(Natural News) Authoritarian governments all over the world – including some that are supposed to be democracies – are increasing their control over content exchanged on the Internet, because the only way they can continue controlling the various issue-oriented narratives is by silencing critics and those with competing ideas.

As noted by Motherboard, there is a new official Internet status code – HTTP 451 – developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the independent group that is responsible for the creation of many of the Internet’s operating standards. So now, when a website has been blocked for so-called “legal reasons” (in other words, the page has been censored by a government), web surfers will be presented with the 451 “error” rather than the more generic 403 “forbidden” error.

The tech site says this is actually a victory of sorts, however – for transparency. Now, surfers will know precisely why a site is being blocked and what content a government tends to censor. The code has been under development for about two years. It was first introduced by software engineer Tim Bray in 2013 after he was inspired by a 2012 blog post written by security analyst Terence Eden, whose call then for a censorship error code was plain: FULL REPORT