Voluntary? Not so much.
The government’s home minister, Theresa May, according to one account of the meeting, said that the aim was not to “discuss restricting Internet services,” but to instead “crack down on the networks being used for criminal behavior.” A spokeswoman for Ms. May said the government “would not be seeking any additional powers.”
But the discussion, according to those present, was still aimed at reeling in social media and strengthening the hand of law enforcement in gathering information from those networks. In the wake of revolutions that have seen widespread calls for freedom and democracy, free-speech advocates have said, the British government is considering similar policies to those it has criticized in totalitarian and one-party states.