back to article Met launches net café spy operation

Internet café owners are being asked to spy on their customers as part of the Met police's terrorism prevention efforts. Under a pilot project in Camden some have agreed to monitor their customers' internet habits for evidence of interest in Islamic extremism, the BBC reports. They are intalling police screensavers and putting …

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WTF?

What they'll really be thinking...

... is "what a bunch of hypocrites!" We call ourselves a free country, and tell the world that we're the ideal liberal democracy that all nations should want to become. But then our coppers pull retarded stunts like this so they can throw a bone to the hard-of-thinking. And, of course, if anyone questions the coppers' strategy then it's all "do you want the terrorists to kill your granny?" and "all it takes is one".

Meanwhile, we're just hardening the attitudes of the guys that are the real nutters and handing them another set of grievances to get the kids (they blow up too fast these days) into the gang.

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FAIL

free wifi

1. Buy second hand laptop

2. Goto pub, cafe, bar, next door neighbours free wifi

3. Access dodgy por^H^H^H terrorist material

4. Profit!

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Pretty much...

There are a few extra steps that you could add there - changing your wireless mac address frequently is a good start - but that's the basic idea.

Then again I don't see how terrorist communication requires anything obvious on the screen at all... There are just so many ways to use the internet anonymously, without any risk of being observed, I don't know where to start. But using open (or WEP encrypted, which amounts to basically the same thing) wifi networks is an extremely obvious place to start.

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Gold badge

Yup.

Any fule know that if you are accessing material that is totally outside the law, you use a disposable machine, and ditch it the femtosecond you are done.

Preferably in a skeezy motel somewhere that lets you pay in cash, and doesn't have video surveillance.

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FAIL

Profiling & Subjectivity

This could be interesting* if anything happens with it.

I'm pretty sure that I, as a white male, with long hair, biker jacket, and an mp3 player blasting out Rammstein, would be able to look at Islamic history, paying careful attention to the Crusade era, without a problem. Hell, I could easily say I was researching for Assassin's Creed.

If my Asian wife (not a Muslim, but was brought up as one) was to look at the same material, it might be considered "extremist", as the Islamic response to the Crusades of Western Christendom is often used as an analogy for current Jihadist behaviour - in effect, Islam responded with violence to the Western Christian coalition in the Crusades, and they're doing the same now. The only thing that's changed is the method. The Crusaders use smart missiles instead of Templars, and the Muslims use IEDs instead of light horse archers.

Either way, the material is either legal, or it is not (whether some material should be legal or not is another conversation entirely!). Jumping on people who have chosen to view legal material for no reason other than "they might be thinking bad thoughts whilst viewing it" is not acceptable. What I might consider perfectly reasonable theological or historical research, would be another person's "extremist propaganda".

What happens if I view extremist Christian material? It does exist, as can be seen with websites about god hating homosexuals, to cite only a single example.

I feel the need to grow my beard long and enter an internet cafe (if I can find one!) with greetings of "Salam, brothers" just to see what happens. Though I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to risk being locked away and never heard from again, as seems to happen with depressing regularity.

*: note that I mean "interesting" in a subjective sense.... "terrifying" is also applicable here.

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Black Helicopters

Bravo Ihre Papiere Bitte!

Well said and its good to read common sense.

"Extremist" is meaningless and basically comes down to whatever the person looking at doesnt like.

I find websites such as Rapture Ready or the Westboro Baptist Church to be hatefilled extremists sites, would the police respond if I reported someone for viewing them?

In fact this strikes me as a good way to fuck over people I dont like....

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Anonymous Coward

Old news...

I owned an internet cafe back in the 90's and was asked by a Government agency to do the same thing.

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Silver badge

This does mean that it's harder work being radicalised - digitally.

Yes smart terrorists and secret government agents are careful about the computers and phones that they use. But a bored university student may be less particular.

On the other hand, students don't NEED the Internet to radicalise them. And they don't need to invite hate-speakers to address their meetings. Students can get radical all by themselves, just sickened at all the messed-up-n ess in the world.

Having said that, a professional standard of terrorist organising and action does require outside contact with the people who know what they're doing in that field of endeavour. There's such a long list of people who tried to blow something up or assassinate somebody and failed miserably, because they didn't know how to do it right.

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Big Brother

Saddened, but not surprised

After hearing that god-awful "shop your neighbour" anti-terrorism ad on the radio one too many times (and one too many times for that ad means hearing it just once, let alone the umpteen times I've endured it since), I have to say that whilst this new attempt to put the fear of dog into the population by making them think there's a terrorist around every corner is one that saddens me, what makes me even more sad is that it surprises me not one bit.

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Big Brother

strange process

What's this process do I wonder ? iSPYServer.exe

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WTF?

Completely un-subtle gibbering rant follows...

It's like the fucking McCarthy commie witch hunt all over again, what a complete load of facist bollocks!

Why not have a good old fashioned book burning to boot!

FACIST WANKERS!!!

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Stop

Barking, howling mad.

Why do we have a police force?

They have delegated the task of hunting bad people to untrained, poorly informed, opinionated, bigoted busybodies. They may as well get El Reg commentards to do their policing for them.

Seriously, we pay for, train and equip a police force who are *supposed* to know the law well enough to act when they see possibly illegal behaviour. How the fuck is some minimum wage internet cafe worker supposed to see something and discriminate it well enough to identify real terrorism from everything else.

The BEST that this crackpot idea can provide is a massive increase in thought crime offences - we already have legislation that allows for all manner of material to be deemed of use to terrorists, so view it at your peril - but even this is an optimistic view point. If recent history is any indicator, I cant imagine anyone who gets reported as suspicious, having a clean enough life to avoid any charges. Once an investigation starts the apparent urge is to find *something* to prosecute if only to justify police time (twitter bomber for example).

Its insane. Its lazy policing. Its lazy people for allowing the world to get into this state.

I really, really wish there was another planet I could emigrate to. As it stands, everywhere in the world is insane......

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Thumb Up

Commentard Policing?

"You there! Yes, you! The one reading the Daily Mail! You're NICKED chum!"

Could work....!

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The Lives of Others

An excellent German film (sub titles but I am sure reading is not beyond this audience) showing the best and worst of the surveillance state.

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FAIL

alevel17

So yet more people going to arrested for watching internet virals then.

Anyone remember the one that montage of arabs firing an Elephant gun and falling over a while back?

Better not watch that if you have brown skin!!

Sh*t wait..I'm half chinese but when I grow a beard and get a tan I look arab...better keep clean shaven and avoid the sun before using an internet cafe!!!

*sigh*

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Grenade

As an internet cafe owner.....

As an internet cafe owner in the Scottish Borders,

If they expect me to put posters up for them - they can pay for the privilege - the space that their posters take up - is space we could be advertising our upcoming events in the theatre.

If they expect me to install their screen savers - they can quite frankly get stuffed - again we use the screen savers for advertising upcoming events.

As we are also a coffee bar and a theatre - if they expect me to wonder about keeping an eye on what people are doing they can get stuffed - I have better things to do with my time, if they think someone deserves watching - they can do that themselves can't they? Not the first time we have had the police in for a cup of coffee.....

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Grenade

Of course it doesn't go far enough...

To *really* win the war of ideas, we need to bring back electroshock therapy. Give everyone a good dose of it when they turn 16^H^H12^H^H screw it, every birthday. And put tracer tags on everyone. And make it illegal to breath without a license that can only be issued on successful completion of an annual psychological profile. Oh, and put on the occasional public execution, just to make the point. We can start rounding up and hanging, drawing and quartering all the namby-pamby, tree-hugging liberals who think the war of ideas is about people talking to each other.

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Black Helicopters

Met Police, keeping the public fearful!

Given the vast number of open wifi connections in urban areas I suspect most would be terrorists would use those rather than the local internet cafe.

But if people see the posters they will believe the threat is as big as the govt like to portray it and will continue to live in daily mailesque fear of the muslims, peado's and speed cameras out there.

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Welcome

from the BBC website . . .

They say this is "...more to determine if their users need what they term as "support"..."

So that would be taken to the nearest Tube Station and offered the remedy of seven bullets, then?

As for the 'tard who really can't see any problem with this, apart from the obvious problems of the reporting of innocuous stuff and the corresponding waste of police time, who pays for all this? Oh, yeah the business owner...

If you look at the (ironically fundamentalist) christians who turned those gay guys away from their B&B the other day, I'm sure even you can manage to link together some interesting scenarios...

I for one welcome all potential busybody fundamentalist christian etc etc etc and so forth...

nK

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Big Brother

Paranoia:

Stay Alert!

Trust No-one!

Keep Your Laser Handy!

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Anonymous Coward

Substitute "The Computer" for "The Leader"...

Trust The Leader.

The Leader Is Your Friend.

Commie-Mutant-Traitor-Scum / Muslim-Paedo-Terrorist-Scum Detected. Please remain calm. HIL Sector Blues have been despatched to your location with Plasma Cannons at the ready.

When I played Paranoia as a child, I never imagined I'd end up living it.

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Boffin

oh! how backward....

Here in Australia our Great Leader Mr Rudd and his trusty sidekick Sen. Conroy are saving the police and cafe owners all that trouble by just filtering our internet access so we cannot even surf to such naughty websites..

So nice to be protected out of basic civil rights ....to save democracy and the children of course!!

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