Web of Deceit: The Bilderberg Group and Elite Powerbrokers Linked to the UK’s Stealth Internet Censorship Coup

As a curtain of censorship falls over the UK internet, this special investigation uncovers the deception and elite players behind the murky system of corporate web filters, which block far more than pornography. Disturbingly, the trail points back to a notorious and controversial elite cabal – the ultra-secretive Bilderberg Group.
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The UK’s sweeping internet censorship plans are ramping up, with the country’s main internet service providers (ISPs), who service 95% of UK households, rolling out ‘default’ web filters to meet the government’s call for an internet clampdown.

State-sanctioned internet filtering on this scale, often condemned when carried out by authoritarian regimes, is unparalleled in “free” western countries and sets a dangerous precedent. The way this policy has been introduced, sold and now implemented has been misleading and deceptive all along. Last year, Prime Minister David Cameron led the public to believe this is all about blocking pornography to stop the “corruption of childhood”, but it’s apparent the well-worn “think of the children” argument was just Trojan horse propaganda to create a moral pretext for introducing extensive censorship infrastructure.

While proponents point out people can still ask their ISPs to turn the filters off, the problem is the filters block more than people are led to believe and operate without transparency. They already target much more than pornography, and their reach will likely creep as time goes on. This is already happening. And who ultimately decides what these unaccountable, shadowy corporate web filters block is shrouded in mystery.

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The Bilderberg Group is an ultra-secretive annual gathering of elite global powerbrokers. Source: deesillustration.com

There was a long, well-orchestrated campaign to put these filters in place. A moral panic about online pornography was carefully manufactured to pave the way years before this occurred. I hope to unravel how this happened, and who is involved. A look at the players and history leading up to the policy announcement reveals the influence of various elite powerbrokers in government, media, international business, and religious lobby groups. Ultimately, the trail appears to point back to the ultra-secretive Bilderberg Group – a shadowy annual gathering of corporate, financial, international and government elites who meet on the sly away from the public eye, and discuss – and some would say set – global policy in complete secrecy.

I am concerned that behind these machinations is a hidden agenda that could see swathes of alternative websites blacked-out in a so-called free country, and that alternative spirituality is bound to be targeted. I am also concerned that the UK may just be the beginning. At this juncture it is important to reflect on how this policy arose, and where it is headed, to understand the serious ramifications for Britain and potentially the world. This article is a detailed investigation, so I’ve broken it up into 5 pages. I wanted to put all this information together in one post, and it turns out I dug up a lot more than I initially expected.

So to get a full picture of what is going on here, let’s take a look at how this censorship system works, then we’ll examine the elite powerbrokers pushing these plans, and the far-reaching implications of their agenda.

The Problem: Anti-Porn Catch-cry Just a Cover for a Sweeping Censorship Coup

David Cameron announcing the UK’s ISP web filter policy Source: PCmag

In July last year, UK Prime Minister David Cameron called for internet censorship in the UK under the guise of protecting children from accessing legal pornography (illegal child abuse material was already blocked). This happened after a moral panic about pornography had been running for some time, which I’ll explain further on.

After the announcement, digital rights advocate Open Rights Group warned that based on broad indications from ISPs, the filters would target multiple content categories in addition to pornography, including “esoteric material” and “web forums”. Many predicted the sweeping state-sanctioned web filters would wind up extending far beyond porn. And that’s exactly what happened. These are not merely “porn filters” despite being deceptively referred to as such.

Now operational, the filters do indeed block a murky medley of content categories. Swathes of non-pornographic websites have already been caught in the dragnet, including charities and women’s rights websites. Those who warned over-blocking would happen – either by design or by accident – have been proven right. And since the filters have been announced, the government has suggested it will now seek to block “extremist websites” and “unsavoury content” without providing any clear explanation of how these terms will be applied. The Government’s use of vague and slippery catch-all terms have many concerned the filters will inevitably be used to suppress dissent.

An Outsourced Censorship Regime

Unlike in countries like China, the UK has outsourced web censorship to the private sector, with the UK’s four main ISPs, Talk Talk, BT, Sky and Virgin all filtering their own networks.

The UK Government pressured and coerced the ISPs to install the filters and now, publicly at least, it is standing back and letting the corporations iron out the details. Could this be a shrewd attempt to introduce an unprecedented level of censorship at arm’s length while avoiding liability or accountability for its implementation and overreach?

Lack of Transparency and oversight

There is a major lack of transparency in this setup. Astonishingly, there seems to be no legal oversight or clear regulatory framework for this massive outsourced censorship system. There is no clear and unified definition of blocked content categories or explanations as to why they warrant blocking, and no easy way to find out which sites are blocked or why. There is also no clear way to discover if your website is blocked by one or more of the ISPs (especially if you’re outside the UK), nor is there a single avenue of appeal if you’re even able to find out, because each ISP operates its own inscrutable filter. This leaves the public in the dark as to what is really happening – and perhaps that’s just how the government wants it.

The opaque system is probably deliberate. Not only does it allow the Government to wash its hands and avoid being held accountable for the implementation of the creeping censorship it introduced, but it makes it possible for hidden players to influence things behind the scenes unseen, and for a range of content to be blocked without people even realising it. A system so unaccountable is ripe for misuse, abuse and overreach.

The government has faced some hiccups however. Over-blocking concerns were highlighted after charity websites were blocked. In response the Government announced that it was covertly setting up a whitelist to protect the sites deemed off-limits from the filters. But just think of the implications of this. A backroom gathering of officials has now taken upon itself, behind closed doors, to unilaterally pick out the sites out of the millions on the World Wide Web that they think should not be censored by their filtering system, which they also instated through backroom meetings. Does this mean that any sites that don’t make it on the whitelist are fair game? And if the government has taken upon itself to setup a whitelist, has it also setup a blacklist? If so, how do you find out if you are on it?

‘Active Choice’ or Censorship by Stealth?

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General examples of blocked content categories revealed by Open Rights Group, which is running a campaign against UK filtering

Advocates are quick to point out people still have a choice and the filtering is not mandatory. The ISPs are pre-ticking their blocked content categories in the sign-up process for new customers. This means people can manually un-tick and “opt out” of any categories they don’t want blocked.

But given that people tend to trust default settings given by their providers, could it be people are being nudged into selecting censorship by stealth? And if people don’t know how the filters really work and what they actually block, can they really make an informed choice?

Proponents of the censorship also often completely ignore the rights of content creators in this system. People whose websites are arbitrarily blocked in the UK will have a hard time discovering it. What “active choice” do they have? How can private companies be given so much unaccountable power over what content is appropriate or not for the UK population?

How did this happen? How did this extensive and insidious stealth censorship infrastructure get rolled out while people were hoodwinked into thinking it was all about saving children from porn? To understand how, let’s take a look at the way these plans unfolded and examine the elite powerbrokers linked to these developments, including those with connections to the Bilderberg Group.

UK Censorship Policy Origins and the Bilderberg Meeting in 2006

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UK Chancellor George Osborne has attended Bilderberg a staggering 7 times. Source: Mirror/BBC/PA

It took years to prep the public for this state-sanctioned censorship scheme outsourced to corporations. To understand how, we have to turn back the clock to 2006. It was a pivotal year. 2006 was the year George Osborne, a super-rich aristocrat, then in opposition as the UK Conservative Party’s shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, travelled to Canada for his first Bilderberg conference. He has been a regular attendee to Bilderberg meetings since, attending Bilderberg 2014 currently being held in Copenhagen, his seventh time at the elite secret assembly of global powerbrokers.

2006 was also the year ex-banker Claire Perry joined the Conservative Party.

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Claire Perry and George Osborne. Image: David Hartley Source: The Daily Mail

In 2007, she became George Osborne’s “political advisor” and has been described as his protégé. In November 2009, with backing from George Osborne, the Conservative party selected Claire Perry ahead of 184 other candidates to stand for election in the safe seat of Devizes in the upcoming UK election, virtually parachuting her into a political career.

2010: New government, old agendas

It was in 2010 when the push for web censorship began in earnest. But first the groundwork had to be laid.

In the lead up to the 2010 UK election, David Cameron pledged to clamp down on the ‘inappropriate sexualisation’ of children if elected. He published a piece in the Daily Mail claiming that: “Premature sexualisation is like pollution. It’s in the air that our children breathe. All the time. Every day”. And he vowed to “make Britain a more family-friendly place to live”.

In May 2010 the Conservative Party won Government in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. David Cameron became Prime Minister while his close friend George Osborn was given charge of the economy as Chancellor of the Exchequer – generally considered the second most powerful position in government. George Osborne’s “protégé” Claire Perry came to occupy a “surprisingly large” office in Whitehall for a junior MP, sharing an office with the Chancellor’s staff.

In late May the new administration released its program for government, which included vague pledges to tackle the undefined “sexualisation of childhood”.

Soon a few religious lobby groups joined the act. In August Mother’s Union launched a campaign to “challenge the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood” and “influence government to take action on the issue”. Then in October 2010 the religious pressure group Media March formally registered as the charity Safer Media with the specific objective to “minimise the availability of potentially harmful media content”.

Now all the pieces were in place, and the propaganda campaign began in earnest.

Claire Perry’s Blueprint to Block Porn with ISP Filters

In November 2010, Safer Media held a Parliamentary Conference titled “The Harm that Pornography Does; Its Effects on Adults and Children and the Need for Regulatory Reform”. The group’s co-founder Miranda Suit followed up with an article in the Daily Mail titled I know what internet porn does to children – and it terrifies me”.

Two days later Claire Perry called for internet censorship in a parliamentary debate. This is where the blueprint for the UK’s current network-level filtering scheme was first laid out by a member of the governing party.

Claire Perry’s calls were very specific. She made it clear ISPs should be responsible for controlling children’s access to the internet, not parents. She said ISPs should operate network-level adult content filters and that these should be switched on by default for all customers, who would have to make a conscious choice to switch them off.

“I am asking for a change in regulation that would require all UK-based internet service providers to restrict universal access to pornographic material…” Claire Perry in Parliament, 23 November 2010.

At the heart of her proposal was the view that parents are unable to take responsibility for raising their own children and are incapable of installing parental controls on their own computers, therefore state intervention was needed. She extolled TalkTalk’s plans to introduce a network filter in the new year, but chided them for making it a “voluntary system… with the onus on parents to sign up” instead of “default on” with the onus of users to turn it off.

However, Claire Perry, not being a Minister, was not stating official Government policy at the time, but just what she thought the Government’s policy should be. The Minister for Communications Ed Vaizey initially disagreed with her idea to shift responsibility from parents onto ISPs:

“I hear what my hon. Friend says about the need for ISPs to block this content, but I think it important for parents to take responsibility, and to use the filters and parental controls that are available in current technology to prevent their children from accessing harmful material.” Ed Vaizey, Minister of Communications

But he ended by saying:

“I firmly believe we can make progress, in co-operation with the ISPs, and that we can proceed on the basis of self-regulation. As I have said, I think it is important that we meet and sit around a table to exchange views, and I look forward to brokering such a meeting with my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes and a number of organisations she deems to be appropriate” [emphasis added].

Claire Perry must be very influential indeed. It’s quite interesting that within a few weeks’ time the man supposedly responsible for the UK’s communications policy would not only be toeing Claire Perry’s line after publicly disagreeing with her, but also peddling her views to the media.

Bailey Review Commissioned

Nine days after Claire Perry’s speech in parliament, Mothers’ Union CEO Reg Bailey (the first man to be appointed CEO of the organisation in its 120-year history) was appointed by Sarah Tether, Minister of State for Children and Families (and member of the Liberal Democrats), to chair an “independent review” of the “commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood”.

It was reported that some of David Cameron’s closest aides had been “determined to see a clampdown on childhood advertising” but the independent review was undertaken as a “compromise” with its coalition partners after the Conservative Party “faced opposition from some Liberal Democrats worried about censorship and freedom”.

Shock Premature Policy Announcement via Murdoch Media

Sunday Times Screen ShotThen something unexpected happened. Just two weeks after the announcement of an independent review that was yet to commence or make any recommendations, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey made a shock policy announcement via Rupert Murdoch’s paper, The Sunday Times, in an exclusive story announcing a new government plan to have ISPs “voluntarily” implement default network-level filtering to block porn to protect children – exactly what Claire Perry, protégé of Bilderberg frequenter George Osborne, had called for in parliament weeks earlier.

Vaizey threatened to introduce legislation to force ISPs to filter if they did not “get their acts together” and do so “voluntarily”. This was the man who less than a month ago said that parents needed to take responsibility for their children’s internet use, not ISPs.

The Sunday Times broke the exclusive report in a front page story titled “Internet porn will be blocked to protect all children (pay-walled) and apart from Ed Vaizey, the story also quoted Claire Perry and Safer Media co-founder Miranda Suit. The sudden policy announcement was then extensively re-reported in other media.

TalkTalk, whose plans for network-level filtering was praised by Claire Perry in parliament –  and who were caught secretly monitoring the web usage of their 4.2 million users 5 months prior – were also quoted saying: “’If other companies aren’t going to do it [install filters] of their own volition, then maybe they should be leant on.”

The Sunday Times magazine also featured the front page headline “Generation XXX – how internet porn is shaping teenagers’ sex lives”, and included an “eight-page investigation” with the feature article OMG: Porn in cyberspace (pay walled: full version here) which also reported on Ed Vaizey’s announcement and quoted Claire Perry.

The use of the Murdoch media to make the surprise policy announcement, and the pre-prepared editorial focus and support from the paper for the censorship policy, suggests a highly coordinated approach between politicians and media. It should also be noted that the media mogul Rupert Murdoch is a reputed Bilderberger and has a reputation for exerting strong editorial control over the major issues covered by his papers.

The UK Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) initially rebuffed the Government’s Murdoch media-announced plan, stating: “ISPA firmly believes that controls on children’s access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down,” which was basically the same view Ed Vaizey had expressed just a few weeks prior.

At this point in time the public was not yet ready to accept the censorship push. But a self-reinforcing feedback loop was built up between the government and lobbyists via the media pushing this agenda, increasing pressure on ISPs to implement censorship at the State’s behest. Over time the pressure increased.

Safer Media and Claire Perry unleash a censorship campaign

In December 2010 Safer Media had an open letter published in The Sunday Times expressing support for Ed Vaizey’s initiative. Claire Perry MP was one of the signatories.

Then in early 2011 Safer Media launched a campaign, headed by Claire Perry, to block online porn. Safer Media provided a template letter for people to write to their ISPs, stating: “I strongly support the initiative, suggested by Claire Perry MP, to switch the default setting for internet pornography into our homes to ‘OFF’…”

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Source: marlboroughnewsonline.co.uk

By February 2011, Ed Vaizey and Claire Perry were holding a backroom meeting with ISPs to discuss internet filtering, and according to Safer Media went in “armed with over 1000 emails of support from the public.” Initially these censorship moves were supported by parent advocacy group Mumsnet, but they promptly withdrew support after their members “reacted angrily” and “criticised Mumsnet for promoting censorship and shifting responsibility away from parents”.

But Claire Perry is not one to back down when she doesn’t get her way. In March 2011, she famously stormed into the parliamentary tearoom and vented her frustration at not being given the chance to speak in the preceding parliamentary debate. “What have I got to do to be called by the Speaker? Give him a b*** j**?” she fumed. This was not the only occasion the woman who’s been dubbed Britain’s ‘new breed’ or ‘iron lady’ has shown a propensity for a potty mouth. She famously rebuffed claims internet filtering would cause over-blocking as a “load of c**k”. It’s quite ironic that the person most responsible for pushing through the UK’s censorship scheme to “protect the children”, has such little regard for the children in her choice of words as a parliamentarian and role model.

TalkTalk Launch Chinese-linked Web filter

The momentum for Perry’s censorship scheme really gained ground in May 2011 when TalkTalk launched its network-level filter Homesafe, making it the first of the UK’s four major ISPs to fall in line with Perry’s plans.

Much later it was revealed that Homesafe is operated by the Chinese firm Huawei, which is suspected of spying for the Chinese government, and that all of TalkTalk’s web traffic is routed through the company’s filter whether customers have the filters on or off. Disturbingly, the software driving Homesafe is also based on Chinese software initially developed to suppress religious minorities and political dissidents in China. More on that later.

When TalkTalk launched its filter, which was at that stage voluntary (now it is “default on”) Claire Perry welcomed the move as proof her censorship plans were technically feasible. A TalkTalk spokesperson was quoted saying Ed Vaizey and Claire Perry were “very pleased” with the filter, and claimed, “now that one ISP has come out with a solution, I’m sure others will do so too”.

Around the same time, Safer Media and Mediawatch UK ramped up their campaign to get other ISPs to follow in TalkTalk’s government-endorsed footsteps. They held a rally, with Claire Perry in attendance, and erected a “block porn” message in block letters outside British Telecom (BT) offices, one of the UK’s main internet providers.

Bailey Review Published – does not call for ISP filters

In June 2011 the Bailey Review was published. This review reinforced the government’s view of the sexualisation of childhood and was accused of positing a circular argument about this problem that was not backed by research. Nevertheless, the review was notably far more restrained in its recommendations compared to the authoritarian measures Claire Perry and Safer Media wanted.

Bailey called for ISPs to develop and provide parental controls for customers, but did not insist or recommend they be operated at the network-level by the ISPs themselves. In other words, this web control software could be supplied to parents to install and operate on their own computers if they wished to, something many ISPs already did.

Furthermore, the review did not recommend that parental control filters should be “default on”, but instead recommended parents should be given an “active choice”, where they are asked to decide whether they wanted to switch filters on or not. It also suggested these measures should be implemented voluntarily, and that the government should only consider new legislation if voluntary regulation fails. The report warned against overstating the effectiveness of filters, calling them “not completely effective”, and pointing out the need for parents to be “actively responsible” for the safety of their children on the internet.

David Cameron sent a letter to Reg Bailey supporting his report as “consistent with this government’s overall approach and my long held belief that the leading force for progress should be social responsibility, not state control.” The industry response to the review was generally positive, because it did not recommend legislation. The Internet Services Providers Association (ISPA UK) welcomed the report’s “balanced approach” and emphasis on parental responsibility alongside technological solutions, and pointed out most ISPs already offered parental control software which parents could install if they wished.

But the government’s stance would soon harden. As we’ll see, the government would soon be using authoritarian rhetoric, and winning praise from China in the process.

George Osborne Attends Bilderberg 2011 and Government Censorship Calls Harden

There was a notable hardening in the government’s rhetoric after George Osborne attended the 2011 Bilderberg Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

In August 2011, ostensibly in response to the 2011 UK riots, David Cameron made a speech in parliament stating the government was working with police, intelligence services and industry to see if they could “stop people from communicating” via websites and social media when they “know” people are “plotting violence, disorder and criminality”. Concerns were raised about how the government planned to “know” what everyone was doing on the internet.

The views were warmly welcomed in China. Chinese state media praised the Prime Minister’s speech, indicating it vindicated China’s authoritarian approach to web control. China’s Global Times wrote:

“…the open discussion of containment of the Internet in Britain has given rise to a new opportunity for the whole world. Media in the US and Britain used to criticize developing countries for curbing freedom of speech. Britain’s new attitude will help appease the quarrels between East and West over the future management of the Internet.”

Claire Perry Launches her own Lobbyist-backed quasi-parliamentary Inquiry

Two weeks later, Claire Perry MP announced her own “independent parliamentary inquiry” into online child protection. The Perry Review sought to “establish the arguments for and against network level filtering” and would “recommend to Government the possible form of regulation required if ISPs fail to meet Recommendation no.5 from the Bailey Review” (Note that recommendation 5 called for active choice, not default-on network-level filtering).

You can clearly see that Claire Perry had an agenda to push. When the previous Bailey Review did not recommend what she really wanted – network-level filtering—she just launched and chaired her own lobbyist-backed quasi-parliamentary inquiry with a predetermined outcome.

The inquiry was not actually independent, as it is was sponsored by Safer Media and Premier Christian Radio, the same two groups behind the Safetynet petition demanding a default porn block which Claire Perry was backing.

Claire Perry’s independent inquiry was sponsored by two pro-censorship lobby groups

In September 2011 Perry chaired the first public evidence session at which “witnesses” gave testimony. Meanwhile the government continued with its “active choice” policy per the Bailey Review and announced that ISPs would soon be required to have all customers make an active decision about blocking “offensive content”, as distinct from unlawful content, with parental controls.

Major ISPs Announce New Code of Practice

On 11 October 2011, the UK’s major ISPs announced a new code of practice in line with the Bailey Review, giving parents an “active choice” to install and operate parental controls. The ISPs made clear the policy did not involve automatic blocking or require them to offer network-level filtering, and actively sought to dispel rumours about this. BT, Sky and Virgin Media already offered PC-based parental control software on the network installation CD for new customers. The code simply required them to give customers an unavoidable choice about whether they wanted to install that filtering software during their setup process. Only TalkTalk was choosing to offer optional network-level filtering at this time.

In a media statement, Claire Perry called the initiative “a good first step” but said more needed to be done and the only way to “fully protect our children” was with a default filtering system. She also called on the other ISPs to offer “one-click protection” like TalkTalk.

Murdoch Media Slams the Code

Sunday Time Sham ScreenshotOn 16 October 2011 Rupert Murdoch’s The Sunday Times slammed the new code of practice with the story, “Scheme to block web porn ‘a sham’” which claimed “a leaked copy of the code” revealed the ISPs would only “offer new customers the option of installing software to control their children’s access”. However, this was no revelation – the ISPs made clear that was exactly what they were doing, and this is also exactly what the Bailey Review had called for.

Eleanor Mills wrote a column in The Sunday Times calling the new measures “A false promise over web porn that betrays our children”. She had been heavily involved in The Sunday Times’ exclusive announcement of government plans for a default network-level porn block in December 2010 – before the Bailey Review made less stringent recommendations which the ISPs were now fulfilling.

Block Porn Campaign Ramps Up

On 18 October 2011, Claire Perry chaired the second public evidence session of her “parliamentary inquiry” into online child protection. Following the session, Claire Perry stated that a report was being drafted and would be delivered to the Prime Minister. No one could have anticipated just how significant her report would be for the future of the UK internet.

On 28 October 2011, the ISP code of practice was published in full and supported in a government media statement.

Also around this time there was a public outcry over the murderer Vincent Tabak, who was sentenced to life in prison for strangling a woman who was his neighbour. It was revealed that he possessed violent sex videos of women being strangled and subscribed to hard-core internet porn (evidence for which was deemed inadmissible in court). It was suggested in the media that Mr Tabak’s pornography habits motivated the killing, but this was never proven.

Nevertheless, it reignited calls for ISPs to block legal pornography. In late October 2011 The Daily Mail reported the Church of England was considering withdrawing the millions it had invested in ISPs unless they took action to stop “the seemingly unstoppable flood of hard-core and violent pornography”. The Bishop of Bristol also called for ISPs to block content of the kind viewed by murderer Vincent Tabak and encouraged shareholders in the internet companies to pressure the ISPs to take action.

Then on 7 February 2012, Safer Media, in conjunction with Premier Christian Media, launched the SafetyNet website running the “Protecting Innocence Online” campaign, providing an online petition calling for default internet filtering. That very same day, the government released new industry guidelines and suggested it would push further than what ISPs already had agreed to in their code of practice. The statement claimed “Many parents often feel bewildered and confused about how to protect their children from the potential risks online”.

Later that month the government hosted talks with ISPs “to discuss giving parents more choice in how the internet in their home is filtered.” In a statement, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey claimed “more needs to be done”. It seems that at this point, the government was gearing up to follow Claire Perry’s line that self-installed parental controls are too difficult for parents, as a justification for intervention by the State.

Perry Publishes Lobbyist-backed Report

On 17 April 2012, Claire Perry’s parliamentary inquiry into child protection sponsored by Safer Media and Premier Christian Radio was published on her website. It called for ISPs to provide network-level filtering within 12 months and for the government to initiate a formal consultation into implementing this policy.

With some help from the media, eventually that’s exactly what happened, against the wishes of parents in the UK.

The Daily Mail wages campaign to Block Porn

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The Daily Mail’s campaign slogan

On 17 April 2012, The Daily Mail promoted Claire Perry’s report with the story, “MPs call for automatic block on all online porn to stop the surge in children watching adult material”. Following this, The Daily Mail began its “block online porn” campaign, publishing a column by Claire Perry, and a deluge of articles supporting porn blocking measures, or calling for more action while sometimes citing questionable statistics. A barrage of articles calling for a porn block would follow. A list of more than 80 articles published by the paper on this subject between April 2012 and February 2013 is available here.

The Sunday Times also continued the censorship push, publishing an open letter by Safer Media and “many Parliamentarians, academics, charities and experts” supporting Claire Perry’s recommendations. It also published pro-authoritarian columns like, “If freedom means seeing our kids defiled by porn, I opt out”.

On 26 April 2012 The Daily Mail reported that the Labour Party (the British Opposition) had thrown its support behind The Daily Mail’s campaign to block porn. The pressure to filter the internet was mounting. Claire Perry continued to keep the pressure up, and sponsored a seminar in the House of Commons where Dr William Struthers told MPs that children “are scarred for life by porn on internet.”

Government Consultations Announced – The Daily Mail Declares Victory

Claire Perry and the media soon made an impact. On 28 June 2012, the government announced public consultations where parents and businesses would be asked whether “automatic online blocks should be introduced to protect children from adult and harmful websites”. The Daily Mail was given advanced notice of this and announced the plan the day before the government did, proclaiming, “The move is a victory for the Daily Mail’s Block Online Porn campaign” and showcasing previous campaign headlines:

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The Daily Mail highlighting how it “led the way” for content filtering

The trouble for Claire Perry and The Daily Mail was that the majority of parents consulted did not end up supporting default web filtering. Before the consultations were completed, the paper seemed to catch wind of this before the consultations closed. In September they reported that Ministers ‘have been sabotaging’ the battle to block porn on internet and posited the absurd premise that the consultation process was “confusing and complicated, deterring many from taking part” because it required people to follow the complicated steps of downloading a word document questionnaire, filling it out, and then re-uploading it.

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Claire Perry hands in the petition to 10 Downing Street. Source: Wiltshire.co.uk

On 6 September 2012 the public consultations on default porn blocking come to a close, and Claire Perry said she would change her stance on default blocking if it was “not what consumers wanted”. (But when the consultation results were later released and did not support her views, this didn’t happen.)

That very same day, Claire Perry delivered the “Safety Net: Protecting Innocence Online” petition to 10 Downing Street with over 115,000 signatures. The statistics used in the petition were highly dubious, particularly the claim that “1 in 3 10 year olds have seen pornography online” which was taken from an informal anecdotal survey done at a single high school.

David Cameron Does a Deal with Huawei

That same month, David Cameron met Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei at Downing Street, who headed the company operating TalkTalk’s network-level filter. Just few months earlier, TalkTalk had made its Huawei-operated web filter default on for all new users.

After a cosy meeting between David Cameron and Ren Zhengfei, Huawei announced plans to invest $2 billion in the UK economy and David Cameron declared the UK was “open for business” despite ongoing security concerns and warnings by a former security official he was “dealing with the devil”.

A few weeks after that, The Daily Mail reported David Cameron had new proposals to “toughen up controls on internet pornography” which “go much further than a blueprint drawn up by Reg Bailey” and were “a significant step forward for the Daily Mail’s Block Online Porn campaign.”

Consultation Released: UK Parents Resoundingly Reject Default Porn Blocks

However, the parental consultations painted a different picture – a picture the government perhaps didn’t want. On 15 December 2012, the Government quietly slipped out its report responding to the consultation on parental internet controls without even issuing a press release. The report rejected automatic porn filters after finding that parents did not want it:

“There was no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet by their ISP: only 35% of the parents who responded favoured that approach”.

The Daily Mail attacks “Controversial Report”

The Daily Mail blasted the government and its “controversial report” releasing a string of critical articles from 14-16 December 2012:

The Sunday Times also joined the criticism, calling the government’s decision “incomprehensible” and made strident calls for big government authoritarian interventionism to “prevent harm”.

After just a few days of this manufactured outrage running counter to people’s wishes, it was reported that the government would ask companies providing adult content to block adult content.

Then on 19 December 2012 The Daily Mail declared victory with the story, “Victory for the Mail! Children WILL be protected from online porn after Cameron orders automatic block on sites”. The story revealed David Cameron had submitted an article to the paper (published the following day) clarifying that he had ordered a default porn block, and also reporting that he had appointed Claire Perry as his adviser on reversing the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. His article, Nothing matters more than keeping our children safe, praised Claire Perry and outlined what her role as an advisor would be:

“Claire is a passionate campaigner for internet safety and mother of three. Her job will be to see this through, to get internet companies on board, to do what it takes to protect children and young people online”.

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The Daily Mail declares victory after the government ignores the wishes of parents

Whatever happened to Claire Perry’s claims that she would change her position on default blocking by ISPs if people showed they did not want it – which is exactly what the consultations did show? David Cameron was criticised for doing a U-turn “after receiving a mauling in the Daily Mail” and ignoring the wishes of parents who, in the government’s own consultation, clearly showed they did not want default blocking.

And so the relentless censorship campaign continued, and a series of backroom discussions with ISPs ensued, as the government sought to get them fully on board with implementing their plan.

Later in May 2013, the government announced plans to make public WiFi more family-friendly and also released the Bailey Review Progress Report. Interestingly, the report showed that Bailey’s recommendations had been met, but until network-level filters were installed by all main ISPs, those pushing for it would not be satisfied.

But those seeking network-level censorship soon had their way after the Bilderberg  meeting was held in the UK in 2013.

Bilderberg 2013 and the UK Web Censorship Announcement

From 6-9 June 2013 the Bilderberg Conference was held in Hertfordshire in the UK. Both David Cameron and George Osborne attended, as did the Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, and UK taxpayers had to foot the security bill for the secret discussions they weren’t allowed to know about. David Cameron had no qualms about attending the ultra-secretive proceedings and footing the security bill with taxpayers money, despite previously promising the same taxpayers he would lead “the most open and transparent government ever“.

After this clandestine gathering, everything changed. Within a matter of weeks, an ISP filtering policy was formally announced in the UK, with backing from both major parties.

Murdoch Media Censorship Symposium at Bilderberg-linked Think-tank

Just two days after the Bilderberg conference finished, The Sunday Times held a symposium titled, “Generation XXX: Saving our children from the dangers of online pornography” chaired by the paper’s associate editor Eleanor Mills, and attended by Claire Perry MP. Was it just a coincidence the event was held at Policy Exchange, an influential Bilderberg-linked think-tank?

Claire_Perry at Policy Exchange

Claire Perry at the “Generation XXX: Saving our children from the dangers of online pornography” symposium organised by Rupert Murdoch’s The Sunday Times and held at Policy Exchange

Policy Exchange’s links to the Bilderberg Group are no secret. A year earlier, Nick Boles MP, a founder and former director of Policy Exchange, attended the 2012 Bilderberg Conference in Virginia. According to a report by The Examiner, Nick Boles “is a member of the influential Notting Hill Set of MPs of which George Osborne is a member. He is a founder of the Policy Exchange think tank which is an important part of the Cameron government… He is a member of the Henry Jackson Society which advocates force to spread democracy.”

During the event, when critics pointed out that filters caused over-blocking due to false positives, Claire Perry rebuffed that such problems were “a load of c**k”.

Labour Party Jumps on the Bandwagon

The next day after the symposium, The Labour Party tried to pass a motion in parliament that conflated child abuse images with legal adult pornography, and claimed that 1.5 million people had viewed child abuse material (this figure has been debunked). They criticised the government for allegedly failing to meet the recommendations of the Bailey Review (though it was actually going way beyond what he recommended), and called on the government to bring forward legislation.

Two days later, Claire Perry announced that default porn filters would be rolled out by 2014 in the UK. Interestingly though, the government was yet to announce this formally. So who was really running the government’s policy?

Murdoch Media Launches “Generation Porn” Censorship Campaign

STGenXXX

The infographic with dubious statistics used in The Sunday Times’ “Generation Porn” campaign

Two days after that, the The Sunday Times launched its “Generation Porn” campaign and published the leader “Protect Children from the Power of Porn” and the feature article “Generation Porn” by Eleanor Mills, who had chaired the symposium at Policy Exchange. People were invited to sign-up to “Join the Sunday Times campaign to safeguard children from online pornography”.

The campaign used a striking infographic claiming: ‘36% of the internet is pornography’ ‘1 in 4 search queries is about porn’ ‘A third of all downloads are porn’ ‘Online porn makes $3,000 a second’ ‘…and your child has access to it all”. All of these statistics have been shown to be highly questionable.

July 2013: UK Web Filtering Officially Announced

The next month, the government announced its now infamous web filter policy. On 21 July 2013, The Daily Mail published the article “Net porn block on EVERY home: Victory for the Mail as PM pledges ‘opt in’ rule for all web users” which announced David Cameron’s plans to have porn blocked by default to every householder in the UK unless they asked to receive it. The story quoted David Cameron saying: “The Daily Mail has campaigned hard to make internet search engine filters ‘default on’. Today they can declare that campaign a success”. The original story announced David Cameron’s policies before he had actually publicly announced them, showing a high level of coordination between Mr Cameron and the paper.

The next day David Cameron officially announced his censorship plans in a speech. In his speech, he conflated legal pornography material with illegal child abuse material (already blocked) which created the emotive impression that not supporting censorship meant supporting paedophiles. This same emotive conflation ran rife through the media’s coverage too. And the government kept pushing the line that they had to get ISPs to filter the internet because home-installed parental control software was just too baffling for most parents — when in reality, the government knew that only 7% of parents did not understand how to use such software.

The fact that illegal child abuse material was already blocked by ISPs, and the new filtering was going way beyond legal adult material was drowned out in cries to ‘protect the children’. Following the announcement, few mainstream media outlets, with some exceptions, even reported that the “porn filters” would target a swathe of material apart from porn.

From looking at the history leading up to this policy announcement, the interconnected web of elite interests becomes visible. Clearly the ex-banker Claire Perry – who came from nowhere to become the protégé of 7-time Bilderberger George Osborne and a hugely influential politician — was the main agent pushing the agenda, driving through what would become official UK policy with the support of religious charity Safer Media.

But the agenda would not have gotten very far without support from two key quarters: The media, in particular The Daily Mail, and industry, in particular Huawei who operated the first network-level filter in the UK, and proved it was technically feasible.

Next up, we’ll take a closer look at the roles they played in this scheme.  

The Daily Mail – Key Player in Censorship Push

The British tabloid The Daily Mail played a crucial role in prepping the public for censorship with sensational stories pushing for default internet filters. Their influence is obvious in the way the Prime Minister chose to announce his censorship plans in the paper, and also told them to declare victory.

The Daily Mail is the second most popular newspaper in the UK, and runs the most popular online news site in the world. What you might not know is that The Daily Mail has a shadowy past steeped in fascism.

o-HITLER-

Source: The Huffington Post

It’s not a fact they like to publicise, but it’s no secret that The Daily Mail supported Hitler and the Nazis prior to World War II and promoted fascism in the UK in the 1930s.

Harold Sydney Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, counted himself as a friend of Mussolini and Adolf Hitler when he was proprietor of The Daily Mail. Prior to World War II, he praised Hitler publicly and privately, and met him personally in Germany. Letters show that Lord Rothermere congratulated Hitler on the annexation of Czechoslovakia and encouraged him to invade Romania. He also publicly supported the British Union of Fascists, who were known as “the Blackshirts” due to their black dress code modelled on Mussolini’s paramilitary squads. In 1934 the paper ran the notorious headline, “Hurrah for the Blackshirts

This is an example of Harold Harmsworth’s pro fascist quotes:

“I urge all British young men and women to study closely the progress of the Nazi regime in Germany. They must not be misled by the misrepresentations of its opponents. The most spiteful detractors of the Nazis are to be found in precisely the same sections of the British public and press as are most vehement in their praises of the Soviet regime in Russia. They have started a clamorous campaign of denunciation against what they call “Nazi atrocities” which, as anyone who visits Germany quickly discovers for himself, consists merely of a few isolated acts of violence such as are inevitable among a nation half as big again as ours, but which have been generalized, multiplied and exaggerated to give the impression that Nazi rule is a bloodthirsty tyranny.”

Today The Daily Mail is controlled by the 4th Viscount of Rothermere, the great-grandson of the 1st Viscount of Rothermere.

The Daily Mail’s Block Porn Campaign

It is quite ironic that The Daily Mail ran a strident media campaign to ban online pornography because it is hardly a pillar of decorum: it provides a notoriously gratuitous display of scantily-clad celebrity pictures on the right sidebar of its website, also known as the “sidebar of shame,” and publishes highly sexualised imagery and even nude pictures itself. It has run stories about teens in skimpy bikinis and has been accused of sexualising underage girls. Its highly sexualised content is probably the reason it toppled the New York Times as the most visited newspaper site in the world.

Thus the crusade against porn is coming from a newspaper that has been accused of peddling ‘almost porn’. Yet The Daily Mail declared ‘victory’ when David Cameron made his filtering announcement. In the self-congratulatory article, the paper boasts it “led the charge” to introduce default internet filtering. The Prime Minister also acknowledges this, and is quoted saying. “‘The Daily Mail has campaigned hard to make internet search engine filters “default on”. Today they can declare that campaign a success.”

daily-mail

The Daily Mail’s original headline. Note the ‘sidebar of shame’ in full swing.

 

The caption under a picture of David Cameron reads: “Victory for the Mail: Prime Minister David Cameron, pictured today, today announced new rules requiring every internet connection to have porn blocked unless subscribers ‘opt in’ to obscene content”.

In fact, the original headline for the story was, “Net porn block on EVERY home: Victory for the Mail as PM pledges ‘opt in’ rule for all web users”. However, numerous comments on the article called out The Daily Mail’s hypocrisy due its own blatant use of sexual content. That could be why the headline was later changed to its current title, “Porn depicting rape to be BANNED in crackdown on ‘poisonous’ websites as Cameron unveils protection for every home”.

Perhaps they were trying to differentiate their own “obscene content” from the kind they were condemning, but the edited headline is very misleading because the filters block far more than porn depicting rape.

Daily Mail 3

A screen shot of an image used in The Daily Mail’s July 2013 article announcing David Cameron’s censorship policy

Throughout its “campaign” the paper, like the government, frequently conflated illegal obscene material with legal pornography, and used the two interchangeably, which implies that opposing their campaign means you support the proliferation of the most horrendous material. And there was no mention that the filters would target much more than “obscene content” and that legal pornography is just one of many categories that will be censored by the filters. And while the paper has campaigned for censorship of legal pornography, it has shamelessly continued to proliferate voyeuristic content ogling and commenting on women’s body parts on its popular news site, and the hypocrisy of its position hasn’t escaped attention.

Double Standards

Soon after his announcement, the Prime Minister confirmed he will not back calls for Britain’s most widely read newspaper The Sun, owned by global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, to stop featuring topless women on page 3 (the object of a current petition with over 190,000 signatures).

So what’s going on here? David Cameron works hand in glove with the media to block legal pornography online, but has no qualms if the mainstream media publish nudity on unrestricted websites and newspapers easily viewed by children. Whose interests is David Cameron serving? And does anyone seriously believe that a salacious paper like The Daily Mail that comments daily on women’s body parts is really concerned about smut? For that matter is the government genuinely concerned? A Freedom of Information request revealed that the UK’s Government Computers were Used To Access Porn More Than 300,000 Times between May 2012 and July 2013, the month David Cameron made his announcement. Then in March 2014 a close aide of David Cameron directly involved in developing the porn filter policy, resigned after being arrested over child pornography allegations.

Unsurprisingly, The Daily Mail has also been campaigning to scrap the human rights act. Given what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the paper’s previous support for Hitler and fascism, this is rather alarming. Ironically, a major driver behind the establishment of the European Convention of Human Rights was the desire to prevent something like World War II happening in Europe again. Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun has also long been pushing to scrap the Human Rights Act. This means the two most popular papers in Britain are pushing this agenda.

The Daily Mail’s pro-Nazi past is of course not proof that pro-fascism consciously pervades in its editorial stance today. But it is nevertheless alarming that a paper which supported Hitler, Mussolini and British fascism has been the biggest propagandist behind David Cameron’s big-government authoritarian moves. It is doubtful the government could have gotten this far in its plans without this media support.

The Chinese Connection: David Cameron’s Cosy Ties with Censorship Innovator Huawei

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Source: The Hacker News

Chinese ICT giant Huawei, founded by ex-Chinese army officer Ren Zhengfei, has also played a pivotal role in these developments. This company long accused of spying for China, led the way by operating the first network-level filter in the UK, proving it was technically possible to do and giving impetus to the government’s plans. When announcing internet censorship for the UK, David Cameron praised TalkTalk for showing “great leadership” by having Huawei filter its network. When Ed Vaizey first touted a network-level filtering policy for the UK via The Sunday Times in 2010, a TalkTalk spokesperson was quoted saying, “If other companies aren’t going to do it [install filters] of their own volition, then maybe they should be leant on.”

It is not surprising that Huawei should be ahead of the game in censoring the internet, because China’s internet censorship system is regarded as the most sophisticated in the world, and it exports its technology to other authoritarian regimes.

TalkTalk, which has previously been accused of secretly monitoring its customers, began offering Huawei’s filter “Homesafe” in 2011. All of TalkTalk’s UK web traffic is routed through Homesafe and monitored by the Chinese company whether people have the filter switched on or not.

Huawei also have a close relationship with BT, another major ISP and telecommunications provider. In 2013 a Parliamentary Committee rebuked BT’s use of Huawei to build UK telecoms infrastructure as a security risk.

Both the USA and Australia have prevented Huawei from bidding for government projects due to national security fears, because the firm is considered far too close to the Chinese government. But in December 2013 the Chinese firm was granted permission (a decision David Cameron defended) to build significant portions of the UK telecoms system, despite warnings from the former Head of Cybersecurity at the UK’s Ministry of Defence, who claimed the government was “dealing with the devil”.

David Cameron has cultivated a close relationship with Huawei. The Prime Minister welcomed Ren Zhengfei to Downing Street in September 2012, when Huawei pledged to throw $2 billion at the UK. David Cameron became very cosy with Huawei from then on, and declared the UK was “open for business”.

Huwei CEO meets Prime Minister

David Cameron and Ren Zhengfei at Downing Street. Source: CNET

Is it any coincidence that, within a year of that cosy meeting, David Cameron called for the UK to adopt a censorship system that bears similarity to China’s and held up Huawei’s technology as an example to follow? Is it also a coincidence that in December 2013, the UK government granted Huawei permission to build significant portions of UK telecoms infrastructure, even though, just the year prior, the Australian Government banned Huawei from bidding for its National Broadband Network roll-out due to security concerns?

Coincidence or not, it is quite fitting that David Cameron should cosy up to Huawei while pushing Chinese-style internet censorship in the UK. One of the things they like to suppress in China is freedom of religious expression. China has only five state-sanctioned religious organisations – everything else is technically illegal and the regime disparagingly labels them “sects” or “cults”, and practitioners face harassment, imprisonment and even torture. Alternative spiritual groups targeted include underground Christian churches, Tibetan Buddhists, and the Falun Gong movement. Groups like these could easily be termed “esoteric” in the UK too.

Disturbingly, Homesafe is based on Huawei’s GREENnet filter, which was partly designed to prevent access to “unhealthy websites” in China which apparently includes those of “malicious religious groups”– according to an archive of Huawei’s GREENnet promotional literature, taken from a previous page they have since taken down.

Does David Cameron want to sneak through a clandestine Chinese-style clampdown on spirituality and political dissent in the UK? Whatever the case, it is highly alarming that David Cameron holds up technology designed to suppress dissent and religious minorities in an authoritarian country as a blue print for the UK to follow.

The situation is even more alarming when you consider the insidious ways alternative spirituality is already being targeted by other means in the UK. A look at further machinations underway reveals a stark situation.

Online Inquisition: Alternative Spirituality and Beliefs Already Targeted on Mobile Phone Networks and WiFi

A look at the levels of internet censorship already enforced by mobile phone and public WiFi providers suggests a worrying trend, with “alternative beliefs” and “esoteric” content in the firing line.

Mobile phone operator Orange Phones in the UK has already blocked websites of so-called “universally acknowledged sects” that promote “esoteric practices”. The “universal” source classifying “sects” or “esoteric practices” is not specified, nor is their justification for even blocking such content in the first place. Like many things about censorship in the UK, the rationale and agents driving these moves are shrouded in mystery. (Although it should be noted that Orange is French company, and France has particularly draconian laws against free religious expression, which might have something to do with it.)

The government has also been in close consultations with the UK’s main public WiFi providers (Arqiva, BT, Nomad, Sky, Virgin and O2) to make their filters “family friendly”. Similar to the case with ISP filters, the government talks about blocking pornography, but the filters block a whole lot more.

People have been denied access to websites labelled “alternative belief/spirituality” in public WiFi hotspots in the UK. A petition organiser against the UK’s ISP censorship policy reported having his reiki website blocked in a public café for instance.

This was not an isolated incident. A recent report by Adaptive mobile revealed that the blocking of spiritually-themed websites is widespread on UK WiFi – a staggering 44% of UK WiFi hotspots block religious sites.

Whether you call it religious, spiritual, esoteric or alternative beliefs, clearly there is an effort to target this kind of information. The esoteric label could be applied to anything providing alternative information that doesn’t fit with the secretive and powerful elite who don’t want people thinking too much outside the square – or challenging them. And those blacklisted face the double-whammy of appearing “guilty by association” by being filtered alongside dangerous, offensive and illegal content, along with being blocked into oblivion.

Might this filtering be part a wider agenda to steadily and surreptitiously erode the free expression of alternative spirituality?

A Multi-pronged Plan to Silence Dissent?

There seems to be another prong to this attack. While implementing censorship, the government is also flagging changes to laws that will disempower those likely to be targeted by their sweeping censorship.

Considering there have already been reports of internet filters blocking charities, it is rather concerning that the government has been pushing the charity-targeting “gagging bill”, which it finally passed in January 2014. The gagging bill restricts free speech and protest by preventing protest groups or charities from challenging the government policy in the lead up to elections by clamping spending caps on organised forms of dissent. Now that this law is passed, the government can limit any organised protest against the censorship system it implemented, when David Cameron and his government seek re-election in 2015. And this is significant when you consider what else is at stake in the next UK general election.

The government has also announced that, should it be re-elected, it will scrap the Human Rights Act, a bill which gives further legal effect to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), a civil liberties charter signed by Britain and other European countries in the aftermath of World War II.

Under the UK Human Rights Act (the Act), the UK Government is broadly prohibited from violating the civil liberties of its people defined in the ECHR, and citizens can seek legal recourse within UK courts if their individual rights are violated by the government. This means that civil rights enshrined in the ECHR have legal enforcement in the UK, giving it much more strength than a mere Declaration of Human Rights.

One of the civil liberties protected by the Act includes the freedom of conscience and belief, which includes the “freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs”. That freedom includes not just the right to practice one’s beliefs privately, but to express it openly – something censorship would obstruct. So for example, an employee of British Airways was able to go the ECHR when the company tried to ban her from wearing a crucifix, and her religious freedom was upheld.

Freedom of expression in general is also protected, as is the right to privacy, which may be in conflict with the government’s mass surveillance, which is the subject of current legal action. So in principle, the Act gives people a way to challenge the government if their rights are being limited by government-mandated internet filters.

For the time being, the government’s strategy to avoid such a legal challenge has been to muddy the waters by pressuring private companies to introduce censorship “voluntarily”, rather than requiring them to do it through legislation, making it ambiguous as to what extent the government holds responsibility. Ultimately, however, the government plans to scrap the human rights act altogether and has also hinted at withdrawing from the ECHR completely, which would remove all possibility of a legal challenge by this avenue.

Although there has been talk of replacing the ECHR with a British Bill of Rights, this may be the carrot that leads the donkey. Any Bill the UK creates to replace the ECHR charter with is likely to be watered down or more restrictive with the effect of providing people less rights, not more. Otherwise, why even bother with the replacement?

Another strategy the government has is to conflate the ECHR with the EU, when the two are not connected. There is significant resentment to the EU in Britain. The EU is often criticised for making decisions that suit the elite but not the ordinary people, but the government is fully committed to staying part of it. So its strategy is to redirect that resentment toward ECHR and use it a scapegoat, so it can remain in the elite-centric EU while attacking a separate body more geared towards giving ordinary people a means to appeal decisions made by the elite in governments and corporations.

By scrapping the Human Rights Act, the UK government will be able to curb their own courts from upholding human rights. Severing ties with the ECHR will then cut off UK citizens’ last line of appeal. So if a company tries to ban you from wearing a crucifix to work or blocks your spiritual website, who will you appeal to?

False Flag Fanaticism: MI5 Terror Asset used to Justify Clampdown on Human Rights

Just as the UK’s sweeping censorship uses a false premise of “protecting the children” to justify trampling on the rights of everyone, the attack on human rights in the UK is supposedly being done on the premise of making it easier for the government to deport alleged terrorists. The government wants the public to believe it is necessary to remove everyone’s human rights, because it faced delays in deporting certain individuals linked to terrorism that it could have prosecuted instead under British criminal law – but chose not to for political reasons.

Abu_Qatada_and_escort_prior_to_take_off_(cropped)

MI5 Asset Abu Qatada. Source: UK Home Office

The long drawn-out and expensive delays in deporting Abu Qatada have been used by the government and certain media outlets to stoke public antagonism towards the Human Rights Act, such that people have come to see human rights as a threat to their security, rather than something that protects everyone. This has generated support for government plans to not only scrap the act but withdraw from the ECHR.

The government would have known it would face delays under its human rights obligations by attempting to deport an untried and unconvicted individual to a country where he may be tortured. If the government really considered Abu Qatada to be a dangerous criminal, why not just put him on trial in the UK instead of going through the lengthy expensive deportation route?

The real reason might be that Abu Qatada was an MI5 double agent. When he was wanted by the UK’s allies early last decade, Time Magazine reported he was being kept, “tucked away in a safe house in the north of England… fed and clothed by British intelligence services,” while the UK authorities apparently pretended they did not know where he was. In all probability, the real reason he was not put on trial was that it would put his relationship to security services under the microscope. MI5 probably did not want a court scrutinising their close connections with an individual who the government claimed to be a threat to national security.

Has this whole situation been engineered as a PR exercise to push public sentiment in favour of scrapping human rights by stoking terrorism fears, using MI5 asset Abu Qatada as a scapegoat? Whatever the case, it looks fishy, and the government’s plans to gag debate prior to the next election and remove legal avenues to challenge censorship once re-elected should ring alarm bells.

Persecution of Alternative Spirituality and Esotericism through History

As we try to fathom the UK’s insidious push to target alternative spirituality by a range of means, it is worth remembering there is a historical context to this. The suppression of “esoteric” information is nothing new.

Throughout time there have been attempts to suppress the free flow of esoteric knowledge, which has the potential to empower the individual. Sometimes this has been done by dominant religious institutions, as with the brutal oppression of the Inquisition for example, or by irreligious forces opposed to spirituality, as in the religious purges of the Soviet Union. Esoteric knowledge is powerful as it allows people to wake up and question their reality, and such people cannot easily be manipulated by the powers that be. As in the past, today there are those who wish to suppress esoteric knowledge – the hidden mystical side of spirituality – as well as erode the place of public religious teachings of mainstream religion. Today these efforts are more subtle and clandestine. Slipping esoteric material categories into internet filters is a way to suppress information covertly, without people realising what they are not seeing.

This is what makes ISP level default filtering of the internet in the UK so alarming, because these filters will reach the majority of UK households and will be centralised and controlled by a few corporations behind a veil of unaccountable obscurity. The categories they block are broad, and no one really knows who is ultimately responsible for what they target. Since most people stick with default internet settings, their reach and effects could be insidious.

This situation has very serious ramifications for the free flow of alternative viewpoints, whether spiritual, political, or otherwise, which could fall into vague categories like “esoteric material” or even recently touted “extremist websites”.

An Unfolding Agenda

It is obvious that the moral cause of protecting children has been hijacked as a Trojan horse cover story to ram through a sweeping censorship regime that will ultimately restrict the internet for the majority of the UK population.

Censorship has been foisted on the UK under a diversionary pretext, led by Claire Perry, the protégé of a 7-time Bilderberg attendee, George Osborne, a close friend to Prime Minister David Cameron. Now, it seems the government is clamping down organised dissent and is seeking to entrench its censorship agenda by stoking terrorism fears to legitimise removing legal avenues to challenge these policies after the next election in 2015.

George Osborne at Bilderberg 2014

George Osborne quietly receives an intense briefing at Bilderberg 2014 from Bilderberg upper echelon Sir John Kerr. Picture: Hannah Borno. Source: The Guardian

Both major parties in the UK have close ties to the Bilderberg group. Could that be why these authoritarian censorship machinations have bipartisan support? Is the UK just the first western country where these murky censorship clampdown measures will be rolled out? Is it just a coincidence that UK-style measures have since been broached in other Western nations such as Australia and Canada?

When you look at the interconnected web of elite interests involved in this scheme – encompassing the Bilderberg group, the UK government, major political parties, religious lobbyists, a firm linked to the Chinese government extending influence into the UK telecoms sector, the touting of technology developed to suppress dissent and alternative beliefs as a blueprint for the UK – and when you factor in the stealthy and deceptive way alternative beliefs are targeted under the banner of making the internet “family friendly,” the situation appears grim.

Most people would agree children should be protected from internet pornography and violent material. I don’t want to gloss over the damaging effects pornography can have and the benefits of shielding children from mass exposure to it. But that can be done with through proper supervision in conjunction with transparently operated filters installed in the home, chosen and operated by parents and carers, rather than shadowy, creeping centralised censorship systems operated by corporations without scrutiny. Parenting is the responsibility of parents and carers, not of the State or corporations.

The internet has the unique capacity to empower individuals to access and share important information the mass media does not cover. It sets a dangerous precedent if the internet in “free” countries is hijacked via censorship to be rigged in favour of corporations, government and dominant institutions, while those offering an alternative voice are blocked out. There are sinister forces who would like to suppress the knowledge about how to free our consciousness from manipulation. If “esoteric” and “alternative belief” websites are blocked, then anything that questions, challenges or provides an alternative view of the dominant power structures of society could be targeted and marginalised.

As the Bilderberg group wind up their meeting behind a cloak of secrecy in Copenhagen, and with the UK’s next election looming in 2015, we need to watch this space. The politicians must know that the public is alert to this agenda and sees through the deception. Those who care for truth and freedom should remain vigilant and ensure that people’s rights and freedoms are not silently stripped away.

About Matthew Osmund

Matthew Osmund is a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, an open mind and a keen interest in defending personal freedom and uncovering the truth. He's been exploring spirituality and consciousness for 10 years and writes at The Conscious Reporter about issues that affect and suppress human potential, consciousness, alternative beliefs, and the right to free expression of spirituality in the world.

48 comments

  1. Thank you for the detailed article Matthew. It is unsettling to see that there are hidden motivations for government policy, especially in Western Countries, and the way that these policies are pushed forward. The use of false or incomplete information used to be a dangerous tactic because people can call you on it. But strangely, these days when people see the hypocricy there is little backlash, especially for politicians or the media. The prime example here is the Guardian, as well as many other popular journals that in reality live off the low-level pornographic material and are totally accessible to children. When I visited London a few years ago, the amount of pornographic material in the streets and phone booths was shocking to me. I have no idea if these recent issues prompted any type of clean-up, I doubt it.

    You have shown links between the media, lobby groups, and the government that seem to have been used to push the agenda forward. The Bilderberg group’s role seems to be in this as well. In an ideal society, you would not want to see lobby groups or people with vested interests governing national policy, it should be more objective than that. However, in today’s society I don’t know if there are any legal restrictions on this happening, apart from unfair financial gain of the participants. In this case, where everyone seems to be very rich already, what could be the motivating factors?

    Your traced the Bilderberg Group’s meeting and how it brought many of the major players together. I can see the potential for there to be influence from that group. Going through the list of Bilderberg participants (1) I notice that there are either no or very few representatives of humanitarian or religious organisations. Most of the list seems to be composed of people in power, large corporations, military, media and financial institutions. It’s doubtful that the topics discussed were humanitarian, but probably more relevant to the interests of the people involved. In any case, discussing and meeting with people of our choice is a human right. But where these discussions lead to any one-sided (or profitable) deals especially for politicians it is another story. And that is what I am starting to see from your article here.

    It seems that the days when government is accountable to the majority are behind us, and now it’s questionable to whom the government is accountable, and who are the real players behind change in the world, or what their motives are.

    (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bilderberg_participants#University.2C_institute_and_other_academic

  2. David must be onto something. In the US vassal country where I am posting from, http://consciousreporter.com/ was blocked. I needed Tor to go around: https://www.torproject.org/

    The UK is wall-to-wall pornography in music, TV, films, fashion. The measure is clearly not connected with porn.
    According to intimations that have forced their way into the daylight after decades of cover up, UK elites do enjoy their child sexual abuse. The UK is dramatically hypocritical in this matter.

    In addition, open access is available to all, just two clicks away. https://www.torproject.org/
    Again, we can see the measure is clearly not connected with porn because it can be bypassed with 2 clicks of a mouse.

    Thank you for this website.

  3. Guess who has been promoted? Ex-banker Claire Perry, who spearheaded the web censorship campaign after entering parliament in 2010 with backing from George Osborne, has been made a Minister in her first term of office: http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2014/Jul/Claire-Perry-appointed-as-transport-minister/0434015451

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  5. I was discussing this with someone the other day and the issue brought up was a fundamental one of freedom and associated ownership of material things. I thought it an interesting point of view as it was looking at things from a mundane angle, rather than any sinister plot. The argument is below:

    We do not live in a perfect utopia, nor a perfect democracy, with all individuals highly educated, intelligent and with developed consciousness. Neither do we live in a perfect communist or community structure. We live in a capitalist system that fundamentally is based on free trade for the wealthy who sustain their empire by effectively a feudal system. We live in a world where ownership of land, possessions and people is paramount to the structure of ‘civilized’ society. Whether that is good or bad, right or wrong, it is the way civilized countries now are and we all accept that, if we wish to live in such a place; else we can escape to the amazon forest or third world countries etc.

    By its very nature and also based upon different levels of individuals capacities and interests, some people will acquire ownership of things more than others. Over time this has led to plutocracy, rule by the wealthy/rich, who control society directly through empire and fascist dictatorship or indirectly through democratic government and its processes. Either way the public are manipulated and controlled by the ruling elite and often the public are led to believe they own assets via the payment of their taxes, when in fact they don’t.

    How was the internet created? Who funded it? Who owns it? Who has legitimate claim and ownership of it, to use as they see fit? Public v private funds? Some would say public via the universities and military. Others say private investment directly or indirectly was provided to both universities, governments and infrastructure. Either way private individuals or legal entities (corporations) and or government have ownership.
    So if a person or company owns the internet cables, satellites and computers then that person by right has ownership and control and can basically do whatever they want with it. If they want to rent it out and have people subscribe and pay a fee to use it, they can charge whatever they want. If they want to offer free services they can. Similarly they can filter it or censor it, depending on their beliefs, whatever they may be. If we assume the government is the owner on behalf of the public at large, then government officials can also do the same, as they have been appointed by the masses to act on behalf of them (assuming no corrupt influence from the money power).

    If you owned the internet hardware and infrastructure, what would you do? Would you let anyone write anything about anything? Would you censor certain material that you felt was harmful and not in line with your religion or beliefs? Would you filter groups or individuals who were vehemently opposed to you? In similar vein, if you have paid to rent internet web space, would you let people write anything on your blogs or articles, or would you moderate, filter and censor all posts to ensure they were in line with your beliefs and objectives of the site?

    So if we assume you would act the same as any other owner, it seems incongruous to complain and cry foul when an owner does not permit you to use their possessions for your own agenda. If you want to advertise yourself for whatever, then you need to find some way of doing it, without imposing, abusing or misusing other people’s possessions. If a newspaper doesn’t like what you do or stand for, then the owner of the paper does not have to put your ad in his/her newspaper. You would probably act in exactly the same way if you owned a newspaper. So if you want to advertise yourself you would need to buy your own paper and printing press, so you can write whatever you like.
    Similarly if you purchase a car, you would not expect someone else to dictate how you can use it, nor where to drive it, nor what color to paint it and so on.
    So why would you assume you have ownership and entitlement to something when you don’t? The internet is not just a freebie for all around the country or world and neither does everyone in the world own it.

    Whether legitimately or deceitfully ISP’s and the internet infrastructure owners have ownership and rights associated. There is no ‘intrinsic right’ for any other person or entity to impose itself upon another who has legal ownership. If you feel that you should own it, then you will need to purchase it from the existing owner, or create your own. If you did purchase it (or part of), you would still be limited to country border limitations, unless you acquired all the hardware and infrastructure in multiple different countries etc. So one owner/country might censor or block material, whilst another might not.
    Even if you did purchase it, what would you change? What would you allow or not?

    We all want freedom of expression and true democracy. However, if I write something on your website that you don’t like, you don’t have to publish it and I can go somewhere else or start my own website. If you write something on your rented ISP space and the ISP (landlord) does not like it, the landlord could remove it, edit it, or cancel your lease. It’s their hardware and they own it. If the ISP is not fussed, then other owners in the internet chain may curtail, filter or block your site.
    Is it really legitimate to cry about being censored when you have no right to do so?
    I know some people will find this logic strange, but I thought it brought up some interesting points, particularly about what I would do if I owned it.

    The battle between public and private ownership is a long standing one. Privatization of public assets is corporatocracy and fascism. The other side is communism where everyone is supposedly more equal and earning the same amount, owning the same amount, and everything is ‘equally’ shared and government is benevolent and incorruptible. Human weakness can mess up any ideal system no matter how perfect it could be. Governments (individuals within such) can be corrupted, similarly private enterprise can be restrictive and oppressive. At the end of the day individuals in both camps can be tyrants. What would I be?

    • Interesting argument that person made Shane. I can’t say I agree but it was interesting to read.

      I think the internet is similar to the mail system. The postman delivers the mail, but does not own or police what is inside the parcels. That is another person’s property, and they are just providing a delivery service. In “free” countries they have no right to say what you can and cannot write to another person or what letters you can and cannot receive. They own their depots and vehicles which they use to deliver the mail, but not the content of the mail itself, and there are laws in place that require them to carry out their delivery service impartially. In many places there are laws against opening or viewing a persons mail, unless it is wartime or part of a police investigation with a warrant. So people have privacy rights with mail which the postman can’t interfere with.

      I think with ISPs it is similar. They don’t own the data which you view. They provide a delivery service which allows you to get that data, which they usually don’t own or have anything to do with, nor do they own the computer you view the data on, any more than a postman owns a letterbox. In fact, this is an argument ISPs make when big companies try to blame them for how customers violate copyright with downloads. See the iiNet vs AFACT.

      A newspaper is completely different. The proprietor actually owns the content within the paper. That is quite different from mail or internet data where a third party provides a delivery service, and no one person or entity “owns” everything that is delivered.

      The only rights we have are the ones we create for ourselves. There is a debate raging about rights on the internet, and I think it is becoming clearer that we need digital rights to be defined clearly like they are for older forms of civil communication like the mail. Because we would not normally accept the postman filtering and censoring our mail would we?

      • Good points Matt. It highlights the trickery of digital/electronic. When communication is reduced to on off electronic circuits it is so much easier for unethical and unscrupulous characters to interfere. Maximum encryption should be the norm for everyone’s privacy. Instead nearly every government around the world is/has stamped it out, so the dictators can spy on everyone, whilst being the only ones to use encryption themselves. When digits go through cyberspace, they travel all around the world and can so easily be intercepted, copied, forwarded, read and deleted, unlike the one simple path of physical snail mail. It makes the old fashioned postal system look appealing for its privacy. Sure it could also be abused, but you need physical people to be party to the deception and criminal acts. The electronic world gives anonymity to dictators. Ironically that is the one thing they accuse the public of and propagate that anonymity must belong to criminals and terrorists who are hiding something. Everyone is terrorized by the dictators, who want privacy only for themselves and not the slaves.

  6. also the filters don’t block “alternative beliefs” and “esoteric” content” or “extremist websites” the list ORG got is outdated the filters used by the ISPs are all different to each other so they have different categories some ISPs block to much where some don’t block at all and many people I have talk to and seen said there not using the filters (so there not staying with default settings) also the gagging law does not restrict free speech and protest it restricts funding IMHO I think the filtering is more a PR stunt to get votes and linking it to Bilderberg is unnecessary

    are filters bad YES they overblock and cause a false sense of security for parents

    also here what the ISPs block (go down to Categories Blocked)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_blocking_in_the_United_Kingdom

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for your comment. That link you gave is actually provided in my article under the subheading “Lack of Transparency and oversight,” as the embedded link “blocked content categories”. So I am aware that the four major ISPs, at present, have not explicitly made esoteric material a category, and I never actually said they had in the article.

      The Open Rights Group did warn that esoteric material was on the cards for the filters based on “broad indications from ISPs.” I felt it was important to report that. Maybe the furore that erupted online thwarted these categories being included for the time being, who knows, but there is a precedent to be aware of here. The fact is spiritual websites have already been blocked on some UK mobile phone networks and, as mentioned, Adaptive Mobile found that 44% of religious sites have been blocked on public WIFI in the UK. The Government put pressure on public WIFI providers to block pornography and that was the result. So a trend is there and we need to watch this space.

      However, my article isn’t really about the particular categories that happen to be in the ISP filters right now. It is about how the censorship infrastructure lacks transparency and oversight and is ripe for abuse, and how that system came about.

      A murky system that allows the ISPs to create and apply their own categories in their own way without accountability or transparency is very concerning. The lack of clear definitions of blocked content categories across providers means it’s difficult to know how the categories will be applied and what will be blocked by each ISP, and it’s not clear what your rights are if you are blocked (if you even find out).

      The other major concern is the likelihood of the censorship creeping over time. Keep in mind this is a backroom arrangement that came about via political and media pressure. Now that the infrastructure is in place, it’s much easier for pressure to be applied behind closed doors to expand it, either by expanding what the categories apply to, or adding new ones. The government now has a lever it can use, and there is no transparency, oversight or clearly defined boundaries in place to prevent them.

      That’s what concerns me about Government indications of looking to block “extremist” and “unsavoury” content. I never said these were content categories in current filters. These are statements government officials recently made about what they would like to block next, which is a worry.

      The gagging law does limit free speech by limiting how groups can spend money campaigning on issues in the lead up to an election, which is exactly when you would want to highlight any issues with government policy, such as filtering.

      I agree there was definitely political opportunism in this. But the campaign to push for this censorship infrastructure over many years was relentless and coordinated in a way that surpassed mere opportunism. The fact is the links to the Bilderberg Group are there. The policy has been pushed since 2010 by the hand-picked protégé of a 7-time Bilderberg attendee. What people make of the links I have pointed out is up to them, but I think people should know about them.

      • ok thank you but I just went to say I live in the UK myself and I will never have filters in my life like many others I know but your right that it surpassed opportunism most of us said no but it was borough in anyway but we are fighting back by not using it filters on any ISP 🙂 also censorship creeping over time and the murky system is a worry as well but it seems they are doing noting right now and when government official said “unsavoury” content it seems he was talking about youtube. also in the UK with the gagging law many groups have said they wont abide by it and they will spend as much as they like so there is a lot of resistance 🙂 and about links to the Bilderberg Group even tho I don’t I think there any links it was interesting reading it and people should know about them. sorry am such a nitpicker 🙂

      • I fail to see the point of the Bilderberg references other than as a cynical mechanism to attract readers to your article. Despite your best efforts to imply some sort of connection between George Osborne’s Bildeberg attendance and to suggest some causal relationship between particular milestones in the UK government’s web censorship policy and the 2011 and 2013 Bilderberg meetings, you provide no proof these issues were even discussed there.

        • I can’t prove these issues were discussed at Bilderberg anymore than you can prove that they were not, because the meetings are secret, which is the problem.

          What I can do is show the links of those pushing this agenda — in government, media, an elite think tank etc — to the Bilderberg Group, which happens to be a forum to discuss policy, and also show the correlation between meeting dates and policy announcements.

          Given that links are there which at the very least raise questions, I think people should know about them, but what conclusions people draw is up to them. But rather than just forming an opinion one way or the other, I actually hope it prompts people to ask their representatives some hard questions in an effort to get them to come clean about what they talk about at Bilderberg. But if these links are not pointed out, no one would even think to ask or investigate further on these issues.

          Like the Bilderberg Group, the UK’s filter system lacks transparency and oversight, and the reason for writing this is to hopefully bring greater scrutiny and accountability to the whole affair by putting a spotlight on the people involved, the misleading campaigns, and elite linkages.

          And if Bilderberg want to deny that any of these matters were discussed, they are free to do so anytime.

          • Your response is disingenuous and filled with convenient loopholes afforded to you by the Bilderbergers secrecy. My argument is not to dispute the possibility that the UK government’s internet filter policy may have been discussed at Bilderberg. It may well have been. My issue with your article is twofold: that, first, you actually suggest Bilderberg not only originated the policy at issue here but had the power to shape UK government policy, hence your opening claim that “the trail points to…Bilderberg”; and, second, your attempt to substantiate this assertion is done in the most rudimentary manner i.e. Noting Osborne’s attendance and the supposed correlation between Bilderberg meetings and two shifts in UK government policy.

            But then you add insult to injury by not taking responsibility for the drawing readers attention to the connections that you imply. You just want them to make up their own minds. Nice.

            You seem to be using Bilderberg secrecy as both a cover for your allegations and as an excuse not to look further. Given the hard work you,put into the rest of your article it is curious that you did not try to crack secrecy barrier by at least showing that key internet censorship advocates were at the Bilderberg Meetings in question. And despite telling us that Perry is Osborne’s “protege” you never establish that the 7 -time Bilderberg attendee is the driving force behind the policy. Sure, you can and do imply it, but you do not even bother to furnish us with a single utterance from Osborne supporting the policy.

            In short your attempt to link Bilderberg to this outrageous policy is poorly researched and defended with lazy reasoning. You can do better sir.

            .

          • I’m not exploiting ‘loopholes’ that Bilderberg ‘affords’ people, I would much rather they weren’t secretive so their impacts on policy were more transparent. Your claim about ‘exploiting secrecy’ could conveniently be used against anyone investigating and writing about Bilderberg or any secretive group, and also to the counter-arguments used against them.

            Your claim that I didn’t show that ‘key internet censorship advocates’ were at Bilderberg is incorrect. I explained how Prime Minister David Cameron was at Bilderberg 2013 and he is clearly a censorship advocate. He also attended Bilderberg in 2008 by the way.

            It would be unusual to see David Cameron’s close friend Mr Osborne drive this policy publicly as the PM has done, as it falls outside his economic portfolio. The point is that Bilderberg has links to the Government, in which people have different public roles. Claire Perry, who rose from obscurity and campaigned hard for this policy, is close to the two most powerful government figures (Cameron and Osborne) who both attend Bilderberg. She is not only the Chancellor’s protégé sharing an office with his staff, but was also appointed Special Advisor to the PM specifically tasked with getting the ISPs on board with this policy. When you add in the media and think-tank involved in advocating this policy and their links to Bilderberg, and correlations between Bilderberg meetings and policy announcements, then there are clearly some connections worth pointing out.

            I think it’s fair to conclude that Bilderberg meetings had some influence on this policy, which is why I said the trail points to it, which is not the same as saying I had proved Bilderberg was behind it, which is just not possible to do with all the secrecy involved. I have shared my research along with my conclusions – that’s what investigative journalism is all about. People are free to come to their own conclusions, and you are welcome to disagree with them. But your claim that I am somehow not taking responsibility for my article by drawing the reader’s attention to these links is odd. I think it would be irresponsible not to point them out.

          • Hi WillB,

            I find your comments interesting as were you possibly eluding to; that there are actually more connections with government figures and the bilderburg group than stated in the article? if so describe the points further please as I would imagine that’s there only so much information that can go into one article. I don’t know if you expected that someone could crack the secrecy of the bilderburg meetings as access to those meetings have a security screen of body guards monitoring the event which would make it hard for a person to get into it with out some type of invitation and hard to gain information by normal means, so I don’t find how the author could be classed as having poorly researched or lazy reasoning within the article as I see that it would take a lot of work to write an article in this manner and to correlate the time line of events. From what I’ve seen over the years at looking at events like this that there is a repeatable pattern that underline the resulting masquerade of public events which with media and government support sway public opinion to an outcome that goes against the good of the public at large.

          • Mr Osmund, an interesting but ultimately inadequate rejoinder.

            First, despite your denial you are exploiting Bilderberg secrecy to suggest that the Bilderberg Group, in your words, “had some influence” on the policy in question. You don’t know what was said at these meetings because of the secrecy, but because of that very fact you appear to think it reasonable to encourage readers to assume maybe internet censorship was discussed. Bilderberg naturally insists that its meetings are not structured around making decisions or resolutions, although anecdotal reporting from some participants suggests its deliberations from time to time do influence transatlantic policy. The challenge for any researcher looking at Bilderberg is to avoid the temptation of taking the easy route that this looks suspicious because so-and-so went to Bilderberg, as you are doing in the case of George Osborne and David Cameron. The challenge is to work out, from the participant lists and agenda, who else was at those meetings who has a documented interest in such a policy. Establishing that would go some way to supporting your contention that Bilderberg had “some influence.” Otherwise the Bilderberg connection you are drawing is no more plausible than claiming Osborne’s visit to the Chelsea Flower Show shapes his fiscal policies.

            Second, as for claiming that your mention of Dave Cameron’s Bilderberg attendence disproves my claim about your failure to identify the presence of “key internet censorship advocates” at Bilderberg your reasoning is both disengenuous and ridiculous. Given than Dave Cameron, George Osborne and Claire Perry are all in the same government if they wish to collude on censoring the web, they can do that in Downing Street whenever they like, not at Bilderberg’s three day soiree. It also completely misunderstands what I meant: for the Cameron government to be somehow influenced by Bilderberg, the influence must come from other non-UK govrt participants. That’s who you have to identify. You have the participant lists for the seven meetings Osborne attended, so perhaps as a practioner of “investigative journalism” you could take the trouble to work out who those people might be who allegedly prodded Osborne/Cameron to pursue this policy.

            So on the evidence you present I don’t think it is fair to conclude that the “Bilderberg meetings had some influence on this policy.” The only “fair” conclusion to draw is that George Osborne went to Bilderberg seven times and Dave Cameron went twice, but it is pure speculation, based on your article, to suggest those meetings had any impacdt on their internet filtration policy.

          • Hi Steve, thanks for your comments. I understand what you are getting at. What I’m trying to say is that Mr Osmund’s otherwise informative article fails when it comes to establishing a plausible Bilderberg connection to this whole sordid affair. It is lazy reasoning to suppose a Bilderberg connection or “influence” purely on the basis of one UK Government minister attending Bilderberg without going the extra step of establishing what was on the agenda and who else was there who had an interest in such a policy. Much of this information, including the participant lists and agenda, is in the public domain. Doing some searches on the participants, staring with likely suspects, may bear fruit. Such work takes a long time and can be dispiriting, but taking the extra step IMHO establishes a more plausible argument. Otherwise this merely a type of guilt by association, in reverse, where a govt policy is assumed to be a Bilderberg policy because a govt minister went to Bilderberg.

            I did do an article for Lobster magazine a couple of years ago looking at allegations of Rothschild complicity in the invasion of Iraq. That took a long time as the people making the allegation did not bother to cite any evidence. But the results were suggestive, though not conclusive…

            http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster63/lob63-rothschild.pdf

            So it can be done. But one has to be prepared to do the work required.

  7. great post but I just went to say it is opt-in not opt-out

  8. Matthew, thanks for putting together this chronology and analysis. I really appreciate the effort that must have gone into peeling back all these layers.

    To say the least, it’s disturbing to see the collusion of special interests, political figures, and the media to essentially deceive the public on such a massive scale.

    What strikes me is how much of a theatre the political arena really is, and how so much media content is blatant propaganda meant to serve someone’s agenda.

    I hope more people can discover this information and stand up for their rights against this shadowy scheme that leaves almost no room for objection or oversight.

    It’s frightening to think that the internet (the only form of media for free expression for those without deep pockets) could become filtered and censored according to the whims of a back-room cabal.

    • Hey Justin,

      “It’s frightening to think that the internet (the only form of media for free expression for those without deep pockets) could become filtered and censored according to the whims of a back-room cabal.”

      Really good point Justin, the large corporate tentacles get into everything and then dominate it to the exclusion of all else! The internet is a place of free expression and a place were small companies, even where one or two people have started something that grew and developed into large businesses, other people provide alternative news etc, etc, if that gets taken away then all people will see is what the big boys want and that will be a crying shame, Even the creator of the internet Tim Berners-Lee is very weary of the NSA and British governments spying on people, (see what he thinks hear – http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/12/online-magna-carta-berners-lee-web) The inventor of the WWW is worried for his creation! and so should we.

  9. Thanks for researching so thoroughly and applying commonsense. Porn will never be removed because they know it is the main way to keep the cattle distracted, impotent and passive. Their anti stance is simply to conceal their own abhorrent practices which the masses never suspect. Porn is also the trojan horse to kill TOR and anything else potentially dissident.

  10. I am stunned by the detail in this article Matthew, thanks for all the work you put into it. You lay out a very clear picture of the current situation and the events leading up to it. I’m a bit shocked by the whole article, like John mentions, a brew of Christian groups, the media and Chinese money, it all sounds like a plot from a movie, not reality.

    I knew of some of the things you bring up but I did not see the full picture until you put the events on a timeline manner like this and the connections between people and companies. To me the whole censorship plan is even darker then I suspected and the main players have been very effective in getting the public on board. It stands out how facts have been twisted to fit the story and how he Daily Mail warms up the public so they are prepared for censorship. Once all pieces are in place you can only agree with the proposal unless you take the time to dig deeper. Who doesn’t want to protect the children against pornography? That’s why I hope many people will find out about this page. I am sure it will be an eye opener and a help to understand the real motives behind the internet censorship.

    • Hi Roy,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad the article has helped to show more clearly what is really going on. I hope it can be a helpful resource for people in the UK.

      When I started looking into this, I wasn’t expecting to find all these layers of intrigue and deception either, but there it is. Truth is stranger than fiction.

      All the best with your efforts over there to bring attention to this issue. Keep up the good work.

  11. Thanks for shining a light on this; nice that we can all still read it.

  12. What an amazing article, Matthew. You’ve really broken down the deliberate implementation of internet censorship, such that it’s crystal clear how “pornography and the children” are being used as emotional issues to make people ask for State-implemented blinders.

    I really appreciate the length of time you’ve covered in the article, too, because taken in isolation, it can be difficult to connect one government policy, or politician, or secret meeting to another.

    But when you look at at the larger picture, it becomes painfully obvious that a set elite group that already controls the political scene and mainstream media, now wants to control the free flow of information via the internet to the masses, and will do everything in their power to make this happen.

    And of course, the most precious, powerful information out there relates to spiritual development and the esoteric, so it’s unsurprising that this is being directly targeted in a sneaky, underhanded way.

    Thanks for shedding the light on this one.

  13. Wow, thanks for researching and writing this lengthy article. The whole campaign in the UK is really a complete farce! Christian groups, Chinese money, and rotten media. A strange brew.

    It seems overwhelming when considering what we’re up against. These people and their agendas are totally unrelenting, such as Claire Perry’s “Independent Parliamentary” report, and The Daily Mail’s continuous propaganda headlines. It actually makes me sick.

    I hope more people wake up to this.

  14. Thanks for the thorough investigation, Matthew. I didn’t know for certain this bill had connections with the Bilderberg Group, but I suspected something of that nature was going on here. Now it all adds up even more. There is just no logical explanation to including banning “esoteric websites” along with the internet porn and violence — especially when only the latter was mentioned to the public (with emotionally grabbing headlines like “If freedom means seeing our kids defiled by porn, I opt out”), while the former was silently slipped in there so as to go unnoticed. This, coupled with dubious statistics, biased “independent” studies, and the clear self-interest for those behind passing these laws, as well as the lack of transparency or accountability from the implementers of this law is certainly a beginning of a system ripe for abuse.

    • Hi Jenny,

      Thanks for your comment. Just to clarify an important point though: there is no “bill” as such. Network-level web filters are something you find in countries like Saudi Arabia, and yet the UK has gone ahead and put this kind of infrastructure in place without even passing a law. That’s why I referred to it as stealth internet coup.

      This is a backroom arrangement happening outside of transparent legal processes. The filters were setup by the ISPs “voluntarily” after the extensive anti pornography campaign, and under the threat that they would be forced to implement them by law if they didn’t do it themselves. The lack of accountability is dangerous, and there is no clear legal limit on what the filters can and cannot block, and it’s not clear what rights you have under this system. They may not block everything now, but there is no oversight or legal framework in place to stop “mission creep” or the same backroom arrangements used to instate them, also being used to extend them gradually over time to whatever the government deems inappropriate. The potential for misuse and overreach is inherent in this setup.

      This is not the sort of arrangement you would expect in a “free” “democratic” country where the rule of law is supposed to prevail.

  15. That’s some serious research, well done Matthew.

    “Those who care for truth and freedom should remain vigilant and ensure that people’s rights and freedoms are not silently stripped away”.
    I agree with you totally.

    Some much deception. I believe that public awareness is a great way to not only expose the truth but to stop this injustice before we are left we nothing.

    Thanks Matthew, I hope to see some big changes in the near future.

  16. Big Article in a number of ways! It shows the links with the media, government, lobbyists and Elite groups in a way the shows the ending results, all of which always these days goes against what the people really want. The free western world is getting worse than scary it’s getting so polluted with lies, deception and interference from the corporate & elite realms, well why call it “Free” our freedom is a step away from being a complete joke. The Western world fought for the freedom of it’s people now it wants to enslave them and everybody else that doesn’t do what it says, look at Libya, and the middle east right now! If you don’t do what they want they’ll strike you with their high powered military, even thou the British people said we don’t want ISP based internet filters the British people got them, Democracy for the people? Well it’s obvious that this ain’t no Democracy, I agree people we got to wake up!

  17. That was quite a synopsis. Your very last line struck me because after I signed the petition, I was bringing the awareness of this to my college campus and I got the same response. “Who cares?” “Why should I care about something happening in the UK?” “This doesn’t affect me.” etc. I thought that a college campus would be a place to find more open-minded people, but the ones I spoke to were so complacent. I also posted the petition on my facebook page but I don’t think anyone on there cares either. So the question I am left with, is how to get people to care or realize the implications of this. Your article is a good start! Thanks.

  18. Hey Matthew, great piece of writing I really enjoyed reading this. I was more or less familiar with this story, but you elaborated in great detail on some finer and important points, thanks a lot.

    I guess just as a statement to throw out there, and similar to something I posted on the fluoride article. I think most intelligent adults can see that all this doesn’t add up, and that the agenda goes much deeper than just “protecting kids from porn”, but I wonder how many people have the will to go any further with it.

    When the petition first came out, I tried to explain and ask people to sign it, they were mostly people who were likely to be affected by the blanket blocks that these filters would add, many were people who read a lot about “conspiracy theories” and things like alien encounters and such, things I’m sure many in power are very keen to have blocked from the masses.

    The response I got from people though was this “I don’t care it doesn’t affect me” kind of attitude, I guess they didn’t really understand the implications of allowing ISP’s to filter the internet or just couldn’t be bothered to put forth the mental effort to sign an online petition.

    When people are so submissive and passive to their liberties being taken away, it’s hard to see any end result other than ALL of our liberties being taken away.

    • Hi Daniel,

      I agree with your comments on how passive people are on these subjects, as I really feel that people still don’t think that the western governments are bad and would deliberately try to harm them!
      In a strange way people in Australia may complain bitterly about the government but on the other hand they expect that if anything is going to get fixed down here the government will be the ones to do it.
      It seems like the people are in this strange juxtaposition, were they don’t feel they have any power to do anything but the government has all the power to do everything and therefore feel that they are powerless and the government is all powerful. In reality this is not the case as can be seen with how the internet filtering in Australia has been stopped before with the massive outcry from the public which stopped it. I think that the government and the elite groups know and especially in Australia that people will complain bitterly but they generally won’t do anything about most of the tactics that they are implementing.

      • Hi Daniel,

        Just to add to my last post;
        It’s very worrying though how the British government is completely ignoring the people’s views on these important issues and basically going ahead with the current agenda regardless of how much support people put up against the legislation that they are proposing for the ISP filtering and the gagging laws, all of this is frightening from a so called free western world power.

      • I just wanted to add to this, that even though of course people tend to be very passive, it is also true that things became incredibly complicated nowadays… To delve so deeply into these issues in order to understand what’s going on requires quite a bit of intelligence, mental capacity and time. Then if you add all the people for whom English is not their native language, you will see that to understand an article of this kind requires a serious study (not completely dissimilar to the university studies). An average person just doesn’t have time for it, they are too busy getting on with their lives, which also are becoming very complicated and technically overloaded. Infographics are good for this, but only if they are well done and very simple, otherwise they can look like some sort of maze. I often try to share things on Facebook, but I can see that some of the most informative articles won’t be “digestible” for majority of people due to their complexity.

        • Hi Lucia,

          I think the main thing is that we make efforts; each to our own capacity. If people make efforts in their own way, a difference can be made.

          To stand up for the truth takes effort, to lead a principled and spiritual life takes effort, and not everyone wants to do that. The powers that be want people asleep and caught up in their own lives with little thought to where their life and the world is headed. To break out of it takes an active effort, and if someone is not willing to do that, there’s not much we can do. There’s no getting around the fact that effort is needed.

          But for those interested in something more, we can all do our part to spread the truth in our own way, to give those people what they are searching for.

          Some things are beyond our control and there is a lot that we can’t do. But I think the main thing is for each of us not to focus what we can’t do, but instead to look at what we can do, whether large or small, and just focus on doing that.

          You mentioned sharing something on facebook. At least that’s something. If a thousand people decided this type of information is important and did that, imagine how much farther the truth would spread.

    • Hi Daniel,

      I can understand your disappointment with the apathy many people have. But all we can do is bring the truth to light to help those interested in waking up to see the truth, and get behind and support efforts to bring change.

      Thankfully there is some opposition in the UK to these measures. There is a campaign the ocean rights group is running, and they have a new site blocked.org.uk trying to reveal which sites are blocked. There are also the petitions and campaigns you and other people here have been involved in.

      Ultimately though, what happens to the UK internet will be up to the UK people. Probably the most effective way to counter these efforts would be if enough people in the UK left the four main ISPs which have started filtering, and switched to smaller ISPs which are not. If enough people did that, it would put financial pressure on the companies to stop filtering, and bring financial benefits to ISPs which don’t filter. They may not listen to petitions, but hit them in their hip-pocket and they will listen. For example, at least one smaller ISP has refused to install a filter: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-07/25/isp–north-korea

      By highlighting the problems with the current setup, hopefully enough UK internet users can be inspired to fight back and take action with their hip-pocket.

  19. This is a really great and thorough investigation. It is becoming so clear that coupled with the Gagging Law, there is an agenda to keep people away from information that would make them question and change the status quo.

    The role of the media and of these Bildebergians is sickening. Is it any surprise to see that other countries in the so called five-eyes are following suit?

    Only by shining light on this darkness can our rights be defended, and expressed. So thank you Matthew for such an in-depth and well researched article!

    I have signed the petition against this censorship, and I urge people to do the same:

    http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/uk-prime-minister-david-cameron-stop-the-unnecessary-censorship-of-esoteric-websites-and-web-forums

    • Catherine McCoy

      I hope you get a chance to read the awesome book on the New World Order called Brotherhood of Darkness. In it among other things, the author says one of the goals of the NWO is to destroy the US. If you look at events in the US, that bears out his idea.

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