Clare Perry

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

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I closed my last article, Why is the UK the Most Censored Nation in Europe?, by writing (with reference to British censorship) “ 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?

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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.


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