pbahra writes: "U.K. government proposals to prevent individual users accessing social media during periods of civil disorder were not technically viable and would be legally highly problematic. “It is all bluff,” said BT’s former CTO. Facebook, Twitter and specifically Research In Motion’s messenger service, BBM, have been blamed for helping to fuel the violence that has plagued several British cities this week. Speaking to an emergency session of the House of Commons Thursday, the U.K. Prime Minister, David Cameron told MPs: "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." Nick Tyler, senior associate at Reed Smith’s London office, said attempts to block individuals from accessing particular websites could fall foul of both article 8 and 10 of the Human Rights Act. “It would go to the heart of democracy and liberal society,” he said. “There is a confusion here between preventative measures, stopping people from doing things, and investigative matters, investigating things once they have done it. “I would say it would be very difficult to use the law to stop people from accessing these sites. The government would have to do the sort of thing China did during the Olympics,” he said."
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