The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has approved the use of HTTP status code 451.
The code alerts readers when a page has been blocked for legal reasons or censored.
The code number was inspired by Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s novel about censorship.
From Fast Company:
Code 451 is a big step for transparency, but since it’s optional, it probably won’t be a final solution. As Bray tells The Verge, “It is imaginable that certain legal authorities may wish to avoid transparency, and not only forbid access to certain resources, but also disclosure that the restriction exists.”
Others will righteously flaunt it.
In Wired, K. G. Orphanides reports
In The Next Web, Owen Williams reports
At Vice’s Motherboard, Michael Byrne reports
Reality check: So the error code for censorship is now an Internet standard. At least in some cases we will know. Most people will go along to get along and imagine that only bad people will wonder why, unless it interferes with booze, drugs, sex, porn or pizzas or something related.
See also: Now Chappaquiddick to be sanitized via new film (Will correct version be censored?)
Hat tip: Book and Periodicals Council of Canada Freedom of Expression Committee