Proposed ‘pornwall’ to block all objectionable material – not just porn

By John Glenday | Reporter

July 29, 2013 | 1 min read

A new system of proposed internet filters, publicly championed by Prime Minister David Cameron as a means to clamp down on hardcore pornography, will also be used to block access to other objectionable material, according to the Open Rights Group.

The digital freedom campaign group found that internet service providers are working on filters to automatically block individuals from accessing ‘violent material’, ‘extremist related content’, ‘anorexia and eating disorder websites’, ‘suicide related websites’, ‘alcohol’ and ‘smoking’.

Moreover the lengthy blacklist even extends to blocking ‘web forums’ and ambiguous ‘esoteric material’.

Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group said: “What's clear here is that David Cameron wants people to sleepwalk into censorship. We know that people stick with defaults: this is part of the idea behind 'nudge theory' and 'choice architecture' that is popular with Cameron.

"The implication is that filtering is good, or at least harmless, for anyone, whether adult or child. Of course, this is not true; there's not just the question of false positives for web users, but the affect on a network economy of excluding a proportion of a legitimate website's audience."

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