How dare people wanting to have fun! This is all bound up in the new tactic — a favorite of Middle East dictators — to shut down social networks to prevent whatever they don’t like. The SF Bay Area’s BART system is currently using it against those protesting the killing of a passenger by BART cops. And although not social media crackdown related, there’s this.

A man will appear before magistrates next month for allegedly trying to organise a mass water fight via his mobile phone. The prime minister said last week that the government would investigate whether social networking platforms should be shut down if they helped to “plot” crime in the wake of the riots. The 20-year-old from Colchester was arrested on Friday after Essex police discovered the alleged plans circulating on the BlackBerry Messenger service and Facebook. The unnamed man has been charged with “encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence” under the 2007 Serious Crime Act, police said.
Speaking during last Thursday’s parliamentary debate on the riots, David Cameron said he would investigate whether social-networking sites should be shut down if they helped to “plot” crime. The prime minister said he would “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”.

  1. msbpodcast says:

    <sarcasm>Sure its starts with water pistols…

    Then its acid filled pressure washers at 20 paces…

    Nip this scourge in the bud.</sarcasm>

  2. Miguel says:

    What happened to good old CB radio?

  3. Mac Guy says:

    @Miguel – Getting one for my Jeep ASAP.

    Why? I live in a hurricane area, not to mention the fact that I’m starting to trust the system less and less.

  4. Jim says:

    After all the west’s criticism of Iran and the way they handle domestic affairs, I find it ironic to see that Western governments are finally coming around to their style of management.

  5. Faxon says:

    All this stuff about “social networks” is funny. I wonder where it is all leading?

    I am on the side of BART, believing that since it was their FREE repeater system, it is theirs to do with as they please.
    Please note; Obama has a kill switch for the entire Internet now. I don’t see anyone protesting THAT.

  6. Faxon says:

    Oh. And, uh, Uncle Dave, please get clear on the situation with BART and the “protestors”. Obvioulsy, you are getting your information through biased sources. BART “protestors” don’t want to “protest”. They fully plan each demonstration to SHUT DOWN the system, and make life miserable for working people who aren’t paying enough attention to the fucking cry babies. A “protest” would be them standing outside each station with placards describing the alleged abuses and misconduct by BART. That is not what they are interested in doing. They want to ruin people’s lives so they get appeased.
    This is a mild form of,(hate to say it), extortion. Or, perhaps, (hate to say it), terrorism. For is that now what the attacks on the US are intended to do? Make people’s lives miserable to achieve their ends, which is compliance with their agenda?

    Isn’t it?

  7. NobodySpecial says:

    Don’t forget church lanterns
    By not acting quickly enough to restrict church lanterns – the terrorists were able to use them to defeat God’s chosen ruler.

  8. EnemyOfTheState says:

    “plotting violence, disorder and criminality” sounds like a days work for a MP!

  9. dcphill says:

    I guess we should condemn mail, face to face, telephones and other forms of communication as aids to plotting a waterfight. How bloody silly can it get?

  10. spsffan says:

    I’ll go you one further. BART should shut down their repeater permanently, and advertize the fact that it is one of the few places that one can escape the annoying public use of cell phones.

    This assumed that they haven’t equipped the trains with those even more annoying video screens with blasting audio that we now have on buses here in LA.

    If you want people to get out of their cars and use public transportation, make it pleasant!

    Oh, and I’m with Faxon. These people weren’t wanting to protest. They were wanting to riot.

  11. KiltedTim says:

    I’m not surprised. This is the same government that, for a time, made it illegal to be Catholic, has occupied at least part of Ireland for over 800 years, and declared a musical instrument (bagpipes) and clothing (kilts) weapons of war and seditious.

    They haven’t changed.

  12. deowll says:

    I keep wondering why the Brits put up with this but then they should be wondering the same about the U.S. Fed. Gov.

    SF is wacky world.

  13. Yankinwaoz says:

    #4 and #14…

    When I first starting reading this, I thought it was about that water fight in Iran that that got turbins in a twist of the crazy bearded ones.

  14. Grey Bird says:

    To #5 Faxon: There isn’t an “internet kill switch” in the US and the last bill proposed would limit what the president could do in “securing the internet”. That is if it even passes this time.


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