Whilst knocking out the previous infernal episode, it came to my attention that Cammy intends his fibre-optic filters to encompass more than just the childhood-corroding porn feared by the Mumsnet morons. According to Duncan Geere at Wired, the paternalist PM also wants to prohibit public access to certain sites of a flesh-free flavour:
The British prime minister’s internet filters will be about more than just hardcore pornography, according to information obtained by the Open Rights Group.
The organisation, which campaigns for digital freedoms, has spoken to some of the Internet Service Providers that will be constructing Cameron’s content filters. They discovered that a host of other categories of supposedly-objectionable material may be on the block-list.
As well as pornography, users may automatically be opted in to blocks on "violent material", "extremist related content", "anorexia and eating disorder websites" and "suicide related websites", "alcohol" and "smoking". But the list doesn’t stop there. It even extends to blocking "web forums" and "esoteric material", whatever that is. "Web blocking circumvention tools" is also included, of course.
Following the link to the Open Rights Group article on the issue brings up this ISP-proposed sample screen, based on current restrictions to mobile and public wi-fi access:
(1) Screen one
Do you want to install / enable parental controls
(2) Screen two [if you have left the box ticked]
Do you want to block
☑ violent material
☑ extremist and terrorist related content
☑ anorexia and eating disorder websites
☑ suicide related websites
☑ web forums
☑ esoteric material
☑ web blocking circumvention tools
You can opt back in at any time
The precise pre-ticked options may vary from service to service.
Now, amongst others, all the piddling little moralists, religionists, and conservatrons who were gagging for this filter will get it good and hard.
Are you an abject adherent to Allah, holding a holy hatred of bloke-on-bloke bum fun close to your heart? Well, better hope the "esoteric" emanations of your own face-down-arse-up demographic won’t go the way of the gay.
Or perhaps you’re a hardcore Christian who frowns on fornication in general, hoping to see
your values “family values” imposed via such legislation. Well, perhaps cultural imposition by a politically correct, pro-homogamy government may not be applied in quite the way you envisioned, Mr Soldier of the Cross.
I must say that Cammy, unwittingly or otherwise, played a right blinder with this one! Who but the most perverted would oppose the Brit equivalent of the Great Firewall of China if wrapped in a nice, family-friendly pornhibition package? Furthermore, what better way to get the “esoteric” and “extremist” elements to “opt-in” to their own potential prohibition than playing to their pet moralisms? Stroking the superegos of such sticklers all but ensures that they go “sleepwalking into censorship”, as Open Rights so aptly phrased it, subtracting themselves from the establishment equation.
If public compliance with fibre-optic filters signifies censorship-by-apathy, fervent support from reactionary elements could very well see them muzzled by their own myopia.
Perhaps Cameron is a more cunning flavour of cunt than I first thought…