Tag Archives: government

Free Internet For All

The long-awaited Digital Britain report is upon us and one of the major points within it is that the Government is planning to give every home in UK broadband internet access by 2012.

The report also proposed the creation of a new body to deal with the problem of people illegally copying and sharing music and films over the internet.

Highlighting that the UK is a world leader in the digital, communications and creative industries, which are now worth some £52bn a year, there seems to be an emphasis that this could reinvigorate the UK economy.

This in itself is quite concerning, as although these industries can certainly help improve a bad situation, I doubt they can turn things around totally by themselves… No pressure there, then.

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Twitter = Terrorism

In case anyone missed it, the US intelligence agencies – CIA, FBI, IBM – announced that Twitter means terror.

A rough report that somehow (as usual) found its way onto the internet gives a fun list of online and mobile apps – including MySpace, Facebook and Twitter – that apparently terrorists could be using. (As an aside, if I worked for a security agency, I’d be more worried about how a report like that got out onto the internet).

I won’t deny that social media has been – and still is – used by people to post extremist ideology, racism and the like, but when this happened, it’s totally unacceptable and is more often than not removed very quickly, with often nasty reprocussions for whoever posted it.

I think though, what they’re panicking about is that certain media is practically in realtime, therefore seemingly a great tool for the tech-savvy terrorist. Which, to be honest, is possibly pushing any boundary of common sense; I personally doubt such people would be operating openly on social platforms – and what about all the other technological advances since the carrier pidgeon? Email, SMS – even a phone call – seem more likely to be used by the social-conscious terrorist.

I suppose, for arguments sake, that social platforms could be used for grooming and recruiting into that kind of thing, but I’m fairly sure we’d all notice if al-Qaeda was on Bebo.

Now our wonderful Government seems to be calling for the likes of GCHQ and Mi5 to be able to monitor mobile and internet-based systems, storing details of ALL phone calls made and websites visited for up to two years in some kind of storage-super-computer. The wonderful Jacqui Smith seems to suggested this, but even top anti-terror experts are saying it’s nuts.

At least makes Google’s ideas on data storage look like a nice option, for once.