Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Censorship Government Your Rights Online

Report Warns That Censorship Will Not Stop Terrorism 101

concealment writes "The report evaluates the challenge of curbing online radicalization from the perspective of supply and demand. It concludes that efforts to shut down websites that could serve as incubators for would-be terrorists — going after the supply — will ultimately be self-defeating, and that 'filtering of Internet content is impractical in a free and open society.' 'Approaches aimed at restricting freedom of speech and removing content from the Internet are not only the least desirable strategies, they are also the least effective,' writes Peter Neumann, founding director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London and the author of the report."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Report Warns That Censorship Will Not Stop Terrorism

Comments Filter:
  • Not rocket science (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:19PM (#42193265)

    I can't imagine why anybody would trust or accept the rationale given to them by somebody who threatens them with physical force. But somehow government is different. Right.

    I don't care if you're a congressman or a common thief. If your relationship with me is defined by physical force (or threat thereof), then common sense tells me that I cannot trust you. With that said, it should be blindingly obvious that censorship isn't about stopping terrorism. It's about profit, whether direct or indirect, same as 99% of everything government does.

  • Re:FTFA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:30PM (#42193417)

    Instead, policymakers should focus their attention on the demand side of the radicalization issue, Neumann argues, with the government spearheading outreach initiatives that would bring together schools, community groups and businesses to advance awareness and media literacy and offer a competing narrative to that presented by sites that traffic in radical propaganda.

    And this is exactly why it won't work in the US. Imagine if suddenly all the US voters became aware of how to spot propaganda, it's the politicians', aka the "radical propagandas'" worst nightmare.

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @01:58PM (#42193785)

    I have this nasty habbit of watching the behavior of other people, and am very interested in how stereotypes develop, how they relate to group demographics, and how they also fail to describe individual people.

    I have had the great (mis)fortune of being able to observe "important" people in many niches, and levels of "importance", and have come up with some general rules of thumb concerning their behaviors. These are stereotypes, of course, and should not be seen as gospel, or as describing individuals.

    That said, the stereotypical "important person" (I keep using that phrase, because it covers a large demographic ranging from senior managment to politicians, to police officers.) Is actually very insecure about their position. They have worked very hard to get into their "important" position, and are terrified of being displaced, either through their superiors replacing them with a better employee, or through discovery of their being a crook.

    This insecurity makes this stereotypical person very paranoid, and prone to establishing elaborate plans and collusions to prevent the possibility of competition for their position. It also makes them very susceptible to "terror", and they react very agitatedly and aggressively toward any 'percievied' threat.

    A good example of this comes from a friend of mine who works with/near city government of his small town. Shortly after the sept 11 tradecenter attack, this small city government (under 100,000 residents) "increased security", was actively looking for terrorists, and had a major panic attack when a passing pedestrian left a backpack in the lobby while sad pedestrian used the public bathroom. (For real, they thought he was a bomber.) The recognition that they were simply not that important to attract the attention of organized terror agencies simply didn't kick in even once.

    Due to this hysterical paranoia, they seek any and all means to "feel safe", which means they have absolutely no mental barriers against locking innocent people into padded rooms for discussing "scary" topics, or even just discussing the shortcomings of our stereotypical "important" people.

    We can see manifestations of this in the US government, where serious discussions of enacting "indefinate detention" without a trial, or oversight "for national security" took place not all that long ago, and was narrowly struck down.

    Being told that the measures that make them feel the most secure, are demonstrably the worst measures they could ever attempt when wanting to actually BE secure, will usually make them confrontational, and increasingly paranoid. They have an uncanny tendency to have a superiority complex, that prevents them from accepting professional advice, if that advice goes against what they believe. They view such offers of policy advice as attacks against their credibility and viability as leaders, and not as the healthy, helpful professional advice that it is. In order to get them to enact outside advice of this nature, they have to be duped into thinking it was their idea first.

    That has not occured with this study. This study directly contradicts the currently held practices of important world leaders in dealing with people discussing "dangerous and scary" things, and will be viewed with derision, and outright contempt, (and more than a healthy dose of fear.)

    It will be mocked and ridiculed behind closed doors, completely ignored in public commentary and the press (unless the press brings it up, then expect diversionary tactics), and burried. The researchers themselves might even experience difficulties getting more grant money, though the cockblock will be subtle.

    In short, don't expect this study to bring enlightenment in our leaders.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.