Wikipedia co-founder and Cameron government advisor Jimmy Wales lashes out against plan to censor UK Internet
Last week saw massive public uproar over a proposed UK-wide internet filter which would block not just pornography but also esoteric and occult sites. The filter would allow Internet users to opt out if they still wanted to access “risky” material, but that could well lead to them being profiled as potential criminals. It’s a move that critics of David Cameron’s government have called “Sleepwalking Into Censorship.”
Outrage has reached both sides of the Atlantic—in the United States, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, who acts as one of David Cameron’s advisors, has said of the proposed ban that “When Cameron uses the example of pedophiles who are addicted to internet porn – all that these plans would do is require them to opt in. It’s an absolutely ridiculous idea that won’t work.” He blasted the use of funds by the NSA and other security agencies to spy on individual Internet users, stating that “billions [have] been wasted shopping on ordinary people’s data in a fruitless search for terrorists” and that “We should be devoting a significant proportion of that to dealing with the real criminal issues online, stealing credit card numbers, hacking into sites… that is going to take an investment in real, solid police work.”
Via the Independent:
One of David Cameron’s most high-profile celebrity advisers has branded the Prime Minister’s plan to restrict online porn as “an absolutely ridiculous idea that won’t work.”
Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, was asked about the plans for web users to opt-in to receive adult content, and otherwise be blocked.
Warning that access to online pornography is “corroding childhood” the Prime Minister said internet service providers will ask users who open new contract whether they want to activate filters which restrict adult material.
Without an answer either way, the filters will be activated by default.
Mr Wales told Channel 4 News: “When Cameron uses the example of paedophiles who are addicted to internet porn – all that these plans would do is require them to opt in. It’s an absolutely ridiculous idea that won’t work.”
The ban, which has been set up in arrangement with UK ISPs TalkTalk, Sky, BT and Virgin, will affect 90% of the United Kingdom’s Internet users.