Aug. 18 - Stiff sentences for two men who used attempted to incite riots via Facebook and talk of preventing potential troublemakers from using social media services are stirring debate in the UK. Matt Cowan reports
The worst writing to hit Britain for decades cost lives and claimed livelihoods. When news spread that some of the writers had to use Blackberry messenger and social media services to plot destruction. Britain's prime minister David Cameron called for a plan of action. Free flow of information can be used for good but it can also be useful if so we are working with the police intelligence services and industry. To look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via the web sites and services but we know they'll halting violence. Disorder and criminality. -- assault on is an associate editor at wired dot co dot UK and says Cameron's comments raised as many questions as they answer. So it's quite -- Was it and He hasn't made any and more statements about how it was what can practice. However is getting into very kind of sketchy territory of kind of pre crime and people saying they might be about it commits a crime and baffled. Big blocks from the -- I think. It would freak practically. It incredibly difficult to sit days I think it's just gonna need to have reaction. In the East London district that's come to be known as silicon roundabout due to the cluster of young technology companies based here. Cameron's talk of a clampdown on the free flow of information through social media is raising concern. Elizabeth Farley is the co-founder and CEO of -- cup. What what is can fanning is that it's sending a message to say. If technology gets to a certain point that we don't understand it a week Honda Honda Fit in the way that we want will then we need to shut it down. The UK government is not alone in celebrating the benefits of digital culture while trying to exercise control over its excesses this spring French president Nicholas Sarkozy invited technology leaders to Paris for the first EG eight conference. Heaping praise on social media services for helping to fuel the Arab spring. While also warning lean years they did not operate in a parallel universe free from the rule of law. Blogger Jeff Jarvis was among those to sound a warning. I fear that. We see a government coming in believing that they do in fact I think they can only and regulate Internet. And it's this government can do it why shouldn't every other government including China and Iran and Libya. This week two British men were sentenced to four years in jail for using FaceBook to try to incite rioting even though each of their campaigns fell on deaf ears. The severity of the sentence -- has been widely criticized but David Cameron defended the judge's ruling saying it would send a tough message. And while the UK is debating measures to further crackdown on social media. The transit network in the world's technology capital San Francisco admits it turned off cellphone service in the station's last week. To quell protests over police shooting a subsequent protest by the hacker group anonymous. Forced the temporary closure of four subway stations. But the cell phone service was left on which some are hailing as a victory for free speech. That talent Reuters.