BT To Block Child Porn - But Who Makes The List?

from the some-questions-to-ask... dept

Lots of folks are talking about the decision by BT to block access to child porn and how this is the "first mass censorship of the web attempted in a Western democracy." Actually, that's not true at all. Pennsylvania has been forcing ISPs to do this for years. While most of the Guardian article above focuses on how it's now technically feasible to do so, it doesn't really get into the reasons why this is problematic. First, it's unclear who gets to make up the list, and how they decide what's "bad" and what's acceptable. The article mentions a list, but it's not clear that's the list that BT will use - or if there's any kind of appeal procedure for sites that have been unfairly blocked. It's also not clear if (as in Pennsylvania) blocking a site that's on a shared server will mean every other site on that server will also get blocked. The article talks up how this was an idea by NCH, the children's charity who has a habit of putting out very biased and very misleading studies trying to blame child porn on everyone but the people actually creating and hosting the child porn. This is yet another effort by them to try to hide away the problem, rather than dealing with its root causes.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    acb, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 3:27am

    The thin edge of the wedge

    Once the infrastructure for blocking child porn sites is there, it will invariably be used for blocking other things. For example, Britain has legislation (i.e., the Official Secrets Act) allowing stories in news media to be censored by the state; in the age of the net, Britons could find these things on overseas websites, though this hole could now be plugged. And how long until the BPI, Britain's RIAA, demands that foreign MP3 sites are blocked?

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 5:57am

    Re: The thin edge of the wedge

    I think most of them imply first major national government....

    States do lots of stupid things...

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

  3. identicon
    data64, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 6:21am

    If some sites make it past the filter...

    So, do British citizens get to sue somebody if some questionable sites make it past the filter ?

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 5:03pm


    Child porn is illegal, yes? So if they know where it is to block it, why don't they track the people down and arrest them?

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

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