Back in 2002, we wrote about how the Australian government was forcing ISPs to block sites
that it claimed displayed child pornography. Last year, the government wanted to allow Australian police to add
to the blocklist. The problem was that there was no review whatsoever -- and no way to make sure the sites being blocked actually were questionable, rather than just sites the police didn't like. When we raised this question back in 2002, someone responsible for the filters in Australia argued with us
in the comments that we were wrong to question the policy and insisting that, even though there was no way to determine what was being banned, we should just trust those in charge of the filters that it was for our own good. Of course, when a government representative (or a representative of a company doing the government's will) says "just trust us," you know you should be worried.
To prove that point, take a look at what's happening in Finland, where a very similar law is in place, specifically designed to have ISPs block child pornography. There's just one little problem. An investigation into what's being blocked shows that many of the sites on the list appear to contain no pornography at all
(child or otherwise). However, among the sites blocked is
an anti-censorship site that argues against Finland's policies. There are also the website for a doll company and some computer help forums. The research also showed that there are plenty of "adult oriented" sites, but that most of them appear to be perfectly legal and have nothing to do with child pornography at all. However, since the list isn't public and there's no way to know what's on the list (other than thanks to researchers like those who brought this to light) it's tough for anyone to know if the government is actually abiding by the law. Once again, it looks like you shouldn't "just trust" the government when it claims it's protecting you.