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David Cameron's comments on social media and rioters in full:

"Mr Speaker, everyone watching these horrific actions will be stuck by how they were organised via social media. Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. [And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.]
"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. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers."
UPDATE: the bit in square brackets above was in the scripted statement but the prime minister did NOT actually say it in the House of Commons.
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Oh my God... So now this entire episode with the riots becomes very, very suspicious.

That is disgusting. President Bush after 9/11 didn't even prevent people from using Social Networks!


And if David Cameron does know in advance who is planning violence, why wouldn't he simply arrest them?
+Kristian Carter But there were Message Boards, Yahoo, Instant Messenger, AOL, Chat Rooms, Email, and Bush didn't Prevent people from using those.

Also, when we were still under terrorist threats when MySpace and Facebook arrived, Bush didn't prevent people from using those.
How is David Cameron planning to determine which people are going to plot violence?

And if he knows in advance, why aren't they being arrested?
This is like blaming fire for arson. Like banning matches or cigarette lighters because they cause people to commit arson.

Or banning baseball bats because they cause people to beat others up.
Considering they keep finding leaflets left by rioters maybe they should ban paper as well. Numnuts.
A better method might be to monitor by alerts rather than sweeping statements. Reactionary and badly briefed.
David Cameron is sounding exactly like Mubarak, Gaddafi, and Assad, who simply used a "kill-switch" and turned off the Internet.
This is as dumb comments as what has been said by the looters - so Cameron does have something in common with them: a total disregard for free society.
To be fair, it says they are "working [...] 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" - that's a) investigating options b) not an outright ban.

Chances are that they will find it a) impossible and b) that the social networks are a great source of evidence in the case of those stupid enough to advertise their actions online.

More importantly, it misses Blackberry Messenger entirely (it's not a social network!), SMS, phone calls, etc. and the fact that the news media blew this out of all proportion with their sensational reporting (that arguably "fuelled the fire").

Still think it shows that politicians don't actually understand this, they are just grasping at the things that they can say that look as if they are taking action...
dapo I
In the light of the following anonymous post and the PM's insistence that cuts are only yet proposed and not implemented, who's really miserly with the facts/truth??

the Anonymous texts: I work as a member of police staff. Due to the current staff cuts, thousands of police staff are losing their jobs which are being filled by police officers who are in turn being taken off the streets. Mr Cameron needs to wake up because things could get worse as more police officers are taken off the streets.

1242: Labour's Malcolm Wicks, MP for Croydon North, says people want more police and that cuts would be "the wrong policy at the wrong time". The PM says the problem on recent nights was not "police budgets in four years' time" but the number of officers on duty when the violence flared. (from BBC HYS)
Need to remember the politics in all of this. Cameron is hated with a passion by the right of his party. Cameron is a PR man. Cameron is badly rattled because he knows the right of his party will destroy him if he fails on this.

Cameron is playing to what he believes the right want to hear, that's all. It's just a meaningless soundbite and as +Mark Wilson pointed out, saying he's "consulting" gives him an out when things have died down because it's obviously impossible.

More worrying is the message it sends to the rest of the world. When you unpick the narrative used by the politicians and police it is very similar to that used by the authorities used in Libya, Eygpt, Syria etc. In many ways we do come across as another police state.
Perhaps instead of shutting down said networks, they could use it to identify those stupid enough to plan & communicate violence openly on the internet? Just a thought.
And what about IRC, XMPP and plain old e-mail? What we need is total surveillance of everything. Install cameras in every home. Then we need ways of policing thoughts - people might just act like they're peaceful.

Wait a minute, this reminds me of a book I read some time...
makes me want to go out and smash everything lol
Ummm, Infringing on rights a bit?
I can't vote for Labour because of their raping of civil liberties. I can't vote Conservative now as they have shown they don't care about them either. I suppose I will have to vote Lib Dem or Independent. I hope one day we forget this silly notion of political parties and all vote independent.
Not just to be contrarian but this is a legitimate response. If people are planning ILLEGAL and potentially DANGEROUS activities through a mode of communication that can be monitored and/or stopped then the police and the government have not only the right, but the OBLIGATION to protect the public by tracking this or stopping those doing this. They are not suggesting that we prevent average people from using social networks, shutting down facebook, or that we track everyone's behaviour online, but if a group of people are using it to cause widespread damage and destruction and we can prevent it through reasonable monitoring then the government should do this to protect the 99% of people who are NOT causing these problems. Yes we need to be careful of people's privacy, and yes there is a danger of overreach, but the real danger right now is people's property and lives.
I guess we'll need to start burning books? Books give people bad ideas for plotting violence, disorder and criminality.
"That is disgusting. President Bush after 9/11 didn't even prevent people from using Social Networks!"

Yeah - first thing I wanted to do on 9/11 was jump on Facebook and post a status about it... Oh, right...
Also, Jeff Rankine could not be more incorrect.
the funniest part to me is that they act like social media is the only way to plan things.... What did we do before facebook and Google+ and Twitter? Oh right, we talked on the phone and sent regular mail....
It was a force for good in the Arab world, but something to be feared and regulated in the west.
Is this Cameron? It sounds like Mubarak...
Did anyone see the story about one individual who was arrested for something like "plotting to cause public disorder" because he wrote something about starting a riot on his FB! I mean what the fuck? aside from issues of freedom of speech, anyone could have written that on his page if he was out of the room. Indeed I could have made an account with the same name, picture school and everything else, written that and then he'd have gotten fucking arrested! Just another example of complete ignorance of how social media works.
Credit where credit's due, he's still trying to screw everyone over even after his scandalous ties to Murdoch.

May I bring everyone's attention to - supporting communication in oppressive regimes.
Sven G
Cameron wants to join Mubarak in the dock !

Or maybe he's channeling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ?
I didn't give a shit about the riots until I heard this. Ok so the networks selected I don't give a shit about either, but this is immoral and stupid : it will cause a greater response, a more insidious resistance, and cause people like me to react against them - with civil methods of course..
Whoa, when did Britain start reading from Iran/ China's playbook?
When you can't get anymore shocked at the stupidity of those in charge they manage to pull this out of the bag.
As far as I can tell, Cameron's basically said he's going to do precisely nothing. It's a classic 'kicking it into the long grass' technique where they say they'll 'consider' something so that they can look active, and in a few months, having 'considered', they'll quietly decide it's a bad idea.

Even so, it's being reported as 'considering shutting down social networks', but to me the quote reads more like stopping individual users from using the networks, as if they're thinking of handing out 'eASBOs' to trouble-makers. That would still be a pretty stupid idea, but at least it's not completely idiotic and somewhat terrifying, like the idea of 'blocking Twitter' that seems to have taken hold.

Of course, there's already legislation in place to prosecute people who incite violence online, so I don't see quite what would change, exactly.
As +Mark Wilson has mentioned already. They haven't done anything yet and have proposed to look at ways of whether it is right to stop people from communicating. When I first read this earlier I wondered how they could actually do this in practice. Two things occur to me.

1. If they did block access, turn off Twitter etc, it's just the thin edge of the wedge. Remember how politicians moaned when countries in the Middle East blocked access in the recent uprisings. Did it stop them? No. If the government followed this route we'd be as bad as those governments.
2. Clearly feeds from Social Media are key evidence feeds. It's also excellent in mobilising the "good" people as has recently been demonstrated with the broom squads.

Social Media is not the cause of the riots. If it wasn't there another method of communication would have been used. The authorities just need to adapt to this. Quickly.
This is typical how governments use these events to reason the extension of their control, bringing untouched areas under regulation. From this aspect, the reaction of the Norwegian government to their recent terror attack was an exceptional and pleasant surprise.
Do it Cameron! Just ban the internet and watch the riot turn from a greedy item grab, to a full blown political protest. Freaking do it!
Not sure why there are comments about a 'kill switch' or closing down internet/socmed sites. Cameron is saying stop people using such sites to organise criminal activities. The issue is he does not know how to achieve this and I'm not sure that Twitter/FB et al know either.

My view is that socmed sites provide the ideal platform to catch people organising riots/terror attacks etc - so the last thing we want to do is shut any of them off...
Riots definitely never happen without social media. Definitely.
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Don't kid yourselves they've been using social networks to spy on us for a long time
If they did ban Twitter then everyone that was sat glued to their screens watching it all unfold would surely take to the streets in protest?
Cameron was claiming he was going to prevent people who may be planning crimes from using Social Media.

Is Cameron psychic? How is he going to divine which people are going to use Social Media to plan crimes?

And, if Cameron is psychic and he does know in advance which people are going to plan crimes, why doesn't he arrest them instead of simply trying to shut down their Facebook and Twitter?
It is sad when you discover that the head of a state is an unprincipled intellectual lightweight.
Fascism is well underway ... a police state and a dictatorship ...
New powers like the power of observation?
Step 1: Police create twitter accounts to monitor/track planning of riots.
Step 2: Gather police where riots are planned via twitter.
Step 3: Don't see next Avatar movie?
+Niall Burns What happens in Britain is quite likely to be attempted in America.
Breathing air, while it can be used for good, is also being used by the rioters. Therefore we must find a way to control the air to stop the rioters from using our natural resources.
Cameron expected to announce plans to "confiscate tongue, lips and ears of anyone suspected of using said equipment for the purposes of disseminating incitements to violence and/or criminality".
It's amazing how when something bad happens, one of the first reactions is always "limit people's rights!"
Not acceptable. That will not stop the riots.
It will not stop rioting and might actually worsen everything by opening a vey, very dangerous precedent.

Classificação geral
Looters are not using social media for violence, they are using metal bats, knives and fists.
Daniel Harder, I'm not saying this against you, just one of the points you've raised several times, which is Bush not banning social networking (or similar) sites during his time in office.

To be fair, social networking back then (circa 9/11) was not used on the scale it is today, nor were complete strangers able to connect to each other so quickly and directly, so the two situations can't be compared in the same light (in my opinion, of course). Also, individual message boards and profiles have been banned/removed/blocked in both the States and in the UK, at the discretion of the companies/moderators admittedly, but for pretty much the same reasons: to prevent hate-speech, prejudice, discrimination, and the like, from being spread.

I don't think banning [access to] social networks is the right way to go about things, but banning/preventing/deleting the plans that individuals post may be a necessary action. However, that pretty much means constant monitoring of user activity, and does not provide a viable solution for society, so I think the only option (within the context of social networks being used to organise crimes), is to block/ban individuals upon credible reporting.

I am in a rush, and so haven't been able to iron out the various kinks in my post, so apologies for that, but yes, this is a rather hastily composed reply/comment, so please do excuse any mistakes I may have made, and feel free to discuss; I don't think I know better than everybody and I certainly don't think I'm always right, so please do maintain a dialogue. (That said, I am uber busy with so much stuff, so I may not even be able to reply, let alone keep up-to-date with this thread!)
The trick is, to recognise when you don't know what you are talking about, and stop.
After that we should make all information and communication monitored by the government. In fact we should take away the right to communicate if people talk about violent crimes. If anyone even mentions bombing something we should just throw them in prison to stop them before they've committed a crime.
I'm fine with them blocking Twitter and Facebook, as long as they don't block Google+ ;p
From a technological standpoint; How exactly do GCHQ//MIX or whoever it is assisting in monitoring the net for juicy tidbits these days plan on fingerprinting and actually STOPPING 'bad guys' from communicating via the above mentioned services and tools whilst letting the rest of the country continue about their legitimate online shenanigans, of course they can monitor, the relevant laws and infrastructure are there, ie:: RIPA ( I think it's naive to assume there are no further capabilities a little further away from public eyes

But with the volume of communication back and forth in events such as this, is weeding out the real threats from those just 'spectators' in real time feasible??

A service provider level block on Facebook for example (targeting a specific IP address/range) would easily be circumvented, and what if it is a shared internet computer or connection? Making the assumption that ISP's would co-operate with a ban, In order to actually get this information (legally, which is hoping for alot) you would have to Subpoena Facebook, or Twitter or whoever to request the users identifying information right?- You could work on account bans based on infringement, but this doesn't seem any easier, It's trivial to create new accounts

And these are just one or two of the centralized giants, what about other forms of electronic communication?- fair enough so most aren't savvy enough to mess about with building up secure/encrypted or anonymous communication if they r the sort of dipsticks that plan on robbing poundland for a laugh(is that worth getting locked up for!!), but nowadays I'd say a HUGE amount of teens use BBM, WhatsApp, Skype, etc, everyone has an droid, berry or iphone with do they plan on doing this and staying within the law? or is that the perfect ticket to create a new set?!
Just... so... stupid! Doesn't he realise what a characature of a dystopic leader he sounds like? Yeah, solving problems from teh top down via the symptoms, that's what to do... and anyway, wasnt BBM the primary mthod of riotor communication. Cameron, you are a douche and I hope you are lined up against a wall when the [peacful] revolution comes, for a good telling off.
A communication mechanism can be used to be spread everything. The speed of spreading depends on the efficiency of the communication mechanism. Social networks were used for the cleanup as well. David, oh dear.
Hmm, Maybe I shouldn't have just watched V for Vendetta!
"Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. [And when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them.]"

And the power of stopping them can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. [And everyone knows that power corrupts.]
So now, having ANONYMOUS destroy facebook would effectively help David Cameron. The irony is too much to take.
Here's something that would've help, go back earlier from your fucking vacation!
Fucking Morons.
The vast majority of our leaders worldwide are stuck in the 70s and 80s. Catch the fuck up.
Sounds a lot like Syria... and Iran.. and Egypt... and Saudi Arabia... ... ..
What-ever the excuse for the day. One day the government needs to control the Internet because it is infested by pedophiles, next it is a conduit for terrorists, now it's delinquents causing unrest. Do the police need new powers? Or maybe they have too many already and abuse them?

Banning potential criminals from using a medium which can be accessed simply and quickly by the police using a warrant seems counter-productive, and would render covert monitoring or honeypot stings far more difficult. Making the police job harder whilst cutting numbers may not go down too well with them, despite the desires of <insert current Tory or Labour leader here>.

This seems logical.
The Internet is Serious Business.