UK government wants “unsavoury” web content to be removed

by on March 16, 2014

The UK minister for immigration and security, James Brokenshire has called for the government to do more to deal with “unsavoury”, rather than illegal, material online.

So to put it simply he wants the removal of legal material because it offends the Government’s views. This is what we call censorship.

Brokenshire said this in a statement to Wired:

Terrorist propaganda online has a direct impact on the radicalisation of individuals and we work closely with the internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas,

Jaani Riordan, a barrister specialising in technology litigation had this to say on the matter:

It is [censorship]… Removal of lawful material by government simply because it offends governmental or public policy is without justification. Conversely, a private enterprise, such as YouTube, would always remain free to remove content which offends its Terms of Use or other policies, and there is very limited if any recourse against it for doing so.

It feels like everyday now I read a new story about governments trying to censor the internet but trying to sugar-coat it as to not alarm anyone. I also read on these things that the people ordering the censorship also have a gross misunderstanding on how the internet works and its scary.

We saw something similar with Moscow removing all evidence of anti-Putin websites under the guise of a law that says the removal of these websites is lawful because they were inciting unrest within Russia. I simply don’t trust any government not to use such a law to their own advantage,we have seen this in Russia so there is a precedent and if something similar was to happen in the UK there is a good chance that they would take advantage of the situation.

It’s for our own good though, right?

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