UK to Censor Esoteric Websites
UK’s great Internet firewall to censor access to esoteric and occult websites
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has recently set large segments of the world up in arms by deciding to set up a country-wide firewall that will block access to pornography unless citizens opt out. (Similar measures were tried earlier across the EU and summarily thrown out.) But the block apparently won’t be limited to porn: ISPs will also be forced to block violent material, extremist sites, pro-anorexia and pro-suicide sites, alcohol, smoking, web forums (?!) and even… esoteric material.
Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing relays:
You may be saying to yourself, hell, how are they going to be able to sort out which websites are unacceptably pornographic, let alone which sites are “smoking” related? That’s a damned good question, and the answer is “with the broadest brush possible.” Huge chunks of the Internet will be effectively unreachable, and which sites go into the censorship bucket will be decided upon in secret, by unelected employees of big corporations, like China’s Huawei. Sure, you can untick the box if you want, but as David Cameron’s advisors will tell you, defaults are powerful and most users never change them.
The censoring of “esoteric material,” in particular, has pagan groups up in arms. (Presumably Ultraculture will be blocked from warping impressionable young British minds into lives stained with pernicious sins like thinking for themselves, questioning mainstream values and caring about the environment?) Pagan community discussions are being conducted at Wild Hunt and LAShTAL. Meanwhile, a new service called Immunicity has appeared which circumvents the firewall—better get hold of it before Cameron starts blocking access to ways to get around the firewall. Nikki Wyrd has another good examination of the issue at the UK-based chaos magick site Blog of Baphomet.
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