Game over: Danish jails reportedly cut internet after extremist content found on PlayStations

Game over: Danish jails reportedly cut internet after extremist content found on PlayStations
Danish prisons have shut down an online network for inmates after extremist content was discovered on several game consoles in one facility, local media report. Critics say that collective punishment is not the way out.

The information about Denmark’s prisons agency Kriminalforsorgen taking drastic steps towards improving security in its facilities appeared in Jyllands-Posten newspaper on Thursday. The paper claims that the prison regulator closed the secure SK-net network which provides internet access to prisoners in some jails. The report insists that the extremist material was discovered on four PlayStation consoles.

The agency’s decision will lead to cancellation of online study programs and exams for prisoners, a board member with charity which offers support to inmates Landsforeningen Krim Frederik Jepsen said. he belives that caution should be taken with measures that can constitute collective punishment.

“Individual assessments of prisoners are required to assess whether the individual in question is suitable for access to the SK-net,” he told Jyllands-Posten, adding that inmates are disappointed that they are now unable to continue their education programs.

Kriminalforsorgen earlier confirmed that extremist material was found on four game consoles at a closed state prison for males in the town of Nyborg in April this year. The agency, however, didn’t confirm the internet access ban in its facilities. It also didn’t specify that the ‘extremist’ consoles belonged to PlayStation gaming brand.

Kriminalforsorgen’s investigating showed that game consoles can’t be made secure enough in Danish prisons, so all of them will be confiscated, the agency’s head of security, Lars Rau Brysting said in a statement released on the agency’s website on Monday. 

Brysting admitted it is impossible for prison officers to evaluate whether consoles hide extremist material. “Things can be saved onto the consoles and our personnel have no means of searching them properly,” he said, as cited by The Copenhagen Post newspaper. Now from this Saturday the inmates will no longer have an access to game consoles.

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