A British ISP has told customers that if they want censorship they should choose another company – or move to North Korea.
In response to David Cameron’s enormously unpopular porn censorship crusade, Andrew & Arnolds said: “The government wants us to offer filtering as an option, so we offer an active choice when you sign up, you choose one of two options:
“- Unfiltered internet access – no filtering of any content within the A&A network – you are responsible for any filtering in your own network, or”- Censored internet access – restricted access to unpublished government mandated filter list (plus Daily Mail web site) – but still cannot guarantee kids don’t access porn”
If potential customers pick the latter, A&A tells them they’ll have to either pick a different ISP or move to North Korea. “Our services are all unfiltered”. A&A asks if that is enough of a choice for Cameron.
The response goes on to say it is not up to the ISP to censor what customers do online. “We do not try and log or limit what you are accessing,” it says, adding “it is your responsibility to stick to the laws that apply to you.”
What follows is some convincingly snarky reasoning behind the company’s actions, including welcoming customers to set up their own adult content filters and suggesting that parental responsibility – shock – might be more effective than a catch-all state censorship policy that is technically doomed to fail anyway.
Later down the page there’s some pretty solid advice on how to protect yourself from snooping, and a call to use encryption for all normal web traffic wherever possible.
Cameron’s “opt-in” option for all adult content is seen by critics as a slippery slope that could lead to wider censorship for anything the state doesn’t think much of. It is widely seen outside the pages of the Mail as a power grab dressed up as a moral crusade which has set a nasty precedent for web freedoms.
*British musician Dan Bull coined ‘Kim Jong Cameron’ in this NSFW-y open letter to the prime minister.