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The hacktivist group Anonymous issued a statement Thursday claiming it is "watching" the UK after Prime Minister David Cameron indicated plans to grant police new powers to ban individuals from using social media services such as Twitter and Facebook.
Cameron made the announcement in his opening statement during a House of Commons debate Thursday.
"When people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality," the Prime Minister said.
Cameron clarified that he would "review" potential bans to see whether such policies would be possible.
His comments come in the wake of the series of riots that have swept through the UK this week. The rioters and looters are suspected of using social media services such as Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger to coordinate their rampages.
While it is unclear just what powers police would gain, several activist organizations, including the Open Rights Group, have expressed concern for the UK's "fundamental" right of free speech.
In addition to the body of legal activist groups concerned about the new powers, hacktivist hacker collective Anonymous has also taken notice.
Just after Cameron announced his plans, messages popped up on two of the group's Twitter accounts.
"UK prime minister David Cameron is calling for restrictions on internet usage (especially social networks). We're watching this situation," read the first message, on the group's AnonymousIRC Twitter account.
The tweet was soon followed with another message of the Anonops account linking to an article on AnonOps news site about the PM's plans.
The group is infamous for enacting "protests" against governments and companies it takes as infringing on citizens' rights, attempting to censor or moderate the Internet.
To date the group has hit a number of high-profile targets. The Turkish government has been a regular target for its plans to increase the government's control over the internet. The group has also enacted a number of attacks in Brazil, Spain, the UK and the U.S.