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Council ban on atheist & witchcraft websites

A city council has blocked its staff from looking at websites about atheism. Lawyers at the National Secular Society said the move by Birmingham City Council was “discriminatory” and they would consider legal action. The rules also ban sites that promote witchcraft, the paranormal, sexual deviancy and criminal activity. The city council declined to comment on the possible legal action, but said the new system helped make it easier for managers to monitor staff web access.

The authority’s Bluecoat Software computer system allows staff to look at websites relating to Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions but blocks sites to do with “witchcraft or Satanism” and “occult practices, atheistic views, voodoo rituals or any other form of mysticism”. Under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, it is unlawful to discriminate against workers because of their religion or belief, which includes atheism. National Secular Society president Terry Sanderson said the city council’s rules also discriminated against people who practise witchcraft, which is also classed as a legitimate belief.

Read the original article at: BBC News

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