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]
Caroline McCarthy is a journalist and ex-googler who now works as an ad-tech exec for a startup that Fox bought and they transfered to Disney when the two companies merged; in this great, impassioned Tedx talk, she lays out the case for being a "tech policy activist" and explains how the field of tech policy, […]
Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy is a marvellous interdisciplinary research center, and it is advertising for "visitors" for one-year stints: postdocs, policy fellows and visiting IT professors.
Today, we are told that the bigness of Big Tech giants was inevitable: the result of "network effects." For example, once everyone you want to talk to is on Facebook, you can't be convinced to use another, superior service, because all the people you'd use that service to talk to are still on Facebook. And […]
Things break, and even in this disposable world, there’s a need to fix them. Up until recently, that’s been the crusty bottle of glue in your junk drawer, which is just as liable to coat your fingers as the thing you actually want to repair. Looks like there’s finally a Star Trek-level solution on the […]
Paying for things is all too easy online these days, and that’s why managing your money has gotten so hard. We’ve all done it: You sign up for a streaming subscription or gym membership, blow past the free trial date, and it becomes a part of your monthly expenses. Some of us juggle so many […]
We all know those gifts we get “for the kids,” the ones that parents are secretly more excited to open. Drones are a perfect example, but there’s a model out there that really doubles down on that appeal. Introducing the Space Fighter Building Block Drones, a series of space fighter drones that are a blast […]