plotting criminal activity.
Hampshire police on Wednesday arrested three people on suspicion of using Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger to incite violent disorder in Southampton. Those arrests are thought to be the first directly linked to the use of the popular BlackBerry instant messaging service. A number of arrests have been made of people suspected of inciting violence on Facebook.
Washington, DC – As riots rage on in the United Kingdom, law enforcement authorities are seeking to identify rioters through access to encrypted text messages sent over blackberry handsets. Some who follow telecommunications developments have drawn parallels between the use of instant messaging and social media in the United Kingdom and the use of these technologies during the Middle East uprisings that took place in countries such as Egypt. Human Rights First today noted differences between the two situations.
“When threatened with nonviolent resistance, the Mubarak regime didn’t hesitate to invoke its significant control over the internet and telecommunications sector to shut down service, to surveil every aspect of users’ online life, and to limit public access to old media and market entry by new media. Egypt’s laws give the ruling authorities near total control over the sector,” said Human Rights First’s Meg Roggensack. “British authorities and telecommunications companies like Research in Motion should have protocols in place and should work through a legal process before personal user data is released during an investigation into acts of criminality.”
According to Human Rights First, how governments exercise their authority and how companies respond will influence the freedom of expression and privacy rights of users everywhere.
Communications companies face situations like these every day, in jurisdictions with and without robust legal process, and they should commit to three steps to help ensure that their decision making helps to protect and advance the freedom of expression and privacy rights of users, including:
* Understand the laws governing data privacy and freedom of speech, including hate speech, in the jurisdictions where the company operates.
* Have clear policies in place to identify the circumstances in which the company will disclose user information or place restrictions on free speech. These guidelines should include the requirement of a legal process and a commitment to interpret government demands and jurisdiction in ways that minimize their impact on users’ freedom of expression and privacy.
* Inform users of the circumstances in which their data will be turned over to third parties or their communications will be censored.
In addition, companies facing these situations could reassure users about their commitment to privacy by joining the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder initiative to help private sector actors protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of users in the face of government demands.
Originally posted by Invariance
reply to post by JennaDarling
It looks more like they'll be talking to Facebook, Twitter, etc.. about suspending accounts from what I read in the article.
Originally posted by mr-lizard
The semi-collapse of society for 4 days has empowered Cameron. The media gave us enough shocking footage to be damning the under classes right now. More class divide, more power for authority. People will be lapping it all up.
The whole thing could very well be a social experiment, designed to restore faith in authority either through admiration or fear. A way of showing 'look what MIGHT happen if we cut police.
Cameron urged Twitter and Facebook to remove messages, images and videos that could incite more unrest across the country. "All of them should think about their responsibility and about taking down those images," he said. "There was an awful lot of hoaxes and false trails made on Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger and the rest of it. We need a major piece of work to make sure that the police have all the technological capabilities they need to hunt down and beat the criminals."
Originally posted by TheMaverick
The Government is blaming everyone and anyone except themselves for the riots ....The blame game.