UK Prime Minister David Cameron must be pleased that his anti-porn filter programme was launched while most of the world was on holiday.
This is because it is turning out that his attempts to impose an anti-porn filter has proven to be an unmitigated disaster.
Leaving aside the fact that it is easy for a child to get around, it blocks access to leading charity sites including ChildLine, the NSPCC and the Samaritans.
Ironically this means that in the name of protecting children, Cameron has managed to cut them off from their life-lines and will allow them to be sexual abused or commit suicide because they can’t get the help they need.
It puts the fact that they might see a woman’s boobs in perspective.
They have also been banned from seeing women’s charities, the British Library and the National Library of Scotland. The last could be the first stop for kids wanting to do their homework.
The filter blocks access to the Parliament and Government websites and the sites of politicians. If any politically aware kids wanted to complain about it to their MP, they can’t. Fortunately, it also blocks access to Claire Perry, the MP who has campaigned prominently for the introduction of filters, so there is a God after all.
Harry Clapham, whose website offers guitar lessons, complained on Twitter that he was being censored by the filter. “So a parent who opts in is safe from guitar lessons giving their kids bad dreams,” he tweeted. Another Twitter user complained “it appears ‘parental control’ is O2’s term for ‘switch the whole internet off’.”
O2 told The Independent on Monday that it was changing its parental control filters to allow access to some of the charities that had been blocked.