The British Prime Minister is considering blocking the use of Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger in the wake of the UK riots. Since it is assumed that they are aiding vandalism and criminality.
“Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media,” Cameron told Parliament after organizing a debate totalk about the riots. “Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. When people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. 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 Web sites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality,” he said.
A knee-jerk reaction if I ever saw one. There’s no doubt that if any law was to be made out of this, the majority of decent people will suffer. This will achieve very little to catch criminals, apart from criminalising social networking.
An open letter to the PM which has surfaced on Twitter reads
Tyrants around the world will be rejoicing at your hypocrisy, Mr Cameron. The UK, which likes to think of itself as one of the major players in the free world, although, in reality, now has only a minor role, is now considering adopting the strategies of the parts of the world it recently condemned….
… I fear that if the UK does not begin to address these issues, we will see more riots, more cyber-attacks as the government abuses increasingly large numbers of its population. There is even a limit to how long law-abiding people will feel bound by unjust laws.
We already know what AntiSec (A joint effort by LulzSec and Anonymous to rid the world of corruption and injustice by means of cyber attacks) does to governments like the UK.
The Open Letter can be read in all it’s entirety here: http://www.benslow.org.uk/ScaryUK.html