We all know that China, Iran and some other governments block access to certain websites, but did you know the British Government does too?
Incredible but true. Well, true anyway. Those wicked Iranians are in the news at the moment having temporarily blocked Instagram, but if you are in the UK, check out FilesTube, when currently you will see the message:
Error — Site blocked
in lieu of a website.
The same will happen if you try to access a certain site called kickass. This has nothing to do with the slightly hysterical campaign to censor “child porn” which can mean just about anything - including your family photo album. Rather it is a site similar to FilesTube. Both these sites were blocked by court order; you can read a bit about this process here. Of course, there are those who might argue that these sites have been blocked by UK ISPs pursuant to the rule of law, and that a UK court is not the same thing as the British Government. This is a moot point.
Another file sharing site you may just have heard of is the Pirate Bay. The British Government or British Phonographic Industry (fill in the name of the plaintiff of your choice) appears to have given up on this outfit, because you can find it all over Google.
Interestingly, currently a Google search for the words Pirate Bay yields precisely 58 million results and at the bottom of the first page this message:
“In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org.”
That complaint has been archived just for you, dear reader.
Yeah, we know it’s not censorship, it’s only censorship when other countries do it, and copyright must be protected. Right? Copyright is dead! There is an alternative to it, however, but don’t expect to see any government implement it in the near future.
By the way, if you are in the UK and want to access one of these blocked sites, there are at least two simple ways to do so, but you can work that out for yourself. Mustn’t be seen to facilitate law-breaking, must we?
[The above article was first published on December 30, 2013. The stock photograph has been omitted.]
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