Intelligence and Security Committee: the Woolwich Report, Facebook, and monitoring online interaction

Since Wednesday 25th November, the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby has returned to the headlines after the government’s Intelligence and Security Committee published its report on the intelligence relating to his murder. The report notes that one of his murderers, Michael Adebowale had sent Facebook messages in which he,

expressed his desire to murder a soldier – in the most graphic and emotive manner – because of UK military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. (p127)

The report also states that,

had MI5 had access to this exchange, their investigation into Adebowale would have become a top priority. It is difficult to speculate on the outcome but there is a significant possibility that MI5 would then have been able to prevent the attack. (p7)

Whilst David Cameron was making a statement on this topic on that same day, Sir Tony Baldry, Conservative MP for Banbury, raised the following question: Continue reading