Activists warned to watch what they say as social media monitoring becomes ‘next big thing in law enforcement’

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
By Paul Martin

Exclusive: 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

KEVIN RAWLINSON
IndependentUK
MONDAY 01 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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