UK government filters wrongly block almost one in five websites


Online censorship is a big problem around the globe, especially in countries such as China, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Egypt. Now, it seems, we can add Great Britain to that list.


Almost a fifth of websites are being wrongly blocked by overzealous UK government filters, an Open Rights Group project has found.

The Telegraph reports that the group’s Blocked project has created a free checking tool, which returns information on whether a site is being blocked by filters.

The Open Rights Group found that of 101,008 sites tested, 18,883 – about 19% – are blocked by one or more internet service providers.

The Telegraph says that one of the blocked sites is political blog Guido Fawkes’ Order Order. Editor Paul Staines said: “We would really appreciate it if TalkTalk would remove us from their block list. The only people who block us are them and the Chinese government.” (Update 11:01: TalkTalk has since denied this.)

Meanwhile, TIME reports that the Chinese government is tightening its grip on the internet.

The magazine says that Chinese authorities are cracking down even further on news outlets and search engines, blocking access to websites including Google and the Wall Street Journal.

Other sites blocked in China include Wikipedia, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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