UK Home Secretary Talks About Internet, Terrorism
When Queen Elizabeth’s YouTube channel was unveiled, we thought it was great. A soon-to-follow channel from the British Foreign Office didn’t seem like a waste. But there was a definite drop-off in the quality of ideas, and the latest thing – a sort of Internet anti-terror plan – is really raising some eyebrows.
Now, just as we Americans often hope that our entire nation won’t get lumped together, it’s only fair to point out that British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is the person behind this plan. And she accurately stated, "The internet is a key tool for the propagandists for violent extremism."
The possible problem entered when Smith later continued, "Where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed."
Lewis Page interpreted this to mean either of two things. "One, the Brown cabinet are just grandstanding to technically ignorant voters. They won’t do anything, safe in the knowledge that those voters will never realise this. . . . Or, two, the government actually plans to build a Chinese-style Great Firewall of Blighty which will prevent anyone looking at anything which says ‘jihadi’ or ‘bomb’ or ‘TATP’ (whoops) etc."
More specifics on Smith’s plan are supposed to come in the weeks ahead – she’ll be talking to ISPs and members of the Muslim community. In the meantime, though, we’re inclined to wish for a return to the happy old days of one month ago, when The Royal Channel on YouTube was formally launched.