"Internet and telecom companies will be ordered
by the Government to block “harmful” content such as extremist material
and pornography in the wake of the Woolwich terrorist attack and
killing of five-year-old April Jones."
That article cites two cases. Even if there are 10 times as many cases
and even if they are all proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to be people
that would have been totally sane if not for access to unsavoury
material via the internet, as opposed to just "nutters", you probably
have fewer deaths and injuries than result from vending machine accidents.
Can we not have governments that show some degree of proportion here?
The risk to free speech must outway some of the risks from the
occasional nutter, surely.
We have already seen cases where the "think of the children" use of filtering, for child abuse images (IWF & Cleanfeed), has suffered feature creep to other areas, and can so easily extend to "wrong thinking". We have already seen this act as a "foot in the door" to force ISPs to block access to other web sites via the courts.
Before you know it the Internet is censored, and we are simply arguing about the level of censorship. Once you start down this road every incremental step can be justified, and none of it actually stops people communicating if they want to.