Bri­tain gets Face­book to delete 30 pris­on­ers’ pages af­ter some in­mates taunted vic­tims

Cape Breton Post - - Classifieds -

LON­DON (AP) — The crim­i­nals are be­hind bars but their vic­tims are still feel­ing their reach — through the In­ter­net.

The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment said Thurs­day that Face­book had re­moved the pro­files of 30 U.K. in­mates at its re­quest af­ter sev­eral in­ci­dents in which pris­on­ers re­port­edly used the so­cial net­work­ing site to or­ga­nize crime or taunt oth­ers.

The an­nounce­ment made some In­ter­net users worry about gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence on­line, but many crime vic­tims said even more should be done.

“ When some­one is con­victed of a crime he loses his civil lib­erty though sen­tenc­ing,” said Gary Trows­dale of Fam­i­lies United, a group founded by rel­a­tives of young mur­der vic­tims. “ We say he should use his cy­ber-lib­erty as well.”

Fam­i­lies United met ear­lier this week with Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Jack Straw, who said the gov­ern­ment would act “to tackle those cases where of­fend­ers seek to taunt or ha­rass vic­tims and their fam­i­lies” through Web sites.

Bri­tish pris­on­ers are banned from us­ing so­cial net­work­ing sites like Face­book. Bri­tain — un­like many Euro­pean coun­tries — bars al­most all in­mates from ac­cess to the In­ter­net, ex­cept for ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses un­der su­per­vi­sion. But au­thor­i­ties ac­knowl­edge that some have used smug­gled mo­bile phones to up­date their pages, or have got­ten friends on the out­side to do it for them.

The Sun­day Times news­pa­per re­ported last month that Colin Gunn — a gang­land boss con­victed of con­spir­ing to mur­der a cou­ple in 2004 — warned on Face­book that “I will be home one day and I can’t wait to look into cer­tain peo­ple’s eyes and see the fear of me be­ing there.”

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