Internet service providers in the U.K. have rejected a website blacklist maintained by the Internet Watch Foundation, a private charity notorious for its bungled attempts to censor pages at Wikipedia and the Internet Archive.
From The Register:
ISPs have rejected a call by childrens’ charities to implement the government’s approved blocklist for images of child sexual abuse, because the list does not stop anyone who wants to accessing such material.
On Monday a coalition including the NSPCC and Barnardo’s sounded warnings that 700,000 homes could access websites hosting images of abuse because small ISPs do not filter their networks. The charities aimed to put pressure on the government to force them to implement the Internet Watch Foundation’s blocklist, pointing out that in 2006 ministers said all providers should do so by the end of 2007.
In January, internet service providers blocked access to the Internet Archive at the IWF’s say so, and last year, British users were blocked from Wikipedia’s editing functions after it flagged a Scorpions’ album cover as child porn.
Letting a cabal of unaccountable, self-selected net nannies bully ISPs into blocking swathes of the internet serves no credible end: the IWF admits its system is easily circumvented by criminals. The whole thing is a game of moral panic, intricately patterned around the British belief that you can prevent bad people from thinking about a bad thing simply by removing the suggestion of it from public view.
Small ISPs reject call to filter out child abuse sites [The Register]