July 29, 2013 | Ed Johnson-Williams

Take action: Call out Cameron on online censorship

David Cameron is asking Britain to sleepwalk into censorship. Everyone agrees that we should try to protect children from harmful content. But unprecedented filtering of legal content for everyone is not the answer.

David Cameron wants your ISP to push you into switching on web filters. These proposals are incredibly dangerous. Cameron should drop them immediately.

David Cameron Stop Default Internet Filtering

ORG's been spending a lot of time speaking to the media to make sure Cameron and the pro-blocking lobby don't go unchallenged.

But we need another way of putting some pressure on and letting him know how many people think his plans are mistaken.

Tell David Cameron to drop his plans to turn on adult filters by default. Sign our petition to him now!

The Government should help people make informed choices about what sorts of websites their household can visit.


Introducing adult filters as default is not an effective way to help make children safe and will cause huge issues that Cameron can't just dismiss as teething problems.

"Set it and forget it" is the wrong message to send to parents. It risks giving people a false sense of security. Just because ISPs block adult content, children are not automatically safe. Content that you might want to block will still get through. And filters won't stop sexting, bullying or stalking on the Internet.

Instead of trying to make decisions for parents, the Government should give them better support. Help parents to actively decide which sites to make more difficult for their children to visit. Concentrate on encouraging them to talk to their children about their online and offline activity.

Let David Cameron know his plans aren't the answer to keeping children safe. Sign the petition now.

We've seen mobile operators apply parental controls with terrible results. When ISPs use adult filters, they block sites by mistake. Lots of people need to be able to access educational material on sexual health and sexuality. But adult filters can miscategorise this sort of advice as pornography and stop people of all ages finding crucial advice.

David Cameron's wrong to put people's access to crucial information at risk. Please sign the petition to tell him you're against his plans.

David Cameron mentions adult filtering and stopping child abuse in the same breath. But accessing adult content is legal. Accessing illegal content is clearly a crime and should be treated completely differently.

So creating a register of people who want to access adult content or just want unfiltered Internet access brings serious and unjustified privacy issues. How will people on this register be treated? Who will have access to these databases? Will it be secure? The Government needs to address these questions.

Adult filtering affects everyone, not just children or families. So after you've signed the petition, can you share the link with your friends, family and followers?

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Comments (4)

  1. Derek:
    Jul 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    I think a much better approach than this sweeping change is to make every ISP - by law and default - install a simple program by which the user can report INDIVIDUAL web pages the user believes contains illegal material.
    The program would bring that page to the attention of a police 'data abuse' unit, not a secret government list. The police unit would have power to close down the site if it was UK based, or block it in the UK if based abroad - only IF it did indeed breach the law or encourage/teach unlawful activity in the UK. Any changes in what the unit was to regard as illegal would be prone to full judicial civilian review.
    There exist 'report this page' links in most browsers but not everyone knows how to use them. A simple icon on the browser that was impossible to uninstall, did not monitor your usage, but only reported pages you suspected, would infringe no one's freedom and put the responsibility of monitoring dangerous sites in the hands of the voter.

  2. stripe:
    Jul 30, 2013 at 06:19 PM

    That is still censorship, someone else who I do not know or trust determining which sites I would be able to view
    the Internet is so much more than that, and I don't want some politician playing at politics ruining it for everyone

  3. Derek:
    Jul 30, 2013 at 07:20 PM

    Stripe, the best solution is to do nothing, but if some kind of control must be applied, my suggestion at least keeps it accountable and in public control - if you read it carefully.

  4. Helen:
    Jul 30, 2013 at 09:21 PM

    It is up to us what kind of things we deem approriate for ourselves and our kids. We can set our own security settings and monitor what our kids see and so on. We cannot control what other people do in their own homes, but we can educate. I am disgusted by the actions taken by Congress to consistently restricting our rights as citizens. Censhorship, monitoring, and "Big Brother" type over-seers all in the name of rights.