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UK ‘Porn’ Filter Will Also Block Violence, Alcohol, Terrorism, Smoking And ‘Esoteric Material’

July 30, 2013

The United Kingdom’s new internet filters promise to block much more than just pornography, according to a report by the digital advocacy organization Open Rights Group.

Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron announced online porn would soon become automatically blocked in order to “protect children and their innocence.” The filters will be implemented by the UK’s major internet service providers, which encompass 95% of British web users.

Based on conversations with several ISPs, Open Rights Group says the new “parental controls” will reach far beyond pornography. By default, the controls will block access to “violent material,” “extremist and terrorist related content,” “anorexia and eating disorder websites,” and “suicide related websites.”

In addition, the new settings will censor websites that mention alcohol or smoking. The filter will even block “web forums” and “esoteric material,” though Open Rights Group does not specify what these categories would include.

The Independent notes the filters implemented by the four main private internet providers will be “default-on,” meaning users must explicitly choose to turn them off. Users can decide to keep certain filters while turning others off.

Making the filters default means most people will keep them, according to Open Rights Group Executive Director Jim Killock. “We know that people stick with defaults: this is part of the idea behind ‘nudge theory’ and ‘choice architecture’ that is popular with Cameron.”

According to Cameron, the new parental control settings will be turned on for all new broadband subscribers “by the end of the year.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/uk-internet-filter-block-more-than-porn_n_3670771.html

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Andy permalink
    July 30, 2013 8:44 pm

    This isn’t seriously going to happen right? I can’t see this happening. I couldn’t imagine the internet users in the UK are going to accept this without a fight.

    This whole thing is a joke.

    “violent material” – Kind of a broad subject. As sickening as the violent materials on the internet can be like videos found on liveleak, they show you whats really happening around the world. The true horrors. So yeah, let’s not show ourselves that. Let’s just be ignorant to it right?

    “anorexia and eating disorder websites” – Again…what? What does this even mean? I have a feeling that these people are going to consider raw food and juicing websites “eating disorder sites” and block them. That’s valuable health information that can save people’s lives.

    And blocking web forums and esoteric content? So they are trying to limit communication between people. I love how they use the word “esoteric”. What they really mean to say is “truth”.

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