Tue, Feb 24th 2009 4:48pm
internet watch foundation
A number of British children's charities are complaining that some ISPs in the country aren't using the Internet Watch Foundation's blacklist to "block" access to child porn. Firms providing some 5% of the country's broadband connections haven't implemented the blacklist, either because they recognize that it doesn't work, or because of the expense. Keep in mind this is the same blacklist that blocked Wikipedia and screwed up UK edits of the site, and also blocked the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. The charities say that households connected by the non-conforming ISPs have "easy access" to child porn, but given the long history of filters and blacklists of not actually working, it's hard to imagine that the filters have a significant effect beyond breaking access to noninfringing content. There's no doubt that child porn is reprehensible, but by presenting the blacklist as the be-all, end-all solution, these charities risk pulling attention and resources away from better solutions. After all, blocking consumption of child porn seems a less satisfying solution than working to stop its production.
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