It is disappointing that in the aftermath of this attack, the Government’s response appears to focus on the regulation of the Internet and encryption.
This could be a very risky approach. If successful, Theresa May could push these vile networks into even darker corners of the web, where they will be even harder to observe.
But we should not be distracted: the Internet and companies like Facebook are not a cause of this hatred and violence, but tools that can be abused. While governments and companies should take sensible measures to stop abuse, attempts to control the Internet is not the simple solution that Theresa May is claiming.
Real solutions—as we were forced to state only two weeks ago—will require attempts to address the actual causes of extremism. For instance, both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May have drawn attention to the importance of finding solutions to the drivers of terrorism in countries including Syria, Iraq and Libya.
Debating controls on the Internet risks distracting from these very hard and vital questions.
This article is by Jim Killock, Executive Director of the UK’s leading digital rights advocacy organisation, Open Rights Group. It is republished here under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA) licence. See the original article.
We have chosen to republish this article, and their previous statement about the Manchester attack to emphasise EFA’s support for ORG’s position. As we’ve also said in the past, EFA firmly rejects any law, policy, or mandate that would undermine digital security.