Following London Terrorist Attack Theresa May Wants to Regulate the Internet
Obviously these acts are terrible on their own terms for the damage and death the visit upon a community. But the obverse is that they encourage reactionaries to pretend that only they can keep us safe.
Donald Trump himself is doing the same but his particular brand of political Turrets Syndrome leads him to shoot himself on his own foot.
I hate to say it, but I think that leaders like Trump-and Theresa May-seem to welcome these attacks as political opportunities for themselves.
Trump, of course, did more harm than good to his own cause by calling it a ban yet again.
Meanwhile, May is not getting what she wanted with the snap election she called last month. The polls have tightened considerably between her and the Jeremy Corbyn lead Labour. Even is she holds on-and this is no longer guaranteed-she will have suffered a moral defeat.
The real truth is that Brexit is not going well. The EU is insisting on a ‘hard Brexit’ that won’t happen until 2019, which would have been a bad footing for May’s 2020 election.
But now enter last night’s tragic terrorist attack in London-which comes on the heels of the March terrorist attack over there. She is coming out against ‘too much tolerance of extremism’ which sounds like what she really wants to say is too much tolerance.
And then there is this-pretty ominous-call to regulate the Internet:
New international agreements should be introduced to regulate the internet in the light of the London Bridge terror attack, Theresa May has said.
The Prime Minister said introducing new rules for cyberspace would “deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online” and that technology firms were not currently doing enough.
“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed – yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide,” Ms May said.
“The Conservative manifesto pledges regulation of the internet, including forcing internet providers to participate in counter-extremism drives and making it more difficult to access pornography.”
It seems to me that this gives a lot of wiggle room for abuse. Yes, the ostensible purpose is to foil terrorist plots online, but you get the idea that it will be used in a much more broad way. I mean pornography? What does that have to do with terrorism?
“Ms May speech is thought to be the first time she has publicly called for international cooperation in bringing forward more red tape to cyberspace, however.”
“The intervention comes after the introduction of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 – the so-called ‘Snooper’s Charter’ – which expands the powers of spying agencies and the Government over the internet.”
That she is calling for this to be done on an international basis is particularly worrisome. Do you want Herr Trump deciding what speech is ok on the Internet?
“The Act, championed by Ms May, requires internet service providers to maintain a list of visited websites for all internet users for a year and gives intelligence agencies more powers to intercept online communications. Police can access the stored browsing history without any warrant or court order.”
Presumably that wouldn’t fly in the US-the British don’t have such clear enumerated rights as we do regarding reasonable search and seizure, freedom of speech, etc.
Still this talk is worrisome. May will hope that the UK voters will rally around her in this time of angst. But if Corbyn and friends can take her out on Thursday they will also rid Britain-and perhaps the world?-of a nasty rollback of freedoms.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.