Glorification of Censorship

 Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim



15th February
2009
  

Offsite: A Stalled Jihad...

Jacqui's jihad on web extremism flops
Jack & Jacqui

  More criticisms Jacqui:
You really need to get
your sister's house in order

More than a year after Jacqui Smith gave a major speech on counter terrorism, in which she said she wanted jihadi literature removed from the web, the internet industry has seen scant sign of action from the government.

On January 17 2008, Smith told an international conference on radicalisation that material that glorifies terrorism, made illegal under the Terrorism Act 2006, should be blocked. Where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed, she said.

Earlier that day she had told Radio 4's Today Programme: We need to work with internet service providers, we need to actually use some of the lessons we've learned for example about how to protect children from paedophiles and grooming on the internet to inform the way in which we use it to prevent violent extremism and to tackle terrorism as well. We have a responsibility... to cut off the supply of those who want to look to violent extremism.

...Read full article

 

20th March
2009
  

Update: Glorified Failure...

Questions asked about there being no formal extremist website closures

House of Commons logoStopping extremist websites operating was one of the measures unveiled by Tony Blair in the aftermath of the 7 July suicide bombings in London in 2005.

Although the powers were enshrined in law with the Terrorism Act 2006, the Home Office has now admitted that not a single website has been shut down in the past two years.

Under Section 3 of the legislation, a police officer can order that unlawfully terrorism-related material is removed or modified within two working days.

However, Vernon Coaker, a Home Office minister, said: The preferred route of the police is to use informal contact with the communication service providers to request that the material is removed. To date no Section 3 notices have been issued as this informal route has proved effective. Coaker added: Statistics covering the number of sites removed through such informal contact are not collected.

Patrick Mercer, the Conservative backbench MP who obtained the information, said he was shocked that despite spending over £100million on preventing radicalization, not a single extremist website had been closed down.

 

17th November
2009
  

Update: Glorifying Censorship...

No records kept of action against websites promoting terrorism

House of Lords logo The Terrorism Act 2006 granted powers for police to compel web hosts to shut down websites promoting terrorism. But the powers have never been used, and forces have instead persuaded providers to take down websites voluntarily, according to the security minister Lord West.

He told the Lords on Wednesday that he could not say how many websites have been censored because no records have been kept.

When we passed the Act in 2006, we laid down a requirement to make such records, but it has not really been done, he said.

When measures against extremist websites were announced, the government suggested ISPs might introduce filtering arrangements similar to the Internet Watch Foundation's blocklist of URLs leading to images of child abuse. No system has emerged, however, and industry sources say the idea is not being discussed.

 

12th December
2009
  

Update: Glorified Censorship...

Student given 6 months in jail for DVD containing scenes of terrorist atrocities

Old BaileyA Pakistani student was sentenced to six months in prison for sending a DVD containing scenes of terrorist atrocities to his neighbours.

Illegal immigrant Bilal Malik a student at Dundee University, admitted a breach of the peace.

He faces deportation after serving his sentence.

 

4th March
2011
  

Update: 15 Man Years to Review...

Man jailed for 5 years for posting terrorist propaganda on the internet

Old Bailey A law student who posted Islamic terrorist propaganda on the internet after becoming radicalised has been jailed for five years.

Mohammed Gul was pouring petrol on the fire and his actions could have spurred others to commit acts of terror, the Old Bailey heard.

Gul was found guilty of five counts of disseminating terrorist publications following a retrial at the Old Bailey.

Judge David Paget said his sentence had to be a deterrent to others and reflect the seriousness of the crime.

The judge praised the anti-terrorist police who, he said, had a Herculean task in reviewing the huge amount of material found on Gul's laptop. It had involved the biggest review of data ever undertaken by the anti-terrorist branch of Scotland Yard and involved 30 officers over a period of six months, he said.

 

21st March
2011
  

Update: Radical idea...

Government set up website to report internet material inciting terrorism

Home Offie logo A campaign has been launched in response to a threat from lone terrorists - individuals with no direct links to groups such as al-Qaeda who are radicalised through information they find online.

The Home Office has launched a website (www.direct.gov.uk/reportingonlineterrorism) where members of the public can report material on the internet which could be used to incite terrorism.

British police will then try to take the information down to prevent the radicalisation of people in the UK. [It seems to be missing the step where someone examines the material to see if it is actually a threat...Complainers are not always right, although the police seem to think so].

Tayside Assistant Chief Constable Colin McCashey, Scotland's head of counter-terrorism, said:

The main cause of concern is the use of the internet. We look at that from two angles. One is that if I was in a country 1,000 miles away I could communicate with would-be terrorists, or people vulnerable to radicalisation, via the internet. This has become more of a threat to us.

The other is that we are aware of people who may be sitting in the comfort of their own home, looking at the internet, who are becoming more aware of what is on the internet.

We might be faced with problem individuals who are not part of a network, who are not connected to al-Qaeda, but who take it on themselves and act as a lone terrorist.

It does not take a great deal of imagination to realise how difficult that is to deal with.

 

8th April
2011
  

Update: 'Offensive' Terrorism?...

Government advertise website to report terrorism and extremism on the internet

Home Offie logoInformation leaflets and posters have been sent to every police force in the UK advising the public on how to identify and report offensive or illegal terrorism related content.

Security minister, Baroness Neville-Jones, said that it's vital that online extremism is taken seriously: I want to encourage those who come across extremist websites as part of their work to challenge it and report it through the DirectGov webpage.

By forging relationships with the internet industry and working with the public in this way, we can ensure that terrorist use of the internet does not go unchallenged.

Websites reported to Directgov via its online form are referred to the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit. The specialist team of police experts work with industry and partners in the UK and abroad to investigate and take down illegal or offensive material if necessary.

In the last year, reporting through Directgov has led the government to remove content which has included beheading videos, terrorist training manuals and calls for racial or religious violence.

The Reporting extremism and terrorism online website defines what content is of interest:

What makes offensive content illegal

Not all offensive content is illegal.

The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 made it illegal to:

  • have or share information that could be useful to terrorists
  • share information that urges people to commit or help with acts of terrorism
  • glorify or praise terrorism

Examples of what makes terrorist or extremist content illegal are:

  • speeches or essays calling for racial or religious violence
  • videos of violence with messages of praise for the attackers
  • chat forums with postings calling for people to commit acts of terrorism
  • messages intended to stir up hatred against any religious or ethnic group
  • instructions on how to make weapons, poisons or bombs

 

30th July
2011
  

Update: Inciting Violence...

First conviction under law against inciting religious hatred

Old Bailey Jailing Bilal Zaheer Ahmad for 12 years, Mr Justice Royce said he was sending out a loud and clear warning that Britain would not tolerate extremists preaching messages of hate and violence.

Ahmad who called on Muslims to murder MPs who supported the Iraq war, was the first person to be found guilty of inciting religious hatred under new laws banning the publication of inflammatory material.

The IT worker praised 21-year-old university student Roshonara Choudhry as a heroine for stabbing Stephen Timms in east London in May last year. Ahmad called on other Muslims to follow in her footsteps by attacking and killing politicians who had voted to support the war in Iraq. He posted a full list of MPs and provided an internet link to their personal contact details, suggesting constituency surgeries were a good place to encounter them in person .

The judge told Ahmad: You purport to be a British citizen, but what you stand for is totally alien to what we stand for in our country. You became a viper in our midst willing to go to as far as possible to strike at the heart of our system.

 

6th February
2012
  

Update: Radical Findings...

Parliamentary Committee find that ISPs should monitor the internet for websites radicalising religious extremists

House of Commons logoWebsite should be monitored and material that promotes violent extremism should be removed. A nine-month inquiry by the Commons home affairs select committee concluded the internet is a fertile breeding ground for terrorism and plays a part in most, if not all, cases of violent radicalisation.

ISPs should be more active in monitoring sites and the government should work with them to develop a code of practice for removing material that could lead to radicalisation, the report said.

The inquiry found that the internet played a greater role in violent radicalisation than prisons, universities or places of worship, and was now one of the few unregulated spaces where radicalisation is able to take place .

But it added that a sense of grievance was key, and direct personal contact with radicals was a significant factor . The government's counter-terrorism strategy should show the British state is not antithetical to Islam , the committee said. Keith Vaz, its chairman, said:

More resources need to be directed to these threats and to preventing radicalisation through the internet and in private spaces. These are the fertile breeding grounds for terrorism.

The July 7 bombings in London, carried out by four men from West Yorkshire, were a powerful demonstration of the devastating and far-reaching impact of home-grown radicalisation.

We remain concerned by the growing support for non-violent extremism and more extreme and violent forms of far-right ideology.

He added that a policy of engagement, not alienation would prevent radicalisation and called for the government's counter-radicalisation strategy Prevent to be renamed Engage.

Nick Pickles, director of civil liberties and privacy group Big Brother Watch, said:

Whatever the reason for blocking online content, it should be decided in court and not by unaccountable officials.

There is a serious risk that this kind of censorship not only makes the internet less secure for law-abiding people, but drives underground the real threats and makes it harder to protect the public.

 

 Update: Inciteful Appeal...

Book seller wins appeal against his conviction for disseminating terrorist publications


Link Here 6th January 2013  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

Old BaileyA man once described as the terrorists' favourite bookseller has had his conviction for selling books about Jihad quashed.

Material produced and distributed by Ahmed Faraz ended up in the hands of almost every major terrorist in Britain. Members of the trans-Atlantic airline gang even cited his texts in their suicide videos.

Faraz was convicted of 11 counts of possessing and disseminating terrorist publications. He was sentenced to three years in jail for running an operation to publish extremist texts and violent DVDs and distribute them around the world with the aim of priming terrorists for action.

But now his appeal against the convictions has been upheld. Court of Appeal judges found the prosecution in his original trial had been wrongly allowed to rely on the fact that the books had been found in the homes of high profile terrorists, without there being any suggestion that the offenders had actually been encouraged by the books to commit their terrorist acts.

 

 Update: A Dangerous Fantasy...

Make believe 'terrorist' jailed for 5 years for posting terrorist material


Link Here 19th January 2013  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

HM Courts ServiceA total fantasist who posted gruesome videos on Facebook of al-Qaeda beheading captives has been jailed for five years. Craig Slee pleaded guilty to four offences under the 2006 Terrorism Act and also admitted possession of can of CS gas.

On sentencing him at Preston Crown Court, Judge Anthony Russell QC said:

It beggars belief that anyone can have an interest in such material which reveals a shocking and barbaric depravity and complete absence of any degree of humanity.

Slee also put online links to a communique by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), claiming those from the west were Crusaders and encouraging terrorism.

The court heard, Slee created a false identity and set up a Facebook page - using the alter-ego Hashim X Shakur. Slee claimed to be a Muslim and provided personal information about himself, the majority of which was false. He also engaged in Facebook chat with other people and kept up his pretence of his alter-ego, claiming he had been on trips to Jalalabad, had suffered shrapnel injuries and implied he was a member of the Taliban, said police. However, the court heard Slee has no connection to the Taliban, Al-Qaeda or any other terrorist network or organisation.

Det Ch Supt Tony Mole, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, said:

It is clear that Slee was a total fantasist.He had no links whatsoever to any terrorist organisations, was not a radical convert and there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest he engaged in any attack planning.

While Slee may not have been planning any sort of attack, he could easily have influenced someone else with the propaganda he was uploading.

 

 Update: Unsavoury Censorship...

British Government granted facility for Google to instantly consider consider takedown requests for YouTube videos. Also the Government wants to censor unsavoury but not illegal content


Link Here 14th March 2014  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
YouTube logo Google gives UK internet censors super flagger status to give high priority requests to get YouTube videos taken down.

YouTube will instantly screen any content flagged by British security officials. The censors will be able to flag multiple videos at scale rather than needing to flag each offending video.

The UK's security and immigration minister, James Brokenshire, worryingly told the Financial Times the government has to do more to deal with material that may not be illegal but certainly is unsavoury and may not be the sort of material that people would want to see or receive.

Brokenshire also said issues being considered by the government included a code of conduct for internet service providers and companies. The government, he added, was also keen to explore options where search engines and social media sites change their algorithms so that unsavoury content is less likely to appear or is served up with more balanced material.

Google confirmed that the Home Office had been given powerful flagging permissions on YouTube but stressed that Google itself still retained the ultimate decision on whether to remove content for breaching its community guidelines.

 

 Offsite Article: The internet censorship programme you're not allowed to know about...


Link Here 28th March 2014  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
Home Offie logo The secretive development of a process to censor websites associated with terrorism. By Jane Fae

See article from politics.co.uk

 

 Update: Religious ASBOs...

Theresa May responds to China's call to censor religious extremism on the internet


Link Here 30th September 2014  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
China flag China called on Saturday for a worldwide crackdown on the use of the Internet by religious extremists and terrorists to stamp out their ability to communicate their ideas and raise funds.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks during the annual gathering of the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly in New York. he said:

As new developments emerge in the global fight against terrorism, the international community should take new measures to address them.

In particular, it should focus on combating religious extremism and cyber terrorism, resolutely eliminate the roots and block channels of spreading terrorism and extremism.

UK Government arms Theresa May responded on Tuesday for the British government.

She announced policies for new Extremist Disruption Orders. Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to the functioning of democracy , under the new Extremist Disruption Orders.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will lay out plans to allow judges to ban people from broadcasting or protesting in certain places, as well as associating with specific people.

The Home Secretary will also introduce banning orders for extremist groups, which would make it a criminal offence to be a member of or raise funds for a group that spreads or promotes hatred. The maximum sentence could be up to 10 years in prison.

 

 Update: Reading a bit too much into 'following' someone on Twitter...

Social media told to counter terrorist propaganda with government propaganda


Link Here 24th October 2014  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

Twitter logo Senior British executives from Twitter, Google and Facebook were summoned to Downing Street on Thursday and told to do more to take action to curb the online activities of extremists. The Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service are in talks about using court orders to ensure that ISPs immediately remove extremist propaganda.

The warning came as it transpired that Britain's most high-profile radical Islamist preacher, Anjem Choudary, had influenced the man involved in the Ottawa attack. Canadian terrorist Martin Ahmad Rouleau's Twitter account showed that he followed several radical preachers, including Choudary, who tweeted that he hoped that the Canadian attacker would be admitted to heaven.

However, Choudary said: The fact that someone follows you on Twitter does not mean you necessarily influenced him to do anything.

As part of the plans, the Government also wants to encourage social media sites to use so-called counter-speech tactics, which involves positive messages about Islam online to prevent extremists monopolising websites.

 

 Updated: Ban Everything!...

David Cameron calls for more internet censorship of 'extremist' material. And no doubt the authorities will define 'extremist' as meaning more or less everything


Link Here 16th November 2014  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
David Cameron David Cameron has called for governments around the world to do more to censor 'extremist' material online. He made his comments during a visit to Australia's Parliament. He said:

The root cause of the challenge we face is the extremist narrative. A new and pressing challenge is getting extremist material taken down from the Internet. There is a role for government in that. We must not allow the Internet to be an ungoverned space. But there is a role for companies too.

Cameron then went on to detail measures already being taken in the UK to combat online extremism, including adding supposedly extremists material to ISP blocking lists, improving reporting mechanisms and being more proactive in taking down supposedly harmful material.

The British government also recently revealed plans to reduce the amount of hate material online. However, a report released in May revealed that the proposal is experiencing a number of hurdles, including opposition from ISPs and social networks, particularly those based outside the UK.

Open Rights Group has responded to the announcement that ISPs will add extremist websites to filters designed to protect children from seeing adult content. Jim Killock, Executive Director, Open Rights Group said:

We need transparency whenever political content is blocked even when we are talking about websites that espouse extremist views. The government must be clear about what sites they think should be blocked, why they are blocking them and whether there will be redress for site owners who believe that their website has been blocked incorrectly.

Given the low uptake of filters, it is difficult to see how effective the government's approach will be when it comes to preventing young people from seeing material they have deemed inappropriate. Anyone with an interest in extremist views can surely find ways of circumventing child friendly filters

Update: Censorship button

16th November 2014. See article from bbc.co.uk

The UK's major internet service providers (ISPs) are to introduce new measures to tackle online extremism, Downing Street has said. The ISPs had committed to strengthening their filters and adding a public reporting button to flag terrorism-related material. In a briefing note, No 10 said the ISPs had subsequently committed to filtering out extremist and terrorist material, and hosting a button that members of the public could use to report content. It would work in a similar fashion to the reporting button that allows the public to flag instances of child sexual exploitation on the internet.

However, the BBC understands that while the ISPs agreed in principle to do more to prevent extremism, they have not actually committed to the measures outlined by No 10.

We have had productive dialogue with government about addressing the issue of extremist content online and we are working through the technical details, a spokeswoman for BT said. A spokesman for Sky said: We're exploring ways in which we can help our customers report extremist content online, including hosting links on our website. The plan presents logistical problems as extremist groups such as Isis typically use channels like YouTube or Twitter that are popular for entirely legal purposes.

 

 Offsite Comment: Terrorist slippery slope...


Link Here 2nd September 2015  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
open democracy our kingdom logo The UK government should look to what is happening to free expression in Egypt and Turkey before broadening terrorist laws to include those who spread hate. By Jodie Ginsberg

See article from opendemocracy.net

 

 Offsite Article: Laws against extremism risk criminalising us all...


Link Here 29th September 2015  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim
Telegraph logo Laws to ban free speech if it doesn't chime with with British values are dangerous to everyone, not just the hateful few. By Philip Johnston

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

  More censors to solve Britain's terrorism problem...

Government pushes for the likes of Facebook to employ thousands of censors to vet peoples posts before being published


Link Here 8th September 2016  full story: Glorification of Censorship...Climate of fear caused by glorification of terrorsim

home affairs committeeGovernment censors are struggling to stop the spread of extremist messages on the internet despite taking down 1,000 videos a week, the Home Secretary has admitted. Amber Rudd said she was in talks with social media websites about setting up a new industry standard board to agree the rules setting out when sites should be taken down.

The new home secretary was grilled by MPs on the House of Commons' Home Affairs committee about what more could be done to force US sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to take action. It is alarming that these companies have teams of only a few hundred employees to monitor networks of billions of accounts Home Affairs select committee report

Rudd said that major internet companies could take more responsibility:

Because the speed these damaging videos get put up and then we manage to take down -- at the moment we are taking down 1,000 a week of these sites -- is too slow compared to the speed at which they are communicated.

I do think more can be done and we are in discussions with industry to see what more they are prepared to do.

We would like to see a form of industry standard board that they could put together in order to have an agreement of oversight and to take action much more quickly on sites which will do such damage to people in terms of making them communicating terrorist information.

Rudd said the new industry standards board could be similar to an existing board which protects children from sexual exploitation, presumably referring to the IWF.

The committee's report said:

It is alarming that these companies have teams of only a few hundred employees to monitor networks of billions of accounts and that Twitter does not even proactively report extremist content to law enforcement agencies.

These companies are hiding behind their supranational legal status to pass the parcel of responsibility and refusing to act responsibly in case they damage their brands. If they continue to fail to tackle this issue and allow their platforms to become the 'Wild West' of the internet, then it will erode their reputation as responsible operators.

Internet companies should be required to co-operate with Britain's counter-extremism police and shut down accounts immediately.