Standing outside Downing Street on Sunday morning, Theresa May said in a statement that the internet should be regulated to fight the “new trend of terrorism.” The speech was delivered in light of the London Bridge terror attack that left seven people dead and dozens injured.
The Prime Minister said that regulating the internet would “deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online,” adding that technology firms are not doing nearly enough to staunch communication lines that allow terrorists to have room for survival, as reported by Time.
“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed – yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide,” May said.
“We need to work with allies democratic governments to reach international agreements to regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning.”
The call to regulate the internet was but one part of Theresa May’s speech following the London Bridge terrorist attack. The Prime Minister also said that the U.K. has been too tolerant of extremism, and expressed that “pluralistic British values” are “superior to anything offered by the preachers of hate.” She also blamed “Islamist extremism” for the London attack.
“It is an ideology that proclaims our western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with Islam … it is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth. Defeating this ideology is one the great challenges of our time.”
May said there’s a “new trend in the threat we face,” and that while the three most recent terror attacks in the U.K. aren’t linked to “common networks,” the incidents were made possible by “the single evil ideology of Islamic extremism.”
“We have a robust counter-terrorism strategy that has proved successful over many years … that strategy needs to keep up…. we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy. If we need to increase the length of custodial sentences … that is what we will do.”
Ms. May’s speech came as a surprise too many since it was the first time the prime minister publicly called for international cooperation in regulating cyberspace.
While the prime minister said that “things need to change,” she also told Britons that “everybody should go about their lives as they normally would.”
Theresa May also paid tribute to emergency services for their “great courage and great speed” in responding to the London Bridge terror attack as she confirmed that many of those who were injured are in “life-threatening conditions.” She revealed that London’s hospitals are treating 48 people for injuries.
National election campaigns have been suspended following the London Bridge terror attack, but Ms. May said that campaigning will resume tomorrow and the General Election would go ahead as planned on June 8.
“As a mark of respect, the two political parties have suspended our national campaigns for today, but violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process.
“So those campaigns will resume in full tomorrow and the General Election will go ahead as planned on Thursday.
“As a country, our response must be as it has always been when we have been confronted by violence. We must come together, we must pull together and united we will take on and defeat our enemies.”
The three terrorists who carried out the London Bridge attack were killed within eight minutes of the first call to police. The attackers stabbed a police officer and revelers with 12-inch knives, but police were able to stop them in eight minutes, according to the Evening Standard.
At 10:08 p.m., police were alerted to reports of a vehicle plowing into pedestrians on London Bridge. After arriving at the Borough Market, the three men reportedly left the vehicle and began to stab people.
[Featured Image by Leon Neal/Getty Images]