back to article UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

The UK's Prime Minister has once again raised the tech stakes in the fight against online terror, with her latest, er, bright idea being for internet giants to stop extremist content before it's even online. At a meeting with companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google today, Theresa May urged them to "develop …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

    Dunno about anyone else, but with 20th March 2019 looming every closer daily, I don't think the PRIME MINISTER of all people should be getting involved with frippery like this.

    And how will you deal with jihadi material which is photographs of Arabic, given the low value of foreign languages in the UK.

    1. ritey

      Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

      She always crawls back to security as a diversion tactic. It wouldn't surprise me if it was her handbag left on the M1 the other day.

    2. Stuart 22

      Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

      Funny how it must be done immediately or even earlier - if it someone else's responsibility.

      But when it comes to doing something herself (like set up the child abuse enquiry) - it takes years.

    3. LeeE Silver badge

      Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

      I doubt that there's any real intention to actually do or have something done about this; it's just a no-lose announcement intended to make the Prime Sinister* look like she cares. When it doesn't work it won't be her fault but that of the tech industry.

      First rule of Politician Club: It's never your fault.

      * Yeah, I know it's a bit childish but it's a reminder to myself of her enthusiasm and desire for widespread and unrestricted domestic spying powers when Home Secretary.

      1. PNGuinn Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Prime Sinister

        Superb.

        Thanks - I'm going to steal that, as often as possible.

        Think of it as an indigestion remedy, TM, PS. >>

        And do listen to Boris. He may be a clown but he's 20,000 times more capable than you are.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Prime Sinister" He may be a clown but he's 20,000 times more capable than you are."

          Funny, his Ministry reckon he's pretty lazy and not really too interested in his brief.

          IOW he likes the idea of being in charge as long as he doesn't have to do too much actual work, y'know, reading up on stuff and working out an opinion.

          But maybe that's just sour grapes from senior civil servants.

          Although he didn't see Gove had the knife out for him.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Prime Sinister

          >And do listen to Boris.

          I did and I cheered when he said, when interviewed over his Telegraph piece, that he would kill himself if the UK pays any money to the EU. This afternoon it was reported that cabinet sources say the T.May would make a generous cash offer to the EU - so perhaps they too wish to see if he keeps to his word...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

        @LeeE,

        First rule of Politician Club: It's never your fault.

        Just for the sake of argument, in this particular case, I wonder why anyone would think that the parlous and dreadful state of a lot of ghastly content on websites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc is the fault of the politicians?

        Do you think they're the one's uploading it? Or do you think that it's merely a product of that small fuckwit section of in every society who are ill-bred enough to exploit the feeble and near useless sanitisation systems employed by the likes of Facebook, YouTube for their own perverted gratification?

        Hint: it's the latter. I agree that those two sets aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. But you know what I mean.

        First rule of Politician Club: do not get caught short on Law and Order.

        The poor response to the Madrid train bombings cost the sitting Spanish government the general election that followed soon after. They're not exactly doing well in the public eye after the recent outrage in Barcelona. We vote politicians in. We sure as hell vote them out at the first opportunity if the Law and Order system breaks down badly. That a politician's first rule; weakness = lost job, especially soon after a high profile incident.

        Turn it round the other way. Imagine if Theresa May said there was no problem with paedophilia, hate videos, extremist materials, bomb building instructions, etc being plastered all over YouTube/Twitter/Facebook/etc? Just how long do you think the government would last? Two weeks? If that? So of course she's going to say the opposite. Every politician worth their salt would do exactly the same.

        Arguably one might sustain the argument that the politicians should have seen this situation coming and never let companies like YouTube and Facebook be immune to prosecution. Bill Clinton in particular was stunningly naive.

        Had that law never been passed, the companies would have grown up insisting on stronger proof of user ID from the very beginning, so that blame for garbage content could be laid against the true perpetrator (the user) to protect the company. With that in place the user could be effectively barred (no more infinite short lived accounts), and if necessary prosecuted and jailed.

        Inevitability: However the genie is out of the bottle, and what we're seeing here is an attempt to put the genie back in its bottle.

        It's going to be difficult, but it has to happen; there's a high likelihood that the US presidential election was thrown thanks to crap on social media, and there's little to stop paedophilia being shared on Facebook groups (apparently) or similar. This shit really is not healthy for a settled society. Or at least we vote for and pay politicians to come to these decisions on our behalf. We can't really blame them if that's what they then go and do.

        If there's laws to be passed, that's the policians job to decide what they should be. Remember we voted for them specifically to do things like that on our behalf? However, it's not their job to solve how the companies should comply with any new law. That's the companies' problem.

        The Future? As it happens I think that we're inexorably moving towards a point where companies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. can operate only under license (like normal telecoms providers have to), and the terms of that license will require the companies to know the true identity of their users to a standard suitable for use in a court. None of that means that our real names will be plastered all over the Twitter sphere; we'll still have stupid nicknames. Simply that the companies will have to be able to provide the real name of the user upon a request in the shape of a properly issued Warrant.

        This is effectively what China has done.

        I say this because it's pretty clear that today's technology is utterly incapable of filtering out the shit automatically. This is basically what the GCHQ chappie was saying. The change I feel coming on is the only answer we have to stopping the shit being uploaded in the first place; make it painful / expensive / jail-time for anyone uploading it in the first place. The technology isn't working; change the operating conditions instead.

        It'll probably mean an end to the freetard Internet (a financial transaction would probably be required as sufficient proof of ID). Again, not the governments problem, but it would involve a massive change in the business model of vast swathes of the Internet. For a start none of us would tolerate having to pay to use Facebook and also have them trawl through our identifiable information and sell that on to advertisers...

        If overseas companies try to provide a service from off-shore, they'll simply make it illegal to advertise on such a service. That would effectively be a formalisation of the YouTube boycott that sprung up recently.

        That's the way the wind is beginning to blow. The Internet companies that bend with that and adapt the quickest will be the ones that will continue to prosper.

        Economics: Given that ad funded Internet shit costs each and every tax payer in the UK something like £150 a year via the price of goods in the shops (something has to pay for the ads), a paid for ad free Google or Facebook service would likely save us money. £5 a year? Not a bad deal. And with the companies no longer having to have enormous bit barns to do all that advertising analytics they'd save a ton of cash too.

        1. Anonymous Blowhard

          Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

          @AC

          "As it happens I think that we're inexorably moving towards a point where companies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. can operate only under license"

          Who's licence? America's, Russia's, North Korea's? China's got one, and it's enforced by their "Great Firewall"; is that what you want for every country?

        2. John Savard Silver badge

          Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

          "This is effectively what China has done"

          Well, yes, with one minor twist: China is a totalitarian dictatorship, so they use it to prevent people from debating the policies of their government, or even from practicing their religious faith in an authentic manner as opposed to within artificial imitation churches controlled by the government.

          Of course, the United Kingdom once forced its Roman Catholics to worship at churches operated by the Church of England instead, on the theory that this was "good enough", and so perhaps the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association may seem less unnatural and offensive in Britain than it does to countries with a strong tradition of religious liberty.

          It still hasn't returned all the church buildings and other properties seized by Henry VIII to their rightful owner, the Roman Catholic Church, which is still in business with its headquarters in Vatican City.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

            "It still hasn't returned all the church buildings and other properties seized by Henry VIII to their rightful owner, the Roman Catholic Church, which is still in business with its headquarters in Vatican City."

            Yeah, the church was "nationalised", so maybe it could be sold of to private inverters :-)

        3. shawnfromnh

          Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

          Spain nothing , what about that muslim London mayor that won't call the terrorist muslims when everyone knows they are. Is it because he is one and secretly doesn't care that the native population gets hurt at all because they are not muslims. Its all bullshit like in the US the cities that become muslim all want to switch to Sharia Law and everyone that isn't muslim can suck it. Its an invasion and everyone in charge is sticking their head in the sand and acting like its not.

          1. Mongo

            Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

            That born-and-bred-in-London mayor of London? Luckily he's smart enough to steer clear of labelling terrorists by religion, coz that's exactly what they want. "Muslim terrorists" find it easier to get sympathy from fellow religionists, not least by playing the No True Scotsman card. Instead of focussing on the thing the terrorists have in common with him and 600,000 other Londoners Khan is keeping the focus on how they differ: they're murderous criminal bastard scum.

            Just which US cities are lining up for Sharia Law? As opposed to which cities have some idiot agitators engaged in virtue signalling...

      3. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

        Prime Sinister*

        Quite good - only really gets childish if it's overused, otherwise it's a humorous.

        I am reminded of Colin Baker as Doctor Who on trial on Galifrey, when he intentionally fudges the prosecutors title (Valyard) (barnyard, scrapyard...).

        I'd vary it, (Prime Misery, Prime Monkey...)

      4. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

        Prime Sinister, not childish, kinda catchy : -) The Cruella DeVille comparison has been made already, 'Prime Sinister' is in the same vein.

      5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Prime Sinister"* "First rule of Politician Club: It's never your fault."+

        * Nice. Especially as even she (somewhere inside that brain of hers) realizes she will never be able to appoint herself "Lord High Chancellor" as hoped. When she said she expected to carry on till the next election I LOL'd.

        You know the back benchers are already drawing the charges against her and Davis for their Crimes against Brexit. Jacob Rees Mogg is probably working on the first draft (along with his acceptance speech of new Tory leader).

        + Excellent point. A good rule that has served many of the spinally challenged members of the political classes.

    4. RayzorWire

      Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

      Probably plans to make up the government deficit from European trade by fining tech giants as much as possible...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

        jihadi material which is photographs of Arabic, given the low value of foreign languages in the UK.

        That's how you know it's bad - it's in foreign

    5. Christian Berger Silver badge

      It makes sense when looking at it from the other side...

      ... I mean such "Anti-Terror" laws are great for eliminating public outcry about other topics. The public in the UK probably should be on the street demanding better social systems and similar things. With those laws you can simply lock away people you don't like.

      This has been done in Germany already at the Anti-G20 protests in Hamburg. Just claim that protesters were violent, surround them so they cannot flee, then arrest them.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: It makes sense when looking at it from the other side...

        "This has been done in Germany already at the Anti-G20 protests in Hamburg. Just claim that protesters were violent, surround them so they cannot flee, then arrest them."

        In the UK it's called "kettling" and is a long standing tradition of the Police.

    6. scrubber

      Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

      What makes you think Arabic is a foreign language in the UK???

      1. John Savard Silver badge

        Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

        Arabic is a foreign language to those people in the UK who we could actually trust to think that terrorism is a bad thing which should be stopped. I mean, plenty of Muslims hate the terrorists just as much as everyone else, but if we could read people's minds, we wouldn't have a terrorism problem, would we?

    7. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

      Yeah, I'm just surprised that she has not banned the sale of Lidl carrier bags while she's at it.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Big Brother

        "I'm just surprised that she has not banned the sale of Lidl carrier bags while she's at it."

        Patience citizen, the Prime Sinister has only so many hours in the day.

        Rest assured it's on her list.

        <signed>

        Big Brother.

    8. An nonymous Cowerd
      Boffin

      Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

      Breaking news from ISO crypto too, NSA has withdrawn a few weak standards

      When the United States first introduced Simon and Speck as a proposed ISO standard in 2014, experts from several countries expressed reservations, said Shin’ichiro Matsuo, the head of the Japanese encryption delegation.

      Some delegates had no objection. Chris Mitchell, a member of the British delegation, said he supported Simon and Speck, noting that “no one has succeeded in breaking the algorithms.” He acknowledged, though, that after the Dual EC revelations, “trust, particularly for U.S. government participants in standardization, is now non-existent.”

      Trust, on the Internet-freedom vs. Terror balance also is tending to non-existent!

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

      Well observed. Probably this isn't about jihad at all. The word used is "extremist"; like ordinary people not doing what they are told and voting Brexit. It's hard to see this as anything but a push for censorship of political opinion, in the week when the leaders of Britain First were arrested on trumped-up charges when what they did was post a video and send out some leaflets. The censors all speak English. Arabic? Not hardly.

      In cases like this, we must always look at what the practical effect is, not what the claimed reason is. The practical effect is a system of censorship, at the discretion of the establishment, of material that they label "extremist". The latter term has no legal meaning, so can be applied as they see fit. How they see fit the leaders of Britain First can tell us.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Why not fuck off and sort out Brexit instead

        Yes. "Extremist" = Anyone who disagrees with the government.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    History repeats

    Stalin made all locksmiths and lock manufacturers register with the KGB to ensure that the population does not have access to a safe which would give the KGB search team hard time. The official reasoning was to ensure that thieves do not have access to high end tools to pick locks. This is an idea from the same songbook.

    It does not work - it affects the legitimate use(rs) and the ones that it is trying to hinder find a way around it.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: History repeats

      It does not work - it affects the legitimate use(rs) and the ones that it is trying to hinder find a way around it.

      I learned to pick locks entirely because my place of work replaced normal toilet-roll holders with ones in a locked enclosure so that no-one could steal the toilet rolls. I just wanted to be able to free the damn bog paper when it got caught up inside the stupid enclosure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: History repeats

        The toilet roll holders were probably replaced by the contract cleaning company, so that only they can replace the rolls. If you want them replaced more frequently, then you need a more expensive contract.

        When that happened in our place, we just broke the locks and put some duck-tape on. Our place was so cheap we were out of toilet paper by midday.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: History repeats

          The toilet roll holders were probably replaced by the contract cleaning company, so that only they can replace the rolls.

          We haven't outsourced our cleaning, putting the cleaners on worse terms and conditions. We're not complete arseholes.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: History repeats

            "We're not complete arseholes."

            That's good, or you'd need a LOT more bog roll!

  3. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Mistakes will inevitably be made"...

    Yeah... you're making a huge one right now...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cuckoo

    that is all

  5. batfink
    Facepalm

    Yeah yeah yeah - the usual bollocks

    This strikes me as typical politician-speak.

    As all of us techos know, the first point is to define the requirements:

    - What, exactly, is this "stuff we don't like" that needs to be refused, and what are the criteria to be used to judge it before takedown?

    - How will we distinguish between stuff posted by "Us" (eg "Look what those nasty Russkies/Norks/etc are doing") and "Them" (eg "Look what those nasty infidels are doing")? Yes, I know that nasty propaganda pieces by either side should be taken down, but I'll lay money that's not how our gummints think...

    - What are the safeguards to be put in place, so this doesn't get quietly expanded into other "stuff we don't like", such as posts by subversive El Reg commentards?

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Yeah yeah yeah - the usual bollocks

      It strikes me as an authoritarian regime.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Yeah yeah yeah - the usual bollocks

      "Stuff we don't like"? Oh, that's easy. Set up the filters to remove any account with the word 'Conservative' in the name. The bot-writers make it look incredibly simple to identify pro or anti-Drumpf posts - just borrow their technology.

    3. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Yeah yeah yeah - the usual bollocks @batfink

      Haven't you got it yet?

      Anyone who has the nerve to disagree with the Great Leader is an evil terrorist, guilty by definition of subversion, hate speech .....

      Must be neutralised, crushed, re-educated ...

      It's the only way to protect our freedoms, our children, our democracy ...

      >> PUKE<<

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Yeah yeah yeah - the usual bollocks @batfink

        It's the only way to protect our freedoms, our children, our democracy ...

        Is Lark Hill. The Wachovskis got it right with one mistake. They kept the Great Chancellor character from the comics as male.

  6. alain williams Silver badge

    Please start with all T May utterances

    because, by gum, she sure terrifies me. If she wasn't a woman she would be wearing a Joe Stalin moustache by now. She is not called the Pry Minister for nothing.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Please start with all T May utterances

      If she wasn't a woman she would be wearing a Joe Stalin moustache by now

      You never know. She may be shaving it.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "is it really unreasonable to ask them to apply the same techniques to keeping hateful content off the web?"

      Because, as you have already been told by a previous commenter on this thread :

      Before we get to the "how?". We need to define the "what?".

      Now, I am no algo-guru. But my money would be that no matter how many fancy algorithms you throw at it, the "what?" is never going to be something that you can entrust a computer to be able to do consistently without a high degree of false positives.

      Hence you are taken back to the realms of "human input". And the question of "who decides?", as already stated by another commenter further up this thread.

      You are trying to compare copyright protection to "undesirable content removal". Completely stupid comparison. Different kettle of fish. Being able to identify bootlegged soundtracks on Ewwtoob videos is a mere walk in the park.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      FAIL

      "YouTube can automatically and immediately classify a video"

      That's kind of the point, they can't do that reliably.

      They miss copyrighted material that's been warped slightly*, and on the other side of things, they flag up videos which aren't copyright infringing at all.

      Hell, humans have trouble categorising stuff as being about terrorists or freedom fighters**, how do you expect a machine to do any better?

      * (for starters, they don't even scan live streams, which is why you see streaming channels like this on youtube playing cartoons all day)

      ** It depends if you like them or not.

      1. Gnomalarta
        FAIL

        "This video is unavailable."

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "* (for starters, they don't even scan live streams, which is why you see streaming channels like this on youtube playing cartoons all day)"

        Something seems to be working because "This video is unavailable.". Geoblocking maybe?

    3. Just Enough
      Facepalm

      "If an internet giant like YouTube can..."

      Identifying a copyright movie, TV programme or song is completely different from identifying something that might be classified as terrorist content.

      No-one has a database off all possible things that a terrorist might say, and how. So unless we can get terrorists to adopt a theme song, by which they must start all videos, it's simply not that easy.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        @Justin Uff

        So unless we can get terrorists to adopt a theme song, by which they must start all videos, it's simply not that easy.

        That's an excellent idea - and 5 years in chokey if you issue a trrrrrrst video without the song. What should it be? YMCA? Bright side of Life? Sit on my face...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Even Better.....

          Perhaps we need to make all the terrs wear uniforms.... like Antifa.....

          The UK already has their bankers in bowler hats, along with uniformed school kids, bobbies and football teams.... why not make the terrorists wear a uniform too?

          It would make them much easier to pick out before the next atrocity.

          But I agree with the above posters, a theme song would also help.

          Prime Sinister May has certainly revved up the old idea machine with this one!

          1. Naselus Silver badge

            Re: Even Better.....

            "Perhaps we need to make all the terrs wear uniforms.... like Antifa....."

            No, the solution is staring us in the face. If the pron filter already works, then we just need to convince the terrorists to make all their videos in the buff.

        2. YouStupidBoy
          Mushroom

          Vengaboys: Boom boom, obv ;)

          1. DropBear Silver badge
            Trollface

            "Vengaboys: Boom boom, obv ;)"

            That ain't got nuthin' on "Boom! Shake the Room". I mean, seriously - just look at that album cover...!

        3. NB
          Coat

          "That's an excellent idea - and 5 years in chokey if you issue a trrrrrrst video without the song. What should it be? YMCA? Bright side of Life? Sit on my face..."

          Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff's "Boom, Shake, Shake, Shake The Room" comes to mind...

      2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        No-one has a database off all possible things that a terrorist might say, and how. So unless we can get terrorists to adopt a theme song, by which they must start all videos, it's simply not that easy.

        Maybe we can get them to use "Yakety Sax" as the background music for all their videos. And since we don't have time to watch them all the way through, speed up the video.

    4. M. Poolman

      Obviously this is very much "Oh god think of the children!" territory, buuut...

      I don't think that's an unreasonable point of view.

      Firstly the technical difficulty doesn't absolve the big social media players from all responsibility for what is put out on their systems. In any event, solving difficult technical problems is supposed to be their forte.

      I'm also not entirely convinced about the level of difficulty involved (although IANAE): YT and FB both have "no pron" policies, and it's hard to find much on those platforms (or so I'm told).

      1. Swarthy Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Obviously this is very much "Oh god think of the children!" territory, buuut...

        I did not down-vote the OP, because they asked a valid question out of a desire to know. I did, however down-vote M. Poolman, for ignoring what went before on the same thread and for being and exemplar of Dunning-Kruger ("I'm also not entirely convinced about the level of difficulty involved (although IANAE)").

        The "No Pron" "algorithms" referenced are simply a ratio of skin-tones to non-skin colors in the video, combined with "Report Abuse" crowd-sourcing. YouTube could use a similar "algorithm" for terrorist material, but the backlash for taking down every video with people in it might be problematic. Middle Eastern peoples vary in skin tone by a lot (Look up the origins of "Caucasian" and "Aryan" - It ain't Europe).

        Between the computer vision problems and the lack of a definition of what "terrorist material" actually is YT relies on the second half of the "algorithm" - The Report Abuse button.

        1. Shades

          Re: Obviously this is very much "Oh god think of the children!" territory, buuut...

          "YT relies on the second half of the "algorithm" - The Report Abuse button."
          So does FB, and I'm a big fan of it. There's enough places on the internet to peruse lady baps and/or gentlemen sausage (or even tentacles, if thats your thing) on the internet without being confronted with it on FB too. Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of watching people bump uglies, just not in the middle of the virtual town centre.

  8. Archtech Silver badge

    How about...

    Internet firms call on UK prime minister to learn some of the basics of computing before making ridiculous demands.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about...

      "Internet firms call on UK prime minister to learn some of the basics of computing before making ridiculous demands."

      I think the problem is thus.

      There are, no doubt, some very tech-savvy civil servants, especially at the various secret-squirrel places.

      The trouble is, they never get anywhere near the PM or her army of SPADs.

      Instead, the servants provide their feedback to some middle-manager type higher up the ladder, who then reports to PM and her SPADs.

      I would be happy to place a bet that the conversation between PM/SPAD and "middle-manager-type" is more "yes minister" for fear of not wishing to rock the boat or fear loosing financial budget (or maybe saying "yes" in the hope of being handed down further budget for the special project).

      I very much doubt anyone has really told Mother Theresa or her Ruddy Marvelous sidekick the "truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about...

        >The trouble is, they never get anywhere near the PM or her army of SPADs.

        Why would they want to - she's gone tomorrow, they have decades of career to think about and real work to do. May is just clinging to her moment in limelight...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How about...

        'There are, no doubt, some very tech-savvy civil servants, especially at the various secret-squirrel places.'

        Yes, but they don't listen to us. Instead, they tell us what they want and then shout until it happens.

      3. Alistair Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: How about...

        "There are, no doubt, some very tech-savvy civil servants, especially at the various secret-squirrel places. "

        Yes but tech-savvy swivel servants are stuck spinning in their chairs, and have gone completely nuts anyhow.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: How about...

      "...to learn some of the basics of computing before making ridiculous demands."

      To judge from these demands, she's never even *used* a computer, let alone learned about one.

      Still ... that's probably our way out. We simply say that "Yes, it has been done and it is now impossible to upload terrorist content. Obviously there will be a few false positives, why is why the Conservative Party website has been taken down, and a few false negatives, which is what the Daily Mail *would* be ranting about had their website not also been taken down. But apart from those, it's all done and dusted Prime Minister.

    3. Down not across

      Re: How about...

      Just stop serving UK customers. "Unfortunately due to poltical climate it is no longer viable to provide our services into the UK."

      Of course there are ways around that but that is another matter entirely.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about...

      'learn some of the basics of computing....'

      This is what I find increasingly fascinating. They are falling behind in the understanding of how the world works these days. I think it'd be hard to be elected if you were unable to read or write (okay, so perhaps there are exceptions to that). Mainly because, it'd be hard to make decisions of government without access to the interfaces that connect you to others (ie. you'd not be able to communicate with colleagues / constituents etc.). But they are seemingly 100% comfy with being pig ignorant of any technology. How can they make the right decisions if they don't understand? And this stuff is no longer the reserve of geeky teens : this is how the world works, and they are ignorant of it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about...

      Internet firms call on UK prime minister to learn some of the basics of computing before making ridiculous demands.

      It's not really the point though, the government is now being "tough" on this "issue", and the details are just a minor problem for someone else to sort out. Why two hours? No particular reason, but it's shorter than what other countries want, so we must be being tougher. It's got nothing to to with a failure to understand ideas like specificity / sensitivity / receiver operator characteristics, or skating over the awkward middle ground between material we don't like and material that's actually illegal (fortunately there's no actual freedom of speech in the UK, so the former can be swept into the latter quite easily).

    6. JimC Silver badge

      Re: ridiculous demands

      I think the prime minister would counter that the Internet firms have a huge history of crying wolf and claiming that things are impossible until they see a business advantage or are forced, at which point it suddenly becomes possible after all.

  9. kryptonaut
    Stop

    The trouble with technology

    The trouble with technology that looks like magic to those who don't understand it, is that these people then go on to imagine that any other problem can be solved by simply doing some more of the same magic.

    Unquestioning belief in magic is fine for children who don't know any better, but for supposedly well-informed politicians and people in authority, it's rather pathetic.

    Get some advice from experts, and try actually listening to it for once.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The trouble with technology

      "Unquestioning belief in magic is fine for children who don't know any better, but for supposedly well-informed politicians and people in authority, it's rather pathetic"

      Many in the Tory party seem to wear their religious beliefs as a life-style. Their irrational thoughts on the "magic" in science and technology are no surprise.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Unquestioning belief in magic is fine for children who don't know any better, "

      I quite like the term "automagic" thinking.

      <tech> "So how do you suggest we remove everything you don't like from FB/Twitter/YouTube

      <politician> "Automagically of course. No humans intervention at all."

      <tech> <thinks> "F**kwit"

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      Re: The trouble with technology

      http://www.unz.com/jthompson/a-prize-for-science/

    4. Felonmarmer

      Re: The trouble with technology

      The trouble is they can always find a (self appointed) expert who will tell them it is possible (and quote them a fee for some consultancy work).

    5. lorisarvendu

      Re: The trouble with technology

      "Get some advice from experts, and try actually listening to it for once."

      I think this is just what we've seen before with the big Encryption arguments from governments on both sides of the Pond. I strongly suspect that the politicians have already got the correct advice from their Civil Servants (and whatever the equivalent is in the US).

      In other words, what the Public want done isn't possible (you can't compromise encryption without compromising internet banking for example, and you can't block all suspect content without also blocking legit content), and the politicians know this.

      However if they come out and say this, the Public will just blame them for not making the effort. So they do the next best thing: charge 3rd parties with doing it (Google & FB must block terrorist content, ISPs must block encryption).

      That way, when nothing happens, the politicians did what the Public wanted, and the evil Internet companies are therefore to blame for not making it so.

      Further examples are Trump's calls to shut down the Internet (it's Bill Gates' fault that it isn't happening), block Muslims (that's the fault of the Justice Department) and repeal Obamacare (the Democrats are to blame for that not happening).

  10. wolfetone Silver badge

    Makes good copy for Paul Dacre's Daily Toilet Paper and Murdoch's S*n doesn't it?

  11. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Competence

    I expect politicians to be completely useless at government, but I used to think they had some skill (or could phone a friend) when it came to politics. Every politician starts their term by forgetting all their election promises, gets on with their unpopular agenda early so they are utterly despised half way through and when the end of their term is imminent they spend a pile of dosh on bread and circuses so all the bad stuff is forgotten by election day.

    Calling for an election half at half time demonstrates the sort of incompetence that would get any normal employee sent to a competitor with glowing references. Surely by this time she must have worked out that thinking up policy is not her strong point and it would be better to shut up, do nothing and collect her pay check until someone competent becomes leader of the conservative party. Guaranteed job for life.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Competence

      Reality illustrates the mash or the mash illustrates the reality: the punchline

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Competence

        Reality illustrates the mash or the mash illustrates the reality: the punchline

        Upvote for that link, but disappointed that it misses Ruth wossname, the scottish Tory who is still a bit of a darling of the Chattering Classes.

        Talking of which, does anyone else think the commentariat have been missing the point in Boris's latest masterwork? I don't think it's a leadership bid (he wants May there long enough to take the blame), rather he's rattled at the media attention on Rees-Mogg, and wants to reclaim his place as Prime Toffoon[1].

        [1] Toff/Buffoon. Wodehouse's characters might realistically have been in parliament (was Lord Emsworth an exaggeration?), but could even he have seen them as candidates for Prime Minister?

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "Upvote for that link, but disappointed that it misses Ruth wossname,"

          Your wrong.

          "Some Tory you’ve never heard of, chosen by MPs as leader on the basis that the public does not hate them yet and they cannot be worse than Theresa May. Evens"

          I think that covers her.

          But you're right. Working class Scottish Tory lesbian. If only she was black and in a wheel chair you'd have electoral Platinum on your hands.

          1. My Alter Ego

            Re: "Upvote for that link, but disappointed that it misses Ruth wossname,"

            "But you're right. Working class Scottish Tory lesbian. If only she was black and in a wheel chair you'd have electoral Platinum on your hands."

            Not in my office you wouldn't - they'd prefer hanging!

    2. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Competence

      "Calling for an election half at half time demonstrates the sort of incompetence that would get any normal employee sent to a competitor "

      Now there's a thought.

      Lets start a compo for the best way to make her leader if the Liberal Party.

      No, culling the rest of the party, however socially desirable, doesn't count.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meeting with Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Google

    How did it go? I see we have the bollocks she spouted but what was the response? (after the laughter that is)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proof

    All this proves that NO politician, no matter what allegiance, has any idea about anything technical.

    It also proves that the don't listen to anyone that does know about technical things because they only listen to people that tell them what they want to hear.

    It should be compulsory for anyone wanting to be an MP or a top flunky in the civil service to take and pass a technology test - we might end up with those running things actually knowing what they are talking about.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Proof

      Do you want more proofs?

      Then consider this: All public statements by TM, when analysed, behave like very small vampires left in a sunny patch. They go "Proof!" and vanish!

      That's a lot of proofs!

      8^)

    2. PNGuinn Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Proof

      Bearing in mind the skillset of the candiates, may I suggest giving them all a pencil each and observing who's the first to work out how to use the sharp end to pick their a*se?

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "All this proves that NO politician,.., has any idea about anything technical."

      Not strictly true. David Davis is quite knowledgeable on data bases and excessive state surveillance, and I suspect Tom Watson has had something of a crash course as well.

      Sadly I doubt he will survive beyond the official leave date and the entry into the "transitional arrangement," WTF that is.

      Then the real finger pointing and blame allocation will begin

  14. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Couldn't she....

    ... just use one of her magic spells? Like...

    "Google is Google"

    "Twitter is Twitter"

    Etc.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Couldn't she....

      I think that was an aberration. Her usual formula is less impressive:

      "I am Prime Minister"

      "Boris is Foreign Secretary"

      "Strong and stable"

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Couldn't she....

        She also said "Boris is Boris" the other day...

  15. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Recruits Wanted, Experience in Making Bombs Advantageous, Apply Now Here...

    I'd be surprised if condemned content would be as explicit as this - might be a good way to take The Register off-line though, posting such nastiness tut tut.

    How the hell is any webmaster, not familiar with the culture or method of expression used by these people, supposed to be identified? The Reg has enough problems with commentards not being able to understand low-flying sarcasm.

  16. David 132 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The way it'll be done...

    ...as of $date, all social media content will have to be uploaded via a government proxy, where the finest, keenest bureaucrats will review the content for terror/hate/wrong-thinking/trigger-words/uncomfortable-truths and release it to Youtube/Facebook/Twitter within a guaranteed 6 weeks. The new watchdog, Oftroll, will be funded from a 2p/MB levy on broadband connections, and will create over 40,000 new jobs in marginal constituencies Northern economic enterprise zones.

    The scary thing is that to some in power in the UK/EU, the above will seem like a good idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The way it'll be done...

      They forget how much is uploaded every min...

    2. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: The way it'll be done...

      Don't worry, after a year or too they'll contract it out to Capita, who will offshore it.

  17. Pat 11

    It only needs to semi automate the process

    The task of automating this isn't as hard as folk are saying. You don't need the algo to make decisions, you just need it to constrain the candidates to a level where human judgement can be used.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: It only needs to semi automate the process

      Sure! Just come up with the criteria that all videos should be judged against. Make sure your criteria can be given to a 5-year-old with a decent chance that they'll pick the right content to hold for moderation.

      Oh, and who's going to pay for the moderators?

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: It only needs to semi automate the process

        Also consider that I have not yet seen any assembly of moderators on any forum that didn't have one or more delusional egomaniacs thinking they're there to Vanquish All Evil In The World (for their own arbitrary definition of evil, ToS be damned - May is a fine example to give you an idea) single-handedly, first on the list being anyone who dares to even think (let alone try to voice - I say "try" because they get insta-banned before succeeding) that said mod might possibly be wrong and abusive. The mere fact that they've been granted power is the only celestial sign they need as proof that they're meant to wield that power whichever way they see fit, as long as it's hard and swift. Only everyone else can possibly be wrong - and they ALL ARE.

        Now, faced with the statistical inevitability of facing one of these regularly, are you still keen on uploading trying to upload anything...?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It only needs to semi automate the process

      >The task of automating this isn't as hard as folk are saying.

      Given the difficulties the Internet Watch Foundation has with keeping Child Sexual Abuse material off the Internet and they have been at it for 20 years, I suspect the task is actually harder than people think.

    4. David 132 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: It only needs to semi automate the process

      you just need it to constrain the candidates to a level where human judgement can be used.

      Thank you for responding to this Reddit post. We have detected that you are in the UK. Please choose one of the following government-approved responses:

      1) "Me too!"

      2) to upload dancing_baby.mpg

      3) "I LIKE THIS WEBSITE VERY MUCH, PLEASE SEND RESPONSES TO ME BY EMAIL THANKS BYE"

      ...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Technical pig ignorance

    To use a well-worn phrase: "What could possibly go wrong?"

  19. Nick Kew Silver badge

    What a brilliant idea

    And for her next trick, let's have ISPs filter out all spam fully automatically: get your \/|@gra past those filters. And telcos, of course. And the Post Office. The poor old spammers will have to take evasive measures like using envelopes that impersonate a legitimate letter!

    As I said when it was The Liar driving online censorship, I expect the first casualty to be that most ultra-violent work of hate, massacre and genocide, the Old Testament of the Bible. Not to mention the sizeable chunk of western culture derived from those bloodthirsty stories.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a brilliant idea

      Imagine, if the PTB actually tried to spend money on stuff that works, like more police, investigations and arrests, with a little border control thrown in. Instead, they prefer to chase after livid facebook posters with unpopular and politically incorrect opinions. This will not end well.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to craft ‘auto-takedowns’ for terrorist manuals etc

    So that's the reason why their manifesto for the previous General Election mysteriously disappeared from their website then ?

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to craft ‘auto-takedowns’ for terrorist ...

      I suspect that to be an insider job.

  21. Christoph Silver badge

    There's no Magic Money Tree (except when they need to bribe someone to keep themselves in power).

    But suddenly there is a Magic Technology Tree that can do anything they want it to do.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if

    This task should be handed off to the copyright enforcement folks. I mean they do a splendid job in keeping down the pirate copies of "Poker Face" off EwwTube.

    Or better still use machine learning to identify anything a bit "terroristy" using human feedback to fine tune the network. Make sure it is hooked into everything and has total control, including automatic swatting of anyone deemed even slightly dodgy. Extra bonus points if they happen to be working in their parent's basements because there was that one guy in 'Murrika who made a breeder reactor in his kitchen!

    I mean what could go w(*!(*YU$R <NO CARRIER> <END OF LINE>

  23. Mrs Doyles Teacup
    Paris Hilton

    At some point we’ll realise that politicians know f-all about anything and then we’ll consider letting experts in their field run the country.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm hoping we can replace the meatbags with AI at some point in the very near future. Even now it couldn't do a worse job.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        AManfromMars for prime minister!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, but when everyone complains it is too difficult to filter uploaded material by its content then the government say "ok then, filter based on the uploader", which is probably what they really want anyway.

  25. scrubber

    Freeze Peach

    Because the correct response to bad speech is ... less speech? I'm sure that's what Madison, Paine and Jefferson were going for when they wrote the 1st Amendment.

  26. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    May and a Flea

    It is obvious that a flea is orders of magnitude smarter than May. If she took an IQ test are negative results allowed? </snark>

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: May and a Flea

      I would not the least bit surprised if we had to resort to imaginary numbers on the result of her IQ test. Basically we need to resort to polar coordinates, specifically angle, to explain any subjects divergence from reality. As an example, Donald Trump is actually fairly bright (two standard deviations from the mean) but his divergence from reality places him somewhere between, say, 160 or 175 degrees out. That's still a bit of a guesstimate. I'd have to suffer through more of his media events and tweets to make a final determination.

      Some time ago, I was in love with a young lady, definitely for marriage, that was extremely bright. That's a requirement for my future sanity. However, her connection to reality was very tenuous, at best. *I* could follow her departures into fantasy disconnected from the universe. Sadly, she married another gent who was committed to an asylum two weeks after the weeding.

      All of that is just to say, things aren't so simple as a simple number (magnitude) can describe. Oh, and from personal experience, I've had more than a few breaks from reality here, so I understand it a bit more than some.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        "we need to resort to polar coordinates,..angle, to explain any subjects divergence from reality. "

        I like that idea. It answers (and measures) the question "How can someone who seems quite intelligent hold views that are so bats**t crazy." There not stupid, they're smart in a very different direction (which makes them much more dangerous than stupid people holding these views).

        "Oh, and from personal experience, I've had more than a few breaks from reality here, so I understand it a bit more than some."

        I think most of suspected as much. However it's interesting that prior to the release of the Edward Snowden documents most people as cautious as Snowden has shown you have to be to preserve online privacy and security would be thought paranoid. Turns out most people aren't paranoid enough. :-( .

        I keep hearing a line from "Enemy of the State" where Will Smith says of Gene Hackman "Oh, you're one of those "conspiracy" nuts," and Hackman replies "No, one of the conspirators."

  27. Adrian Midgley 1

    The root of the problem is stupid users...

    By and large the smart ones don't react to knowing how to pick a lock or do high-energy chemistry by going on crime sprees.

  28. SimonHayterUK

    Our politicians truly deserve a spot on Loose Woman, they clearly have no idea how the internet works. It's a utter waste of time even attempting to block such content... they had the same idea about torrent sites and before you know it... you have thousands of proxies popping up. Terrorist are not as stupid as the government lets us believe, if you block such a website they will just use a VPN or use the Dark Web. The government know this and they just want another INTERNET freedom grab... sadly, taking more and more away from us.

  29. davenewman

    We need bad bomb-making information on the Internet

    So that people make dud bombs that just burn instead of explode because they couldn't calculate the stoichiometric mixture (plus a bit extra oxidiser) that any 3rd former chemistry pupil could work out, or many people in Northern Ireland pubs.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      "or many people in Northern Ireland pubs."

      Another reason not to upset Arlene Foster?

      It's a donkey jacket with a Kevlar lining, in case things get boisterous.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: "or many people in Northern Ireland pubs."

        It's a donkey jacket with a Kevlar lining, in case things get boisterous.

        As my dad used to say (he visited NI on many occasions): "if you can hear the gunshot, then the bullet has already missed you".

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: "or many people in Northern Ireland pubs."

          As my dad used to say (he visited NI on many occasions): "if you can hear the gunshot, then the bullet has already missed you".

          What about the second bullet?

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: "or many people in Northern Ireland pubs."

          Even the bombs were better before the internet

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this from the woman who introduced Sharia law into UK law whilst home secretary even though most Muslims when polled didn't want it. Also the same woman who appointed a bunch of Imam's to investigate reports of discrimination against Muslim women by those Sharia courts - which fostered such distrust that the women then wouldn't dare get involved in the investigation .......

    May is also selling weapons to beheading happy fundamentalists Saudi Arabia who are really not much different to the taliban with oil. Links between them and ISIS were investigated and found but May seems to have decided to keep secret the report.

    So having given Islamic fundamentalists such a huge boost around the world by backing to the hilt Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia, she comes to our rescue with an entirely unworkable demand, which no doubt will be used to censor other content off the internet that May doesn't like.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Coat

      "All this from the woman who introduced Sharia law into UK law "

      I can never see such a phrase and not be mis-remembering that old Steve Wonder track. A case of

      "My Sharia amour?"

  31. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Trump Prediction

    Germany = 2 days

    UK = 2 hours.

    Trump is going to announce 2 minutes.

    Of course China, with more than 1 million operatives monitoring everything its citizens say on line already has it down to an average of 2 seconds.

    But what really saddens me is the quality of commentards these days; an obviously futile gesture, yet no references to Kanute or the tide.

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Trump Prediction

      "But what really saddens me is the quality of commentards these days; an obviously futile gesture, yet no references to Kanute or the tide."

      As it happens to be one of those widely misquoted and misunderstood utterances, it is actually a good thing. Quality of commentards in a non-ironic sense.

  32. Mycho Silver badge

    Is it conference season or something? Politicians are talking more bollocks than usual.

  33. John Savard Silver badge

    Understandable but Problematic

    If a page looks to a computer program like it might be a terrorist page, it could be automatically taken down, and then flagged for review by a human being. If it wasn't really a terrorist page, then it could be unblocked. What could be wrong with that?

    Well, for one thing, this could be a trick for terrorists to use to get their pages whitelisted. Wait for the false positive, then after being unblocked, put the real terrorist page in.

    For another, it might be that affected companies, like Google or Facebook or Blogspot, might have plenty of humans who read English, but hardly any who can read Arabic, so that a suspected Arabic-language page might languish for ages.

    Still, given the amounts of damage terrorists do, it does make sense to ask Internet companies to make an effort to prevent terrorists from recruiting with inadvertent help from them. A legal mandate, though, will lead to compliance efforts, not necessarily productive efforts.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge

      Re: Understandable but Problematic

      Charging the Internet companies with policing 3rd party generated content is like ordering the road maintenance crews to, "while they are at it", control traffic and issue traffic fines.

      It's not their fucking job!

      If the govt. wants to police the forums, OK, but they must do it themselves.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Understandable but Problematic

      Remember the laws to freeze bank accounts of terrorists ?

      Remember how it got used against Icelandair?

      Remember the laws allowing surveillance without a warrant - to stop terrorism?

      Remember them being used for school catchment areas?

      Remember the laws allowing websites to be shut down if they supported terorrism ?

      Remember them being used to block -------------

  34. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Since Youtube, Facebook and Twitter can't keep the spammers, pirates and scammers of their platform, I fail to see how they are going to identify terrorist content within 2 hours. Unlike content ID systems which uses hashes to identify for copyrighted material these terrorism photos and videos are unique so even they flag one of them its trivial for ISIS to create new ones that will pass the filters.

    If you check some more nefarious corners of the internet you can get information on how to alter a copyrighted video enough to upload it to YT and bypass the copyright checks.

  35. Dacarlo
    IT Angle

    Suggestion for the Prime Sinister...

    Take a leaf out of imgur's approach to 'bad' content. If something is 'bad' people down vote it to the point one has to click to view and most probably don't bother. Moreover if it were heavily downvoted it could trip a metric trigger and alert the platform.

    Ah crap there I go again trying to think of practical things to accommodate the whims of impractical politicians.

    p.s. Prime Sinister is feckin genius.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But but but...

    If the big Internet companies that rely on other peoples content could identify and take down terrorist content in 2 hours, would that mean they could do the same for content owned by others?

    If they didn't have all that content owned by others, would they get their page views and advertising revenue?

  37. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Why dont fb and twatter issue a statement telling the UKGOV to stop importing radicalised Sunni Muslims from the arse end of nowhere?

  38. Patrician

    So, the "tech giants" move their head quarters to Guatemala or Brazil or Venezuela or some such country and flick the "V" to The Maybot.

  39. SVV Silver badge

    Poor Requirements Specification

    Let's supose for a second that the magic badness-detecting AI engine did exist. We all know it's impossible, but she's heard or read some people waffling on about AI so stupidly assumes it's a real thing that oould do this.

    Now surely you would just run all content through the magic engine at the time it was uploaded in order to check it before making it available on your site, so what's this random "within 2 hours" figure for that she's just pulled out of her backside? She would make a fine middle manager at an average UK medium to large company with inane clueless "ideas" about IT systems of this quality.

    1. davemcwish

      Re: Poor Requirements Specification

      Additionally

      "Developing technological solutions which prevent [terrorist online content] being uploaded in the first place"

      Given that, apart from China's Great Firewall, there is no single jurisdiction over Web content, who defines what's classed as terrorist content, and how the algorithm runs ? Given that one country's freedom fighter is another's terrorist, who has the casting vote, 5 eyes TLA orgs?

      On the "within 2 hours", achieving this would necessitate the organisations massively ramp up their resourcing to have a review process otherwise, simply having an automated script to delete the offending content would easily be gamed by those that wish to censor stuff I don't like'.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Poor Requirements Specification

      ...at the time it was uploaded...

      That one statement told me, T.May hasn't a clue about the Internet.

      I connect a webserver to an IP address and grant access, I haven't uploaded anything, yet all the content on that server is now on the Internet.

      I suspect (tempted to do an experiment) that as most public hotspots have static IP addresses, that I can advertise the availability of my website as being 'open' between 10 and 11 am when I take an extended break in my local Library, McDonalds, Starbucks etc.

      But then if lived outside of the UK - France post-March 2019? ...

  40. tiggity Silver badge

    Solution

    "Social Media" companies such s FaceBook, YouTube, Titter etc. send all newly published content to Theresas secret squirrel top terrosist content detection department. Her super team siftware (delibearte typo) magically identifies *all* the terrorists content within less than 2 hours.

    Said terrorist content is then assessed independently by objective people to see if it actually is terrorist as a single false positive would be a total fail.

    If it subsequently turns out any terrorist material was missed by the TM super team software, then a fail again.

    If it turns out that it was not all automated and a bit of human decision making was needed, again instant fail (after all, this AI lark is so easy peasy Teresy..)

    If the TM super team software can, over the course of a year manage zero fails... then they could maybe think about asking tech companies to do the same (after all it would be easy, they could just give tech companies their super tech)

    Until that occurs, TM is best keeping her fantasies to herself

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Solution

      send all newly published content to Theresas secret squirrel top terrosist content detection departmentMinistry of Truth.

      I see, T.May obviously took inspiration from 1984.

  41. Test Man

    So the government want social media companies to ban content automatically within 2 hours.

    So the people who peddle this content will simply use... normal web sites. What about them, Government? Oh right...

  42. nethack47

    What language?

    The pesky terrorists have been using all sorts of ways to obfuscate so what languages are you defining terror content in?

    I heard a story about the efficiency of wiretaps back in the 80s which was problematic because the pesky terrorists used things like Gaelic which put a lot of strain on the few that could actually understand it. They already worked out that the solution to terror isn't a lack of data or powers but instead it's manpower.

    Anyone want to bet this system will quietly be expanded to block porn, copyrighted content and ultimately things that are bad for you. Anorexia glorification perhaps?

    May is reducing the workforce and handing over management and costs for to people who can't bill them for what they want.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: What language?

      In view of her ' develop the technology' , I expect she thinking AI/algorithms 'cause it's just like pulling a rabbit out of a hat isn't.

      Maybe she could try pointing a little stick and shouting ' expelliamos jihadis', just as likely to work.

  43. Zippy's Sausage Factory
    Joke

    Not sure how she thinks computers work?

    Maybe she thinks it's just like Star Trek where the computer goes "would you like me to take down any terrorist content the moment it's created, with no false positives, ever?"

    "No, computer, let's not."

    "OK, how about child porn or anything else remotely illegal."

    "No, computer, let's not. Let's pretend this is actually quite difficult to do and would require human intervention, careful judgement, an ability to read multiple languages, specialised local knowledge and that an omnipotent, perfect all-knowing system doesn't exist."

    "Lol, OK. Shall I make Siri and Cortana terrible then?"

    "Yes please, and Bing."

    "Hahaha... Bing's already terrible, captain".

  44. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Perhaps the solution is to *stop* creating terrorist cells to depose other political entities.

    But hell, I'm not going to consider a *serious* issue with a realistic perception.

  45. Gigabob

    What is a "Terror" Page

    Already Google is being castigated for removing pages of violence from the Syrian conflict that member of the human rights organizations were using to store video evidence of crimes against humanity. They are working to tweak their algorithms - but given the volume of video data being uploaded to their sites, they are short on eyeballs to review that much data. If it is something that "You'll know it when you see it", it probably will be a while before you can expect real-time.

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