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WTF: Cameron Threatens to Ban BBM & Other Social Networks if Riots Break Out Again

Comments (7)


In his statement this morning about the London Riots - David Cameron announced more powers for police to take down social networks in times of civil disturbances.

Leaving aside how that would even be possible, this really is a step too far.

Blackberry Messenger may have been used to facilitate the riots - but it didn't cause them - any more than the road system or public transport did - though they also may have helped move people around. Angry people broke those windows, not messaging software.

As for services like Twitter and Facebook - they were invaluable sources of support and information for people affected by the riots. It was localised, it provided information that neither the TV news nor the police could, and provided contact and advice from friends that I couldn't have got otherwise. The BBC couldn't tell me that my friend Holly was alright could it?

Cameron's threat to ban social media is also deeply ironic because the British were among the first to criticise former Egyptian dictator Mubarak for taking down the internet during the democracy protests there. The move rebounded on Mubarak because it made people who weren't previously politicised annoyed that one of their basic commodities had been arbitrarily taken away from them.

And for godssake - telephones and texts will still work - and if you ban BBM and Twitter, will you ban WhatsApp and Google + too? Where do you stop? There are dozens of instant chat apps and you can't block them all.

I mean he couldn't ban newspapers could he? What with freedom of speech and all? These modes of communication are our generation's newspapers. They need to be protected in law.

I'm going to riot if someone takes Twitter down. That's community vandalism.

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Cameron's words in full -

"Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media.
Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill.
And 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 websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.
I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers."

[via New Statesman]

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  • Walk yourself's road, let other people to say

  • Wait, so they're thinking of getting rid of all social media, or just people who have been rioting? Blogs seem to be reporting it in different ways, if it's everyone then these riots are terrible and have hurt normal people, and now they're going to affect everybody in the UK. I'm not saying the riots and withdrawal of Facebook are comparable, but still it means the rioters have done what they want, disrupt as many people as possible.

    If it's just to the rioters then that's a very good move, and I hope will restrict the possibility of these riots happening in the future.

  • Dean Love

    Hey, Mr Jonny Hammer shill. You obviously already know, but I'm posting for the benefit of others. This is the one part of the riots that wasn't making sense to me - all the reports of the Blackberry sharing and stuff. DANG! I'M SO STUPID. I was looking towards this flse-flag as an excuse to impose martial law, or at least have excuse to try to justify more powers to armed forces, leading up to the engineered financial collapse. Well, now I see what it was all about. "They"'ve been tweaking and messing and blocking all of the viral truth movement on Facebook and YouTube etc [Not surprising, as Facebook and Google work for them]. They really don't like us telling and sharing the truth about their evil globalist deeds. Now I know that this was mainly engineered as an excuse to close us down. Tell Cameron to go back to his bosses and warm them we already know. Or go back to your bosses, at the very least.

  • jonnyhammer

    Well done Dave, some backbone at last. This was no riot of the underpriviledged, you are not poor if you can afford to buy and run a blackberry or iphone etc. Take their benefits of them too and put these scum to work cleaning up the streets they have tried to destroy

  • Kip

    Those are the most terrifying words I have heard all year. I hope someone who will not be named is listening.

    On the other hand, if they looters really are acting against the greater good, and it looks like they are, I think that same anonymous power could use it's might to track down and punish the looters.

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