ISPs in the UK are required to censor a wide swathe of content: what began as a strictly limited, opt-in ban on depictions of the sexual abuse of children has been steadily expanded to a mandatory ban on "extreme" pornography, "terrorist content," copyright and trademark infringement, and then there's the on-again/off-again ban on all porn sites unless they keep a record of the identity of each user and the porn they request..
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Since the days of David Cameron, the UK has been pressing ahead on a plan to force every British person who wants to see pornography to register as an adult through a private-public partnership (administered by a Canadian porn monopolist that pretends to be a Luxembourg company) before they could see sexy times on the internet.
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Last year the US Congress passed SESTA/FOSTA, an "anti-sex-trafficking bill" that has resulted in the shuttering of all the services formerly used by sex workers to vet their johns, massively increasing the personal physical risk borne by sex-workers and reinvigorating the dying pimping industry, as sex workers seek out protectors.
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The UK Conservative government is pressing on with their insane plan to block all adult sites (including ones that are legal for adults to access) for all UK internet users. Read the rest
Jim from Open Rights Group sez, "MPs have worked out that attempts to verify adult's ages won't stop children from accessing other pornographic websites: so their proposed answer is to start censoring these websites." Read the rest
The UK government says it wants to stop people under 18 from looking at pornography, and so it's going to make all the porn sites operating in Britain collect some kind of age-verification in order to make this happen, on pain of being blocked by the UK's Great Firewall. Read the rest
The UK Prime Minister has doubled down on his Great Firewall of Cameron, which is an arrangement whereby the UK ISPs "voluntarily" agreed to block websites that had been secretly ruled to be pornographic, unless customers specifically asked them not tp. Read the rest
Thanks to the bullying of UK PM David Cameron, everyone who signs up for an Internet account is asked "Would you like to keep 'adult content' blocked on this connection?" It's a misleading question. Read the rest
The Great Firewall of Cameron is supposed to block "extremist" websites, and somehow, the website of the respected, excellent Chaos Computer Club, one of Germany's foremost centers for technology research and political analysis, has been blocked. Read the rest
Pam writes, "Open Rights Group has produced a new satirical film to raise awareness of internet filters - a spoof campaign by the 'Department of Dirty'." Read the rest
Redditor LolBoopje discovered that the UK's Great Firewall of Cameron -- the national censorwall put in place by the prime minister -- was blocking updates to the game League of Legends. The update archive contained two files, "VarusExpirationTimer.luaobj" and "XerathMageChainsExtended.luaobj" that had the word "sex" in them, triggering the censorship algorithm. The censorship is totally silent -- users got a "file not found" error -- and it was only some very clever sleuthing that revealed the error.
I've written at length about the worse-than-useless nature of censorware as a means of keeping kids from seeing bad stuff. One of the key points to note here is that silent failure: there is no way of telling how many of the timeouts, file-not-found errors, and other miscellaneous bugs in your daily Web experience are caused by the Great Firewall, and that is by design. It is a system that is intended to make it impossible to tell if it's working. That's not going to be pretty. Read the rest