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Censorship The Internet United Kingdom Technology

UK Govt's Censorware Blocks Tech, Civil Liberties Websites 148

Posted by timothy
from the but-you-must-give-it-time-you-see dept.
A few days ago, we mentioned that the UK's ISP-level censorware software not only does a poor job of its stated job (blocking porn), but blocks at least some sex education sites, too; now, reader writes to say that's not all: "It fell to the UK Tories to actually implement the Nanny State. Too bad Nanny Tory does not want kinds to read up on tech web sites such as, or civil liberties ones such as the EFF or Amnesty International. Read on for a small sample of what the filter blocks, from a blocked-by-default tech writer."
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UK Govt's Censorware Blocks Tech, Civil Liberties Websites

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  • by mi (197448) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:30PM (#45762223) Homepage

    Our hobby site got blocked by Googe/SafeBrowsing twice this months. No, we weren't hacked. No, we weren't hosting malware. We just happened to use the same advertising broker, that was fooled into showing malware ads earlier.

    If one wanted to make a good case, they could point out, how you can disappear from the Internet for mere association with someone else — and how suspicious it is, that that "something else" just happens to be a direct (if small-scale) competitor to Google...

    No, I don't like governmental censorware — as Heinlein put it in several of his books, the real danger comes not from content, but from the government's attempt to tell their citizens, that they can not be trusted to view it. That UK is doing just that is an outrage. But the fact, that the automated censor happens to be mis-categorize some content has nothing to do with it — the censorship is scandalously wrong whether or not it functions as designed.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:34PM (#45762251)

    We just happened to use the same advertising broker, that was fooled into showing malware ads earlier.

    Maybe you should use a different "advertising broker", this sort of thing is something that "advertising brokers" should be very very very very very very up on not allowing to happen... You know, like number one thing...

  • Apparently... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:36PM (#45762277)

    They blocked the BNP website. (I don't agree with the BNP or anything those racist thugs stand for, but I don't condone political censorship.)

    Also the PPUK website.

  • Terrifying... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @05:46PM (#45762339)

    Its fucking ridiculous. State-controlled internet filtering is unacceptable in *any* case. Given how we more-or-less live our lives on/via the internet now, I'm shocked that more people aren't vocally objecting to this.

  • Re:Apparently... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @06:09PM (#45762495)

    It's also blocking sites about homosexuality and LGBT rights.

  • by toshikodo (2976757) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @06:09PM (#45762497)
    I just checked to see if the filter would block children from accessing the website of the UK's most important helpline for children, childline []. Guess what? It does - you really really really couldn't make this shit up. Lets hope the little darlings aren't feeling suicidal as a result, because it also blocks their access to the Samaritans []. Speechless!
  • Oblig xkcd (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @06:42PM (#45762723) Homepage Journal

    Oh, wait, even XKCD [] is blocked according to []. Even wikipedia is blocked.

    Probably the people behind this wants that the UK population be at least as stupid as them. In the race to the bottom there is no winner.

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @07:15PM (#45762987) Journal

    Rule #1 was always that you don't troll as an AC

    In Great Britain you don't need to troll as an AC, for in the British Parliament you get to see those "Lords" trolling each others to death whenever they get the chance.

    United Kingdom used to snide at China for their infamous "Great Firewall of China" censorware. Now the table has turned.

    At the very least, users from China can still access Slashdot, even with that "Great Firewall of China" playing at full blast.

  • by mrbester (200927) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @07:25PM (#45763063) Homepage

    No. What this is is a default on filter that you specifically have to opt out from in order to see such subversive content as Childline. Alternatively, it could be stated as a system where you have to specifically opt in to see the same sites as you did yesterday (like Slashdot). Now they have your name and the knowledge that you are a disgusting immoral piece of pond scum of the type the hysterical mouth foamers of the hypocritical Daily Mail would advocate stringing up if they thought they could get away with it.

    This is something that has no legislative backing and no Parliamentary support. That that cunt Cameron threatened ISPs in the first place because of some shrill bitch few have even heard of makes it even worse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 22, 2013 @07:38PM (#45763129)

    Tony Blair even created an agency to train loyalists to shill for his initiatives throughout the UK- an agency called 'COMMON PURPOSE'.

    The censorship systems universally applied to mobile phone access to the Internet in the UK were designed to prepare fro similar draconian systems that would apply to ordinary ISP services.

    -mobile phone censorship was specifically designed to have as wide a reach as possible, introducing default categories of restrictions that ban all but mainstream media outlets (like those controlled by the BBC and Rupert Murdoch). By definition, being on ANY banned list implies their is something fundamentally WRONG with your content. Banned lists are purposely designed to blacken the reputation of websites in the minds of ordinary people. People who choose to deactivate such filters are labelled in the UK press as 'perverts', 'terrorists', 'extremists', 'anti-social', 'trouble makers', 'mentally ill' - well you get the idea.

    -despite what vile shill Julian67 states, it is incredibly DIFFICULT for the user of most mobile phone services to remove the censorship filters. ***NO*** you cannot simply go to a web-page and uncheck the filters- the excuse being that such a system would be 'insecure' and exploitable by the 'kids'. No, most phone companies require a complex series of 'in person' contacts and requests, with the filters being automatically reapplied at the drop of a hat. At every stage, mobile phone operators are trained to question WHY you would want to be such a deviant, and remove their blocks.

    -mainstream media journalists in the UK are instructed to NEVER discuss the extent of UK internet censorship, and imply in every report that it somehow blocks only porn and 'illegal' stuff. The 'illegal' meme is essential, for it implies that everything blocked that is not porn is illegal in some sense, and that allowing people the ability to view such material is appalling, and must be prevented by future laws.

    In 2014 the BBC, for instance, is planning multiple broadcasts on the basis "DID YOU KNOW THAT N% OF UK HOMES WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 REFUSE TO ACTIVATE INTERNET FILTERS?". New laws are planned at the end of 2014 making it an offences under child protection principles for households with children to have unfiltered access to the Internet. At the end of 2015, it is proposed to extend this principle as an excuse to make filtering mandatory in most categories, and to make use of VPN services illegal for unlicensed entities (ie., ordinary citizens).


  • by mi (197448) on Monday December 23, 2013 @01:27AM (#45764555) Homepage

    Their [sic] is nothing scummier

    Oh, yes, there is. Posting illiterate insults as "Anonymous Coward" — to avoid the beating to what little karma there is — is an example.

    complaining about THEIR inconvenience when someone attempts to protect users from malware put onto users machines by that site.

    Except our site didn't do it. The ad-broker did not do it either. The broker was blacklisted by Google, because at some point earlier they were fooled by a malicious ad. Google blacklisted them, and everybody using them...

    Here's a message for you, you CRETIN 'mi'.

    Wow, what passion. I can't imagine, what you'd say, if were an accessory to murder or rape — rather than a mere computer "infection". Take a chill pill or something...

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose