back to article Terror, terror everywhere: Call the filter police, there's a madman (or two) in town

The UK government routinely rips up its anti-extremism, counter-terror, extremism-terror, whatever strategy in favour of what Home Secretary Theresa May typically describes as an even tougher approach to thwart baddies who seek to do us harm. On Monday morning, the latest Whitehall document, Counter-Extremism Strategy (PDF), …

  1. Mage Silver badge
    Pirate

    Communications service providers have a critical role

    Balderdash.

    If stuff is deemed illegal:

    1) Court process to prove it

    2) Attempt to prosecute originators / take down source.

    Anything else is contrary to human rights, natural law, civil rights and doesn't even work.

    The ISP or "Communications service providers" are simply the data equivalent (virtual and physical) of water pipes or power cables.

    1. Vimes

      Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

      Note the continued failure to define the term 'extremist', or for that matter what makes a value 'British'.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Alert

        @Vimes - Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

        > define the term 'extremist', or for that matter what makes a value 'British'.

        To misquote the old line: "I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it!"

      2. nijam

        Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

        > Note the continued failure to define the term 'extremist'.

        It means "Like Theresa May".

        1. dotdavid

          Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

          >> Note the continued failure to define the term 'extremist'.

          > It means "Like Theresa May".

          So someone who will go to any misguided extreme to prevent terrorism? An extreme antiterrorist if you will?

          1. Vic

            Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

            So someone who will go to any misguided extreme to prevent terrorism?

            Exactly that. Except for the "preventing terrorism" bit...

            Vic.

      3. P. Lee Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

        I detect that the UK government is extremely protective of its secret organisations and extreme in its promotion of terrorism as an extreme risk to personal safety.

        I think we should denounce such things immediately and Communications service providers (I presume they mean twitter, google, etc, but I see no reason not to include newspapers) should take down all government communication in a fit of, er, self-censorship.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

      Not in the UK, they filter first according to the IWF list, which looks like it's about to get greatly expanded.

      Which will mean that anyone interested in that kind of thing will first connect to a VPN or TOR before doing what they were going to do anyway. I have no idea if that makes things more difficult for the police to do their work or not but it could do.

    3. Vimes

      Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

      Anything else is contrary to human rights, natural law, civil rights and doesn't even work.

      That depends on what the intended purpose is. If it's to stop the spread of extremism then yes it would be broken.

      If on the other hand it's to scare people into saying nothing & quell any possibility of inconvenient things being said because of the fear of repercussions then perhaps it does what it's supposed to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

        I used to worry about whether I had to change from being a post-trotsky stalinist to being a leninist.. or was it the other way round... either way it was important if you wanted to keep out of trouble.

        Now I have to keep up with the latest thoughts from Chairman May... I wonder if she's got an RSS feed so I can make sure I don't fall behind.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

      Anything else is contrary to human rights, natural law, civil rights and doesn't even work.

      What human rights? What natural law? What civil rights? May I remind you that:

      1. This government and Joseph Vissarionovich May especially have a goal to take Britain _OUT_ of the human rights convention so that we are on par with Belarus in terms of law and order.

      2. There is no natural law in Britain, there is common law which is a millenia worth collection of drivel produced by courts which were driven by either the interests of the elite or the political interests of the day. That drivel still till this day includes being able to kill a Scotsman in broad daylight (if you do it with a bow and arrow and it is in York), burning weather forecasters and witches. It also includes systematic, continuous and relentless removal over time of any rights which were granted during those precious minutes in the island history when fundamental rights were written down, signed and rubber stamped such as the Magna Charta, The Act of Settlement and the Bill of Rights.

      3. Civil Rights. Oh, those ones. Yes, there was a Bill of Rights on this island. 1689. When I told this to junior and gave it to him to read it he was shocked to his core. We have all these rights? No my dear. You do not. There is a popular mania known as "Parliament is Sovereign and Shall Not Be Bound" which is used to justify removal of any right every time it is inconvenient to Whitehall.

      From that perspective, there is one thing we definitely lost out from being one of the only two country not conquered by Napolen - a decent legal system which cannot be subverted so easily and which has the concept of FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS. Ones that the "not bound" parliament can be told to go f*** off when it tries to remove them. This is especially valid now when we have Joseph Vissarionovich May as our potential candidate as the next prime minister if the Tories win again. Can we have a f*** constitution. It is about time (in fact long overdue) so we actually can call ourselves a civilized country with law and order.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Unhappy

        @AC - "Can we have a f*** constitution"?

        Unfortunately even if we *did* get a written Constitution, instead of getting clear, declarative rules, they would be so laden down with weasel phrases like "except to prevent terrorism or crime or protect children (or to stop anyone we don't like being able to exercise these rights)" that it wouldn't be worth the paper it's written on :-(

        1. Vimes

          Re: @AC - "Can we have a f*** constitution"? @Graham Marsden

          Unfortunately even if we *did* get a written Constitution, instead of getting clear, declarative rules...

          A constitution - even if it was clearly and concisely written - probably wouldn't do much good in the long term.

          http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/so-you-think-you-know-the-second-amendment

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Joke

            Re: @AC - "Can we have a f*** constitution"? @Graham Marsden

            "A constitution - even if it was clearly and concisely written - probably wouldn't do much good in the long term."

            And cue Family Guy example:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpeUznIhgLU

          2. Captain DaFt

            Re: @AC - "Can we have a f*** constitution"? @Graham Marsden

            "A constitution - even if it was clearly and concisely written - probably wouldn't do much good in the long term."

            The written American Constitution was only ever of use for boring students so badly that they will remain quiet in class.

            The unwritten constitution is the only one that's ever been applicable in American politics.

      2. Mpeler
        Holmes

        Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

        "burning weather forecasters"...

        Well it's not ALL bad then, is it?

        (Hot time at UEA coming, methinks) (or not)...

      3. veti Silver badge

        Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

        @AC: That "millennia worth of drivel" has kept the peace in Britain now for 300 years, which is considerably longer than any other country I know of. As for "able to kill a Scotsman in broad daylight (if you do it with a bow and arrow and it is in York)" - is one of those urban myths that would be hilarious if it weren't so scary. Just try it and see how far you get. You must be able to find a Scotsman in York you don't like. "Burning weather forecasters and witches" - again, this is just drivel made up by someone who knows how to generate eyeballs online.

        The "Bill of Rights" of 1689 is all about the rights of Parliament, not The People. The only significant personal right we've lost since then is the right to keep and bear arms.

        Britain has a constitution, thank you very much. Since "written constitutions" became fashionable in the 18th century, those major countries that have adopted them - think France, America, Spain, Germany, Russia - have been through all kinds of hell. Britain has been a beacon of stability. If you seriously believe that "a f*** constitution" equates to "a civilized country with law and order", you're not paying attention.

        1. Rol Silver badge

          Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

          The fact that parliament hasn't been overthrown by the masses, isn't exactly proof that our way of ruling the great unwashed is better.

          And if we're talking about beacons of stability we might as well mention every megalomaniac that ever ruled as a despot tyrant, because their countries were also beacons of stability.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

      Anything else is contrary to human rights, natural law, civil rights and doesn't even work.

      The UK is allied and bestest of buddy with Saudi Arabia so human rights, civil rights and natural law can fuck right back off to wherever they came from.

      And "doesn't even work" implies the existence of some outcome beneficial to Government and "us" - this does not exists! Anything left on the table for "us" is WASTE, than must be eliminated (rather - hoovered up and dispersed amongst cronies and quangos).

    6. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Mage Re: Communications service providers have a critical role

      ".... Court process to prove it...." So you did read the article, right? Did you miss the bit about 4000 take-downs a month and the problem is increasing? You are insisting on the court process preceding the take-down, which would lead to a massive backlog and leave extremist material up for possibly years whilst time-wasting appeals rolled through.

      ".....Anything else is contrary to human rights, natural law, civil rights and doesn't even work......" You are frothing along the legal lines of assumption of innocence meaning material cannot be touched until a crime has been proven, which is legally wrong. Wrong because the Police do not need to wait for a crime to happen, they can act to prevent crime without interfering with the assumption of innocence. As an example, if the cops come across two men brawling in the street they do not have to work out which one was legally wrong before breaking up the fight, nor do they need to immediately arrest or charge anyone on the spot upon breaking up the fight. If they do arrest anyone then they can do s without having to hold a court case in the street, that comes later after the gathering of evidence/statements. The authorities already have the legal powers to insist on a take-down, all this review does is push the process more onto the ISPs.

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Mage Communications service providers have a critical role

        I had a nice long response here for Matt's post.

        But, considering where he comes from, its just not worth the effort. It is far easier to point out that we can look at Matt's response as being an attempt to radicalise the Reg Commentariat, and leave it at that.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Adribbler Re: Mage Communications service providers have a critical role

          "I had a nice long response here for Matt's post....." Strange, normally this kind of empty response from the sheeple comes with an accusation of a "straw man", are you not even able to make that standard blather? What a lazy sheep you are!

          ".... considering where he comes from...." I seem to be coming from somewhere with points you cannot counter, you mean?

          "....its just not worth the effort...." Is that a lack of effort or actually just a lack of original thought? LOL!

          It seems to be a staple with the tinfoil-attired that they can rebleat no end of nonsense that has been spoonfed to them, but when they are asked to actually formulate an original thought they are struck dumb.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mage Communications service providers have a critical role

        OMG - there's 4000 pieces of information being posted on the internet every month that say things that someone don't want me to read! What if they miss one and I read it by accident and become "radicalised"?

        How about, rather than constantly banning this material, creating a single official website with the best valid counter arguments and supporting evidence to every bad/wrong/extreme idea that's presented? This way anyone "at risk" of being radicalised can be pointed at these without fighting a continuous propaganda war and inventing new ways to deny our freedom? I refer you to the answer at counter-extremism.gov/12345 etc. This would work because "extremists" are always wrong, right?.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: Mage Communications service providers have a critical role

          "How about, rather than constantly banning this material, creating a single official website with the best valid counter arguments and supporting evidence to every bad/wrong/extreme idea that's presented?"

          Sadly, that'd never work because the best valid counter argument to a bad idea is usually something else the ruling bodies consider "radical".

          Of course, they could just use the counter-arguments they use now; it'd be a single page consisting of, "Because terrorists threaten our freedom! Think of the children! You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide! REPORT ALL SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOUR!"

          Of course, you could only read it* after filling out a 12 page questionnaire detailing ever factor of your life, "to enhance services".

          *Well, not it exactly, except on alternate Tuesdays that are even numbered, between the hours of 2am and 2:02am. Otherwise you'll either see a 404 error, or a note saying the page is currently being revamped, try again later.

      3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

        Re: Mage Communications service providers have a critical role

        "are insisting on the court process preceding the take-down..."

        Yes. That's how our law is intended to work. Do you, by way of analogy, agree with the way DMCA takedowns occur on YouTube? i.e. the takedown happens if any complaint is received, regardless of source (including ones generated by bots using algorithms), and then the channel owner has the right to appeal against it? Should this be how our law works across the board? We *think* you burgled that house, so you're arrested, stuck in jail, assumed guilty but may *appeal* your innocence? That idea of law doesn't belong in the UK or any "progressive" country surely.

        "4000 take-downs a month and the problem is increasing?"

        Evidence please, rather than hearsay from those under scrutiny or other vested interests. Should be a simple matter to ask the courts, in their capacity as an independent power, to release a verified count of cases without revealing any details at all. Of course, if these takedown occurred without judicial oversight then there would be no such record. And no legal process.

        "Wrong because the Police do not need to wait for a crime to happen, they can act to prevent crime without interfering with the assumption of innocence."

        Actually, according to the head of MI5, this is not the case. In a recent interview on Radio 4, when questioned about the Rigby case, he noted that the intelligence services had Adubwale under surveillance for some time before the attack was carried out, but they could not act as Adubwale had not committed any crime or infringement he could be held for. So, either you're wrong, or the head of MI5 lied, live, on air, to the nation.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Boring Bernie Re: Mage Communications service providers have a critical role

          "....That's how our law is intended to work...." Typical Boring Bernie, failing to understand that laws evolve as the situation changes. Comparing extremist material meant to incite murder with your pet freetard peeve of the DCMA is simply too clueless for words. No-one is stuck in jail when a notice to take down extremist material is issued, though a subsequent court case may result in the offender going to jail if they are in breach of anti-terrorism laws. Please try and keep your frothing even vaguely on-topic. mmmkay?

          "....but they could not act as Adubwale had not committed any crime....." Adubwale had not incited murder or made any threats, though he had visited sites that did. He also mixed with company that read and spread extremist material. Thus he was noted as a person of interest but could not be arrested under the law as it stood. His very case would seem to be a perfect argument for the exact laws being proposed - Adubwale was spurred on to the murder by incitement from extremists, if he had been unable to find their extremist material it is more likely he would not have committed the murder of Lee Rigby. Of course, that would still leave the problem of known extremists like Adubwale's partner in crime, Adebolajo, recruiting idiots like Adubwale, but then shrieking "liberals" like you would suffer exploding heads if laws were passed that allowed such people to be detained. Oh, hold on a sec - isn't that exactly why the law in question is proposed, to make it easier to deal with those that take advantage of our laws to attack us? Thanks for making that point.

  2. Vimes

    'Won't somebody please think of the cheeeldren' obviously didn't work when it came to filters, so now they've moved down to 'Because terror-nazi-geddon!!!' How long before they work their way down to the real reason: 'because we can'?

    How many people have died because of terrorism in the last 10 years in the UK as opposed to those killed by other causes, including domestic violence? And yet they're busy cutting the budget for the police and other organisations that can actually help there.

    1. Vimes

      Bees and wasps have caused as many deaths in the UK as terrorism in the past decade, an independent watchdog has found.

      [...]

      During the 21st century, terrorism has been an insignificant cause of mortality in the United Kingdom," the report, lead by David Anderson QC, said.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/28/terrorism-bees_n_1633308.html

    2. Afernie

      "How many people have died because of terrorism in the last 10 years in the UK as opposed to those killed by other causes, including domestic violence?"

      Here in the UK? Precisely one, Lee Rigby. Which is four less than those unlawfully killed by the Police in the same time period.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Afernie

        ".....Precisely one...." So, that lack of deaths due to terrorism just couldn't possibly be because of the efforts to prevent terror attacks, right? Your argument is as logically flawed as saying there is no need for the MMR vaccine as your kids didn't get the measles after having the MMR jab.

        1. mr.K

          Re: Afernie @matt

          Well, here is the flaw in your argument. The argument isn't that one should cut all existing efforts to prevent terrorism. What they are talking about here is an increase in effort. So to take your example. It would be like the government to ban gathering of people in public places to prevent spreading of the measles. That is, today, with a working vaccine and next to nil new cases.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: mr.K Re: Afernie @matt

            "....It would be like the government to ban gathering of people in public places to prevent spreading of the measles. That is, today, with a working vaccine and next to nil new cases." Actually, your example is a perfect case for what I said. No new cases in kids that were vaccinated, plenty of cases in the kids (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy#Disease_outbreaks) left vulnerable because their idiot parents swallowed the unscientific rubbish spouted by celebutards and attention-seekers like Jenny McCarthy. What you are advocating in not allowing the suppression of extremism is the equivalent of not removing the scientifically-incorrect anti-MMR information out there, but instead leaving it out there for other kids to be put at risk because to do so would admit you were wrong about the MMR vaccine. In your case it is because you have swallowed a load of media hype about "privacy intrusion" spoonfed to you by more celebutards and attention-seekers like Assange. Ignoring the home-grown radicals like the London Tube bombers, there seem to be plenty of idiots in the UK and other Western countries that have happily traipsed off to Syria and Iraq to fight for ISIS - they are the proof that there will be the "unvaccinated" that will ignore the mountains of material explaining how wrong they are and they will believe the extremist dogma, just as you are proof there are those that will swallow anything in denying they exist.

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Afernie

          So, that lack of deaths due to terrorism just couldn't possibly be because of the efforts to prevent terror attacks, right?

          It might be, but it would be nice to have some evidence to back up that suggestion. Just as I'd like to see some evidence backing up the need* for Theresa May's latest lurch down the slippery slope.

          * Need in the sense of keeping safe all UK citizens (Muslims most definitely included), rather than need for a Tory Home Secretary with an eye on the party leadership to keep a high profile amongst the party faithful.

        3. Afernie

          Re: Afernie

          "".....Precisely one...." So, that lack of deaths due to terrorism just couldn't possibly be because of the efforts to prevent terror attacks, right? Your argument is as logically flawed as saying there is no need for the MMR vaccine as your kids didn't get the measles after having the MMR jab."

          I didn't make an argument. I made a statement and you manufactured a straw man to match what you wish I'd said.

          Here's my actual argument. Nobody sane is suggesting there shouldn't be an anti-terrorism apparatus. However, that apparatus needs to be accountable and legal. The Snooper's Charter will be neither, and Theresa May is attempting to concentrate these powers in the state, at the expense of the judiciary while eroding other key rights legislation to make that possible.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Afernie Re: Afernie

            ".....I didn't make an argument. I made a statement...." Yup, and I pointed out the stupidity in that statement with a simple argument you again seem unable to answer. This is my surprised face, honest!

            "....and you manufactured a straw man to match what you wish I'd said...." Ah, back to the typical baltherer's shrieking of straw men I see. Seriously, when are you lot going to some up with something original when you can't answer the point made?

            "....However, that apparatus needs to be accountable and legal...." Under English Law, the operation of the UK anti-terror forces have been completely legal and accountable simply because the law did allow them to operate as they did. This new law is simply extending that already legal operation to cover new areas of electronic incitement.

            You seem to think the authorities have been operating under a whim rather than understanding that there have been anti-terror-related laws and censorship of extremism in the UK for centuries. The anti-terrorism laws stem from the rather English restraint and the sense of fair play that let the original revolutionary Anarchists seek asylum in the UK from Europe in the late 19th century. The eventual backlash led to the UK's first immigration control laws as a response to what was seen as the extremism of the day, Anarchism.

            Legal censorship of extremism and obscenity in the UK has been going on arguably since the Licensing Order of 1643 replaced the previously ad-hoc censorship of the English monarchy's Star Chamber, and was intended to cover the large number of lurid newspapers of the day. A later extension of the censorship powers of HMG can be seen in the Theatrical Licensing Act of 1737, which gave the Crown the legal right to restrict the content of plays for "socially unacceptable material". So, it's not only already accountable and legal, thanks, but has been for a very long while.

            1. Afernie

              Re: Afernie Afernie

              Like Alistair, I put together a response, and realised that it would simply invite another inane stream of insult, weird irrelevancies, and deranged non sequiturs. So.. nah.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Afernie Re: Afernie Afernie

                "....a response...." Did this one actually have any coherent arguments or counters? Thought not. Cry more, TBH.

            2. cortland

              Re: Afernie Afernie

              If you must go back to 1737 it would be good to recall that Unitarians were then considered radicals. Look what happened to Joseph Priestley!

        4. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: Afernie

          " lack of deaths due to terrorism just couldn't possibly be because of the efforts to prevent terror attacks, right? Your argument is as logically flawed as saying there is no need for the MMR vaccine as your kids didn't get the measles after having the MMR jab."

          Except statistical evidence and numeric data is easily and readily available that shows the reduction of MMR cases in the wake of the vaccine and how, when the vaccine is not applied, the numbers increase. All we want is solid evidence rather than being expected to simply take the word of those with vested interests in maintaining, and expanding, the security state.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Boring Bernie Re: Afernie

            "....vested interests.... security state." LOL, your choice of words make it very clear you have no intention of ever accepting any argument or stats that would support those of the authorities. Your tinfoil is showing!

            "....statistical evidence...." Whilst it is probably a pointless exercise trying to pry the tinfoil off your eyes, poking fun at your bias/delusions is too easy to pass up. Here's a very simple stat - number of people killed by home-grown Islamic extremists in the 2005 London Tube bombing was 52; number of people killed in the UK by Islamic extremists after the Terrorism Act of 2006, a direct result of the 2005 bombing, granted the Police extra powers to crack down on extremists - one.

            The large number of Muslims that have travelled to Syria to fight for ISIS just shows there is still a massive problem with extremism in the UK and that people are being lead astray by extremist material, some of it online. Please do try and deny any Brits are fighting for ISIS as every single one is an home-grown convert to extremism. Including British-born former Gitmo detainee Jamal al-Harith, whose release from Gitmo you handwringers and bleedinhearts campaigned for and assured us he was "just a harmless soul and not a jihadi", only now he's off fighting for ISIS too. He is the perfect example of the home-grown extremist - born Ronald Fiddler, converted to Islam, then exposed to extremist material and encouraged to "explore his faith" in Pakistan, before joining the fighting in Afghanistan and ending up in Gitmo (ironically, after having been imprisoned by the Taliban). Al-Harith's exposure to extremism came about before the 2006 Act. Hopefully the new laws will stop others following his path.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        @Afernie

        Regarding Lee Rigby: less than ten years ago, his death wouldn't have been classed as terrorism, but the work of a couple of thugs with an excuse. If we applied the same principle now (not the one the police and government want us to use), then there have been no acts of terrorism, compared to five unlawful deaths by the paramilitary police force we have had forced on us.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Ill-educated Pothead Re: @Afernie

          "....wouldn't have been classed as terrorism....thugs with an excuse.... then there have been no acts of terrorism..." So the London Tube bombers were just "thugs"? I think the families of the 52 killed might have something to say about your (IMHO) completely idiotic statement. Please, before your next post, do try and think beyond the limits you have imposed upon yourself with your socio-political blinkers.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Filtering and removing

    In other words, the Public is not able to handle the issue and must be protected from it.

    Doing so is not going to help the situation, it will only keep it under wraps. That is how you get rabid conspiracy theorists.

    Let them splash their hate on their websites. Educate your people properly and teach them the values of civilization and democracy. Maybe even teach them to think critically (ah, I know, anathema for a proper gubbermint official).

    That is the only way people will recognize barbary when it is visible.

    But yeah, that's probably the long run. Maybe even for after the next election. So it'll never happen.

    1. Semaj

      Re: Filtering and removing

      Spot on and if they really do want to "tackle extremism", hiding is not the answer. In fact you do the complete opposite:

      1 - Tell everyone what the "extremists" think, using undeniable evidence. Put them under the spotlight.

      2 - Rip it apart with easy to understand, logical explanations.

      3 - Laugh at them.

      No one can take an idiot seriously so they have no power. Hiding from them makes them seem charismatic and mysterious.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Filtering and removing

        "3 - Laugh at them."

        Would it be possible, I wonder, for ISPs to recognise extremist web pages and enclose them between

        <font face = "comic-sans"> ... </font>

        tags (or the appropriate stylesheet, for those of us living in the 21st century*)? That way surely nobody would take them seriously.

        * that probably excludes most extremists.

      2. Jason 24

        Re: Filtering and removing

        3 - Laugh at them.

        Always applauded Adam Hills and The Last Leg for their "Jihadi Spot" for exactly that reason, they are on the money there.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: Filtering and removing

      Informed people are difficult to manage. Uninformed people are much easier to manage. But you have to make sure they are uninformed in the right way so that it's you they are managed by. That is essentially the principle.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: Filtering and removing

      Yeah... I really, really hate to be put in the position of seeming to side with Theresa May, but...

      This "educate people properly and they'll see through the propaganda" mantra? This is not a new line. It's been put forward time after time, most famously by John Stuart Mill but it predates him by a long way. It's never worked.

      See, it's rooted in the basic liberal fallacy - the idea that that everyone is fundamentally the same, and if they see things differently from you, that's just a failure of education.

      Sadly, it ain't so. Some people are too stupid to understand the arguments. A much larger number simply won't listen to them, for a whole range of reasons. And an even larger number have personal priorities, motivations and allegiances that your model simply doesn't account for. They're not "against democracy" because they fail to appreciate its fundamentally inclusive and benign nature: they're against you because you represent the bourgeoise/white/adult/Americanised/establishment/insert bogey-group of choice that they've been taught to despise, and there's nothing you can say that they won't immediately brand as propaganda - in much the same way as you'd probably regard a story from, say, Fox News.

      No degree of "education" short of wholesale brainwashing can "cure" extremism. It's not a disease. It's a much deeper problem than that.

      1. Vimes

        Re: Filtering and removing

        because you represent the bourgeoise/white/adult/Americanised/establishment/insert bogey-group of choice that they've been taught to despise

        (emphasis added by me)

        On one hand you suggestion that education is irrelevant and on the other that it *is* important since it's the source of the hatred.

        Is the timing of the education the only issue here?

        When censorship occurs all that ends up happening is that the people being censored move their activities underground in a way that's more difficult to follow. The various parts of government that are supposed to be protecting us from the nutters seem to be making their jobs more difficult by supporting overbearing filtering like this, especially since it will give people even more of an incentive to encrypt everything even when they are completely innocent themselves.

        Unless the governments unstated aim is to protect the state from it's citizens rather than simply protect the citizens, why on earth would they do this?

  4. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

    Would that be...

    ...The same Theresa May who stated that the Wilson Doctrine would remain unchallenged ensuring that the highest echelons of politics remain exempted from state surveillance? You know, the same one who had to admit that a number of complaints from victims of alleged child abuse who submitted testimonies to the home office website were "accidentally deleted"? The very same Ms. May who oversaw the dismissal of the senior Detective who said VIP child sex abuse claims were 'credible' during Operation Midlands?

    Ah....Yes, yes it is.... I can't think of anyone more qualified to comment on such things!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34574731

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3280128/Off-case-Detective-said-VIP-child-sex-abuse-claims-credible-replaced-head-Operation-Midland.html

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/15/submissions-to-theresa-mays-child-sex-abuse-inquiry-accidentally-deleted

    1. PleebSmash
  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Communications service providers have a critical role in tackling extremist content online.

    it's wonderful to see the .gov embracing the idea of outsourcing (responsibility and cost) on such a broad, er... front. We're all in it together, netizens. Teachers, doctors, ISP and content providers, we all have a duty to be vigilant, to observe, monitor and report. Remember, the enemy is out there, the enemy's never asleep and it could be anybody, him, her, or even YOU. Does this punter _really_ download pirated movies, or is it, IN FACT, jihadist propaganda he spreads via vnp?! We need to know! And this boy, always tired, always with glazed eyes, is it because of too much porn, or could it be, that in the deep of the night, he goes down to this underground bunker he dug under his parents' semi, where he practices TARGET SHOOTING with a band of likewise-minded miscreants? And that young family of clear regionalist background, do they REALLY need to go to Turkey that often, or is something more SINISTER behind those alleged school holiday trips?! We need ryanair to be more pro-active and help us find the REAL answers. Or else.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple answer

    "Communications service providers have a critical role in tackling extremist content online."

    Simple solution, don't report on anything said by someone with MP after their name.

  7. Mage Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    The problem

    Insisting that stuff is categorised as vaguely "bad" and commercial communications channels should block it is morally bankrupt, the worst aspects of Orwell's 1984, Stalinism, Facism and worse than NK or China eventually. NK and China in contrast to the USA and UK have a clearer definition of what they don't allow.

  8. sandman

    Business opportunity

    Anyone interested in forming an agency composed of ex-Stasi guys to bid for this work? After all, they do have similar mass-surveillance experience.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Business opportunity

      Nah, the Stasi (MfS) went out of business 25 years ago, so most of their ex-operatives are well past retirement age or dead. Those who were in their PFY-stage around 1990 probably ended up working for Google.

  9. lawndart

    says:

    4000 bits per month?

    Does removing <6Kb per year really make a difference?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there a phone number for reporting extremists?

    Coz I want to report Theresa May.

  11. tiggity Silver badge

    "agree ways to limit access to terrorist and extremist content online without compromising the principle of an open internet."

    Can we call that the May Paradox?

  12. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Start with the small things

    I think any online government strategy has to start with a new font. And some icons.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Start with the small things

      Here's a million quid of tax payer's money, see what you can knock up.

      >>>>>>>>>> mine's the one with a lucrative government consulting project in the pocket.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Start with the small things

      Brilliant! I'll get Zac and Cyprian right on it and have some prelim concepts couriered over by friday!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely these individuals/groups

    would be easier to track and identify in big media than loads of home-grown social media? Don't ban the chatter (lots of legal hurdles as described above) as this doesnt actually do anything apart from making people paranoid with more justficication...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely these individuals/groups

      They're easy to spot. They look like this:

      https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ian+duncan+smith

  14. Fraggle850

    There's a difference between child porn and extremism

    The former is easily defined, the latter somewhat nebulous.

    How extreme? Extreme in respect of what? The potential for mission creep is obvious and quite frightening. One could ultimately argue that organising any form of protest beyond what is currently allowed is extremist.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Big Brother

      Re: There's a difference between child porn and extremism

      > The former is easily defined, the latter somewhat nebulous.

      Alas, even the former is nebulous, hence the case of of the 14 year old boy having the crime of making and distributing indecent images recorded against him by police and there are other examples of people being convicted for having images of someone over 18, but who *looks* under 18.

      If we can't even make clear definitions of the former, the latter is virtually impossible (of course that won't stop our Nanny Government trying to tell us that we're not allowed to see it in case it makes us do something bad...)

      1. Fraggle850

        Re: There's a difference between child porn and extremism

        Yes, in respect of the rest of the law and its application, but for the narrowly defined case of filtering dubious material from the interwebs I think that it can be reasonably well defined, albeit that there are likely to be grey areas. The extremist content thing is open to abuse by state actors who may wish to limit dissent and is consequently much more troubling.

  15. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Holmes

    Government crackdown on internet freedom.

    More on that story later. In other news: Government hopes £30billion of investment will come out of Chinese president Xi Jinping four-day state visit to UK.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Government crackdown on internet freedom.

      Have the 'Free Tibet' protestors been sidelined this year, like they were when Den Xaoping visited London last time?

  16. Amorous Cowherder
    Thumb Down

    Welcome back to..,,

    I smell a the rotten corpse of PHORM being resurrected for the latest episode of that hit comedy, "Security Theatre"!

  17. Bota

    Are they still pretending isis isn't funded by mossad / mi6 and the cia? Interesting.

    In my experience the need for absolute power seems a bit extreme, maybe we should kick this skin bag out of office?

    1. Fraggle850

      I don't suppose you've any (reliable) links to prove your funding source assertion? It sounds a little tin foil hat...

      By the way I don't disagree about the absolute power thing, power corrupts and absolute power leads to absolute corruption, just not sure that wild and unsupported allegations are helpful.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        WTF?

        "It sounds a little tin foil hat..."

        Does that even have meaning anymore?

        1. moiety

          Most of my paranoid imaginings have been far exceeded by reality of late.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
            Holmes

            Neocon wrangling

            ISIS is NOT funded by Mossad, because they would meet the Saudi representatives while handing over the money. That would lead to fisticuffs.

            CIA has plausible deniability as they give boxes of weapons to "moderates" which then "hand over" the goods for safe passage. Well, till recently. Nowadays they are just dropping boxes of TOWs (the "Assad Tamer") and other gear out of airplanes to not be outmanoeuvered by the Assad-supporting Ruskies.

            It's never good to be a civilian when confused imperial elephants wallow and you are in a country on the map of zionists.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drinking from the fire hose

    As an ISP, I would immediately begin forwarding all questions of access or bad behaviour to the Home Office for clarification. This would surely help develop better definitions of extremism?

    Turn the handle the way it goes, but faster.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know I remember a phrase that used to exemplify a very core value of what would now be called 'britishness' & that phrase was' I disagree with what you are saying, but I defend to the death your right to say it'

    For those unable to translate, it means that you should be free to say what you like. Of course others are also free to say what they like in rebuttal of any ideas expounded in such a manner.

    Seems that Teresa May long may she suffer in the depths of hell for her destruction of everything remotely democratic & related to freedom has decided that this idea is no longer acceptable & anyone who even dares challenge her stupid ideas should be branded a terrorist & a peado & of course be publically named as such without trial. Someone remind Elgov, they are not presiding over a banana republic with kangaroo courts

    1. Vic

      Someone remind Elgov, they are not presiding over a banana republic with kangaroo courts

      You *sure* about that?

      Vic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not anymore no, in fact i'm pretty sure all countries these days, even the much vaunted US with its constitution to guarantee freedom is in fact a banana republic with kangaroo courts.

        I'm sure this will add me to May's hitlist of extremists but to quote from the film V for Vendetta (yes i know its trite, but if you read carefully a very important point is made that is very appropiate for the current climate);

        There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame?

  20. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Child Sexual Exploitation"

    Whitehall guy: You know, if we capitalize this when it appears mid-sentence, it will show the voters and the kiddy-smut crowd how serious we are about protecting British kids!!

  21. martinusher Silver badge

    The thin edge of the wedge

    I've been grumbling about the international effort to combat "Child Sexual Exploitation", aka "Kiddie Porn", for many years. Its not that my interests lie in this area, far from it, but because I thought of it as an artificial problem invented to mask a solution that had a totally different purpose.

    Kiddie Porn is indefensible so it acts as a great cover for developing processes and tools designed for identifying and suppressing classes of information - and, obviously, those possessing it. So now the tools will be deployed against extremists. Everyone will shrug as nobody likes terrorists much. Except that the definition of 'extremist' is rather fluid (as is 'terrorist'). Gradually the net will widen.

    1. Oengus Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: The thin edge of the wedge

      I had similar thoughts about "The thin edge of the wedge".

      They start with a "popular" cause and get the public used to lots of small escalation steps (usually over a short time period) to the extent that the public stop bothering to monitor and question the escalations. Eventually people come to ignore the increases in scope and the scope creeps to the point where any comment that is seen to be dissenting by "the powers that be" is categorised as radical and can be exorcised from the public's view and the people making the comments are quietly shipped to 're-education' centres.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Oengus Re: The thin edge of the wedge

        "....categorised as radical and can be exorcised from the public's view and the people making the comments are quietly shipped to 're-education' centres." Yeah, I think that if you bothered to read some history before tryping you would have found that kind of thing happened in such socialist "Workers' Paradises" as the USSR, East Germany, Laos, Vietnam, etc., etc., and we don't have to worry as Mad Jezza Corbyn and his fans don't stand much of a chance of getting into power in the UK.

        Mind you, the Militant cluelessness is strong in areas such as Manchester and Liverpool, so much so that idiots from up North (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34568430) are off fighting for Putin in the Ukraine in the bizarre baaaahlief that fighting for a despot like Putin is somehow serving the cause of "socialism"! In their case it's almost a shame that the English laws on free speech didn't stretch to a little re-education.

  22. batfastad

    BOOO!

    This... https://twitter.com/NatInsec/status/656555673564663808

  23. Someone_Somewhere

    The Home Office has stated

    "We have seen the considerable progress they have made in tackling online Child Sexual Exploitation."

    No doubt it's become more lucrative since perverts can't get it for free any more - I imagine the staff at the HO are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of being able to drain fewer accounts of more money on the odd occasion when they have to throw one of their lambs to the wolves - makeing their stats look better.

  24. ecofeco Silver badge

    Funny thing about that picture

    At first glance, I thought that picture was from a Planet of the Apes movie.

  25. E 2

    The lede pic...

    Every time I see the lede pic it makes me think "Planet of the Apes".

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