I have just tried to go to www.davidoff.com, not to buy cigars (I do not smoke), but because I came across the brand in another context and was idly curious.
I was redirected to http://www.davidoff.com/davidoff/countryfilter.cfm, and was shown the message:
"We are sorry due to national legal restrictions we can not grant you access to our Website www.davidoff.com. Thank you for your understanding."
This appears to reflect the prohibition on tobacco advertising in the UK. Not only are we not allowed to see adverts, across which we might stumble by accident. We are not allowed to go in search of information on a product that we already know is made of tobacco.
I had feared that in due course, the great firewall of the UK would be built to keep out messages that were politically subversive, or pornography at which uptight politicians took offence. But no, the first target is innocent information on a perfectly legal product. (It is not quite a firewall. The page appears to be one of Davidoff's own, and is presumably displayed if one has a UK IP address. But the effect is the same.)
Davidoff did not think of this themselves. They, or tobacco companies in general, must have been asked to do it, by the UK government. Some politicians, presumably in the last government, or some senior civil servants, had such a casual disregard for freedom of information that they thought it worth interfering with that freedom for a plainly inadequate reason.
We should be worried at the existence of such an attitude, anywhere in government. We should also be told the names of the guilty politicians or civil servants. Meanwhile, I used a proxy server to get to the forbidden, and not in the least bit dangerous, site.