back to article UK.gov's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websites

Whitehall is carefully floating plans that might result in ISPs being forced to start blocking "extremist" websites. The first hint reached us in October, when the Premier – basking in what he believed to be a victory against the ubiquity of smutty websites, with big name ISPs set to bring in network-level filters – told …

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    1. bazza101

      Re: Creeping scope...

      And the Conservative / LibDem if Labour gets in....

  1. Vimes

    There are still alternatives out there - at the moment at any rate - that actively go out of their way to avoid filtering...

    Take this one for example:

    http://www.andrews-arnold.co.uk/kb-broadband-realinternet.html

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see having the internet in the wifes name will be a huge advantage when I tick the "I'm a raging perv" box so I can continue to enjoy youtube (and similarly named sites).

  3. TopOnePercent Silver badge

    WiFi

    Surely this will instigate a rise in wifi hacks as teenage boys try to borrow wifi from the single bloke next door?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He was mulling over ways "to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online sites."

    Well, that's not countering, is it? That's putting your fingers in your ears and going tra-la-la.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Increase in business for "boutique" ISPs ?

    AAISP are a niche ISP who have been around a long time and offer (according to many) a well respected service.

    One of the head honchos is the Reverend Adrian Kennard, who writes a bog which includes contributions and comments on various subjects, including this one.

    He has pretty much committed in public to offering an unfiltered service. Which will be interesting given that the connection between his datacenter and his customers is frequently supplied and operated by BT.

    http://revk.www.me.uk/2013/11/brave-move.html

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Goddammit...

    There goes my basejumping website income then!

    1. Daedalus801
      Unhappy

      Re: Goddammit...

      As if we didn't see this mission creep coming when it was described as "Family Friendly Filters" well im a single grumpy old man so I'm not having this and my MP who happens to be DC can go JUMP but wont be welcome at any exit point i know of.

      If they start banning Base Jumping sites my personal site will be shut down and i will need to purchase a VPN to tunnel to a more liberal country like north Korea or Iran. :-(

      i will be telling my isp (a wholly owned subsidiary of BT) that i DO NOT want to have family friendly filters on my internet connection i dont want ANY filters and will only accept blocking of sites that have been subject to a court order allowing them to individually be blocked like the pirate bay and newzbin2. I think that is reasonable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Goddammit...

        "i will be telling my isp (a wholly owned subsidiary of BT) "

        BT Sheffield (Plusnet) presumably?

        Sad to say, even if you were to leave, and others (me included), it would make no difference. BT make so much money off HMG directly and indirectly that they don't have to care about plebs like you and me. Just look at the BDUK "competitive tendering" fiasco for one of the more visible examples (or CfH, or ... take your pick).

        BT: default provider of overpriced telephony and datacoms to the naive and illinformed.

  7. Only me!
    Mushroom

    The Reg is doomed!

    With all the extreme views about Apple, Microsoft, Google, Linux and Android Le Reg will be blocked as a matter of urgency!

  8. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Big Brother

    Vote for another party and you're an extremist!

  9. Arachnoid

    And in a final trumpet to liberty

    The Guberment will block all sites that use incorrect spelling or use txt speak or show hairy arm pits or..........disagree with Prime Ministers question time or just fill in an excuse.Ya know everyday it feels more like being a contestant in a series of that Les Dawson show Blankety Blank

  10. mickey mouse the fith

    creep, creep, creep

    Ahh, this explains why a certain video streaming site i frequent (to watch american tv series mainly) presented a `site not available` page a few days ago. Took all of 30 seconds to bypass the stupid block, so whats the point?

    And as far as i know, the site in question isnt doing anything illigal or `extreme`, its just presenting links to streams hosted elseware. Theres mission creep right there, pointless, half arsed, easily bypassed mission creep, but mission creep nontheless.

    1. Fink-Nottle

      Re: creep, creep, creep

      > Took all of 30 seconds to bypass the stupid block

      For the benefit of any readers not familiar with the subtleties of 'reverse-polish-computerspeak', a translation of the original comment into plain English:

      The authorities were extremely clever and resourceful, and the security measures they have deployed have me completely flummoxed. The highly effective block has solved the problem of video streaming in one fell swoop and the Government need not worry about this issue ever again. Well done, Dave & Co!

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "Oh look, now we've got the sheeple fooled, let's see whatelse we can prohit"

    F**k em.

    I knew this was coming once I saw the list of crap on the "banned" list.

    "Esoterica" anyone? Anorexia promotion sites?

    this looks like the sort of thing a middle class mum who couldn't program her browser web filter would be worried about.

    There's an election coming up. I think the voters of her constituency should show their feelings to Claire Perry her tireless efforts to protect the UK population from itself.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ban this extremist site now !

    www.conservatives.com

    Name: Conservative Party

    Organization: Conservative Party

    Street: 30 Millbank

    City: Westminster

    State: London

    Postal Code: SW1P 4DP

  13. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Next they'll blocking the sites of anybody working to overthrow the government...

    ....such as any political party not in the government

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this the first step in a long line...

    ...until eventually following Japan and ending up with the level of control below. The UK is not as passive as Japan, so it would have to start with something subtle....

    Secrecy law approved in Japan — AP: Prison for ‘inappropriate reporting’ — Official: We’re on path to be fascist state — Fear Fukushima cover-ups to worsen

    http://enenews.com/secrecy-law-approved-by-japan-lawmakers-ap-prison-for-inappropriate-reporting-official-were-on-path-to-be-fascist-state-fear-of-more-fukushima-cover-ups

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    China 1.0? - If their real interntion was to help...

    ......They'd have offered Malware / Banking Trojan filters first to begin with.... But no, instead this reeks of China 1.0.... or rather China 0.1 (because from past disasters we can be sure of a comedy of errors)....and expect there to be a whole host of websites that 'accidentally' get blocked from Wikileaks type sites to Pirate Bay spin-offs....

  16. Chris G Silver badge

    Clone

    I never thought Cameron would be as big a twat as Tony Blair was but on viewing photographs of the pair side by side I can see they were cloned in the same vat.

    They both have that smug 'I know much better than you do, what is best for you and you are going to benefit from my wisdom' expression, they also have those same cloned public speaking mannerisms that all of our EuroPoliticalClones exhibit (have bred into them).

    Don't anyone for one minute think this is only going to be Britain doing this we are heading for Eurotopia and are well on our collective way.

    What's next? Burning/banning questionable books and or checking your personal property to make sure there is nothing offensive or extreme that the children could access?

    It's beginning to look as though Dolores Umbridge is real and living at Number Ten!

  17. KBeee Bronze badge

    Well, after Tony Blairs daughter tried to kill herself - you read about THAT of course... Oh wait... Maybe not... The Government wants to restrict what you can read... Cos NOBODY IS THINKING OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!

  18. David 45

    Think of the children - again!

    Oh dear - once more into the breach, dear friends, with grandstanding politicians who think they can wave a magic wand and everything on the net will be warm and cuddly. Well - I'm here to tell you, friends - it ain't gonna happen. This is absolutely nothing to do with keeping children safe on line (that's the parents' responsibility in my opinion) or offending folks' sensibilities but has EVERYTHING to do with outright censorship. Who is to decide what is "undesirable" and should not be seen? I expect they will appoint the City of London police to oversee all this business, as it seems they can order alleged file-sharing sites in other countries to do their bidding. Doing the same to other sites deemed "extremist" without any due process whatsoever should be child's play to them. I believe there may be an election coming up. Anything to do with that, possibly?

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    And you wait

    until some very unlucky kiddie in your area disappears

    You can bet the first people to be trawled in will be all those who opted for a full smut internet experience

    And after your home is trashed, and you've been beaten to a pulp, it turns out said kiddie is at the bottom of the local canal after being stamped on by her drunken drug addled and known to the police/social services step-dad......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And you wait

      Step-dad, preacher, teacher. Statistically speaking, child abuse is generally committed by someone well known to the victim, not someone unknown from the interweb.

      There's probably a further comment to make here about the prevalence among abusers of celebrities and/or about the Catholic church's representatives, but my lawyer told me not to.

  20. Eguro
    Coat

    J. S. Mill time!

    There is a book - currently (though perhaps not for long) freely available on the internet - called On Liberty.

    It was published in 1859 and it was written by British philosopher John Stuart Mill.

    It would be quite good - I think - if all people desiring to hold office, were to read and understand it.

    In it we find grand gems of wisdom, such as:

    "If a person possesses any tolerable amount of common sense and experience, his own mode of laying out his existence is the best, not because it is the best in itself, but because it is his own mode. Human beings are not like sheep; and even sheep are not undistinguishably alike. A man cannot get a coat or a pair of boots to fit him, unless they are either made to his measure, or he has a whole warehouseful to choose from: and is it easier to fit him with a life than with a coat, or are human beings more like one another in their whole physical and spiritual conformation than in the shape of their feet?"

    As far as extremism and the silencing of opinions is concerned:

    "But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

    We do no one any favours by blocking out opinions and views. Instead we (our "extremist" counterparts) should clash those opinions in an effort to find truth or a common ground. If views are never tested then we are never given the chance of exchanging them for other views or of spreading the views because they've been tested.

    Quotes taken from: http://www.billstclair.com/Serendipity/on_lib.html

    Coat icon because a coat is apparently more complex than a human life in the view of some people.

    1. Monkeyman

      Re: J. S. Mill time!

      Trust me, they've all read it.... it’s basically the first book studied on a PPE course.

      That, of course, doesn't mean that they understood it. If they did understand it then the chances are that they've managed to convince themselves that it’s no longer relevant because it doesn't suit their purposes once in power.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Even the Americans know most of the time "Stranger danger" is b**lks

    Most of the time the people who do this are already in the house.

    No internet needed.

    And lets keep in mind the internet was designed for adults.

    What idiot gives there kids unsupervised access to the web?

  22. Tom 35

    BLOCK 'EXTREMIST' WEBSITES

    So in everyday language that will be...

    Block stuff we don't like.

    What you thought we put that system in just to block kiddy porn?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I shall choose filtered

    I shall choose to be filtered. That absolves me of any accusations of being a perv or a terrist right? I could not have visited [insert site here] because I could not access it!

    Fucking plebs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I shall choose filtered

      "Fucking plebs."

      "You're nicked mate. You can't call me that or me and my mates in the Federation will have you, whether you said it or not"

  24. Daedalus801

    so you come to the Divorce court for a messy separation from your wife and her Lawyers tell the court that you didn't have the "Family friendly Filters" on your internet service

    SLAM DUNK no more access to your kids you will never see them again will loose your house will be put on a register somewhere and loose your job.

    YOU don't think it will Happen just YOU wait..................! remember when it happens "I TOLD YOU SO"

  25. waltmi

    It's to blackmail free press

    They had to send out their henchmen with sledgehammers to smash the Guardian's computers. With this "extremist filter" in place, any media wanting to report anything ouside the government's approved news will be threatened with their site being blanked.

    No more need for computer smashers ..... and no more free press - simples!

  26. longboy

    Relevancy

    Trouble is (like most things) that most people allow themselves to be convinced by the argument 'nothing to hide, nothing to fear'. It needs to be clear to people that this is relevant to theit daily livres, and I don't think it really is clear because of the terms being used. People need to see this as something that threatens their access to The Sun or Bingo, or cheap fags. Or increases the latency of their trades. Let's go out there and spread rumours.

  27. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    GCHQ AI Betas for Global Control of Virtual Machinery and SMARTR IntelAIgent Systems Operations/Apps

    Politics, and bumbling lead politicians, are getting ever more desperate in their efforts to try and remain relevant and personally necessary in an age in which it be discovered their shenanigans be purely status-quo self-serving and easily replaced with something considerably better in Command and Control of IT and Media.

    Minnows of Limited See in Vast Oceans of Brilliant Sharks.

  28. Daniel Bower

    Brilliant

    Does that mean the Daily Mail site will finally go?!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Keeping children safe online"

    Yes, I heard that the occurrence of sprained wrists among teenage boys went through the roof due to unrestricted internet access.

  30. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Daily Mail....

    Well, if it wasn't blockable under porn/smut, maybe it can be blocked as extremist?

  31. Kevin Hutchinson

    I know a country who could help...

    We really should be asking the Chinese if they can lend a hand. I think they've got some experience of making sure the population is sufficiently protected from the free flow of information. I guess it'd be ridiculous to allow people to read all the info and make their own minds up about stuff.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: I know a country who could help...

      We really should be asking the Chinese if they can lend a hand. I think they've got some experience of making sure the population is sufficiently protected from the free flow of information. I guess it'd be ridiculous to allow people to read all the info and make their own minds up about stuff. ...Kevin Hutchinson Posted Saturday 30th November 2013 07:12 GMT

      Dave appears to have that intelligence deficit covered, Kevin? ........ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25176613

      And just what does he look like in that video picture freeze? Quite the most pompous and pretentious of prats and a prig, methinks. Mother Nature at her most brutally honest and cruel?

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: I know a country who could help...

        PS .... Interesting use of the pronoun, "who", in relation to the country, China, Kevin. Not many folk know that's how think work in the World of Worlds with Great Gamers and Much Bigger Beta Picture Makers ...... Ab Fab Fabless AI Artists/Cyber Partisans/Virtual Patriots.

  32. Julian 3
    Big Brother

    Extremist - Anyone who disagrees with the government.

    Extremist - Anyone who disagrees with the government. Big Brother is watching you!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. "extremist"

    Fair warning to "Da Feds", if we can't get on hackaday, 4HV, El Reg, etc or any of the favourite tech sites then expect A LOT of very angry people to show up at 10 Downing Street armed with pitchforks shouting "UKIP, UKIP".

    Hell hath no greater fury than etc etc.

  34. jason 7

    The Govt/1%/Establishment/Corporations....

    ....have all run the figures through their think-tanks etc.

    They know that with increasing population and dwindling resources, if they want to keep what they have they have to clamp down hard on the rest of us so we don't dare get up and take it back.

    So all this terrorist crud is really a smokescreen to enable them to deal with any 'troublemakers' in the future that might stir up the masses to realise what's going on. Stamp on any dissent. In the meantime they will continue syphoning off all we have and locking themselves away safe from harm.

    The western Govts of the world are terrified of another 'Early 90's Eastern Europe' scenario happening. Whereby enough people wake up one morning and think "Hey, you know what? This isn't working for me anymore! It's time for a REAL change!"

    If Russell Brand had kept going on about the politics I wonder how long it would have been till he was found 'accidentally on purpose' dead in a hotel room.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next up

    Classifying critiscism of 'Call me Dave' + cronies as extremism and appointing Paul Dacre as Witchfinder General.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Citizen: TG11412S

    Your post has been deleted by a government approved censor.

    Please report to the nearest re-education facilty within 24 hours.

    1. Rukario
      Big Brother

      Re: Citizen: TG11412S

      Comrade 1311 Coward, A.

      Thinkpol discovered your crimethink.

      You are the dead. You will be sent to Room 101 then joycamp.

  37. Sarah Davis

    'extreme' - would that mean anything disagreeing with government, or anything they don't want made public

  38. John Savard Silver badge

    Wrong Downside

    The problem isn't that sites recruiting for al Qaeda will get filtered out. Given that they help cause death and destruction, good riddance. I think that this is the goal, and not defining 'extremist' has more to do with not offending Muslims than any hidden intent to scrub the Internet of legitimate political dissent.

    So am I OK with this? Well, there's one problem. Now, if you don't have children who need protecting against online smut, and thus don't want your Internet filtered... now you can be suspected of being a terrorist!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wrong Downside

      "not defining 'extremist' has more to do with not offending Muslims than any hidden intent to scrub the Internet of legitimate political dissent."

      Perhaps, but I am not wholly convinced that holds true.

      I am sure there is much potential leverage to be had by deliberately avoiding defining words such as "extremist" or "hate". It's far more convenient for Kim Jong-Cameron and his pseudo-puritanical weasel logic to leave such terms wholly undefined.

      "So am I OK with this? Well, there's one problem. Now, if you don't have children who need protecting against online smut, and thus don't want your Internet filtered... now you can be suspected of being a terrorist!"

      Why stop there? If we don't personally sanction his logic then by inference we're already sexually deviant, extremist alcoholics with gambling problems and suicidal tendencies as far as Cameron and fellow weasels are concerned (when viewed in the context of likely scope for such internet filters).

      The man thoroughly enjoys demonising his electorate whilst bastardising democratic principles and hijacking the misfortune of others*.

      This whole saga is a poisoned chalice and still has a long way to run.

      *As you can probably tell, I am not his greatest fan ;)

    2. The BigYin

      Re: Wrong Downside

      "Now, if you don't have children who need protecting against online smut"

      Here's a concept. As the parent that's YOUR JOB. Either you are willing to do your job, or just don't breed.

      It's not beyond people to install a net nanny etc. Kids that will be traumatised by on-line smut are too young to gave their own mobile and shouldn't be using the Internet without supervision.

      There's a lot more than just smut to worry about, news sites can be hard even for an adult.

      Just because Britain's parents want to shirk the responsibilities is no excuse. Not knowing how is no excuse (learn or pay someone, just like you'd hire a plumber).

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