Trump calls for internet to be cut off for terrorists

Commentary: In the wake of a terrorist incident in London, the president calls for drastic measures.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

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The president wants the web muffled.

Alex Wong / Getty Images

After an improvised bomb was detonated on a subway train in London on Friday, the US president offered his solutions on Twitter.

More than 20 people were injured near Parsons Green subway station, in what police termed "a terrorist incident." In response to the attack, President Donald Trump tweeted: "Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!"

Currently, there is no information as to who might have planted the bomb or why. For the president, however, this means the web must be placed under, one imagines, some sort of government control. 

Still, this isn't a new idea for the US president. In a 2015 campaign speech in South Carolina, Trump called for tech industry help in achieving a targeted internet shutdown.

"We're losing a lot of people because of the internet," he said. "We have to see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what's happening. We have to talk to them about, maybe in certain areas, closing that internet up in some ways."

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment as to how the president thinks this might be done.

Of course, some nations such as China and North Korea do censor their internet. They, however, take a more centralized approach to government.

In democratic countries, things are a little more complex, given the plethora of providers, systems and freedoms involved. Identifying specific groups of individuals and shutting only them from the web would be an onerous task. 

However, the president often responds to terrorist incidents with ready remedies.

He also took the opportunity of Friday morning's incident to call for a stricter travel ban -- one that has been staunchly opposed by the tech industry.

"The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific -- but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!," he tweeted.

But would it be even generally correct? Research suggests that most terrorists already live in the countries where they attack. 

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