London Riots Aftermath: UK Government Calls for Social Media Bans and Shutdowns


In the article entitled The London Riots and How They Will be Used to the Elite’s Advantage, it was stated that the riots would be used to justify a greater control, and surveillance censorship of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger. Well the UK government has recently proposed several drastic measures aiming to control the flow of information through social networks, all of which can easily lead to abuse and state censorship such as: The interception and  disclosure of messages by authorities, the deletion of pro-social unrest messages, the banning of suspected rioters from social networks and even the complete shut down of social networks during periods of unrest.

These measures are being discussed despite studies claiming that social media activities spiked AFTER major riot events (and not before), which is, after all, a normal phenomena (see this analysis of Tweeter traffic during the riots).

Here’s an article from The Guardian describing the several measures considered by David Cameron’s government.

Facebook and Twitter to oppose calls for social media blocks during riots

Ministers expected to row back from David Cameron’s demand that suspected rioters be barred from websites.

Facebook and Twitter are preparing to stand firm against government ministers’ calls to ban people from social networks or shut their websites down in times of civil unrest.

The major social networks are expected to offer no concessions when they meet the home secretary, Theresa May, at a Home Office summit on Thursday lunchtime.

Ministers are expected to row back on David Cameron’s call for suspected rioters to be banned from social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, following the riots and looting across England a fortnight ago.

The home secretary will explore what measures the major social networks could take to help contain disorder – including how law enforcement can more effectively use the sites – rather than discuss powers to shut them down. The acting Metropolitan police commissioner, Tim Godwin, and the Tory MP Louise Mensch have separatelyexplored the idea of shutting down websites during emergencies.

The technology companies will strongly warn the government against introducing emergency measures that could usher in a new form of online censorship. Attacks on London landmarks, including the Olympics site and Westfield shopping centres, were thwarted earlier this month after police managed to intercept private BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) posts – suggesting that leaving networks running can provide a valuable source of intelligence and information.

The summit is not expected to signal a dramatic shift in government policy, with only one hour slated for a discussion between more than a dozen social media executives, police officers and ministers.

Executives from Facebook, Twitter and RIM will be joined by Lynn Owens, the assistant commissioner of central operations at the Met police, members of the association of chief police officers, and civil servants from both the foreign office and the department for culture, media and sport. The home secretary will lead the meeting, alongside James Brokenshire, the minister for security and a member of the National Security Council.

May will urge the social networks, all of which are based in either the US or Canada, to take more responsibility for the messages posted on their websites.

In response, Twitter and Facebook are expected to outline the steps that both social networks already take to remove messages that potentially incite violence. Facebook, which has 30 million users in the UK, said it had actively removed “several credible threats of violence” to stem the riots across England this month.

Research in Motion, the Canada-based BlackBerry maker, will explain to the government which parts of its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service are private or encrypted. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, BBM is a pin-protected instant messaging system, and was claimed to be the most popular network among rioters.

Each of the social networks are preparing to explain how current powers are proportionate for tackling provocative material. Current measures allow internet companies to identify users who may be worth further investigation without examining the content of their messages.

RIM and other companies can be forced to disclose users’ private messages if served with a warrant by police.

Godwin told MPs on the home affairs committee last week that police had explored the unprecedented step of switching off social networks, but discovered that they did not have the legal powers to do so.

Under the current system, most websites take down material if served with “notice and takedown procedures” by authorities. Facebook also operates a self-policing method whereby its own users can flag inappropriate material.

Two leading police forces told the Guardian earlier this month that it would be a mistake to introduce overzealous powers over the websites. Greater Manchester police and the Devon and Cornwall force both said social networks had an “overwhelmingly positive” role in dispelling rumours and reassuring residents during the riots.

A spokeswoman for Facebook said: “We look forward to meeting with the home secretary to explain the measures we have been taking to ensure that Facebook is a safe and positive platform for people in the UK at this challenging time.

“In recent days we have ensured any credible threats of violence are removed from Facebook and we have been pleased to see the very positive uses millions of people have been making of our service to let friends and family know they are safe and to strengthen their communities.”

Twitter and RIM declined to comment.

– Source

A coalition of 10 human rights and free speech groups including Amnesty International (that usually operates in oppressive dictatorships) have voiced their concerns regarding the measures considered by Cameron’s government, claiming they would “be susceptible to abuse” and “undermine privacy”.

Facebook and Twitter riot clampdown opposed by human rights groups

Amnesty International and Index on Censorship voice concern ahead of home secretary’s meeting with social networks

Leading human rights groups including Amnesty International and Index on Censorship have written to the home secretary, Theresa May, expressing concerns about a potential clampdown on social networks following the riots a fortnight ago.

The coalition of 10 human rights and free speech advocates said they were “very concerned” that new measures to curb Facebook and Twitter would be “susceptible to abuse” and “undermine people’s privacy”.

Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion are expected face down ministers’ calls to restrict social networking in times of civil unrest at a Home Office summit on Thursday lunchtime.

For their part, May and the minister for security, James Brokenshire, are expected to row back on the prime minister’s calls for suspected rioters to be banned from social networks in times of civil unrest at Thursday’s meeting.

They are instead expected to discuss how law enforcement could better use Twitter and Facebook in emergencies.

“As you know, there is existing legislation regulating the interception and disclosure of communications information, the use of communications evidence by law enforcement and restrictions on people’s use of communications technology,” the open letter said.

“It is reasonable to review the existing legal regime to ensure that it appropriately fits new technologies.

“However, turning off, restricting or monitoring people’s communications networks are matters that require extreme care and open, detailed deliberation.”

The letter follows a study of riot-related tweets, compiled by the Guardian, that has cast doubt on the rationale behind David Cameron’s recent proposal to ban potential rioters from Twitter and Facebook.

Representatives of the 10 leading human rights groups, including Brett Solomon, the executive director of Access, and Mike Blakemore, the media director of Amnesty UK, have signed the letter to May.

“We are very concerned that new measures, made in good faith but in a heated political environment, will overextend powers in ways that would be susceptible to abuse, restrict legitimate, free communication and expression and undermine people’s privacy,” they said.

“This is especially so if proposals involve unaccountable voluntary arrangements between law enforcement and communications providers.”

The human rights groups have requested a meeting with the home secretary to discuss the government’s plans.

– Source

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62 Comments on "London Riots Aftermath: UK Government Calls for Social Media Bans and Shutdowns"


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Ninth Eyed
3 years 5 months ago

While I may sound ignorant here… Didnt know a riot happened. Read and I still dont know "why" they rioted. Interesting that they just want to stop rioters but never addressed what they were rioting about.

5 years 1 month ago

In some ways I am and am not surprised. It is not surprising that a government would try to use something like Facebook to exert more power over their country during a time of crisis (knowledge is power). However, I am surprised that the British police are not being trained in more complex maneuvers. They are not only a small task force, but considering what they are up against, I would think it would be in the government's best interest to give them some military training. The officers may have advanced technology and weapons compared to police of the past, thanks to the advancements of the modern era. However, just for the safety of the police officers themselves, I would think they would need some military training. It is already a dangerous job, and they are facing something that is about as dangerous as a civil war.

Ninth Eyed
3 years 5 months ago

Um, what?

5 years 1 month ago
The goals of the elite is to push for a New World Order, the way trough it is to destroy the society as we conceive it or "Ordo ab Chao", as VC stated brillianty many times. In the web is circulating a Decalogue supposedly written by Lenin in 1913, while the decalog would be a hoax, it pictures exactly what is happening in our society. This is what the document say: 1. Corrupt the youth and give them absolute sexual freedom. This no need explanation, in this excelent site I find many clear examples. 2. Infiltrate and take control of the mass communication media. This is very explicit, only we have to see the bullshit TV, cinema is spitting all the time, and the bunch of strange simbols or weird things we see, like pentagrams, masonic floors, etc. 3. Divide the population into antagonist groups; encourage arguments between them over… Read more »
5 years 1 month ago


5 years 1 month ago

Some great comments here – I wish by God's grace the sleeping masses will wake up before it is too late.

These so called satanic elites plot but God plots and He is the best of plotters…their actions will only come to ruin for themselves and those who deny the truth.

5 years 1 month ago

Police state humor. Subtle and amusing – great psywar tools for desensitizing all of those unaware minds out there.

Makes you wonder who originates these things so that they spread virally over the internet.

5 years 1 month ago

Guys i would aprove the riots, middle-east revolutions if it weren't plans from Elite.


They are smart. 😉

5 years 1 month ago

This shit is Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S

child of christ
5 years 1 month ago

It was most definitely an experiment and i do not believe it was a coincidence that most MP's and the Prime Minister were away. It also deviated from the fact that another innocent was gunned down….. The plan i believe was a to con the masses into accepting a "Police State" that will be ushered in. It is true that the elite's agenda of the N.W.O. is in effect but if you cover yourself with Psalm 91 and remain sheltered in the arms of the ROCK of AGES, you will be protected. As much as the so called conspiracy's of the past two decades are now coming to pass, it was inevitable. It is written "…my people die for lack of knowledge". Shalom.

Murad Merali
5 years 1 month ago

true say

jim bob
5 years 1 month ago

To everybody here,

The only thing that matters is loving God and loving people. Dont let all this agenda driven media get you all into a frear fed frenzy. Dont let them get you to the point where your afraid of what tomorrow brings, because the future is as bright as you want it to be. When you wake in the morning and you decide to be happy it doesn't matter what "they" say or try to make you think.

remember love God and love each other

face in the crowd
5 years 2 months ago
I am so happy to have taken a break from this site, to return to it and realize people are becoming defiant to the should have, would have, could have that has infested our psyche, thanks to media. not should have would have or could have….. IS so what are you today? are you a fighter? a pacifist? controlled? empowered? aloof? invested? do you believe bullshit? do you enjoy being fed it? angry at it? sad at it? assess yourself today, assess your role in life on earth, however small or large. decide for yourself don't let something, someone make that decision for you. again. TURN OFF THE TV. bottom line is….YOU ARE NOT "CONTROLLED" IF YOU ARE A WILLING PARTICIPANT. You enslave yourself if you believe you are not a powerful, infinite being capable of controlling your own destiny and surroundings, you are not powerful if you need anything… Read more »
5 years 2 months ago
The deception by The Guardian above is insanely clever. To start off, let's review the basics of mind control. You cause a trauma (ie. physically, emotionally, spiritually), then force a certain idea to associate with it, and then reinforce it over and over, untill the person (or population at large) naturally assimilates it and, through logical and subconsious processes, creates a "paradigm shift" in the consiousness (collective, individual, or an alter's consciousness) in the direction you want them to go. How is this used in mass media? The example given by VC exposes it very well. The Guardian begins with the already established idea that "riots are violent," that they happen for no "good" reason and that they only lead to hardship for the public and criticism for the government. By portraying the riots as chaotic and rife with looters, it forces emotional trauma on the international public. It perverts… Read more »
5 years 2 months ago

im pregnant and i keep hearing all this talk about nwo 2012 now oct 28 2011 im getting very scared and dont know how to prepare i just want to raise my baby and be with my husband this all makes me so sick

5 years 2 months ago
Y2K was fake. Remember how everyone was scared something would happen when year2000 came? Swine flu was fake. Bird flu was fake. I believe just to get us to take vaccines we don't need. 911 was faked so they could put in new laws we don't need. ect ect ect I believe the purpose of news and most internet sites (even the so called 'truth mmovement') is to keep us scared and in fear because scared people are easy to control. tv shows airplanes crashing buildings-people go :O -then we agree (in a state of shock that they created) to go along with whatever they say. It's the same as if I go to your house and throw huge rock into your bedroom window in the middle of the night..and then sneak off. The next day I say, "aww that's too bad, I know you're scared, lemme put these bars… Read more »
5 years 2 months ago

I'd like to add that we should be careful of the whole "fight the nwo, revolution is good!" AGENDA

That would only benefit the bad guys and I believe is run and controlled by them.

Be peaceful and stand your ground. Take care of your family and enjoy each day. =)

5 years 2 months ago
Hello Courtney Let me interject. THIS IS NOT A FEAR MONGERS SITE. It saddens me that you carry fear while carrying child. Stop. Your child has greater issues to suffice besides the predictive dates and the ultimate universal holocaust or whatever. Take this knowledge for its real value. Control and oppression and how to fight and irritate the hell out of it. Now. Apply it not to just your childs life but husband as well. Learn to be self sufficient. Understand that no matter how much of a good "Citizen" you are that freedom to live peacefully is all of humanity given right. A right that sadly isn't properly distributed anymore. A right that even you must fight for. Our enemies? Corporate political and their elite handlers. Not enemies where we overthrow (maybe?) but an enemy that threatens how we live eat sleep and survive. They don't believe we are… Read more »
Sarah Connor
5 years 1 month ago

There you are! Well said sir! Rebel, simply. And focus on the good stuff….

5 years 2 months ago

Hi guys. i don't know whether i am the most paranoid of these lot but i will just give it a shot: The "elite" ARE controlling the social media. it so simple that when you look very hard you cant see it. Try this: how about mapping the company profiles of these so called "influential" social media companies, and tell me whether one way or another, the financial structure (investors, lenders, borrowers et al) aren't in the grip, or at least within reach of the FIVE biggest mass media companies?? The truth is (again forgive me if you think i am paranoid) "they control everything!". The only thing they can't control is Salvation- pure unadulterated salvation. That is why i have stuck with my JESUS. HE (Jesus) is the only one who will crush the head of this serpent. Hope and pray some see…….

5 years 2 months ago

It is what everybody expected. It is easy to control through Social Media, making it "public" is just to disturb more.

jim bob
5 years 2 months ago

none of this stuff matters.

Just wake up tomorrow and go to work so that you can all be good little consumers.

5 years 2 months ago

Nothing is new under the sun.

5 years 2 months ago

Remember remember the 5th of november…

5 years 2 months ago

nwo, is it in you

face in the crowd
5 years 2 months ago

as a side note….anyone focusing on the children of the future in all this? sure they might use this as a PR point but remember people…our future leaders are watching us fuck up this beautiful world, watching us fuck up our beautiful minds in the process.

this goes for both sides, the profane and the masters. wonder what kind of leadership this will birth in, oh, say 50 years (I will still be alive, God willing)

face in the crowd
5 years 2 months ago
This is a divide and conquer tactic. Anyone who believes the groups and corporations speaking out against the current mainstream medias allusion to future censorship is a fool….Amnesty International? Lets take a look at their accounting before we assume they are a GLOBAL human rights advocacy group. Follow the money people. Democracy does not exist anymore…it has been employed and bankrolled by the Masters. Problem? Solution! Order…then Death. Profit and prosperity for all who remain alive. Until the veil is lifted. I strongly suggest ALL PEOPLE OF THE WORLD resist social media, resist government assistance and form solid community relations OFF THE GRID. That does not mean you need to avoid technology. It means you should have a very, very healthy distrust of it. After all, the military gave birth to…and raised…the current technological advances we are so proud of….and sickened unto death of…. money is the devil, TV is… Read more »
5 years 2 months ago
Double edged sword, indeed. Silly of them to think they had or have the power to "shut down" social media/networking sites … I'm not even a user of any of those social sites (I don't even have a text-messaging plan with my cellphone calling plan) but last I heard individuals have to right to freedom of speech. Don't they? I posted on my own website/blog a few years ago how the USA never was "one nation, under God", and is being run by all sorts of liars, thieves, witches, warlocks, adulterers/adultresses, and abominable men and women, and in the day of Judgment will suffer the same fate of destruction along with the rest of Israel's enemies, and about a week later, my website had "mysteriously disappeared." For some "strange" reason, it was deleted. LOL! But I hadn't said anything profound about the USA and Israel's enemies that nobody else hadn't… Read more »
5 years 2 months ago

I always knew that these 'riots' were in some way planned and 'allowed' to continue.

David Cameron left it 3 days before he returned from his luxurious holiday abroad claiming that he 'had every faith in the police that they can control the situation'.

However, When not too long ago the uprising in Libya had progressed Cameron came back from holiday immediately.

Something smells fishy.

Mus Simius Lacerta
5 years 2 months ago
In Hungary (2006 october) there were riots as well when people got fed up with the puppet president (Ferenc Gyurcsány). The people started peaceful protests and demanded the president to step down. You can guess – he didnt want to lose control, so this is what they did: they used some heartless agents to provocate the police and the crowd, started burning cars and crashing windows. The peaceful protest has turned into a massive riot. The police were shooting rubber bullets at the people at head height. Women, children and old people as well were beaten by the riot police, maced and humiliated. Some were arrested infront of their homes, just because they were standing on the streets. The "government" has ordered a couple of brand new high-tech water-cannons from Israel (what a surprise…) after the older ones got burned by the protesters. People were tortured in the basements of… Read more »
5 years 2 months ago

England is regarded the biggest nanny state .. Just an observation.