Network Level Content Blocking (UK)

Leigh Porter leigh.porter at
Thu Jun 7 22:27:50 UTC 2007

Valdis.Kletnieks at wrote:
> On Thu, 07 Jun 2007 22:40:20 +0200, Iljitsch van Beijnum said:
>> Interestingly, nobody has mentioned on the list what the offending  
>> content is yet. Or why this would even remotely be a good idea.
> Quoting the article
> "At present, the government does not propose to require UK ISPs to block
> content and our policy is to pursue a self-regulatory approach wherever
> possible. However, our legislation as drafted provides the flexibility to
> accomodate a change in Government policy should the need ever arise."
> Lot of different ways to read that depending on your paranoia level.  The
> phrase "Slippery Slope" does come to mind, however...

Well indeed, it'll be "terrorist" sites and "Fundamentalist religious" 
sites and "Sites that contain material that may incite religious hatred" 
or some other such nonsense. And then who decides what does and does not 
constitute these sites and *BANG* you have the great firewall of Britain 
or America or wherever.

And since all these things are largely operated by para-government 
organisations and civil servants your vote makes little difference.

But the reality is that right now the four hoursemen are a lovely 
political hot topic and either networks in the UK do somethin g about it 
themselves (i.e. filtering, not matter how ineffective it is) or some 
idiot who can't tell Internet Explorer from Excel will do it for us.

Everybody knows it's really quite dumb, but it's less dumb than the 
dumbness that will be legislated if nothing gets done.

So we'll all have odd boxes that inject a thousand or so routes into BGP 
(nowhere neat that many actually) and filters a bit of port 80 and 
everybody's happy for a while.

Perhaps it'll even go away.

Leigh Porter

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