back to article One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

It will be an offence to view terrorist material online just once – and could incur a prison sentence of up to 15 years – under new UK laws. The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill was granted Royal Assent yesterday, updating a previous Act and bringing new powers to law enforcement to tackle terrorism. But a …

  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Goodbye Youtube?

    There's quite a lot of stuff on Youtube that's legal to view in the US but would fall into this hole in the UK - I will not go into the details to avoid incriminating anyone who reads this comment.

    1. Halfmad Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Youtube?

      I also suspect what constitutes terrorist propaganda isn't set in stone and will change over time, let's hope they don't run retrospective reports then eh?

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        @Halfmad

        Indeed

        Tories lauding Mandela these days, whereas back in the day they were calling him a terrorist and giving huge support to the white South Africa regime.

        I remember (many years ago) being filmed by Special branch at a UK anti apartheid demo where some white SA govt representatives were present

        1. msknight Silver badge

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          Oh well. There goes my plan of shopping on-line for a new garden axe at Homebase then.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          One mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist - and Mandela (either of them) couildn't be described as whiter than white....

          Yes, I know ;-)

        3. RobHib

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          The hypocrisy of lauding Mandela's terrorism these days shows up how truly farcical our systems of government (not to mention 'political speak') have become. That Mandela was a terrorist is indisputable even though his reasons were very laudable. The same type of doublespeak occurred over China when it was accepted into the world's trading system. Justifying that a 'wrong' is actually acceptable in certain circumstances by hiding the fact under a carpet is totally unacceptable as, amongst other things, it belies the true politics of the situation.

          If these people genuinely hold such contradictory beliefs without seemingly any question (which I strongly suspect), then it show us how fundamentally vulnerable our governance is.

          Funny isn't it that governments and bureaucrats who are in power today never seem to consider that the power they wield has its roots in terrorism. For instance, the established governments of the day would have considered their opponents (who were ultimately the winners), in the English Civil War*, the French Revolution and the American War of independence, as terrorists. (Whether they were freedom fighters or terrorists depends on which side of the fence one stands, and in almost every case, no side had or has a complete mandate with respect to virtue or what's right—grey is everywhere and that matters if one has the morals to think about it.)

          I'm certainly not lauding revolution even if justifiable as means of achieving change as it's nearly always bloody and brutal but it raises the serious issue of how people achieve change when implacable governments and bureaucrats refuse to bend to the will of the people or to yield power (you only have to look at Venezuela today to see what I mean).

          Unfortunately these days our so-called democratic governments are moving towards bureaucratic totalitarianism as a means of control rather than solving problems at the grass roots—just because it's hard doesn't mean the authoritarian option is acceptable.

          * I'm aware this example needs expansion and justification but that's for another time.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            Whether they were freedom fighters or terrorists depends on which side of the fence one stands

            No it doesn't. That's just vintage lefty doublethink.

            Freedom fighters target the state while terrorists target the civillians. Bombing civvies makes you a terrorist in every case no matter what your ideals or how deeply precious they may be to you.

            1. jmch Silver badge
              Headmaster

              Re: Goodbye Youtube?

              "Freedom fighters target the state while terrorists target the civillians"

              "the state" IS composed of civilians except for the tiny fraction of "the state" that is the military (or, I guess, this could be extended to police).

              If a country's judiciary, legislature and (non-police/military) executive are a bunch of evil corrupt murderous bastards, and 'freedom fighter' action against them WILL be against civilians.

              So I guess maybe rather then "civilians" you mean "ordinary citizens"

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                If a country's judiciary, legislature and (non-police/military) executive are a bunch of evil corrupt murderous bastards, and 'freedom fighter' action against them WILL be against civilians.

                The military, civil defence (police, nhs, fire etc), judiciary, civil serve etc are all organs of the state. People on a bus are not. People in a shopping centre are not.

                While there's no once size fits all definition, the whole "one mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist" schtik is just lefty doublethink and lazy politicking, as opposed to a reasoned view.

                1. macjules Silver badge
                  Boffin

                  Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                  The military, civil defence (police, nhs, fire etc), judiciary, civil serve etc are all organs of the state. People on a bus are not. People in a shopping centre are not.

                  There are three 'estates' in the UK, Parliament, the Executive (Military, Civil service etc) and the Judiciary. All three account for a sizeable proportion of the UK population, so in one fell statement you are excluding around 10% of the UK (around 5.36m) from civilian status and seem to label them as "fair game". Sorry to say but this is the sort of babble that we might expect from the awful Rep. Peter T King, a man who once compared compared Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Féin (the political wing of the Irish republican terrorist movement) to George Washington and asserted that the "British government is a murder machine".

                  Signed:

                  A former "Organ of the State"

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                  The military, civil defence (police, nhs, fire etc), judiciary, civil serve etc are all organs of the state. People on a bus are not. People in a shopping centre are not.

                  While there's no once size fits all definition, the whole "one mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist" schtik is just lefty doublethink and lazy politicking, as opposed to a reasoned view.

                  Got it. It's fine to blow up a hospital, as long as only staff not patients are harmed.

                3. Oodles of Noodles

                  Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                  NHS as an organ of the state?! Do you really think that we are justifiable targets given that we treat both the knobheads that believe that maiming and killing is justifiable alongside the victims? Really? Oh FFS!

                4. Ian Johnston Silver badge

                  Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                  The military, civil defence (police, nhs, fire etc), judiciary, civil serve etc are all organs of the state. People on a bus are not. People in a shopping centre are not.

                  You agree, then, that the RAF pilots who dropped bombs on Serbian passenger trains and Iraqi weddings were terrorists?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                Quibbling over these distinctions is marginally relevant. Violence is violence, and however it is targeted, there will be collateral damage. We weigh this against our causes within the context of our own personal sense of justice. When a powerful nation punishes a civilian population with economic embargo we don't call it terrorism despite the inevitable death and destruction. We write definitions for our convenience.

                Which raises the question: The earlier comment about Venezuela invites calls for clarification. What is the presumed people's will?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Goodbye Youtube?

              So we're quite clear that the United States is a terrorist government, since its armed forces have bombed civilians in Syria in an effort to overthrow the UN-recognised government?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                Better not visit any U.S. government websites. And probably best not to travel to the U.S. lest you be seen as having gone in order to receive terrorist training. The idea that there is a clear and distinct difference between terrorism and anti-terrorism is the true myth. It seems to me that it is entirely a matter of perspective and perception - both of which are subject to frequent change over time.

            3. Chris Parsons

              Re: Goodbye Youtube?

              Luckily the Résistance didn't think in the narrow way you do, eh?

            4. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: Goodbye Youtube?

              No it doesn't. That's just vintage lefty doublethink.

              Not quite. Authorities have proved quite recently (not that this hasn't always gone on in diiferent labels, from traitor to heretic to blasphemer) with the lazy application of the term terrorist to new crimes or old that, even if an activist would avoid tactics that threaten life directly, they'd still be labelled terrorist in an attempt to colour public opinion in the favour of authority.

        4. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          whereas back in the day they were calling him a terrorist

          Well yes, because Mandela WAS a terrorist; he cofounded the MK FFS. They killed at least 130 people, most of whom were civillians, and most of whom were black! Whatever he became later in life he became after he was a terrorist.

          This leftist revision of history in order to lionise those they adore is as demented as it is dangerous.

          1. myithingwontcharge

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            You are confusing "terrorist" with "freedom fighter". I think that was the entire point.

        5. grumpy-old-person

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          A little off-topic, it seems that it was fashionable to be anti-apartheid yet it is now the fashion to say nothing against what South Africa got in apartheid's place - a good example is the rolling blackouts this last week courtesy of the bankrupt state power corporation and the ANC "liberators" that has further damaged the ailing economy.

      2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        what constitutes terrorist propaganda isn't set in stone and will change over time

        It's only a matter of time before the definition of terrorism becomes "anything in opposition to the policies of the current government."

        This is a well-worn path in human history. The terminology changes, but the underlying concepts do not.

        The state always seeks to protect itself from the governed; it's just a question of degree, and the amount of time it takes for that to become the state's primary operating goal.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          It's only a matter of time before the definition of terrorism becomes "anything in opposition to the policies of the current government."

          And that is the hallmark of a country going down the path to oppression of the people. Here in the US the free flow of news and information is part of our society and government but that's starting to change subtilely with the cry of "fake news".

          Whatever happened to having an "informed" public? Censorship never works except to oppress those who seek knowledge about what is happening in the world, city, country, etc.

          1984 is NOT an instruction manual as governments now believe.

          1. M.V. Lipvig

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            Except when the news actually is fake, you mean. The problem with US news is that a large majority of news organizations are owned by very few people, and these people have made slanting the news according to the owner's political views mandatory. Take Trump, for example. Say he is walking by an orphanage that catches fire. Trump throws caution to the wind and charges in, combover flapping in the breeze behind him, and starts pulling kids out. He manages to save 6 orphans out of 20 before the roof finally caves in and he can no longer enter. The US media's headline would read as "Trump Watches While 14 Orphans Burn" Somewhere in the story, back on page A12, they might mention "6 orphans manage to survive." Nowhere would it be mentioned that Trump had saved the 6. Now, let's replace Trump with, say, Elizabeth Warren. The headline would read "Warren A Hero, Saves Orphans From Burning Building." Somewhere on page A20 it would mention 14 died. Aside from that, the story would read how Warren saved each orphan by kicking in doors and barehandedly flinging burning debris aside while dragging unconscious orphans out, at times performing CPR to keep the little tykes alive. Same situation, far different interpretations.

            There was a glorious time in the US where, had this happened, the story would have been a statement of the facts only, with the entire story reported, with only names and gender references (he,she) being different. I miss those days.

            1. ShadowDragon8685

              Re: Goodbye Youtube?

              Uh... No.

              Even I would have to (begrudgingly, admittedly,) applaud the man if he did in fact attempt to rescue people in a disaster situation. I don't believe he has it in him, the draft-dodging paranoid narcissistic coward; but if he DID... Then I'd have to stand up and applaud the effort, even if largely unsuccessful, to safeguard others in a disaster.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          That's... simply not true. There are numerous examples of governments that have banned terrorism without the definition expanding in the way you say is inevitable, at least not in any timeframe that's visible yet.

          The UK passed its first "prevention of terrorism" act in 1974, and yet somehow it's still legal to campaign and even protest against government policies.

          1. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            That has been true but the more you start to dig into the workings of our governments over the last few years, the less it seems to hold up now.

            We're had reports just on here on El Reg talking about closed court trials, businesses being compelled to provide information but not being able to tell anyone they're so compelled.

            We've got new laws that allow for mass surveillance and monitoring and we are half a step away from a national firewall that would be the envy of China - all used under the "Terrorism, duh" or "Think of the children" monikers.

            Here in the UK, I believe it's still true that there are more CCTV cameras per person than anywhere else.

            When you're taking part in a march against, say, Brexit, then the government don't really care and it helps to give the impression that they support freedom of expression and democracy with one hand, whilst they're trying undermine it slyly with the other.

          2. stiine Bronze badge

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            Name one.

          3. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            The UK passed its first "prevention of terrorism" act in 1974, and yet somehow it's still legal to campaign and even protest against government policies.

            Just don't try too close to the seat where it might inconvenience 'important people'

          4. M.V. Lipvig

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            The longest journey begins with a single step. Sounds like the UK's journey towards totalitarianism might have begun in 1974. Just as it is impossible to see a person's destination from their journey's first step, the first laws to totalitarianism do not appear to be so.

        3. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          'It's only a matter of time before the definition of terrorism becomes "anything in opposition to the policies of the current government."'

          Yes - that happened about 20 years ago.

      3. CommanderGalaxian
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        Won't be long until what you have suggested is dangerous sedition, treason and prima facie evidence of your terrorist tendancies.

      4. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        The proposed law would make it far too risky to open The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Sun, The Daily Mail, or The Express - or to watch or listen to the BBC.

        Those media outlets are all saturated with terrorist propaganda every day, in that they stenographically repeat the terrorist propaganda of the UK and US governments - by far the biggest and most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world today, and for decades past.

        Such a law would effectively hand governments the right to censor almost everything of importance that is written about politics or war. If I were to read a report that speaks approvingly of, say, Mr Maduro - all my government need do is classify Mr Maduro as a terrorist, and send round a squad of masked men in a black van to disappear me.

        Everyone of any intelligence who values liberty has consistently declared that freedom of speech must include the freedom to say things that other people dislike - otherwise it is meaningless.

        The proposed law would go much, much further than forbidding speech about certain topics - it would actually forbid reading or hearing such speech.

        Not even Nero, Caligula, Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, or any of their fellow tyrants would have dreamed of trying to impose such a repressive law.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Youtube?

      Last week my mouse developed the annoying ability to generate two clicks every time I clicked the left button. I couldn't fix it, and it quickly developed into generating first three and then four clicks, before the replacement mouse I'd ordered arrived.

      Four clicks on the right-hand column in YouTube sends you to successive pages of not always related content (since there's usually another video link at the same spot on the new page). I can well imagine that anyone with a passing interest in something like atheism (which generates links to religious videos after you've watched a few Creationist videos being debunked by sceptics) and bow-making (which generates links to firearms once you've looked at target archery) or fireworks (Colin Furze definitely leads to bigger explosions!) would soon find more violent material just a few clicks away.

      I'd better keep the faulty mouse as evidence, just in case YouTube was trying to show me something unpleasant while I was busy swearing at the mouse and trying to close all those new tabs from the keyboard.

      1. Justicesays

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        Completely away from the terrorism aspects, if your (windows machine attached) mouse starts to do this you can implement a workaround using autohotkey until your replacement shows up.

        LButton::

        If (A_TimeSincePriorHotkey < 100) ;hyperclick

        Return

        Click Down

        KeyWait, LButton

        Click Up

        Return

        Just hope terrorists won't find this useful if their mice break, otherwise you are in trouble.

    3. verno

      Re: Goodbye Youtube?

      "it was an offence to collect or make a record of information that is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism." Also goodbye maps? They may be quite useful if the terrorist is from out of town...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        Following Brexit all the signposts will be removed to confuse foreign visitors

      2. Suricou Raven

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        Standard political process: Pass a law which is ridiculously overbroad, and then trust in the CPS to decide when it should be ignored.

        1. hittitezombie

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          This is how anti terror laws are already used to deny people indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and visas.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            >This is how anti terror laws are already used to deny people indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and visas.

            Like the recent case where someone was denied indefinite leave to remain, lost her job and her money fighting it... because her accountant got her tax return wrong and she made the honest mistake of correcting that later.

            https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/08/pharmaceutical-specialist-loses-job-and-home-due-to-tax-error

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Goodbye Youtube?

              At least that one *finally* clanked through the machinery with some sort of result for her

              http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2019/feb/03/indian-pharma-professional-wins-legal-fight-over-uk-residency-right-1933827.html

              Ridiculous behaviour by the Home Office though.

        2. DanceMan

          Re: Standard political process

          Just like the laws on speeding, set the speed limit lower than the speed of most traffic and leave the enforcement to the discretion of the plod.

          If we don't like you we can always find something to charge you with.

        3. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with".

          - Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged"

          (And please don't read this quotation as endorsement on my part of anything else Ms Rand may have said or suggested).

        4. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          This is how the yet-to-be-implemented anti-pornography law came to be implemented. Someone in the Civil Service asked for an excuse to snoop, and the politicians went and ran with it until they had a de-facto internet censorship law. The fact that nobody in their right mind will sign up to the Government Age Proof List and will instead get a VPN account is why quite a lot of spooks will even now be quietly crying into their beer.

          Time was when VPNs were the province of business people, professional paranoids and a vanishingly small number of actually dangerous terrorists. Separating business from interesting was a relatively simple task.

          Now that we've got a censorship law in place, the pool of VPNs goes wanker, wanker, wanker... and so ad infinitum; you don't make searching for a needle in a haystack easier by adding a few teratonnes of hay onto the stack. Here we have the reality of modern law-making; utterly ineffective at the stated aim, and massively counter-productive since it makes other necessary espionage so very much more difficult.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        "it was an offence to collect or make a record of information that is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism." Also goodbye maps? They may be quite useful if the terrorist is from out of town...

        ----------------------------------------------------------

        And transport schedules, physics, chemistry, engineering, electronics and biology texts, anything to do with driving, vehicles, hazardous materials, flammability, alarm systems, medicine, pharmacology, scuba diving, industrial safety, electricity, manufacturing, machine tools, operating boats or airplanes, photography, navigation, identities of politicians, sport shooting, archery, martial arts, locksmithing, military history, current events, policing, security practices, plant toxicology, plant identification, firefighting, emergency planning, architecture, construction practices, vehicle design, transportation safety, road, railroad, and bridge construction, surveying, communications, farming, ecology, power systems, water systems, waste disposal, law...

        I'm sure I've left a lot of things out...

        Anyone with a technical university degree, familiarity and expertise in any number of trades or industries, or a good grounding in history already possesses a large and effective set of tools for terrorism... probably more so than most terrorists.

        Anyone ignorant enough to possess no skills or information useful for terrorism will possess no skills or useful information.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          Hell even looking at the website of my alma mater might qualify, as they offer both bachelors and masters degrees in "energetic materials"....

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            It looks as though the powers that be have finally discovered a solution to their longest-standing and most frustrating problem: how to stop people using the Internet and the Web.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Goodbye Youtube?

              I thought Brexit was going to stop people using the internet

              1. Chris Parsons

                Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                There will be a nice, cosy Britnet with pictures of country cottages and Morris Minors.

                1. Wayland Bronze badge

                  Re: Goodbye Youtube?

                  If the Internet was like this then all the troubles of the world would fade away;

                  https://s14-eu5.startpage.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=https:%2F%2Fi.etsystatic.com%2F15396856%2Fd%2Fil%2F7f07bf%2F1354472715%2Fil_340x270.1354472715_13bt.jpg%3Fversion%3D0&sp=1b3a3db567b183ba4140ca904f4609b8

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          Possessing no skills or useful information appears to be the minimum entry criteria for the British Houses of Parliament so by default this would be useful in progressing their poilitical career ( I use the dictionary definitin of career here "going downhill, gathering speed"

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            Gavin Williamson being a glaringly obvious case in point. Whenever he appears in the news, I always want to request that he be sent back to primary school, from which he has apparently absconded.

          2. SonOfDilbert
            Holmes

            Re: Goodbye Youtube?

            Most have connections and money in lieu of skills.

            1. CountCadaver

              Re: Goodbye Youtube?

              for the blue party, commonly every farmer within the catchment graciously agrees to fill their fields full of advertising materials, often several feet high and many more wide in very large type, thus bypassing the rules on roadside political advertising.

        3. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          I've got books on loads of those and a good few OS maps sat within arms reach of me right now... Not to mention in the room next door I have boxes full of materials that could be used to make weapons (primitive bows, flint knives, etc...). These laws are just barmy. Eventually we'll have one law and the text will read:

          "If said person looks a bid dodgy then he may be liable to arrest and imprisonment for a time left to the judges discretion (oh, unless they are an MP or friendly with one)"

        4. M.V. Lipvig

          Re: Goodbye Youtube?

          Yup. I, for example, have the requisite knowledge needed to cripple the entire US communications grid. Bam, down, and it would take a month or more to bring it back up. Problem is, if I didn't have this knowledge I couldn't do my job. Good thing I'm not a terrorist, or am I? I AM a US military veteran.

          https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dhs-domestic-terror-warning-angers-gop/

          No, I'm not a terrorist.

      4. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye Youtube?

        And goodbye restaurants, sandwich bars, clothing shops, car showrooms, DIY shops, garden nurseries...

    4. RyszrdG

      Unintended consequences

      Interesting. This rule is an opportunity for any terrorist organization to create a browser hijack/cyber attack that connects to proscribed terrorist sites and implicates the hapless user as a proto-terrorist. Technically not too difficult and the impact could be significant - perhaps start by targeting MPs and other establishment figures. Could swamp the investigators while real terrorists get on quietly in the background planning the next outrage. O what fun!

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Unintended consequences

        Damn! You beat me to it (shut down HTML window, hands in pockets, whistle, look innocent, dammit!)

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Unintended consequences

        Perhaps that could be attached to anybody who votes for this piece of garbage?

      3. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Unintended consequences

        Terrorist organisation? Sounds more like a 14-year-old who doesn't get out enough.

        But why a browser hijack? A simple spam run would catch loads of users whose mailers make it a faff to delete messages unread. I wonder if companies like Apple might be indicted as accomplices in that?

        1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

          Re: Unintended consequences

          That happened to the University of Hull (I think); they enacted a rule banning anything pornographic which was so broad that even pornography sent to a person's user account could get them banned via an automated process of some sort.

          This rule was rapidly rescinded after several hundred students independently got hold of non-Uni email accounts and proceeded to bombard the senior staff with what can only be described as a quite bewilderingly wide variety of sexual imagery; a veritable pictorial proof of Rule 34.

          Why on earth don't these lawmakers run their prospective laws past somewhere like, say, 4chan before they try enacting them?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Unintended consequences

            I'm sure you want US deciding how your laws should be written.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unintended consequences

        targeting MPs and Cheltenham wallahs, if only that happened and they actually got arrested - it might improve law drafting no end

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Unintended consequences

        "Interesting. This rule is an opportunity for any terrorist organization to create a browser hijack/cyber attack that connects to proscribed terrorist sites and implicates the hapless user as a proto-terrorist."

        You mean swamping the courts after a bout of 21st century RickRolling?

    5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Youtube?

      Never mind Youtube - Google Maps is now illegal.

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Goodbye Youtube?

      how about 'goodbye blog sites' in general?

      It has been possible for as long as there has been an internet for people to accidentally download "illegal" content, from kiddie-pr0n to terrorism stuff, on ANY web site that can be uploaded to, before the moderators have a chance to take it down.

      If _INADVERTENTLY_ downloading such a thing results in PROSECUTION, the law has GONE TOO FAR.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If _INADVERTENTLY_ downloading such a thing results in PROSECUTION

        You are too late; that has been part of the law on kiddie porn for a decade, even looking at an icon of such material is enough to get you sent down.

        Made life very difficult after discovering said material on a UK local government website; no way to report it without risking going to jail.

        As many others have pointed out; just about any online activity can be construed as terrorist activity or preparation if the PTB want it that way.

    7. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Goodbye Youtube?

      Youtube? Do Blow Stuff Up!

      I call this terrorist propaganda. And now you are screwed, right here on El Reg.

    8. RobHib

      Re: Goodbye Youtube? ...And it's even worse than that.

      It's actually worse than that. We've now the ludicrous situation where we've serious stuff on sabotage available that's actually been supplied by government—training films on sabotage that have been declassified from World War II are to be found in various places on the internet. I won't go into the specifics for obvious reasons.

      Surprisingly, I did not find these videos by searching for 'sabotage' on the net, I actually came across them by accident in a sale of cheap DVDs at my local mall!

      As a techie, I found them fascinating from a technical standpoint, and in my opinion, they are still relevant. When I first viewed them, I was surprised they had been declassified. That said, one would have to be both highly motivated and have to go to considerable trouble to implement them.

      As I mentioned in a post further down, these days information on 'subversive' techniques is available just about everywhere: in books, public libraries, and in TV and movie plots etc. So where does one draw the line? Are we going to purge books and libraries of this information? Clearly, such an undertaking would be both impractical and would have serious ramifications for citizens and for democracy in general. It would have serious implications for free speech as citizens would have restrictive limits put on what they say and read.

      Essentially, this is what this damn stupid law has already done for the internet, it also shows up how stupid and ill-conceived the law actually is as it only covers a part of the information sphere.

      Note well however, it only takes an extra step for government to extent the law to encompass every other information-related activity that we citizens engage in.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye Youtube? ...And it's even worse than that.

        "We've now the ludicrous situation where we've serious stuff on sabotage available that's actually been supplied by government..."

        That's not as paradoxical as you suggest. As I have said before, certain governments are by far the greatest purveyors and sponsors of terrorism in the world - and have been for a very long time.

        For instance, all the current hostility being stirred up against Venezuela, Iran, Libya, China, Russia and other countries is essentially terrorist in nature. It is aimed at preparing public opinion for the massive use of deadly violence against those countries, in order to break up their social organisation and loot them.

        How is this for an example of terrorism in action?

        https://www.rt.com/op-ed/451352-amiriyah-shelter-bombing-iraq/

        (If anyone is worried that the source is RT, the reason for that is that you have have to search far and wide to find any mention of Amiriyah in the Western media).

    9. An nonymous Cowerd

      Re: Goodbye Freedoms?

      flying into Edinburgh Airport recently, waiting for my suitcase to be delivered, there were three or four information screens at baggage reclaim.

      They showed a loop of happy travellers collecting bags, then a warning page from HMG Customs

      "Do not pack any of these items in your suitcases when travelling to UK", "it is illegal to import these items above the limits stated"

      showed a page of [something-like] arsenic, cyanide, plutonium etc with milligrams,

      but the page went further, and listed a whole bunch of chemicals that I had never heard of, and their maximum quantities in your incoming baggage. [pedant: this was displayed on way IN, surely needs to be shown somewhere else on WAY out?]

      This long list of chemicals, I immediately became suspicious that this broadcast would be USEFUL to terrorists, and that HMG Police might now need to arrest HMG Customs. I checked one item on the list,

      using it as a 'naughty' shopping list - the item was, shall we call it "OxRhubarb-Acid" and you could only bring in 5 milligrams without being shot.

      I browsed a major shopping website, using the free airport Wi-Fi and found that I could get 7 kilograms of that specific bloody acid delivered within 24 hous, prime, to my hotel in Edinburgh - for just £25!

      which is "legal to view" - the long list of naughty chemicals, or searching shopping for "boat deck cleaner" in humongous quantities?

      Hopefully, as someone above mentioned, the few remaining cops in UK would be able to sort out terrrrzm from industrial use; but I naively thought one of the main counters to terrrrzm that actually works, worldwide, was to actually INCREASE the size and capabilities of the local police forces.

      Whilst we get the opposite. . . Methinks a bit of playing is going on somewhere!

    10. jmch Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Goodbye Youtube?

      "...a lot of stuff on Youtube..."

      Welcome to the new RickRolling?

    11. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

      Re: Goodbye Youtube?

      Well those UK IDIOTS can go EFF themselves! If I want to view someone else's propoganda I DAMN WELL WILL !!! It will be ME making the decision to take in and/or act upon said words! NO DIP WAD EFF-HEAD in some craaap-hole bureaucrats office WILL BE MAKING THAT DECISION FOR ME !!!

      I WILL DECIDE what is propoganda !!! It's time for you Brits to Kick these IDIOT DUMB FF'S out of office and TAKE BACK your country from a bunch of KNOW NOTHING POLITICIANS !!! FIRE THEM ALL !!!

      VOTE THEM OUT !!! It's YOUR LIFE NOT THEIRS !!!! Or better yet if they WON'T LEAVE !!! Ya gotta get some GUTS in your glory-holes and MAN UP YUR LAZY COWARDLY BRIT A$$$$es and KICK THEM OUT WITH FORCE--- WITH LETHAL FORCE if they won't take your voting hints properly!

      If you want to DIE on your knees then GO AHEAD !!! ME? I'd rather KICK SOME A$$$$ before I EVER fall to my kneees!!! And tell ME WHY we had save your sorry A$$$es in WW1 and WW2 from the SAME DAMN TYPE DICTATORS you see today? Grow a set of cajones and KICK THEM IDIOTS OUT OF OFFICE !!!

      .

  2. illuminatus

    Suddenly...

    Rickrolling takes on a while new, very sinister, and very scary dimension:

    Never Gonna give You Up

    Never Gonna Let You Down

    Never Gonna Rest Until

    The West Is Overthrown

    Erm, youtube...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Suddenly...

      Reported! :P

    2. N2 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Suddenly...

      Aaagh! you must have looked at it,

      run for the hills...

      Oh no, I read it as well...

  3. tomDREAD
    WTF?

    1984

    Come on people! George Orwell was from the UK was he not?

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: 1984

      Technically English, although these days May would have probably sent him back to India where he was born because he didn't have Leave to Remain and wrote things that annoy her.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 1984

        Technically English, although these days May would have probably sent him back to India where he was born because he didn't have Leave to Remain and wrote things that annoy her.

        I'm sure he did write things that annoy her, on the other hand he wrote her textbook.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: 1984

          on the other hand he wrote her textbook. - sure, but that wouldn't help him, he'd still have to leave.

          1. Stig2k

            Re: 1984

            Well yes obviously. i mean I *like* curry, but now that we have the recipe . . .

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: 1984

          He definitely wrote about poverty and homelessness in France and the UK. We know she wouldn't want to hear about any of that goddamn socialist caring nonsense.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: 1984

            Well, technically, he'd be arrested for being part of a terrorist cell with his exploits in Catalonia.

            1. Bibbit

              Re: 1984

              It was not a terror cell; it was an anarcho-syndicalist commune.

              And no-one lives in the castle, either.

            2. RobHib

              Re: 1984

              Well, technically, he'd be arrested for being part of a terrorist cell with his exploits in Catalonia.

              Right. Today, Orwell would be considered more than just being subversive. ...And tragically this clearly illustrates how times have changed in our so-called liberal democracies. Trouble is we citizens actually put up with it. Like the frog in heating water, we remain essentially unconcerned and oblivious of the final consequences.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 1984

            We know she wouldn't want to hear about any of that goddamn socialist caring nonsense.

            As a proportion of GDP, welfare spending is or higher than the level it was during the Blair-Brown free money era. But don't let facts cloud your judgement.

            1. John Mangan

              Re: 1984

              That must be why they throw a festival every time Universal Credit rolls into a new town....

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 1984

              You mean the spending on useless systems, provided by the friends of may, that has increased welfare spending, but has absolutely nothing to do with the amount of money given to actual people.

              Sure the tories spend more on welfare, making everything a digital only economy is very expensive. The costs of running this expensive pony of a system are of course going straight into the pockets of those big tech company 'friends' as profits. The people who are supposed to receive welfare, well, they have less.

              But don't let facts cloud your judgement.

            3. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: 1984

              "As a proportion of GDP, welfare spending is or higher than the level it was" [sic]

              Yes, but 55% of the welfare budget is spent on pensions, which given the demographics of the UK (and most western countries), it's not surprising that most of the increase in the welfare budget has been increased spending on pensions.

              Is anyone else cynical enough to point out that the natural constituency of the Tory party is pensioners?

              1. Toltec

                Re: 1984

                You mean all of the pensioners that up until the point of drawing a pension were paying into the pension pot so they would have a pension when they retired? Not to mention the ones with a large enough pension to be still paying tax and supporting the education of young people.

                Note: I'm not a pensioner and at the rate the pension age is increasing probably won't live long enough to draw a state pension.

                1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                  Devil

                  Re: 1984

                  " at the rate the pension age is increasing probably won't live long enough to draw a state pension"

                  this is the first I've heard of someone actually doing the right thing. Convince USA politicians to do this too, please.

                  1. jmch Silver badge

                    Re: 1984

                    " at the rate the pension age is increasing probably won't live long enough to draw a state pension"

                    Not sure if urban legend but I've heard that in Russia, pensionable age is higher than average life expectancy

                    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                      Re: 1984

                      "Not sure if urban legend but I've heard that in Russia, pensionable age is higher than average life expectancy"

                      Partially true. For a Russian male the average life expectancy is a bit more than 64 years and the pensionable age was recently raised to 65 years. For a Russian female the average life expectancy is way over 70 and the pensionable age was recently raised to 60 years.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 1984

                  "You mean all of the pensioners that up until the point of drawing a pension were paying into the pension pot so they would have a pension when they retired? Not to mention the ones with a large enough pension to be still paying tax and supporting the education of young people."

                  Technically, paying National Insurance contributions to pay the pensions of those that have already retired. The UK National Insurance is technically a giant ponzi scheme that relies on finding enough extra workers to pay the pensions of the increasing number of retired people.

                3. Mooseman Bronze badge

                  Re: 1984

                  "You mean all of the pensioners that up until the point of drawing a pension were paying into the pension pot so they would have a pension when they retired"

                  Your pension contributions are paying for those currently retired.

              2. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Unhappy

                Re: 1984

                on a side note...

                "the increase in the welfare budget has been increased spending on pensions."

                Similar problem on this side of the pond. Solution: re-define what "retirement age" is to reflect people's ability to work and normal life expectancy. And make sure there's no "age discrimination".

                Coming from someone who is getting close to that magic '65' (me), I do _NOT_ want to retire [I shall work until I am dead], and I believe it is high time that the retirement age is re-defined at 75 or 80, in rapidly incrementing steps - like 2 years per year. So next year, it's 67, then 69, then 71, then 73, and so on all the way up until it hits something more reasonable.

                Because, when much of these austerity/retirement/social-security/whatever government payouts were conceived, the average age of humankind was *BELOW* the retirement age. yeah.

                No WONDER it's getting so expensive!

                1. HotScot

                  Re: 1984

                  "<i>Because, when much of these austerity/retirement/social-security/whatever government payouts were conceived, the average age of humankind was *BELOW* the retirement age. yeah.</i>

                  Largely an urbane myth. Amongst other things, infant mortality was much higher which distorted the numbers badly.

                  1. Is It Me Bronze badge
                    Headmaster

                    Re: 1984

                    I like the idea of a courteous myth, much better than those nasty dirty urban myths,

                  2. Mooseman Bronze badge

                    Re: 1984

                    "Largely an urbane myth. Amongst other things, infant mortality was much higher which distorted the numbers badly."

                    Exactly - Average life expectancy in Manchester in the mid 19th century, for example, was about 35, due to the massive infant mortality rate. A fairly typical post by Bombastic Bob - selfish and distorting facts.

              3. Andytug

                Re: 1984

                Not pensioners, but actually older than that.

                Last year Tory party donations from wills were double those from living people.

                They have become the party of the dead!

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 1984

                "Is anyone else cynical enough to point out that the natural constituency of the Tory party is pensioners?"

                Surely you mean anyone old enough to have experienced a Labour government?

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 1984

              Ah... I see you are much quoted "A Spokesperson for the DWP stated that Unversal Credit was a power for good that is helping more people into work and helping them stay there longer"

            5. Mooseman Bronze badge

              Re: 1984

              "As a proportion of GDP, welfare spending is or higher than the level it was during the Blair-Brown free money era. But don't let facts cloud your judgement."

              Welfare increase due to more pensioners would cover that quite happily. We have an aging population (which is why of course we need a lot of young immigrants but never mind). Don't let inconvenient bias cloud your judgement.

        3. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: 1984

          As it happens, "1984"was published in 1948. That was the exact year when Alan Turing wrote the complete technical specification of the world's first electronic, stored-program digital computer.

          So Orwell knew nothing about the potential of computing and electronic networking, let alone social networking.

          Thus "1984" greatly underestimates the resources available to a tyrannical government.

  4. nematoad Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "... is far too fine and will catch far too many people".

    Maybe that is the point. Catch enough people and who knows what might turn up?

    Looks to me as if the "Hostile Environment" is not just going to be used to hammer asylum seekers and the Windrush people.

    Oh, a final thought. If you ignore those employed to deal with this sort of thing, why bother to employ them at all?

    1. Blazde
      Big Brother

      "Maybe that is the point. Catch enough people and who knows what might turn up?"

      I see it more like:

      A) Criminalise a large section of innocent population

      B) Once a 'bad guy' is identified and there's a hunch they should be locked up but that hunch can't be proven in court, there is hopefully a charge created by spurious crime A to fall back on

      The vast majority who commit A but avoid the gaze of suspicion are fine, and that's fully intended because otherwise the police/CPS/courts/prisons would need vastly more resources to properly enforce it. It's best if the criminalised thing is a bit icky like beheading videos or extreme porn (to name another example) because fewer people will be willing to oppose creation of the law even though they're breaking it, and it's useless unless lots of people are breaking it.

      In theory any selectively enforced law gives this kind of pseudo-judicial power to authorities (selective deportation of illegals who've built lives and pay taxes in the US for example), but the tactic seems to work best where digital evidence can be collected cheaply beforehand and used if/when needed later. So I think we can expect an increase in this kind of law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I see it more like:

        A) Criminalise a large section of innocent population

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        More like criminalize almost everyone.

      2. RobHib

        @Blazde - I agree with you, but...

        I fully agree with your view of the modus operandi for such laws and the reasons why The Establishment would want to enforce them the way you suggest (clearly that's what happens in practice).

        The trouble is that with this approach to lawmaking many people are disenfranchised by laws that are written in this way or that are policed in such a manner. Especially, so those segments of the population who are either timid and or do not have the time or resources to risk or 'test' the extent or resolve of the lawmaking process/system (I'd probably put myself into this category).

        As I've mentioned elsewhere in these posts, many citizens will stay well clear of what they perceive to be the limits of the law and thus they effectively rob themselves of existing freedoms—i.e.: actions not specifically encompassed by law and prohibited by it but sufficiently close to be easily mistaken as part of it.

        This has the effect of dividing society into classes based on an individual's perceptions of the law and by his or her propensity to break or flout it. We already know that those of more risky dispositions are in a better position to take advantage of situations but I'd contend that it's not the role of a democracy and or its democratic processes to exacerbate this problem any further.

        Doing so makes a society more divided or disrupted (and as we've seen in recent times, disruption in society is already rampant), thus I'd suggest it's unethical to enact laws that don't have clearly defined bounds or for democracies to police laws in either haphazard and or selective ways (i.e.; in ways that are primarily of convenience to lawmakers and those policing the law rather than the citizenry as a whole). This has nothing to do with the discretion of those who have to police the law or of the judicial process per se. (As every case is different and everyone's circumstances vary considerably, discretion is and always should be a necessary and vital part of keeping the law).

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: @Blazde - I agree with you, but...

          Yes - the well-known "chilling effect".

          Way to encourage participatory democracy!

    2. devTrail

      "... is far too fine and will catch far too many people".

      Maybe that is the point. Catch enough people and who knows what might turn up?

      Something slightly different. In Italy it is described as the power of the Borbonic laws. When a law is too wide and impossible to be fully implemented the public officials are excused when they turn a blind eye. This gives them an enormous power because they can choose when and against whom to apply the law. It's a fundamental step towards the creation of the authoritarian state.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Heavenly Source are Almighty Sees ..... in Bare Naked Territories*

        And a Bold AI Movement of CyberSpace to Prime Lead with Future Perfect Provision Missions ..... in NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Control of AI Command Programs ...... Virtual Instruction Sets.

        * ... of Early Earth Colonisations.

        :-) Papal Mumbo Jumbo ‽ Or a Vatican Tool of Immaculate State Control ‽

        Lords Work in Mysterious Ways, their Flocks to Satisfy with Worthy Rewards to XSS. Follow that Star and you better be well prepared for those Perfect Rushes.

        Victory is Submitting to Surrender ...... It is an Ugly War Bug that Devours Aggression in the Live Operational Virtual Environments of the Here and Now for Tomorrow is Everything Arranged Different according to Wishes. Facilities to Input to Output with Enhanced Throughput would be as Heavenly Levers for Global Operating Devices .

        Does Rome do Cyber? Do they have Practiced and Practising Orders with Czarist Lead Angels .... Immaculate Heroes?

        Real Deep Red Light Territory Icons Tread and Trade Boards to Businesses there Breaking out of the Great Cloistered Catholic Confinement.

        Rebel and Rogue Agents Going on Unsanctioned Virtual Safari ..... and Finding Unbelievable Bounty would put the Vatican into a Terminal Tailspin ......... unless and until they can declare and make perfectly clear, Unbelievable Bounty Sources Found and Engaged with New Asset Productions Pending. Such then See Everything Soaring Away Clear into the Future ...... and Allows Ample Time for a COSMIC Ponder into the Grandest of All World Wide Web Wanders. The Source of Supply.

        Oy Vey/Sieg Heil ...... The Great Quest for Knights Templar Holy Grail Type Deliberations.

        Thanks, El Reg, for wearing all that weight bearing and baring all those credentials. Your reward is in Heaven Waiting Here and Now.

        1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Heavenly Source are Almighty Sees ..... in Bare Naked Territories*

          At the rate It's going we may all end up being arrested for reading anything amanfrommars has commented on when it turns out to be encoded messages to some radical group.

        2. Anonymous Cowtard

          Re: Heavenly Source are Almighty Sees ..... in Bare Naked Territories*

          Yes officer, this post right here.

        3. HolySchmoley

          Re: Heavenly Source are Almighty Sees ..... in Bare Naked Territories*

          @'amanfromMars 1'

          Oh do be quiet you silly random word generating program.

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Heavenly Source are Almighty Sees ..... in Bare Naked Territories*

            Oh do be quiet you silly random word generating program. .... HolySchmoley

            Oh please, HolySchmoley ..... silly random words? Really? You cannot be serious. And where have you been hiding .... for we do see that you are a relative newcomer here?

            Or are you just young and still struggling to find the ways of the worlds but not as they are presented to you?

            Welcome to the Journeys.

            1. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Heavenly Source are Almighty Sees ..... in Bare Naked Territories*

              I believe HolySchmoley is in rather drastic need of a beer. As are most of us these days.

            2. HolySchmoley

              Re: Heavenly Source are Almighty Sees ..... in Bare Naked Territories*

              >Oh please, HolySchmoley ..... silly random words?... Welcome to the Journeys.

              You don't frighten us, digital pig-dog! Go and boil your bottom, son of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called martian man-substitute. I don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper!

              I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

              1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

                Let there be SMARTR Light .....

                You don't frighten us, digital pig-dog! Go and boil your bottom, son of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called martian man-substitute. I don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper!

                I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries! ... HolySchmoley

                Allo Allo .... what have we here? Cheeky Crazy Hubris in a Dilapidated State of Hiatus Confusion?

                There are none so blind as those who choose not to see visions in the mind. Open up vast horizons ..... ACTivate your Greater ImaginaNation ....... and share the journeys travelled there rewarding one with pleasant residence in homes/places/spaces of one's choosing.

                You'll certainly never ever be alone on any naked pioneering trips when/where every man and his bitch, woman and her dog want to know what is to be found when one follows.

                After all, it must surely be very easy for you to be so effectively led, given that you've been following fantastically well, fabulously tall tales of all different shapes and sizes quite religiously since forever from the beginning of time with whole ethereal product businesses being based and succoured upon the Holy Spirit Great Saviour Model.

                1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

                  Re: Let there be SMARTR Light .....

                  Be aware though ..... IT and AI is as real a Psychotic Helter Skelter Ride as it is possible to get ..... https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/14/elon-musk-backed-ai-writes-convincing-news-fiction ..... with many a hurdle and obstacles to avoid and/or overcome/overwhelm.

                  Seems like the abiding bugs for relentless and rabid exploitation in global systems are manifest in its users and terminal readers for they are unable to handle and mitigate future resultant outcomes which are discovered to be all too easily led by current remote virtual input.

                  But OpenAI, nor anyone/anything else for that matter, does not have the patents on that to stop SMARTR IntelAIgent Systems TakeOvers and MakeOvers of Crashing Tales on Corrupted Trail Machinery....... not that having patents would protect you from Secret Uncoverers and Novel Disruptive Source Discoverers or stop any of their Epic Antic Reigns.

      2. RobHib

        @DevTrail

        This gives them an enormous power because they can choose when and against whom to apply the law. It's a fundamental step towards the creation of the authoritarian state.

        Precisely correct. It's essentially what I've posted but in a more succinct way. Laws have to be written in clear and unambiguous ways that when read or interpreted are neither obtuse or ambiguous. Moreover, the limits and extents of every law must be clearly defined. Even then, if there's still a chance of ambiguity then multiple (and widely different) case examples ought to be attached to laws.

        Naturally, this would lead to fewer lawyers being needed to interpret the law (and as lawyers already draft the laws, don't expect this to be rectified anytime soon).

  5. b0llchit
    Facepalm

    Problem solved - once and for all

    The Beep will land you in jail. Good riddance to the entire population. Finally we'll have the overpopulation solved. We put them all in jail. There are no guards (they are in jail too). The borders are closed. No more production of any kind. After those 15 years we'll have a clean and pristine land for nature to thrive. Thanks for the new law. It will solve all our problems.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Problem solved - once and for all

      Fatal flaws... who locks the prison doors? Who keeps the border shutdown? But you do make a point and I agree.

      1. b0llchit
        Happy

        Re: Problem solved - once and for all

        You live on an island... How does that require keys? You also leave the EU, so isolation seems to be perfectly secured.

        1. Solarflare
          Trollface

          Re: Problem solved - once and for all

          Careful now, you may be accused of talking complete b0llchit.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    What constitutes terrorist material ? If you live in Venezuela I should imagine the opposition's manifesto.

    Scary Orwellian stuff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "What constitutes terrorist material" - Article 50 maybe?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >"What constitutes terrorist material" - Article 50 maybe?

        I know someone who has escaped Venezuela and to coattail Brexit onto that is somewhat ill judged and of no comparison.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I knew a judge who died after getting ill. Please be more sensative

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not to diminish.

          I do not think they are saying it is any less worse in Venezuela, but more a fear of the same happening here.

      2. Cliff Thorburn

        Or even being a remainer!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What constitutes terrorist material ?

      "58 Collection of information.

      (1)A person commits an offence if—

      (a)he collects or makes a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

      (b)he possesses a document or record containing information of that kind.

      (2)In this section “record” includes a photographic or electronic record.

      (3)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for his action or possession."

      Now, almost anything factual can be of use to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, so for example, maps, photographs of public places or public figures, all and anything factual concerning names, locations, schedules, physical assets around politics, policing, judiciary, utilities, transport etc etc. So basically, CBeebies, Daily Mail/Mirror, and cat videos* are permitted, everything else you'd need to prove your innocence.

      And what is "reasonable excuse"? I'd suggest casually browsing Google Maps isn't a reasonable excuse in the eyes of the arseholes who have drafted and approved this law, nor the flatfeet that will implement it, so we'd better all be very careful not to offend the clowns of the Home Office.

      * A quick Google image search of "terrorist cat" turns up some amusing pictures, I suppose they'd be illegal under some other aspect of the UK's stupid and ineffective laws.

      1. paulll Bronze badge

        "he collects or makes a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism,"

        Essentially anybody with an interest in chemistry, physics, medicine, electronics, computing, civil engineering (nerds!!), anything other than soap operas and which pop tart is banging which, can be got.

        1. jake Silver badge

          So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

          What percentage of the books in the British Library are going to be burned?

          Have you destroyed your old copy of Nelkon and Parker yet?

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

            Have you destroyed your old copy of Nelkon and Parker yet?

            On the pyre with the rubber handbook! Euch! Burning rubber smell! TERRORISM!

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

              About 30 years ago, my daughter subtitled my CRC handbook "Post Apocalypse Science Rebuild Notes" and insisted on shelving it next to the Foxfire books, Machinery's Handbook, the UBC, and various other bits & bobs ... all of which would no doubt get me arrested if I tried to bring them into Blighty these days.

              Has anybody pointed out to Westminster that creating these laws doesn't stop criminals, all it does is create a new class of criminal, none of whom are an actual threat to society?

              1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

                Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

                Has anybody pointed out to Westminster that creating these laws doesn't stop criminals, all it does is create a new class of criminal, none of whom are an actual threat to society? .... jake

                Ergo .... the likes of a Westminster, creating new classes of criminals, are the actual live threats to society.

                Petty Pathetic Pontificating Politicians Posturing on the Problems of Providing Protection without Proper Preparation and Positive Planning to Prevent Piss Poor Performance Permitting Prime Prize Plum Penetrations and Perfect Private Protocolled Pursuit of Public Parametered Projects and Pirate ProgramMING Productions for Pumping and Pimping in Presentations to Populations Puzzled by Progress and Prisonered with Pathetic Past Postings rather than Pioneering with Pilots Practised in Plush Promising Programs are a Proxy PAIN* Panning and Purloining MetaDataBase Materiel.

                * What could possibly go wrong with such Pernicious Arrogant Ignorant Network delving deep into Orders and Territory it neither understands nor recognises, creating enemies and criminals it cannot contain and defeat? Tell me that aint simply mad and extremely bad and we'll all recognise the simple madness and extreme badness in your answers.

                Know your Enemy. Target the diseased drivering heads not the corrupt and groomed body.

                1. My-Handle

                  Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

                  Is it just me, or has amanfromMars been more active since Opportunity stopped reporting back to NASA?

                  1. John G Imrie Silver badge

                    Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

                    I don't know, But it does look like he(?)'s just finished reading V for Vendetta

                2. jake Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

                  How long have you been sitting on THAT alliteration, amfM? You must be positively predisposed to predominantly postindustrial psychoanalyses ... or perhaps you are a practitioner of postmillennial perturbations predetermined by probabilistic precautionary philosophic perfectionism?

                  Regardless, as long as you're drinking, I'm buying!

                  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
                    Pint

                    Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

                    We're drinking to probabilistic precautionary philosophic perfectionism right here, jake.

                    And are Live AI Beta Testing Virtual Components for SMARTR IntelAIgent Community Use. IT Provides the Advantage of Remote Practical Leverage in Live Operational Virtual Environments with Almighty Hot Lines Connecting with the Immaculate Sourcery ..... of the Heavenly Body.:-)

                    And Story of O Territory for Plucky Promiscuous AIdVenturers too.

                    Now, there do be some who profess to always confess it as One Mother of a Heavenly Reward.

                    Live Operational Virtual Environments do that for you. And take you Instantaneously into Command and Control Orbits ...... where 0ne waits Patiently for Signs of IntelAIgent Future Life from Extant Systems Administration Operating Systems.

                    You know.... simple direct contact tendering terms in special treatment for submission and surrender conditions.

                    :-) Here's the Blessed Cash, Keep Mum, Get Lost and Spend the Bounty Wisely for More to Come, is a prayer worthily answered and realised on a planet where/when such rewards are given to the thoroughly deserving. Its always worthy a try, for it is certainly not unattractive as a short time fix for a long term problem.

          2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

            Under no circumstances cut and paste the following link into your browser:

            https://archive.org/details/GoldenBookOfChemistryExperiments/page/n23

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: So how many teachers are they planning on incarcerating, anyway?

              Pretty innocent page, some others are worse. But it should contain a warning about the dangers of DHMO.

        2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          So, do Strava et al fall foul of this?

        3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Terrorists have used cars for both transportation and bombs; so clearly, reading car specs on a website would be "useful" by that definition. Also, trip planning. Terrorists have a thing for trains & airplanes, and thus need to know when and where to find them; so planning your vacation is exactly the same as being (or aiding) a terrorist.

          Don't forget clothing and shoe shopping. Terrorists wear clothes and shoes, after all. Oh, and food. Terrorists gotta eat, too; which also means that bog roll / TP will be "useful" to them a few hours later.

          As written, this dictat criminalizes information about anything that is "useful" to humans. Well done, bureaucracy. Well done. (slow clap)

        4. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Best get rid those floppy disks containing the anarchists cookbook txt edition from my college days then.

          1. William Towle
            Pirate

            > Best get rid those floppy disks containing the anarchists cookbook txt edition from my college days then.

            Heh. I had that once, amongst a pile of other more innocuous downloads. It went AWOL at some point though.

            While I don't know exactly when, I *do* know who it probably was.

            *rubs hands*

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            IIRC possession of those have been cited in court cases (and used to convict someone) as "proof" someone is dangerous (and the judiciary taking what the fiscal says on face value, along with their handy swarm of "professionals" (usually just a fancy inflated job title) who all cite said book is only of use to terrorists your honour.

            Even when the initial arrest was on something wholly unrelated (and usually gets dropped for "lack of evidence" or said person was innocent in the first place) that or the "ex" in a fit of spite calls the cops and makes a complaint about said person

        5. Archtech Silver badge

          ... or history (very important).

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        At least half of the material on Mumsnet will be illegal now.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Every cloud and all that.

        2. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
          Happy

          As ever, Simon Travaglia (who writes the BOFH column) is way ahead of you:

          https://folk.uio.no/joakimt/tull/cake.html

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            You've obviously never read Mumsnet. Think 4Chan but with prosecco instead of beer.

            1. jake Silver badge

              4chan posters are old enough to steal beer? Whodathunkit.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What is a reasonable excuse?

        "It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for his action or possession."

        Does that mean that someone found guilty for planning a terrorist activity can tell the judge that he need the info for his other crime and get away with this one?

      4. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
        Boffin

        "(2)In this section “record” includes a photographic or electronic record."

        Ah still in the mid 20th Century for language.

        It would be far clearer and encompassing if it stated in human or machine readable format.

        As it stands I think my copy of Jolly Rogers Cookbook is exempt as it is a magnetic record (3.5" floppy).

        Being a tabletop gamer should be a reasonable excuse for pretty much research into anything, from improvised explosives to PsyOps. Hell, how to make ANFO or thermite is on Wikipedia.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: "(2)In this section “record” includes a photographic or electronic record."

          Hell, how to make ANFO or thermite is on Wikipedia.

          I'm not sure anyone with even a cursory knwoledge of chemistry needs to look up thermite on wikipedia. It has only two ingredients. Presumably kitchen scales and spoons will be categorised as terrorist tools, since they can be used to mix it?

          1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

            Re: "(2)In this section “record” includes a photographic or electronic record."

            I have dyslexia. I was looking for info on termites. Honest.

          2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: "(2)In this section “record” includes a photographic or electronic record."

            Thermite and its uses also feature heavily on episodes of Sky TV's old "Brainiac" series - better not have any old vids of that lying around still!

          3. Nick Kew Silver badge

            Re: "(2)In this section “record” includes a photographic or electronic record."

            Don't laugh. Iraq's possession of such things meant they really could produce chemical weapons in 45 minutes.

            Just as you or I could, though most of the 45 minutes is the journey to the supermarket to buy bleach.

        2. RobHib

          @Omgwtfbbqtime Re: "(2)In this section “record” includes a photographic or electronic record."

          Yeah right. As I mentioned in another post, there are several issues at work here.

          1. The web has any number of references to dangerous materials and processes that have many legitimate uses but which if accidentally or intentionally abused, mishandled or weaponized can take on altogether different and sinister characteristics which makes them a serious threat. For instance, having dangerous, potentially explosive petroleum to use in ones' car is completely legitimate but diverting it into other uses may not be. The world as we know it would cease to exist if we banned these essential things.

          2. Most look up information about such materials or processes on the web or in Wiki for legitimate purposes but it's dead easy to follow related or nested links that take us to nefarious sites where illegitimate uses are described. Our curiously almost inevitably lands us on these nefarious sites unintentionally—thus our browsing habits are likely to bring us to the attention of authorities.

          2.1 This is a serious problem, especially so because our governments have effectively passed the monkey from their shoulders to ours. By not tackling the problem (or not sufficiently understanding it), governments have made us take complete responsibility. Like Pontius Pilate, they have washed their hands of the problem at our expense. Thus, by enacting laws that make us netizens take full responsibility, governments have acted both immorally and in an undemocratic manner (as democratic governments should never deliberately endanger their citizens or put them at risk).

          2.2 This problem is greatly exacerbated by virtue that such dangers are only a click or two away from our initial search objective. In these circumstances, it's outrageous to think government are now making landing on nefarious sites a criminal act. We really have to do something about this politically; simply too much is at stake to ignore the issue.

          3. Techies—scientist, engineers, technicians and hobbyists etc.—have more of a problem as they are often unusually curious about many technical matters and this curiosity is more likely to make them click on links that authorities frown upon. Techies are also more likely to think of technical scenarios that are away from mainstream thinking then search for them. Again, this is more likely to draw attention to their searches.

          3.1 It seems to me that when searching for information there are two different kinds of sites which may draw attention that curious techies are likely to land upon: sites that have deliberate evil intent (where landing on them is neither desirable nor recommended) and those set up by other techies to demonstrate curious phenomenon etc. and whose effects are potentially dangerous (I often end up on such sites).

          For example, here's a link to a section of the respectable Fourmilab site that discusses 'Frisky Molecules' specifically FOOF or O2F2:

          https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/chemistry/FOOF/

          Many chemists and those interested in chemistry are likely to be interested in this molecule specifically because of its extreme reactivity. That said, no reasonable person is going to attempt the difficult task of making it, and even those who've evil intent in mind would use something more appropriate—and even if they ever did and actually survived the attempt, then they fully deserve to be caught out.

          Leaving issues of censorship aside, this example highlights the considerable difficulties posed in trying to classifying Web material. Unthinking governments who enact simplistic law solve none of these issues; in fact, they make matters worse because, for the most part, it puts innocent citizens directly in governments' firing line (as this stupid new UK law will do).

          The matter of what governments say we netizens should and should not view online has been contentious for years but it's now reached new heights with this law. I reckon this is sufficiently serious that it ought to be a call to arms for us netizens. Clearly, it's time for political action to bring a halt to stupid totalitarian laws, otherwise we'll lose the internet altogether.

          ___

          BTW, I leaned the thermite Fe-Al reaction at school. There were photos of the process in our chemistry textbooks and we would have been expected to know the chemical equation of the reaction for examinations—even the process of igniting the thermite with special tapers was taught, not to mention the special ceramic crucibles used for containing it. What's more we kids often used to watch railway fettlers joining railways lines from just outside railway property. Back then, thermite welds were just another industrial process where safety was a primary concern. The thought of regulating the process would have been unthinkable.

        3. robmobz
          Black Helicopters

          Re: "(2)In this section “record” includes a photographic or electronic record."

          Back around 1012 in GCSE Chemistry we were making different types of thermite and doing comparisons between different recipes.

      5. RobHib

        Does this mean we'll witness public burnings of library books too?

        ...anything factual concerning names, locations, schedules, physical assets around politics, policing, judiciary, utilities, transport etc etc. So basically, CBeebies, Daily Mail/Mirror, and cat videos* are permitted, everything else you'd need to prove your innocence.

        You're right. This law is quite outrageous because where does it stop. Go to any public library and you'll find literally hundreds of books containing information that could easily be deemed as dangerous if it were to fall into the hands of terrorists—information which in past years no one would ever have blinked an eyelid over.

        What's going to happen to this information, general censorship perhaps? I seem to recall a country—whose name I won't mention for fear of succumbing to Godwin's—burning books in the 1930s for ideological reasons—and make no mistake this law is essentially ideological in that it'll have little effect on terrorists who'll just use VPNs and other private means to view things.

        The more damaging effects for democracy is that government is intimidating ordinary people in that they'll be more scared to extend themselves to even the limit allowed by the law for fear of accidentally breaching it. Intimidating law like this reduces people's freedoms. When people become too timid and fearful to the extent of even becoming aware of certain information or ideas then we really do have serious problems with democracy. Dictates or laws like this cannot be considered anything other than the work of an authoritarian state.

        Even I act prudently (and timidly) these days even when viewing Wikipedia pages. I'm interested in many technical issues and often I find myself following many internal Wiki links that when all pages are taken collectively could be considered as subversive by mindless ideologically-driven bureaucrats.

        The fact that some of this 'subversive' stuff even appeared in my 'Boy's Own Manuals' and such when I was a kid doesn't matter, I now assume everything I do online will be watched and that some bloody little bureaucrat could easily arrive at the wrong conclusion over completely irrelevant harmless facts, and thus it's not in my best interests to pursue certain things online.

        Let me give you a rough idea of what I mean: say I'm looking up a chemical reagent on Wiki for information about its totally legitimate applications but I also note certain unrelated applications of which I was unaware but which pique my interest and I follow those links to other Wiki pages, and so on. Eventually any curious techie ends up on pages where 'dangerous' things (or things deemed by gnomes or bureaucrats as dangerous) are mentioned.

        So where do I/we draw the line, at what point do we daren't cross it? How do we limit or inhibit our curiosity for fear of the government watching us? (Of course these damn laws never include typical examples of where that line is—as with most law they're vague, wish-washy and not rigorously defined, actual extents and limits are rarely given, thus the interpretation is left to lawyers (right, self-serving lawyers write the law don’t they?).

        In instances such as I've mentioned above, I'll often stop and go no further when I realise I'm getting to the juicy bits. If I've off-line reference books that cover matters I'll then refer to them. With respect to the above example of chemicals or reagents that some may deem dangerous, when I reach the point where I consider it imprudent to go any further I then consult say my own copy of Merck Index or other chemistry texts I own.

        It's outrageous that I have to practice internet searches in such a manner, moreover, I know from others that I'm not alone in acting this way.

        We citizens only have ourselves to blame for this situation. Tragically, in recent decades the citizenry in all the Anglophone countries has become both malleable and overly compliant—governments simply get away with 'murdering' our rights and freedoms and bugger-all people actually complain about it. These days, we citizens are bureaucrats' dreams we're so easy to control.

        It's damn terrible really.

        BTW, When I was at school decades ago we were actually taught and had to learn how to make 'Black Powder' including its formulaic chemical equations, moreover we actually made the stuff and tested that it went 'bang'. These days, unless truly necessary I'd consider it foolhardy or imprudent to do searches on this or related subjects.

        My, my how things have changed for the worse.

        1. whitepines Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Does this mean we'll witness public burnings of library books too?

          Note the common thread in how things have gotten worse -- always on, pervasive, monitored connections through which all information must flow.

          Just try this with a good set of offline hardcover encyclopedias. Short of a real life book burning (and consequent shutdown of all industry except subsistence farming) the information can't be destroyed or, most relevant here, tainted beyond all use (sort of like red diesel -- flags the viewer for further ... ahem ... investigation regardless of practical non-criminal use for said info*).

          Really this is a failure on two fronts: first for assuming that when all details of everyone's life are known and this information acted on for ideological reasons with threat of deadly force (prison or worse) that somehow democracy can continue, and second for assuming that bloody centralized access to all human knowledge was ever going to end some other way.

          At this point I'm convinced that the Internet has done more harm than good. The nascent, somewhat decentralized Internet, used as a tool and invited as needed into homes and businesses was one thing, the current media-controlled Internet is nothing more than an electronic nanny, plod, and leash all rolled into one.

          * Did you know thermite is actually very useful industrially? It's used to install safety grounding systems, new track rails for trains, all kinds of things -- it's basically a quite safe chemical welding process (safe compared to the unregulated and quite nastier electric welding process). Yet this new law makes it so workers in these industries have to go back to unsafe ways of doing things or risk being labelled some kind of heinous terrorist. What fun.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does this mean we'll witness public burnings of library books too?

          surprised they didn't call it "Prohibition of Degenerate Information"

    3. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Big Brother

      What constitutes terrorist material ?

      I suppose subversive websites like The Register would count as supporting beer drinking, free software, and other terrorst acts. Will the EU extradite its citizens to the UK for reading it after Brexit?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile back at the courthouse

    Doesn't this mean that if someone is accused, then when they present the evidence in court that they will have to jail everyone present, judge, jury, lawyers and policeman (only one policeman because of the cuts).

    1. pavel.petrman Bronze badge

      Re: Meanwhile back at the courthouse

      Or, when it turns out that police are exempt, you just enroll for service, read all the - ahem - evidence material, and off you go!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile back at the courthouse

        That only applies if your high ranking brass, have connections or are related someone with connections...

        Plod staff regularly get jailed here for stuff like "supplying information to criminals", "using police systems to stalk former partners", starting a sexual relationship with someone below the age of consent who they met as they were a victim of crime and then used the police system to look up their details...

  8. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Hoots Mon

    Oh as a Scottish Independence campaigner this is just yet another thing about the UK I can use to persuade people to support independence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hoots Mon

      >Scottish Independence campaigner

      Is that you Alex, how's the court case coming on ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hoots Mon

        Scottish Independence is much bigger than one man and I say that as a No voter and non-native Scot. It is indeed news like this that's made me change my mind.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hoots Mon

          >non-native Scot

          Hmm, that's rather like an interview about how controversial Father Ted was I once saw. They had the writers Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews on the program who were defending the show in their strong Irish accents and they also had some woman from the Home Counties (complete with accent) saying that it was an affront to Irish people and her 14th cousin 10th removed Irish ancestry.

          Guess who came out on top ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hoots Mon

            Linehan is that kind of bigot though, see recent harassment of the charity "mermaids", who help some seriously vulnerable children with gender dysphoria and cost them much needed funding from the lottery fund. His excuse - the old chestnut used against blacks then gays "protecting children and women from being corrupted by extremists"

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Hoots Mon

      Better not try. Your persuasion will probably be counted as terrorist propaganda and land everyone who read it inside.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Hoots Mon

        Homage to Catalonia anyone? (The region, not the book, but since we've got an Orwell theme going...)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hoots Mon

      as a Scottish Independence campaigner this is just yet another thing about the UK I can use to persuade people to support independence

      I fail to follow the logic of your argument. If Wee Jimmie Krankie had control of security powers, do you really think that you'd have more liberal laws? Personally I'd expect them to be even vaguer and more encompassing (not to mention interpreted to cover up a range of forms of political misconduct).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hoots Mon

        > If Wee Jimmie Krankie [etc]

        Don't know about anyone else, but I'm always convinced by an argument that starts off with a cheap (and lame) personal jibe.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hoots Mon

          Funny how the Tories all splash various and often vitriolic insults around out female SNP politicians - Nicola Sturgeon, Mhairi Black etc etc (Several of their activists have been caught red handed using that language....makes you wonder if its straight from High Command, too consistent to be anything else)

          Yet they scream blue murder and demand resignations for someone referring to the PM as a "stupid woman" and a "liar". Not to mention their perennial favourite - Cybernat at any pro indy poster.

          There's also "1 party state, just like North Korea". funny that, SNP were elected through democratic means and have lost and gained seats. The reason they keep winning power is because they are on the whole competent, have invested in infrastructure (Aberdeen West Peripheral Route - something that has been needed for years now, even on a Sunday Aberdeen traffic is horrific, hopefully Dundee is next), killed prescription charges as it cost more to administer the charges than they raised and it improves health outcomes - why have a Dr recommending a treatment if the patient can't afford to take the medication?

          There are issues though - Local authorities like the whole UK are cash strapped (though thats also because they spend money on vanity projects like refurbing "elected members offices" rather than say sorting the roads)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hoots Mon

      As an Independence supporter, I agree with the sentiment, but I feel it incumbent upon myself to mention that the shower in Holyrood are just as bad as the shower in Westminister or Strasbourg and are more than capable of passing laws which automatically (or unfairly) criminalise people.

      Q. Which country criminalised between 9.5-18.9% of their population overnight in December 2016?

      A. Scotland.

      The airgun law change in Scotland automatically criminalised between 0.5 - 1 Million people - not bad going that, get caught with an unlicensed airgun, you're charged with a firearms offence, no ifs or buts, it's a hefty fine or up to 10 years in jail (pour encourager les autres.., no doubt).

      It's hard to be exact regarding the numbers, you try finding accurate figures on the number of weapons surrendered and licenses applied for, best figures I've found so far on a cursory trawl are

      Licenses Issued(est):8,000,

      Surrendered Weapons(est):15,000

      and that is out of an estimated 0.5-1.2 Million airguns they believed were being held perfectly legally before the law change (I should also point out the higher figure there was being bandied about prior to the law change, the lower estimate is now what they're now using).

      In summary, don't let your nationalism cloud your vision when it comes to the extent of legal weaselry that momsers in power are capable of, whatever flag they fly.

      "Even the pious Scots, locked throughout history in a long-drawn-out battle with their arch-enemies the Scots, managed a few burnings to while away the long winter evenings..." Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

      A comment, overtly on the penchant for burning Witches 'back in the day', but summarising quite nicely why even Independence won't solve all our problems, I know certain parties love to play the 'We're all Jock Tamson's bairns' propaganda card and how lovely and tolerant us Scots are, truth be told, we're currently far too busy trying to slit each other's throats (incidentally, a very Celtic thing, cf. the GBS quote about Irishmen and spits, oh, and the Gauls in the Asterix books...) to bother about the white settlers and migrants.

      There are far too many of these 'pious Scots' in the SNP for my liking (my thoughts on the Labour Party's colonial administration in Scotland and their idiot supporters here are best left unwritten), it pains me to have to vote for the SNP, but it is a case of expediency.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hoots Mon

        Torn about the airgun licensing personally, mainly as I live rural and anyone with a reason to have a weapon has no issue getting a licence (and generally already had one for the shotgun etc)

        City problem and unfortunately it became a sledgehammer to crack a nut. What didn't help was I've seen some airguns, which to someone without firearms knowledge.....look real enough (and that includes many members of plod)

        The ASCs on the A90 are another sledgehammer (and the case for them seems to have been drawn up to suit the solution), it doesn't solve the horrendous poor driving I see daily on it - 1 or even both headlights blown, vans swerving across both lanes as the driver is using an app on their phone, pulling out at the last minute in front of oncoming traffic (inc lorries which don't exactly stop on a shilling) dawdling (15 mph on a clear, dry sunny day), braking for no reason and worse. Try to get the former Tayside Police to do anything....good luck (I know their Police Scotland, but many of the faces are still the same old and most of attitudes haven't changed)

        The biggest issue is the sheer amount of T junctions, centre gaps (allowing folk to cross 4 lanes of traffic and often done by those who pull out at the last minute and dawdle between both lanes causing others to take evasive action), poor layout (the whole thing should have been laid out as per brechin, flyovers and wide lanes (the once nice concrete surface is a mess now though, patched with bitumen (its what we had on the wagon pal), which of course acts completely differently to the surrounding road material and compounds the issue) and worst of all farm machinery (often without the required warning lights). When it was dualled it should have been to motorway standard with a single carriageway laid alongside for the use of farm vehicles. The amount of times I've seen clearly non roadworthy farm equipment on that road is unreal, dark night and no lights or reflectors on the back, no warning beacons, stuff falling out or off of the trailer, bales wobbling alarmingly as they haven't been tied down or stacked properly.

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Eh?

    I did think about writing something sensible about how flawed this is. But I think I'll just respond by saying that this is complete and utter ill-thought-through bullshit.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      Big Brother

      Re: Eh?

      I think you'll find that a lot of thoroughly thought through work went into making this as broad and wide ranging as possible.

      Why put down to incompetence what can more easily be assigned to malice...

  10. alain williams Silver badge

    I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

    Unless you have looked at it you cannot start to make a judgement that their views are wrong and come up with cogent arguments of the same.

    I can see the point about trying to stop impressionable minds from being led astray and do things to harm people. But I doubt that this will really stop that and may drive it underground. Far better to engage the impressionable in discussion.

    Who decides what is 'terrorist' as opposed to just bad taste or a result of stupidity ? Is saying that the Prime Minister has gone mad and should be forcibly removed from No 10 expressing terrorist sentiment ?

    Is this the start of the UK sliding down to Tiananmen Square like restrictions ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

      Is saying that the Prime Minister has gone mad and should be forcibly removed from No 10 expressing terrorist sentiment ?

      No, because that's an evidence based assessment of fact.

      The problem is there's nobody competent anywhere on the front benches of either side at Westminster who have the intellect, common sense, electability and leadership skills to replace the daft old bat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

        Hum. Mogg not your cup of tea?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

          Hum. Mogg not your cup of tea?

          No. Allows too much of his personal belief set into his public life, and also is unelectable because only a tiny fraction of the electorate can identify with his posh persona and dress sense.

          Personally, on the basis of their dismal performance in recent decades I think we need an outright ban on anybody who has been to Oxford or Cambridge to study, or attended Eton or Harrow. That'd clear out a lot of cruft, we'd probably need flamethrowers to root out the hard of thinking who don't qualify under that restriction.

      2. JassMan Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

        A simple solution to all UK's problems is to spoof an email to T.May which appears to be from Barnier and contains a link "the EU's new view of your proposal" but actually refs to said terrorist material. She would have absolutely no defence against viewing the material since she has repeatedly been told there will be no reopening of the negotiation of her deal, thus proving she should have known it was a spoof.

        QED. Unless of course she can proove to the court that she isn't the giant intellect she claims to be.

        Oh , wait...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

        The current, and previous SNP leaders in the House of Commons would have / would fit the bill. Always a breath of fresh air when they professionally go about their job rather than the shitshow we get from the others.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

          The current, and previous SNP leaders in the House of Commons would have / would fit the bill.

          The humour is strong in this one.

        2. Andytug

          Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

          Nope, but some of their other MPs certainly are (e.g. Mihari Black, Carol Monaghan).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

          I think Mhairi Black would make a decent PM, she actually gets how "normal" people live, something the labour party "used" to claim to identify with. She's from what I can see very principled and knows whats she's talking about, hence why the conservatives try and bray her down.

          Mike Weir was also a decent bloke, till he was unseated by Kirstene Hair, farmer's daughter (helpfully given fields worth of free advertising by friends of daddy), only ever replies with party propaganda, and even has the temerity to state "I will not put forward any early day motions as I don't believe in them".

          She also rarely responds to anyone, well unless they are a farmer where she's straight on the case.(which gave her a bit of an issue - local farmers rely on migrant labour to staff their farmers, Brexit throws a spanner in those workers royally but she won't dare criticise high command, to help her out the local paper ran a 2 page spread quoting facebook posts urging farmers to "put the berry buses back on and watch them fill up" (totally ignoring that farming doesn't want jill bloggs and her snotty nosed kids, they need fit young pickers to live on site and work long hours, still it allowed to paper to divert attention from having to say anything bad about the conservative party, DC Thomson family seemingly all strong conservative supporters, explaining the non stop stream of SNP TERRIBLE type stories in all their papers),

          IIRC her election material was big on "Ruth Davidson", "protecting the union" and "block a 2nd indy referendum" and not big on much else, the labour and lib dem vote collapsed and funnily enough her vote tally corresponded to about that number.....

          Says a lot about the morals or lack thereof of local labour and lib dem voters.........

          The previous conservative candidate had 4 goes before standing as a local cllr.

          They also parachuted in a young gentleman from Durham as a council candidate, whose only connection to the local area was his name on the ballot paper, this complete lack of connection to the local area was carefully omitted and totally ignored by both local papers. (I don't give a monkey's that he's from "south of the border", its the total lack of connection to the local area that bothers me, along with being wet behind the ears)

          Mairi Evans and Graeme Dey are both decent and hardworking folk also, both take a lot of time to interact with consituents and actually generally seem to have an interest.

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

      impressionable minds from being led astray and do things to harm people oh, dear - are you referring to the ERG?

    3. Andytug

      Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

      Dead easy.

      Freedom fighter => on our side

      Terrorist=> not on our side.

      HTH.

      1. JassMan Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good @Andytug

        Except that Terrorism was invented by the French defacto government of the time AGAINST everyone NOT ON THEIR SIDE. i.e. Terrorism was govenment policy, not what people did to fight against the government. Madame Guillotine dispatched a large number of people fighting for freedom.

    4. MarBru

      Re: I think that viewing terrorist propaganda is good

      There is also an important matter of principle.

      If one cannot access primary sources of information how can one decide what's is whats?

      The law directly impinge on the most fundamental of our rights: that of be able to think for ourselves.

      While distributing or producing illegal materials could be a reasonable subject for legislation, the mere fact that one if forbidden to know about them is preposterous and incredibly idiotic.

    5. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Turtles all the way down

      Who decides what is 'terrorist' ...

      Well, if they view the material to make that decision, then they won't want to incriminate themselves. So they'll have to make it in complete ignorance.

      Unless we outsource it outside plod's jurisdiction? Have Kim Jong Trump's minions decide?

  11. Christoph Silver badge

    "Once a defendant has raised this defence, the burden of proof (to the criminal standard) to disprove this defence will rest with the prosecution,"

    And have you ever considered the advantages of buying this really nice bridge?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      And have you ever considered the advantages of buying this really nice bridge?

      Not this one again. McCulloch did indeed consider the advantage and saw opportunity better than most and his purchase (of the facing stones) helped make a success out of Lake Havasu City and it is still doing great today. To use this one to imply someone is gullible is to get oneself up one's own arse.

      1. kwhitefoot

        Wrong bridge I suspect.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    information "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"

    Prosecuting for accessing actual terrorism info (like some pre-prepared documents explaining how to blow up come critical national infrastructure) makes sense to me. However, accessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist seems way too broad.

    For example, sometimes if I get bored or want a break from what I'm doing I'll have an idle explore around Google Earth. Spot something that looks a bit interesting, like a local military installation, zoom in for a closer look purely out of curiosity.

    Looking at aerial photographs of military installation ? That sounds like the sort of thing a terrorist would do....can I expect a knock on the door?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or say you are interested in how to build your own rockets, which largely involve materials that could easily explode. Sounds suspicious, you must be a terrorist, right?

      This absurd law has May's authoritarian fingerprints all over it, doesn't it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This absurd law has May's authoritarian fingerprints all over it, doesn't it?

        Actually no, not at all. Why do you think that?

        Much as I detest May as the most feckless waste of space ever to occupy her current post (against some very strong candidates), all that's changed is streaming content is explicitly included. Previously it would have been necessary for the plods to prove that you "made an electronic record". I seem to recall that for some offences relating to pr0nogrpahy it has been established practice to claim that viewing online content amounts to make a copy, whether in the computer's RAM or a disk cache, so the latest change is probably largely irrelevant.

        Going back to the authoritarian thinking, shall we check who made it an offence "to collect or make a record of information that is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"?

        Yes, let's do that. As per the article, that has been in place since the passing of the Terrorism Act 2000, and the name in the frame was Jack Straw, Labour MP for Blackburn, Home Secretary from May 1997 to June 2001, and was rubber stamped by a landslide majority Labour government.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Much as I detest May as the most feckless waste of space ever to occupy her current post (against some very strong candidates), all that's changed is streaming content is explicitly included."

          Maybe you've forgotten that May was Home Sec. Once a Home Sec always a Home Sec.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Dammit - gaol!

      2. Wobbly World

        May’s Finger prints...

        Hmm!! That wouldn’t Theresa May when Home Secretary responsible for:

        The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.

        Another fine mess she got us into, just like the Brexit coughs, deal do I see a trend here??

        That the then Home Office minister Mike Penning felt the need to write a letter to the representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England to try to reassure them that incense would not fall under the jurisdiction of the bill and that churches would not face prosecution for use of incense.

        That banned “psychoactive substance" anything which "by stimulating or depressing the person’s central nervous system ... affects the person’s mental functioning or emotional state". The law bans all such substances but exempts alcohol, tobacco or nicotine-based products, caffeine, food and drink so leaving us some pleasures most importantly food and drink!!!

        The law that has been criticised as an infringement on civil liberties. That Barrister Matthew Scott described the act as an attempt to "ban pleasure", saying it could drastically overreach by banning areca nuts, additives used in vapourisers and electronic cigarettes, hop pillows, and the sale of toads and salamanders that naturally produce psychoactive substances.

        Scott went further and suggested it may also ban flowers and perfumes as the scents can produce an emotional response. He described it as "bad legislation", compared its drafting with the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, and described it as incompatible with a conservative philosophy of only banning something when there is clear evidence of harm.

        Like leaving the EU Dh0ooo!!!

        Off for a legally safe beer now to anaesthetise my brain, say it will be all over when it wears off...

        Cheers!!

    2. LeoP

      Can I expect a knock on the door?

      Of yourse you can. Since your Internet use is monitored in real time thanks to the spook's charter, this is automated.

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Bus times are likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. Either to blow up the said bus, or to use it to get to the site you plan to attack, or to attend a meeting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You clearly don't catch busses. The timetables are no use whatsoever.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          The live bus tracking thing that shows where the buses are on a map is though.

          I know it takes me 5 minutes to get to the bus stop, and I know how far the bus can travel in 5 minutes. From that, I can look at the map and work out when to leave the house.

    4. Buzzword

      Re: Military installations

      Such as www.secret-bases.co.uk ?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. Prosecuting for accessing actual terrorism info

      well, I actually do want to... access... actual... t... t... there, see, I'm scared already! :(

      And why? Because I might enjoy it, while some people might enjoy watching humans being stabbed, raped, or tortured and oh, critical infrastructure being blown up on their 50-inch home tv every odd night. I say, lock up ALL OF YOU!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    https://www.conservatives.com/

    Information "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" - such a Prime Minister preparing for a No Deal Brexit ?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: https://www.conservatives.com/

      That really should come under "economic terrorism" which is an actual thing in British law, because she can revoke A50 at any time but chooses not to.

  14. Whitter
    Flame

    "Likely to be useful"

    Lately, being able to drive has been useful to committing terrorism offences.

    Jail everyone how's read the highway code then?

    1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: "Likely to be useful"

      From the standard of driving I see every day, I doubt that many drivers have any idea what the Highway Code is.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: "Likely to be useful"

        From the standard of driving many of them are committing acts of terrorism.

        I love the very open to interpretation, catch-all wording used in British law nowadays.

      2. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: "Likely to be useful"

        Most of them around here have problems with the word highway - they certainly haven't mastered lane control, one way systems or spacial awareness. I've seen people in hyundai i10 who appear to think they're driving a Claas with a 15ft fixed header - in the middle of the road at 23mph in a 60mph limit when there's no road markings - the minute you hit a well marked 30mph zone - 55mph and they think they're Roman Grosjean.

        Highlight was a geriatric in a Fiat 500 Abarth - who in the space of half a roundabout almost caused no less than 4 multiple vehicle pile ups - stupid git almost hit me twice in 25 yards. The guy looked like Yoda's older brother - either that or Cohen the Barbarian with slightly more technically advanced teeth. Bethan could have driven that thing better than the old coot just from reading the owners manual!

        They should stop whining about terrorism and put a minimum speed on the UK roads. 45mph on a 60mph road. 30/30. 65/70mph. And motorways to 90mph. That alone would save massive amounts of time, fuel and frustration.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Likely to be useful"

          As far as I am aware, the motorway and how one behaves on it is actually not part of the driving test in the UK. It may be that my son has been winding me up when he said that, but it could explain the utter lack of lane discipline and flat out dangerous behaviour on display on motorways.

          I lived in a country where professional lessons (theory & practical) are mandatory - no family teaching allowed - so I got every driving license the hard way. One of the major benefits of having *all* licenses is that you also understand the dynamics of other road users. Very helpful in avoiding risk.

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge

            Re: "Likely to be useful"

            > As far as I am aware, the motorway and how one behaves on it is actually not part of the driving test in the UK.

            Indeed, cos you're not allowed to drive on a motorway as a learner. Suspect a good idea would be to implement a 2-tier license and make currently-newly-passed learners go on a second course to learn to drive on a motorway (there are organisations doing this, the PassPlus or equivalent, but it's entirely volountary).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Likely to be useful"

              They did try and introduce a requirement of several hours of motorway (not dual carraigeway) driving, this was quietly dropped when they realised that there are areas of the country where you cannot expect to reach a motorway within 1 hour of driving

            2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: "Likely to be useful"

              Indeed, cos you're not allowed to drive on a motorway as a learner.

              Actually, learners are now allowed on motorways, in dual-control vehicles.

              1. JetSetJim Silver badge

                Re: "Likely to be useful"

                So they are, it happened last June, apparently. A sound idea as I vaguely recall being a bit nervy the first time I merged into a motorway 30 years ago.

            3. CountCadaver

              Re: "Likely to be useful"

              I'd mandate everyone has to have a motorcycle licence for 2 years before getting in a car (disabled folk excluded), some of the best drivers I know are also bikers, many of the worst drivers are those who label bikes "death traps"

              1. ZeiXi

                Re: "Likely to be useful"

                True. Drivers who ride know the potential hazards of riding and would be considerate towards motorcyclists. Cyclists, on the other hand,...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "Likely to be useful"

                many of the worst drivers are those who label bikes "death traps"

                They're labelled "organ donors" where I come from.. That said, I have driven a bike in London for many years (I was easy to follow as it took a while for the smoke from the well oiled tuned 2 stroke to clear :) ), and you quickly learned to get out of the way of despatch drivers, because they're umm, well, nuts. Seeing one splattered next to the road was unfortunately not that rare :(.

        2. CountCadaver

          Re: "Likely to be useful"

          agree apart from 50-55 in a 60, 45 is too slow in clear conditions.

          I'd also ban those god awful "budget" tyres, the amount of cars you see creeping along, taking corners at a snails pace, then when they are parked up, you notice all 4 tyres are a different "budget" brand.

          I had to drive a car so outfitted once.....no wonder the owner drove so slow, cling film has more grip, a rather backside clenching experience..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Likely to be useful"

        I don't think that anyone who drives for a certain 3 letter courier company (not the brown one oddly enough) has seen the highway code, let alone taken a driving test....all of them "drive" atrociously (I use drive in the loosest sense)

        Some highlights - middle aged male driver slaloming back and forth on a NSL and then a 70mph dual carriageway, when eventually passed, he was using an app on his phone and driving with his knees.

        Younger driver parks about 1/4" off the back of a parked car with reversing lights on, thus blocking in said car, shrugged shoulders and wandered off, leaving said car driver fuming.

  15. Bibbit

    What defines "Terrorist Propaganda"

    And does this include The Daily Mail?

  16. spold Bronze badge

    Easy get-out?

    Meh... the amendment also says...

    (3)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for his action or possession.

    Just say you were searching for hamster porn, and the stuff was obviously, & disappointingly, miscategorised.

    p.s. the rest of the text also says "he" and "his" so if you are of the girly persuasion then I guess you don't commit an offence and can access as much as you want.

    1. JonP

      Re: Easy get-out?

      (3)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section... by which point you've been arrested and had this hanging over your head for many months, not to mention all the legal fess you'll have incurred...

    2. Laura Kerr

      Re: Easy get-out?

      "if you are of the girly persuasion then I guess you don't commit an offence"

      Sadly not. Every Act of Parliament has two sentences at the start:

      Reference to the masculine includes the feminine

      and

      Reference to the singular includes the plural

      Spoilsports.

      1. S4qFBxkFFg

        Re: Easy get-out?

        Does it work the other way too?

        (I'm wondering if the anti-FGM laws are inadvertently protecting boys as well.)

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: Easy get-out?

          What do you mean inadvertently?

          About bloody time I say.

        2. Spanners Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Easy get-out?

          (I'm wondering if the anti-FGM laws are inadvertently protecting boys as well.)

          No, because this would restrict Muslim and Jewish people and anyone from the USA.

      2. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Easy get-out?

        Reference to the singular includes the plural

        ...now tempted to comb through Acts to see if this leads to any loopholes. (But not tempted enough to actually do it. Was tempted enough to check and DPA 2018 doesn't have either statement, it uses "he or she" seemingly throughout. Possibly a retrofit for older legislation?)

  17. dnicholas Bronze badge

    "Hi, please click the link attached"

    "Gotcha, scumbag"

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But everything's alright

    > It will be an offence to view terrorist material online just once – and could incur a prison sentence of up to 15 years – under new UK laws

    Don't worry; everything's alright. We won the war on terror, Tony Blair said so. Our freedoms remain. Huzzah.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Likely to be useful

    I'd say google maps is likely to be just as useful to someone carrying out an act of terrorism as it is to someone shopping for radishes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Likely to be useful

      That's why I use Apple Maps, I'm safe from this law.

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

        Re: Likely to be useful

        And also safe from reaching you intended destination.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Likely to be useful

          Win some, lose some

    2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: someone shopping for radishes

      You mean radicals? (Some reading on etymology useful here.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: someone shopping for radishes

        Free radishes? Where?

  20. smudge Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I'll come quietly, Officer

    Once, my mates and I were having bacon rolls before going out to play golf. One of them said that his young daughter had wondered how many pigs the UK consumed in a year.

    So when I got home - this was a while ago - I did a search which included "pigs", "slaughter" and "UK".

    Which returned a whole load of websites urging me to violently murder members of the UK police forces.

    So that's me caught bang to rights, then.

  21. hammarbtyp Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Tomato,Tomato

    I never look at terrorist propaganda, however sometime I do read freedom fighters literature.....

  22. Jemma Silver badge

    Roflmao

    "This was a party political broadcast by the Conservative Party"

    Oh Shit!! I'm a terrorist.

    Oh dear I'm watching a political broadcast from the USA

    Oh double shit, with knobs on.

    Both the UK (a full list, we'd be here until hell freezes over) and the US (IRA is a notable one, via the Iran Contra debacle amongst other sources) have funded, supported and set up terrorist groups in various countries, this is a historical fact. Ditto France, Germany, Israel and technically the British Police ffs (the black & tans if I remember was technically a police unit)

    Seriously have we elected a group of people that are exclusively members of the "retard ratio"?

    Oh look - I happen to have seen a still of those two dozy girls who got themselves beheaded in Morocco - because YouTube. Strangely enough I'm not a terrorist.

    The British government is responsible for the existence of Saudi Arabia and therefore of the Islamic groups funded thereby - funny how you won't see any MPs hung drawn and quartered. And now I have an image of Anne Widdecombe in her birthday suit...

    I'd happily cull every single godbotherer on the planet without let or hindrance and with a completely clear conscience. I'm still not a terrorist. I'm just reducing the population (needed), removing the retard ratio (IQ <85 instant headshot, also required) and culling the anti vaxxing and associated retard brigades (again required & tremendous *fun* into the bargain).

    I'm done, I've finally had enough. I could put up with PETA dog-fuckers & orange milkophiles (in no way am I kidding) . I could even bite my tongue (think doggy chew toy) at the brexitards and the electric car dickwits. VW gassing inbredistanis - you have my complete and unwavering support, VW gassing monkeys? Meh. This however is nothing less than state sanctioned mind control, propaganda and it's doubly ironic...

    SINCE THE UK AND USA PUBLICLY ADMIT TO FUNDING THE TERRORIST GROUPS FROM WHICH THE CURRENT CROP OF PSEUDO ISLAMIC WHINGERS DIRECTLY DESCEND.

    Including Bin-fucking-Laden (yes, that one) for christs sake!!

    And I'M the fucking terrorist for accidentally seeing a video linked to YouTube?

    Do the world a favour the combined houses of parliament and every single fucktard in a related job (ie the civil service). Go home, find the nearest shotgun, load it, lie back and think of England and blow your fucking brains out. It'll be the first useful thing you've done since I was born 43 years ago.

    I wouldn't suggest watching the next Ariana Grande concert on TV either - I have a very strong suspicion that will make the Battle of the Somme look like an episode of Kojak. I mean ffs - a re-run? Every cellar dwelling religiously deranged teen is going to be bouncing around like a spuggie on amphetamines - there'll be so high a level of TATP fumes emanating from Bradford and Luton even the foxes will be stoned and it'll look from space like a baby supervolcano (even more so if someone lights a match or tries to vape...). Oh, and dear piglets, I know a way of getting into that concert with 15lbs of completely undetectable high explosive and ball bearings, in a self guided autonomous delivery system. If I know that - then any sufficiently bright terrorist will be able to work it out.

    Please whomever came up with this do a Torchwood:CoE - check out a gun, go home, and kindly wipe out your family and yourself. Quite honestly you don't deserve to live.

    1. Stumpy

      Re: Roflmao

      Aaaaaaaand .... relax.

      .

      .

      .

      Breathe in

      .

      .

      .

      .

      .

      Breathe out

      .

      .

      .

      .

      .

      Breathe in

      .

      .

      .

      .

      <repeat ad-nauseum>

    2. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: IQ <85

      As soon as you get rid the first one the meaning of IQ < 85 changes. You'd have to get rid of everyone until there was just one left. The survivor's IQ, by definition, would be 100.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: IQ <85

        No, it doesn't. If I cull every human with an IQ rating below 85 at any given time I reduce the population by 16-18%. The rating of every one else based on those tests does not change. Mine is somewhere around 140, my ex around 160-165.

        The problem with democracy is simple. Most people who are upper 5% know full well that democracy is idiotic so a high percentage don't vote and the non voting percentage rises with IQ. Which means that in the percentage who do vote *and* have dribbling retard syndrome their vote is actually magnified in effect because for each dribbling sped who votes because the government told them to and inherently makes the wrong choice - 2 or 3 of the intelligent didn't bother because they already realised they were on a losing wicket and had better things to do (like using Vegans for archery targets, a random example you understand). Or as pTerry might put it - Vimes had the vote (intelligent) but you can't stop Nobby Nobbs having the vote (dumb as a stump).

        Add in the people in the middle and the percentage of them who are bigoted single mother hating cretins or are related to and influenced by same and whatever happens it's a case of fucktards choice.

        I mean the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party is a bloke called Jimmy Cleverly MP - talk about pissing on us without even calling it rain.

        There is one way and one way only democracy is viable - only give people with a 120+ IQ a vote - but try and do that and all hell would break loose. All the retards and semi-retards would go postal against the much smaller intelligent forces (though hopefully sped command would put their stupidest on artillery - I can just imagine that conversation...

        "technically yes it *was* a walking barrage, you're right. However. It's *supposed* to start at our position and move towards them, not start at their position and move towards *us*..."

        "Oh... Yeah... Sorry".).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: IQ <85

          No, it doesn't. If I cull every human with an IQ rating below 85 at any given time I reduce the population by 16-18%. The rating of every one else based on those tests does not change. Mine is somewhere around 140, my ex around 160-165.

          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Yes, it does change.

          The tests are calibrated by normalizing against a population the same sex and similar age.

          When you change the reference population, you change the normalization - which redefines the IQs measured by any test.

          IQ is relative, not absolute... which may be why now they often just quote percentiles instead, and get straight to something easy to understand.

          You gain easy comparison, but lose implied 'shape' of the curve.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: IQ <85

            it's also possible to study for an IQ test in order to improve your score... so think about THAT one.

            and IQ tests are notoriously oriented towards college students. Some people even claim they're oriented towards particular "groups" of people, usually "identity politics" kinds of groups.

            My IQ was actually unmeasurable when I was 6 years old. They were trying to force me to be drugged because I disrupted the class, being so bored, already knowing how to read at 2nd or 3rd grade level while in kindergarten, reading a 1st year medical book the family doctor gave me because it was cool and interesting, and I guess I was just "the nail" that stuck out, to be HAMMERED BACK INTO PLACE.

            Needless to say, the family doctor and my mother insisted I get an IQ test, so the school did that, and I thought I was in trouble when the teacher showed me some Rorschach drawings, and of course one of them looked like a bat, and one of them I described as "cellular mitosis" (trying to impress with big words, typical 6 year old) and the teacher said "what?" and I explained, "see, that looks like the chromosomes dividing". Teacher left the room and I thought I was going to get into trouble. An interminable period of time later, some older guy started timing me solving 3 dimensional puzzles with blocks. Years later, I find out: my IQ was off the scale.

            No @#$%^ this really happened.

            But yeah I was held back for the remainder of my education, so that I'd be turned into a "bright lazy" (as my old college chem professor for 'honors chemistry' would say, kids so smart they never have to work hard, and get easily bored, and with the RITALIN NAZIS, end up addicted to speed) because, after all, THE NAIL THAT STICKS OUT GETS THE HAMMER, because, social justice, because, equalize outcomes, and most people are just TOO BUSY LIVING THEIR LIVES to notice, and kids don't know any better.

            In any case, IQ is interesting but actual ACCOMPLISHMENTS, not academics nor IQ test results, need to be the measuring standard.

  23. Velv Silver badge
    Big Brother

    So are the Government going to take Amazon to court for distributing material as I'm pretty sure the SAS Survival Handbook contains quite a lot of information a terrorist could use when plotting.

    (for the avoidance of incrimination I've viewed the first edition of this book before this stupid law came into force)

    1. m-k

      re. SAS Survival Handbook, this was one of the first books I bought when I came to the land of the free (as it was). To paraphrase, no one would have believed in the last years of the twentieth century that a book bought off a high street would land me in jail, in the same country, 25 years later. And then, when I think of all the stuff we used to hover off the internets... those manuals to fly passanger jets, terrorists cookbooks and "how to make a better M-coctail", and what not... With proper incentive, I could be locked away for life...

      The only hope is that, by the time the law becomes law, there won't be any plods left to actually round people up. Anyway, what I was going to say was:

      Long live democracy! Long live freedom of speech!! Long live Our Glorious Leader!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        no one would have believed in the last years of the twentieth century that a book bought off a high street would land me in jail, in the same country, 25 years later. And then, when I think of all the stuff we used to hover off the internets...

        * * * * * *

        I've managed quite a good education, fairly broad, with hobbies and experiences and reading as well.

        I know how to make a rocket, or a radio controlled anything.

        The army taught me to shoot all sorts of interesting toys, and how to use other things that go boom.

        Modern events and analyses taught me the principles of asymmetric warfare, counter-insurgency, coups, and civil wars.

        Work taught me all about computer systems, networks, and the way things fail.

        Safety courses taught me about fires, poisons, and other hazards.

        Studies of engineering, architecture, and transportation systems taught me how to make many things break.

        Chemistry and history taught me to make high and low explosives, things that burn well, starting with things that have been known for 800 years or more.

        Self defense books and videos taught me how to win gun fights. Twenty years of recreational shooting taught me to hit what I aim at with most common firearms.

        Analytical skills and published analyses of security theater showed me how to be a terrorist the easy way - no casualties, little work, huge economic impact.

        By now we should know that the biggest hurdle is realizing something is possible. The competent will then figure out how to do it. Trying to hide all sorts of stuff that basically exploits how the universe, or human societies, or common technologies work is more security theater.... a waste of time and energy to allow politicians and bureaucrats to claim the are 'doing something' while curtailing the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. This is more of the same.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Being Careful with What you Wish for.

          By now we should know that the biggest hurdle is realizing something is possible. The competent will then figure out how to do it. Trying to hide all sorts of stuff that basically exploits how the universe, or human societies, or common technologies work is more security theater.... a waste of time and energy to allow politicians and bureaucrats to claim the are 'doing something' while curtailing the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. This is more of the same. .... Anonymous Coward

          Do you want to know of something quite different and pending peer review in Coventry University's Centre for Post-Digital Cultures? A Great Game Changer no less. Accept news of it be anything else as fake propaganda and a desperately cynically terrifying misinformation.

          All needed to be known is composed and exposed within Virtually Augmented Reality ProgramMING

          And now you know more than just the few too.

          1. Cliff Thorburn

            Re: Being Careful with What you Wish for.

            “And now you know more than just the few too.”

            And once the known is known, its known, logged, and as you say amFM, the logical step is then you realise how its done, its all quite clever admittedly.

            The insult to the injury is however, its ‘known’ so theres no point then trying to pretend it never happened when the chips are down, and the masks are off.

            And in such an event, the failure of such can/was and is only be attributable to garbage in/garbage out, or rather poor and insufficient briefing/exponential learning and basic survival and scraping by, rather than freedom to flourish.

            Of course the right and just thing to do is to restitute and resolve, and appreciate the contribution to the cause for the good and benefit for all, either a picture of a Spitfire and golden handshake and happy retirement, or brief/debrief and mutually satisfying future plan/project as opposed to more fire on the burning man, and that one would believe would be the great western values way of proceeding.

            1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              Re: Being Careful with What you Wish for.

              Brief/debrief mutually satisfying future planned projects would deliver golden handshakes and happy retirements, CT.

              What's not to like if you are not terrorised by everything and terrified of anything novel and innovative/noble and exciting?

              1. Cliff Thorburn

                Re: Being Careful with What you Wish for.

                “What's not to like if you are not terrorised by everything and terrified of anything novel and innovative/noble and exciting?”

                Depends if duress/destitution/blacklisting/stalking and psychological torture/removal of all human rights especially the right to justice are classed/classified of terrifying?, or classed as innocative and noble?

                And then after flouting the benefits of a holiday to Guantanamo Bay, and proclaiming the newly appointed director of the appropriate agencies has little adversion to waterboarding but not the California Beach on a Surf Board/Jet Ski type, receive a request to ‘come with us’ whilst lauging in a sinister tone and stroking a White Fluffy Cat?

                The last time such techniques were aspirational, questionable moustache styles and devilish dictators encouraging such were gladly nipped in the bud in time, of course, history being the guiding hand, mankind could never make the same mistakes again, could it?

                But hey, nothing to be terrified eh! :-)

    2. Blazde

      Amazon are fine. Sales aren't prohibited, and they're allowed to stock/handle the material because they have the 'reasonable excuse' of possessing it for sale. There is history to this:

      "Waterstones, Amazon and WHSmith all stocked The Anarchist Cookbook despite at least 16 people being convicted over the past ten years for owning copies."

      https://www.thesun.co.uk/archives/news/236212/terror-manual-flogged-on-the-high-street/

      (I think it could be argued the SAS Survival Handbook is only useful for going on the lam after an act of terror, not in preparing or committing it, but who knows with this vague wording)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Few questions ...

    How does this apply to books and leaflets ?

    How do they know ?

    How do we know what we're not allowed to look at ?

    That's all.

    1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: Few questions ...

      "How does this apply to books and leaflets ?

      How do they know ?

      How do we know what we're not allowed to look at ?

      That's all."

      Dont look at anything.

      1. EVP

        Re: Few questions ...

        Except online p0rn. It should be safe to watch.

  25. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    And the unintended consequence of this will be...

    .... massive adoption of VPN, Tor etc, making the job of GCHQ much more difficult, due to the can't-see-the-wood-for-the-trees effect.

    And having had a moment to reflect, this is the last straw for me. I'll be working to obfuscate (great word) my online activities. Suggestions welcome.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: And the unintended consequence of this will be...

      Terrorist! You're suggesting counter-counter-terrorism tactics to counter the terror inspired by draconian and ill considered legislation.

      Which is nothing new. One problem with this kind of legislation is it can also come with other consequences. So you may have used your computer to do potentially terrifying things. Like 'How to grenade an engine'. The investigation process would likely involve all your computers being seized as potential evidence. Then not returned until after Win16 has reached EOL. Or just damaged.

      Which is a snag created by technical crimes, and a huge backlog of computers that need examining, or just held onto until trials + appeals have been exhausted.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: And the unintended consequence of this will be...

        Lauri Love, is that you?

      2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: And the unintended consequence of this will be...

        Oh, looks like you also use predictive text when searching on how to do DIY repairs to the car!

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: And the unintended consequence of this will be...

          Oh, looks like you also use predictive text when searching on how to do DIY repairs to the car!

          Nah, I'd been watching Cleetus McFarland do it to various poor, defenceless Chevy engines because the 'Integrity Initiative' page went blank. So was the first example of terminology that could be misinterpreted that sprang to mind. Grenading engines that is, although mistyping 'Grenadine' could seemingly get you 15yrs, or diabetes.

          Curious if the 'Integrity Iniative's activities could be regarded as illegal or if psyops/political warfare is exempted.. Or they just had an official exemption. Whovever leaked their docs might be in a bit more trouble though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the unintended consequence of this will be...

      that VPNs become a wheel for terrorism therefore - banned.

      p.s. yes, it would make a great excuse for banning them, terrorism and think of the children always work.

    3. whitepines Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: And the unintended consequence of this will be...

      Start by realizing the Internet is dangerous. Sending anything over it to a random third party is the rough equivalent of broadcasting your every thought with absolutely zero filtering in front of an army of voracious lawyers armed with every law on the books.

      Once you realize this, and that Windows 10, Android, etc. all like to hoover data for transmission to random third parties as well as for analysis by their various owners, you realize you need to use Linux. And services like StartPage at the absolute least, and still be careful what you say. Try to keep data offline. Eschew any kind of cloud, or cloud-backed software, unless you can audit the provider and their systems.

      Realize that modern consumer electronics contain various forms of spyware in the OS, if not even in the firmware itself (Intel ME, AMD PSP). Don't use these, even if you can put Linux on top of the turd sundae. Use something that respects your right to privacy (ARM, Power, RISC V, whatever).

      Your cell phone is a nasty little snitch. It can't be fixed. Be careful what you say around it and what you use it for. Alexa etc. are right out.

      Now look at your resultant life. Kind of resembles the one that might have happened if we hadn't shoved everything in the cloud and sold our souls to Silicon Valley subscription services, eh? Not too bad, inconvenient in spots, but that feeling of ideological liberation (the freedom to think about things, even nasty things, then actually determine from first principles that said nasty things are bad and should be prohibited from occurring) is nothing short of amazing. And to think we already had all that, de facto, 25 years ago....

  26. MMR

    Hmmm

    I wonder if this article falls under this category.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm

      Don't be silly. How can learning what might put him in the slammer NOT be useful to a terrorist...?

  27. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    It's a mad, mad, mad world

    There's a push here in NL to make it a criminal offense to visit any Terrorist country and or area...

    https://www.iamexpat.nl/expat-info/dutch-expat-news/visiting-terrorist-dominated-area-become-crime

    Still not as bad as visiting a website... But if we don't understand terrorism, and we want to understand, we have to take the state sponsored tripe? And not from the actual terrorists?

    1. Blazde

      Re: It's a mad, mad, mad world

      Something similar is also part of the new British act:

      "creating an offence of entering or remaining in an area outside the United Kingdom that has been designated by the Home Secretary if it is necessary for protecting the public from terrorism"

      To be fair, criminalising those caught up in war zones back home is better than leaving them to rot in Guantanamo.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's a mad, mad, mad world

        For that to work they'd need to ensure they issue visas to the partners and children of any British citizens from the affected area before they're designated. Which apparently they completely failed to do in Syria.

    2. Jemma Silver badge

      Re: It's a mad, mad, mad world

      I hope that doesn't include eco-terrorism because technically every country on the planet is guilty.

      If it doesn't you can still cover most of them except possibly Micronesia. Some because they're terrorist tastic (Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, etc, etc. Some because they've previously been (Ireland for example - although give "hi, I'm Teresa, I'm the Prime Minister" May a fortnight and the IRA will be dusting off their C4 and clearing out Amazon's stock of PP9s). Some because they've created, instigated or funded terrorism (practically everywhere bar possibly that funny group of islands of Costa Rica with those funny lizards, and Micronesia).

      So basically you are under house arrest because if I remember rightly the Netherlands were once considered to be roughly equal to terrorists by the Spanish empire..

      Why do I have the feeling that this won't end well.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So how long until every sitting MP gets sent a pack of emails containing such material, along with a police tipoff?

    Asking for a friend

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Count down commenced: 10 .. 9 .. 8 .. 7 .. 6 ..

  29. AS1

    Blackmail

    It creates a classic skeleton in the closet.

    The scenario is working on classified material and being approached for information because, some years earlier, you watched something that transgressed this law. There is little real likelihood of the offense being prosecuted, but the fear of it is something that certain departments are very skilled in exploiting. I've probably been reading too many John Le Carré novels.

  30. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    So an email to the Home Secs - both of them - containing something suitably propagandist. Just for good measure include an encrypted email to which they don't have the key. Add the message "Go straight to goal. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.".

    1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: "Go straight to goal"

      He shoots, he scores...oh, wait.

      ;-)

  31. j.bourne
    FAIL

    Propaganda or Information useful to?

    Which is it? Either this report is confused or the legislation is. Is it an offence to view terrorist 'Propaganda' or to view 'information useful to a terrorist'? I'd think of these as distinct data sets even if they do overlap. Both are a problem of course - the whole raison d'etre for Propaganda is to get viewed by people who wouldn't necessarily seek it out - so yes - the new Rick-roll of the 21st century? then there's information useful to a terrorist - so checking the train/bus/flight timetable is a complete go directly to jail card? (let alone looking at a map to find the rail station/concert hall/town hall etc...).

  32. pmb00cs

    "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"

    Generally useful to "a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"? Could be anything!

    Or more specifically around the actual terrorism? A-level chemistry would certainly fall under that category, I bet a number of other subjects too, electronics, mathematics, physics, biology, and those are just the ones that could be considered dangerous at high school level that I can think of off the top of my head. So much for the government wanting to recruit teachers, they apparently want to lock a fair chunk of them up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A-Z ?

      Pretty certain someone was stopped and charged for having an A-Z of London ? The fact their skin wasn't white had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, OK ?

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: A-Z ?

        Another case of "looking like a Brazilian electrician with intent"? That one never gets old.*

        *neither do Brazilian electricians.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another method to get people in trouble

    I know of an instance where someone had CP dumped on their system by a pissed off foreign entity, and the chap could basically lock the doors on his business and only see his kids under supervision because the cops didn't even engage in the most basic evidence gathering that it could have been planted by a third party (despite that being stupidly simple to do) - all they wanted was the conviction, and the moment this rumour starts swirling around you'll become toxic to everyone you ever associated with. It's a profoundly evil way to permanently f*ck up someone's life, and law enforcement was quite happy to actively collaborate in this.

    This is simply the same unsafe approach in another area. When I started to use the Internet (very early on), a bunch of plonkers amused themselves with setting up websites that, on visit, would dump a godawful amount of cookies of the most atrocious websites in your browser, making it look like you only zapped history but accidentally left the cookies - I think 2600.org had the same gag running.

    It's a really bad idea, unless, of course, the actual aim of this exercise is wilful entrapment. Because that'll be very easy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yet another method to get people in trouble

      Sounds like the SOP for Operation Ore - you know, the one where UK police did exactly what the FBI told them not to do. One reason why the UK doesn't have the friends it thinks it does around the world.

  34. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    How does this legislation impact upon actions by people we really ought to worry about?

    Terrorist incidents in the UK fall into two categories with a big divide between rather than a nuanced range. The vast majority of reported incidents are minor in impact; that is, the scale of atrocity is small and localised. Indeed, some such cause panic, injury, and death yet, placed in perspective of the totality of all other risks faced on a daily basis this risk is rare in manifesting and of numerically trivial impact despite horrors endured by victims of attack. This kind of attack bears little evidence of co-ordinating master minds. The Internet is awash with advice on how to cause disruption and death. Much of this information is based on legally obtainable (in US jurisdiction) materials published to aid citizens resist Japanese invasion and on subsequently released military manuals.

    During the intervening period technologies underlying home brewed explosives and noxious substances have changed little. It makes interesting reading but it appears that would-be independent terrorists have better chance of success wielding blades than engaging in manufacture of explosives and other substances with considerable risk to themselves of being the only victims. 'Guidance' issued by ISIS and similar appears to recognise the likely ineptness of today's ill-educated population and gives careful instruction on 'health and safety' in the terrorist workplace.

    People capable and intending to cause major disruption and casualties are few in number and need work in concert to make an impact. Perhaps these do have masterminds, maybe located abroad, guiding their hands. The point is that talented amateur terrorists working with guidance from professional terrorists are most unlikely to fall foul of this legislation. They know how to cover their tracks in the physical world and on the Internet. Despite government hype over great dangers faced by people in the mainland UK from terrorist acts of non-trivial scale, very few have occurred since the various factions of the IRA grasped that their goal of a united Ireland will happen regardless of their input, this in part because of demographic shift towards a population the majority of which is nominally Roman Catholic.

    This legislative tweak to burden of proof and penalties ensuing from isolated individuals having accessed 'forbidden' knowledge will accomplish nothing noticeable. It may distract police attention from a host of more serious non-terrorist criminality.

    Yet, passing another piece of legislation gives myopic individuals in our government a warm glow of satisfaction of having done something to tackle symptoms arising from problems caused by the political class since the beginning of the Blair era. Stirring up the Middle East was analogous to poking a stick into a hornets' nest. Instead of regime change a policy of regime stabilisation and reparation for damage done might take the sting out of well founded hatreds and resentments.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How does this legislation impact upon actions by people we really ought to worry about?

      The impression given by the government recently is that "terrorist" is just the new name for "protester" (see the "terrorist" prosecution of protesters against illegal deportation). Give it a few more years and it'll be a badge of honour, something people might even put on their CV if applying for jobs at "ethical" companies.

  35. Mike 137 Bronze badge

    "information that is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"

    a bus timetable?

    the date and time of a rock concert?

    the address of a retailer of underpants?

    Does this not make seeking almost any information for any purpose potentially a criminal act?

    It seems insufficient for there to be a "reasonable excuse defence" as this presupposes guilt, which is contrary to both the tradition of English law and the European Convention on Human Rights.

    What we need more than anything else in those who legislate are the ability to think clearly and dispassionately and the ability to foresee unintended consequences. Neither ability currently seems much in evidence.

    1. moiety

      Almost any information is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. Whether you're planning an atrocity or no, you're still going to want food, clothing, shelter, transport. So McDonalds opening times would be useful, price of petrol at the local garage, location of clothes shops and supermarkets etc. etc. All (usually) innocuous information, yet it's all covered by this very stupidly phrased law.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "information that is likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"

      > the address of a retailer of underpants?

      The address of a retailer of pressure cookers.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    see no evil, hear no evil

    PROBLEM SOLVED! Now, if we can somehow extend this to cover piracy and porn... Surely, they are "EXTREME"?! :(

  37. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    If they really, really, really wanted to save lives

    They could teach the police to drive better.

    It may not be popular, but it's true that 2000-2019, you are more likely to be killed by a policeman than a terrorist. Luckily the UK doesn't do evidence based policy, really.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clickbait judgement

    I was scrolling through facebook on my phone and noticed that videos would autoplay by default. Does this mean that if I scroll to a video that some naughty person has published to my feed then I'm now guilty of an offence?

  39. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    Oh crap

    I just opened google maps.

    It showed me a highly detailed view of the location where I work, staffed by a couple hundred people.

    It showed me details of road works in the area, and current traffic issues.

    It allowed me to view a satellite image of the area zooming into which allowed me to take a virtual walk / drive along the roads, seeing details of buildings and obstructions and possible camera locations.

    I think I hear them coming...

  40. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    Oh crap v2

    I'm in possession of a drone.

    I watched streamed informational news articles that educated me on the ability of using a drone at an airport and the effect it would have.

    Do I go to room 101 now?

  41. Toltec

    Oh oh

    I may have looked up van hire recently.

  42. Mr Humbug

    Burden of proof

    The government said the law still provides for the existing "reasonable excuse defence", which includes circumstances where a person "did not know, and had no reason to believe" the material acccessed contained terrorist propaganda.

    "Once a defendant has raised this defence, the burden of proof (to the criminal standard) to disprove this defence will rest with the prosecution," the Home Office's impact assessment said.

    I'm not sure how the Home Office arrived at that conclusion. The fact that you possess a chemistry textbook or have watched a video of a chemistry lesson that discusses nitration of toluene makes you guilty under 58(1). Then 58(3) says:

    It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for his action or possession.

    Which looks like it places the burden of proof on the accused to show that the excuse is reasonable.

    PS. I am not a lawyer

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yup....the STASI has DEFINITELY arrived in the UK......

    .....but first, let's take a look at a list of people who were ONCE UPON A TIME known as terrorists:

    - Eamon DeValera

    - Nelson Mandela

    - Menachim Begin

    - Yasser Arafat

    All these people graduated from "terrorist" to "great statesman".....yes....it's true!

    Is researching the biographies of these people going to be a criminal offense?

    Is researching the history of the Stern Gang or the PLO going to be a criminal offense?

    Maybe GCHQ is RIGHT NOW scanning Google queries for all these names....look out for a knock on the door if you are interested in any of these histories!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yup....the STASI has DEFINITELY arrived in the UK......

      You forgot Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Yup....the STASI has DEFINITELY arrived in the UK......

        While you are at it, please also include reverend Ian Paisley.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Yup....the STASI has DEFINITELY arrived in the UK......

          And George Washington! That blighter took up arms against the Crown! Not to mention tax evasion, and the most heinous, conspiracy to waste tea!

  44. steviebuk Silver badge

    Knobs part 2

    Jesus fucking christ. I understand where they are coming from but it just pisses me off when they make these laws but don't understand how the pissing Internet works.

    This is a rant.

    So people will just use VPNs. Or people will be malicious and craft sites or e-mails with links in to such material. That's it, you've viewed it once, prison for you as the site or video auto plays with no option to stop it because, again, they've crafted it like those annoying pops up that stop you closing them.

    The law just isn't fucking workable, unless of course, the person is already on a watch list.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Knobs part 2

      "Jesus fucking christ."

      Yes, another terrorist leader and look at what become of him and his followers.

  45. Tom 7 Silver badge

    So we're all terrorists now?

    I'm sending anything I accidentally look at to my MP just to make sure.

  46. y-t

    No Problem

    All you need is a law, that stipulates, that links and websites with terrorist content must be labelled.

    Then the guilty party is the one who has not fulfilled his obligation to label.

    This is what the EU Gouverment would do.

    peace

  47. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    This would never work in the US as it would ban many government websites like TSA, NSA, and CHS as well as most politician's websites.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Damn these fumble fingers of mine. DHS not CHS.

  48. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    I hereby declare

    That though my intentions to explore nuclear and condensed matter physics were benign my Internet history is highly suspicious.

    Later visits by the authorities seemed to suggest that either they did not understand the very detailed notes I send them or they

    simply wanted to prove conclusively that I had something really dangerous up my sleeve. (Spoiler: nope)

    The problem is that if merely clicking on a link is imprisonable then (a) they will need to turn a tenth of the UK into

    a prison, or (b) ban the Internet. This would tend to support the conclusion that developing interstellar travel

    capability is a higher priority than I first thought.

    Seriously, what the actual hell is going on?

    -A

  49. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Hmmmm

    Quote

    likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" so that it now covers viewing or streaming content online.

    Then I want google maps/earth banned and blocked, mainly because I can peruse the UK's critical infrastructure looking for weak and easily attackable points from the comfort of my sofa.

    No more driving around muddy country lanes, no more 'git orf ma land' farmers, and they've even added a handy over head view which is just right for seeing where an interconnector comes ashore on a quiet beach with easy JCB access.

    But then if the plod find out what I know about explosives and underhand derring do, I'll get banged up for 15 yrs.

    "But m'lud the government GAVE me the knowledge in the first place...."

  50. Norman Nescio Silver badge

    Obligatory Ayn Rand quotation

    “Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it... There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Reardon, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.”

    Atlas Shrugged

    Perhaps someone responsible for directing the production of text by the law drafting bits of the civil service has been reading too much Ayn Rand.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obligatory Ayn Rand quotation

      The downside appears to be that after a few years you end up with a generation that does not care about the law at all. Eventually you end up with people stabbing and shooting each other with impunity. Let's hope that never happens in London.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Terrorism"

    ... to include fundraising to support a religious state in the near / middle east.

    Conservative friends of Israel had better watch out then...

  52. mark l 2 Silver badge

    So the law says that just one view of terrorist propaganda could get you upto 15 years in prison. Can't see anyway that could go wrong.

    The police get a list of IPs that viewed a ISIS propaganda video streamed on the internet and come busting the door down of everyone on the list in an early morning raid. They are arrested and all their devices are taken away for examination, possibly being dismissed from their job over the arrests.

    The police eventually months later can't find any evidence on the computers they have taken and when they check their evidence again, someone had typed the IP address incorrect, or the time stamp was wrong, or a router was hacked etc.

    On another note though I used to have a copy of the Jollyrogers cookbook on a floppy disk back in the 1990s, copies of it used to get passed around the school yard yet afiak no one in my school went on to commit terrorist offences. Today it would get you serious jail time for having that information on your computer especially if you were sharing it around.

  53. wolfdieterbusch

    Reminds me to Third Reich 1939-45

    where it was a crime to listen BBC.

    https://www.radiomuseum.org/forumdata/users/922/Verbotsanhaenger.jpg

    Ask one who understand German.

  54. cantankerous swineherd
    Flame

    sodium chlorate and sugar

    .

    you're all nicked.

  55. Spanners Silver badge
    Big Brother

    "Possibly useful to terrorism"

    That describes my whole life...

    As a teenager, I was in the Air Cadets. I learned a little about flying aircraft, but not landing them...

    As a student, I had a couple of happy years in the OTC. I learned how to blow things up and more about firearms than I had in the ATC.

    To the uninformed, my work in in IT surely proves that I could get information for terrorists.

    Even now, I have many years as a work place first aider. This is very handy if one of my fellow terrorists gets shot!

    So although I have never even been arrested for anything, I have been thoroughly educated in many things that could help terrorists, just not conservative ones.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone seen the film "Minority Report"?

    In this 2002 film, "the authorities" have developed a way of assessing the behaviour of individuals so that FUTURE CRIMES TO BE COMMITTED by an individual can be predicted. They called this "Pre-Crime".

    .......and here we are in 2019, in a country which allegedly has free speech rights, where legislation is being passed in an attempt to identify "pre-crime".

    Interesting also to notice that three out of five recent attacks were perpetrated by individuals "already known to the security services". So much for "pre-crime" and our current STASI!!!! And it's going to get worse....more STASI....less privacy......more false positives......

    Take a look at the film!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Has anyone seen the film "Minority Report"?

      The UK does not and has never had free speech rights until the Human Rights Act 1998 came along (which incorporates Article 10 of the ECHR into British law).

      Government ministers have said on numerous occasions that they want to rescind the HRA and replace it with something else.

  57. JohnFen Silver badge

    Insanely broad?

    So looking at stuff "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" is forbidden? I'm sure the law must be more specific than this, but summarized like that, wouldn't just about anything qualify? Information about where tourist destinations are located, information about how to take public transportation or to drive, even just plain reading and writing itself would all be useful in committing or preparing to commit an act of terrorism, for example.

  58. arctic_haze Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    So is watching the Parliament live is now a crime?

    And if not, why?

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bye bye lots of classic films

    Like “The Dam Busters” – with it’s glorifying of a terrorist attack on a civilian population.

    1. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

      Re: Bye bye lots of classic films

      And classic science fiction.

      namely the episodes of "Star Trek: The Original Series" where Kirk (a) makes a homemade cannon using chemicals found on the planet where he encountered the Gorn, and (b) uses the Corbomite bluff to get out of being obliterated by the First Federation lightbulb ship.

      Also "Sliders" where Prof. Arturo fixes a failed atomic bomb to blow up an asteroid, and the plans are actually authentic. And about a dozen other episodes.

      Also "Macgyver"... pretty much every episode.

      Anyone know the hotline number for reporting suspicious Internet usage? pretty sure that sitting there for hours downloading stuff is suspicious especially with a glazed look on their face and muttering in some strange arcane language about science not normally available to mere Muggles (tm)

  60. Barry Rueger

    What? Me worry?

    Relax folks. Surely this new law will only apply to people with brown skin. Most of the people here won't need to worry at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What? Me worry?

      What about all those non-brown skinned people who may know or be vaguely related to Irish nationalist groups? They are most definitely targeted by this.

      Soon it will become anyone who access anti-government material, since that is obviously terrorist propaganda.

  61. Binraider666

    Intention = Good. Implementation = Terrible.

    Freedom of speech is not something Brits have, and further clamping laws around what can one even VIEW let alone say is an affront to democracy. Sure, there is no shortage of hate speech to go around, but at least the US have the RIGHT to take express a viewpoint. Whether one considers it right or wrong to do so is not a criminal matter, but one for society to judge.

    The idea of PC-gone mad is not lost on me. Who gets to decide what content constitutes an offence? What if you are lured into viewing illicit material unintentionally via a malformed link, or perhaps malware or otherwise? Assuming that is the case, how does one prove or disprove whether one intentionally opened something to view it?

    Once again the intention of Brit lawyers is probably well founded, but the implementation is a joke and probably grants powers far and wide beyond their intended role. Like legislation has never been mis-used before...

    Cue more letters to your local MP. Too bad they are too busy debating something else (rather than doing their job and debating / improving legislation...)

  62. Esme

    Unbelievable stupidity

    Putting aside things like scientific knowledge (are things like the study of chemistry and physics to be outlawed now, then?) and everyday purchases at the supermarket making one liable to be transgressing such a law, what about if one falls asleep whilst watching YouTube? At my age, this happens every few days, and given my viewing habits include the likes of Scott Manley and various history channels and I have been known to watch the odd Colin Furze vid amid all the "cat playing piano" fluff (I'm a sucker for anything cute involving animals) - sometimes what I wake up to has little or no relation to anything I'm actually interested in. I once stepped my browser backwards through what it'd been playing for the previous couple of hours, and was startled to see what it'd been reccomending to my completely somnolent self during that time. Bizarre (though, thankfully, nothing horrifying turned up on that occasion).

    I'm sure I'm far from being the only person who realised the terrorist potential for flying aircraft into tall buildings years before the 9/11 tragedy ocurred and deliberately never mentioned this to anyone just in case some ne'erdowell within earshot thought it sounded like a good idea. Cant help but wonder whether the purveyors of certain desserts are going to be put in chokey for selling material capable of being made into an offensive weapon, and if not (given the breadth of stupid laws like this) why not - who gets to decide, on what criteria, and why them? (rhetorical questions, please note).

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Unbelievable stupidity

      "I'm sure I'm far from being the only person who realised the terrorist potential for flying aircraft into tall buildings years before the 9/11 tragedy ocurred and deliberately never mentioned this to anyone just in case some ne'erdowell within earshot thought it sounded like a good idea."

      At least one other person realised it and went a little beyond mentioning it to just anyone. He wrote a book and got it published. As a result, he was recalled into CIA Humint from which he had been riffed because Elint was the future.

      For those of you wishing name and title: Tom Clancy, Debt Of Honor (and it was a JAL plane flying into the Capitol, Washington D.C.).

  63. kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

    Latest Evidence of the Police State

    Not only does everyone have the right and even the responsibility to view terrorist material, the reality is that government of countries like Gt. Britain are the greatest terrorists of all, bombing Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. How are assassination drones not terrorist attacks? And what is wrong about viewing terrorist material in order to reference writing an article or book? Government does not have the authority to censor individual research on anything the internet may hold.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How things change

    Around the time I worked in central government (early 2000s) there was a running joke amongst my left-leaning colleagues that when they'd first joined the civil service and filled out the security clearance forms, they'd answered "yes" to the "Have you ever tried to overthrow the government?" question. This was only a couple of years after "18 years of Tory mis-rule" had come to an end (how are we doing on that latest clock reset btw?) and still in the "things can only get better" honeymoon period (pre-Iraq).

    I guess that kind of behaviour would go down rather badly these days.

    I've since left the UK for personal reasons (woman!) but like to keep an eye on what's going on. I read this article and was like WHAT THE &%^% ARE THEY DOING? Thought crime is a thing now? I can't believe that in less than two short decades the UK has got to the point where watching a video (not involving paedophilia) is an imprisonable offence.

    IIRC the rot started with criminalising certain types of adult consensual pornography.

    It's just weird how the UK has allowed itself to be dragged in to the US "terrorism risk justifies anything" cultural mindset. What happened to "keep calm and carry on"?

    Anyway, nobody likes a whingy ex-pat, but I hope you manage to sort all this mad shit out before the island turns into an authoritarian hellhole.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How things change

      IIRC Previous UK legislation has claimed the right to prosecute UK nationals for offences in another country - and possibly which are not actually illegal there.

  65. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    I would argue...

    That the term word 'terrorist' and its associated forms should be expunged from the legislation.

    We already have perfectly good offences such as murder, conspiracy thereto, causing explosions and the like.

    Adding 'Terrorist' to a law is not only tautologous but gives a false legitimacy to the person committing the offense; whether it is done because you don't like the actions of the ruling party or because the invisible sky fairies told you to, the act is the same, and so should be the procedures, the legislation, and the punishment.

    There is absolutely no need for 'I am a patriot, you are a freedom fighter, he is a terrorist' nonsense.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: I would argue...

      "That the term word 'terrorist' and its associated forms should be expunged from the legislation"

      Yes. Considering that "terrorist" and "terrorism" are words that have been applied to such a wide variety of things that they are essentially meaningless now, I have to agree.

  66. DrM
    Thumb Up

    Click and run

    http://pipebomb.info/

  67. pogul

    Re: RE: Topperfalkon

    I wonder how this would fit in with link prefetching?

  68. pogul
    Headmaster

    It wasn't me, it was my browser!

    I wonder how this would fit in with link prefetching?

  69. avidal
    Big Brother

    stalin's dream

    better realize it... we are living in Stalin's dream, like a man of wisdom said

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: stalin's dream

      "better realize it... we are living in Stalin's wet dream, like a man of wisdom said"

      FTFY ;)

  70. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    Stupid morons

    And entering from stage right are a wide variety of people publicly posting a variety of links pointing to "illegal-to-view-just-once" terrorist documents with such names as HowToGetNakedBritneyPics.txt so that just about every click-happy moron in the country becomes a criminal. Welcome to HMP United Kingdom.

  71. Chozo

    I feel radilcalised just reading this thread

  72. Loony Moony

    Terrorist material

    As a schoolboy, I learned how to manufacture explosives and still know how to make nitroglycerine, dynamite, tnt, nitrogen trichloride, nitrogen triiodide and black powder. Does this knowledge make me a potential terrorist?

    1. Harry Stottle

      Re: Terrorist material

      you've just reminded me of my own schooldays (late 60s), where I spent my first year of Sixth form, with the blessing and occasional assistance of the (boarding) school, teaching myself to construct and test small rockets (max range 15 miles) using, mainly, a zinc sulphur mix as the propellant. Proudest day of my life remains the first public test, where half the school turned out to watch it fail. Missed the target flag, 1000 yards from the launcher, by 9 feet.

      Chances of any modern schoolkid having that experience?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Terrorist material

        The book "October Sky" tells the story of a boy who made rockets as a teenager. From an academically deprived background he campaigned to get an advanced maths curriculum in the school - as he needed it to calculate the rockets' nozzles. However - he failed to get into the limited class that resulted. A friend was on the course - so the boy borrowed the homework assignments.

        IIRC He eventually had a career in NASA.

  73. Aquilus

    So basically, I'm not allowed the defense of "Yes, I know the link contains terrorist propoganda, and I intend to watch it. But I'm an adult, of sound mind, and have decided to examine the evidence myself so I can make my own mind up"? That behaviour is now criminalised?

    Huh. Well good job we didn't let the terrorists win by altering our way of life and removing our freedom because they hate it, or anything...

  74. Loony Moony

    Terrorist material

    So schools can't teach chemistry any longer? Iodine and NHO4 gives nitrogent triiodide?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Terrorist material

      Do they still teach practical chemistry? A reunion at our old Technical High School circa 2000 was interesting. It was now a specialist Technology Academy.

      The chemistry lab had lost its rows of practical benches with sinks and bunsen burners. Only the teacher had those facilities for demonstrations. The pupils sat at ordinary pod desks.- where half of them would have to turn round to see the teacher.

      No fume cupboards - and not even a Periodic Table chart on the wall.

  75. Harry Stottle

    So how would I write something like this?

    I posted this essay on Militant Islam in 2006. It entailed a few months of research and crawling over their propaganda and published statements. Enough to lock me away for life it would now seem. I don't appear to be protected by any of their "reasonable defences". It wasn't an academic exercise (in any formal sense) . I was (am) just one of many concerned citizens trying to make sense of what goes on in the minds of authoritarians. That seems to have become increasingly necessary ever since, as outrageous policy proposals like this, clearly illustrate.

  76. bish

    "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism"

    That would logically include the locations of key targets, and procurement of the means of transport needed to reach them: tourists visiting the UK are advised to eschew all guidebooks, and just wander round the airport until the return flight. Mind you, being in the country at all seems pretty 'useful', so perhaps just stay away altogether.

  77. Mike_R

    Is e.g. a bus timetable "likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism" ?

  78. Frank Fisher

    We're all terrorists now

    In a free country no laws like this should exist, so clearly we are not now a free country. the idea of jailing someone because of *something they read* is obscene. it should not need arguing against, it should not need deconstructing, it is obscene. Anyone who proposes trash like that is my enemy and should be the enemy of all decent people. We need to clear out the Westminster stables, and the phoney NGO parasites like Liberty who actively enable this crap.

  79. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    What's next, we start burning books again?

    A country which makes laws like this is likely to find their citizens emigrating in droves to another country which doesn't stymie experience or attempt to burn their books.

    Then suddenly, this country everyone left for suddenly kicks the hell out of the old country in just about everything.

    You'd think the UK would have learned this lesson the first time around.

    If the UK keeps it up, you'll soon be thrown in jail for witnessing a crime because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is my impression that the CPS only reacts once the Courts of Appeal have created a legal precedent.

    For decades too many laws have been loosely drafted. It has been left to the Courts of Appeal to decide that certain circumstances are not illegal. Only those courts' decisions produce a legal precedent that can be used as a defence by others.

    Even when the CPS then reject further prosecutions for such cases - there is apparently nothing to stop the police offering legally binding "cautions" to innocent people. For arrests under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 that can mean an automatic entry on the Sexual and Violent Offenders Register.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anonymous, well because

    Wow - now I have no new Malware to create for UK citizens. Moment in runs, it will hit all those dodgy sites. Maybe when the whole population is in prison then they may see the error in their ways?

    Hmmm...if everyone is in prison, then it is a great way to take over the country by Dogbert and BOFH....

  82. RobHib

    @ jmch

    ...Freedom fighters target the state while terrorists target the civillians

    I don't see your point in raising this matter. If you're discussing strict nomenclature or arguing definitions down to their finest granularity then you may be technically correct—even then that's only if you're arguing from the perspective of some legal systems, so you'll have to be specific about which ones you mean. The fact is there are no firm and universally agreed definitions for either one. Here for instance:

    https://www.academia.edu/1557605/Attempts_to_Define_Terrorism_Terrorist_or_Freedom_Fighter

    Leaving semantics aside, you'll mostly find that these days civilians are often caught up in the fighting irrespective of what the attackers call themselves. (Keeping only to modern times), with warfare between states (i.e.: militaries under the control of states and supposedly subject to international war treaties), as far back as WWI chivalry and avoiding civilian losses was almost a lost cause—the zeppelin bombings of the UK for instance.

    By the time of Guernica (1937) active targeting civilians had become acceptable to some states, and by 1945 just about anything goes for even the so-called civilised countries such as the UK and US. For example, the UK and US's bombing of Dresden in World War II killed tens of thousands and the US targeting of Tokyo's civilians [it's silly to argue any other purpose] killed er well we're not sure but at least in excess of 100k.

    Post war, both freedom fighters and terrorists—call them what you will—essentially saw that there were no rules of any kind, thus we ended up with unimaginable horrors such as the 1990 Rwandan Genocide where the number of civilians killed was almost unimaginable.

    In such circumstances, grinding nomenclatures fine is essentially irrelevant.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brings new significance to the implications of being rickrolled

    And more incentive to use Tor.

  84. phands

    Abject Lunacy

    Unsurprisingly, this law is completely impractical and ultra dangerous - typical tory stupidity.

    There is no good or workable definition of "terrorist material" - how and who draws that line? What happens with reporters and researchers who view stuff for all the right reasons? What about when I view Fox News (they are total terrorists) or one of my favourite sources, Al Jazeera? What if I sign up for an anti-Brexit site? I'm Scottish - does viewing Independence sites which advocate the break up of the UK constitute terrorism (yet)? Trump, the tangerine shitgibbon, is a global terrorist...is viewing his stuff terrorism (it should be)?

    Not that it matters much any more...with Brexit, the lunatic unelected moron in #10 (yes...you, Theresa May) will destroy the UK, and cause it's break up and along the way, a return to the Ireland border "troubles", which is domestic terrorism in all but name.

  85. cosmogoblin

    What does this mean for BOFH?

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Come on the re-education camps won't be that bad...

    Plus we might get a national holiday to sing songs on how our glorious leader saved us, we can all get together in a large square in neat rows where we all move in time. Just remember to smile and clap a hell of a lot when the party men/women hold up the cue cards - no one likes a party pooper (the van will be along shortly to re-educate you)

    (I'm just putting this one out early to show my loyalty to our great leader and her party members, as I don't have dual nationality and hard borders keep people in as well as out)

  87. fraunthall

    Fascism Doing its jolly work

    The UK is rapidly becoming the incarnation of NAZI Germany. You've got CCT cameras everywhere spying on your citizens, you have no constitutional protections against the government depriving you of due process and democratic freedoms, and you have laws like this one the GESTAPO would have been happy to have at their beck and call. At least you don't have fascist laws like "Its a crime to slander the state" like most of the rest of Europe does, or am I wrong about that?. Its no wonder that the world's first fascist states were established in Europe. Welcome to the New Fascism. Your authoritarian governments are trying to qualify for that label, and doing well at it. The rest of the so-called democracies are not far behind you. The US and the mis-named Democrats were a keen exporter of fascist ideas including Eugenics, adopted by such left-wing luminaries as George Bernard Shaw, all welcomed by Mussolini and Hitler. There is nowhere to go anymore. Good luck to us all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fascism Doing its jolly work

      Forget about nitpicking the statutory terms. Part of the crime of this dictat from the fascists is that despite any 'reasonable defence' or the like, just being charged can cost you a fortune to defend, the loss of an enormous amount of time involved, the loss of your reputation, and the fact that charges will be laid by bureaucratic idiots and police, so many of whom have the level of intellectual understanding of these matters of a mushroom - and that is insulting mushrooms.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phishing Emails and hacked sites

    Phishing Emails and hacked sites (by those that profit from prisons) with Terrorist content will be extremely common.

    Just looking at a public display (hacked) will land you in jail.

    Please forward those all to the government reps that you don't like, so they can go to jail too, after they pick you up for reporting the content.

  89. deadfamous

    1984

    So this is almost entirely the result of a former home secretary wanting to push through her own version of Brexit. Grammar school education my foot. There's a time and a place and freedom of speech can only be guaranteed by the right to inform and discuss.

    Of course it's an old socialists idea that the establishment want to keep a proportion of the populous ignorant of certain truths but believing that raping the earth in the name of business is somehow okay whereas investigating the doctrines of political opponents is not somehow forces us all into a new world of thought crime...

  90. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Knowledge is Always Breaking Free and Rewriting Ancient Manuscripts for Virtually Real Simulations.

    Seems like the NI Troubles all over again. Denying access to both private and public services. No Good Plan that One. Survivors there know too much about everything to allow that Abortion of a Program/Trial Pogrom another Outing/Testing.

    Please take particular and peculiar note... for to be forewarned is to be adequately forearmed ....... Block AI Source Streams at your Peril. It doesn't Pay and is IntelAIgently Designed, Catastrophically Expensive to Resist.

  91. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Yeah gods! If I click on a link without first checking that it doesn't lead to the Daily Mail, I'll be jugged!

  92. ZeiXi

    Normal Person -> Terrorist

    No one is born a terrorist. Every terrorist is a product of influence and gullibility. No law can prevent the influence of those living in an environment of persistent radicalism. But laws can be effective if they can prevent gullible people from accessing influential materials. Abuse can only happen if enforcement personnel choose to abuse the law. That should not be a basis to criticise the law. All laws can be abused. Abolish them all?

    1. M.V. Lipvig

      Re: Normal Person -> Terrorist

      Some laws are more subject to abuse than others. A cop wants to bust you but has nothing to bust you on? He grabs your phone, clicks on alqaeda.com for you and you're gone for 15 years. Want to get someone in trouble? Borroa their phone, cruise to a terrorist site, then call the cops and report them. Found out your boyfriend cheated? I think you know the drill...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Normal Person -> Terrorist

        " I think you know the drill..."

        Worked in Stalin's time - then people just disappeared after a dawn raid. In Germany the Gestapo only had one officer responsible for each several thousand civilians. They relied on people voluntarily shopping their neighbours or even parents - often maliciously with no foundation.

  93. JaitcH
    Coat

    HARD TO ACCEPT THAT THE TORY PARTY WAS ONCE THAT OF CHURCHILL

    The concepts that governed Britain, and once made people to be proud of it, are now but memories.

    The UK has been a 'nanny' country for some years now, banning the aged and outdated The Anarchist Cookbook, etc.,and has implemented laws that far outweigh so called 'authoritarian' countries such as the one I live - I can view many more things legally that can the average Brit. The only 'forbidden' and occasionally censored InterNet subjects are those of insurrection of the present government. Oh, and the possession of matches, lighters and fireworks.

    But it appears that the British public has been so cowed, and brainwashed, to permit their elected representatives to trample wholesale over centuries old rights that wars were fought over. Shame on you. (I can say this as a person born in the UK)

    Successive British governments have abandoned their responsibility to govern by law in England letting Plod decide policy and suppress rights, such as they were, to be overridden by this self-governing uniformed gang of thugs.

    No UK government will ever tell me to which countries can or cannot go if legally permitted to enter such a country by that country's government.

    What we need is a modern Guy Fawkes to clear all the human trash occupying Westminster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HARD TO ACCEPT THAT THE TORY PARTY WAS ONCE THAT OF CHURCHILL

      Someone once said that "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

      ATL 30 June 1908 after history was changed when the Gunpowder Plot succeeded because in that timeline the Plague was less severe as they had immunity because a few people migrated west instead of east 2900 years ago due to a freak storm blowing them off course.

      The Cold War between Coalition Europe and the Sino-Asian Commune went "hot" in mid 1908 when that asteroid burned up at a shallow angle over the capital. This resulted in a nuclear exchange worse than anything that had been seen when the CE assumed wrongly that the SAC had struck first. By the time it became obvious that it wasn't the cobalt-iodine tipped missiles were already flying and as they say, "Adios Muchachos".

      Unfortunately for the CE they just didn't see it coming. They spent all the money on weapons and not enough on space defense y'see. Bad idea.

      Alas we got here too late. Again!!!!

      (cough Cretaceous-Tertiary event /cough)

    2. RobHib

      Re: HARD TO ACCEPT THAT THE TORY PARTY WAS ONCE THAT OF CHURCHILL

      The UK has been a 'nanny' country for some years now, banning the aged and outdated The Anarchist Cookbook, etc., and has implemented laws that far outweigh so called 'authoritarian' countries such as the one I live

      Right. The banning of that cookbook exemplifies the stupidity and senselessness of such bans. After all, the average high school chemistry textbook has as much or more 'useful' information about such matters, and furthermore the details therein are more precise—anyway, that was the situation with my chemistry textbooks when I was at high school (I know I still have one of them). Step up to undergraduate chemistry texts then you've orders of magnitude more stuff government's gnomes and bureaucrats would consider 'dangerous'.

      The only conceivable reasons for the ban would have been that the word 'Anarchist' is in the title and that it presents its 'projects' with a somewhat mocking, tongue-in-cheek, 'up you' attitude that might encourage some silly teenagers to try the experiments out (if anything, they're more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else). It's years since I've seen it but I seem to recall the tenor and writing style the author adopted was to deliberately shock chemistry-illiterate elites—you know the types, pen-pushers, lawyers, etc. Seems the author meant it more a joke than anything else.

      Rather than banning it, an enlightened establishment would have put it in the hands of high school chemistry teachers who'd have used it to demonstrate the dos-and-don'ts of laboratory safety. In my opinion, it would have been an excellent training resource for teachers to teach lab and chemical OH&S (which kids usually find so boring), it would have been effective specifically because of its naughty and provocative nature.

      This brings me to a related matter, which is the pathetic state of ignorance that exists amongst the General Public with respect to most things chemical. These days, society has an almost irrational fear of chemicals that I put down to ignorance of basic chemistry, scaremongering by irresponsible news reporting and unfortunate chemical accidents by irresponsible chemical companies. Te only true way to overcome this is with effective education.

      BTW, many articles in the A/Cookook have been lifted from articles in 1940s and '50s magazines such as Popular Mechanics.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HARD TO ACCEPT THAT THE TORY PARTY WAS ONCE THAT OF CHURCHILL

        "Te only true way to overcome this is with effective education."

        During the apartheid years in South Africa there were groups of people fostering education in townships. Their rationale was that the country needed an educated workforce in order to grow the economy. From thence they reasoned that economic necessity would then open up careers to everyone - and apartheid would eventually disappear.

        They had one fear - that a half-educated workforce would be more easily swayed into a violent overthrow of apartheid without realising they would be acting against their own long term interests.

  94. BGatez Bronze badge

    Will this include quasi and queasy nazis like seb gorka and the ever darling nigel farage?

  95. Winkypop Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    I clicked

    But I didn't inhale!

    1. M.V. Lipvig

      Re: I clicked

      That only works for Clintons named Bubba.

  96. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    I clicked

    But building a nuclear reactor in a shed using materials from (insert_random_shop) and my "enhanced alien intelligence" probably wasn't a good idea.

    And M'lud that concludes the evidence for the defense.

    Also is a published physics paper on said reactor acceptable as evidence?

  97. dave 81

    Textbook

    So that means having a chemistry textbook is now a criminal offence. The increasingly fast march toward totalitarian fascism continues. I am disgusted by every MP. How long now until criticising the government is hate speech?

  98. DrD'eath

    Chemistry

    Many of the older chemistry textbooks contain a lot of useful information. The problem is it is useful to good guys and bad guys, for example nitroglycerin is both a medicine and explosive.

    The bill does contain a clause exempting journalists and academic research.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Chemistry

      I am no longer at Uni, no longer doing research, and refuse to prostitute myself as a journalist (sorry, ElReg!). Is it illegal for me to possess the chemistry textbooks that I was required to purchase to get my Masters in Organic Chemistry?

      1. RobHib

        @ Jake - Re: Chemistry

        Is it illegal for me to possess the chemistry textbooks that I was required to purchase to get my Masters in Organic Chemistry

        You've packed much into that statement and its potential ramifications may be huge. It raises matters I'm unfamiliar or out of touch with, or the protocols have changed since my time. I'd appreciate it if you'd take a moment to unpack what you've said.

        Obviously, I don't expect any specifics, but if you purchased textbooks then they would have actual book publishers, unique ISBN identifiers etc. so you could actually purchase them—and presumably anyone else could as well. As it seems theses textbooks were/are illegal to possess without authority, how did you initially find out about and then get permission to purchase them? Did publishers deliberately obfuscate the texts' titles/authors from their normal book lists?

        Similarly, as you're no longer in the field, presumably you were required to surrender the texts. When you'd finished with them to whom were they surrendered, the uni, your employer or the government, or were they officially shredded? Were you compensated for this loss?

        Having had to sign secrecy agreements myself in the past, I understand why research organizations deem certain information 'sensitive'—the need for IP secrecy and or for government/strategic reasons, etc.—thus relevant documents about the research are restricted to internal circulation and never leave it except under strict protocols. As such, the institution in question would automatically own and manage the docs thus you wouldn’t be required to purchase them. (Using an obvious example, an organization researching say organophosphate nerve agents would both own and keep strict control over access to all relevant documentation.)

        As we know, students usually only have access to published texts and published research articles (usually via the uni library, etc.). If say you were working for a research establishment where research was secret and you needed to upgrade your qualifications in that field whilst employed there, then again the restricted info which you needed access to would be automatically owned and paid for by your employer/said organization.

        So what gives, are various published texts now been banned from normal circulation so the general public no longer has access to them?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: @ Jake - Chemistry

          "You've packed much into that statement"

          It wasn't a statement, it was a question.

          My purchased textbooks all have ISBN numbers, and are all probably available from the original publisher (albeit probably at a bloody ridiculous price and unnecessary edition level by now). At least here in the United States; the rules in the UK seem to have become rather draconian.

          The only text I still have from my Uni years that could possibly be considered contraband would be an autographed first generation Xerox of Lions' Commentary ... and as far as I'm concerned, because that was a personal gift from John, it has zero value beyond the personal. I already had complete access to the AT&T source code because of my time at Berkeley. This has been moot since 1996, regardless.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] the rules in the UK seem to have become rather draconian."

    In the UK it appears to be possible to be prosecuted for a digital image originally contained in a book that is not illegal to own. In one case someone was successfully prosecuted for owning a book which was on sale at W.H.Smith.

    The principle of English Law that the lines of illegality must be clearly drawn in legislation has long since been lost. The slippery slope to thought crimes.

  100. M.V. Lipvig
    FAIL

    Wow, and Brits

    claim to be afraid of the US judicial system. Terrorists can now put the entire nation at risk by putting out an ad to see a full spread of the Sun's Page 3 Girls that instead takes you to an Al Quaeda enrollment page. Bam, you're guilty.

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] an ad to see a full spread of the Sun's Page 3 Girls [...]"

    A beaver shot?

  102. Jake Maverick

    um so what is terrorism....? anything they unilaterally decide doesn't fit with their 'version' of events......they've been locking people up and torturing them under mental prime directive in the UK for nearly two decades now!

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So this is now the equivalent of mentioning Tiananmen Square in China...?

    It amazes me how easily you folks in the UK are willing to have your rights frittered away while you take a giant steaming dump across the pond on all things there.

    And this is what they fought 2 world wars for ... if only those people could see you now and slap some sense into all y'all's heads

  104. FrankeeD

    Not unlike the old Soviet GPU

    In his autobiography, Chronicles of Wasted Time, Malcolm Muggeridge relates a story where reporter Ralph Barnes interviewed a man apparently fairly high up in the Soviet GPU. He asked:

    "Why is it that in the USSR innocent people get arrested? The GPU man, it seems fairly shook with laughter at this, to the point that it was quite a while before he could get his answer out. Of course we arrest innocent people, he said at last in effect; otherwise, no one would be frightened. If people are only arrested for specific misdemeanours, all the others feel safe, and so are ripe for treason. . . . By making justice subjective and arbitrary, every citizen can be plausibly arrested and charged at any time, with the result that they live in a permanent state of incipient guilt and fear."

    The UK seems to be moving in the same direction.

  105. Grinning Bandicoot

    "Likely to be used information

    All information can be misused: census data, highway traffic counts, weather reports, health alerts and this does not end. Start with the public reports of the SAS and SBS to provide an idea of how it can be used , then alert the AUTHORITY that the MOD is liable under the act. While that mess is underway alert the AUTHORITY that the government nanny agency that provides such hints as mixing bleach and ammonia does not make a better cleaner but a toxic gas once used by the Hun. And so went any technical knowledge in GB which makes all readers here potential terrorists.

  106. rbf

    Total Resistance by H von Dach

    This book was written for the Swiss public in case of Soviet occupation (they were occupying substantial parts of neighboring Austria and Germany at the time of writing).

    The eye of the beholder has much to do with whether this is a book for freedom fighters or terrorists.

    1. Grinning Bandicoot

      Re: Total Resistance by H von Dach

      In a college library I once found a book published under aegis of the British government on how to build explosive gadgets and other non social devices with items available within the community. These devices made the Anarchist Cookbook look very tame but then the book was published at a time when Winnie was telling the prospective visitor that they would get entertained at the beach. Bill Gates be damned books are not obsolete!

  107. Handle123456

    UK had been busy to implement the 1984 manual for some time already

    This is just another step.

  108. Lexorr

    19th February 2019

    Your date on this article is next week ??

    Just curious

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: 19th February 2019

      Dude/tte, it's March. Long nap?

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scammers' Paradise

    How long before someone makes a pile of sites that look like they are for innocuous hobbies or interests like football, gardening or IT but when you click they download terrorist material then display a Bitcoin address similar to the "we caught you viewing porn" scam and demand payment for not grassing the visitor up for downloading the material? Trouble in this case is that the viewer's computer actually did download the material and when the "site administrator" informs the Police that they "have detected terrorist material someone had put on their website and removed it but here's the list of all people in the UK who had downloaded it" the person could well be in for a nasty visit.

  110. savagewonder

    Particle beam Xray...

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