Earlier this year, we wrote about the variety of problems with a proposed UK law that would require ISPs to publicly state whether or not they blocked child porn sites. As we noted at the time, this bill appears to do the opposite of what its supporters want. That is, it tells child porn providers and surfers exactly which ISPs to use and even gives them details of how the ISPs try to stop child porn, which could help those users get around the stops. Even more importantly, this is the wrong approach. It's sweeping the issue under the rug by dumping the responsibility on the ISPs to stop access to child porn, rather than actually stopping the activity and going after those responsible. If providers can determine which sites are offering illegal child porn, then they should have authorities shut the actual sites down and arrest those responsible -- not just block access to them. Blocking access doesn't get to the root of the problem and can lead to serious problems with totally innocent sites on shared servers being blocked as well. So, with all of this evidence that the law is a bad idea, why are some British politicians still calling for it? Admittedly, the article makes it pretty clear there's almost no chance of this bill becoming law -- but it's hard to see how it serves any purpose other than to make a politician sound like she's tough on child porn without actually being tough on child porn.
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