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 www.marlboro.com.
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.