UK's porn filter defeated in hours by Chrome plugin

Go Away Cameron plugin for Google's browser circumvents the filter

The government’s multi-million pound initiative to prevent minors from viewing content deemed inappropriate has been circumvented by a free Chrome plugin.

The plugin – named Go Away Cameron – circumvents the filter without the need for any technical knowledge. Its Singaporean-based creator said: I built this Chrome extension to bypass UK’s censorship.

“It is the easiest way to access blocked sites. Simply install the GAC Chrome extension, login and the blocked sites are immediately bypassed,” the creator who goes by the Twitter handle @nubela added.

Last week, BT became the latest ISP to implement the government’s opt-out porn filter. Virgin Media is one of the last major operators to bring in the opt-out filter. It is expected to turn its own version on sometime early next year.

The government was warned by experts and campaigners that previous attempts at such filters had ultimately proven to be an expensive mistake. They claimed that the government had decided on the plan before consulting experts about whether it was actually possible.

ISPs including BT and Virgin Media warned the government that its plan was futile and likely to be circumvented within hours of it going live.

One example was Australia’s multi-million dollar filter which was defeated within hours of its trial starting by a 15 year old. The Australian government eventually backed down on the idea of rolling it out across the country.

The filter has also come under fire from sexual health and education groups who have claimed the filter is blocking access to their sites, as well as pornography.