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Broken UK Porn Filters Also Censor Slashdot, EFF, Ars Technica
by Karl Bode 03:51PM Wednesday Jan 08 2014
We recently noted how the UK's effort to force ISPs to filter porn by default wasn't working very well, with simple chrome proxy extensions allowing porn hunters to easily bypass the filters. Worse perhaps is the fact that the filters aren't even really working, not only failing to filter a significant number of major porn sites, but accidentally filtering sexual education and rape support websites as well.

Blogger Peter Hansteen has since put the filters through their paces, and found they're filtering a number of technology and civil liberty websites as well:
quote:
...checking a semi-random collection of mainly fairly mainstream and some rather obscure tech URLs shows that far from focusing on its stated main objective, keeping innocent children away from online porn, the UK Internet filter shuts the UK's children out of a number of valuable IT resources, was well as several important civil liberties resources...if this is the true face of Parental Controls, I for one would take using controls like these as a sufficient indicator that the parents in question are in fact not qualified to do their parenting without proper supervision.
The filtered websites aren't exactly obscure, either, including Slashdot, Ars Technica, and the EFF. The broken filters come at the cost of higher rates for UK broadband users, as ISPs pass on the filter costs to users. The UK government continues to be rather tone deaf to the entire pile of dysfunction, suggesting they'd like to take things further by censoring websites that promote "extremist" views.

view:
topics flat nest 

Geeyouthink

@purduecal.edu

"Extremists"

Of course that's what the filters are for. People who disagree with any action of the power structure. All dissent and free thought must be quashed at any cost. The stakes are too high that should the masses awaken to the grand scam, the vast majority of those in government and corporate power would end up imprisoned or worse after a jury trial by their peers. Dissent must be stifled. Period.

Of course the flip side being that if they tighten the filter up too much, there's nowhere left for people to post their "extremist" views and their main sources of illegal domestic spying will dry up as well. It's a fine balance they walk.
Millenium

join:2013-10-30
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

...

Slashdot, Ars Technica, and the EFF? Ok. Sexual education and rape support websites? Ok

Leave the boobs alone, though. Jeesh. 1995 or there abouts was revolutionary. "Free porn for everyone!" That's like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the American Revolution all in one.
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

breast cancer web filters

breast cancer sites was blocked by web filters in the past.

I think better testing is needed and not some bot based system that flags stuff based keyworks and or links to other sites.

A ad can endup blocking a full site even when that site is useing an outside ad system to run the ad's that they don't fully control.
ptbarnett

join:2002-09-30
Lewisville, TX

It's not the UK government's filter...

According to a followup comment by the author, what he was testing was actually O2's whitelist for children's websites.

O2's own FAQ entry explains this:

»news.o2.co.uk/2013/12/24/parenta···nswered/

What is O2’s Parental Control?

This is a choice we give parents who want peace of mind that their children are accessing websites for under 12’s, providing a safe, educational and interesting internet experience. We work with Symantec Rulespace who provide services for web content categorisation, and the category we’ve selected is ‘Kids’ content which is for the under 12 age group. We’re the only operator to offer this additional/optional service in the UK.

Parental Control is a service we offer to help parents to protect their children while they’re online. It enables children to access the web via their mobile to a number of sites which are suitable under this category for under 12’s.

The content is child focussed – it is not attempting to define everything that a child can or can’t read. We’re offering a child friendly environment where parents and children alike can spend time (together or alone) safe in the knowledge that all content under this category is suitable for the child based on the Kids category.

probitas

@teksavvy.com

censorship is retarded

Yes, let's assist parents in parenting, setting up a system that can be manipulated behind the scenes for all sorts of nefarious plots from your benevolent government. May as well hand the kids over to the government if you apparently need their help to raise your own kids.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

The filters just need to be torn down.

All they do is invite abuse and fail to work. They don't prevent anything.