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Twitter could be banned in the UK

Updated Early day motion in slow motion
Fri Mar 15 2013, 16:40

SMALL CHAT WEBSITE Twitter has come to the attention of MP George Galloway, who thinks it should defer to the wishes of local authorities or be sanctioned by the government.

Galloway, Member of Parliament for Bradford West, has filed an early day motion called "Twitter and the detection of crime".

These early day motions are formal things. It doesn't flow well, so we've cut it down a bit.

"Twitter is now a very widely used mode of social networking; is a US-based enterprise whose primary motivation is to maximise its profits; Twitter is now used for a variety of criminal activities including sending malicious communications," it says

"Twitter refuses to cooperate with the UK authorities in general and the police in particular in trying to detect the source of criminal communications 'unless it is a matter of life and death'."

These 'life or death situations' are "determined by Twitter", it adds, and the social network doesn't make it easy for the authorities.

"[This House] believes that this failure to cooperate with the detection of the sources of criminal behaviour is reprehensible," it adds "and calls on the Government to impose sanctions on Twitter until it agrees to fully cooperate with the UK authorities and police in the detection of crime."

Got that? In short, either Twitter coughs every time the police call, or it gets out of the country. To date there is only one signature on the motion and that is Galloway's.

The Parliament website describes early day motions (EDMs) in rather unflattering terms.

"Although there is very little prospect of EDMs being debated, many attract a great deal of public interest and frequently receive media coverage," it says, adding rather dismissively, "The majority will attract only one or two signatures."

Media coverage and public interest are two things that attract Galloway. He infamously appeared live on television pretending to be a cat, and the clip is below. We warn you, it is excruciating to watch.

An early day motion would need "a large number of signatures" in order to be debated, adds the Parliament description.

A spokesman for the MP told us that Galloway had received serious threats through Twitter, but had no success, and no help from Twitter in tracing who they were from.

"George received what you could only described as death threats on Twitter from someone calling themselves @carrothead," said the spokesman. "He passed these on to the police to investigate, which they did, but came up against a brick wall because Twitter would not reveal the identity of 'carrothead'." µ



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