So I heard this article on the World’s Technology Podcast about several countries talking about possibly blocking terrorist websites. The podcast this story was on was about a year ago, so I might be really behind the times, but I just thought I would give a few of my thoughts on it.
First of all, I’m not sure what they will talk about as being a “Terrorist website”. Is a terrorist website something to do with Islam in general? Because I assume there will be stuff that some people might consider “terrorist” on site like that. But then we are cutting off people from accessing websites about Islam…which isn’t quite getting there. I just think it is really hard to decide what websites were considered “terrorist”.
Someone on the podcast likened it to blocking child porn websites. They said that noone would say this is a bad idea…but the flaw in that is that a website is very obviously a child porn website, whereas its not as clear cut with things like terrorism. Its just not simple.
Also, if we start blocking stuff like this, it worries me and a number of other people, that we will become a censorship nation…which I don’t really agree with. Not because I want to access these websites, but more that I think it can go out of control…as we have seen in countries such as China and Burma.
The last point I have was also mentioned in the podcast. Proxies…
In one word I have bypassed all of the censorship, with no problems. I can browse to http://www.proxy.org and go through a proxy in almost any country in the world to access websites blocked in the country. I think it would make more sense to try and close down the sites rather than censor them.