Internet censorship is generally considered to be the denial of access to certain websites or services on the internet, though attempts to ban internet anonymity could be considered to fall under this category. It is a subset of the things mentioned on the free speech page.
Censorship can be as local as a parent installing software on the computer their child uses to attempt to prevent them from seeing 'undesirable' content, or as global as the methods China uses to prevent a whole population from accessing content their government deems undesirable.
Both of the methods mentioned above are usually arbitrarily imposed on the audience concerned (the child in the first instance, the population in the latter.)
However, until recently, it has been assumed that in 'The West,' the public are generally allowed to view sites or use services without censorship - with a few exceptions - usually activities that are against the law 'in real life.'
For example in the UK it is illegal to access 'child pornography,' or 'terrorism' sites though there are a few anomalous areas - such as in the UK where 16 year-olds are old enough to have sex, but not old enough to photograph each other while they do it.
More recently, however, the list of 'illegal' things to view on the internet has included things that aren't illegal in real life, such as 'extreme (adult) porn.' For example, the case of Simon Walsh, previously a barrister until the trial, who was arrested for possessing 'extreme pornography' (6 photos attached to emails; 3 of the consensual and sexual use of a urethral sound, two of anal fisting and one in which the age of a young man was in doubt) was a very public and embarrassing one for Mr. Walsh, however he was acquitted of all charges.
Parental Internet Controls - UK - 2012
Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 - Pornography - United Kingdom
John Kerlen - Bexley Council/Cllr Melvyn Seymour - April 2013
Convicted for calling a councillor a cunt on Twitter, Mr. Kerlen is to be sentenced in May 2013, and could face up to a 6 month jail sentence . He has also been handed restraining orders that order him:
Unnamed man - Poppies - 12 Oct 2012
Matthew Woods - April Jones - 6 Oct 2012
Matthew Woods (20) was arrested for posting on Facebook a sick joke about April Jones - a schoolgirl who had recently gone missing - shortly after comedian Frakie Boyle wasn't arrested for posting a similar joke on twitter:
Woods was accused of sending a public electronic communication which is grossly offensive and charged under section 127 of the Communications Act. He pleaded guilty on 8 Oct 2012, and was jailed for 12 weeks, the maximum permitted, less a third for an early guilty plea
Naturally, the joke was so heinous that it cannot ever be repeated, at least not on the news channels:
Not that it stopped lots of people from posting similar jokes on Sickipedia. With no arrests.
It appears that Woods' major faux-pas was to post the joke on the Find April Jones' Facebook page.
Azhar Ahmed - British Soldiers - Sep 2012
Daniel Thomas - Tom Daley,Pete Waterfield - 20 Jul 2012
After coming in 4th in the men's synchronised 10m Platform diving event at the Olympics, Daniel Thomas (17) tweeted some homophobic abuse to Tom Daley. Thomas was arrested on suspicion of malicious communications.
He was subsequently released without being prosecuted after Daley and Waterfield indicated they didn't want to press charges
Liam Stacey - Fabrice Muamba - 17 Mar 2012
On 17 Mar 2012, Fabrice Muamba suffered cardiac arrest during a FA Cup quarter final. Moments after Liam Stacey (21) started posting some allegedly "racially offensive" comments on twitter. However there is some confusion about what charge he actually faced:
The end result is that Stacey pleaded guilty, and received a 56 day prison term.
Paul Chambers - Robin Hood Airport - 6 Jan 2010
During the winter of 2009/2010, cold weather had affected many airports in the UK. On 6 Jan 2010, Paul Chambers (26), posted the following to twitter:
He was arrested on 13 Jan 2010 and charged initially charged with making a bomb threat. This was subsequently changed and he was charged under Section 127 of the Communications Act for the offence of sending a menacing message..
He was found guilty in May 2010, and fined a total of £2,000.
A second High Court appeal in Jun 2012 finally overturned the conviction in Jul 2012
Internet Watch Foundation - Scorpions album - 5 Dec 2008
The IWF proceeded to block a single Wikipedia article covering 'Virgin Killer,' a 1976 album by the Scorpions, because it featured an unaltered image of the cover of the LP album which depicted a naked prepubescent girl. The block affected a large part of the UK's internet population. The block was later rescinded with the IWF stating
Russia - Internet restriction bill - Jul 2012
Demands for Censorship
From individuals, made because "someone personally feels that since they don't want it available, no-one else should be able to access it." From corporations because they're "losing money" to an outdated business plan.
BPI - websites from UK consumers - 23 Oct 2012
Susan McLean, Australian ex-policewoman - Prosecute internet users who cause offence - 17 Oct 2012
Patti Boyle & Joanna Lane - Suicide websites - 19 Sep 2012
Good luck with that one...
Thin end of the wedge there - should it happen, it'll move onto political speech, newspaper sites, mumsnet, and whatever sites Mrs Boyle currently feels she should be able to look at today.
Mrs. Lane doesn't want to stop at suicide websites, she apparently wants it extended to the like of amazon.com and waterstones.com.
- The trial of Simon Walsh at Kingston Crown Court - Heresy Dungeon
- Extreme porn acquittal puts prosecutors in the dock - The Independant
- Freedom of speech row as blogger faces jail for calling councillor a c*** on Twitter - Mail Online
- Kent man arrested after picture of burning poppy posted on internet - The Guardiam
- ‘Troll’ arrested over April posting - Lancashire Evening Post
- Frankie Boyle says Jimmy Savile is shagging Madeleine McCann in heaven - Anorak
- Man charged over April Jones Facebook post BBC News
- April Jones: Matthew Woods jailed for Facebook posts - BBC News
- Stupid Matthew Wood sentenced by stupid court for stupid April Jones joke - Anorak
- Teenage troll jailed for 12 weeks after 'despicable' comments on April Jones Facebook page - London Evening Standard
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-19883828 Azhar Ahmed sentenced over Facebook soldier deaths slur] - BBC News
- Tom Daley Twitter abuse: Boy arrested in Weymouth - BBC News
- [http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4548586/Tom-Daley-Twitter-troll-will-not-face-charges.html Twitter troll footballer will not face charges for Tom Daley abuse Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4548586/Tom-Daley-Twitter-troll-will-not-face-charges.html#ixzz28ipuEBNk ] - The Sun
- Fabrice Muamba can recognise family, say hospital and Bolton - BBC Sport
- In defence of Liam Stacey’s freedom of speech - Ceasefire Magazine
- Liam Stacey’s conviction for tweet about Fabrice Muamba - Crown Prosecution Service
- Fabrice Muamba: Racist Twitter user jailed for 56 days - BBC News
- My tweet was silly, but the police reaction was absurd - The Guardian.
- John Betjeman would have been prosecuted under Twitter joke laws, court hears - The Telegraph
- The “Twitter Joke Trial” - The High-Profile UK Legal Case On Social Media And Criminal Liability - Who's Who Legal
- Robin Hood Airport tweet bomb joke man wins case - BBC News
- Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover - The Register
- IWF statement regarding Wikipedia webpage - IWF
- Internet restriction bill raises concerns in Russia - Comfi News
- Big labels try for ISP blocking on 3 more 'pirate' sites - The Register
- Call for creators of hate pages to be prosecuted - The Age
- Mums march on Westminster in bid to shut down suicide websites - This is Croydon Today