The world is changing at an exponential rate and its leaders are scrambling to adapt to both the security and technological challenges they are faced with. We can expect an increase in efforts on the part of our world leaders to slowly but surely strip away paramount rights and freedoms we are supposed to have and depend on.

It may come as no big surprise the level of media attention UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent proposals and planned crackdown on online pornography has been and will continue to be given. In a speech on July 23rd 2013 the ambitious government leader called out to major Search Engine providers such as Google and Bing, stating that they have a “moral duty” to inhibit internet users from searching for and subsequently accessing websites offering content that involves rape or child abuse. Both companies stated that they already actively hunt for and instantly remove any such listings within their search results and that they are in agreement with the overall mission.

Cameron proposes legislation that will compel UK ISP’s such as BT, Sky and Virgin Media to apply “porn filters” to their customers’ accounts. It is proposed that ISP’s absorb the costs, although it is likely that consumers’ monthly bills will rise in response to the technological requirements of this new demand. Current customers will be contacted by the end 2013 and required to make a decision, stating whether they wish their “porn filters” to be turned off or on. All newly created broadband accounts will be created with these filters switched on. This means that a new consumer would then have to contact their ISP in order to actively request access to “pornography”.

The idea to remove or block content displaying or involving child abuse, rape or any other unlawful and otherwise dangerous content for children to see or hear is obviously highly commendable and incredibly important. However attempting to achieve this goal by simply mandating all ISP’s to create, implement and manage pornography filters is clearly not the ideal way to achieve the intended result.

One of Cameron’s top technological advisors Jimmy Wales himself recently stated that these proposals were “ridiculous” and that money could be better spent in other areas. He also stated, “When Cameron uses the example of paedophiles that are addicted to Internet porn – all that these plans would do is require them to opt in,” he said. “It’s an absolutely ridiculous idea that won’t work.”

One very important factor that cannot be overlooked is how this UK “porn filter” proposal is a radical, audacious and major step towards the implementation of full-blown censorship of the Internet. It is clear that the worlds leading nations are no longer afraid to cross the line when it comes to infringing on the rights and freedoms of its law abiding and tax paying citizens if in their eyes it’s for the purpose of “national security” as we have seen with the recent NSA Scandal in the Unites States that involved collecting or mining metadata of communications made via a few top service providers.

The good news for all of us morally centered citizens who would rather not have ISP’s and the government decide what content we have access to is to utilize the fully legal security and anonymity services out there such as VPN’s or Virtual Private Networks. Using a VPN is simply the easiest and most practical way to view any content you wish, as it changes the ip address not only of your browser but your entire Internet connection, offering you a fully encrypted tunnel to the outside internet, Along with avoiding these future “porn filters” a VPN has additional benefits that can improve anyone’s overall web browsing experience. A good example would be to allow the viewing content that is intended to be restricted only to residents of a particular country or geographic region, or accessing government censored sites such as The Pirate Bay or Newsbin2.

The world is changing at an exponential rate and its leaders are scrambling to adapt to both the security and technological challenges they are faced with. We can expect an increase in efforts on the part of our world leaders to slowly but surely strip away paramount rights and freedoms we are supposed to have and depend on. Subscribing to a quality VPN service is one sure way to ensure you stay informed and have unhindered access to all the information available on the Internet.

Once the floodgates of censorship are opened it becomes almost impossible to stop their movement into every element of our society.

The “on by default” UK internet porn filter concept that is being promoted by Prime Minister David Cameron is the equivalent of the Trojan horse strategy used by the Greeks to invade the city of Troy. However, instead of a group of people trying to invade a city, the UK government is using this strategy to invade the living rooms of the citizens of the United Kingdom to control their use of the internet.

It is a facade that when looked at from the outside is staggering in its deception.
Censorship is a restriction of the distribution of information and ideas. It is a method of control employed by repressive governments to prevent their citizens from developing their own thoughts.
In what is one of the most unbelievable acts imaginable, the British government under the guise of protecting its citizens from porn is trying to control what UK citizens are allowed to read and watch on the internet by inserting content filters in all the homes that have internet connections.

Basically, the government is trying to advance a censorship strategy that will enable the government to know what you are watching and control what you are able to watch and read under the guise of protecting its younger citizens from the influence of hardcore pornography.

 
Content Filters Overreaching 

 
According to some of the Internet Service Providers who have been contracted to create the UK porn content filters, the government under the direction of Prime Minister Cameron is not limiting the filters to porn. The government is planning to use the porn content filters as a smokescreen to be able to filter any other additional internet content that they feel can influence the minds of their citizens.

Including but not limited to:

  • Internet Forums
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Web blocking circumvention tools
  • Esoteric material 

The fact alone that the government has decided that individuals who have access to the internet must inform the government that they may want to watch adults having sex of their own volition on the internet is an incredible invasion of privacy. This sounds like a reality TV show or worse, the book 1984 by George Orwell. However, the government is now extending their attempts to control what is viewed on the internet by having the content filters also include any other topics that they feel may have an adverse influence on UK citizens.

These actions can also be described as “mind-control” actions by more sophisticated individuals: we determine what you watch and soon we will tell you what to think about what you have viewed.
The government has taken the issue of pornography and is attempting to use it to exert control over much of what the public is able to read and watch in the comfort of their own home. This is the definition of censorship and is an infringement of rights that sees the UK moving in the direction of life in North Korea, one of the bastions of free rights.

 
The restriction of information is what censorship revolves around and it prevents open conversation and debate about issues. What is incredibly disappointing about this action by the UK government is that the Prime Minister is not only insulting all UK citizens with his stance that everybody should be under the microscope, but it also goes to the hypocrisy of his words.
Prime Minister Cameron stated two years ago that governments should not use the need for internet security as an excuse to censor internet use by individuals. Now, through the use of the UK porn filter strategy as a means to protect the innocent minds of the UK citizens he is trying to control their use of the internet.

 
The ability to communicate freely and watch things that are legal within the privacy of our own homes is one of the things that distinguish a free society. The UK porn filter is censorship and is a way of controlling the minds and actions of UK citizens. It is an example of a democratically elected government overstepping the boundaries of a free populace and trying to control the thoughts of its people as if they were subjects and not individuals having their own thoughts and feelings, Similar to the actions of the North Korean and Chinese government.

 
The UK is a country that has always taken pride in the fact that its citizens are full of innovative, unique thoughts who believe in freedom of speech and privacy within their own homes.
The current censorship policies of Prime Minister Cameron are making our great country look more like an insecure, undemocratic country that feels that it is necessary to invade the homes of its citizens to control their thoughts.

 
The question that needs to be answered by the UK government is whether it feels that the censorship policies of governments such as that of China and North Korea are the models that they wish to aspire to? If the answer is yes then UK citizens must ask themselves if they want the government to move into their individual homes because once the floodgates of censorship are opened it becomes almost impossible to stop their movement into every element of our society.

Cameron’s ‘on by default’ filters epitomize government censorship

The internet has been cited as one of the tools furthering freedom of expressions. People can readily get the information they want from anywhere. However, that reality will be seriously compromised by the proposed ‘on by default’ UK porn filters that easily boils down to government censorship. According to Cameron, UK’s prime minister, by the year 2014, Internet Service Providers will be required to offer the filters as default internet setting to filter out porn.

By definition, government censorship is the active suppression of communication that is considered harmful to the general populace. The government decides what is harmful and proceeds to intervene. According to the filter builders, the filters will not target porn alone, as Cameron states. There will be other materials that will be blocked as well. This includes some web forums and content that can be deemed as violent or suggestive, such as websites depicting violent material.

In order to comprehensively block the targeted content, the filters will be built in as ‘default’. This means that many people will not even be aware of what they are prevented from accessing. Consent will effectively be taken away from internet users. In the current proposal, the government aims to use porn to gain access to the control of more internet content. By blocking more than porn, they will be limiting the freedom of internet users to regulate their own access to internet content.

The government’s action raises several questions. If the filter is really targeted at porn, why not create a filter for just that purpose? In addition, why has Cameron not mentioned all the other content that will additionally be blocked? Content such as that found on web forums is the epitome of free expression. Blocking it will put a serious restriction on the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experiences. This unwarranted restriction is tantamount to government censorship.

There is no doubt that Cameron is aware of what the filter will do. Progressing with the project means that the government is only using porn as a ruse to impose its censorship. They are targeting objectionable material and making a decision for the people. It can be deduced that, by following the proper channels, blocking of the additional material would not be accepted. There is serious need for clarity in the matter and for the public to understand exactly what is going on in order to avoid inertia.

What is apparent is that as the proposed filters takes on porn, much more will be taken away. Since the public has not sanctioned the additional blocks, this is a clear case of government censorship. The government will decisively be censoring the flow of communication on the internet, infringing on people’s rights.

If the proposal is implemented, it will seriously wound the country’s freedom of expression contrary to the guarantees found in UK’s Rights Act. It will also be contrary to the spirit of democracy where people can make their own choices about their lives. Cameron’s anti-porn crusade need not take the shape of government censorship.