ISP Filtering

After reading this great enumeration of various efforts to block accidental access to images of child sexual abuse I updated updated to include the blockpages from Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark.

This document notes many of the unintended consequences of filtering, especially overblocking, and it challenges the wisdom of making the blocking look like an error, as opposed to presenting the user with a blockpage:

Providing such a notice seems far more likely to achieve the intended objective of discouraging access to material that is illegal to possess, and raising public awareness of the fact that such a law exists, than merely providing a ‘page not found’ notice.

In the context of Sweden it also discusses threats to block the bit torrent tracker Pirate Bay by adding it to the child pornography blocklist. Mission creep is always present.

I’ve updated with the blockpage that users in Denmark see when they try to access Pirate Bay.

Filtering for the reason of copyright violation is reportedly gaining in Europe:

To recap, the Commission saw great merit in an anti-piracy system where Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) would voluntarily agree to monitor their users and report the infringers to the industry reps or to the authorities, as well as possibly cut off their internet connection. From what we have heard from our sources at the Commission, a lot of the feedback they have currently received has been very supportive of the idea of filtering and monitoring. This has now emboldened some officials to push forward with plans to implement such voluntary EU-wide proposals, although nothing has yet been firmly decided. EU law clearly states that ISPs have no obligation to monitor and filter content, but the carrot they get from participating is that they are less likely to be sued by IFPI and others.

This is something that the Copyright Lobby has been slowly moving toward here in Canada.

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