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Censorship Your Rights Online

Finnish Censorship Expanding 196

Thomas Nybergh lets us know about the secret list maintained by the Finnish National Bureau of Investigation, containing an estimated 1,700 foreign "child pornography'" sites. These are mostly in the US and the EU, and certainly not all of them contain child porn or even links to it. Finnish ISPs are required by law to block access to sites on the list, according to The Register. Finland's EFF has information about the block list, which reportedly includes a musical instrument store, a doll store, and a site of Windows tips in Thai. Recently added to the list — which by law should contain only child pornography sites — is the text-only site of a Finnish free-speech advocate who criticizes the censorship law. Evading the ISPs' block is trivial, of course.
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Finnish Censorship Expanding

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  • Foriegners (Score:4, Informative)

    by milsoRgen ( 1016505 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:01PM (#22470754) Homepage
    Well Finnish culture is pretty alien to me, but digging into the article a bit, it ends up making a little more sense...

    "Without knowing any details, a good guess is that the police suspect that having a clickable link to a web site allegedly containing child pornographic images is equivalent to aiding the distribution of such images," the EFFI surmised in this blog post on the censoring of Nikki's site.
    Here is Nikki's list. [lapsiporno.info]
  • by muzzy ( 164903 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:33PM (#22470952) Homepage Journal

    "Finnish ISPs are required by law to block access to sites on the list, according to The Register"

    Actually, The Register doesn't say this. There exists a law specifically crafted due to this child porn censorship program, but it technically doesn't mandate ISPs into participating to the censorship. Well, except for the fact that the people behind the law have made public statements that if voluntary "self-regulation" isn't enough, then there will be such a law. So, it's not exactly voluntary when the ISPs are being threatened, but technically they can claim it's not required by the law...

    Anyway, regarding the free speech advocate who has gotten his site censored, that's me. I've written a little bit of text in English about my page and the situation [lapsiporno.info].

  • Re:Good idea (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:33PM (#22470954)
    "Once it is in your cache, you go prove you are innocent". Well, for starters, in order for it to be counted as possession, it must be intentionally downloaded, not just in your cache. There has been at least one court case in the U.S. which has demonstrated this. A jury found a man guilty of downloading CP, even though the images resided only in his cache. He appealed to his state's supreme court, which reversed his conviction. According to the decision, mere accumulation in the cache does not equal downloading. (Although this decision applies in only one particular state, it could be used as a defense in similar cases in other states.)
    A person should use good cleaning programs like Clean Disk Security and Tracks Eraser Pro to ensure items in his cache, history, index files, etc., will be wiped away and unrecoverable.
  • by Coopjust ( 872796 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:33PM (#22470956)
    For those of you who do not want to RTFA, this blocklist is within the ISP DNS server, so switching to a non-Finnish DNS server or running your own is all that is necessary to bypass it and access the numerous falsely blocked sites.
  • by urbanriot ( 924981 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @12:16AM (#22471280)
    In the US waivers MUST be signed by performing actresses that they're 18 years or older. I perused the list and every US based server I looked at had known porn actresses that are 20+, let alone 19 or even 18. Guaranteed that some old guy, completely out of touch with his youth (ie. over 50), and probably unable to meet young attractive women banned anything that remotely looked under 30. This is religious conservatism at its worst and the Finnish people shouldn't stand for this repression!
  • Re:An extrovert Finn (Score:3, Informative)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @12:25AM (#22471352)
    Try looking at their feet, not their tits - maybe then you won't creep them out so much.
  • by DMUTPeregrine ( 612791 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @01:04AM (#22471578) Journal

    About the site
    Lapsiporno.info is run by Matti Nikki to participate in the discussion of Internet censorship, child porn on the internet and the problems related to these things. Nearly everything is written in Finnish with a few pages in English when I've wanted to target it to a larger audience. My primary purpose has been to provide information and knowledge about the subject matter from my own point of view. It was my concern that all the factual information available was from childs' rights organizations and this information tended to be biased and overly supportive towards censorship.

    I started the site back in december 2005 with only one article online, outlining what I knew about Internet censorship and it would and wouldn't apply to child porn distribution. It has been my belief that censorship isn't any kind of solution to child porn, and I actually believe it'll only worsen the situation as it'll give a reason for the people involved to tighten their security and anonymity.

    Over the years I've covered a bunch of issues around the subject matter, and lately I've been writing almost daily about the Internet censorship since it unfortunately was finally implemented in Finland. One of the first things I did was to publish a list of a few hundred censored sites.

    Update 2008-02-17: I said above "one of the first things", I meant after the censorship was activated. Before this, I've written my opinions about why the censorship doesn't work and what should be done instead of it to fight the distribution of child porn online. Now, since I've seen some people thinking I published a list of child porn sites, I'd like to mention that nearly none of the sites on the child porn list seem to contain child porn. I certainly would not have published the full list had I considered it accurate!
    About the censorship

    The Internet censorship was being planned for years, and apparently three successive Ministers of Communications have been supportive to the Internet Censorship until it was finally implemented. When the ministry asked for statements about the planned censorship law from various parties, they were told by the Faculty of Law of the University of Turku that the censorship would be against The Constitution of Finland. Despite this, the ministry insisted there were no legal problems and that the censorship would be implemented.

    The Ministry of Telecommunications has ordered and published some investigations about the legal possibility of censorship, and made its own interpretations of what these investigations say. For example a document that goes by the name "Railaksen Selvitys" and dated 2005-12-16 lists several critical problems and unanswered questions regarding the censorship. These problems are listed in the very beginning of the document and include things like effectiveness of the filtering solutions, the problem of collateral damage when censorship affects more material than it should, freedom of speech, what kind of crimes the censorship should exactly target, etc. Most of these went unanswered and the problems are seen with the current implementation of the censorship. Some of the issues were only addressed partially, for example the freedom of speech regarding reception of illegal material was touched but the police has now been found censoring even sites that do not contain illegal material themselves. What is being practiced now isn't what was planned.

    Apparently the censorship had already been decided to be implemented even before the legality of the censorship had been touched at all. In the beginning of the resulting paper from the above mentioned investigation it's stated that "A decision of principle has been made to take action against distribution of child porn over telecommunication networks". Apparently the ministry had told the law firm that they will implement the censorship no matter what, and requested a paper to support it and to interpret the law in a way to make it look legal. Where this wasn't possible, the paper suggested w

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @01:08AM (#22471608)
  • Re:Timecops??? (Score:4, Informative)

    by muzzy ( 164903 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @01:38AM (#22471758) Homepage Journal
    >> They called him for questioning on Wednesday 20 February 2008.
    > Oh my god! I time-travelled 2 days in the future? Or maybe Finland is on GMT+42?

    The date is accurate for the questioning, the news just travels so fast that the actual questioning hasn't happened yet. They sent the "invitation" last friday (15th), and it arrived in mail this monday (18th). I got a prior notice about it through email though.
  • The checked list (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @05:33AM (#22472738)
    The checked list is available here: http://maraz.kapsi.fi/sisalto.html [kapsi.fi]

    The tags used are explained more thoroughly in Finnish, but luckily they seem pretty self-explanatory for us internetizens. If you can't be bothered to check, it shows that only nine of the 1047 listed sites definitely have child pornography on them.
  • by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @06:51AM (#22473050)
    Well, what I did is that I went to Parliaments website, looked for the people who presented this legislation and supported it in the relevant comission. I then wrote a polite yet very stern email to each of them, explaining the flaws of the law and the error of their ways.

    BTW. the MP's I wrote to are: Markku Laukkanen, Raimo Vistbacka, Saara Karhu, Erkki Pulliainen and Mikko Alatalo. here [eduskunta.fi] you can read the comments those people made during the first hearing on the new legislation. Another person to write to could be Sari Essayah, who supported the legislation here [eduskunta.fi] (what else can you expect from a fundie?). It should also be noted that Jyrki Kasvi strongly opposed the legislation.

    Make your voice heard. And know who to vote.
  • by muzzy ( 164903 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @07:02AM (#22473126) Homepage Journal
    Norway has a different list, with different kind of sites blocked.

    Here's a partial list for Norway: http://lapsiporno.info/blocked.nextgentel [lapsiporno.info]
    Heck, here's one for Sweden, too: http://lapsiporno.info/blocked.glocalnet [lapsiporno.info]
    And now that I'm at it, Denmark: http://lapsiporno.info/blocked.cybercity [lapsiporno.info]

    Also, it might be just a matter of time until Finnish Police tries to push my site into lists of other countries too.
  • Not true! (Score:2, Informative)

    by dropadrop ( 1057046 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @07:11AM (#22473178)

    Finnish ISPs are required by law to block access to sites on the list, according to The Register.

    This is not true, rather quite the opposite. There is no requirement for the ISP's to add the block list, but for some strange reason most of them still do.

  • by skulgnome ( 1114401 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @07:31AM (#22473268)
    I should point out that Jyrki Kasvi the finnish MP had a convenient case of the flu on the day of the vote. It appears that even to the green geek hero in the parliament, the child porn excuse is far too toxic to appear as sole dissenter in.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:2, Informative)

    by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @08:11AM (#22473450) Journal
    In Finland it is not illegal to access or view child pornograpy. Possession of such materials is illegal.

    Even with caching disabled, you'd have to temporarily possess it if you viewed it. Has there been a court case that ruled this legal - and by that, I don't mean an accidental viewer, but someone who intentionally went to view the site?

    (Here in the UK, downloading is considered making child porn - you're "making" another copy - and hence it is punished worse than simple possession...)
  • ISP Filtering status (Score:2, Informative)

    by hurtta ( 659055 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @08:38AM (#22473584)
    There is list on http://sensuuri.wikidot.com/operaattorit

    Also see http://www.hs.fi/kotimaa/artikkeli/+/1135234066254
  • by Daimanta ( 1140543 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @08:38AM (#22473588) Journal

    Tell me about it. I'm fucking PISSED OFF at the legislators! How in the fuck did they manage to pass a bill that is so blatantly against the constitution?
    I know more about that fragment of law than you apparently.
    The Netherlands and Finland are the only two countries in the world where judges aren't able to rule on the constitutionality of laws(strict trias politica). So yes, they can pass a bill that violates your constitution.
  • Re:The checked list (Score:1, Informative)

    by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @02:00PM (#22477296)
    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that photographs of naked children are not illegal, or pornographic.

    The court also ruled that children engaged in sex is not illegal if said children are legally married (i.e. 16 or 17 year olds married young).

    And the person viewing said photos is a victim, not a criminal. Only the photographer/producer/distributor is a criminal.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin