Great Britain is going full speed ahead with its continual lurch towards authoritarianism. Laws have already existed that would penalize you if you were caught looking at inappropriate things online. The cover word used is “terroristic” things, so initially, the laws got a lot of support. Well, the definition of terroristic is expanding, as government are often wont to do. Now, you can be considered looking at terroristic material if you are looking at “far-right propaganda.” But don’t worry, the government will define what that term means.
In addition to expanding the definition of terroristic, the government is also increasing the maximum penalty to 15 years in prison if you’re caught looking at bad thing son the internet, and the government will be the judge of what bad things mean.
What’s interesting about this is this; many of the people that would have supported the first manifestation of these laws are the same people that might find themselves the targets of these laws. This is often the case. Be careful of the laws you cheer, because one day those same laws may become your oppressor.
People in the United Kingdom could face up to fifteen years in prison for repeatedly viewing “far-right propaganda” or “terrorist material” online, according to a report.
According to the Guardian, “A new maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment will also apply to terrorists who publish information about members of the armed forces, police and intelligence services for the purposes of preparing acts of terrorism,” while the “tightening of the law around viewing terrorist material is part of a review of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy following the increasing frequency of terrorist attacks in Britain this year.”
Users who view the forbidden content only once by mistake, or out of curiosity, will not be charged, and it is reported that there will also be protections for journalists, academics, and “others who may have a legitimate reason to view such material.”
“I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law,” declared British Home Secretary Amber Rudd. “There is currently a gap in the law around material [that] is viewed or streamed from the internet without being permanently downloaded.”