Network Level Content Blocking (UK) for people who cant be bothered to read the article..

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at
Fri Jun 8 12:13:54 UTC 2007

On 8-jun-2007, at 12:01, <michael.dillon at>  
<michael.dillon at> wrote:

> In this case I would suggest that it is in ISPs best interests to get
> involved with network content blocking, so that ISPs collectively  
> become
> deep experts on the subject. We are then in a position to modify these
> activities in a way that is beneficial to ISPs and their customers  
> (who
> happen to be voters too).

Your assumption that blocking parts of the internet is a useful  
activity is flawed. The only positive effect that this has is that it  
protects users from accidentally running into stuff they'd rather not  
come into contact with. But this is much more effeciently and  
effictively done using commercially available filters.

I talked to some people from the Dutch equivalent to http://

This was a very curious experience. What they want to achieve is  
protecting children from abuse. This is of course a laudable goal.  
But they think they can do that by ridding the internet of images  
depicting said abuse. There are pretty strong laws against that in  
the Netherlands*, but this woman thought that wasn't enough: she felt  
it would be good to also outlaw _text_ describing child abuse. This  
is really scary. If these well-intentioned but extremely dangerous  
people get their way, someone can end up in jail for simply writing  
some text.

All the while, children in known dangerous situations go on a waiting  
list before they can be removed from the dangerous (home)  
environment. So apparently, it's more important to go after the  
results of child abuse in the past, and maybe even go after people  
who only fantasize about this stuff, rather than help kids that are  
in danger NOW. But hey, removing kids from abusive homes costs money  
and results in angry parents on the news. Strongarming ISPs into  
taking "voluntary" action on the other hand, is free and only results  
in angry threads on NANOG.

I'm not one to give up my civil liberties without a struggle, but  
protecting kids may be important enough to make it worth giving up a  
few. But is it too much to ask for something that actually works in  

* Not long ago, a man was convicted because he had 10 images of this  
kind on his computer. They were part of a 100000 image porn  
collection. His claim that the 10 images were downloaded accidentally  
wasn't accepted by the judge: he should have been more careful.

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