Twitter Jokes Are “Thought Crime” in the UK

A British man frustrated with an airport closing vented his frustration by joking about it on Twitter.  Apparently that wasn’t such a great idea given the country’s ridiculous anti-terrorism laws:

A week after posting the message on the social networking site, he was arrested under the Terrorism Act and questioned for almost seven hours by detectives who interpreted his post as a security threat. After he was released on bail, he was suspended from work pending an internal investigation, and has, he says, been banned from the Doncaster airport for life.

The police who questioned him presented him with a printout of his Twitter post and explained that it was the cause of his arrest.  He then had to “explain Twitter to them in its entirety because they’d never heard of it.”  Clearly this was a competant anti-terror investigation. 

A civil liberties expert, while decrying the arrest, noted that joking “about terrorism is considered a thought crime.”  “Thought crime”?  Really?  Hopefully we don’t follow in Britain’s footsteps to this extreme sort of ineffective and unjust government…though I suspect that sooner than later, we will.

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