Great Firewall of Cameron blocks sex-abuse charities

UK Prime Minister David Cameron demanded that ISPs opt their customers into "adult content" filters (and now Sky is opting in everyone whose account predates this announcement), ignoring all the people who correctly predicted that these filters would block important sites.

No irony could be crueller than this one, though: the censorwall that the Tories flung up around the UK is blocking access to charities that help survivors of sexual abuse. What's worse, Talktalk is rolling out mandatory filters for its customers in the next 10 days (the voluntary takeup has been less than 10 percent).

The Metropolitan police are currently producing a list of websites for the filtering services which they regard as terror-related.

A website discussing the legalisation of cannabis found itself blocked, as did several small wine dealers, said Pam Cowburn of the transparency campaign Open Rights Group. Last year research by the group found that 54 registered charities had their websites blocked by one or another of the filters.

Several were offering support and services to young people escaping abuse or alcohol dependency. One such charity, Alcohol Support, based in Aberdeen, called it a "big brother" approach.

Internet filters block websites of sex abuse charities [Tracy McVeigh/The Guardian]