The UK government plans to extend its Internet filter to block online extremist videos, according to a report by the BBC.
The plans will apparently help address a growing threat from jihadists in Syria, the BBC said, and the fear “that fighters returning to the UK will seek to radicalize young men in particular to launch terrorist attacks both at home and abroad.”
The police are currently able to take down videos hosted in the UK that promote terrorism, and since four years ago the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit has taken down more than 21,000 pieces of illegal terrorist online content.
The initiative will build on the UK’s much-criticized attempt to filter pornography at the ISP level, a program introduced by PM David Cameron last year to protect children from viewing adult content.
The porn filter in the UK has been highly controversial, with privacy watchdogs concerned about the floodgates it has opened when it comes to government censorship online.
While the intent is to protect children, a recent report showed that three of the UK’s “big four” ISPs are failing to filter out pornographic search images. The filter has been criticized also for blocking content that is legitimate and would be widely considered to be acceptable for children to view, including news and charity sites.
The UK’s adult industry has come out this week with a new website called xxxaware.co.uk to inform parents about tools available to filter content on various devices, which it says in many cases are more effective at blocking inappropriate content and are less prone to overblocking.