Feeds

Tories research increased net censorship

Jihad.com 404

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The activities, alleged activities, and destiny of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) are a constant source of controversy in these parts, so our interest was naturally piqued by a Parliamentary question from the shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones last week.

In a written question, she asked her government counterpart Lord West "why the Internet Watch Foundation's list enables internet service providers to block child sexual abuse images if they are hosted abroad but does not enable them to block websites hosted abroad promoting violent extremism and terrorism."

Hmm. Could it be that the party most likely to form our next government plans to expand the IWF's mandate to blocking websites run by jihadis, animal rights lunatics and other extremists?

Well, according to according to Conservative HQ, maybe. The question was part of ongoing policy research into the IWF, it said. "We're looking at everything," a spokeswoman added, declining to comment further.

Creeping censorship has always been feared by the IWF's critics, who point to its lack of transparency as evidence of sinister intent.

The IWF was set up by the internet industry in 1996 amid fears of regulations being imposed from Westminster. It censors child abuse material by curating a secret blacklist of URLs, fed by reports from the public, law enforcement and international agencies.

The technical implementations of the list can be easily circumvented by determined paedophiles. Several smaller ISPs have declined to filter their customers' connections, arguing that obscuring disturbing corners of the web does not affect the trade in child abuse material. Child protection charities counter that their research indicates merely stumbling across such sites can trigger a descent into perversion.

An "anti-terror" blacklist is likely to prove even more controversial. While most people would rather not even think about paedophilia, fanatical political and moral opinions are relatively common.

So, are the Tories really incubating plans to expand the IWF's remit to terrorism? Technically, it would be simple: Europol, the EU's police cooperation agency, curates a list of Islamic extremist sites under the auspices of a project called Check the Web.

Or are Conservative policy researchers just firing off aimless questions? Only time will tell. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.