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Internet Censorship Galore as UK Online Safety Bill Becomes Law

Tuesday, Sep 19th, 2023 (5:30 pm) - Score 9,432
Censorship and forbidden speech warning sign uk internet

Get ready, it’s going to be a rocky ride. The UK Government’s new Online Safety Bill (OSB) is finally set to become law after passing through both houses of parliament today, largely unopposed. The goal is to tackle “harmful” content online, but the result may be a regime that has a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

On the surface, it all sounds sensible and well-intentioned. After all, it’s widely understood, and few could disagree, that the old model of self-regulation has struggled to keep pace with the changing online world, which has allowed far too much “harmful” content to slip through a fairly weak net. Examples cover everything from child abuse and terrorism to racism, animal cruelty, Russian propaganda, anti-vaxxers and so forth.

NOTE: Ofcom holds the unenviable task of setting out the new code, regulation, and enforcement.

The OSB has thus been designed to tackle this problem, such as by pressuring all internet sites and online content providers – from big social media firms (e.g. Facebook, X, Instagram etc.) to small blogs – to act and take more responsibility for the content on their platforms, or face the consequences (e.g. sites blocked by broadband ISPs, fines, prison sentences and making sites people liable for what others may say on their platforms).

However, trying to strike the right balance between Freedom of Expression, individual Privacy and outright Censorship is a difficult thing to get right, particularly when attempting to police the common and highly subjective public expression of negative human thought.

Not to mention complex issues of context (e.g. people joking about blowing up a city vs actual terrorists), parody and political speech. Humans often get it wrong, and automated filtering systems are even worse.

Complexity and caveats

Most politicians know little to nothing about how social media, websites and the wider internet itself actually functions, as well as the economic models that underpin it. For example, in the online world a single person – on a tiny shoestring budget – can run a blog and member forum that might be read by tens of thousands or even millions of people. The law threatens to decimate this model, and for many sites the only solution to avoid liability may be to prevent their readers from speaking in the first place (i.e. censorship by the backdoor of extreme liability).

The new rules will also seek to give users an avenue of appeal for any removed content, which must be replaced if found to have been wrongfully removed. But that risks putting sites that allow user-generated content (millions of them) into a bit of a damned if they do, damned if they don’t boat.

In order to manage their liability, many services may end up adopting automated filtering systems (only economically viable for the biggest sites) – since manually moderating all content on major platforms would be economically impossible. But that may struggle given the aforementioned rule for appeals.

On top of that, the final legislation still contains a threat to introduce the scanning of private messages in the future (e.g. hunting for child abuse and terrorism content), assuming technology becomes available that can do so through existing End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) systems (here) – something many experts in the field consider to be very unlikely.

The requirement for an Age Verification System (AVS) on sites that contain adult or pornographic content also remains in the final text. But enforcing it – and the huge privacy implications that would entail (remember how many people committed suicide after the ‘Ashley Madison’ hack?) – remains an extremely difficult problem to solve and not one that smaller websites would be able to apply, due to obstacles of cost and technical or legal feasibility.

Broadly speaking, the new law seems set to force an intolerable level of liability and legal complexity upon all services, particularly those containing user-generated content. But this rather overlooks the fact that the vast majority of smaller services, many of which may be blogs or micro-businesses, simply won’t have the budget, skills or legal experience necessary to stand any realistic chance of properly implementing such complex rules.

What comes next?

In fairness, the strictest rules will only fall on so-called Category 1 platforms, referring to the highest risk user-to-user services (e.g. big social media firms). By comparison, different and softer rules may be applied to Category 2A services (e.g. internet search firms) and Category 2B (e.g. lower risk user-to-user services, such as smaller websites).

Exact details on where the thresholds for these categories will be set are yet to be determined, and that will also require secondary legislation. Prior to that, Ofcom will need to conduct various studies and consultations before being able to set out their final code, which could take anything up to 18 months and may yet produce some common sense outcomes. We suspect the regulator will then need to allow more time for implementation, which is likely to be very tedious, particularly for smaller sites.

Big questions also remain to be answered by Ofcom as it moves to develop the necessary code, such as how long sites and platforms in different categories will be given to remove or assess flagged / moderated content. Lest we forget that smaller sites are run by human beings and not robots – people need to sleep and take breaks, so overly strict rules for 2B platforms may not be workable.

James Baker, Open Right Group Campaigns Manager, said:

“No one disputes that tech companies could do more to keep children safe online but the Online Safety Bill is an overblown legislative mess that could seriously harm our security by removing privacy from internet users. The Bill will also undermine the freedom of expression of many people in the UK.

While the UK government has admitted it’s not possible to safely scan all of our private messages, it has granted Ofcom the powers to force tech companies to do so in the future. These are powers more suited to an authoritarian regime not a democracy and could harm journalists and whistleblowers, as well as domestic violence survivors, parents and children who want to keep their communications secure from online predators and stalkers.

The Bill also poses a huge threat to freedom of expression with tech companies expected to decide what is and isn’t legal, and then censor content before it’s even been published. This re-introduces prior restraint censorship for the written word back into UK law for the first time since the 1600s. In addition, young people, whom the law is supposed to protect, could be denied access to large swathes of the web, including resources that provide them with information and support.

Perhaps the biggest failing has been the lack of detail in how these extraordinary powers will be implemented. It’s down to Ofcom to sort this mess and we call on them to work with cyber experts, tech companies and civil society to minimise the harms to our fundamental rights.”

Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan, said:

“The Online Safety Bill is a game-changing piece of legislation. Today, this government is taking an enormous step forward in our mission to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

I am immensely proud of what we have achieved with this bill. Our common-sense approach will deliver a better future for British people, by making sure that what is illegal offline is illegal online. It puts protecting children first, enabling us to catch keyboard criminals and crack down on the heinous crimes they seek to commit.

I am deeply thankful to the tireless campaigning and efforts of parliamentarians, survivors of abuse and charities who have all worked relentlessly to get this bill to the finish line.”

However, the heart of the OSB is still in absolutely the right place, even if the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The internet can be a heaven for some of the most vile conspiracy theories, bullying, racism, child abuse, terrorism, trolling and harassment. Whole communities have even sprung up around these topics, and hostile governments often exploit them.

Suffice to say, the desire to rid the online world of such things is more than understandable – particularly for those who have suffered the most. In keeping with that, it’s easy to see why the bill has been able to attract so much support from the wider electorate and cross-party MPs. But the problem is not with that goal, it’s with the government’s overly-broad sledgehammer approach to achieving it.

The assumption seems to be that all sites will already have the necessary development skills, budget, knowledge, legal experience and time to implement everything the bill puts into law. But what may be viable for bigger sites, is not workable for everybody else. On the flip side, Ofcom will almost certainly lack the resources to tackle everything, which is likely to restrict their focus to the biggest players.

Finally, we can’t always assume the country will, in the future, be governed by a truly democratic system that protects our freedoms and privacy. Giving a future anti-democratic government such control over what we can access and how we communicate would thus seem to be unwise. Future mission creep could easily make it dangerous.

For a more practical example of what this could mean, just look at what happened in the USA after the Supreme Court effectively banned abortion. Shortly after that, sites like Instagram began banning posts from those merely talking about the experiences they’d had with abortion (example), due to it being an age-restricted topic.

As it stands, we seem to be sleepwalking toward a Draconian censorship regime via the backdoor of cost and liability shock. But before then, Ofcom will have to figure out the code for implementing all this, and the new law may even face some legal challenges of its own as reality clashes with its overly broad legislative aspirations.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
86 Responses
  1. Avatar photo anon says:

    so. anyone know where to get a good cheap VPN from.
    lol.

    1. Avatar photo JP says:

      Be careful of cheap!!

    2. Avatar photo Anon says:

      A high capacity server costs hundreds per month and any large provider needs many of them in different countries. The point is, running a VPN service isn’t cheap, so very cheap VPNs are either slow or are making money in some other way…

      Mullvad seems to be a popular option among the tech nerds, but it costs 5 euros per month.

    3. Avatar photo bongbong says:

      I got a VPS for £10 a month.
      1 Gbit public bandwidth
      4 cores
      4 GB ram
      80 GB NVME

      it will run wireguard just fine for me and the speeds are great.

      Hosted by Trooli (Slough) [32.40 km]: 4.543 ms
      Testing download speed……………………………………………………………………..
      Download: 957.98 Mbit/s
      Testing upload speed…………………………………………………………………………………………
      Upload: 959.21 Mbit/s

      OSB defeated in 15 minutes

    4. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      @bongbong What is the link for it?

    5. Avatar photo bongbong says:

      Anthony OVH ovhcloud (dot) com /en-gb/vps/

    6. Avatar photo bongbong says:

      Anthony no sorry my bad

      ovhcloud (dot) com/en-gb/vps/limited-edition/

    7. Avatar photo jammie says:

      Mullvad.net

    8. Avatar photo David Sheddan says:

      Gotta wonder what bongbong is downloading….

      Yup that’s my mail..come at me 😉

    9. Avatar photo mike says:

      PIA is probably the cheapest VPN option.

      A VPS is an option but won’t give you anonymity.

  2. Avatar photo john says:

    This comment is not available in the United Kingdom.

  3. Avatar photo Jim says:

    You can bypass all of this by using a VPN.

    Checkmate, government.

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      At least until only approved VPN providers are allowed… see China or Russia.

  4. Avatar photo XGS says:

    Taking our sovereignty back. It might be censorship but it’s red, white and blue censorship.

    1. Avatar photo 1984 was not an instruction manual says:

      It’s definitely red censorship alright…

    2. Avatar photo Richard Branston says:

      Easy to say but the figures on child sexual offences that use meta platforms (insta, facebook) are pretty jaw dropping – upwards of 20k British kids being engaged in sexual activity by predatory adults every year.

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      And this is going to do sweet FA to combat that. The harder you push these folks the further they’ll go underground. There is already legislation in place before this to catch those guys and unveil their communications.

      This is another power grab. Since 2016 the power grab from government has been astonishing and is a clear and present danger to what passes for our democracy.

    4. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      Richard, I’m gonna go out of a wing here, but maybe that’s more to do with the ethnicity of 90% of the perpetrators and Insta, facebook and the police turning a blind eye because calling them/they’re company racist is far worse for them than actually stopping the child exploitation?

  5. Avatar photo Dan says:

    I thought something like the OSB would happen in 2003
    It took 20 years but my prediction was right LOL!.

  6. Avatar photo Phil says:

    At the point I wish the UK had more oil so that we can get some freedom invasion from the US. They may have the worst president but at least their constitution safeguards them from having their human rights removed

    Unbelievable how such an insane authoritarian law comes to pass

    My VPN will be set to NYC going forward.

    Support your YouTuber of choice with Surfshark, ExpressVPN or Nord VPN. It is worth paying a bit per month than going to jail just because you mentioned something non state approved such as a bloke in a dress is still a bloke

    By the way, there was no “abortion ban”, they simply ruled out the unconstitutional federal ruling that removed power from the states. In California a woman can even get rid of her baby at 9 months

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      Phil 4 the Pill.

    2. Avatar photo Clearmind60 says:

      Do not trust Express VPN, it is far too expensive and has handed over information to governments is the past . Mullvad is a far better option.

    3. Avatar photo ChonkySavage says:

      Which government did ExpressVPN hand over information too? To my knowledge they don’t store any logs so there’s nothing to hand over nor could I find anything on Google to support that.

  7. Avatar photo Sam says:

    The UK in 2022 has arrested over 3300 people for online posts… This is obviously BEFORE this legislation came to pass

    For perspective in Russia, a country which many believe to be evil and authoritarian, in 2017 they had just over 400 of these online cases

    Soon the 3300 number will be eclipsed if it is against the law to criticize any of the state sponsored cults.

    Oh you said that paying Khans car tax does not make the weather better? 3 years in prison for you!

    Oh you are suspicious of our timed and coordinated media attack on Russell Brand? He is a criminal!!! Does not matter that no criminal charges were brought up on him. 5 years in jail for you!!!

    Oh you dared to share a chart that casts doubt on the efficacy of the poke? 10 years!!!

    Oh I can’t believe you dared to watch an episode of Jordan Petersons podcast…. LIFETIME SENTENCE

    1. Avatar photo dumb says:

      lol stop it. Try speaking out about the war in Russia, see how far you get.
      part of the reason they don’t arrest people is because people don’t say stupid stuff online there. Another part is because places like facebook/twitter are banned there. Go back to 4chan idiot.

    2. Avatar photo Sam says:

      Try saying anything about the war in Ukraine there too

      You never met a single Russian. They say the most stupid things online. It’s part of the vodka culture. You go back to reddit

    3. Avatar photo dumb says:

      they say stupid things on your containment board, with other 10 IQ muppets like you.
      half my family are russian. you muppet. You won’t see a Russian criticising the war on facebook, or twitter just on your incel boards. Do us all a favour, keep your retarded opinions to yourself.

    4. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      Jordan Peterson is a legend. As long as I can have YouTube in Prison I am up for that. Cheaper than living out here anyway

  8. Avatar photo mullard says:

    mullvad shills. lmao.
    yes, trust Swedes, in the the EU.
    Because the EU doesn’t spy on people
    oh wait, they voted to read everyone’s emails.

    1. Avatar photo dsif says:

      What are you using a VPN for? Bypassing censorship or have full privacy? Is a VPN even the right tool for full privacy? Is there any to use a VPN without having to trust someone at some point? We need to be smart about this.

      If you don’t like the suggested provider, then suggest a better one and list your reasons for doing so. As it is, your comment is as useful to me as this law.

    2. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      Is a line that never goes near the public internet ok? say EAD? or rather one that does not mix with it? asking for a friend

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      A service that doesn’t touch or mix with the public Internet is perfectly fine, it just can’t open any websites or access any services on the public Internet unless it goes via some intermediary.

    4. Avatar photo mike says:

      As long as a VPN has a good track record in the face of warrants and auditsls regarding no logs, jurisdiction isn’t really an issue.

  9. Avatar photo Haleemyay says:

    What is antivaxxer. It’s the person who don’t want to take poison.

    1. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      Anti-vaxxers are the equivalent to the ones who said “no I don’t want to drink that KoolAid” In Guyana in 1978. You weren’t allowed to say anything against the merits of the KoolAid then too.

    2. Avatar photo Britain is supposed to promote liberty says:

      Anti-vaxxer: the version of “my body, my choice” that the media doesn’t approve of.

    3. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      Yup that’s me. and if the Gov don’t like it I can suggest a place to kiss….

    4. Avatar photo Innocent bystander says:

      I support anti vaxxers right to refuse, with so much modern health and safety legislation and compensation claims protecting the stupid from themselves, anti vaxxers freedom of choice are our last hope of protecting Darwinian evolution by weeding the idiots out of society.

  10. Avatar photo Hugh Briss says:

    Wholeheartedly support this.

    We have a watershed for TV, so it stands to reason we should have one for the Internet as well.

    Countries have to learn they can’t do as they please on the web – A British invention, so it’s a given they should be adhering to British standards – and get away with it.

    1. Avatar photo Daniel says:

      Internet is NOT TV!
      Web was invented at CERN, Switerland.

    2. Avatar photo Brian says:

      Daniel please, by whom ?

      Sir Tim Berners-Lee. A British scientist.
      And it was not a CERN project. It was something Tim worked on himself to make information at CERN more accessible to his colleagues. Nobody else was involved until after he unveiled it. Therefore it’s a British invention.

    3. Avatar photo André says:

      The HHTP protocol was devised by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
      The Internet is an American invention.

    4. Avatar photo André says:

      Apologies for my previous comment, I clearly misread the comments I was replying to.

    5. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      The Internet is a American Invention? pretty sure Demon and Prodigy were UK based and they came along way before AOL lol. hell even screaming.net was based in London

    6. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Yes, the Internet is an American invention. It began life as ARPAnet in the 60s, built by their Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, a US attempt to build a data network that would more resilient than existing communications in the face of a few thousand nuclear explosions.

      Both Internet Protocol that almost everything Internet runs on and Transmission Control Protocol, which much of it does, were invented in the US in the 70s. TCP is being supplanted by User Datagram Protocol, invented in the US in the 80s.

      A Brit invented HTTP, Americans, often with the help or directly via taxpayer funding, invented everything it runs over. The Internet is American.

  11. Avatar photo insertfloppydiskhere says:

    This is gonna be fun. I guess I’m going to be logging onto my Brazilian friends’ Tailscale server so I can bypass all this BS.

    Have fun everyone with this.

    If you need a free VPN btw, I’d recommend Windscribe. It’s located in Canada, which isn’t particularly great for privacy, but it’s worked well for me.

    1. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      I just finished a year with them. No problem

  12. Avatar photo Rene says:

    Rip ispreview comments, although somehow we have people here that are supporting Russia and antivaxx? (Also that one person that missed the point of the abortion comment.{that being said just from clicking the link I’m also going to disagree with that example being used by Mark because it seems to be restricted because of gore or somesuch which is not legally related to the US to my knowledge.}) Lmao why are you here reading this stuff in the first place.

    Anyway let’s hope ofcom are reasonable but we all know that until this is reformed again by most likely the Law Commission under a future conservative government in the next decade when this law blows up (this is my bias but if you think Labour/libdem/greens ect are going to roll back any of this I wish I had your optimism.)

    Of course this is only a hope and maybe I’m being naive thinking government will reform this area of law again. Sorry for the bomb joke but I suppose it had to be done here haha.

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      Why would some putative future Conservative government change this? We’ve had a Conservative government for thirteen years, this is entirely the product of their policy making from start to finish. It is the pinnacle of their achievement (unless you count mandatory microchipping of cats, or the plastic bag tax, perhaps scrapping the Nimrod programme because Russia was no longer a threat and a great source for party funds, signing into law that we now spend around £16 billion each year of foreign aid that achieves nothing etc etc).

    2. Avatar photo GCHQ is watching you! says:

      “Rip ispreview comments”
      Might be a good thing after all, considering the bile some post on here.

    3. Avatar photo Gary says:

      “some people post things I do not like, therefore they should be silenced, does not matter that everyone else gets silenced” because who needs speech anyway people should just shut up, consume Netflix and never protest anything

  13. Avatar photo Chris says:

    “ Giving a future anti-democratic government such control over what we can access and how we communicate would thus seem to be unwise. Future mission creep could easily make it dangerous.”

    I hear that.

    I wouldn’t trust a vpn. It’ll obfuscate what your doing via the vpn but authorities will know times of your use and will simply ask the vpn provider what you’ve been upto.

    1. Avatar photo No name says:

      If the VPN is outside of the UK, there is very little the government can do about it. They can’t summon a provider to hand over anything if they don’t need to answer to the government. A lot of decent VPNs are also log-less, so even the provider doesn’t know what you are up to.

      This is just one of the many things that makes the bill laughable. This bill may be law but the implementation will still collapse under it’s own weight.

  14. Avatar photo Gary (other Garys exist) says:

    My concern is that they’ll use it retroactively, which should not be an option at all.

    1. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      Of course it will be retrospective. The whole point is to control what can be seen now, and that will soon include all the things that would otherwise embarrass politicians. Potentially to call our political classes a bunch of incompetent, technically and commercially illiterate, self interested morons will be classed as speech liable to cause anxiety.

      It’s pretty clear from the lack of debate or opposition in this dreadful, self-serving uniparty Parliament that they’re all behind this, and they rate this as far more important than other matters such as misallocation of government spending, the budget deficit, poor economic growth, a housing crisis, an immigration problem, inadequate funding for health and social care, poor transport and infrastructure, ill equipped and tiny defence forces etc etc.

      And its made worse by taking Ofcom, one of Britain’s worst, least effectual regulators, and making it the Office of Online Censorship, with huge powers. A pity they can’t censor MPs from clueless law making.

    2. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      Andrew, you forgot about them stealing tax payers money by awarding PPE contracts to their own companies. Am I still allowed to mention that?

    3. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      Maybe, Can I mention the 229M the NHS just spent on Woke job roles? Hope so!

  15. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

    I honestly do wonder how long it’ll be before the movie “V-For Vendetta” becomes a reality? Welcome to the new China people!

  16. Avatar photo Clearmind60 says:

    If the VPN is in a 14 eyes country then it is possible to hand over data.

    1. Avatar photo Secret Squirrel says:

      If the VPN system doesn’t log any data then there’s no data to hand over.

  17. Avatar photo WonkoTheSaneUK says:

    To misquote Helen Lovejoy
    “Won’t someone think of the grownups?”

  18. Avatar photo Cheesemp says:

    The fireworks when this bill hits Musk’s twitter is going to be interesting. No way he’ll put the money into any form of filtering. I see this being another online bill that quietly dies when no one can figure out how to enforce it!

    Also given control to OFCOM is a joke – they can’t even give accurate mobile signal maps (and when you complain they just refer you to the operators!). How are they going to manage this? Bet there is zero extra budget for it. Usual Tory government – shout and stamp your feet to look good in the papers but put nothing behind it.

  19. Avatar photo Jack says:

    The UK government sent a letter to Rumble and Tiktok, private US companies, to censor Russell Brand. This comes after YouTube and BBC censored him. I have never seen a conspiracy theory proven correct in just 2 days

    With this bill, even talking about Russell Brand may land you in jail. This is a free citizen who does not have any criminal charges against him, only a coordinated media attack on bad behavior from 20 years ago that was okay when he was a communist supporting Corbyn and Miliband

    If the government already does what it’s not supposed to, wait until it’s actually part of their process… They do not even need the legal system when they can just pass a vague bill that can arrest “anyone who says something bad about the state”

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      Absolutely Jack. Brand might be a character of previous dubious moral values, but this entire government funded witch hunt is about him rubbing up the powerful in the mainstream media and big pharma the wrong way. The sheer number of totally unrelated articles about Brand in the daily mail currently is all the evidence I need that the government and mainstream media are doing everything they can to destroy a man who has already been judged as guilty before any trail has taken place.

      This is the problem with everything being digital. What matters is what people read online, it exists not on paper but on a screen, it matters not whether it is the truth or if it is lies, all that matters is people read what they want you to read and believe what they tell you too.

      Sheep, thats what we all are to them. A flock to be herded by a sheepdog.

    2. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Jack, you do know that this law hasn’t come into effect yet, right? Right?

    3. Avatar photo John says:

      When it comes into effect they can copy and paste the same letter but just changing from Russell Brand into and not just to youtube but to your bank (the debanking scandal from just last month), or just outright arrest you as someone else pointed out that the UK has arrested far more people for online posts than Russia, before this bill came into effect

      Also reminder that Cardi B, who has 4x more subscribers than Russell Brand, literally ADMITTED to drugging people with rape drugs and robbing them, yet Youtube still not only fully monetizes her music about her body orifices like WAP, poundtown and bongos, it actually promotes them in front page. This has nothing to do with laws, it is pure state intervention against any form of state criticism

    4. Avatar photo New_Londoner says:

      @Jack
      “…they can just pass a vague bill that can arrest “anyone who says something bad about the state”
      Where specifically in the Online Safety Bill is this provision?

      @Buggerlugz
      “…this entire government funded [sic] witch hunt”. Evidence please, or is this just another conspiracy theory? I agree that you should always wait for the results of a trial before condemning someone, however this doesn’t justify making stuff up to exaggerate the situation.

      @John
      I’m pretty sure that Cardi B is a US rather than UK citizen, so these are matters for her government unless they are committed in another country. YouTube’s monetisation policy is not of direct concern to the Online Safety Bill (unless it promotes content to UK-based consumers that is illegal in the UK).

  20. Avatar photo fsociety3765 says:

    Welcome to 1984!

    1. Avatar photo Clearmind60 says:

      Agree with your comments. Until there is proof then only then we can make some kind of judgement.
      The daily mail, we all know how they love causing a stink when it suits them. But we all know what rothermere did all those years ago.

  21. Avatar photo Anon says:

    As the rollout of this legislation becomes apparent, I’m sure that content filtering will become available as “software as a service” that can be embedded into other websites, apps, etc. for smaller websites and forums to achieve compliance at a tolerable cost.

    And yes generally the OSB concept is about as viable as trying to scoop up soup with a sieve, many will bypass the restrictions in various ways, for fair purposes or foul, with various levels of “detect”ability when gathering intelligence or evidence

  22. Avatar photo Tulips says:

    As a vaccine damaged person I object to my scepticism about the benefits of vaccination being placed by the author in the same category as child abuse, terrorism, racism, animal cruelty and Russian propaganda. If evidence can be produced suggesting or even demonstrating that a specific vaccine, or the overall practice of vaccination, is harmful, it is socially responsible to share that information, even if only to flag up the need for further (unbiased) research. Science is based upon evidence, not upon doctrine; the good scientist is always ready to test theories and hypotheses against the evidence. To deny dissent from present orthodoxy a voice is anti-scientific. How are we to progress (and goodness knows as a species we need to progress) if we are not allowed openly to question the status quo? I note also that the author’s list of “harmful” views ends with “anti-vaxxers and so forth”. I wonder what other views he proposes to condemn and silence… Perhaps he could share with us his little list.

    1. Avatar photo New_Londoner says:

      Quote “If evidence can be produced suggesting or even demonstrating that a specific vaccine, or the overall practice of vaccination, is harmful…”

      I think the issue here is producing scientifically valid evidence rather than anecdotes, speculation and pure conspiracy theories, often from people lacking the knowledge and understanding to do anything better. Suggesting that the “overall practice of vaccination” may be harmful suggests you are more in the camp of the anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists than the scientific community.

  23. Avatar photo Nexus says:

    Honestly, it’s yet another sign of a failed nation, at least as it stands, in its current form (same for the western world in general really). The more they push censorship and hypocrisy, the more the cracks will grow.

    The Ministry of Truth is already failing. Actual truth cannot be suppressed for too long, it always finds a way to the surface. It just might be a hell of a mess in the meantime.

    1. Avatar photo Phil says:

      “ministry of truth” is such an Orwellian conception. They really expected to be the ones fact checking despite them being the biggest liars

  24. Avatar photo Clearmind60 says:

    Who is behind this load of crap?? The home secretary?

    1. Avatar photo mike says:

      The civil service, MPs exist to give you the illusion of choice.

  25. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

    Thanks to all who recommended Mullard. Can’t be bad for 5 euros a month. This is on FTTP

    https://www.speedtest.net/result/15283943465

  26. Avatar photo JK says:

    Yet another reason to use more of the dark web i.e. Onion or i2p!!

    1. Avatar photo I love Starlink says:

      Mullvad have a TOR type browser which works right out the box and a private search engine which I like. So far I can’t fault it – and it’s cheap. I am testing it right now but if it works out I am going to generate another account number and send some cash to Sweden as that’s how it’s totally anonymous and it’s also RAM only now – in fact they were raided in march this year hoping to be forced to hand over some disk drives and the Police went away empty handed after their own Prosecutor told them they were wasting there time and any action would be illegal. True story it’s on their website

    2. Avatar photo OURREALM Search Engine says:

      Definitely. I use ourrealm and torch dark web search engine.

    3. Avatar photo TheGoldenGoose says:

      Dear UK Government

      Please censor our internet even more, but it doesn’t matter because we’ve got Tor!
      Lol…………………………………………………………………….

  27. Avatar photo Nikodimos Nikolaou says:

    Reading again this article today when news sites like The Times and Sun state that Rumble might be cut off from the UK because is not removing Russel Brand channel.

    Today the UK looks more like China and Iran. Even Russia has more free speech.
    The crimes committed by the government over the last 3 1/2 years show pretty well that we live under a authoritarian totalitarian government.
    That we have elections means nothing. Iran has elections too. Germany in 1933 had elections.
    And elections will be banned the moment there is even a tiny possibility for the establishment to lose power, which is all 3 parties in Parliament support.

  28. Avatar photo Conformist says:

    I am inspired by the fact that all my internet data is going to be traced back to me. But hey, its keeping me safe. Lol……………. .

  29. Avatar photo No please not censorship lol........ it doesnt matter because you can use tor. lol....... says:

    Oh no… Internet censorship. Ok ok I promise I wont visit that naughty website. I promise I wont do it again.. Oh yeh I forgot.. I can use tor browser and they wont know that I’ve visited that naughty website. Lol………. Even if I set my ISP settings to block porn, tor will just bypass that. Surely the government know this. Lol……………

Comments are closed

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