Amy Thomson and Robert Hutton
August 11, 2011
David Cameron, the U.K. prime minister, said the government is considering whether it should block social-networking websites and messaging services during violent unrest after the country’s worst riots since the 1980s.
The government is working with police, the intelligence services and companies 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,” Cameron said today in parliament. He mentioned Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)’s BlackBerry Messenger service as one of the tools that were used by rioters.
Police have said they are investigating the use of social- networking services such as those operated by Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and BlackBerry Messenger. Three people were arrested by police in Southampton, England, on suspicion of using social media and messaging to encourage rioting.