Francis Maude, British Cabinet Office minister responsible for cyber security, has upset the government by coming out in favour of internet freedom. Recently the coalition government has shown a disturbing desire to curb freedom by restricting sites it deems harmful or undesirable. There has even been discussion about closing down Facebook and Twitter at times of crisis such as last August’s flat-screen-tv riots.
This is all nonsense and I am pleased Francis Maude has the courage to speak out. The genie is well out of the bottle and it is futile to attempt to turn the clock back to the more controlled days before the internet. Jittery lawmakers and public opinion must learn to live with it. Interestingly, it is the very same people now advocating restrictions on, for instance, pornography sites, who are the first to deplore censorship in other countries such as Syria or China.