A (Virtual) Blockade of Parliament

Two years ago I was severely annoyed at Labour's Andy Burnham for his plans to censor the net. Today, I am equally annoyed at the Conservative's Ed Vaizey for a similarly corruptible scheme.

I don't have the money to lobby bribe donate to the Conservative party. I'm too scared of the police attempting to kill protesters to go and stand up for my beliefs. What can I do that will make me feel smug and self-righteous yet won't involve me having to go outside in the snow?

It is, I understand, illegal to blockade Parliament. But there's nothing to stop us enforcing a virtual blockade, is there?

I tweeted as much on Twitter, and got the following reply.



So, here's how to blockade Parliament. This guide assumes you have moderate technical ability and know what an .htaccess file is. If you are unsure, please ask a geek to help you. They will, invariably, accept payment in beer, pizza or sexual favours.

The Houses of Parliament have the following IP address range.

That translates to every IP address from to . (See http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Range_blocks for details.)

In your .htaccess file, add the following

order allow,deny
deny from 194.60.
allow from all

That will simply block access from the Houses of Parliament. It will also catch a few other IP addresses in the same range - but that's acceptable collateral damage.

If you want to be a bit more creative, you can redirect the users to any URL you want.

RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} ^194.60.
RedirectMatch 301 ^.*$ http://www.example.com/index.htm

All we need now is for every website - from the humblest blog to the mightiest newspaper - to block Parliament from their websites and redirect them somewhere more enlightening.

Where Should I Redirect Them To?

My good friend Tom Scott has penned this rather eloquent piece for the Guardian explaining why filtering cannot work.
I would refrain from pointing at shock-sites. You'll only give MPs something else to consider banning.

Hang On! There Are Massive Flaws In This Plan!

Yes, yes there are.

Politicians may need access to information which has been inadvertently blocked. For example, a gay MP might want help coming to terms with his or her sexuality - only to find the content unavailable.

Of course, politicians could use a proxy to get round these restrictions. They could use their phone's web browser. They could access from a friend's house. They could get a mate to download content onto a USB drive and hand it over in the playground.

In short, this plan is as ill-conceived as the ridiculous notion that you can ban children from access naughty images and videos.

Open Rights Group

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2 thoughts on “A (Virtual) Blockade of Parliament”

  1. Mike S says:

    I suggest that dailymail.co.uk be the destination people use. That would really annoy them! ...or would it?


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