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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
David must be onto something. In the US vassal country where I am posting from, https://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.
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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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.
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)
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.
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…
So it can be done. But one has to be prepared to do the work required.
great post but I just went to say it is opt-in not opt-out
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for shining a light on this; nice that we can all still read it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Good point. Thanks for clarifying, Matthew.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.