“I’d always assumed that my mobile operator’s filter was there to block donkey porn and midget wrestling, but it’s wider than that”

Me, on Techradar:

There is a big difference between blocking pornography and blocking speech, no matter how odious it may be, but filters brought in to block the former inevitably end up blocking the latter. Today it’s the BNP, and extremism, and The Pirate Bay. What will we have to protect our children from tomorrow?

One of the things that depresses me about my job is that dire predictions often come true, so for example when filters for illegal porn were introduced, many of us warned that other things would end up filtered too — and as the linked piece says, that’s exactly what’s happening now. It’s a similar story with the authorities’ use of personal data. Zack Whittaker at ZDNet:

The U.K. government is haemorrhaging data — private and confidential citizen data — from medical records to social security details, and even criminal records, according to figures obtained through Freedom of Information requests.

Just shy of 1,000 civil servants working at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), were disciplined for accessing personal social security records. The Department for Health (DoH), which operates the U.K.’s National Health Service and more importantly all U.K. medical records, saw more than 150 breaches occur over a 13-month period.

3 thoughts on ““I’d always assumed that my mobile operator’s filter was there to block donkey porn and midget wrestling, but it’s wider than that”

  1. hunnymonster says:

    On the mobile phone 3UK block b3ta as being adult content. Fair enough. But in blocking it, they send you to *their own* porn offering… I think it’s the only occasion that I’ve been directed to porn when I wasn’t looking for it since I got online in 1988

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