UK's Culture Secretary plans to rein in the internet and censor some websites to ensure "child-safe" content on the web
Describing the internet as
quite a dangerous place , UK's
Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has proposed censoring websites, among
several steps, to rein in the internet.
In an interview with The
Daily Telegraph, Burnham said he plans to negotiate with the
incoming Barack Obama administration to draw up new international
rules for English-language websites.
Burnham's plans include
giving film-style age ratings to individual websites and forcing internet
service providers (ISPs) to offer internet services where only websites
deemed suitable for children are accessible.
Burnham also wants to
introduce new industry-wide "take down time" -- that is, when
websites are alerted to offensive or harmful content they will have to remove
it within a specified time after it is brought to their attention.
He said, There is content
that should just not be available to be viewed. That is my view. Absolutely
categorical. This is not a campaign against free speech, far from it; it is
simply there is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other
people. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies
and being clear about it.
that the people who created the internet talked very deliberately
about creating a space that governments couldn t reach, Burnham
said, "I think we are having to revisit that stuff seriously now.
It s true across the board in terms of content, harmful content, and copyright.
Libel is an emerging issue."
Burnham said he is
currently considering a range of new safeguards, which could be policed by
Though the proposals are
well-intentioned and will go a long way in raising the standards of decency,
any move to censor the internet is likely to hit a major roadblock with
online advocates of the freedom of the World Wide Web.