June 07, 2004

Cleanfeed, "Internet Watch Foundation" statement

Continuing my hopes of providing original or uncommon material, I went looking for further information on the proposed "Cleanfeed" British Telecom ISP blacklisting of illegal sites. I found some interesting news on the Internet Watch Foundation pages for: Internet Watch Latest News

BT intends to install the database within their internet services, to protect their retail customers.

This initiative is launched at a time when existing and emerging internet services & technologies are often believed to pose potential risks to internet users, because of the availability of certain types of content online.

Peter Robbins, CEO, IWF:
"We believe that everyone is entitled to an abuse free online environment. Our child abuse image database contains details of websites, which if knowingly accessed by UK consumers could lead to them committing criminal offences under UK law. By preventing access to that content, BT are protecting their services and their customers."

Nobody can be in favor of child pornography. Not in any way, shape, or form. But that being said, the above statement is an "interesting" way of framing the censorship efforts.

Update: Clive Feather has written (to a mailing list), about technical implementation:

As explained to me, the system takes a daily feed of URLs and generates a list of IP/port pairs from it; this list is fed to various routers in BT's network. Traffic to those targets is diverted to a special web proxy which behaves normally except that it fakes 404s for URLs on the list.

This will address the "one page at Geocities" bit, but not the "ten minutes later" bit.

Um, I don't know where in the process the DNS lookups are done, so possibly a change of IP address ten minutes later would be caught; a change of actual URL, though, wouldn't.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware | on June 07, 2004 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage


Another interesting note:

"File sharing programs are outside the IWF remit which is Internet based child pornography. IWF are therefore unable to help directly in this matter."


Posted by: nart at June 8, 2004 06:14 PM