During the “Arab spring” uprisings, the West decried the ruling regimes’ practice of shutting down or severely limiting protesters’ access to social media. But that’s exactly what the U.K. government recently proposed: to ban social media during times of “civil unrest, disorder, or rioting.” However, after high-level talks with companies such as Research in Motion, Twitter, and Facebook, they are doing a quick about-face.
Instead, law enforcement is focusing on ways to use social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. And while both companies declared that they were not willing to make concessions, they are bound by UK law to help, says ZDNet’s Zack Whittaker. The government’s social media focus could also see RIM handing over encryption keys to BlackBerry Messenger.
Still, as Twitter maintains, “The tweets must flow.” And the government is now taking note: a Guardian report states that governments and law enforcement now use Twitter to communicate with citizens.
Read more at ZDNet.