FREEDOM OF SPEECH vs. SOCIAL CONTROL


The Prime Minister, David Cameron has jumped on the bandwagon of castigating social media, he appears to feel that without SNS, the riots would not have been as bad as they were:

“Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill,” said Cameron.

Cameron is looking at ways to curb the free flow of information on the internet – for example, he is considering banning people from sites such as Twitter and Facebook who use them to plot criminal activity. He is also calling for broadcasters to hand over unused footage, for SNS´to delete controversial content and for Blackberry to help them track content.

Of course, many human rights groups are unhappy with these proposals;

Jim Killock, the executive director of online advocacy organisation Open Rights Group, said Cameron risked attacking the “fundamental” right of free speech.

“Events like the recent riots are frequently used to attack civil liberties. Policing should be targeted at actual offenders, with the proper protection of the courts,” Killock added.

“How do people ‘know’ when someone is planning to riot? Who makes that judgment? The only realistic answer is the courts must judge. If court procedures are not used, then we will quickly see abuses by private companies and police. Companies like RIM must insist on court processes.

“Citizens also have the right to secure communications. Business, politics and free speech relies on security and privacy. David Cameron must be careful not to attack these fundamental needs because of concerns about the actions of a small minority.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/aug/11/david-cameron-rioters-social-media

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