QuickLinks - Filtering & blocking
QuickLinks - Filtering & blocking
Filtering & blocking
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Issue no. 412 - 28 November 2010
Blocking access to child abuse material: The INTERPOL "Worst of"-list
At the 2009 INTERPOL General Assembly, member countries voted unanimously to adopt a Resolution (AG-2009-RES-05) to limit the online distribution of child sexual abuse images. The Resolution encourages member countries to promote the use of all the technical tools available, including access blocking of websites containing child sexual abuse images. INTERPOL is tasked with leading this work and providing a list of domains containing the websites that disseminate the most severe child abuse material worldwide. IPSG will work in tandem with international police forces in the construction of this "Worst of"-list of domains.
DE - BKA sieht "Löschen statt Sperren" von Kinderpornos weiter skeptisch
Bei einer Anhörung des Bundestags sprach sich die Mehrzahl der Experten für das schnelle Löschen von Abbildungen sexuellen Missbrauchs an der Quelle aus. Jörg Ziercke, Präsident des Bundeskriminalamts (BKA), zeigte sich jedoch weiter skeptisch angesichts des von der Regierung vereinbarten Ansatzes "Löschen statt Sperren".
Issue no. 411 - 3 October 2010
FR - La justice ordonne aux FAI de bloquer un site de jeux illégal
Le tribunal de grande instance de Paris délègue aux fournisseurs d'accès la responsabilité de bloquer l'accès aux sites de jeux illégaux. C'est un litige autour du site www.stanjames.com qui a motivé cette décision : sans avoir reçu d'agrément de l'Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (Arjel), il propose des paris sportifs, hippiques et des jeux de cercle aux internautes français. Malgré une mise en demeure adressée par l'Autorité le 25 juin, le site continue ses activités. L'Arjel s'est donc tournée vers la justice pour assigner l'hébergeur afin qu'il bloque son accès aux internautes français. Mais il a aussi enjoint Numéricable, Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Telecom, Darty et Auchan, autrement dit tous les acteurs français de l'accès à Internet, de rendre ce site inaccessible à leurs abonnés. Des demandes que le tribunal de grande instance a jugé fondées. Il ordonne donc aux FAI de « prendre toutes les mesures de nature à permettre l'arrêt de l'accès aux services en cause, soit toute mesure de filtrage, [...] par blocage du nom de domaine, de l'adresse IP connue, de l'URL ou par analyse du contenu des messages ».
Issue no. 410 - 6 August 2010
AU - Fractious ISPs may fumble their chance on internet filter
Australian ISPs have an opportunity to see off Labor's mandatory internet censorship laws, but their disunity could let it slip. For three years, the internet lobby has been fighting a losing battle to stop the laws, which would require them to put filters in place that would, in theory, block illegal internet content. Last week, the federal government delayed the legislation and gave ISPs an opportunity to work within a voluntary filtering scheme adopted by Optus, Telstra and Primus. However, the voluntary filter scheme rather has fractured the industry than united it, with two major ISPs, Internode and TPG, refusing to co-operate.
DE - Bundeskriminalamt fordert erneut Sperren von Kinderpornographie
Das Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) ist weiterhin unzufrieden mit den eigenen Möglichkeiten zur Bekämpfung von Kinderpornographie im Web. Einschlägige Seiten "bleiben trotz aller Löschungsbemühungen eine zu lange Zeit abrufbar", zitiert Die Welt aus einer Studie der Wiesbadener Polizeibehörde für das erste Halbjahr 2010. 40 Prozent der Webangebote, die Bilder sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs zeigen, sind demnach eine Woche nach einem Hinweis der deutschen Ermittler noch abrufbar. Bis zum Verschwinden der Webseiten gibt es laut dem Bericht "immense Zugriffszahlen", was zu "einer Störung der öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung" führe. Das BKA plädiert deshalb für das Sperren der Angebote bis zu ihrer Löschung.
ID - Indonesia Finds Banning Pornography Is Difficult
(New York Times)
Indonesia's information minister said that local service providers would have to start blocking online pornography by the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which starts Aug. 11. That deadline is fast approaching but no official decree has been issued, no list of banned sites has been published and no details have surfaced on who will pay for monitoring and screening of Web sites. The minister has, however, threatened the roughly 230 Internet service providers in Indonesia with closure if they fail to block pornographic sites for the country's 40 million Internet users.
IL - Israeli police block overseas gambling websites
Israeli would-be gamblers will be left bereft of a venue after the police ordered Israel's Internet service providers to block access to overseas gambling websites. Gambling is illegal in Israel, explain the police. This is the first time Israeli ISPs have been ordered to block sites. Israel Police representatives visited every Israeli ISP over the past few days to personally deliver the directive. The police handed the providers a list of overseas gambling sites and their IP (Internet protocol) addresses to be blocked. According to the police order, the sites "provide a place for illegal gaming for lotteries or gambling, as defined in Section 224 of the Penal Code."
Issue no. 409 - 6 June 2010
DE - Bundesrat gegen Websperren auf EU-Ebene
Der Bundesrat hat den Vorstoß der EU-Kommission für eine Blockade kinderpornographischer Webseiten kritisiert. Der Vorschlag, Teil eines Entwurfs fÃ¼r eine Richtlinienentwurfs für den Kampf gegen Kindesmissbrauch, setze "mit der Sperrung des Zugangs" zu illegalen Internetangeboten "nicht bei den Ursachen des sexuellen Missbrauchs und der sexuellen Ausbeutung von Kindern an", halten die Länderchefs in einer
PK - Pakistan blocks access to YouTube in internet crackdown
Pakistan has blocked the popular video sharing website YouTube because of its "growing sacrilegious content". Access to the social network Facebook has also been barred as part of a crackdown on websites seen to be hosting un-Islamic content. A Pakistani court ordered Facebook to be blocked because of a page inviting people to draw caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Some Wikipedia pages are also now being restricted, latest reports say.
TH - Thailand censors more websites as protests persist
George Orwell's "1984" had its Big Brother, and Thailand has Ranongrak Suwanchawee. The country's information minister stares down from billboards along Bangkok's expressways, warning that "Bad websites are detrimental to society" and should be reported to a special hot line. The latest crisis in Thailand's past five years of political turmoil has pushed the government into tightening already tough controls over the Internet. The government has declared a state of emergency, barring the media, under threat of a ban or censorship, from disseminating any news that "causes panic, instigates violence or affects stability." Immediately it ordered 36 politically oriented websites blocked.
Issue no. 408 - 25 April 2010
EU - Delete child abuse websites, says German minister
Germany has called for stronger action to combat images of child sex abuse online, saying material should be deleted rather than blocked. Justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said Germany "rejected" the idea of stopping people getting access to images by blocking. Her comments came after the unveiling of European Commission plans to block child sex abuse sites outside Europe. The blocking plan is part of proposed new laws on child exploitation.
Google releases tool to show government censorship request
Google has hit out at state attempts to clamp down on the internet by revealing governments' requests to remove data from the web and get information about users. Tonight it released a
with a map showing country by country where it has had government requests or court orders to remove content from the YouTube video service or its search results, or to provide details about users of its services. See
. see also
Which country leads censorship requests to Google by population - or internet users?
Google's approach to controversial content and free expression: a refresher
Our recent decision to stop censoring search on Google.cn has raised new questions about when we remove content, and how we respond to censorship demands by governments. So we figured it was time for a refresher. Google products - from search and Blogger to YouTube and Google Docs - have been blocked in 25 of the 100 countries where we offer our services. In addition, we regularly receive government requests to restrict or remove content from our properties. When we receive those requests, we examine them to closely to ensure they comply with the law, and if we think they’re overly broad, we attempt to narrow them down. Where possible, we are also transparent with our users about what content we have been required to block or remove so they understand that they may not be getting the full picture.
Issue no. 407 - 28 March 2010
AU - Internet censorship agenda slammed by tech giants
(Sydney Morning Herald)
Australia's biggest technology companies, communications academics and many lobby groups have delivered a withering critique of the government's plans to censor the internet. The government
published most of the 174 submissions
it received relating to improving the transparency and accountability measures of its internet filtering policy. Legislation to force ISPs to implement the policy is expected to be introduced within weeks. The filters will block a blacklist of "refused classification" websites for all Australians on a mandatory basis.
CN - Google stops censoring Chinese results
Google has stopped censoring its internet search results in China and has moved the service to Hong Kong. Reports from the Chinese mainland suggest that results for controversial searches are being blocked by the Chinese government. Google announced in January that after its services were attacked from within China it would no longer comply with Chinese laws demanding that certain results be censored. It now redirects search queries from mainland China to a Hong Kong-based service without censorship. The BBC reported that this has resulted in blocked pages when politically sensitive terms are searched for through that service. See also
Google Faces Fallout as China Reacts to Site Shift
(New York Times).
EU - EDRi sends open letter to Commissioners to oppose Internet blocking
to Commissioners Cecilia Malmström (Home Affairs), Viviane Reding (Justice and Fundamental Rights) and Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) about the re-launch of the Commission proposal for a revised Framework Decision on combating the sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. The Commission made a proposal for the mandatory blocking of websites deemed to contain illegal images of child abuse ("child pornography"). That measure is, as proven by the remarkably poor accompanying "impact assessment", an example of legislation proposed without evidence and without due regard for human rights. As a measure which superficially sounds like a positive move, it is also an attractive option politically, which creates the temptation to legislate based on impulse rather than on evidence, legality and effectiveness.
FR - Les FAI opposés au blocage des sites pédopornographiques
L'Association française des fournisseurs d'accès juge peu efficace la procédure de blocage prévue par La loi d'orientation et de programmation pour la performance de la sécurité intérieure (Loppsi) a été votée par les députés et continue son parcours parlementaire au Sénat, et préfère l'intervention directe auprès des hébergeurs.
NZ - New Zealand filters the 'Net
New Zealand's government-run Internet filtering system is now running, and two ISPs are already using the system. Seven thousand websites are on the list, most dealing with child sexual abuse, bestiality, and other illegal content, as classified by the country's official censors. ISP participation remains voluntary. Currently, Maxnet and Watchdog are confirmed to be using the filter, though other ISPs are said to be interested. The filter uses a BSD Unix-based appliance called WhiteBox from Swedish company Netclean. The government runs the filtering server and maintains the blocklist, which it advertises to ISPs using the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). Because an IP address can host many domains, requests to blocked IP addresses are analyzed by the WhiteBox using deep packet inspection, rather than being blocked outright. If the requests are for non-problematic URLs, they are forwarded on; if they go to a banned site or link, they are blocked, the user's IP address is logged, and a block message appears on the screen.
Issue no. 406 - 21 February 2010
AU - Google and Yahoo raise doubts over planned net filters
Google and Yahoo have joined two Australian organisations calling for a "rethink" of the country's controversial internet filter plans. The Australian government has announced proposals to introduce a mandatory filter which would block all RC (Refused Classification) content. The groups argue that the subjects covered by RC material are too wide-ranging for a blanket ban. They also warn that the filter will not "effectively protect children".
CA - Web Filters Cause Name Change for a Magazine
(New York Times)
In 1920 the Hudson's Bay Company, which owed much of its early fortune to the trade in beaver pelts, began publishing a magazine for its 250th anniversary, The Beaver. This evolved into a respected magazine about Canadian history, and last week Canada's National History Society, the nonprofit group that now publishes it, decided that the Internet required the magazine to undergo a name change. To be more precise, the title was doomed by a vulgar alternative meaning that causes Web filters at schools and junk mail filters in e-mail programs to block access to material containing the magazine's name.
DE - Bundespräsident unterzeichnet Websperren-Gesetz
Bundespräsident Horst Köhler hat das "Gesetz zur Bekämpfung von Kinderpornographie in Kommunikationsnetzen" unterzeichnet. Laut Mitteilung bestanden "keine durchgreifenden verfassungsrechtlichen Bedenken, die ihn an einer Ausfertigung gehindert hätten". Der Bundespräsident gehe davon aus, dass die Bundesregierung entsprechend ihrer Stellungnahme vom 4. Februar 2010 nunmehr "auf der Grundlage des Zugangserschwerungsgesetzes" Kinderpornographie im Internet effektiv und nachhaltig bekämpft. Siehe auch
Justizministerin will Websperren vom Tisch haben
. Das Justizministerium und das Innenressort hatten kürzlich eine
an das Staatsoberhaupt übermitteln lassen, wonach die Regierung "eine Gesetzesinitiative zur Löschung kinderpornographischer Inhalte im Internet beabsichtigt". Bis zum Inkrafttreten dieser Bestimmung werde sich Berlin "auf der Grundlage des Zugangserschwerungsgesetzes ausschließlich und intensiv für die Löschung derartiger Seiten einsetzen", heißt es in dem heise online vorliegenden Papier. Zugangssperren würden nicht vorgenommen, betonen die beiden Ministerien.
DE - New Internet Legislation Embarrasses German Government
A new bill to fight child pornography has been signed into law by Germany's president. There's only one problem: The government has decided it no longer wants it. They are now in the awkward position of relying on opposition help to repeal the legislation. It was supposed to be an initiative to stop child pornography on the Internet. But now the German government finds itself in a uniquely awkward situation after a bill which it no longer wanted was signed into law by the country's president. German President Horst Köhler signed the law after deciding that there were "no significant concerns" regarding the law's compatibility with the German constitution. The Access Impediment Law, as it is known, is aimed at combating child pornography and allows access to offensive Web sites to be blocked. However the German coalition government, which pairs Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives with the business-friendly Free Democratic Party, has decided it no longer wants the law, which was massively opposed by Internet users. Instead of blocking access to Web sites, it now wants to delete offensive Internet content instead.
OSCE asks Turkey to change the laws allowing Internet blocking
OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Media Freedom representative Miklos Haraszti asked the Turkish Government to change their Internet law in order to observe OSCE commitments and other international standards protecting freedom of expression. A survey analyzing Turkey's Internet Law has shown that the Turkish authorities were able to block the access to Internet of about 3700 websites. These sites included foreign websites such as YouTube, Geocities, DailyMotion and Google, blocked by court orders and administrative blocking orders issued by the Telecommunications Communication Presidency (TIB). The study also shows a lack of transparency in relation to the blocking orders issued either by the court or TIB and the fact that TIB has not made public the blocking statistics since May 2009. The OSCE representative considers that some of the reasons for blocking sites are "arbitrary and political, and therefore incompatible with OSCE's freedom of expression commitments."
Issue no. 405 - 24 January 2010
UK - Pupils 'bypassing school internet security'
Many young people are using 'proxy servers' to get round their schools' internet security systems. The free services offer instant access to banned websites, including online games and social networking. Figures suggest the use of proxies has risen sharply in recent years. Security experts are warning that pupils who log on put themselves at risk of cyber crime.
Issue no. 404 - 21 December 2009
AU - Australia mulls mandatory ISP filtering
Mandatory ISP filtering legislation is expected to be introduced in Australia around the middle of 2010, after which there will be a one year period to implement and activate the filtering technology. The Federal Government announced it will introduce amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act, which will by 2011 require all ISPs to block refused classification-rated material hosted on overseas servers.
Issue no. 403 - 24 November 2009
AU - ACS gives conditional thumbs up to internet filtering
The Australian Computer Society has released a report that flags conditional support to ISP-based internet filtering from a technical standpoint, based on a series of boxes that need to be checked before giving the scheme the green light. Six experts from the ACS said that filtering of the internet is plausible, but suggested a number of steps that the Federal Government needs to first address. The computer society pushed for the blacklist to be "transparent." "Transparency and credibility should include an independent oversight, a system of checks and balances that incorporates a system of appeals and an independent auditing process," the report said. Blocking websites was not enough to stop illegal websites from appearing, the report said. The ACS suggested the Federal Government work with the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers (ICANN) and encourage it to reject domain name applications that were likely to contain illegal material.
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