back to article UK PM Cameron says Internet must not 'be an ungoverned space'

UK prime minister David Cameron has called for “extremist material” to be taken offline by governments, with help from network operators. Speaking in Australia's Parliament on a trip that will also see him attend the G20 leaders' summit, Cameron spoke of Australia and Britain's long shared history, common belief in freedom and …

Cameron talking crap again

For god's sake, Cameron, keep away from the internet. It's already clogged up with advertising - we don't want you and all the other control freaks regulating the shit out of it too.

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Mushroom

Re: Cameron talking crap again

Take your stinking paws off my internet you damn dirty politician!

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Big Brother

Re: Cameron talking crap again

Indeed...

"...an effort to “root out” extremism from institutions..."

Might I suggest starting with The Palace of Westminster?

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Re: Cameron talking crap again

Hang on, why ought internet videos imploring you to go and cut your neighbours' heads off not be regulated?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cameron talking crap again

Either because they are protected under the principle of freedom of expression (in the case of allegoric or artistic endeavours) or because they are already prosecutable under existing laws (such as incitement to commit a crime, hatred, etc.)

Mr. Cameron was preaching to the converted in Australia, but if this is not totalitarianism I don't know what it is.

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Stop

Re: Cameron talking crap again

Hang on, you're now agreeing with me. I asked why ought material calling for violence not be regulated, and you said (and I paraphrase) 'because they are regulated [prosecutable under existing laws]', and presumably you agree they should be. So your argument has the form "they shouldn't be regulated, because they are regulated, and they are regulated because they should be regulated". :-/

And if you're arguing we shouldn't actually regulate material itself, but just prosecute people who put it up instead, why should we (i.e. the government which acts on our behalf) only prosecute people for putting up videos calling for murder, and not take the videos down too? Would not the material then be viewable forever? Of course it would.

So you then say (I quote) "because they are protected under the principle of freedom of expression". Are videos calling for murder protected under the principle of freedom of expression? No they aren't. There is no such principle which protects incitements to criminal violence. Not in any country. And since the principle in question, is a "should" principle, i.e. free expression isn't a fact but is an expression of our nuanced moral views on what should obtain, you haven't actually said why we should be free to post pro-murder videos, except that you've said 'FREE EXPRESSION, YEAAAAAHHH!!'. Which doesn't really explain for me why we should be free to incite murder.

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FAIL

Re: Cameron talking crap again

"if this is not totalitarianism I don't know what it is."

OK 1) it's not totalitarianism. 2) Totalitarianism, according to the OED, is "a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state".

So now you know. M'kay?

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Re: Cameron talking crap again

Tapeador, sorry dude but you need to understand the world view of the average Register commentard. Many of them live in a fluffy world of highly educated IT professionals and academics. They have little exposure to the kind of people who are susceptible to extremist material and little understanding of of the thought processes involved. Even if they do have exposure to these people, they still see everything through their own educated world view and therefore don't understand the risks. I'm not talking about someone watching a 2 minute voyeuristic beheading video on Liveleak, I'm talking about the extremist videos who feed off the mindset where women are worthless, democracy is weakness and "the west" (ie white and non Muslim) is the enemy.

I haven't a problem if another countries population decides they want to live in a society like that, that's their own shit to sort out, but unfortunately many of these people are very much embedded in OUR society. If these people are allowed a free rein, then either ourselves or our children are in for a big lesson on appeasement.

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Re: Cameron talking crap again

Extremist will merely be that with which they do not agree. Watch this space.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cameron talking crap again

> Hang on, you're now agreeing with me. I asked why ought material calling for violence not be regulated

I presume this relates to my previous comment.

In a nutshell, the call for (non-State sanctioned) violence is itself already illegal in liberal democracies, so attempting to make the vehicle for said calls also illegal is redundant and subject to misuse.

And I know the definition of totalitarianism (no capital, although it's a matter of style) but thank you for posting it anyway. Now, perhaps you could tell me how you think UK policy and discourse is not leading towards it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cameron talking crap again

"Tapeador, sorry dude but you need to understand the world view of the average Register commentard. Many of them live in a fluffy world of highly educated IT professionals and academics. They have little exposure to the kind of people who are susceptible to extremist material and little understanding of of the thought processes involved."

I wasn't aware that someone had done a sociological study of ElReg's forum contributors. Could you please post a link to it?

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@AC Re: Cameron talking crap again

A capital after a full stop is not a matter of style, it's a matter of grammar.

You originally said this "is" totalitarianism, not that it is "leading to [it]". I won't deal with your second claim about what this is leading to. Your claim that this "is" it, seems to me not to match the common dictionary understanding of totalitarianism.

As for "In a nutshell, the call for (non-State sanctioned) violence is itself already illegal in liberal democracies, so attempting to make the vehicle for said calls also illegal is redundant and subject to misuse." I think you completely fail to grasp the purpose of the criminalisation of "non-State sanctioned" (sic) violence and its promotion. The purpose is to minimise such violence. Measures which are vital to achieving this purpose are anything but redundant: they are the purpose for which the original criminalisation of violence-promotion was enacted.

If, then, you criminalise the original making of a statement calling for violence, but not, for example, the infinite rebroadcast of that statement on social media (which is the position you advocate), you a) fail to prevent the initial call (because these people are often beyond our borders, and criminalisation of online activity is a very weak deterrent, cf copyright theft), and b) you end up with the message they posted, endlessly rebroadcast. Ergo, you end up with their pro-violence propaganda being essentially permitted - in law and in fact.

Knowingly hosting pro-violence propaganada seems to me entirely culpable. It is this which regulation properly prohibits. I don't see how you can claim that it is not culpable and worthy of criminalisation.

Oh and I think your drawing moral equivalence between "state-sanctioned" and most unlawful violence is unsupportible. We cannot have individuals or militia deciding and enforcing disagreements privately through force. A sovereign authority is required, one accountable to the people and its representatives.

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Re: Cameron talking crap again

I take your point, but he does have a point, too. The average El Reg reader is most likely not the average person, almost definitely better educated and with a more inquiring attitude to what is going on in the world.

*Most* comments on El Reg show a better grasp of rhetoric than in, say, the Daily Mail. And no, I don't have a link to a survey showing this either, but suggest, if you don't believe it, you make the comparison for yourself!

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Back in the days of SCO vs Linux ...

Penguinistas wanted SCO's website up and running so they could put links in debunking pages to prove SCO really were making ridiculous claims.

If David Cameron wants to create debunking pages at his own expense, then he is welcome to get on with it at his own expense. If, on the other hand, he wants people to hunt down certain websites and believe the contents, then banning is an excellent way to start.

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It's nice and comforting to know, that Cameron will protect us from extremist material!

Public discourse, education, and tackling issues head on is always a waste of time. It's reassuring to know that we can simply ban extremist material, and then the people who previously held these views will realise the error of their ways, and embrace good ol' fashioned British values!

God bless David Cameron!

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"God bless David Cameron!"

Indeed. I was particularly impressed to see that Spineless Dave has analysed the situation and found that the grinding poverty and lack of food or of work are not causes of extremism, and neither is "foreign policy" (meaning nigh on fifteen years of missile strikes, failed interference and persistent war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and now Syria).

No, the causes of extremism are a few crappy videos and bile-spewing web sites, and if government can control those the problem will be gone.

Actually, I've a better idea. Our government (for which purposes I regard the US and UK as a single state) stops interfering in other people's affairs, stop pouring weapons into conflict zones, stop making bellicose and inflammatory statements when they don't know what they're talking about, and concentrate on the pressing domestic problems that they've spent decades ignoring. And before things spiral completely out of control, perhaps the 'bama & Dave show could stop meddling in Ukraine and antagonising Russia. Back in the 1980s your equally small minded predecessors sought to make life difficult for Russia you created the Taliban, and I think there will be considerable agreement that policy didn't work out very well in the end.

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"God bless David Cameron!"

In the polite society of the Southern United States, one will never say a bad word about anyone behind their back in mixed company.

Instead, a certain phrase is used to indicate that the person being spoken of is a hopeless jackass.

So, sipping a mint Julep, I will only state, "David Cameron? Well God bless his little heart!"

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Anonymous Coward

"So, sipping a mint Julep, I will only state, "David Cameron? Well God bless his little heart!""

I for one upvote that rather splendid piece of condescending southern snark. And, yes, Mr. Cameron has a little heart. Amongst other things.

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"Back in the 1980s your equally small minded predecessors sought to make life difficult for Russia you created the Taliban, and I think there will be considerable agreement that policy didn't work out very well in the end."

It worked out very well for the UK/US guns'n'ammo biz; first they got taxpayers' money to arm the Taliban, then they got taxpayers' money to fight the Taliban, and next they'll get taxpayers' money to fuck up the internet so we can't hear that the Taliban are still around.

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"first they got taxpayers' money to arm the Taliban"

Point of order: Although the West funded weapons for the Taliban, these were invariably procured local to the conflict, or through crooked international arms dealers. Very few of the weapons supplied were Western designed or made, partly because they didn't want the Russians showing captured SA80's or M16's to the press, partly because Western weapons were not as robust and effective as the AK47 and similar products.

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Holmes

It works like this:

We (The west, we're all in this together) have been doing this for decades:

10 Support (weapons and money) a given designated "Friendly" faction for reasons that matters to us at a given time and that culturally are alien to the supported group.

20 Supported group crushes opposition using our weapons and our money in their country of origin.

30 Supported group now feels strong and uses our own weapons and money against us.

40 Realise supported "Friendly" group wasn't our friend at all, and they are now hostile radicals.

50 Find new "Friendly" group to oppose the old now hostile group, which are not radicals.

60 Goto 10

With this program it is guaranteed that everybody will be angry at each other and us (Westeners)

Cameron, like most useless western politicians is only worried with making the media evidence disappear simply to keep pretending that there is no problem. This is like a woman wearing clothes to conceal a pregnancy. Eventually she'll have to face the fact she's going to have a baby.

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And who decides what is extremist? That sounds like an idea that will go badly wrong.

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I volunteer!

I can do that. I promise to use my powers only for evil and entertainment.

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@ moiety

"And who decides what is extremist? That sounds like an idea that will go badly wrong."

It could go bad under the tories. It will go to the extreme under labour. And I cant think of any party I would trust this level of decision making to.

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Re: I volunteer!

UKIP is filled with extremists, the first act should be to remove all material relating to UKIP.

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Well, depends who's in power at the time doesn't it?

Don't forget, this utter King Knut promised that English MP's wouldn't vote on Scottish matters, but then say Scottish MP's can't vote on English matters only. Which would mean the Tory's would win near enough every vote they put forward.

As George Galloway would say, they're just three cheeks of the same arse. Except for UKIP, they're effectively the product of said arse.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't forget, this utter King Knut promised that English MP's wouldn't vote on Scottish matters, but then say Scottish MP's can't vote on English matters only. Which would mean the Tory's would win near enough every vote they put forward.

Presumably, only if the majority of English MPs are Conservative. Oh they are? So the majority of English people want Conservative politicians to represent their views, and on English matters you think that they should be overridden by Scot MPs?

Presumably you only started thinking this because there are more English Conservative MPs than English Labour MPs and you prefer Labour policies. There is something about the left that makes them think "Democracy is fine, as long as we're in charge".

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Anonymous Coward

Take down all the references to the extremist viewpoint that the internet has to be governed.

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the left think "Democracy is fine, as long as we're in charge".

The trouble with democracy, is that it lets politicians get into positions of power.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I volunteer!

Could you please provide citation for the number of wars UKIP have taken us into vs Labour/Con/Lib

Thanks

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SCOTLAND

I think the actual problem is that Scottish matters do not get put to the House of Commons. UK matters do and Scottish MPs (even if over representing their electorate) properly get a vote. When English matters are put to the House of Commons Scottish MPs also get to vote on English laws when they have no mandate.

To paraphrase Lord Palmerston: Only the English understand the West Lothian Question.

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"the majority of English people"

If you actually look at the figures I think you'll find that a majority of the electorate has never voted for any of the governments that we get.

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Re: @ moiety

"And who decides what is extremist? That sounds like an idea that will go badly wrong."

We've got over 200 hundred countries using the internet in one way or another. Each will have their own view of extremist activity.

When one filters the internet through 200 sets of filters not even a picture of a cat will get through.

The day will come when there will be lots of different internets one for each of the two hundred filters. I dread to think what we would get if we left this to Cameron's chums; one of which is Ms Brookes.

Time to emigrate again...

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Holmes

Obviously

This is a slippery slope...

It will be done in the name of removing the beheadings, but it will come in handy later for anything else they want to justify.

The funny thing is that this is the internet we're talking about, with all their political and corporate might the pirate bay is still up and running.

Why wouldn't the radicalised "asians" find places to post and share their non-"asian"** attainments.

All this is is an exercise in cosmetic measures, "look ma, no videos online, no problem!".

(**Cameron said it not me)

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Usual political failure

Cameron as ever failing to notice that if he has a reasonable point to make this would torpedo most terror *if* it was believable in context. Reasonable points don't seem reasonable when you're in poverty (relative or absolute) with foreign policy apparently designed to target you and yours.

"Vulture South has accreditation to the event, meaning we can get our hands on any communiqués the leaders emit." --> next reg headline: Southern subeditors suffer sulphurous suffocation?

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Wrong again!

We like our internet ungoverned.

The more I see of .gov the less I want to see it expand.

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"The more I see of .gov the less I want to see it expand."

The more I see of .gov.uk under Cameron, the more I think it should be classified as extremist material.

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Happy

A bright future

I look forward to the day when i can sign in to theregister.gov.uk, having biometrically proven my ID, and have a safe commenting experience, knowing that I won't be forced to see nasty words typed by people who don't think like I do. Bring it on.

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Coat

@ JustaKOS -- Re: A bright future

Fuck that!

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What's that sound?

Ahh yes it must be the sound of the 'Nanny State Pork Barrel Bus' come to <strikethrough>exploit us all</strikethrough> help us all out. Joy of joys.

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Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

Whilst blocking extremist material (whatever that is) might make for good headlines for people who don't think things through, in reality such a policy has been shown repeatedly to lead to massive overreach by governments. Who decides what is "extremist"? Will the definition only include people who want to bomb somewhere? Or will it be a fuzzy definition that can be used as a blunt tool to control any dissent?

How would such a system be implemented also? Transparently, or entirely in secret? I figure it should be transparent - that way people don't think you're hiding things away.

And then, behind all that, why is the focus on end results, rather than prevention? Surely we should be putting our effort into preventing radicalisation and the like?

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Re: Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

@localzuk

What's this "usually" business?

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Re: Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

Any and all "censorship" related law. Laws to control child pornography online ended up being extended to include copyright infringement, which then get extended to include extreme material etc...

Unless you mean it should be "always"...

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Re: Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

@localzuk

"Surely we should be putting our effort into preventing radicalisation and the like?"

It's amusing (not really) how our politicians can do this where it isn't needed but utterly fail (avoid) to do so where it is.

In Australia, our politicians, with the headlines of tabloid newspapers fresh on their desks, declared that 'alcohol-fueled violence' was a concern. So lets increase the tax on alcohol, limit the availability and bring forward closing times. In short, let's punish and inconvenience everyone for the sake of addressing the actions of a few.

But that's okay, because you have to address the 'drinking culture', which sees a tacit acceptance of alcohol.

Move to religion, however, and suddenly it's reversed. We've got to just crack down on the 'extremists' and under no circumstances admit that there might be any problem with religion in general and the culture of blind faith and respect for blind faith.

Of course there very much is a "culture of drinking" in Australia but it's a damned sight less dangerous than the culture of blind religious faith.

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Happy

Re: Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

That is precisely what I mean.

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Re: Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

"Will the definition only include people who want to bomb somewhere? "

Isn't that overwhelmingly governments?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Government regulation usually ends up with overreach

Will the blocking of extremist material mean the websites of BAE, Boeing and Lockhead Martin disappearing from google? Or is that stuff ok cause their WMDs only kill bad people?

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WTF?

“extremist material” "hatred"

I guess, Dave, that you might consider starting with your own backyard ... I mean, UKIP website is hosted in the UK and still up and operational at the time of this writing.

Seriously, though ... you, like a great number of other government officials, are already taking down bits and bobs here and there, so I guess that if you can take down a site when RIAA kindly asks, you already can take down Islamist, Zionist, Jehova witness', Mormon, Scientology etc websites ... so what is your point ?

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Re: “extremist material” "hatred"

@Hans 1

". . . already taking down bits and bobs . . ."

Bits and boobs, I think you mean.

And I wasn't aware the RIAA/MPIAA asked. It was my understanding that they simply make a periodic donation and then e-mailed un-annotated lists to parliament each week.

"Asking" seems rather inefficient.

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Re: “extremist material” "hatred"

I hope they do ban the UKIP website, it might actually wake the sleeping masses. I find it hard to credit how dense some people can be sometimes.

You can warn people of impending doom 'til your face turns purple and they will blithely ignore it, and once said doom appears upon them they wail 'why weren't we warned?'

Would it be extremist of me to promote a form of democracy where you have to exhibit an understanding of the issues before you are allowed to vote? (or at least even an awareness of the issues)

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