U.K. Activist Group Calling on Cameron to Stop Filtering Plan

LONDON — The digital activist Open Rights Group (ORG) is calling on Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron to stop his proposed Internet opt-in plan aimed at blocking porn and other content.

The group is circulating its online “David Cameron: Stop Sleepwalking the U.K. into Censorship” petition in an effort to stymie the proposals that it says are “incredibly dangerous.”

“Everyone agrees that we should try to protect children from harmful content. But asking everyone to sleepwalk into censorship does more harm than good.

“Filters won't stop children seeing adult content and risks giving parents a false sense of security. It will stop people finding advice on sexual health, sexuality and relationships. This isn't just about pornography. Filters will block any site deemed unsuitable for under 18s,” the website warns.

ORG also list key points why the opt-in, default filters won’t work including the fact that "set it and forget it" sends the wrong message to parents because filters won’t completely stop children from seeing adult content; filters will also block non-porn content to those under 18 that could help with drug and alcohol abuse, sexual health and differing political views; and that adult filtering amounts to censoring legal content.

“The U.K. would be the only modern democratic society to do this. This sets a terrible example to other countries with interests in suppressing information,” the organizers state.

As of this post, the petition has gathered 12,943 signatures.

Non-profit ORG, founded in 2005, is a member of European Digital Rights and is billed as the U.K.’s leading voice defending freedom of expression, privacy, innovation, creativity and consumer rights on the Internet.

The group lobbies policy-makers, informs the public through the media, and mobilizes its supporters.