Error 451: Page is Unavailable Because of Big Brother

When the man decides to tell you what you can and cannot read or publish, make sure you frame your protest in the proper context. For example, see what the UK Open Rights Group suggests as a new internet error message for censored content:

To fend off the chilling effects of heavy-handed internet restriction, the UK consumer rights organization Open Rights Group wants to create a new version of the “404 Page Not Found” error message, called “451 unavailable,” to specify that a webpage wasn’t simply not there, it was ordered to be blocked for legal reasons.

In case you missed the reference, the number is shout-out to Ray Bradbury’s book-burning government censorship novel Fahrenheit 451. The campaign’s hope is to increase transparency and shine a light on web censorship—both intended and inadvertent. If the group gets its way, the 451 message would include information on who initiated the block, the reasons for it, links to the relevant court documents, and steps for how to go about challenging the block.

451 Unavailable, via