With Porn Filters Going Oh So Well, UK Roars Ahead In Expanding Them To Include 'Extremist' Content
from the things-are-getting-a-little-dystopian dept
The UK government’s futile and ham-fisted attempts to purge the Internet of all of its rough edges and naughty bits are about to see international escalation. The country is only really just kicking off their campaign to impose porn filters that not only often don’t work, but also have so far managed to accidentally block numerous entirely legal and useful websites including technology news sites like Slashdot, digital rights groups like the EFF, rape counseling websites, and more. David Cameron’s government has long-stated they want this filtering to eventually extend to websites deemed “extremist” by the government, and it appears that new proposals being drafted hope to make that a reality sooner rather than later.
Just as child porn is used to justify broader porn filters, beheading videos appear to be the magic bullet into scaring people into accepting filters that move well beyond porn. According to the BBC, government-funded operations within the counter-terrorism referral unit will soon order UK broadband ISPs like TalkTalk, Virgin Media and BSkyB to expand filters to include websites declared to be promoting terrorism. As most filter opponents have warned, the slope in the UK is moving beyond slippery and is getting downright muddy thanks in part to new UK Immigration Minister James Brokenshire:
“Terrorist propaganda online has a direct impact on the radicalisation of individuals and we work closely with internet service providers (ISPs) to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas,” said Brokenshire. “Through proposals from the Extremism Taskforce announced by the Prime Minister in November, we will look to further restrict access to material that is hosted overseas – but illegal under UK law – and help identify other harmful content to be included in family-friendly filters,” he added.
In other words, because of pesky things like the Constitution in the United States and instead of just using existing, vast international resources to prosecute criminals and terrorists, we’re going to be expanding broken ISP filters against the advice of pretty much everybody. Granted what is deemed “extremist” will likely be entirely arbitrary, and as we’ve seen with the porn filters, there’s probably no limit to the number of entirely legal and legitimate websites UK citizens will find suddenly inaccessible.