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Censorship Your Rights Online

UK Government Crowd-Sourcing Censorship 262

angry tapir writes "The UK public can report 'terrorism-related' Web sites to authorities for removal from the Internet under a new program launched by the British government. The program is a way in which the government is seeking to enforce the Terrorism Acts of 2000 and 2006. These laws make it illegal to have or to share information intended to be useful to terrorists, and ban glorifying terrorism or urging people to commit terrorist acts."
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UK Government Crowd-Sourcing Censorship

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  • Re:Unclear summary (Score:2, Informative)

    by cheesewire ( 876598 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:27AM (#31020652)

    Not quite, from TFA:

    People can report Web sites on by filling out a Web-based form. The form includes categories to describe what's on the Web site, such as "terrorist training material" or "hate crimes."

    So when we find some site with instructions on how to take down our infrastructure, we can report it. Although it then goes onto say while basically a good idea, few people who come across actually useful info will know what to do with it, followed by some lawyer quoted with this little gem:

    "I don't think the police anticipate a huge number of submissions."

    Now the form seems to have been publicized, maybe he'll be proved wrong?

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:49AM (#31020744)

    Good luck with that.

    No, seriously, all the best to those making a grand attempt to remove something from the internet without just causing it to be spread around even more. I imagine you'll have many fun years of failure.

    Actually, for all practical purposes they can do exactly this. It transpires that for all practical purposes we have a Great Firewall of Britain - and very few people were aware it even existed until recently: []

    How it's implemented depends on your ISP. One or two put up an error page saying "Sorry, you can't look at this" - but most simply block the TCP connection in the first place so it appears to a casual observer like the site in question is down.

  • by James_Duncan8181 ( 588316 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:19AM (#31020886) Homepage

    "Nice strawman. Do you realize that you just validated the grandparent's point? He talks about deporting immigrants who've expressed hostility towards their host culture, some to the point of committing crimes, even murder, and you come out and call him a nazi. That gives him the option of either giving up - which, in his view, results in his nation getting destroyed - or moving towards more radical methods."

    No, no he doesn't. He says:

    "The British government has two choices: either solve it now by harshly cutting out any part of the Muslim population that looks even remotely likely it sympathizes with Islamists, or face the prospect that in 20 years as demographics shift, a group like the BNP will stage a coup and take matters into its own hands militarily."

    How is that immigrants? It's limited by religion only. He also states that:

    "There was even a survey done of the British Muslim population that said that about 40% of the young Muslims in the country want to live under Sharia."

    So how is this not advocating deporting 40% of the population?

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:36AM (#31020974) Journal
    Note that it's not a government-mandated censor, it's opt-in by ISPs and run by a non-government organisation (the Internet Watch Foundation, which seems to have no mandate and no accountability). Some ISPs don't opt in, so you get full uncensored access, although the large ones do.
  • by Dan541 ( 1032000 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @09:25AM (#31021312) Homepage

    An act of terrorism is anything the government doesn't like. What ever you do don't threaten to blow up an airport on twitter.

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @10:26AM (#31021928) Journal

    The Government have repeatedly told the ISPs that if they don't do it "voluntarily", they'll pass a law forcing them to do it. And from [] , Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: "Currently in the UK, 95% of consumer broadband connections are covered by blocking. The government is currently looking at ways to progress the final 5%."

    Yes, they're so far "only" at 95%, but that just means they're not all the way there yet. It is Government mandated though.

    It's the worst of both worlds. We're being forced into it by the Government, but because it's handled by a non-Government entity, there's no oversight or right of appeal, and the Government just say "Oh it's nothing to do with us, the ISPs 'chose' to do this".

  • by VortexCortex ( 1117377 ) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @02:55PM (#31025320)

    ...only outlaws will have knowledge.

    Maps are arguably the most useful source of information for terrorists.
    How else can they get their bombs to the correct location in a foreign land?

    Explosives can be used by terrorists to harm innocent people.

    Chemistry describes how chemicals create explosions.

    Physics describes how force is applied...during an explosion.

    Math is used extensively to solve both Chemistry and Physics.

    Words are used to represent information...that describes how to make bombs.

    Paper is used to convey language...which could describe terrorist actions.

    Food is an important resource...that helps all terrorists survive!

    You don't want to help the terrorists do you?
    Then, you understand why we're removing all of your surplus food items, writing utensils, books, maps, televisions, and home computers.
    Do you have a license for those vocal cords?

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas