Suppose, you are trying to visit a website and suddenly there is a web status code saying “404: Not Found” or “403: Forbidden.” Sounds familiar, right? There are some more web codes you have seen several times. Except some special cases, most of them are meant to indicate errors. However, there is a new code now for censorship and legal obstacles that prevent you from viewing a website as IESG approved the publication of “An HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles.”
In a blog, Mark Nottingham mentioned that the newly published 451 code lets the network provider and website hosts warn you when there is any legal barrier to see the web materials. Previously there was a code 403 “Forbidden” which was not enough to highlight online censorship. Therefore, here comes code 451 “Unavailable for Legal Reasons.”
It’s not sure whether it works or not. However, some cautious governments may disband the use of 451 to hide any direct confirmation of shady behavior. As the code sends a strong message to you as a citizen about what their motive is. So, for some arbitrary nations where content bans are more likely to be the exception than the rule, this code is going to be very useful.