Feeds

Belgium wants in on European web blocklist

When in Bruges, do as the [censored] do

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The secrecy is also seen as problematic. While acknowledging that making block lists public would be to provide a goldmine of potentially illegal material to sex offenders and the inquisitive alike, the current situation offends against natural justice. In the case of our own IWF, not only is the list secret, but website owners will not be told officially when their sites are added to the list.

For the sake of natural justice, the argument continues, some mechanism for independent review of the list needs to be put in place without compromising the overall objective of blocking access to illegal material. The other problem with "secret" lists is that they tend to be leaked – and when they are, any mistakes quickly become ammunition against the entire process.

As far as we are aware, the only major blocklist that has not yet been leaked in full or in part, is the one belonging to our very own IWF.

El Reg has already reported on oddities found in the (leaked) Danish and Romanian blocklists. Although it is outside the EU’s jurisdiction, the Thailand block list is understood to include hundreds of YouTube videos (including Hillary Clinton's campaign videos) as well as blogs, cartoons, Charlie Chaplin videos and an article in the Economist magazine banned for criticising the Thai king.

In the last six months, Vodafone put in place a new filtering service for its Czech customers, which was publicised as blocking access to dangerous content such as "Child pornography and promotion of racism". Unfortunately, the blocklist also appeared to have included links that included a Facebook group dedicated to opposing internet censorship, a business directory and a transportation site.

The blame for this own goal has been laid at the doors of the IWF, who were alleged to have provided the URLs for the blocklist. Still, a spokeswoman for the IWF was adamant in denying any IWF involvement. She said that "the claim that the list in question comes from the IWF is simply not true".

Undoubtedly, 2009 is going to be the year of the internet filter. It is likely that many more governments will go down the route now being proposed in Belgium - and much argument will be needed before a compromise is achieved that succeeds in protecting both vulnerable individuals and internet freedom. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?
EU reckons we've one foot out the door anyway
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
CIA super-spy so sorry spies spied on Senate's torture scrutiny PCs
That thing we swore blind we never did? About that…
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?