Four ISPs have agreed to censor the internet on behalf of the British government.
Sky, BT, TalkTalk and Virgin have all signed up to the agreement to automatically block “adult content”, requiring customers to specifically ask for the block to be removed. The agreement has come about following a report from the religious pressure group, the Mothers’ Union, which said that censorship is necessary to protect children.
We have a reliable way of preventing our children accessing adult content on the internet without state-organised censorship – the computer is in the living room and we watch what they’re doing. Not a very high tech solution but it’s a damn sight more reliable than censorship.
This is just the thin end of the wedge. Today it’s blocking whatever a panel of Mary Whitehouse wannabes determine to be “adult content” for the good of the children (won’t you think of the children, it’s for them), tomorrow it will be what a panel of career politicians decides are “extreme views” and then it will be anything that’s critical of the British government and before long the internet will be censored according to the whims of whichever illiberal clone happens to be in power at the time.
The erosion of civil liberties is one-way, we will never get them back if we allow them to be taken. This isn’t about porn, it’s about the principal of uncensored and unrestricted access to information. It’s not about saving children from the ignorance of their parents, it’s about the state establishing the principal of censorship of the internet. Once you’ve agreed to the principal, the rest is just haggling about the price.