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November 28, 2013

UK gov to order ISPs to block access to terrorist sites

‘Measures for censoring radical content will be revealed soon’, Crime and Security Minister says.

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK government is set to order ISPs to block access to extremist websites and create a unit dedicated to detecting and reporting online content considered highly unsafe.

Crime and Security Minister James Brokenshire said that measures for censoring radical content would be revealed soon, though broadband firms have already warned that such a move would compromise freedom of speech.

Citing anonymous ISP sources, the Guardian reported that a move similar to the blocking of child porn is supported by the Prime Minister David Cameron and a government-funded unit would order firms such as BT, TalkTalk, BSkyB and Virgin Media to ban access to terrorist-linked websites.

"There are freedom of speech issues," one of the sources said.

"For extremist material the government needs to ensure there is a process in place to test what is illegal."

Broadband firms and search engines Google and Bing have agreed to assist in monitoring child abuse by blocking child porn from their search results.

"There is always a concern about mission creep," said another ISP source.

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"When it comes to incitement it’s not as clear cut as child exploitation.

"If there is a robust appeals process, that could potentially overcome some of those concerns."

Recently, the UK Internet Watch Foundation revealed plans to start a six-month trial with Google, Microsoft and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (Ceop), enveloping modules to detect and ostracise links to child abuse material on so-called peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

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