UK plans to ban criminals from the web

If you're in the UK, you'd better be sure to stay in line when you're on the web. The British government's new cyber-security strategy introduces an increased use of 'cyber-sanctions,' which will allow the government to ban cyber-criminals from the web, ZDNet reports.

The bans will use 'cyber-tags' to alert law enforcement if the offender tries to breach the conditions that have been put on their internet use, as detailed in section 4.28 of the UK Cyber Security Strategy:

4.28 In addition, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office will consider and scope the development of a new way of enforcing these orders, using ‘cyber-tags’ which are triggered by the offender breaching the conditions that have been put on their Internet use, and which will automatically inform the police or probation service. If the approach shows promise we will look at expanding cyber-sanctions to a wider group of offenders.

Members of LulzSec and Anonymous who are awaiting trial in the UK have landed similar restrictions. This time, the bans will be imposed on a far wider audience than destructive pranksters, activists and hardened criminals. Getting caught illegally downloading music and movies will also get you locked out of the web, along with cyber-bullying and phishing, as highlighted in section 4.5.

Despite statements to the contrary, the British government has a somewhat shaky history with digital rights and internet censorship. Back in August, prime minister David Cameron considered cutting off access to social networks in the face of rioting across the UK. A study by the security firm Unisys actually found that 70% of respondents thought that it would be okay to shut down social media in the face of a crisis, as reported by Mashable.

Since Britain has no firm laws protecting freedom of speech or expression, the government has more free reign when it comes to interpreting exactly what those rights mean and how far they go. Still, David Cameron had rather we didn't worry; last month he said that, “governments must not use cyber security as an excuse for censorship.”

We really hope that he sticks to that. Shutting down individual websites is bad enough – shutting down the web is worse. But what about banning criminals? Is it a logical extension of 'real world' probation laws, or is it censorship? Tell us what you think.

 

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Secret Kindle Fire price cuts hit Target and Walmart?

Next Story

iPads and Kindles push Black Friday weekend to new records

55 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Wont work, too many hotspots popping up for easy connectivity. There is also dongles and what not also if you use a VPN its secure, totally idiotic idea by the government and as said in a post i quickly read a waste of money which lets face it could be spent alot better elsewhere!

Also does this not contradict that every house in the uk will have internet? Wasn't this the government's first plan to give everyone at least 2mb broadband is this there bail out idea? lol

this whole ban from the internet is going to become inpossible as everything moves to the internet..... heck companies want you to pay bills online now, get banned from the net how do you pay your bills? a true ban means you cant even go to the library to use it...

"Since Britain has no firm laws protecting freedom of speech or expression, the government has more free reign when it comes to interpreting exactly what those rights mean and how far they go."

This is not correct. Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides the right to freedom of expression. There is a even a European Court of Human Rights to specifically deal with breaches.

I don't get it. Couldn't they easily use the internet in café's, library or someone else's home?

I can't see how they will be able to implement that. So if a family member is an offender, the entire family will loose the internet connection...

FMH said,
I don't get it. Couldn't they easily use the internet in café's, library or someone else's home?

I can't see how they will be able to implement that. So if a family member is an offender, the entire family will loose the internet connection...

Agreed! Good luck to 'em

"Since Britain has no firm laws protecting freedom of speech or expression, the government has more free reign when it comes to interpreting exactly what those rights mean and how far they go."

Not that I'm for these stupid anti-internet laws the current government keeps sneaking through, but lolwut?

Bill of rights? Human Rights Act? Freedom of expression and all that?

Nihilus said,
"Since Britain has no firm laws protecting freedom of speech or expression, the government has more free reign when it comes to interpreting exactly what those rights mean and how far they go."

Not that I'm for these stupid anti-internet laws the current government keeps sneaking through, but lolwut?

Bill of rights? Human Rights Act? Freedom of expression and all that?

The only mention of freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights is to do with speaking in Parliament. It doesnt apply on a day to day basis. I also cant see anything about freedom of speech in the Human Rights Act.

I do believe there are some protections (although im not sure where theyre defined) although they are significantly less well defined than in e.g. the US.

M4x1mus said,
The only mention of freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights is to do with speaking in Parliament. It doesnt apply on a day to day basis. I also cant see anything about freedom of speech in the Human Rights Act.

I do believe there are some protections (although im not sure where theyre defined) although they are significantly less well defined than in e.g. the US.


Article 10: Freedom of Expression

(1) Everyone has the right of freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without inference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

(2) The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

This isn't likely to happen, the EU classed internet access as a human right not so long ago iirc so this would be a violation of your human rights making it illegal

I just don't know how it could possibly be enforced, seems like total nonsense dreamed up by somebody who doesn't have a clue.

These things can be discussed. It doesn't mean they will be implemented.

Secondly the UK is an EU country. Freedom of speech is always secured through EU if not through UK laws.

AtriusNY said,
These things can be discussed. It doesn't mean they will be implemented.

Secondly the UK is an EU country. Freedom of speech is always secured through EU if not through UK laws.

I agree for the most part, I just wish the UK would pay more attention to EU laws. They brought in the 3 strikes law regardless of the fact that the EU classed internet access as a human right.

I mean i know they never actually did anything with it in the end but the fact that it actually passed into law... I dont understand.

Nonsense.
You can bypass this restriction in 10 seconds flat. May be you can be banned from Internet but Intranet, and inside intranet you can have internet services..

Completely stupid. A I guy I know here in the UK got banned from the Internet for 12 months due to a crime he committed. This prevented him from finding a job, it prevented him from using an ATM (because they are classed as Internet devices), it prevented him from using ANY modern games console with the capability of going online, even if he didn't have Internet to connect with. So in the end, the government paid his rent, paid him job seekers allowance and didn't try to force him to find a job due to his circumstances, he was unable to find a job for those 12 months.

Banning people from the Internet in a modern world where everything relies on the Internet (including banking, as some banks over here do not have physical branches), is the dumbest idea ever, and is just going to cause a burden on tax payers. Sure, punish criminals, but not with the most childish, short sighted idea that comes to the small minded government's heads.

As has been pointed out by others, enforcement of this "Punishment" would likely be impossible and would cost the Gov'T more in taxpayer money then the person likely "Stole" in the first place.

Nothing short of forcing ALL of the nations internet through a Proxy that required a nationally issued "Internet Login and ID" to access would prevent them from gaining access to the internet, and somehow I dont see that going over well with your citizens.

cyber-bullying will get you locked out of the internet? why can't the people on the receiving end just ignore them, it's not that hard.

Zeet said,
cyber-bullying will get you locked out of the internet? why can't the people on the receiving end just ignore them, it's not that hard.

You know the saying, sticks and stones my break my bones, but my twitter update can be replied to by everyone ... yeah.

Sometimes bullying isn't aimed directly at the person. Like the time where they took a video recording of that girl being stripped and then posted it on facebook for all her friends to see. How exactly are they able to just ignore them doing that?
Bogus accounts, multiple emails, throw away sim card/mobile phones, cyber cafes, free wifi mcdonalds etc. Its pretty much impossible to ignore someone online if they try hard enough.
People might ask, why should i have to ignore everyone and becareful to whom I speak to and give out all my facebook details to. Well folks, I don't know when or why it started but I remember when people were paranoid about giving anything away online, not even their real names were used let alone GPS locations of their home address or if they were going on a family holiday for the weekend, but are leaving the bed room light on for the fish...

Saying all that though, 99% of cyber bullying starts in real life. Thats the root cause of it and that needs to be dealt with.
Trying to cut off the tip (internet access) isn't going to help at all. The other 1% is just trolls having fun, given enough time they will troll themselfs to death and move on to their next victim (hopefully trollolol)

Corporations have more control than the people and it's getting worse. Who knows in 10 years you could be banned from the internet simply for criticizing a corporation because you caused damage to it's profit margin.

Gaffney said,
Corporations have more control than the people and it's getting worse. Who knows in 10 years you could be banned from the internet simply for criticizing a corporation because you caused damage to it's profit margin.

so isnt it important for the governments to regulate the internet instead of waiting for the corporations to start doing it?? google and microsoft could dislike your website and have it banned from search and you are pretty much dead in the water for business

Lachlan said,

so isnt it important for the governments to regulate the internet instead of waiting for the corporations to start doing it?? google and microsoft could dislike your website and have it banned from search and you are pretty much dead in the water for business

So, who is worst, corporation or government control?.

well, both.

Magallanes said,

So, who is worst, corporation or government control?.

well, both.

well ones for money and the other is for votes.. I'll take the one for votes

Lachlan said,

so isnt it important for the governments to regulate the internet instead of waiting for the corporations to start doing it?? google and microsoft could dislike your website and have it banned from search and you are pretty much dead in the water for business

No.

If Google were to start blocking or even delisting legitimate sites they would lose business. Not only that but they would likely be subject to a huge number of lawsuits due to their monopoly. This means that it isnt in their interest to do this. If it was, why would they link to Bing when you search for it??

The internet has remained largely uncensored, allowing freedom of speech in every country where the government havnt stepped in. On the other hand citizens of countries where the government have stepped in have found themselves unable to view content that is defamatory of the government as well as a huge array of other content *cough* China.

Now that we can compare a viewpoint based in fact compared to one based on personal oppinion we can see how silly you really were in your post cant we.

The Internet is no less than required if you want to be competitive in work these days so it is a necessitate in that sense.
But that's by the by as this is just once again yet another attack from the Tory Government (Inbred Aristocracy) on the middle/working classes.
It was and is only about their fear of freedom for the masses and dedication and utter loyalty to enterprise level business. David Cameron wouldn't **** on you if you were on fire unless you are considerably RICH.. Please don't trust these hereditary criminals!

chillipig said,
The Internet is no less than required if you want to be competitive in work these days so it is a necessitate in that sense.
But that's by the by as this is just once again yet another attack from the Tory Government (Inbred Aristocracy) on the middle/working classes.
It was and is only about their fear of freedom for the masses and dedication and utter loyalty to enterprise level business. David Cameron wouldn't **** on you if you were on fire unless you are considerably RICH.. Please don't trust these hereditary criminals!

How is it an attack on the working class exactly?

Sounds fair for the reasons put forward so far. As long as they have been found guilty I see no why they should have the privilege of the internet. It's not like water and people survived quite easily before.
It's not blocking websites from everyone and they can always 'blog by proxy' if required.
Tbh though, it would be extremely difficult to manage these sanctions. There are so many ways to connect to the internet I find it hard to believe they have found a way to block someone from 'all access' so I don't know how they'd enforce it.

imachip said,
Sounds fair for the reasons put forward so far. As long as they have been found guilty I see no why they should have the privilege of the internet. It's not like water and people survived quite easily before.
It's not blocking websites from everyone and they can always 'blog by proxy' if required.
Tbh though, it would be extremely difficult to manage these sanctions. There are so many ways to connect to the internet I find it hard to believe they have found a way to block someone from 'all access' so I don't know how they'd enforce it.
I couldn't disagree with you more. The internet is more like a human right. It is used to keep in touch with people all around the world, friends and family etc. It's like me giving you a torch in a cave for 10+ years then just snatching it from you... you would be ****ed.

zikalify said,
I couldn't disagree with you more. The internet is more like a human right. It is used to keep in touch with people all around the world, friends and family etc. It's like me giving you a torch in a cave for 10+ years then just snatching it from you... you would be ****ed.

its not much different from that eBill they implemented a few years ago

walking anywhere you want on public land is also a human right.. but if you rape children you are not allowed to walk near playgrounds..

netsendjoe said,

+1
I think I'd rather die than not be allowed to use the internet.

thats kind of the point.. would you be as willing to commit a silly crime if you know you could be banned from the internet?

zikalify said,
Get rid of this tory govt, complete ******s

You have sex with a child or watch childe porn you are not allowed near a playground/school..

You beat your girlfriend you are not allowed near her..

You shoot someone with a gun, you are not allowed to own one anymore..

You are a doctor that kills people from ignorance, you lose your licence to be a doctor..

you commit cyber crime, and use the internet as a weapon to affect other peoples lives you are not allowed on the internet.

sounds pretty legit to me if you commit cyber crimes.. for other stuff, it could be used as a form of probation..

zikalify said,
Get rid of this tory govt, complete ******s

Not only are they ok with wasting more money on seemingly impossible tasks when we have more worthy things to spend money on (and no doubt this is another illegal law cameron is trying to push) but they're using this as one more of their small censorship laws, building a profile of laws that'll put the UK in line with China's internet firewall and censorship.

I know we don't have freedom of speech in the UK, and haven't done for a long time but Cameron is going the wrong way about winning peoples support when he's OK with these kind of actions. The internet itself has given people more insight and knowledge quicker then ever before, much like the TV and Radio did for people trying to keep up with the news. Trying to stop what we have now is dangerous.
The internet got to where it is now because of how is was and is so far, changing it for the good of the corporate world isn't good for anyone except the fat cats at the top.

Lachlan said,

you commit cyber crime, and use the internet as a weapon to affect other peoples lives you are not allowed on the internet.

You are a pimp or a drug dealer and commit a street crime then you are not allowed on the street anymore. O_o?

Internet is not a subject or a item but a place. Or more specifically, a public place.

Lachlan said,

You have sex with a child or watch childe porn you are not allowed near a playground/school..

You beat your girlfriend you are not allowed near her..

You shoot someone with a gun, you are not allowed to own one anymore..

You are a doctor that kills people from ignorance, you lose your licence to be a doctor..

you commit cyber crime, and use the internet as a weapon to affect other peoples lives you are not allowed on the internet.

sounds pretty legit to me if you commit cyber crimes.. for other stuff, it could be used as a form of probation..

Oh please, your talking absolute crap! The internet is the only source of free information left, and the people most likely to be spreading free information are also the people most likely to be branded an internet criminal, if you opened your eyes youd see how the definition annd the law a creeping together to form the ultimnate censorship tool, this is about control of infoormation on the internet.

Magallanes said,

You are a pimp or a drug dealer and commit a street crime then you are not allowed on the street anymore. O_o?

Internet is not a subject or a item but a place. Or more specifically, a public place.


Umm .. Have you never heard of a place called jail? They don't let you walk the street if you do those things.. And some people have to stay in there for the rest of their lives.. Your comment was a huge fail

duddit2 said,

Oh please, your talking absolute crap! The internet is the only source of free information left, and the people most likely to be spreading free information are also the people most likely to be branded an internet criminal, if you opened your eyes youd see how the definition annd the law a creeping together to form the ultimnate censorship tool, this is about control of infoormation on the internet.


If you opened your eyes as well you would see that something like this could save the government sooooo much money a year.. Lets say some high school student were to hack into a database and steal credit cards and not do anything with them but just to show off to his friends.. You believe this kid should go to prison for 5 - 10 years? I think they should just be on internet probation where he is not allowed to go on any unknown websites or something like that.. Why put him in prison if he's no physical threat to anyone? Just control his online life. Too many people are in jail these days for things that jail has no effect on..

Lachlan said,

Umm .. Have you never heard of a place called jail? They don't let you walk the street if you do those things.. And some people have to stay in there for the rest of their lives.. Your comment was a huge fail

Wait, what if when they are released from jail...?

WinCE:resol612
"An elephant is bigger than the Moon!"

zikalify said,
Get rid of this tory govt, complete ******s

Last time I checked we didn't have a Tory government - a coalition of Conservatives (Tories) and Lib Dems is currently in power and setting policy

zikalify said,
Get rid of this tory govt, complete ******s

There is nothing wrong with the and let me put you back in your labour loving crib child, coalition government.

Labour should be band from everything as they are criminals.

Great idea to remove the web of criminals, like cyber thieves, paedophiles and

fraudsters to name three.

resol612 said,

Wait, what if when they are released from jail...?

WinCE:resol612
"An elephant is bigger than the Moon!"

Your point?

Nowhere in the article does it say these bans will be lifelong. They might get for example a 2-year suspended sentence with one of the conditions attached being not to go on the internet.

Hardcore Til I Die said,

Your point?

Nowhere in the article does it say these bans will be lifelong. They might get for example a 2-year suspended sentence with one of the conditions attached being not to go on the internet.

Your point?

If the sex offender register is anything to go by... one can be marked down indefinitely (in the ViSOR, an imprisonment of >=30 mths), so a permanent ban is very real.

resol612 said,

Your point?

If the sex offender register is anything to go by... one can be marked down indefinitely (in the ViSOR, an imprisonment of >=30 mths), so a permanent ban is very real.

There's a big difference between the sex offender register and internet bans.

A lot of sex offenders are habitual, they have sadistic lusts, whereas an internet crime could simply be trying to scam people out of money or something. Once caught, many people won't do it again.

A permanent ban is definitely possible but the crime would have to be very severe. Downloading a few pirates movies would not result in a permanent internet ban. If you went on to share that movie with millions of people then I guess it's a possibility, but you would NOT get a permanent ban for the downloading of a few movies/songs.

Lachlan said,

Umm .. Have you never heard of a place called jail? They don't let you walk the street if you do those things.. And some people have to stay in there for the rest of their lives.. Your comment was a huge fail

Except in the UK those people invariably don't go to jail

I wonder if they would ban Muslims from all libraries if they burned the Bible?