Thought policing nailed by the Court of Appeal
There are a lot of nutjobs out there: Simple Sam, BlairSupporter and any number of Islamic loonies. Many of them are undeniably potentially dangerous but the Court of Appeal’s decision to remove the criminalisation thought and ‘mere preparatory’ acts from the Terrorism Act 2000 has to be applauded.
From now on there has to be a need to show an intent to do something. Just downloading or sharing something nasty or silly from the Internet isn’t enough. The law was presaged on the intent of the police to criminalize documents that might radicalise Muslim youth. Like most knee jerk legislation it wasn’t really thought through: it as never going to ‘nip in the bud’ any supposed radicalization process but it did criminalise curiosity and research. As is usual it was picking at symptoms rather than dealing effectively with the real but hard issues.
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