Monday 28 November 2016

Blocking content

The UK is Brexiting from a sizeable chunk of the internet: content that the British censor wouldn't rate for DVD sale.
Web users in the UK will be banned from accessing websites portraying a range of non-conventional sexual acts, under a little discussed clause to a government bill currently going through parliament.
The proposal, part of the digital economy bill, would force internet service providers to block sites hosting content that would not be certified for commercial DVD sale by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
It is contained within provisions of the bill designed to enforce strict age verification checks to stop children accessing adult websites. After pressure from MPs, the culture secretary, Karen Bradley, announced on Saturday that the government would amend the bill to include powers to block non-compliant websites.
In order to comply with the censorship rules, many mainstream adult websites would have to render whole sections inaccessible to UK audiences. That is despite the acts shown being legal for consenting over-16s to perform and for adults in almost all other liberal countries to film, distribute and watch.
The best tweet I saw summarising this suggested that the Brits would allow the British internet the full range of British sexual preferences by distributing six pictures of Sean Connery from the 1960s. Alas, couldn't find it again.

Here in NZ, I was annoyed when the NZ Censor's Office seemed to be making a play to block parallel importation of digital content using censor regs as vehicle. The regime remains in need of modernisation. The UK is going in the wrong direction.

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