When U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced in July that Internet service providers in England would be required to install default filters that would block pornography, many feared that it would give the British government the ability to censor any information that it felt was dangerous. Now it looks like some of these fears may actually be realized.
When Paul Goggins, a Labour Party member of parliament, asked what Cameron plans to do regarding a warning from the Security Service about “Islamist extremism,” Cameron replied that one of the steps the U.K. is taking is blocking websites.
“We have had repeated meetings of the extremism task force – it met again yesterday – setting out a whole series of steps that we will take to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online site,” Cameron said before praising Facebook for removing videos of a beheading. “We will take all these steps and many more to keep our country safe.”
Cameron also took some time to praise the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) and agreed with a comment regarding the “reckless handling by The Guardian of the Snowden leaks.”
The reaction online has not been positive. One of the top comments on Reddit calls Cameron’s comments “scary.”
Ever since he started banging on about Internet censorship I've been told by everyone I know that "it'll never happen", blah blah, but it's quickly becoming a very real problem.
It’s hard to see how blocking “extremist narrative” isn’t direct censorship, but Cameron has insisted that U.K. Internet users will have options to turn the filters off.
What do you think of the David Cameron’s comments? Is the U.K. going too far in the name of security? Let us know in comments.
Originally from Northern California, Ryan W. Neal came to New York to earn his master's in journalism from Columbia University. He joined IB Times April 2013, and is a writer...