British Security Officials Have ‘Special Access’ To YouTube


YouTube deals with thousands of takedown requests every single day, and according to a new report, British security officials have “special access” to the site.

Financial Times has the inside scoop, and the special access gives officials the ability to instantly review any content that it feels may threaten national security.

Part of the UK’s fight to censor what it deems “extremist material,” instead of flagging a video here and there, they’re said to be able to flag multiple pieces of content at once.

“The UK’s security and immigration minister, James Brokenshire, said that the British government has to do more to deal with some material “that may not be illegal, but certainly is unsavoury and may not be the sort of material that people would want to see or receive”.”

Google confirmed the special access, which is part of an invite-only program, but says it has the final say in whether or not content is actually taken down:

“We have a zero-tolerance policy on YouTube towards content that incites violence. Our community guidelines prohibit such content and our review teams respond to flagged videos around the clock, routinely removing videos that contain hate speech or incitement to commit violent acts.”

Still, despite the tech giant and YouTube having the final say, this is unlikely to ease freedom of speech concerns in a time when more and more unsettling details leak about the NSA.

Mike Stenger

Lover of technology, Mike often makes jokes that nobody laughs at.


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