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ISPs to be ordered to block extremist websites, report says

The UK government is reportedly planning new measures to censor extremist and terrorist websites.

UK broadband companies including BT, TalkTalk, BSkyB and Virgin Media will shortly be ordered to block extremist websites, according to a fresh report.

The government plans to order Internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent access to terrorist and extremist sites, the Guardian reports, citing anonymous industry sources.

Prime Minister David Cameron is claimed to favour the same measures that are used to clamp down on online child abuse. Under this system, the Internet Watch Foundation investigates claims of online abuse, and can then ask providers to block websites.

A separate, government-funded organisation could be deployed to censor sites that are regarded as extremist or inciting terrorist incidents -- but industry sources are said to be concerned about free speech issues.

If these new plans do come to pass, it's not yet clear how it will be decided which sites are deemed to be extremist. "The government needs to ensure there is a process in place to test what is illegal", one source is quoted as saying.

Do you think the government should have the power to block access to extremist websites, or are you concerned about the purported plans? Let me know your opinions in the comments, or over on our Facebook wall.