UK Prime Minister calls for further Web Blocking

UK Prime Minister calls for further Web Blocking

In a widely criticised move, this week David Cameron (The UK’s Prime Minister) indicated his intention to force Britain’s ISPs to filter pornography, this would be achieved by making account holders “opt in” for access to otherwise black-listed sites on the public web.

The Prime Minister also demanded that Search companies (such as Google, Yahoo and Bing) do more to block images of child abuse, including the blocking of search terms.Threatening poster at UK railway stations about CCTV

Announcements such as this do not come as much of a surprise to many activists and campaigners in the UK, who have been warning about the creep of such measures for years. What is surprising, however, is that the announcement came not from self-appointed “protectors of decency”, but instead from a Prime Minister whose government has been rapidly expanding the proliferation of “Open Data” and, as pointed out in an open letter by Pirate Party UK, flies in the face of the results of their own consultation released in December 2012, sourced from the industry, experts, charities and parents.

The industry and campaigners have been warning that the sort of blocking increasingly seen in the UK over the past 12 months is both ineffective and dangerous. In a nation where there is estimated to be one CCTV camera per 32 citizens and where there were threats to “switch off” Social Networking websites during last year’s unrest in London which was swiftly mimicked in other UK cities, campaigners will increasingly have their work cut out.


It is likely that Mr Cameron will realise how unworkable his proposals are, and after conversations with the industry and campaigners followed by a series of increasingly vague speeches on the subject, they will be quietly dropped in the run-up to the UK’s general election in 2015. However, once proposals like this are mooted, headlines grabbed and knees jerked, they become “normalised” in the minds of the electorate and become one step closer to blind acceptance.

So will the UK become a filtered state in the near future? We will be keeping a close eye and reporting on any developments.

Featured images: Ed Geraghty (c)