UK Coalition gives Big Content committee the power to censor web

The British Government has formed a secret committee whose members are mostly a cabal of Big Content companies, which will have the power to censor the Internet.

According to Boing Boing,  the decision to form the committee follows a confidential meeting of UK copyright lobbyists held with Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.

The decision was leaked, and it reveals a plan to establish “expert bodies” that would decide which websites British people were allowed to see, to be approved by a judge using a “streamlined” procedure. It means that if Big Content says so, a site will be swiftly shut down.

The only saving grace of the concept is that the process will be overseen by a judge. However, the fact that public interest groups like the Open Rights Group who asked to attend the meeting were told to go forth and multiply does not bode well.  

The system, will be funded by the taxpayer and is expected to cost millions. If it succeeds in its goals, it could save Big Content a fortune by not having to take file sharing sites to court.

It seems that while the Coalition is calling for austerity measures to save the economy, splashing out huge sums of money to keep Big Content in extra swimming pools remains a priority.