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Report Highlights 10 Sites Unfairly Blocked By UK Mobile Internet Censorship 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the block-'em-all-and-let-gore-sort-'em-out dept.
Mark.JUK writes "The Open Rights Group (ORG), which works to raise awareness of digital rights and civil liberties issues, has published a new report that examines the impact of internet censorship on UK mobile networks and lists an example of 10 legitimate websites that often get unfairly blocked (PDF) by adult content filters (over-blocking). The study is important because similar measures could soon be forced upon fixed-line broadband ISP subscribers by the UK government. Some of the allegedly unfair blocks include censorship of the 'Tor' system, a privacy tool used by activists and campaigners across the globe, and the website of French 'digital rights' advocacy group 'La Quadrature du Net.'"
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Report Highlights 10 Sites Unfairly Blocked By UK Mobile Internet Censorship

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  • "unfairly blocked" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @02:37PM (#39998267)

    On the contrary, those in favour of the censorship plans consider the blocking of these sites to be quite fair.

    Only an idiot would think these measures are about protecting children.

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Monday May 14, 2012 @02:48PM (#39998387)
    Having the highest density of CCTV cameras anywhere in the world (London) isn't enough. Toying with biometrics (face-recognition specifically) at every opportunity isn't enough.Trying to pass national data retention laws that would log and store every little thing any UK person does on the internet in a data center for 24 months isn't enough. Trying to extradite Julian Assange to the United States on nebulous charges isn't enough. Putting anti-aircraft missiles (2012 Olympics) on the rooftops of London housing estates isn't enough. Putting a battleship on the river Thames (also 2012 Olympics) isn't enough. ---------- Now add to that list UK mobile/cellular phone operators randomly censoring websites you can('t) access on smartphones. --------- All of this and more makes me glad at times that I don't live in the UK. ------ What's wrong with the UK these days anyways? I used to think that Britain was the "cradle of democracy" with its televised Parliament debates, quality newspapers, speaker's corner and such. -------- What happend to you, UK? Why is all this negative stuff happening in the UK?
  • by redelm (54142) on Monday May 14, 2012 @02:49PM (#39998395) Homepage

    Any sort of selection or filtration system is going to have TWO very different forms of error: false negatives and false positives. Missed badguys and caught goodguys. Most of the testing is done to reduce false negatives, so that you're not embarrassed by a glaring badguy getting though. As a result, lots of false positives are generated because they are less unacceptable. Do not expect rationality from censors -- that is not their objective.

    The real customer's objective is to minimize the total cost both of false negatives and false positives. It doesn't help until people realise the [often high] cost of a false positive -- a large sales order that was missed & lost by a spam filter.

    Some areas like police, do not have any notion of a false positive -- "It's all good -- they needed a warning".

  • by houghi (78078) on Monday May 14, 2012 @02:54PM (#39998459)

    I read about Sodom and Gomorrah in The Bible.

    On a more serious note, when I was 15, I wanted to see a movie, but for that you needed to be 16, so I bought the book instead.

    Years later I saw the movie and I must tell you that the book was much more, uh, adult then the movie. So kids, if you want to get around censorship on the Internets, go to the library. Shocking amount of books with adult content available.

  • by Wootery (1087023) on Monday May 14, 2012 @03:03PM (#39998551)

    Really, what were they thinking on the 10 legitimate websites that often get unfairly blocked [openrightsgroup.org] pdf? It's horrible trying to read it on a screen, and I'm using a desktop. Good luck to anyone on a smartphone...

    Seems painfully ironic that they're excluding mobile users in this way.

    We use HTML for a reason, ORG...

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Monday May 14, 2012 @03:14PM (#39998673)
    The UK does feel at many times like it is a test-laboratory of sorts for various Orwellian things. Ironic that it was in this very country that Eric Arthur Blair (aka "George Orwell") wrote 1984. ------- If the UK had somewhat better political parties, this stuff probably wouldn't be happening there. Both the Labour Party and the Tories in the UK are really into deploying surveillance-tech on ordinary people. So it doesn't matter who wins elections. Both sides are really into using this stuff on UK citizens....
  • by Raenex (947668) on Monday May 14, 2012 @03:39PM (#39998957)

    Rather than do it via DNS or IP blocking they commanded banks and payment processors to block financial transaction to those sites instead.

    Later on, they seized domains too: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/04/16/feds_online_poker/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • Re:Tor... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Monday May 14, 2012 @04:29PM (#39999483)

    >>>Tor is a network allowing for file exchange which makes it impossible or very difficult to tell the identity of the file sharers

    What the fuck is wrong with that?

    Well for one it's a wildly inaccurate description of the tor network. File sharing has grown more accepted on the network but it still discouraged as it strains network resources. It's mainly a way to access (exit nodes) and share (.onion sites) information in an anonymous manner.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 14, 2012 @04:50PM (#39999765)

    8. Biased-BBC (www.biased-bbc.blogspot.co.uk) is a site that challenges the BBC’s impartiality. We established it was blocked on
    O2 and T-Mobile on 5th March. It is classified as a ‘hate site’ by O2’s URL checker

    "After Jihad, the premier evil that threatens [the UK] is homosexual fascism."

    Yep, seems like the filter was pretty much spot on. This site does not challenge the BBC's impartiality, it simply catalogues every time the BBC runs a story about homosexuals or Muslims and doesn't mention that the prophet Mohammed and a "disproportionate amount" of homosexuals are pedophiles.

  • by Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) on Monday May 14, 2012 @04:54PM (#39999807)
    +5 AC
  • Dear leaders (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Internetuser1248 (1787630) on Monday May 14, 2012 @06:41PM (#40000821)
    You are doing it wrong. First you set up censorship systems and only block really hardcore illegal and semi-illegal porn. Then you say 'look it works all the nay-sayers were wrong'. Then you wait until it is in widespread use in every country. THEN you start blocking political speech. Honestly quit being so impatient.

"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc

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