We've written before about how mandatory anti-porn filters don't work -- even bringing up the specific example of Vodafone. Last year, the mobile operator decided it needed to implement some sort of porn filter. To deal with people who wanted access to blocked content, they required people to go ask for permission to view porn -- even if they only wanted to view pages that were incorrectly blocked. In fact, it turned out that an awful lot of sites were incorrectly blocked, including news sites and even some Blackberry email accounts. That was over a year ago, and apparently Vodafone hasn't worked out the kinks. In fact, it gets worse. Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain is in the UK for a conference and using a wireless data card from Vodafone. In doing some research, he was trying to find some info about a specific US court case (Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition) concerning the legality of "virtual" child porn. He did a search on "virtual child pornography case," and not only was it blocked (even after he got his "porn license" from Vodafone), but he was told that an IT manager from Vodafone would be reviewing his search to see if he tried to access anything illegal. He was trying to do research on a court case for a conference he's attending, and suddenly he's discovering that a random IT manager at Vodafone will now be determining if he broke some sort of child porn laws in the UK. It seems a bit extreme.
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