Special Reports

University to Monitor Students’ and Staff Computer Activity to Prevent Radicalization


In keeping with the British government's campaign against terrorism, King's College in London is telling all staff and students that their computer activity could be monitored with their consent, news reports say.

King's College, which is home to one of the world's most prominent centers for studies on radicalization, informs all staff and students that it will be monitoring and recording all computer activity "without authorization" or those that are "in excess of their authority," reports RT. The notice is posted on the College's email login section.

The Middle East Eye, taking a screenshot of the said notice, reports that it also warns staff and students from downloading, storing, or transmitting unlawful material. Materials that are indecent, offensive, defamatory, threatening, discriminatory or otherwise extremist are also prohibited.

The notice also says that King's College reserves the right to block or monitor access to any "extremist" activity that may radicalize viewers.

King's College said in the notice that it has a statutory duty under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act of 2015. The Act, known as "Prevent," aims to stop or prevent the radicalization of young Muslims. With the monitoring, King's College aims to help in the process of preventing people from being drawn into terrorism.

The notice further states that anyone who uses the system consents to being monitored. Users are also told that if the monitoring reveals possible evidence of criminal activity or activity contrary to what Prevent aims to do, the evidence might be forwarded to law enforcement officials.

Ibtehal Hussain, a War Studies student, told MEE that she is concerned about the impact King's College might bring to students, especially Muslim and politically active students. She said it will create "paranoia" and a "climate of fear and intimidation."

Still, despite all the criticism and opposition thrown towards Prevent, Sara Khan, co-director and co-founder of Inspire, a counter-extremism and women's rights organization, said in an article that not all Muslims in the U.K. are against it.

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