Monday, January 18, 2010

Police don't understand Twitter

"Robin Hood airport is closed," he wrote. "You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!"

That's what Paul Chambers said on Twitter, jokingly frustrated about snow closing his local airport.

He was arrested under the Terrorism Act for being suspected of creating a bomb hoax. He has his iphone and computer confiscated, and was questioned for seven hours straight.

According to the Daily Telegraph: "I had to explain Twitter to them in its entirety because they'd never heard of it. Then they asked all about my home life, and how work was going, and other personal things," he said.

This hardly surprises me, as one recent experience I had with Police showed a complete lack of understanding of the internet (e.g. what's a blog, what's a message board, how can you find out who people are on the internet?).

Now Paul was foolish, and it may have been appropriate to ask him a few questions. However now it has become a thought crime, a crime to joke about blowing something up. He wasn't at the airport, and it would be clear he just should have been told his statement worried the airport company.

No. Instead he is to be treated like a terrorist, by Police who don't even know the medium he used.

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