Freedom of Expression,  Secularism,  UK Politics

Virtual Book Burners

The Birmingham City Council, which has a Tory majority (though not an absolute majority) has, the BBC reports, “blocked its staff from looking at websites about atheism”.

It has also blocked sites dealing with paganism such as witchcraft. Also banned are sites about “the paranormal, sexual deviancy and criminal activity”, as well as “occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism”.

But sites for Christians, Muslims, Hindus and other ‘official’ religions are allowed.

The National Secular Society is asking the Council to reverse the policy or risk facing legal action. “We feel very strongly that people who don’t believe should not be denied the access that people who do believe have got,” said the NSS’s Terry Sanderson.

In its defense, the Birmingham Council said it had a “long-standing Internet usage policy for staff”.

So that’s okay then.