Facebook Attacked for Not Acting on Soldier Lee Rigby's Death Threat Messages

By Gary Cutlack on at

A report into the events leading up to the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013 has laid some of the blame at Facebook, criticising the social site for not alerting authorities about a message containing the phrase "Let's kill a soldier" posted by one of the killers six months before Rigby was attacked.

The report from the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee went quite a long way into attacking social networks for failing to act, claiming they can offer "safe haven for terrorists" and are letting angry people and groups discuss and organise without fear of being caught.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chairperson of the report committee, went so far as to say there was "...a significant possibility that MI5 would have been able to prevent the attack" had Facebook alerted authorities to killer Michael Adebowale's threatening messages and had him placed on the unstable lunatic watch list.

However, a director of privacy protest group Privacy International reckons the news is being spun in an overly negative manner to make us think surveillance is a great thing we should all embrace, saying: "It is not appropriate for internet services -- who handle some of our most private and sensitive correspondence -- to be snooping through that data for the police, any more than it would be for the postman to snoop through peoples' letters." [Independent]