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« Nick Hogan - target reached!!! | Main | Nick Hogan - every little helps »

Woo-hoo!! Government unblocks Forest website

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Conservative party chairman Francis Maude had tabled a question in which he asked the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to explain why "websites featuring tobacco content are banned; if he will give examples of the types of tobacco sites which are banned; and whether the internet ban includes the Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) website".

Hansard has just published the reply from Gerry Sutcliffe, MP for Bradford South and Minister for Sport in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It reads (wait for it):

Mr. Sutcliffe: The filtering software used by my Department has a standard range of categories that are blocked by default. Filtering is switched off for those categories that are directly related to the work of my Department, currently tobacco remains blocked. The tobacco category covers tobacco promotional websites such as

The Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) website was inadvertently covered by this category by default. It has been unblocked.


PS. To see what other sites the Department of Culture, Media and Sport blocks click HERE.

Reader Comments (11)

Good result Simon!

March 4, 2010 at 11:26 | Unregistered CommenterKatie, Durham

Yes - nice one, and congrats to all concerned !

And - while we're at it - do we REALLY need such an absurd Alice-In-Labourland office as the Department For Culture, Media and Sport ?

Especially when we don't even have one for Education...............

Innit ?

March 4, 2010 at 12:33 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V they block, for example? What about

No? Oh, how about, the makers of Semtex?

So, let me get this straight: they block, but do not block guns, Big Macs and plastic explosives? Clowns!

March 4, 2010 at 13:09 | Unregistered CommenterAno

Brilliant result! But I don't think the blocking was in any way inadvertent - if we don't keep our eyes open, this is the future for social and political free speech in Great Britain.

March 5, 2010 at 0:44 | Unregistered CommenterFrugal Dougal

I see, so any mention of tobacco is placed firmly on a par with child pornography. You have a very good point Ano, there are far worse things to be enthusiastic about than a cigarette. One can only wonder which other special interest groups are practicing back door censorship and how long it will be before it becomes in your face censorship. Well done FOREST for dealing with this example, but my advice is to stay alert, this tactic is not going to go away.

March 5, 2010 at 7:54 | Unregistered CommenterHeretic

Here's another Woo hoo!

Didn't we do well??

March 5, 2010 at 17:33 | Unregistered CommenterColin Grainger

well done simon ! pathetic this government is. But only a few weeks to go now....anything would be better than them, really anything

March 5, 2010 at 19:55 | Unregistered Commenteranon anon

Let's not be too complacent about the forthcoming election. The only party I've heard of promising to review the smoking ban is the BNP.

March 6, 2010 at 0:35 | Unregistered CommenterShaftmonde

Woo Hoo!! Chalk one up for free speech! Well done. Keep it up:-)

March 6, 2010 at 4:19 | Unregistered Commenterjredheadgirl

well done, so smokers have freedom of speach but no human rights it seems

March 6, 2010 at 14:41 | Unregistered Commentercarolc

double standards shown by Westminster when they have their own smoking room. SO WERE IS MINE. I am so tired of this nanny state.

March 6, 2010 at 14:44 | Unregistered Commenterguyguy

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