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December 29th, 2008 - 5:13 am

Open thread. “British MP Andy Burnham plans to work with Obama administration to establish international rules for websites”. News.com.au reports:

The ratings used for films could be applied to websites in a bid to better police the internet and protect children from harmful and offensive material, Britain’s minister for culture has said.

Andy Burnham told Britain’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper the government was planning to negotiate with the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to draw up new international rules for English language websites. …

Any moves to censor the internet would go to the heart of a debate about freedom of speech on the World Wide Web.

“If you look back at the people who created the internet they talked very deliberately about creating a space that governments couldn’t reach,” Burnham told The Daily Telegraph. “I think we are having to revisit that stuff seriously now.”

He said some content should not be available to be viewed.

“This is not a campaign against free speech, far from it; it is simply there is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies and being clear about it.”

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