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Will Britain's Pornography Filtering Lead to Internet Censorship?

• OpenNet Initiative
Last week, top-level British government official Ed Vaizey announced his plan to consider blocking all pornography on the Internet in the country. Vaizey, an MP and Britain's Communications Minister who cited “solutions to protect children” as the primary reason for the new Internet filtering proposal, will meet with British ISPs to discuss plans, one of which includes an opt-in online browsing system. Under this proposal, filters at the ISP-level would be put in place on the Internet to prevent minors from accessing adult content. Adults who want access to the content would fill out a form confirming their age. Largely negative responses have arisen from the blogosphere to Vaizey’s plan. In his blog on Bit Tech, Gareth Halfacree calls the UK government “hell-bent” on setting up a content firewall. Richard Adhikari of Tech News World called the filtering proposal “a hot mess,” comparing the attempt to block content with legislation not unlike those in China, Australia, and Iran.

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