As part of the Digital Economy Act the goverment is potentially going to ask the ISP industry to block access to websites that perpetrate or encourage Copyright infringement.
There are two points to make here:
The first, which is one that has been repeatedly made, relates to the inefficacy of the methods used to block access to websites. It is very easy for people to get around a blocking system.
The second is that there is a major human rights / freedom issue at stake here. Most consumer ISPs currently support the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) list ie they block access to sites known to host illegal child abuse and pornography. Other than the fact made in point one above means that people wanting access to child pornography can easily circumvent the system nobody has any issue with this.
The area that we need to take great care however is in preventing blocking from being extended to other areas of interest. Once politicians feel that they can use it as a tool then they will inevitably want to start using it in other areas. Against people whose politics they don’t agree with for example, or as in the case of the DEAct to further the interests of any lobbying group successful enough in being able to influence our lords and masters.
Sorry if this is not new. What I have just discovered however is this petition that you can sign asking the EU not to pursue web blocking paths that are currently being explored. I have signed it.