Opinion: Claire Perry’s “Porn Filter” Is Internet Censorship v1.0

Editor's picture
I closed my last article, Why is the UK the Most Censored Nation in Europe?, by writing (with reference to British censorship) “...you ain’t seen nothing yet.” After having studied the rise of the British censorship bureaucracy in recent decades, one thing was crystal-clear to me: authoritarians had fought hard to introduce tight censorship of video and TV, and the Internet was a threat to their control, as well as their livelihoods (censorship, it should be known, is a lucrative business).

Monday’s launch of David Cameron’s War on Porn meant a busy day for me. I started out with a stint on Radio 4’s Today Programme at 7:15, and by 1:30pm, I was on a Sky News panel: my thirteenth media appearance of the day.

Cameron’s initiative against the “poison” of pornography covered three main announcements. In reality, two of them were largely meaningless, and apparently designed to provide cover for the third: Britain’s first full step into physical censorship of the Internet.

Opinion: Why Is the UK the Most Censored Nation in Europe?

Editor's picture

Like most British people, I was unaware how heavily censored we are in the UK; at least, until I starting developing web sites in the mid-90s for the online porn industry. After working for a number of clients in that field, I launched my own site in 2004. At that time, TV and video each came under strict censorship regimes, but no regulatory body had responsibility for Internet. However, it was clear that powerful censorship regimes had been put in place for cinema, TV and video, and it seemed inevitable that the powers-that-be would regard the Internet as a threat to their control, sooner or later.


Opinion: Libel Reform, And Why It Matters To Britain

Andrew Norton's picture

The risk of libel reform failing is not one that any Briton should find acceptable. The damage our libel laws have caused over the decades is immeasurable, and has only increased since the advent of the internet.

Now the vastly overdue libel measures that would bring the UK out of the 19th Century, and into at least the 20th Century, are on hold and may falter, due to the intervention of Lord Puttnam, and his inclusion of statutory regulation of the press in the bill.

Sure, there could now be a list of examples of Libel tourism, and how stupid it makes Britain look, internationally, but instead how about a real-life libel law situation, and how it restricted and hampered an attempt to participate in government?


BPI Threatens Legal Action Against Pirate Party Executive

Friday, 14 December, 2012 - 17:45

The Pirate Party UK can confirm that 6 members of the party have received letters from a solicitors firm acting on behalf of the BPI threatening legal action. Leader Loz Kaye has been singled out, along with the 4 other members of the National Executive and the party's head of IT.

Pirate Party Leader Loz Kaye said:

Promo Bay Fiasco - Block Lifted

Wednesday, 5 December, 2012 - 21:15

Loz Kaye commented on reports that ISPs have been told that they no longer have to block The Promo Bay (a promotion tool for artists). This was following pressure put on music industry body the BPI.:

"The lifting of the Promo Bay block vindicates everything the Pirate Party has said on site blocking all along."

Promo Bay: Time for clarity

Monday, 3 December, 2012 - 16:00

Loz Kaye made the following statement regarding Promo Bay:

"The conflicting reports around access to Promo Bay in the UK show how vital it is to have transparency about court decisions and how they are carried out. It also shows how volatile public opinion is about the issue of web censorship. Politicians and companies need to start to understand that."

BPI requests proxy closure

Thursday, 29 November, 2012 - 22:30

Loz Kaye issued the following statement regarding the reports that the BPI had sent the Pirate Party UK a letter demanding the closure of the Pirate Party UK Pirate Bay Proxy:

Late this afternoon I received an email from Geoff Taylor at the BPI indicating that a letter had been sent to the Pirate Party, as well as an electronic copy of that letter which refers to our provision of a Pirate Bay Proxy. We have not yet received the letter by post.

BPI wants more site blocking, for Christmas

Tuesday, 23 October, 2012 - 08:45

The BPI has demanded that UK ISPs start blocking three new torrent sites, or face being dragged through the courts.

The news comes just a week after yet another study proved that users of filesharing networks spend more money on music than non-sharers. Pirate Party UK Leader Loz Kaye commented:

Reporters Without Borders prepare new "virtual shelter" against censorship

Tuesday, 11 September, 2012 - 11:15

Reporters without Borders have announced the launch of a "virtual shelter" to allow people to share banned and censored materials, at www.wefightcensorship.org

Ed Geraghty, Pirate Party UK International affairs spokesperson, said

"We welcome the news, it's just a shame that this sort of thing is still needed"

Premier League and illegal streaming

Friday, 3 August, 2012 - 13:00

Andrew Robinson commented on reports that the Premier League has 'shut down' more than 30,000 illegal internet streams of football matches last season.

"If the Premier League stubbornly refuses to sell the fans what they want, then of course fans will find a way to watch the teams they love. Instead of playing an unwinnable game of whack-a-mole with low quality streams, surely the best solution would be to simply sell the fans the coverage they so desperately want?"


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