Research In Motion and Facebook will soon meet with UK’s Home Secretary Theresa May and other UK officials. They will review how their platforms have played a role in the ongoing riots in London.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he is examining if it is possible to stop the use of social media for suspected criminals. “We’re working with the police, the intelligence services and industry 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 told the House of Commons.
So far, the investigation has many free speech activists up in arms. Jeff Jarvis, a US journalist wrote on his blog, “If you take these steps, what separates you from the Saudi government demanding the ability to listen to and restrict its BBM networks? What separates you from Arab tyrannies cutting off social communication via Twitter or from China banning it?”
“Censorship is not the path to civility,” Jarvis added. “Only speech is.” It is unclear as to whether or not RIM will possibly suspend BBM until the riots settle down. There is already some members of Parliament calling for BBM to be suspended.