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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Multi mobile ownership could indicate terrorism

If you live in London you might have seen & heard on the radio a series of new
ads aimed at combating terrorism. We're all asked to look out for suspicious behaviour such as people taking pictures of CCTV cameras or people who have several mobile phones. So that basically means any geek, particularly Tube photographers.

Is this man a terrorist?

One poster says: "Terrorists need communications. They often collect and use many anonymous pay-as-you-go phones, as well as swapping sim cards and handsets.

"If you're suspicious of the number of phones someone has, we need to know."

Photo by Route79

Obviously I'm in favour of finding and capturing terrorists on public transport or anywhere. But I really think that the ownership of mobile phones as an indicator of terrorism could be turning on the "fear factor" too much. A huge number of people I know have two mobile phones. Jag from Route79 also noted this.

Up until recently I had two mobile phones - one for work and one for personal use.

James from Spinvox kindly invited me and some other nice bloggers to an event celebrating the ICA's 60th Birthday. In between being entertained by the celebs (more pictures from the night from Mecca's Flickr stream), I brought up the subject of this ad, and everyone agreed that the ads went too far.


Admittedly, we were all from a "mobile heavy" demographic, but the point remains that most people have good reasons for using "several" mobile phones. Perhaps the police ads should have focussed more on the other "suspicious" behaviour such as people buying large quantities of chemicals.


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