THE ratings used for films could be applied to websites in a bid to better police the internet and protect children from harmful and offensive material, Britain's minister for culture has said.
Andy Burnham told Britain's The Daily Telegraph newspaper the government was planning to negotiate with the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to draw up new international rules for English language websites.
"The more we seek international solutions to this stuff - the UK and the U.S. working together - the more that an international norm will set an industry norm," the newspaper reports the Culture Secretary as saying.
Giving websites film-style ratings would be one possibilty.
"This is an area that is really now coming into full focus," Mr Burnham said.
Internet service providers could also be forced to offer services where the only sites accessible are those deemed suitable for children, the paper said.
"If you look back at the people who created the internet they talked very deliberately about creating a space that governments couldn't reach," Burnham told The Daily Telegraph. "I think we are having to revisit that stuff seriously now."
He said some content should not be available to be viewed.
"This is not a campaign against free speech, far from it; it is simply there is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies and being clear about it."
We all know that the interpretations of 'offensive' or 'harmful' or 'hateful' will rest with the liberals and leftists who are now to be in the drivers' seat in Washington, D.C. as of January. And if ''our" government is to work hand-in-hand with the leftist British government, no good can come from that for either country.
Blogs like this one, and many other, far less politically incorrect blogs and forums will be filtered if not removed entirely. It may not happen overnight, but this is the direction in which we are headed.
The politically correct vigilantes will be ever more emboldened to silence anyone who fails to toe the line.
We should be thinking about ways to circumvent this effort to quash free speech. We will have to find alternatives, and I believe where there's a will, there's a way. We will have to find alternative ways to communicate and to speak the truth that needs to be heard.
I'm convinced that one of the first acts of our new overlords will be to pass the 'hate speech' and 'hate crime' laws that they have been itching to push through, but failed to do in the last session. I am convinced that this is a priority for them.
"The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing." - John Adams
"In those wretched countries where a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own. Who ever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech." - Benjamin Franklin
“For the saddest epitaph which can be carved in memory of a vanished freedom is that it was lost because its possessors failed to stretch forth a saving hand while there was still time. - Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland
“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no Constitution, no Law, no Court can save it...Where do you stand Citizen?” - Judge Learned Hand
'"Truth is hate to those who hate the truth" - quote from protester Arlene Elshinnawy, from the WND article linked above