Britain’s over reaching content filters

The UK’s Web site blocking rears its ugly head again. I was pointed at Der Spiegel who reports that Three and Vodafone are blocking the Chaos Computing Club‘s domain. The Chaos Computer Club is a grass roots technology association most well known outside Germany were it is based for its annual Congress held in Hamburg. Equally well known for not being a porn site. The Spiegel article is in German and I translated it using Google translate. I have hosted a copy here, and you can see google’s rendering here. The remainder of the article looks at over-blocking, including IT security resources as obscene, and the market share of the various UK carriers. I was pointed at this by this tweet,

I ran the site through the Open Rights Group’s http:/blocked.org.uk which confirms that it’s blocked by Three and Vodafone. Is this worse that they are mobile only providers? In my article, “Web blocking in the UK” written last year I showed the UK broadband market share of the various Telco providers and both Three and Vodafone’s share was trivial. For mobile, Vodafone is large, 2nd in 2010, while Three remains a small player but the mobile market is much larger than broadband and  we don’t know how many of these customers use tcp/ip services.

In my previous review, I looked into both the issue of over blocking and the inclusion of hacker sites as warranting blocking, in the case of BT lumping them in with obscene and tasteless. This is a proof point of Doctrow’s corollary to his first law that if you use the internet to prohibit activity, you have to criminalise the knowledge required to build and break the software that enforce it.In the USA, they have begun to debate whether a society can defend itself against both internal repression and external attack by having one organisation responsible for both, this is not yet the case in the UK. As a result in the UK  and much of the rest of the world including the USA, we’re busy criminalising IT security research.

Maybe we should have a civil cyber defence organisation, we could call it the “Turing Registry”

 

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