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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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  • by I confirm I'm not a ( 720413 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:01PM (#22470752) Journal

    This was on Wikipedia's front page the other [] day [].

  • Good idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Compuser ( 14899 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:10PM (#22470824)
    Is there an open blacklist like this. Those of us who do use net porn are often afraid of accidentally clicking a link to something illegal like this. Once it is in your cache, you go prove you are innocent. So it'd be nice to have a blacklist of sites for personal use. It would be even better if it were like a custom DNS service which would not resolve bad sites and I were free to choose to use it.
  • by klmth ( 451037 ) <> on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:15PM (#22470844) Homepage Journal
    Simply put, this entire list is a disgrace to the nation. The entire list was lobbied through by appealing to simple-minder think-of-the-children rhetoric without any thought given to the implication of this list. Anyone even remotely knowledgeable about technology in gneeral knew that this idea could not possibly work and would end up being abused in no time flat.

    The mere existence of this kind of censorship disgusts me.
  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Monday February 18, 2008 @11:41PM (#22470998)

    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.

    Right, because someone hosting child porn would be stupid enough to link to it on their legitimate business site.

    Child porn could have very well been there- maybe the site owner has a /kiddieporn/ directory, or maybe someone put porn on the server without them knowing- either someone who just needed a server to distribute said porn, or someone who wanted to exact revenge.

    A server I helped run was hacked and it had an IRC bot on it providing sample clips of a group's movie rip (incidentally, Rizon IRC admins refused to do anything about it, claiming "you could have faked logs". I suppose then, that it's normal to have a channel with 10,000+ members all sitting idle, eh? With a group name that's easily googleable to see that they do pirate movie releases? Make no mistake: Rizon is 100% about supporting movie and software piracy.)

  • by muzzy ( 164903 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @12:00AM (#22471162) Homepage Journal
    The references to and instrument store and doll store both relate to same blocked domain. Specifically, it's a whole Japanese ISP's web server. One of the users probably has something the Finnish Police doesn't like, and that's all it takes to block the entire server.

    The reference to "Windows tips in Thai" is to a whole ISP's server blocked in Thailand. They provide free web boards, so it's fairly reasonable to assume that those free boards are used to post child porn links. Child porn groups tend to communicate over forgotten guestbooks, forums, they use freesites to publish stuff, etc.

    The whole point is that these legit sites are collateral damage, and the police doesn't care the slightest about it. As a matter of fact, the police has released a FAQ which quite directly suggests that since there are so many sites on the internet it doesn't matter if a few of them are blocked.
  • Re:Foriegners (Score:5, Interesting)

    by muzzy ( 164903 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @12:05AM (#22471206) Homepage Journal
    Actually, Someone's been checking through the whole list I've published and it now appears perhaps ~15 out of 1000 might be child porn. I haven't verified this yet and I'll have to go sleep soon too so I'll do it later. Still, that's a fairly small portion. I might have to back down my claims that 99% appear legit and say that 98.5% seem legit :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @12:16AM (#22471292)
    then you have oppression.

    That's what they said when the cops shot and killed me for just a day or two.
  • Also art censored (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @12:40AM (#22471432)
    "Police in Helsinki have confiscated a work on display at the show in the Kluuvi Gallery by Ulla Karttunen. The item in question was the material in one particular artwork, which criticised child pornography and which had images of young girls and boys." Article at Helsingin Sanomat [] in English.
  • by huckamania ( 533052 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @01:16AM (#22471666) Journal
    This whole situation reminds me of Duty Call formations when I was in the Marines. Before putting into a port, they get all of the enlisted together and tell us what places not to visit. Sometimes we would take notes so we could get to these places faster.

    Having a list of child pornography sites would seem to be a bad idea simply because now those sites are getting free advertising. Maybe they should think about encrypting the list or something.
  • by hurtta ( 659055 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @02:46AM (#22472076)
    Searching [] from Google produces:

    In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request [] at

    Google has received notice of a list of web sites from the Internet Watch Foundation (web site URL) that contain child pornography. Google has removed the related web sites from its search results.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @03:10AM (#22472200)
    As every true die-hard anti-cp fanatic knows, this scourge will only end with the final solution: killing the children.
    It must be done to protect us from cp and make it's production impossible. Together with outlawing sex, this will be the final solution that protects the planet from cp.
  • by weicco ( 645927 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @03:47AM (#22472352)

    I've tried to discuss this with many others at Helsingin Sanomat message board. But it is hard because when ever you try to convince someone that this isn't the right kind of tool to prevent child porn you get labeled as a child porn consumer or even a pedofile. Those who understands this issue can't do much and those who don't are closing their eyes and ears and shouting I CAN'T HEAR YOU, YOU SICK BASTARD.

    I'll think I write nice letter to minister Katainen about this. I have Kokoomus membership card in my pocket and I live in Pohjois-Savo, as does Katainen, so hopefully he reads my mail. But I'm not sure how to phrase the mail so that it is polite and informative at the same time :) I'll have to think about this a little ...

  • by ymgve ( 457563 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @03:56AM (#22472378) Homepage
    Norway has the same kind of list. []

    It seems to be more lenient, though. Lapsiporno isn't blocked, and out of a sampling of the least offensive sounding sites, "only" three out of eight were blocked.
  • by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @03:59AM (#22472392)
    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? And not only that, the law is already being misused, since the blacklist contains tons of websites that have nothing to do with pedophilia! And it's supposed to only deal with foreign websites, but now they are using it to silence a Finnish website as well! So that's already three ways this law has failed! And the goddamned recording-industry is already salivating by the idea of using this technology to block access to websites that "infringe on their IP". Fuck this shit!

    What I want to know is the names of each and every MP who voted for this travesty of a law! I will swear to FSM that during the next elections, I will go talk to them during their campaign and grill them about "supporting censorship". If those fucking fascists want censorship, maybe they should move to China or North Korea? Why in the hell we have such a bunch of fucking retards deciding things for us?

    Speaking as a Finn, I'm deeply ashamed and fucking pissed off!

    What Finland needs right about now is MASSIVE amount of bad publicity! We have this thing that we are always concerned what others might be thinking about us. And if Finland starts to be compared to China and North Korea in the international media, that just might be the trick to get this law overturned.
  • Re:Good idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:05AM (#22472408)

    You've had a great idea, but the Finnish government haven't.

    The Finnish government is a sad parody of what it once was. Once it dealt with both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia and came up on top and turned the country from an economically abused agricultural colony (located at the arctic circle, as an icing on the cake) suffering from a civil war into a peaceful, democratic, industrial first-world country. The current version, on the other hand, falls all over itself trying to bow down to Russia, EU and the USA simultaneously while passing one bad, freedom-removing law after another. The new finnish copyright law, the so-called "Lex Karpela", is a perfect example: even the government which passed it itself admitted it doesn't know what it actually forbids or allows, but passed it anyway.

    The Finnish list is an arguably erroneous list (it contains many sites that are seem to be perfectly legal), foisted on ISPs who are supposed to "voluntarily" ensure their paying customers can't access the sites on the list.

    I assure you, the list contains exactly the entries it's supposed to: specifically, it already contains sites which merely criticize censorship. It was perfectly obvious from the beginning that this was the true purpose of the list. If these creeps actually thought of children, they wouldn't be constantly cutting funds from education to finance rising their own pay.

    Is it just me, or does every country have at its helm the most disgusting subhuman slimemolds it manages to produce ? I'm starting to wonder if those medieval theories about incubi and succubi producing demonic half-human children actually have some merit; it is kinda hard to explain the origin of our Great Leaders otherwise.

  • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by asuffield ( 111848 ) <> on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:22AM (#22472462)

    Is there an open blacklist like this.

    No. There's a classic catch-22 in here designed to funnel money to certain interests at the exclusion of all others. Here's the trick: it's illegal to access this data. You cannot create an accurate blacklist without accessing this data, since you would have to review the content. Hence, creating an accurate blacklist is illegal. Anybody who wants to create a blacklist will therefore need political cover to avoid prosecution (this doesn't mean it's legal, it just means that the government "chooses" not to prosecute them). This effectively excludes anybody who might want to create some kind of "open" blacklist.

    Just to make it even tighter, a comprehensive review of any blacklist would have to involve accessing the illegal sequences of numbers in order to review them, so any such review is effectively blocked. This means that the people who do collude with the government to produce blacklists have no motivation to make them even remotely accurate.
  • Re:Foriegners (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TapioNuut ( 615924 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @04:24AM (#22472474) Homepage

    I would like to point out that the censorship law says nothing about links, or listing sites with links. And in the law itself its purpose is said to be to promote measures which can be used to prevent access to foreign child porn sites. is neither foreign nor contains any child porn.

    Also let it be known that Matti Nikki (muzzy) himself has actively reported actual child porn sites before, and some of them have been closed. Some was active even a year after reporting it. Of course, these sites are not Finnish.

    The EFFI statement linked in the article is very thorough. In this case there really can be only one bias: the law is bad and the way of enforcing it is even worse.

  • by ribbe ( 1238552 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @06:50AM (#22473048)

    I have read the court papers on the case you refer to (as a part of a computer law course). The guy had set a program to download some newsgroups full of (legal) porn, and he discovered later that some of the pics were of children. He had deleted the ones he found and later testified that he hadn't been sure if he'd gotten them all (how could he, he can't check the age of everyone in a huge amount of pics). The court reasoned that even though they agreed the man's possession of child pornography wasn't intentional, he must have thought it possible that everything on his hard drive wasn't legal and hence he was found guilty.

    As I recall, there was also a weird twist in the case where the police confiscated his hard drive to use as evidence, but after compiling a list of child porn on it they somehow managed to lose the original and all the copies, so the defense couldn't use it in court.

  • by uffe_nordholm ( 1187961 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @07:17AM (#22473204)
    Sweden also has the same kind of child porn filter. But it contains some rather puzzling sites, among others [] which to me appears to be a site about growing bonsai trees. The last time I used my ISPs DNS servers I found another site on the list that when I examined it did have some pictures I would have called inappropriate (a young girl in non-sexual poses but still a sexual undertone to the pictures), but not child pornography. I chose not to fully examine the site, since it would have cost me money, and my opinion is based only on the material I could see without paying anything.

    Also, a few months ago the police wanted to add The Pirate Bay to the list since there apparently were a few child-porn torrents available. They have not, however, added Google to this child porn list, but they should if they are to follow their own guidelines: the list is to be over sites known to host child porn. Google hosts it's own thumbnails and caches, while TPB hosts only the torrent files, not the files themselves...

  • Re:The checked list (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mi ( 197448 ) <> on Tuesday February 19, 2008 @07:07PM (#22481788) Homepage Journal

    but if you're not making it or buying it then there shouldn't be an issue if you run across it on the web.

    Well, that's a "slippery-slope" of its own... What if those ugly CP-makers are allowing you to watch it for free and use ads to make money?

    No way out of it, the crap just has to become legal to watch — and to produce. Crimes, deemed to be associated with the producing — such as rape (statutory or otherwise) — should remain illegal, of course.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.