Feeds

UK.gov's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websites

Of course, it doesn't define what 'extremist' means here

High performance access to file storage

Whitehall is carefully floating plans that might result in ISPs being forced to start blocking "extremist" websites.

The first hint reached us in October, when the Premier – basking in what he believed to be a victory against the ubiquity of smutty websites, with big name ISPs set to bring in network-level filters – told Parliament that he was mulling over ways "to counter the extremist narrative, including by blocking online sites."

On Wednesday, Home Office crime and security minister James Brokenshire told a gathering of telcos in London that there would be an announcement shortly on the PM's proposals.

A Home Office spokesman, when quizzed by The Register, declined to comment on what those plans would involve, or whether the government would reveal more before the year is out.

The Internet Service Providers' Association said it was in the dark about Whitehall's latest mutterings to once again appear to threaten some form of regulation being imposed on the UK's broadband networks.

“Industry and ISPA have discussed extremist content online in the past but ISPs have not been made aware of details around ‘blocking’ this content," ISPA general secretary Nicholas Lansman told El Reg.

"We look forward to scrutinising the government’s plans and if and when they are made public."

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Fun is reminding taxpayers that they will soon be nagged by ISPs to confirm whether they want their households to have access to porn and other supposedly contentious content online.

"[B]y the end of 2014 all existing customers will have been presented with an unavoidable choice about installing family friendly content filters which the user will not be able to skip," the Department for Media, Culture and Sport said. Only the adult account holder will be able to change the filter settings."

BSkyB recently switched on its network-level malware and porn blockers, while BT and Virgin Media are expected to bring their own DNS lookup systems soon. TalkTalk brought in its Homesafe service way back in 2011, with the help of Chinese networking giant Huawei.

The DCMS claimed that kids fondling slabs would now be better protected about the supposed evils of sex and violence lurking online.

"We have worked with industry to make it far easier for parents to be confident their children are being protected," said Culture Secretary Maria Miller. “Parents need to think about putting filters on their accounts and finding out more about keeping children safe online." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.