[uknof] Re: [members] Network Level Content Blocking (UK)

Stephen Wilcox steve at telecomplete.co.uk
Sun Jun 10 06:37:14 UTC 2007

[I have included the nanog list back here, as it was originally cross posted and there seem to now be divergent discussions in progress]

On Sat, Jun 09, 2007 at 10:13:11PM +0100, Vince Hoffman wrote:
> Ian Dickinson wrote:
> > John Ekins wrote:
> >> Some very big sites HAVE been on the list at times. This was clearly an
> >> issue we took into account. Our system coped.
> > 
> > Good for you.
> > 
> >> I can't believe this is news to Pipex. This has been discussed at the
> >> IWF and ISPA. And Pipex is a member of both. It has been discussed over
> >> and over. The fact is small ISPs (like Brightview - 60,000 ADSL) and big
> >> ISPs (BT, Virgin Media (NTL/Telewest) - millions) have implemented this.
> >> They had the same issues and found a way to make it work.
> > 
> > It's not news - I'm merely taking issue with your "zero-cost" stance, which I
> > think is *potentially* misleading.
> > 
> A colleague of mine informed me that receiving the IWF feed requires us
> to be a member, a not totally insignificant cost (about £5k for us,) is
> this correct? If so, combine it with colo, admin and hardware costs and
> its certainly not "zero-cost" for us

I think theres a bit too much focus being given to the implementation side of this problem. The Internet is currently a very cheap industry to set up in, compare to say becoming a telco in the 90s with large licensing fees and huge capex for startup. If the government says the Internet services need to provide X Y and Z at $ cost then so be it.

I think the real issue is the technology and the perception it has. It is being imposed on operators to violate routing strategies and add these /32s which cannot scale, additionally inserting web caches many years after web caches ceased to be defacto with all the issues and reduced service level they come with. And after doing all this we are blocking on a tiny hand managed list, this doesnt even compare to early spam blocking systems and look how ineffectual they were!

The scary part is this is being cited in parliamentary sessions as being the holy grail of child porn fighting. That is the real worry. Yes it is relatively expensive to implement, yes it can only be done through a series of hacks and violations to protocol and no it doesnt provide 1% of real protection or help to push forwards the anti child porn goals.

So why are so many ISPs keen to sign up? Well any number of reasons - PR, political pressure, fear of being branded pro-child porn by the media.

I think we as an industry can do so much better to find solutions to this problem without pandering to the first crazy idea that our PR mad government comes up with.


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