Things are bad in England. In addition to arresting some 1,100 people and nearly tripling the number of police officers in London, police forces have been attempting to use technology to rein in the looting and rioting in the various English cities. The thing is, the looters and rioters are much better at using technology than the authorities, often using social media--including Twitter, Facebook, and the very popular (more so than here in North America) BlackBerry Messenger--to coordinate looting and stay a few steps ahead of the police. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has a distinctly, well, almost Chinese response to that: shut 'em all down.
In a statement this morning to other members of Parliament (MPs), Cameron let loose with this bit of totalitarian wisdom:
"Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. 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."