Activists warned as social media monitoring becomes 'next big thing in law enforcement'

originally by: The Independent
published: 1 October 2012

Political activists must watch what they say on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, sites which will become the “next big thing in law enforcement”, a leading human rights lawyer has warned.

John Cooper QC said that police are monitoring key activists online and that officers and the courts are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to social media. But, speaking to The Independent, he added that he also expected that to drive an increase in the number of criminals being brought to justice in the coming months.

“People involved in public protest should use social media to their strengths, like getting their message across. But they should not use them for things like discussing tactics. They might as well be having a tactical meeting with their opponents sitting in and listening.

“For example, if antifascist organisers were discussing their plans on social media, they can assume that a fascist organisation will be watching. Social media sites are the last place you want to post something like that,” he said.

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One thought on “Activists warned as social media monitoring becomes 'next big thing in law enforcement'

  1. Good article, but in order to focus on legal cases involving social media, we need to address another issue – legislation. New sphere of influence requires new laws. And while steps have been made in that direction ( mostly by the EU), there’s still a long way to go before law can really control this virtual area like any other one.

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