Church Site Blocked By Mobile Networks, Classified Under 'Alcohol'

from the demon-drink dept

Against a background of the UK government teetering on the brink of imposing an opt-out Web filter "for the children", here's yet another example of how automatic categorization of sites for blacklists gets it wrong, as recounted by the UK's Open Rights Group (ORG):

someone used blocked.org.uk to tell us about another church (St. Mark's in Southampton) that is blocked -- this time on [the mobile operator] Vodafone. We have confirmed that it is also blocked by Orange. The site is blocked on O2's highest blocking setting, but not on their 'default safety' service.

Using O2's very handy 'URL checker', we have established that they classify the site as 'alcohol'. It is likely that this is the category that has led to its blocking on other networks, but this is not confirmed.
So why might a church be classed alongside sinful purveyors of alcoholic beverages? ORG has a suspicion:
It is likely that the reason for this categorisation is the use of the word 'wine' on the church's website. The church is part of the 'New Wine Network of Churches'. Their website explains that this means they "have the aim of 'Equipping Churches to see Jesus' Kingdom Grow'". Their use of the word 'wine' is not related to selling or the use of alcohol.
Although it seems that the site has now been unblocked, that's only because it was "manually reviewed". As ORG points out:
It's yet another example of how internet filters make simple and costly mistakes which often result in 'over-blocking.' Our report from May this year collected more examples of this. Since then we have seen political parties, technology news websites, and more recently a number of maternity health sites all blocked by mobile networks. It can be tricky and slow to get sites removed from block lists (although mobile networks say this is improving).
That last point is important. No system is perfect, and errors will always be made. But what matters is how quickly the mistakes are corrected. Unfortunately, the evidence so far is that not only are such automated filters unreliable when it comes to evaluating sites, but the correction mechanisms are pretty awful too -- a worrying combination.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 7:36am

    Must be all the wine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 7:38am

    Oh, come on Mike (!!) it's just some minor collateral damage for a greater good that is protecting our children from the boogey man and from receiving care from their parents. Imagine if the Government left parenting to parents? The horror!

    /troll

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    I'd guess webpages that focus on WINE (Linux) are probably having the same issue huh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Re:

    All religious websites should be blocked for the greater good.

    /notroll

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re:

    You are supporting censorship then? Shame on you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    Beautiful WINE allowing me to watch Netflix on Linux.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Re: Re:

    Hopefully people will realize religions don't matter and we'll enter an era of religiosity, not religions. But for that we need tolerance. And this seems to be the time of intolerance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hopefully people will actually try to personally live up to the moral standards of their religions (or in some cases non-religious philosophies) - rather than spend their time attacking those that they disagree with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly. Those who claim to be the most tolerant are often times the least so.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    irving, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    Acronyms aside

    To be fair, they do serve wine....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Absolutely. In the same vein I'd like to censor detailed atomic bomb instructions on the web.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Because there are just sooo may ppl making A-bombs I have to agree. /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Alcohol gets blocked now?

    Wow. This is just getting crazy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    No what matters is having a system that is not going to fuck up so easily in the first place. If the AI is not smart enough to do the job retire the damn thing until newer technologies come around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yep;

    Censor a-bomb details - less people killing with a-bombs.

    Censor religions - less people will kill because of religion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Account based filtering almost makes sense on mobile networks, as the devices are personal, but it makes little sense on home connections where multiple users are behind the same connection. The problem is that the filtering tends to be all or nothing, and therefore can't deal with differences in what should be allowed for different people on the same connection.
    Given that mobile devices are locked down, they could do the filtering, which would also avoid the simple bypass of finding an open WIFI connection, with no filtering. Surely some means can be set up so that parents can control their children’s mobile devices, and they should be responsible for any filtering on a home connection, with the router providing the filtering, and even acting as an account based prosy server to allow different filtering for different people and children in the house.
    With this approach, anybody can filter the Internet to suite their own tastes and family requirements. However those who shout loudest for filtering are offended if other people can access material that they find offensive, and will tgru to get ISP based filtering tailored to their tastes and morals.
    Filtering under control of the individual, or parents, does not count as censorship, ISP based filtering is censorship, and will make mistakes that it is difficult for the individual to rectify.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Beta (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Hopefully people will actually try to personally live up to the moral standards of their religions..."

    Extortion, pedophilia, xenophobia, infant genital mutilation, suppression of science, condemnation of homosexuals, subjugation of women?

    And that's just a few from the major, modern religions!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Beta (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 8:59am

    they say it's NOT a metaphor

    I wonder if they'll block the Catholic church under "torture/vampirism/cannibalism".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Considering one is a physical device, and the other is ideology... Try stopping ideology.

    Especially when the brain washing starts so young. God warriors cannot be reasoned with.

    Thou shalt not kill... hypocrites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Sites about breast cancer are also clearly porn sites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Try stopping ideology.


    Workin' on it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Abortion, to the tune of 1.2 million per year just in the US. That is just one of the MAJOR problems of the non-religious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I would, but all I have is an iDialog.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, then we should absolutely block atheism then, since the largest killers in the 20th century were atheists (Mao, Stalin, Hitler).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Eh, why? It doesn't matter one bit if you know how to make a bomb if you can't get the materials to do so.

    Besides, how to make a bomb hasn't been a secret for a very long time. Detailed instructions have been publicly available since before the internet existed (often at your library). What difference does it make if it's censored from the web?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:57am

    Re: Acronyms aside

    Nonsense. "New wine" isn't even alcoholic. It's grape juice. There's no guarantee the church even serves alcohol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: they say it's NOT a metaphor

    "Catholic church...vampirism/cannibalism"

    I must have missed an article or two somewhere...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: they say it's NOT a metaphor

    WHOOSH. Oh, I get it. It's a communion reference. Well-played.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Given that Hitler wrapped his movement squarely in Christianity, you should leave him off that list regardless of whatever his personal views may or may not have been.

    Also, atheism isn't a religious belief. There is no "atheist" dogma that can be used to unify, unite, and motivate people to do things, either good or bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wait, are you saying that being pro-choice is a stance that is inherently atheist in nature? If so, then you're wrong. There is little-to-no correlation between a person's stance on abortion and a person's religious affiliation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    Patrick (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    FYI the term "new wine" is a reference to a statement Jesus made in the New Testament that you don't put new wine in an old stretched-out wineskin or else it will break. This itself was an analogy for the differences between Christianity and the old rituals of Judaism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Wine_into_Old_Wineskins

    That church may or may not serve wine for Communion, but that's not what the "new wine" reference is talking about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybem, but neither Hitler nor Stalin nor Mao did it for the righteous ideology of Atheism.

    Hitler didnt walk over to Poland and say my no-God is better than your God so I must kill you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Abortion, to the tune of 1.2 million per year just in the US. That is just one of the MAJOR problems of the non-religious.


    If you believe in God, then you have to accept he approves of abortion since he aborts roughly 40% of conceptions anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    Probably child porn since a lot of the "models" are very flat chested.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Extortion, pedophilia, xenophobia, infant genital mutilation, suppression of science, condemnation of homosexuals, subjugation of women?


    [citation needed]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    are they using OpenDNS by chance? I have been going back and un-doing a malicious anti-gun user's votes. He's voting a TON of sites as "weapons" even if it's a Judo class...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Acronyms aside

    Didn't Monks create beer? Time to stop all of these religious people.

    When did alcohol become illegal in the UK?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


    Extortion, pedophilia, xenophobia, infant genital mutilation, suppression of science, condemnation of homosexuals, subjugation of women?


    [citation needed]


    See: The Holy Bible

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's his call, not ours.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 12:32pm

    Lovely, yesterday everybody was speaking about how evil that journalist dude was for celebrating censorship, now most of the comments here seem to go in the same line, i guess its true that "bad speech is the one i dont like", talking about hipocrites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Tell that to all the people running going claiming that they're doing the Lord's work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    The Old Man in The Sea, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    That attitude will get all the evolution sites, creation sites, atheist sites, hedonist, humanist, islamist, buddhist et al cut off.

    May as well just switch off the internet now.

    Because what's left? Not even TechDirt or GrokLaw.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    The Old Man in The Sea, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 3:25pm

    Atheism is a religious belief

    Not sorry to burst ye bubble.

    Atheism is a religious belief as it deals with a belief in the existence of god, gods or god-like phenomena. It denies the existence but still discusses the subject. The actions and dogmas of atheist groups worldwide are religious in that they are used to unite, unify and motivate people to do things in relation to the subjects covered by any religious subject.

    Many atheists that I have seen getting involved in the subjects relating to religious are as pig-headed, illogical, violent, uncouth, etc as the ones they are claiming are that who support religion in any form.

    if you have ever actually studied Nazism that Hitler was the little tin-god of, you would realise that Christianity was anathema to the movement. He certainly knew how to wrap Nazism up as a religious experience, but the god he focussed on was himself not Jesus Christ.

    So we can remove him from the atheist group if you like but only because he was Nazism's god.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Atheism is a religious belief

    But but but... the atheists are the good ones, and the theists are eeevil, everybody knows that!
    /SARCASM

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Censor a-bomb details - less people killing with a-bombs.

    How many people have been killed by an a-bomb used by someone who didn't invent it? (answer: zero)

    Censor religions - less people will kill because of religion.

    You seriously believe that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jan 9th, 2013 @ 3:48pm

    Perfect system

    No system is perfect, and errors will always be made.

    Unless there is no filtering system. No false positives, no false negatives, and cheaper too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    The Old Man in The Sea, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Bad Speech ..................

    Everyone has their own pet peeves. As has been said many times, you need to watch out for what you wish for, you may just get it.

    I don't necessarily want to listen to or read a lot of the views expressed by others (since I am opposed to such views), but what they believe is up to them - they have responsibility for their choices.

    I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, I have attempted to bring up my children to be the same. Two of my sons have chosen a different lifestyle (with which I do not agree) but that is their choice and their responsibility. They are adults and fully responsible for their decisions and the consequences therein. I am saddened they have chosen their respective lifestyles but that is still their responsibility and choice.

    They are still my sons and I love them but the consequences are their own not mine. We live in a society that teaches people have rights but what we should be teaching is that people have responsibilities and privileges.

    One of those responsibilities is treat others are you yourself want to be treated.

    People choose to believe what they want and quite often get upset if you disagree with them even to the extent of murder (or if they have no moral compass, terminating with extreme prejudice).

    Just remember that you as an individual are responsible for your own actions, reactions and choices and the consequences that follow on from that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Atheism is a religious belief

    And that isn't atheism. Atheism is the DISBELIEF in any higher power, and a focus on science to explain the universe. Antitheism is a much better term. Hitler was most definitely not an atheist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 9th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Personally, I feel sorry for anyone who needs religion to have any moral compass at all. Morals shouldn't come out of fairy tails that are thousands of years old.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:47am

    Re: Atheism is a religious belief

    I think making yourself the supreme admired leader doesn't make you 'god' - there is no evidence of Hitler expecting people to worship him.

    The trouble with religious thinking is that it paints everything as religious. Atheism is not and cannot be a religion. Otherwise I have a 'religion' of not believing in the Easter Bunny. And you may have a 'religion' of not believing in Islam. Just because it is a 'belief' doesn't make it a religion - otherwise all lotteries and gambling are religion! So atheism is a 'religion' in the same way that bald is a hair colour.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then please feel free to never attend a physician, as they are usurping His call to 'kill' you with an icky disease he decided that you deserve. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The 'fairy tales' can suggest morality, that's fine. I have no problem with a bronze-age book saying "Thou shalt not kill". I have a problem with this is imposed on me as an absolute morality, or I am hectored with it, or even worse, the hypocrites then go and kill people who don't agree with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 10th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Atheism is a religious belief

    Atheism is a religious belief


    This is incorrect by definition. As the saying goes, calling atheism a religious belief is like calling baldness a hair color.

    To not believe in something that there is no evidence for is not a matter of faith. It's basic logic.

    Many atheists that I have seen getting involved in the subjects relating to religious are as pig-headed, illogical, violent, uncouth, etc as the ones they are claiming are that who support religion in any form.


    Some atheists are dicks, this is true -- atheists are humans too, after all, and suffer all the virtues and foilables that come with that. However, this is completely unrelated to whether or not atheism is a religious belief.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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