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Censorship United Kingdom

Chinese Firm Huawei In Control of UK Net Filters 148

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the east-asia-has-always-been-our-ally dept.
AmiMoJo writes "The BBC reports that Huawei, one of the world's largest manufacturers of telecoms equipment, is controlling popular ISP TalkTalk's web censorship system. The system, known as Homesafe, was praised by Prime Minister David Cameron. Customers who do not want filtering still have their traffic routed through the system, but matches to Huawei's database are dismissed rather than acted upon. In other words there is no opt-out. Mr Cameron has demanded similar measures be adopted by all internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK, to 'protect our children and their innocence.'"
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Chinese Firm Huawei In Control of UK Net Filters

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  • by RichMan (8097) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:31AM (#44390255)

    The legal question, is filtered internet access really internet access. There is a technical definition of the internet defining packets DNS lookup and routability. I don't think a filtered internet access fully qualifies as internet access.

    This could lead to legal challenges as the service providers are not selling true internet access. They are selling something else.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:37AM (#44390317)

    Oh come on, you know exactly what is happening. The chinese log that data and the NSA trades it for intelligence on folks the chinese want info on.

    This very likely has nothing to do with filtering, since you can have that turned off, the logging is what they were really after the whole time.

  • I don't think what you think "internet access" is really matters.

    They simply state your "access" is given as allowed by law, blah blah blah. Done.

  • Re:metadata (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ericloewe (2129490) on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:41AM (#44390341)

    Even worse. A company with which you have never, ever dealt now has a right to your entire browsing history and "public metadata", courtesy of your friendly ISP.

    All non-technical issues aside (the existence of some sort of filter is a matter for another discussion), the fact that all data gets sent through "Huawei's databse" should set off a few alarms, even ignoring the fact that it's Huawei (which is too close to the chinese government/chinese armed forces for comfort).

  • Re:Expert Advice (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jarle.aase (1440081) <jarle@jgaa.com> on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:45AM (#44390369)
    Yes, and that is a good thing.

    You know, what this is really about is not just protecting innocent children, - it's really about protecting our Freedom.

    Freedom from the reds and the blacks and the criminals
    Prostitutes, pansies and punks
    Football hooligans, juvenile delinquents
    Lesbians and left wing scum

    Freedom from the niggers and the Pakis and the unions
    Freedom from the gypsies and the Jews
    Freedom from left wing layabouts and liberals
    Freedom from the likes of you

    To quote an old British song [songlyrics.com]

    With something as important as the British populations Freedom at stake, no wonder they go for the best Freedom-enhancing technology in the World.

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vikingpower (768921) <exercitussolus&gmail,com> on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:49AM (#44390407) Homepage Journal

    'protect our children and their innocence.'"

    Nonsense. Children are not innocent. Children are nasty, often cruel, little monsters in need of constant correction. "Innocent", in its original ( Latin ) sense, means "not (ob)noxious". Children are anything except "not (ob)noxious".

  • Re:metadata (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 26, 2013 @09:52AM (#44390433)

    Even worse, the politicians in the UK are giving decisions of UK political sovereignty to a foreign entity.

    Allowing a foreign firm to have intel on domestic interests and people is called one thing: Espionage.

    Whomever allowed Huawei [1] to run this needs to be charged.

    [1]: Huawei by themselves are not doing anything wrong. If MI5 got hired to do firewalling for another country, it isn't their fault. However, it is a sworn duty of a politician to protect domestic interests. Same reason why Buckingham Palace hasn't been deeded or rented to another country.

  • Re:Expert Advice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sique (173459) on Friday July 26, 2013 @10:01AM (#44390523) Homepage
    Who makes the equipment also controls the backdoors.
  • Re:metadata (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Friday July 26, 2013 @10:02AM (#44390529) Homepage

    So Huawei has the power to effectively remove any content they dislike from the British peoples' internet and all the British government can do about it is file a bug report to a their helpdesk?
    What could possibly go right?

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday July 26, 2013 @10:16AM (#44390669)

    I work with children. In my extensive experience, they are vile creatures indeed. Ill-mannered, inconsiderate, uneducated and ignorant. They lack the most basic common sense, and what they do have is overridden by their susceptibility to peer pressure and the forces of advertising. They have a compulsion to destroy all that they touch, leaving me to spend my working day endlessly repairing equipment which has been vandalized - past highlights include throwing a switch from a window, placing a power cable in a stapler and impaling a laptop keyboard on a pen. Through an informal concensus they work to perpetuate this youth culture by relentlessly bullying any child who shows signs of being different, until they cease these attempts and rejoin the mob. They are in no way innocent - and, while many are ignorant of more worthwhile fields, peer discussion ensures they mostly have an encyclopedic knowledge of sexual acts and insults, albeit one riddled with misconceptions and errors.

  • by badfish99 (826052) on Friday July 26, 2013 @10:45AM (#44390965)

    The filtering allegedly works by checking every URL that you visit for porn (I've no idea how); if porn is found, not only are you blocked from seeing the URL, but it is also added to a blacklist.

    The point of the article is that this checking is being done for everyone, even if they don't want filtering. So the ISP is, in effect, compiling a list of the URLs visited by their customers who do not want to be filtered.

    And that list is being compiled on hardware that is alleged to be under the control of a foreign, potentially hostile, government.

  • I can't understand why ISPs are supportive of this. Maybe they think they have to be or will face massive negative publicity from hate-mongering newspapers. Inevitably they will fail to make the filters watertight and circumvention methods will become common knowledge, resulting in bad publicity anyway. The government will threaten to crack down* on them, customers will sue for failure to babysit their children for them etc.

    * unless cracking down is banned after it becomes a filter-dodging euphemism for face sitting.

  • by Jawnn (445279) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:17AM (#44391233)

    'Yeah good morning, I'd like the porn filter on my broadband turned off, please?' 'What, are you some kind of PERVERT?'

    And a year or three in the future...
    "May it please the court, the state would like to introduce into evidence that the suspect did, in blatant disregard of the welfare of children everywhere, demand that his Internet service provider to remove all child-abuse protection filters from his account."

  • by Gavrielkay (1819320) on Friday July 26, 2013 @12:46PM (#44392111)
    I recall a judge a while back who said something like: we should not protect the children by taking away rights they should have once they become adults.

    Obviously the real problem is with prudes who hope that no one will ever be able to look at porn or enjoy sex again, but I do really wish more people would think of the other side and realize that stripping rights away that our children would otherwise grow into is just not worth it.

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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