New HTTP Status Code: '451' for Web Censorship
Possible New HTTP Status Code on the Way: 451 for Web Censorship:
With all the recent crackdowns on 'piracy' and 'objectionable' content, the web is unfortunately becoming increasingly censored, something that just wasn't done on any significant scale a few years ago. This has prompted Tim Bray, XML co-inventor and Android developer advocate to propose a new HTTP error code: 451 "Unavailable For Legal Reasons". This error will be used to indicate that a web resource has been denied access for legal reasons and should contain an explanation for the censorship, "Responses using this status code SHOULD include an explanation, in the response body, of the details of the legal restriction; which legal authority is imposing it, and what class of resources it applies to."
So, why has Bray chosen error number 451? Because it refers to Ray Bradbury's sci-fi novel "Farenheit 451", which describes a dystopian future in which book burnings and the censorship of unacceptable material is routine - very appropriate we think and a sad reflection on the state of censorship today. Bray has made the proposal as an Internet Draft, submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) who set the technical standards for operation of the internet. Whether or not it becomes incorporated into the HTTP standard remains to be seen.
It's hardly an error though.
|reply to FF4m3 |
I like it. Of course, "the powers that be" will just block the showing of this code.
|reply to FF4m3 |
I don't like it. The purpose of the HTTP status code enumeration is to facilitate the technical aspects of the communication protocol. Adding bling to differentiate a legal consideration has nothing to do with how browsers & servers communicate.
The very-old and well-understood "403 Unauthorized" would be more appropriate. On the other hand if it's a RIAA lawyer's HTTP request then the "402 Payment Required" seems fair