The United Kingdom has been looking into placing more stringent restrictions on use of the Internet than are currently in place. While there are those who are of the opinion that these measures are simply put into place to safeguard Internet users, there are others who are of the opinion that these restrictions simply remove the freedom of the users. Many governments try hard to control the Internet and remove free choice from Internet users.
There are groups that constantly work to protect Internet users from losing basic online freedoms, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This group was founded in 1990, and deals with issues such as privacy, freedom of speech, and consumer rights. Recently, the organization has been trying to deal with the recent issues that have come up in the UK.
The UK government has recently voiced a plan that involves filtering websites that the government considers to be offensive. Guidance on what is offensive is also being sought from the Mother's Union, a Christian organization. The government is looking into blocking various types of websites such as gambling, porn, and self-harm sites, along with some other itemized blacklisted locations on the World Wide Web. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron's plan, includes having the major Internet Service Providers, such as Virgin, Sky, TalkTalk, and BT block the sites.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has pointed out a few interesting points. Firstly, the organization has noted that it is not mandatory for sites to be blocked by ISPs, and that the choice to block the sites should be up to the consumers. The organization has also noted that the categories that the government wishes to block are somewhat vague. The plan is not transparent, as it should be, and the lists that are available have no known origins. Since some of the categories noted do contain legal content, such as online gambling, there could be issues that ISPs end up overblocking sites that should not be blocked.
Most of the ISPs have offered an opt-out option for their users, however, TalkTalk is still monitoring the sites visited by those who have chosen to opt-out of the plan. Richard Clayton, from the University of Cambridge security research, said: "The company scans all web addresses that its customers visit regardless of whether they have opted-in to the service."
Privacy is always a concern for online casino players and for Internet customers in general. The concern that those who have not opted-in to the plan will still be on a list somewhere infringes on the users rights.