With content filtering services now on offer to UK businesses, am I the only one who's a little perturbed by the notion of my Internet feed being censored at source?
Certainly, some stuff needs to be blocked somewhere - viruses, Trojans, phishing sites. The challenge is that if you choose to block more than that, and it's done remotely, you need to know if babies are disappearing with the bathwater - and be able to stop it happening.
At least when the content filter is run in-house, if you discover that the rude-word filter is blocking all your sales enquiries from prospects in Scunthorpe, Pricklington and Titchfield, you can ask the IT department to fix the problem.
But as AOL users discovered some years ago, when those IT staff are in someone else's employ they are not always fast to respond.
OK, so it's not on the same level as a totalitarian state such as Red China, which has a national content filter or firewall, and its own very special definitions of bad language and malware. (Then again, maybe discussing democracy online is indeed a web virus of sorts.)
Of course, if a business has a properly communicated Internet usage policy for staff - as it ought to have - then it is well within its rights to apply controls.
Keep an eye on those controls though. If possible, test them before you apply them, for example by running them in transparent mode so you can see that the infractions picked up are indeed the ones you want to block.
And make sure that whether they are applied locally or remotely, you are the one who's in control of the controls.