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
(Image: Haricot magique, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from st3f4n's photostream)
The public markets are hungry: as Uber and Lyft look to IPOs to let their investors -- who have been subsidizing 40-50% of every ride -- redeem their shares through sales to the public capital markets, the companies are desperate for ways to reduce their unprofitability and increase those share prices.
Pepsi's plan to pay a Russian company called Startrocket to loft an artificial constellation of cubesats with mylar sails to advertise a "nonalcoholic energy beverage" has been cancelled for unspecified reasons (the company says its prototype launch using high-altitude balloons was a "one-time event").
* whether they deserve one or not
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