A curious story here at political blogger Guido Fawkes. He says that Nominet, the controller of the .uk domain, has decided to take down any site, if the police make a request for it to be taken down. Apparently they will do so without any requirement for a court order.
The impetus behind this is to deal with sites run by organised crime. But the implications are wider, and Guido is right to be alarmed.
The British press is subject to the D-notice system. This is a group of senior security figures, who advise the press when to suppress some story prejudicial to national security. It is a civilised system, and certainly every nation needs to ensure that the media do not give aid and comfort to enemies in time of war.
The recent actions of Wikileaks highlight why such a system is needed. Nothing is gained by betraying the secret communications of your diplomats to your enemies.
But surely we don’t want the police deciding who may and may not run a website?