Home Secretary Theresa May is to chair a meeting today between government ministers, police and representatives of Twitter, Facebook and Blackberry makers Research in Motion to discuss possible measures to prevent the technology being used to organise riots.
Several individuals have already been handed jail sentences for attempting to organise riots using Facebook pages, Twitter and Blackberry Messenger during the unrest in early August.
During an emergency session of Parliament shortly after the riots, Prime Minister David Cameron said the government would be "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".
However, there are already signs of a split in the Conservative party over whether it is right for governments to restrict the use of social media, notably from London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Johnson was quoted in the Financial Times as saying: "The briefings I've had so far on this matter make it clear that social media and being able to follow things on Twitter is of some intelligence benefit to the police."
A Home Office spokesman said: "These discussions will help us determine how law enforcement and the networks can work better together.
"Amongst the issues to be discussed is whether and how we should be able to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.
"Social networking is not a cause of the recent disturbances but a means of enabling criminals to communicate. We are working with the police to see what action can be taken to prevent access to those services by customers identified as perpetrators of disorder or other criminal action."