MET Wants Internet Cafes To Report Terrorists

London Metropolitan's police is seeking the help of owners of Internet cafes as well as owners of public WiFi connections - like restaurants - across the capital to help them fight the threat of home-grown terrorism.

The BBC reports that the move is part of the government's £140 million project, called Prevent, that should help counter terrorism efforts further.

In what instead looks increasingly like an attempt to become an ever more present big brother, the Metropolitan Police will be doing impromptu visits to internet cafe around London as part of a trial with the tacit approval of their owners.

They are also encouraged to explicitly list the kind of material that's deemed unsuitable for viewing and report any suspicion of violent extremism. Not surprisingly, they've also asked some owners to customise the screensavers on their computers.

The authorities stopped short of actually asking permission to install echelon-like bugging instruments and keyloggers on the computers although we suspect that they do monitor internet cafes closely in some areas of the countries.

As expected, a number of observers, like Privacy activist Simon Davies and Arun Kundnani, author of "Spooked: How Not to Prevent Violent Extremism", have expressed their concerns over the fact that this is another step in the direction of creating a "society of total surveillance".

Our Comments

Seriously, do they believe that the terrorists will go to internet cafes to write their emails? there are dozens of ways of encrypting communication and rendering it almost undecipherable to third parties. Ultimately, it is the very fabric of our society that is being undermined by such scheme.

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(London NET)

UK police asks Internet cafes to monitor customers