UK Government confirms site blocking discussions, end of internet freedom

The western world takes Internet freedom for granted and expects to be able to access any website from anywhere, of course countries such as China are known for having state-controlled firewalls, but it now seems like this may be a possibility in the United Kingdom. The Open Rights Group has received a letter from UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, confirming that discussions are presently being held between Internet Service Providers (ISP's) and media industry rights holders about the 'self-regulatory' site-blocking measures for the Digital Economy Act (DEA) which was introduced in 2010.

Vaizey mentions in his letter that consumer rights groups will be invited, "I recognise that it is very important that consumer interests are considered very carefully, and we will be inviting consumer representative groups to participate in future discussions on the issue."

Currently the Act is delayed until 2012 but if this new notion gets made law then popular websites like ThePirateBay will no longer be accessible from within the UK border. One of the industry rights holders has previously said that "cheaper than notice sending would be site blocking. We're more interested in site blocking [than mass notification letters]. We don't want to target end users, [the mass notification system] is long winded – we want something now."

Fortunately ISP's have no control over content which does not explicitly exist on their own networks, instead they would have to rely on various tricks in order to fulfill the restriction, however most of these are easily bypassed using proxy services, vps accounts and other methods.

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Government was never intended for this garbage, we do NOT pay these ******* for crap like this.

Next thing you know they will tell me what kind of light bulbs i am allowed to have lol

Im not paying taxs to a government that is suppose to SERVE me.

Let them do as they wish.. a backlash will come and they will be dealt with one way or the other..
smug cocky pos lol

I am Not PCyr said,
Government was never intended for this garbage, we do NOT pay these ******* for crap like this.

Next thing you know they will tell me what kind of light bulbs i am allowed to have lol

Im not paying taxs to a government that is suppose to SERVE me.

Let them do as they wish.. a backlash will come and they will be dealt with one way or the other..
smug cocky pos lol

europe has banned halogen bulbs, so in a way, they've already decided which ones you'll be using.

This is where I would hereby applaud any hackers that destroy the entire blocking system or reverse it's use to actually block sites such as the BPI, AFACT, etc.

Utterly pathetic. I think it says a lot about how **** this country is getting that a lot of people thought this was an april fools joke.

North Korea and China are blocking content, because they dont want their people's minds to be influenced by the West, as many Western things are really retarded, no offence, but most of which come from USA, North Korea is going way over the top by forbidding people to even have mobile phones, but thats it... at least their people dont watch Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and the other bull***t

allwynd said,
... at least their people dont watch Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and the other bull***t

Yes, it's obviously better their people die of famine. Who wouldn't choose death for their children rather than Justin Bieber?

Vlad said,

Yes, it's obviously better their people die of famine. Who wouldn't choose death for their children rather than Justin Bieber?

how am i supposed to understand that? that if they listen to Justin Bieber, they will live better lives, they will feed themselves with the "art" of Demi Lovato and the other kids that so easily conquered the stage, and how that happened, its beyond me

Vlad said,

Yes, it's obviously better their people die of famine. Who wouldn't choose death for their children rather than Justin Bieber?

how am i supposed to understand that? that if they listen to Justin Bieber, they will live better lives, they will feed themselves with the "art" of Demi Lovato and the other kids that so easily conquered the stage, and how that happened, its beyond me

allwynd said,

how am i supposed to understand that? that if they listen to Justin Bieber, they will live better lives, they will feed themselves with the "art" of Demi Lovato and the other kids that so easily conquered the stage, and how that happened, its beyond me

No, and how did you miss his point that badly? You're going on and on about such silly things as Lady Gaga when people there are literally starving to death under an oppressive dictatorship. Do you really think blocking Lady Gaga is the most important thing to worry about? Also if you think the censorship there is to protect their people from western culture you are deluded; it's about controlling their people. Why do you think they cut off the internet whenever a rebellion arises? I'll give you a hint; it's not to block out access to popular western music.

For the record most of us think Lady Gaga is stupid too but we have the FREEDOM to not listen to her. No one is holding a gun to our heads (literally) telling us how to think and act and what we have to listen to and what we must not. In short your defense of places like North Korea is completely absurd. Don't belittle the atrocities there by talking about Justin Bieber.

Edited by Bonfire, Apr 1 2011, 6:27pm :

Any facist/capitalist countries will be moving toward a Police state.

Just read up a book called "Animal Farm" by George Orwell.

MrRoberts said,
Any facist/capitalist countries will be moving toward a Police state.

Just read up a book called "Animal Farm" by George Orwell.

Wait, capitalist countries? Did you actually READ Animal Farm?

Vlad said,

Wait, capitalist countries? Did you actually READ Animal Farm?

Yes. George Orwell is a REVISIONIST. A Communist who tries to rewrite Marxism to justify a retreat from the revolutionary position.

Like China right now isn't a Communist government. China is hiding behind the red flag, but the government itself is a revisionist.

READ AGAIN.

TheReasonIFailed said,
Only in Ameri...oh wait...
America is probably going to be the last country in the world to do this. My home country (Australia) is already trying to do this (haven't heard much about it recently, anyone know if it's dead in the water or still going through?) and now the UK is trying to do it, a sign of things to come sadly.

I hear that there is a movement in England to replace British Law with Shari'a Law. Seems to be succeeding.

Foub said,
I hear that there is a movement in England to replace British Law with Shari'a Law. Seems to be succeeding.

Heard wrong.

This country is just going to keep on getting worse. The economy is failing and the majority are dictated by fear. Will get worse before anything changes.

cleverclogs said,
April First.

Yes it's April Fools. Unfortunately that doesn't make every piece of news you'll read today a complete fake.

There you go, so many people complained about Labour implementing the digital rights Bill. Conservatives to get elected, yes they would reverse it. Meanwhile planning to bring in something that was even more stricter.

I have emailed MR Vaizey to ask what safeguards will be in place to stop inappropriate use of this measure. I don't expect I'll receive a reply.

Wakers said,
Just another reason why I'm glad that I'm leaving this utterly pathetic country.

Australia is trying to do the same thing as the UK. I think this will be implemented worldwide eventually.

Wakers said,
Just another reason why I'm glad that I'm leaving this utterly pathetic country.

I don't blame you, wish I could too!

Blocking piracy websites is the tip of the iceberg before they block websites they don't agree with, are political in nature or give information the govt doesn't want us to see.

Should this happen i hope people take to the streets and protest by the thousands, because it is quite frankly unacceptable.

Rather than blocking sites that are deemed inappropriate, they should make the penalties larger for those caught downloading and breaking the law. This is a joke, i don't care whether they see it as a way to make policing piracy easier or what not.

DKcomputers said,
Should this happen i hope people take to the streets and protest by the thousands, because it is quite frankly unacceptable.

Rather than blocking sites that are deemed inappropriate, they should make the penalties larger for those caught downloading and breaking the law. This is a joke, i don't care whether they see it as a way to make policing piracy easier or what not.


The Australians didn't, don't see it happen here either. Hell, when people do protest here, they're looked down on for blocking ****ing traffic. I mean, how did the students not get support? The were blatantly lied to and massively exploited.

This is another example of how the copyright industry tries to subvert the democracy to enforce their outdated business models. The UK is taking the same dictotorial measures already in place in China. Shame on your retarded gov.

mysun said,
This is another example of how the copyright industry tries to subvert the democracy to enforce their outdated business models. The UK is taking the same dictotorial measures already in place in China. Shame on your retarded gov.

Every government on the planet is controlled by corporate interests, the UK is no different. It's no coincidence that three strike polices are being implemented universally with little to no opposition, or the fact that ACTA is being decided behind closed doors, concealed from public scrutiny. This is what happens when a small group of individuals wield absolute power. Corruption is inevitable.

The Tory-led Coalition Government frankly needs kicking out before they cause more long term damage to this country. It's totally disgraceful what they are doing to this country and hope people wake up and smell the coffee.

StevenNT said,
The Tory-led Coalition Government frankly needs kicking out before they cause more long term damage to this country. It's totally disgraceful what they are doing to this country and hope people wake up and smell the coffee.

Yeah because it wasnt labour (ie that slimeball Mandelson) that proposed, drew up and passed this law. Oh wait....

neowin said,
Currently the Act is delayed until 2012 but if this new notion gets made law

Um it already is law.
This is discussing implementation.
2012 is when it comes into force.

Conservative, Labour, what's the difference? They both represent the same corporate interests. The same people fund them. The same people control them, and it's not us.

the better twin said,

Yeah because it wasnt labour (ie that slimeball Mandelson) that proposed, drew up and passed this law. Oh wait....


Um it already is law.
This is discussing implementation.
2012 is when it comes into force.

Conservatives promised to abolish the bill, they deliberately did not vote for it but abstained instead so they could say they did not support it meanwhile letting it go ahead so they can blame Labour.

The bill had to be done if it wasn't done too much was left up to the ISPs, in a changing world new bills always need to take place over time they will be watered down or amended.

My biggest issue is the fact that the Conservatives went on during the election about Labour being too Big Brother, they were going to sort out everybody Civil Liberties because they were removed by Labour supposedly.

Meanwhile they are planning a lot worse.

They lied there is no question about it. Because of the media they needed the Conservatives otherwise they would have been taxed too heavy under Labour the public fell for it.

StevenNT said,
The Tory-led Coalition Government frankly needs kicking out before they cause more long term damage to this country. It's totally disgraceful what they are doing to this country and hope people wake up and smell the coffee.

?? What's it got to do with a Tory goverment, this stuff was going on with Labour as well? I personally can't any of the parties involved but I'll think you'll it was mostly Labour's (with a little help from the conservatives) that the country is in such a flipping mess as it is. Who cares anyway it will only be nubs and idiots who won't be able to get round it.

11thsignal said,
?? What's it got to do with a Tory goverment, this stuff was going on with Labour as well? I personally can't any of the parties involved but I'll think you'll it was mostly Labour's (with a little help from the conservatives) that the country is in such a flipping mess as it is. Who cares anyway it will only be nubs and idiots who won't be able to get round it.

Because this has nothing to do with the awful laws Labour were bringing in. Labour wanted three strikes and your out, which the Conservatives claimed to be against, apparently because they wanted to go a whole lot further, turning us into the Chinese. Though now I think about it, we'll be worse off than the Chinese, we'll have our great firewall while also being the most monitored country in the world.

I'm thinking of finding a job in the US or Canada right now, I'm not even joking.

Uhyve said,

Because this has nothing to do with the awful laws Labour were bringing in. Labour wanted three strikes and your out, which the Conservatives claimed to be against, apparently because they wanted to go a whole lot further, turning us into the Chinese. Though now I think about it, we'll be worse off than the Chinese, we'll have our great firewall while also being the most monitored country in the world.

I'm thinking of finding a job in the US or Canada right now, I'm not even joking.

Actually this web censoring is in the Digital Economy Act - but the Judicial review, amongst other things, id delaying that for at least a year and the copyright industry is throwing its toys out of the pram once again and demanding something be done *now*. Hence this.

M2Ys4U said,
Actually this web censoring is in the Digital Economy Act - but the Judicial review, amongst other things, id delaying that for at least a year and the copyright industry is throwing its toys out of the pram once again and demanding something be done *now*. Hence this.

Didn't know that, still, dick move by everyone involved.

The world still goes around on April 1st. It's only 9:45am and i'm sick of seeing everyone thinking everything is an April fools.. what a pointless day.

Uplift said,
The world still goes around on April 1st. It's only 9:45am and i'm sick of seeing everyone thinking everything is an April fools.. what a pointless day.

This is a funny comment considering your name and avatar.

Or was it an april fool?

Uplift said,
The world still goes around on April 1st. It's only 9:45am and i'm sick of seeing everyone thinking everything is an April fools.. what a pointless day.

The sad part is that people just stick their heads in the sand and imagine these things aren't happening on a daily basis. One day we'll wake up and discover that we're all slaves, oh wait, too late..

MrRoberts said,
Thin end of the wedge

This is very political. Using child pornography or piracy as an excuse for something bigger.


They have been doing it for a long time. It's called the IWF. An unregulated, unaccountable, site block list. Even Wikipedia was blocked. Once a site gets on the list, it's near to impossible to get it removed. Censorship plain and simple.

I believe it was goebbels and hitler who first used "the children" as a device to restrict the liberties of the people.

MrRoberts said,
Thin end of the wedge

This is very political. Using child pornography or piracy as an excuse for something bigger.

Pastor Martin Niemöller said,
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Replace communists with pedophiles, trade unionists with pirates and jews with bloggers...

I know, it's a Godwin, but when you see such Nazi-ish behaviour, it's hard not to.

Flawed said,

They have been doing it for a long time. It's called the IWF. An unregulated, unaccountable, site block list. Even Wikipedia was blocked. Once a site gets on the list, it's near to impossible to get it removed. Censorship plain and simple.

I believe it was goebbels and hitler who first used "the children" as a device to restrict the liberties of the people.

I know. That's why I posted that comment.

Nothing new about this.

bucko said,
Are they stupid? I'll set-up my own proxy server out of UK if they do this.
They're doing it to block the general public, not everyone can set up a proxy server.

Doesn't sound like it'll be too hard to get around this, I suppose it's just to stop regular non-technical people from pirating, right?

Xerino said,
april fools folks....

Unfortunately, this isn't an April Fools. It's quite real. These discussions have been going on for weeks.

Xerino said,
april fools folks....

If only this were true.. Reality today is more frightening than our worst nightmares.

Hardcore Til I Die said,

Agreed.. no source cited!


There are sources cited inline, a practice that I wish Neowin would stop since it often makes them hard to find since they don't stand out at all right now. Or at least they could make the inline citations a little more contrasting color so that they are more easily visible.

hmm.. unaccountable..

what happens when sites start getting blocked based on political agenda or the such like?

One already exists. It's called the IWF. Try accessing certain sites such as oron.com, depositfiles.com, megaupload.com etc. Often they are unuseable because traffic is being routed through IWF servers. Hell, even Wikipedia was blocked briefly. They're unaccountable just like a representative democracy.

Welcome to the world of censorship, and its slow gradual creep and encroachment upon our rights. It doesn't matter if you live in a communist state or a western representative democracy, you have no rights.

Edited by Flawed, Apr 1 2011, 9:37am :

BGM said,
hmm.. unaccountable..

what happens when sites start getting blocked based on political agenda or the such like?


It's already happening. The political agenda is to do whatever the corporate slave masters tell the politicians to do. DEA, the digital economy act, or as I like to call it, the digital enforcement act, was written by the BPI; and no I don't mean that as some kind of euphemism, it actually was written mostly by the BPI, their lobbists, and the MAFIAA in general. America is the next target, then the world.

1984 just became reality.