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Terrorist Murder In London Could Revive Snooper's Charter 307

Posted by timothy
from the transparent-power-grab dept.
judgecorp writes "Supporters of the Communications Data Bill (also known as the Snooper's Charter) have lost no time in calling for the Bill to be revived, in response to yesterday's brutal murder of a soldier on the streets of Woolwich, South London. The Bill would have allowed monitoring of all online communications — including who people contact and what websites they visit — but was shelved after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg opposed it, effectively splitting Britain's coalition government on the issue. Now the fear of new terrorism could rekindle support, based on the argument that even 'lone wolf' attackers use the Internet."
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Terrorist Murder In London Could Revive Snooper's Charter

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  • Fear Mongering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, 2013 @08:31AM (#43802149)

    Perhaps I missed it, but how was this murder terrorism?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It was carried out to make a political statement by instilling fear. Are you dense?
      • Re:Fear Mongering (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xest (935314) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @09:00AM (#43802431)

        Dale Cregan shot and threw grenades at killing two police officers last year.

        Raul Moat before that hunted for and shot a police officer in the face after having just shot two other people and said he was starting a war with the police.

        Both of these were making political statements by attempting to instil fear, neither was classed as a terrorist incident.

        The only difference this time is that the perpetrators identified as muslim. The fact they were talking to and not harming everyone else that was around afterwards means they were arguably less effective at instilling fear than people like Dale Cregan was, so if this was terrorism why were other such incidents not?

        More realistically these seemed like a pair of London gangbangers desperate for a cause which they could use as an excuse to commit murder. They were not your usual middle eastern jihadis, they even quoted from the Christian bible which shows how poor their association with the jihadi ideology actually was.

        We'd be better off dealing with London's gang problem once and for all (the one that triggered the riots) than we would pratting around treating this as a terrorist incident and investing in the security service's ability to snoop - hint: they knew about these guys anyway using existing ability and still couldn't/didn't stop them.

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/section/1 [legislation.gov.uk] defines terrorism

          It must (a) involve and action which falls under subsection 2 of the act [violence against the person, damage to property etc, it does no dispute about that]
          (b) the threat is designed to influence the government or international governmental organisation or intimidate the public etc
          and (c) be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, radical or ideological cause

          Did Raul Moat intend to influence the government or intimidate th

      • Actually there is NO definition for terrorism. I mention this because it is part of the problem. As of now, something is terrorism simply because someone claims it is.

        The story behind why this is the case is actually very important and one you should know about. To make a long story short, the definition would be "use of military force against civilians by a non-state actor to advance political goal" (vs. simple crime), note this would make all hate crimes terrorism, and what is the difference anyway. A

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Really? How was the murder of a British soldier in the middle of the street in broad daylight by two individuals who were yelling "allahu akbar" and saying they were doing it for revenge against Brits for "murdering" muslims in "muslim countries" TERRORISM? Maybe you can visit http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ and learn something... like that there have been over 20,000 terrorist attacks perpetrated by muslims in the name of islam SINCE 9/11/2001, that have left thousands dead and maimed?

      And how many mor

      • Re:Fear Mongering (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Bongo (13261) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @09:00AM (#43802441)

        I was wondering about Sam Harris' argument in The End of Faith, basically that we have to go beyond irrationality if we're to survive, and that amongst all the world's faiths, Islam is at present the "worst" for various reasons -- there is no separation of Church and State, Islam is seen as a "complete system" (like communism or capitalism or whatever, ie. political power) and so on. One point he made as I recall, was that all the faiths have been weakened by modern secularism, and that's a good thing, but let's not forget they were weakened into being more peaceful. You can find all sorts of barbaric stuff in religions, although some histories were perhaps a bit more barbaric than others. The Grand Ayatollah Khomeini said that the West lies about Jesus saying "turn the other cheek" because, as the Ayatollah says, no true Prophet would ever be so stupid as to say such a stupid thing. Also Islam sees itself as inheriting the real truth, a truth that the Jews allowed to corrupt, and that the Christians allowed to corrupt, so the Islamic thing is to not allow it to be corrupted ie. don't modernise no matter what, remain pure. So there are variations and differences, and Harris thinks Islam is currently the worst offender, and the "peace" is actually only peace if you join the religion, be one of them, as it is monotheistic, One True God, no other way, only one right way, you're either with us or against us. The modern secular thing is, nobody has the real truth, let's enquire together and find stuff out. But in some Islamic schools, that is blasphemy. So it is complex. But how to respond when some "sick by Western standards" individuals gravitate towards the more murderous parts of certain ideologies? I guess the secular thing is to downplay religious intolerance and try to reaffirm, look, WE ALL WANT TO BE PEACEFUL. No to religious intolerance, no to religious hatred, no to hate. So called "terrorist" acts (are soldiers just a little more worried now when they walk out the gate? should they be? is that the intended effect? well, yeah) are there to incite hatred. People like that WANT to stir up hatred. And that's why we try to ignore them. But whether that will work in the long term, that's hard to see.

    • Re:Fear Mongering (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @08:45AM (#43802285) Journal

      It wasn't terrorism, it was an act of war. The UK and the US are at war, why are you so surprised when the war hits home? People are just fine with senseless random killings of muslims half a world away, but kill one white European....

      I'm absolutely not defending these people at all. I'm not fine with random killings on the street whether they are in the UK or Afghanistan. I'm just saying what they've done is no worse than our own public policy implemented by people we've elected. If you hate these people, you have to hate your own government, or be a hypocrit.

      If you think this act is horrible, this is what the Afghan people deal with all the time.

      • Re:Fear Mongering (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xest (935314) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @09:04AM (#43802475)

        I agree this wasn't terrorism but it wasn't war either. These people have no association with Iraq or Afghanistan, it seems they were most probably British.

        That means it was not war. It was simple cold blooded violent murder and little else.

        I'm anti Iraq/Afghanistan war too, but let's not pretend these guys were fighting for some cause, they were just killers looking for an excuse to kill.

        • These people have no association with Iraq or Afghanistan, it seems they were most probably British.

          We like to grow our own. "Made in Britain" is a rare thing to see these days, but at least some people are trying to keep things local.

          It was simple cold blooded violent murder and little else.

          Yes 100% yes.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anarchduke (1551707)
        you mean Civil War? Because everyone involved was British.
        • Re:Fear Mongering (Score:5, Interesting)

          by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @09:27AM (#43802695)

          There were plenty of cases of Germans attacking the Third Reich, more obviously there were several attempts by Germans to assassinate Hitler. That didn't make WWII a civil war. Just an international war with some within the country opposed to it.

          For sure the Third Reich would have called it terrorism.

          Crime, Terrorism, Political act, Resistance, Freedom Fighting. All these things are a matter of perspective. Each using terms to mould the events to the way they see it.

          [Godwin smodwin]

          Which doesn't in any way mean I have any sympathy for the event in Woolwich, but equally I don't have any sympathy for the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. I abhor violence.

          • by Xest (935314)

            "There were plenty of cases of Germans attacking the Third Reich, more obviously there were several attempts by Germans to assassinate Hitler. That didn't make WWII a civil war. Just an international war with some within the country opposed to it."

            This is absolutely true but the problem is that had those Germans assassinated people in their own country it would not have been an act of war but would've been murder.

            This is the fundamental distinction at play here, unless it's a civil war you cannot be a membe

          • by mbone (558574)

            There were plenty of cases of Germans attacking the Third Reich, more obviously there were several attempts by Germans to assassinate Hitler. That didn't make WWII a civil war. Just an international war with some within the country opposed to it.

            For sure the Third Reich would have called it terrorism.

            The Germans in World War II routinely referred to the resistance in the various occupied countries as terrorists.

        • It was terrorism, treason, or both.

    • Those who would trade their freedom for security deserve neither freedom nor security.

      Ben Franklin

      • I feel more free in an environment without guns. How does that fit into the quote?

        • The quote doesn't say anything about guns, only freedom in general. But since you ask - you are a British subject, which says a lot. 100 years ago Britons were freer to own guns, and don't the crime statistics show lower crime then? I would guess your assessment would be that you would feel freer now than then despite the higher crime rate.

          I notice HM is guarded by people with guns. I've even read a report that she has been known to carry a Webley. Do you suppose she feels less free because of it? Do

          • by shilly (142940)

            You're wrong about "British subjects", which says a lot about you. You are overconfident with your facts. It takes all of a few seconds on the Web for you to check them before you hit post.

            If you believe there are valid comparable crime statistics from today and 100 years ago, and that you can isolate all other changes in British society apart from gun ownership in your analysis, do go ahead and post it. I fancy a laugh.

            The comment about the Queen is risible. A frequent trope of interviews with people who h

          • 100 years ago Britons were freer to own guns

            That doesn't mean that there was widespread ownership of guns 100 years ago. There wasn't. There was widespread ownership of shotguns amongst farmers, and the relatively small number of gamekeepers. But that was probably about it. No notable ownership of guns in urban areas.

            As to crime statistics it's impossible to say. There was no comprehensive collection of crime statistics 100 years ago. Certainly not that you could compare with today's statistics.

            I notice HM is guarded by people with guns. I've even read a report that she has been known to carry a Webley.

            The Queen's politics are strictly speaking unknown, thou

            • by 0123456 (636235)

              No notable ownership of guns in urban areas.

              Do you actually know anything about British history?

              Because if there was 'no notable ownership of guns in urban areas', how come the police a hundred years ago could often manage to borrow guns from those people who didn't own any when they were chasing armed criminals?

              • Do you actually know anything about British history?...how come the police a hundred years ago could often manage to borrow guns from those people who didn't own any when they were chasing armed criminals?

                Was your knowledge of British History gleaned from Miss Marple whodunnits?

        • Nobody cares how you 'feel'. Try thinking for once.

    • Did you see the footage on YouTube? Just moments after the attack the guy was talking to other members of the public, still holding the cleaver and covered in blood and people were just walking around oblivious.

      The only terrorism here is from the media hyping this up into fervor just to sell some headlines, and the politicians jumping all over this to further encroach into the lives of the general populace.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by slim (1652)

        No, it's terrorism.

        Terrorism is the act of publicising your cause by making people afraid to go about their normal lives.

        The whole point of the IRA bombing shopping centres, hotels and pubs was that it would impact how people lived, and keep the Irish Republican cause in the news. "Shall we go for a booze-up in Birmingham this weekend?" "Oh, hmm, bit worried about getting killed by a bomb."

        These guys committed their murder in broad daylight, then waited around for the cameraphones to come out. Then did what

        • by Bongo (13261)

          It plays on the uncertainty that nobody can predict how far it will spread. If we all believed it was just a couple of guys then it can be dismissed as just another deranged murder. But if we are told by the killers themselves, we are fighting for Muslim brothers, and we are getting revenge and tomorrow it could be you, then that plants the fear. Whether we subscribe to it is another matter. But it plants the seed: you can try to ignore us, but how do you know there aren't going to be hundreds like us soon?

    • You must have missed it. There is a popular political phrase that should offer some insight on this subject:
      "Never let a crisis go to waste."
    • by Laxori666 (748529)
      Perhaps I missed it, but, uh, did this actually happen? Look at the video [itv.com] of one of the supposed-attackers after-the-supposed-fact.

      a) Why is the supposed knife he is holding blurred out?
      b) Why does he look so damn calm?
      c) Why is nobody else freaking out? An old lady just walks right in front of the guy who supposedly just murdered a guy and still has blood on his hands. Two young girls go up to him and try talking to him. Is that a reasonable thing to do with a still-bleeding corpse on the ground not a
      • It's Britain. We're used to terrorism. I remember after the 7/7 bombings one of the more popular jokes in the immediate aftermath was 'so Al Qaeda made the underground late, Ken Livingstone has been doing that for years and he doesn't even need bombs.'. Honestly I'm amazed no one offered these guys a cup of tea.

    • Perhaps I missed it, but how was this murder terrorism?

      I thought everyone was familiar with the process thanks to the Saturday morning cartoons, but perhaps some of you Delinquent Terrorees need it spelled out.

      After a crime or crime-like event, what'll happen is that someone on the Terroree Committee announces their IBA (Intent to Become Afraid). Another committee member seconds this, possibly after some out-of-band side-dealing. This brings the terror (small "t") to the floor, where a wider discussion en

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      The murderer made statements before hand saying that his murder was for political reasons. Under the terrorism act, those statements make his act an act of terrorism.

      I agree that this should be treated as a mad lunatic who needs to be locked up for public safety, just like any other axe weilding lunatic.

  • by Mikkeles (698461) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @08:31AM (#43802153)

    My barber gave me a bad haircut! We need a Snoopers' Charter! Now!

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @08:35AM (#43802193) Journal

    Why can't we be more like Norway?

    The prosecutor actually shook hands with Brevik because that's how they always do it and the hell some mass murdering bastard is going to make them give in and change their ways for the worse.

    Yet one person gets murdered here and everyone seems to be yelling "terrorist" and going weak at the knees in fear and stupidity.

    • Well, it was in fact terrorism because what makes it terrorism is not the seriousness of the crime, but the intent. On the other hand, I don't see "fear and stupidity". I can see some degree of stupidity, but certainly not fear.
      • but certainly not fear.

        The only point of reviving the snoopers charter is to pretend it will prevent anything like this happening again. It is therefore motivated by fear.

    • Why can't we be more like Norway?

      A year after Breivik's massacre, Norway tightens antiterror laws [csmonitor.com]

      The prosecutor actually shook hands with Brevik because that's how they always do it and the hell some mass murdering bastard is going to make them give in and change their ways for the worse.

      You have a rather special understanding of things if you think taking action to prevent the future murder of people enjoying the Queen's peace in Britain is somehow making things worse. Or is it that you are reacting in fear?

      Will you welcome a new overlord from a foreign land if they simply offer you peace for submission [gatestoneinstitute.org]?

      • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @09:17AM (#43802609) Journal

        You have a rather special understanding of things if you think taking action to prevent the future murder of people enjoying the Queen's peace in Britain is somehow making things worse.

        Because making new laws to prevent murders could never be a bad thing. Same goes for terrorists, peados and criminals right?

        Murder is already very, very illegal. No new laws are needed.

        Planning murder is already very illegal. No new laws are needed.

        Soliciting murder is already very illegal. No new laws are needed.

        Starting from July 7/7/2005, an average of 7 people are killed per year due to terrorist attacks. That's on the same level as eye-wateringly obscure medical diseases.

        Basically, any money put into preventing those is a complete waste: the money would be vastly better spent elsewhere, such as improving road safety.

        Will you welcome a new overlord from a foreign land if they simply offer you peace for submission?

        No, I'll try and shoot them, just like the police shot at these murderers. And see, no new laws were needed.

        • Murder is already very, very illegal. No new laws are needed.
          Planning murder is already very illegal. No new laws are needed.
          Soliciting murder is already very illegal. No new laws are needed.

          I believe that level of perfection in the law was reached by 1613. Are you suggesting that in the last 400 years that all subsequent new laws were unneeded? There was no need to ban guns, since killing people was already illegal? No need for any of the anti-terrorism laws, since killing people was already illegal? T

          • I believe that level of perfection in the law was reached by 1613. Are you suggesting that in the last 400 years that all subsequent new laws were unneeded?

            New laws about murder? Apart from sentencing, not really.

            There was no need to ban guns, since killing people was already illegal?

            Pretty much, yes.

            No need for any of the anti-terrorism laws, since killing people was already illegal?

            Certainly. The laws which allow essentially indefinite detention or punishment without trial are a travesty of justice.

            Or pe

      • You have a rather special understanding of things if you think taking action to prevent the future murder of people enjoying the Queen's peace in Britain is somehow making things worse. Or is it that you are reacting in fear?

        I'm trying to figure out why anyone would want to surrender rights and privacy in order to feel safer. That's what we did here in the US, and now people get molested for trying to get on a plane. How could that be considered a good thing?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, 2013 @09:52AM (#43802989)

      OK, as this appears to be as good a point as any to say this:

      I'm a Londoner.

      We do not yell, we do not go weak at the knees.

      We have been bombed in more ways I care to count, We've been stabbed more times than I care to mention.

      We don't fap and we don't fuss, we keep going because that's the only thing to do.

      This wasn't an attack by Muslims, this was an attack by cowards.

      Nothing more, we should spit on their pitiful self importance.

      Anything else is terrorism so be careful of your hearts as that where it resides.

      We, London, continue.

      • It's amazing how a city so hardened against crime, terrorists and adversity still goes to pieces at the first sign of snow. Before you mod me down, please notice the u/n and bear in mind what the North has already been dealing with - without complaint - when the white stuff first hits London.
    • The prosecutor actually shook hands with Brevik because that's how they always do it and the hell some mass murdering bastard is going to make them give in and change their ways for the worse.

      ...Is almost certainly the correct answer.

      We've managed to take principled stands against things like paying ransoms to hostage takers for years, recognising that even though the consequences in an individual case may be horrible it is important not to lend any credibility to the strategy of taking hostages.

      Today we are seeing a few very small groups of people, who want to instil fear to promote some sort of ideological position, who actually do relatively little damage but do it in ostentatious ways to see

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@@@project-retrograde...com> on Thursday May 23, 2013 @08:42AM (#43802253)

    That the Snooper's Charter will reduce the threat of Terrorism is an untested hypothesis. Prove it will achieve such goals, THEN we'll talk about having it be a law.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jahta (1141213)

      That the Snooper's Charter will reduce the threat of Terrorism is an untested hypothesis. Prove it will achieve such goals, THEN we'll talk about having it be a law.

      As one of my colleagues often says to me, "you're being rational again". Politics doesn't follow the scientific method. The British tabloids (which are already pretty xenophobic) will be cranking up the FUD level to the max. When the idea get's enough mindshare among their readers, the politicians will follow the votes.

    • by Xest (935314)

      British politics has no room for scientific method though because of the way our ill thought out democracy is built (FPTP and so forth) it inevitably descends into a war of populist arguments. The US is arguably even more extreme again in this respect because it's also an inevitable result of the two part state - when you have only two parties realistically competing for power the ultimate result is that you have the two sides sliding towards opposing extremes in their arguments because there are no other p

  • The law is ill-equipped to deal with hate preachers and their adherents, and the offenders' community seems half-hearted in their denunciation, despite the offenders slandering Islam by committing these atrocities in its name.

    Citizens need to take direct action to make such people vanish. They are the enemy.

    • Err, that's what these two people did. They saw the enemy, someone who (if not personally, then is part of the same gang that has) harassed their community, jailed their compatriots, etc. They took steps to "vanish" the person.

      Now quick, justify the E-e-edl attacking mosques! What? You're denunciation seems rather half-hearted you right-wing racist bastard scum. I think it's about time someone took direct action to make you vanish.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @09:07AM (#43802513)

    Of course this bill would not prevent any repetition of this act and countless other ways psychopaths with religion can kill people. It will however foster a police- and surveillance-state where the whole population is kept in fear permanently. From the efforts to reclassify this act as "terrorism", I conclude that keeping the population in fear is highly desirable for the UK government, possibly because it is failing at its job in countless other areas.

  • Just great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by joh (27088) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @09:13AM (#43802565)

    First, this wasn't terrorism, it was war. Killing a soldier of a nation that kills people in a nation you view as "your" nation is not terrorism, it's plain war. Well, at least it's every bit war as drone attacks in Yemen and Pakistan are war. Or are the soldiers controlling the drones from Texas terrorists and killers?

    And: Snooping on all Internet communications to catch "lone wolf" terrorists is a War on the People, nothing less.

    This isn't going to end well and this "attack" (on one soldier, OMG) is the smallest part of it. There are people in Britain knived down in the streets every day. Two guys decide to change the course of history and everybody is helping to get the job done. Just great, really.

    • This is a classic example of terrorism: killing a person for the sake of political beliefs, and attention to them.

      The guys who did the killing are British citizens. If they identify with some other nation as "theirs", that would make it rather old-fashioned treason.

  • by Xaedalus (1192463) <Xaedalys AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday May 23, 2013 @10:25AM (#43803381)

    The irony of this is that the Prophet Muhammed fought explicitly against this kind of behavior in his wars against the Arab pagans. Before Muhammed, Arab culture was drowning in "Jahiliyah", which is best understood as extremist machismo. Arab chieftains would think nothing of acting violently and completely out of context/overreact to any insult, real or perceived. They would commit acts similar to what occurred in London: beheading a fellow tribe member for looking at them wrong, proclaiming a blood feud over a trifle--all in the name of being a leader and being a "man's man". Women had only the rights and privileges that men allowed them--which in those times varied wildly. If a woman was part of a bedouin tribe, she was merely property and forced to be part of a polygamous society (and as far as the whole 9 year old girl thing--that was exceptionally common amongst most cultures in that time period, and it was the de-facto standard in Arab tribal life); if she lived in Mecca or one of the few Arab cities, she had a chance at wealth and education. What Muhammed did (leaving Allah out of this) was introduce a counter-culture where women and men were on separate, yet equal footing, and deprogrammed the extreme masculinity. The wars between Mecca and Medina were all about this, and eventually Muhammed won out. Except that after his death, the Arab culture slowly subsumed and altered Islam, because culture always subsumes religion (and not the other way around; modern Christianity is nothing more than Emperor-worship a la Rome).

    And now I'm going to violate the One True Scotsman rule, and say that what happened in London was a complete barbarity, and Muslims should be ashamed because they have allowed the worst aspects of Arab culture to redefine the words of the Prophet--it's as the critics of Islam say on here now: Islam as it is now, needs to either be destroyed or thoroughly reformed because it no longer reflects the will of Allah and the Prophet.

    • by Bongo (13261)

      I think the worst descriptions of M. I've read are about the Arab culture of honour and war [1] and it is interesting that most trouble we hear about is in the Arab world, whilst the biggest Muslin country is actually Indonesia. Perhaps it is just the result of desert life. To quote a terrible line, "I hate sand".

      Interestingly there was a study that said the honour code (you should personally retaliate against people) is present in USA and increases from North to South -- the further South you go, the more

      • by Xaedalus (1192463)
        One thing: Muhammed _wasn't_ a tribal warrior. He was an illiterate son of a city merchant who married well. He also had epilepsy.
        • by Bongo (13261)

          OK that's weird, what are books about the "warrior" part referring to?

  • Power-grabbing government fucktards exploiting fear created by murderous religious nutjobs yet again. And again. And again.

    Until humanity as a species somehow simultaneously outgrows religion and greed, we're stuck with it.

    I'm betting on Carrie Fisher clone extraterrestrials showing up with free beer and a cure for herpes first.

  • I consider these sorts of immediate reactions as the worst kind of political deceit. (The Patriot Act was another, similar, case.) It would be one thing if some commission examined the circumstances, and came out in 6 months or so with a considered argument as to why this or that measure might have made a difference. That at least could be debated. But, no, instead it is "here are these pre-canned ideas that have been shot down before, but now you need to adopt them immediately just because."

    I would sugge

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