Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics


If there are any terrorists reading this blog, I have to make a formal demand that you not read this post. Really. Terrorists must stop reading here. (You know who you are.)

According to an article in The Guardian

Following a ruling by Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, the police will now investigate whether possession of the seized material constitutes a crime under the Terrorism Act 2000, which prohibits possessing information that might be useful to terrorists and specifically “eliciting, publishing or communicating” information about members of the armed forces, intelligence agencies and police which terrorists could use.

That’s quite a broad mandate, and I think many people should be worried.

For instance, I happen to be in possession of information suggesting that the UK intelligence agencies and police and armed forces are led by incompetent politicians who have lost control of their own parties and are losing the support of the public, and who could themselves wind up in prison if the laws were fairly applied. It is easy to see how this information could be of use to terrorists if they knew. And now I have gone and published the information on this blog. (They may already know, but that is no defence under the law, so far as I can tell.)

If it comes to trial, I plan to argue that I couldn’t possibly have anticipated that terrorists would violate the terms of service of this blog by reading past the first line.

Comments on: "Information, which terrorists could use" (4)

  1. tokkaali said:

    Dear Mr. Steinsalz, you foiled my evil plan!
    I was browsing your blog for information on how to steal candy from little kids, and am therefore a terrorist. I tried to read past the disclaimer, but my eyes started to burn at each attempt.

    Please stop discriminating terrorists!

  2. American immigration use a similar tactic to catch terrorist arriving at their borders. Everyone has to fill in a little form stating if they are a terrorist or not. I wonder how many terrorists they’ve actually caught this way? And just how dangerous could they have been?
    “Yela’an! They caught me again! Damn this infidel questionnaire!”

    • Well, exactly. These sorts of questions used to have a real (if perfidious) purpose when they were applied to Communists or Nazi war criminals. It was never really clear whether deporting someone for their former political allegiance was constitutional, but once they’d lied on the immigration form that was settled. It’s a perjury trap. Since no one is challenging the ban on members of terrorist organisations, I suspect the current forms are just inertia.

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