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After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

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Letter to Google.

Dear Google.

We, the Government, have decided that, while the Internet is a very useful Thing, it is sadly being misused by a certain group of people.

Therefore, we must insist you remove all pages involving Terrorism. Anything that could be linked to Terrorism. And anything Pornographic, as that's probably linked to Terrorism.

We expect all these pages to be removed next week.

Thank you.

UK Government.

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Childcatcher

Re: Letter to Google.

PS While you're doing that don't forget to take down anything relating to cars as they are clearly being used for terrorist purposes. Although, now I think about it, we do make a lot of money taxing vehicles and fuel, so you can leave up any that are not terrorist related - and don't mention Top Gear.

Just to be on the safe side you'd better take down anything related to driving schools as well, as they could be used to train potential terrorists ... Oh and any maps that have roads on them, as they could be useful in planning an attack.

Better scrub anything that relates to religion and politics as well. Terrorists use them to justify their actions, although I suppose some religious and political stuff is OK ... but no bad stuff or any pages that mention 45 minute claims.

Actually this is getting very complicated isn't it - look we'll just send you a list of stuff we like and you can list that instead.

This is just between ourselves, by the way, so don't tell anyone else. If you've any questions just give us a call at the Department of Pandemonium, and we'll send someone round to explain it to you.

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Black Helicopters

And ban Dad's old school chemistry books too

These were from the olden days when the organic chemistry book would cover a lot more than just the immediate syllabus but also some of the more difficult stuff for the next level up.

This advanced knowledge must now surely be kept under close guard and only those sworn to secrecy should be permitted access, and their identities would need to be closely guarded (and even from one another) for safety's sake.

We can call them 'the enlightened ones' or maybe some Latin-origin version of that to reflect their importance and the possibility that we can go back to printing books in Latin because that was a great way of ensuring only the right sort of people had the knowledge and absolutely nothing to do with keeping the peasants under control.

TLDR: This is the Knowledge Economy, be economical with who gets the knowledge.

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Holmes

Re: Letter to Google.

But the fact that the most senior officials in the UK government have made a point of publicly criticizing social media companies just a day after such an attack does not bode well.

They have to blame someone other than themselves. I doubt ISIS propaganda would fall on such fertile ground if it were not for UK foreign policy over the last few years, or if successive British governments had not worked so diligently to widen the gulf between the 'haves' and 'have nots'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And ban Dad's old school chemistry books too

It was a bit of a rite of passage in Chemistry to appear on a Monday morning with singed hair and eyebrows. The Chemistry sets we would get given as a present were notorious for containing some {cough, cough} items that could be made to go bang.

We were always making up gunpowder (after the stocks obtained in November had been exhausted).

I even made a small cannon in Metalwork out if some 'gunmetal'. It could demolish a brick at 10 yards with a 1/2in BB as the projectile.

This was circa 1967... Doesn't time fly. 50 years...

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Re: Letter to Google.

I think they are trying to deflect attention from this particular terrorist's violent past and arrests. But the fact is: if this attack could have been prevented it would have been through police and government action - the warning signs were there.

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Facepalm

Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

The security forces knew about this guy, but apparently we shouldn't blame them. Apparently he was a loner (so why have others been arrested?). And apparently the security forces can't monitor t'interwebs and request takedowns, so GooBook will have to work out how to spot this stuff.

Also, they're conveniently forgetting that GooBook are global. Your terrorist is my Freedom Fighter. Put up a Great Firewall if you don't like the outside world.

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Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

"Your terrorist is my Freedom Fighter."

I notice you have a down vote, probably for this line. It's a line that's true, but totally misunderstood by others on the internet.

This sort of shit, blowing up people, mowing people down in cars because of a religion didn't exist 15 years ago. But since 9/11 all we've had is countless wars. Invaded Afghanistan on a whim, invaded Iraq for oil under the guise of terrorism. It was said at the time that this would cause problems in the west. And it has. But it was ignored. For what reason, well draw your own conclusion.

The media doesn't help, because they know it sells papers or drives traffic to publish a story that gets you upset, gets you angry, but more importantly makes you afraid. The reality now that you could be murdered tomorrow by some terrorist fucking thick mental idiot resonates, you want all the information you can get to prevent you being a victim. There is some "murder porn" element to it too, a need to revel in the misery of others.

Plus, the media and Government like to point at someone who shouts some support of ISIS/ISL/A.N.Other Terrorist Organisation immediately means it's the act of that group. Bullshit. If I run on to the pitch at Wembley during the FA Cup final and kick a ball in the back of Arsenal's net, it doesn't mean I've scored a goal for Man Utd. Those organisations want this labelling by the authorities to happen because it gives them credit. It legitimises what they do. It means they win by making your child who watches the 6pm news wet the bed from fear because of that link.

Fact is it's been 13 years since the last mass murder of people in the UK, and 5 are now dead. You have more chance of winning the lottery than being murdered by one of these scumbags. But people won't think like that. They'll see a fella with a beard, someone with a thick asian accent and a rucksack and think "Shit he's a terrorist I'm going to be murdered". The same shit happened to my parents in the 70's when the IRA were bombing pubs. The moment you opened your mouth and an irish accent came out you were immediately a terrorist with a penchant for plastic explosives.

Don't let the fear of something that might happen affect how you do things. Don't let the bastards drag you down - both these wankers murdering people and our own Government. Neither group want the best for you. They want to make you suffer.

But we won't let them. I know damn well neither of those bastards will make me suffer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

The security forces knew about this guy

Well, they know about everyone who has a birth certificate, NI number, driver's license, criminal record and a passport. What of it?

but apparently we shouldn't blame them.

If you had kept tabs on how many court cases and convictions there have been of people planning things like this, and indeed noted the rarity of actual attacks, you'd realise that actually the security types are pretty good at what they do.

And apparently the security forces can't monitor t'interwebs and request takedowns, so GooBook will have to work out how to spot this stuff.

Well no, since there's billions of users, trillions of online items, and only a few thousand security types. Even if they could spend all day trawling the web, and even if Facebook did let them see inside every private group, etc. they'd never cover any more than a small fraction of it all.

Google and Facebook do have to spot this stuff. They rely too much on being able to say "it's not us that put it there". Well, it's their hard drives, and it's up to them whether or not they let anyone else in the world put dodgy shit on them anonymously. It's a lazy attitude to take, and one born out of commercial greed. Worse, and this is what really seems to have been the tipping point, their response time to notifications about illegal content is unacceptably slow. So slow that many suspect that it is a deliberate policy on their part to not be seen to take any responsibility for content whatsoever even if notified. The fact that they continue to profit from it is what makes it morally reprehensible.

Being free and none-too-fussy about who really lies behind a user account might be a great way to grow fast, but it's naive of them to think that they can run their businesses this way without attracting moral or legal responsibility somewhere down the line. In contrast, something like the old paid-for Compuserve model has many advantages; you know exactly who your customers are (the membership fee is drawn from a customer's credit card / direct debit / etc), and your customers know that ultimately they cannot hide their identity from enquiring policemen. Being traceable is probably the biggest deterrent to anyone thinking of posting some illegal material.

Put up a Great Firewall if you don't like the outside world.

No need. If Google and Facebook lose their revenue stream in Europe, they may as well stop offering the services. Twatter don't make any money anyway. Would that cause chaos in Europe? Perhaps for a while. Is it an opportunity for a domestic equivalent to finally get onto the playing field? Certainly.

Rapid Consequences?

Commercially this is a potential problem, for Google especially. They're under pressure from European legislators over their dominance of the Android platform. Cue a large fine. They've already copped a big fine in Europe for (Ii think) their search monopoly, they are (or were) under criminal investigation in France for tax evasion (they couldn't even play the Double Irish system properly), some of their shareholders were trying to sue them for corporate mismanagement of their business in Europe, That's before one starts counting the enormous sum of money they've wasted on self driving cars that aren't really. And now they've suddenly copping some pretty bad press over their profiting from extremist material and losing large clients fast. And that's before European governments go after their revenue stream by making their advertising customers criminally responsible for where their advertising money ends up (today's moral stance being taken by customers could become tomorrow's addition to laws on terrorist funding).

This is a pretty long list of problems for the company, and it can't be too long before some shareholder who really matters starts asking serious questions of the board like, "WTF is going on here guys?". For a company whose motto used to be "Don't be evil", they're pretty far from lilly-white goodness.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

@wolfetone,

"This sort of shit, blowing up people, mowing people down in cars because of a religion didn't exist 15 years ago."

Yes it did. go and expand your history. Try to look further back than your own adolescence. In fact, try looking back over the past 4,000 years of history.

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Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

Yes it did. go and expand your history. Try to look further back than your own adolescence.

I looked back only 15 years ago and found out that in the UK people were being blown up due to religion, this was (in part) funded by Irish-Americans, but after the Americans got hit with a major terrorist attack on their own soil it became apparent that funding terrorists isn't actually a good thing.

Before 9/11 your typical IRA supporting Irish-American would happily state (s)he paid money to the IRA, after 9/11 that same person would deny ever paying for or supporting terrorism in any way, shape or form.

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Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

Try to look further back than your own adolescence. In fact, try looking back over the past 4,000 years of history.
Some of us have and it's incredibly rare to be killed by a terrorist. The big killers, particularly over the last 100 years have been governments executing their own citizens. The ratio is well over 1000:1.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

Your terrorist is my Freedom Fighter.

Theoretically correct. Same as "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".

The issue with this idea is that you end up supporting a guy who buys 50+ spare trainer aircraft, gets the loaded with explosives and the only thing preventing him from using them for a suicide bomb mass run is that he has no pilots. He after that has to be taken out resulting in years of civil war and bloodshed.

Sound far fetched? I suggest looking up "Chechen Republic Air Force" - it is from a period predating Google Earth, but you can find the satellite photos if you search long enough. That is the real reason why the first Chechen war started by the way - Grozny was planned as a side show, the objective was take this out and make Hankala airbase unusable. Going back to the "Your terrorist is my Freedom Fighter" - we helped them buy the ex-Warsaw pact trainer aircraft across NATO countries from the Soviet block. Approx 50+ of them to be more exact.

Sounds resembling 9/11 original plan before the attackers replaced the trainer aircraft with hijacked airliners one month before execution (*)? Sure it does. Not surprising - some of Al Qaeda command contingent was in Chechnia those days (which did not prevent us training them under "Your terrorist is my Freedom Fighter" agenda).

So before using that logic, you need to think - will the "Freedom Fighter" turn around in 10 years and blow up our buses and rape your daughter.

So the conspiracy theorists which think that 9/11 is a black op gone wrong are not that far off. What they are missing is that it is a black op planned for another theater 6 years prior. Sponsored by us all the way too.

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Unhappy

"more chance of winning the lottery than being murdered by one of these scumbags. "

Exactly.

And how many people here know someone who have actually won the UK Lottery?

I'll note 2 things.

"Sad middle aged failure wants to make a name for himself" isn't nearly as a dramatic headline as

"Terrorist slaughters 24 in terror attack."

And BTW IIRC in London police routinely carry tasers, pepper spray and telescopic batons. Yet this officer is killed by a man with a man stabbing him with, what a 6 inch blade before man is shot by armed officer who happens to be close by.

How very inconvenient for the purposes of interrogating him.

You know, how actual police work gets done.

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@ John Smith 19

"Sad middle aged failure wants to make a name for himself"

Speaking as a fellow sad middle aged failure ...

There are a lot of us out there. There's even a name for Silly Gestures at our time of life: the "Mid-life crisis".

Fortunately most of us are not thugs with a history of violence. Nor do we have the psychosis described in the biblical "road to Damascus" story, and that probably led to this nutter's religious conversion.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

" it's incredibly rare to be killed by a terrorist."

Exactly. Remember that people can die due to being run over by a vehicle which wasn't driven by a terrorist. e.g. Glasgow 2014, Bin lorry driver has heart attack, 6 killed, 15 injured.

Or people can die due to aircraft accidentally hitting them: Glasgow (again) 2013, police helicopter comes down on nightclub, 6 dead on the ground, 32 in hospital.

So London is clearly still safer than Glasgow.

Please can we keep some perspective. Compared to what happened in the North of Ireland this whole 'so-called Islamist' stuff is pretty low key, obviously terrible for those involved, but then so is losing a loved one in a motorway pile-up. The Security Services are doing a pretty good job with the tools they already have, so let them get on with it, and not destroy the fundamental freedoms (privacy etc) that are core to our society in a vain attempt to stop every nutter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

"This sort of shit, blowing up people, mowing people down in cars because of a religion didn't exist 15 years ago."

I acknowledge your point but I see an incredible lack of understanding in this statement. Religion has not changed in the last 15 years. Its incredibly disingenuous to pretend religion is "causing" this when we have bombed and destroyed six separate countries in the name of War on Terror/security in the last 15 years. If there was anything religious about whats happening, this problem would stretch back far longer than 2001. If anything, terrorism is caused by overthrowing foreign governments/leaders. Politicians will never acknowledge this because blaming religion keeps their roles well hidden.

It should be acknowledged that ISIS are a different breed. Unlike the other terror groups, ISIS seem a lot more obsessed with religion than other groups that were focused on power and politics. But for some odd reason they have killed far more Muslims than anyone else. They are psychopaths. There is literally no other way to describe this group. Europe has suffered but nowhere near as much as Middle East.

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Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

@Pompous Git: "The big killers, particularly over the last 100 years have been governments executing their own citizens. The ratio is well over 1000:1."

Do you mean "statutory executions" or something else? AFAIK the UK Government does not pick people at random and execute them; terrorists do. Where people are executed (or were in the case of the UK) it was as a consequence of being found guilty of an offence for which execution was the specified penalty. (OK; there have been miscarriages of justice where innocent people have been executed, which is possibly one of the reasons that other sentences now apply.)

Other governments (no names no pack drill) may have been rather less discriminating in those they select for execution but to lump those together with (for example) the UK is either careless, mischievous, or perhaps deliberately misleading. The article was about a stance taken by the UK Government, and no other. Could you perhaps clarify your figures by providing details of (a) statutory executions, (b) "random" executions, and (c) killings by terrorists. The add (d): serious injuries caused by terrorist action.

There seems to be a growing body of opinion that Google, Facebook and the like are behaving as though they see themselves as being beyond the reach of national laws and anything that serves to remind them that they aren't is OK with me.

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Re: "more chance of winning the lottery than being murdered by one of these scumbags. "

"And how many people here know someone who have actually won the UK Lottery?"

Me! Ok, indirectly in that it was my friends brother-in-law, and yes, it was a big jackpot, big enough that all the close family got their mortgages paid off out of the "small change". On the other hand, I don't personally know anyone either 1st or 2nd hand who was directly affected by a terrorist attack.

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Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

"But for some odd reason they have killed far more Muslims than anyone else."

Not really all that odd when you consider that most religions have had internal wars over which colour the hats should be. ISIS are no different in that respect, other Muslims who don't agree with every tenet espoused by ISIS are as much the enemy as everyone else in the world.

"They are psychopaths."

There's no argument there!

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Re: "more chance of winning the lottery than being murdered by one of these scumbags. "

@ John Smith 19:

And BTW IIRC in London police routinely carry tasers, pepper spray and telescopic batons. Yet this officer is killed by a man with a man stabbing him with, what a 6 inch blade before man is shot by armed officer who happens to be close by.

Partially true.The not true bit is the fact that the Officers on duty at Westminster "guarding" the Houses of Parliament are not thus equipped. As I understand it the way they are kitted out is - in part at any rate - determined by MPs and Parliamentary Security Staff, not by the hierarchy of the MPS; it is arguable that their presence is more ceremonial than anything else.

In any case the speed at which this attack took place may have made the effective use of any of the listed weaponry somewhat uncertain.

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Re: @ John Smith 19

And we passed our 11+.

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Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

"There seems to be a growing body of opinion that Google, Facebook and the like are behaving as though they see themselves as being beyond the reach of national laws and anything that serves to remind them that they aren't is OK with me."

That, to me, seems to be an excellent summary of what this whole topic is all about. It's not about censorship and it's not specifically about slow takedowns or even adverts (and their income) being generated on ihadi content. It's primarily about big international companies in general, but US "webby" companies in particular, not obeying the local laws. Adverts appearing on "inappropriate" content is just the tip of the iceberg and possibly the event that starts the ball rolling properly.

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Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

Dominance of the Android platform - a product for which they do not charge.

Search monopoly - a service for which they do not charge users.

Tax evasion - maybe; given the complexity of overlapping and competing tax code, such things sometimes are in considerable doubt and often go to litigation.

Profiting from extremist material - largely a commercial argument.

Criminalizing advertising? Really?

Perhaps Google would be wise to eliminate all service to the EU for a while and see who, if anyone, fills behind them, and who picks up the tab for the services while meeting the constraints. I do not think they will do so until the cost of doing business there exceeds the potential income. But if it does so for Google it is reasonable to suppose the same will be true for any other potential provider. It also seems reasonable to think the same would apply, more or less to Facebook and Twitter.

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Re: a product for which they do not charge.

A tactic which is very closely allied to that which, in other circumstances, eg cheap chinese steel, is known as dumping and is considered an unfair trade practice. Google are extremely good at extinguishing competitors by denying them a revenue stream. Google, Facebook etc simply cannot afford to eliminate services to the EU, because that would permit real competitors to arise.

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Unhappy

@Tom Dial

"Search monopoly - a service for which they do not charge users."

They charge the advertisers plenty for knowing about what you do.

What Google does (to users) is complementary.

It's not free.

Either you don't know this or it's in your interest to pretend you don't know this.

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Re: @Tom Dial

Interesting today to see Amber Fudd say that "WhatsApp can't be a hiding place for terrorists" and that the security services "need access to encrypted information".

Anyone else see where this is going?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Distraction tactics - attack is the best form of defence

'Before 9/11 your typical IRA supporting Irish-American would happily state (s)he paid money to the IRA..

As an asides, there was a classic 'Plastic Paddy' website out there where eventually one of these characters you describe here actually did a bit of digging into his 'Oirish ancestry', he discovered his ancestors were Ulster Scots...let's just say the words 'sea change' then applied. (A quick google, I can't spot the site, it was approx 10 years ago that I came across it, so I'd have to dig out an old backup tape and see if I can find the URL in my bookmarks and see if archive.org has a copy of his site)

I know another example where someone of the ilk you describe took the fact that one of 'his ancestors' had been in an Irish regiment in WW1 as an excuse to have the tricolour and posters of Bobby Sands et al plastered all over his walls, imagine his face when a relative doing a bit of genealogical research found out that said 'Irish ancestor' was actually from the Channel Isles and had enlisted in Ireland as it happened to be the country he could get easy transport (fishing boat) to at the time.

I suppose these demonstrate the twin perils (to the rest of us) of ignorance and having a romantic/fanatical mindset.

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Re: a product for which they do not charge.

Google Search has gone downhill a lot over the past few years, no sign of any competitors stepping in to do a significantly better job though (I periodically compare quite a few search engines just in case it is worth rejigging my search strategies)

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Unhappy

"Speaking as a fellow sad middle aged failure ..."

With one important difference.

His day is done. He killed fewer people than British road do on a daily basis and I can't even remember his name, although no doubt the ISIS PR machine will call him a hero.

If his actions question wheather you have done done all with your life that you could have maybe you should do more with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Thing is.. you don't need a manual to tell you how to use a car to kill people... you just drive at them.

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You just drive at them

Tell that to the bellend who did just that and was (fortunately) so inept that he couldn't even hit anyone: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39380527

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Thing is.. you don't need a manual to tell you how to use a car to kill people... you just drive at them.

Exactly. The weapon that kills more people than all others in Blighty. The weapon no government dare restrict, as they do even an innocent vegetable knife. The weapon not subject to security theatre like banning laptops on planes.

And above all, the weapon you can use without having to plan anything the police or spooks might seek to eavesdrop. Or procure anything that would bring you to their attention. Can we blame MI5 for failing to keep tabs on all drivers? Or even the subset of drivers with mental health problems as evidenced by a "road to Damascus" religious conversion?

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You could always pin it on the DVLA for not vetting people before dishing out their driving license.

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Thing is.. you don't need a manual to tell you how to use a car to kill people... you just drive at them

Not entirely true. The pedestrian safety measures in a modern car like the ix40 as used in Westminster will render it unusable after the first few hits and/or fail to produce anything like the damage you are expecting. He hit 40+ people with the desire to kill and failed to kill all but two of them.

So you actually need a manual to chose the right car and/or exactly how to mow people down with it if you want to kill people, not put a few in hospital.

That manual most likely already exist. It is also clear that this gentleman did not have access to it. He would have chosen a different vehicle and driven it differently.

His case will be used for all it is worth by the Government to push repressive legislation despite the fact that he neither operated under instructions, nor had access to them via an encrypted channel. Rudd already started doing it.

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If I wanted to kill people, I wouldn't hire an ix40 or any other kind of family car. I'd hire a pickup truck, or at least a Ford Transit.

It's a real shame the murderer was killed. It would be nice to know something about what he was thinking. Did he really plan this at all, or was it a spur-of-the-moment thing?

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Unhappy

Hmmm

I've no love for Goobook or Faceool but I find these gubbernint demands somewhat concerning.

Where does it end?

Who exactly are the extremists?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

I rather suspect that they are in Northcliffe House, and advising those at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Did it really take them 120 seconds? I thought journalists were supposed to be smart.

Tea, and or Friday reflection sauce.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmm

I've no love for Goobook or Faceool but I find these gubbernint demands somewhat concerning. Where does it end?

Who knows.

The UK has passed some pretty draconian laws in the past to deal with terrorism. Back around about the late 1980s / early 90s it became illegal for the media / press to report bomb scares on the London underground. It was a direct curtailment of the freedom of the press, but it did stop the IRA phoning in hoaxes. AFAIK internment was used in Northern Ireland, though that seemed to be a self defeating policy. Equally radical, though not draconian, was the whole idea of doing a deal (the Good Friday Agreement), which basically gave Adams / McGuinness / everyone else a way of going legit and building up a nice pension scheme.

So if a radical, draconian law has a good chance of being effective, looks good in the public eye, and catches the prevailing social mood, then so be it.

Before this week's attack the UK parliament criticised Google and Facebook for their attitudes, and withdrew their advertising custom. Suddenly it has become morally questionable to advertise on Google, and now there's been an attack and headlines like "Google, the Terrorist's Friend". If ever the government was thinking to pass emergency legislation to turn that moral obligation that everyone has suddenly grown into a lawful obligation (something like "Advertise on these blacklisted websites and we'll prosecute you"), now is a good time to do it.

Most governments are pretty motivated to do something about terrorism, they tend to lose general elections if they're seen to be too lax. Look at what happened in Spain just after the Madrid train bombings - the incumbent government lost the scheduled general election most unexpectedly, a consequence widely attributed to the political turmoil.

Basically I think the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter have got very little time to sort themselves out. One more attack of any sort anywhere in Europe attributable to someone radicalised online would start forcing governments hands, especially as they've publicly identified Google and Facebook and Twitter as being at fault on the issue.

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Re: Hmmm

Who exactly are the extremists?

They're whoever we're not happy with. History is full of mission creep. One of today's obvious examples is the sexual Agenda: anyone who questions LGBT rights (or whatever the current label is) is extremist and dangerous.

We used to be a lot better when we (mostly) believed in Free Speech. Then came Blair, the Great Enemy of Enlightenment values, and we saw censorship in the ascendant. For a couple of years after 2010 I was optimistic about a rolling back of the police state, but sadly I was wrong.

A term you can still google is "Virgin Killer", for the story of when the Great Firewall came to public attention as Wikipedia got censored in the UK.

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Re: Hmmm

So if Google were not there, would DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Yahoo not do nearly as well, and would the opprobium not fall immediately upon them? even if they all were gone, along with Facebook and Twitter, it is likely that would be terrorists would be able to find what they need in media printed on paper or broadcast on TV and radio.

As a number of others here and elsewhere have noted, it really does not take a great intellect or a lot of research to come up with a way of killing and maiming more or less randomly. It is easier to acquire firearms in the US than many other places, but the world is awash in cars and kitchen knives, just for starters, and a two foot piece of metal pipe in the hand of a motivated person can bring down a good deal of harm of a decidedly retail sort.

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So are the Daily Fail journalists going to be arrested for viewing and consuming terrorist material?

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Coat

In the style of the Daily Fail

Just now it took me two minutes on google to find a visual terror guide on how one unthinking muppet and a bus can inflict injury upon millions.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/05/11/12/3409387C00000578-0-image-a-1_1462964426095.jpg

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This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge

Re: the Guardian is polarizing

"Kieren McCarthy opined "Even the polarizing newspaper the Daily Mail"

Only a Corbynist would say the Daily Mail is polarizing. Many of us think the Guardian is polarizing."

Oh behave. The Daily Mail is simultaneously one of the (used to be the, not sure now) most viewed news websites in the world, while at the same time reviled by many millions in the UK. It has ran more sickening stories than any other newspaper in the UK, while at the same time (according to a journalist friend of mine) employing some of the best investigative journalists in the business.

So yes, polarizing.

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Re: the Guardian is polarizing

Oh yeah? Here is a Daily Mail story about the Cumbria shooter, who killed way more people than this loon in Westminster. Here is what it has to say about Harold Shipman, easily the biggest mass murderer in modern UK history. Here is its discussion of Pavlo Lapshyn.

Strangely enough, in all three of these articles, I don't see any discussion of the murderer's religious beliefs.

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I wonder, if I tried, I could find prurient titillation stories on the on the Daily Mail website in 2 minutes.

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An understandable reaction - but a very slippery slope.

And then.......

"Google, Facebook etc you are hosting (or linking to) pages set up by disgruntled current / former customers of a company and this is causing that company to lose money - we demand that you do more to protect the interests of these companies."

will become

"Google, Facebook, etc, you are hosting (or linking to) pages setup by disgruntled citizens who hope to enact change in government policies by encouraging other disgruntled citizens to sign a petition. We demand that you do more to ensure these pages never see the light of day."

and progress to

"Google, Facebook, etc you are hosting (or linking to) videos uploaded by people who have an opinion that differs to that of the government of this country - we demand that you act swiftly to prevent these videos from being widely seen - before they infect others who may adopt the same opinions as those expressed by the uploader of the video."

and eventually

"Google, Facebook, etc you are hosting (or linking to) content uploaded / posted by people whereupon they express thoughts and opinions that we have decided are detrimental to our ability to run our country in whatever way we see fit. As such - we demand that you ONLY allow content to be linked to and / or uploaded if it meets the content guidelines in this 25,000 page document."

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It's slippery sloop at best

Indeed, what makes it slippery is the very nature of government and the web. Ban one thing, well the providers/authors change tactics and something else needs to be banned. The question becomes, we're do we stop banning? I could see that eventually, the party in power could have any news or websites about the opposition being banned.

Damn it.. Orwell's 1984 was a cautionary tale, not a freaking instruction manual which everyone in government and fearful of the "bad guys" seems to be following.

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