British Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured) is reportedly considering the drastic step of “pre-crime” blocking of social media sites if the violent riots in his country continue. He contends that such a move would permit authorities more time to “catch up” with arrests of suspects shown rioting on surveillance cameras. The communication platforms under particular scrutiny are Twitter, Facebook, and Blackberry Instant Messenger.
In an address to the British House of Commons on Thursday, Cameron explained:
Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.
Similar measures were taken by then-President Hosni Mubarak during the Egyptian revolution earlier this year. The Guardian reported on the impact of social networking during the conflict:
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