Career Threat To Twitter Bomb Joker

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

The joke tweet which got a man arrested as a possible terrorist could ruin his career, he tells reporters.

Paul Chambers, who tweeted about blowing up Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster, now fears that the police response to has joke could jeopardise his career in accountancy.

Chambers was arrested under the Terrorism Act last week following a poorly-judged joke. Finding that heavy snow had closed the airport and prevented a planned trip to Ireland, he expressed his frustration in a tweet: “Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

He is currently suspended from work, and yesterday told a BBC radio programme that he fears the police reaction may prevent him completing a chartered accountancy qualification.

The police confiscated his laptop and iPhone, and the hard drive of his home PC, and released him on bail until the middle of February, at which point he may be charged or cautioned.

A charge is unlikely, given he had no intention of causing an actual scare, but even a caution could have serious results. He told Stephen Nolan of BBC Northern Ireland:  “I’m studying for charted accountancy, and a caution will rule me out, it could jeopardise my career.”

Chambers’ employer has made no response to eWEEK about the terms of the suspension.

Today the Conservatives pledged to step up the country’s defense against cyber-terrorism and set up a Cyber Threat and Assessment Centre (CTAC), from which the governement would coordinate its response to all cyber-related incidents. However, such a plan would rely on the Tories being elected to government at the next election.