British government presses ahead with web filter plans

The UK government appears to be pressing ahead with plans to filter the internet to prevent the great unwashed from filesharing.

While we may have thought that culture secretary Jeremy Hunt had seen some common sense about the plan by asking Ofcom to review if it was workable, it seems that plans to block 100 P2P sites are going ahead anyway.

According to the Guardian  there are plans to waste taxpayer money building a quango similar to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). This would scour the net for illegal images of children, obscene adult content and “non-photographic child sexual abuse hosted in the UK” and er  filesharing.

It is worthwhile pointing out that for a long time people have advocated filtering to “protect children” and the great unwashed from terrorists. In some ways it is refreshing that the government is being upfront and saying that they are really using it to filter the net for their chums in the content industry.

According to the Guardian there is a “plan b” which involves having a judge rule whether a site should be blocked after an industry agreed voluntary code has been satisfied.

This will save ISPs from having to write cheques to outfits which have been wrongly blocked. It would also mean that the government would not have to pay to staff a quango.

Apparently the government does not want to block whole sites just the parts of them where there is pirated material, which is a greater challenge than domain name blocking.

Domain name blocking is popular by governments.

Berlusconi has used it to force people to watch his piss-poor television shouting matches and reality shows starring people disfigured by plastic surgery.

If you want to see the Pirate Bay in Italy, you have to download the free Cocoon on your Firefox browser.  It is not difficult and even if you don’t download anything, there is a satisfaction that you are somehow annoying the government.