UK gov wants ’unsavoury’ web content censored
2014 03 18
By Liat Clark | Wired
The UK minister for immigration and security has called for the government to do more to deal with "unsavoury", rather than illegal, material online.
James Brokenshire made the comments to the Financial Times in an interview related to the government’s alleged ability to automatically request YouTube videos be taken down under "super flagger" status.
A flagger is anyone that uses YouTube’s reporting system to highlight videos that breach guidelines. The Home Office explained to Wired.co.uk that the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), responsible for removing illegal terrorist propaganda, does not have "super flagger" status, but has simply attained the platform’s Trusted Flagger accreditation -- a status for users who regularly correctly flag questionable content.
The FT published its article in context of growing concerns around the radicalisation of Britons travelling to partake in the ongoing conflict in Syria, and the Home Office told Wired.co.uk any videos flagged by the CTIRU for review were ones found to be in breach of counter-terrorism laws (29,000 have been removed across the web since February 2010).
This seems to be the impetus for the kinds of extended controls Brokenshire told the FT the government should be looking into, namely, dealing with material "that may not be illegal but certainly is unsavoury and may not be the sort of material that people would want to see or receive".
"Terrorist propaganda online has a direct impact on the radicalisation of individuals and we work closely with the internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas," Brokenshire told Wired.co.uk in a statement.
"It is [censorship]," Jaani Riordan, a barrister specialising in technology litigation, told Wired.co.uk.
Read the full article at: wired.co.uk
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