Question Details

Will the British House of Commons vote on a bill to restrict access to social media or messenger services by the 1st of May?

Will the British House of Commons vote on a bill to restrict access to social media or messenger services by the 1st of May?

Asked by: bernardo in Politics » Western Europe
Settled on 05/04/2012 00:13 Settled by Super UserStephen Tilley
Winning option: Settled as 'no' as no bill yet before the House of Commons, let alone voted on.



"British Prime Minister David Cameron thinks he's found some culprits to blame in the recent riots that have rocked London and other cities -- Facebook and Twitter. Saying the "free flow of information" can sometimes be a problem, Cameron's government has summoned those two social-networking sites, as well as Research In Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, for a meeting to discuss their roles during the violent outbreaks.

"Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organized via social media," Cameron said Thursday during an address to Parliament. "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."
Cameron said that government officials are working with authorities "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.""

"Mike Conradi, partner and telecoms specialist at the London law firm DLA Piper, said that emergency measures to stop rioters communicating on social media sites would require legislation and threaten free speech.
Conradi said: "What David Cameron appears to be wanting is a police power to trawl through millions of messages – ideally in real time – to prevent possible criminal activity. I don't believe that any such power exists and nor would I want there to be one. Parliament would have to pass new legislation and I would certainly warn against that. That gets the balance wrong in terms of free speech and security.It would certainly put the UK in a difficult position in terms of talking to authoritarian regimes and trying to convince them not to turn off their networks.""

A vote on a bill takes place after its second reading.


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