The Great Firewall of Cameron Won't Just Block Porn

By Sam Gibbs on at

New details have emerged about our dear Prime Minster David Cameron's plan to force through a UK internet censorship system to protect our children. The supposedly "default on" plan won't just stop at porn blocking; file sharing, gambling, social networks, and all sorts of other stuff are also being blanket targeted.

The Open Rights Group has been talking to various British ISPs about what exactly falls behind the Great Firewall of Cameron, and unsurprisingly, all sorts of good things are going to be blocked by default. It's likely whole categories of sites and services will be blocked in large swaths of URL lists, the specifics of which haven't been outlined in public yet.

TalkTalk-Censorship

What we can do is infer from TalkTalk's current filtering scheme, which Cameron was quick to champion. The "HomeSafe" system blocks all sorts of things, and as TorrentFreak points out, lots of innocent sites get caught in the crossfire. For instance, TorrentFreak itself, a news site that just so happens to focus on file sharing and internet censorship, gets blocked if you happen to have the "File Sharing Sites" filter active.

Now, of course you can go in and deactivate the filtering, for now at least; but supposedly good filters aimed at protecting your children are going to block all sorts of things you may or may not want scrubbed from your internet, and the trouble is you're unlikely to know what until you try and access them. Oh, and to make matters worse if you're the paranoid-about-China type, the filtering system is going to be operated by Chinese-owned Huawei. Whether that's an issue, I leave up to you.

So you see, the Prime Minister's porn block is just a cover for a much wider censorship plan to be imposed on the UK. Thankfully you have the option of turning it all off, but who knows where this will lead in the future. Right now we really are in a battle for the freedom of the internet as we know it in Britain, with politicians blindly wading, under the noble banner of child safety, into things they really seem not to thoroughly understand -- a very dangerous situation to find ourselves in as UK netizens. [Open Rights Group via Torrent Freak]

Image credit: Censorship from Shutterstock