OSCE media freedom representative warns UK, Internet filtering ineffective, open to abuse
VIENNA, 23 July 2013 –Proposals by UK Prime Minister David Cameron to impose default Internet filtering for adult and sensitive subjects is ineffective and could be open to abuse, said OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today.
“Governments have the responsibility to protect children and minors. There are many ways to do this, including through the criminal justice system, through education and Internet literacy. There are also good self-regulation mechanisms that should be considered,” said Mijatović.
“Automated Internet filtering is ineffective as the software tends to be either over restrictive or easily bypassed. In particular I am worried that by attempting to make inappropriate content inaccessible, freedom of expression can be seriously limited. For example, sites containing pornography could still be accessed while education materials on sexually transmitted diseases could be blocked.
“Internet filtering is not the job of governments or service providers. People must be able to make their own choices about what they and their children can access online and offline,” said Mijatović.