The BBFC arbitrates on website blocking algorithms used by mobile phone companies. If there is a dispute over the censorship decisions made by the mobile companies, then the BBFC decides whether websites should be 18 rated or not.
In August 2017, the BBFC were asked to consider a request to unblock the website privateinternetaccess.com which sells VPN services used to work around internet website blocking. The BBFC explained:
mobile network operator contacted the BBFC for advice about the suitability of the website for people under 18, following a complaint from the site owner that it had been placed behind adult filters despite containing no material that in the
complainant's opinion would cause access to be restricted to adults only.
The BBFC viewed the site on 31st August 2017.We noted that it was a website offering a paid-for VPN service. The site offered information on how to subscribe to the service, a description of the features offered by the service, client support
services and a contacts page. While the BBFC is aware that VPNs can be used to enable illegal activity and to avoid detection when a criminal offence is being committed, they are not themselves illegal under UK law. In addition, the website
contained no overt references to illegal activity - for example, it does not include instructions on how to use a VPN to commit an offence or promote the use of the service in order to avoid detection when committing an offence. As such, we found
no content which we would classify 18.