UK internet censorship succeeds only in blocking helplines, freedom
December 23, 2013 | 12:38 pm
In a spectacular own goal for its tabloid-courting campaign to rid Britain of smut, the Conservative government has failed in its bid to spank the botties of the nation’s porn addicts, while successfully screening out rape helplines and child abuse protection services. The BBC’s Newsnight documentary program found that porn remained accessible via all the major UK ISPs, including British Telecom, that had introduced aggressive opt-out content filtering.
“BT blocked sites including Sexual Health Scotland, Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline, and Reducing The Risk, a site which tackles domestic abuse,” according to the BBC. Other ISP filters fared little better. Writing in Forbes, Tim Worstall described it as “a technologically illiterate non-solution to a non-serious problem.”
Meanwhile, a hacker has already introduced a widely publicized plugin for the Chrome browser, Go away Cameron, designed to completely bypass these filters. The Singaporean author of the program proclaims his reasons for writing it on his website: “One, It was a holiday project as I was learning Twitter bootstrap. Two, I enjoy my internet freedom, and urge all of you to never give that up, let alone to any government agencies. Three, I did have some blind hopes for it going viral.”
Coming next: The UK Conservative administration’s bid to introduce aggressive opt-out filtering of words like “censorship” and “freedom,” in the interests of speedier, more efficient government.