UK ISPs v. US ISPs (was RE: Network Level Content Blocking)

Sean Donelan sean at
Sat Jun 9 20:43:31 UTC 2007

On Fri, 8 Jun 2007, 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). And we are in a position to advise government
> on future actions as well. If ISPs choose not to get involved, then they
> are less likely to be listened to by government partly because they have
> less credibility and partly because they simply don't understand the
> issue and therefore fail to communicate effectively.

UK ISP associations have developed a centralized blocking solution with 
IWF providing the decision making of what to filter.  90% of the UK 
broadband users accept the same "voluntary" decisions about what to 

On the other hand, US ISP associations have advocated for decentralized 
blocking solutions, leaving the decision to parents and multiple content 
filtering companies.  US ISP associations have been active in this area
since the early 1990's, although US ISP associations seem to only last so
long before they disappear and a new association springs up.

Is a centralized filtering solution better or worse than a decentralized 
filtering solution?

Schools, libraries, families, etc in the US choose which content filter
product to use, which vary greatly how well they work and what they
choose to filter.  Since its "voluntary," some US families choose not to
have any content filters.  Other US families choose to filter much more
than other families.

Cisco, Juniper, Streamshield, NetNanny, etc sell identical products around 
the world.  If an ISP anywhere in the world wants to offer either a
centralized or decentralized filtering solution, the products are available. 
Likewise, if an individual is concerned about what his or her family sees,
they can use without their ISP, the products are available.

More information about the NANOG mailing list