Great Firewall of Cameron goes mandatory, ISPs required to buy magic no-false-positive beans, as well

Britain's Great Firewall of Cameron has just made the jump from "voluntary" to "mandatory." The UK government has announced that the demand that all ISPs offer an opt-out "adult content" filter will soon be a requirement, covering even small ISPs and ISPs that advertise themselves as censorship-free. ISPs will be required to operate filters that do not "unintentionally filter out legitimate content" -- effectively, this is a mandate to go shopping for magic beans. Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group sez:

"Preselected" parental filters are now official policy, and should extend to small ISPs, according the the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's new strategy paper. They say "we need good filters that are preselected to be on ... the settings to install family friendly filters will be automatically selected; if you just click next or enter, then the filters are automatically on" They state that "We expect the smaller ISPs to follow the lead being set by the larger providers". Finally, DCMS demand ISPs give them magic beans ("We want industry to continue to refine and improve their filters to ensure they do not -- even unintentionally -- filter out legitimate content") and threaten them with regulation if they do not answer to future demand.

Government wants default blocking to hit small ISPs (Thanks, Jim!)

(Image: Haricot magique, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from st3f4n's photostream)

Notable Replies

  1. Governments should totally make laws requiring that cancer be cured. Boom. Done. End of problem.

  2. It's like passing a law that requires toaster-makers to produce fully functioning anti-gravity belts, with safeguards against accidentally hitting birds.

  3. So if the company does unintentionally filter out legitimate content, what is the penalty? Presumably it means I can sue them at the very least. Goodbye, British internet!

  4. Really annoys me that I'll have "parental filters" applied to my broadband connection when I haven't got, and have no intention of ever having, children. Discrimination? Erosion of civil liberties?

  5. jimp says:

    The government knows best, dear. Better a million people be blocked from things they want to view than even one tiny, innocent child sees something that might disturb them even a teensy bit isn't it?

    We should thank those brave people who tirelessly view bad pages and take notes on what they find so they can make their filters even better. The government of course will be offering some "suggestions" they will incorporate to help you have a safer Internet experience as time goes by.

    We think it's for the best if eventually we don't bother your busy self with notices that you tried to see something we think is bad, but rest assured, we'll be keeping an eye out to help you make wise choices and may even ask you to come in for counseling and correction if you try too hard to see disturbing images and sites or keep searching for stuff that might cause unrest or unnecessary questions..

    We really want to make sure nothing upsets you or causes you to worry that the government isn't doing things in the best and safest fashion for your comfort and convenience.

    We'll do the deciding so you don't have to, that's true freedom.

    To lawmakers and bureaucrats, you will always be our little helpless child who needs protection from the big, bad world. Not that the U.S. is a lot better these days but you do need to recall Brits are "subjects" before they are citizens.

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