2014 will see the roll-out of Cameron’s Interner Filter. Billed as blocking porn, the policy is already being used to restrict access to LGBT health and lifestyle material, child protection websites and other forms of political expression. This was predictable because there is no settled definition of what constitutes pornography. So it is inevitable that the material selected for ‘filtering’ is simply anything perceived to be politically sensitive or deviant. The move is typical of authoritarian regimes that want the power to shut down opposition and alternative voices at a moment’s notice. There is no underlying justification for the policy as there is no good evidence that access to sexually explicit material is harmful to individuals or society.
Laurie Penny has an important round-up in the Guardian. She notes that while governments are keen restrict information access for the general public, they claim unlimited powers to spy on the public‘s viewing habits.