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Singaporean creates browser extension to bypass UK porn filters, puts country on world map

Two months back, we wrote on how Singapore based Steven Goh created a simple Chrome extension to bypass the government’s filter blocking Singapore’s adult content website, as well as other sites such as popular torrent site The Pirate Bay.

The chrome extension is called Go Away MDA.

go away mda

The Singapore digital Robin Hood has recently released a similar Chrome Extension to users in the UK. The Chrome browser extension, called Go Away Cameron, can also circumvent the “porn filters” being implemented by internet service providers in the UK.

porn uk

Why the need for a bypass such as Go Away Cameron?

British PM David Cameron announced recently in July that all UK households are to have their access blocked to online pornography unless they choose to ‘opt in.’ He called the “family-friendly” filters important to keep children from “stumbling across hardcore legal pornography.” 

BT and the other major UK ISPs have signed up to the government’s campaign to protect children from pornography. BT is a British multinational telecommunications services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and is one of the largest telecommunications services companies in the world.

The joint government campaign will see 95 percent of houses in the UK connected to the internet to have to choose whether to switch on filters by the end of 2014.

The four major internet companies in the UK have begun to introduce the mandatory filters to users based on the government edict.

To circumvent that, Go Away Cameron was released and designed to bypass the UK’s “censorship”. Users simply install the extension and can then browse all of the pornography and sex education sites they like, rendering all the filters useless.

how to bypass government filter

Is it legal? 

According to the creator, GAC is essentially a smart proxy service, which is not illegal. Creator Steven also claims that the service is even safer than you using any unknown Hotspot Shield, or surfing websites through the random web proxy.

The launch of the Chrome extension has been received with mixed reviews, and has been featured on several publications around the world. The Telegraph reported that the browser extension is a variant of a tool the creator built to get around government filters in Singapore, and it’s somewhat disheartening that the same kind of technology is now needed to combat internet censorship in the UK. CNet UK also cautioned users to install the plug in at their own risk.

“But be warned, as with anything you get from the Internet, you do so at your own risk.”

What was the motivation behind the creation of GAC, specially when the creator is based in Singapore?  Steven told The Reg: “I strongly disagree with a censored internet, especially one that is implemented on a government-basis, opt-out or not. As a programmer, I actually have an ability to say no, which is through Go Away Cameron.”

So there we have it, Singaporean Steven Goh is putting the country on the worldwide map, albeit on a sensitive issue: porn.

Read also: Singapore’s digital Robin Hood nullifies government’s effort to block Pirate Bay

 

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