QuickLinks - Rating and filtering
QuickLinks - Rating and filtering
Issue no. 338 - 7 May 2005
- Chinese control Internet by sophisticated means
The Chinese government has become increasingly sophisticated at controlling the Internet, taking a multilayered approach that contributes to precision in blocking political dissent. see Internet Filtering in China in 2004-2005: A Country Study (OpenNet Initiative).
- CN - Face to Face With The Great Firewall of China
China, which boasts the world's second largest Internet user base, is currently home to more than 94 million Internet users, yet their Internet is far different from ours. On a recent trip to China, I sought to access common news sites that I found myself face to face with the "Great Firewall of China". Google News would not load into my browser, apparently blocked by a filtering system that employs 30,000 people to regularly monitor Internet traffic and content. Attempts to access news stories on BBC website yielded only error messages. My frustration increased when I attempted to download my own email. The Chinese system was filtering my email messages and cutting off the connection. Search engines were subject to similar restrictions. Searches for articles on circumventing the Chinese filters yielded a long list of results, none of which could be opened. Moreover, inputting politically sensitive words such as the "Falun Gong" cut me off from the search engines completely.
- NL - Rating system introduced for Dutch mobile content
Kijkwijzer, the Dutch labelling system for TV programmes, videos and cinema films has been extended to include content for mobile phones. As soon as a mobile phone user searches for pornographic images or text, a Kijkwijzer icon pops up with a recommended age restriction. For the moment Kijkwijzer only applies to sexually explicit content, but there are plans to extend the application to other types of sensitive material. The Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM) is the organisation behind Kijkwijzer. They signed a contract with mobile operators KPN Mobile, Orange, Telfort, T-Mobile and Vodafone. These five operators introduced the Kijkwijzer system on 1 April.
- UK - Ofcom media labels to warn of content
Media regulator Ofcom is considering an industry-wide classification system to help consumers better understand the suitability of everything from TV shows to online videos and music downloads. Ofcom believes such a classification scheme - similar to that in place in the Netherlands - could help manage the spread of harmful or inappropriate material. However, the plan could not work without the agreement of internet service providers, telecom firms and media groups. The FT reported that the proposal has found favour with the BBC but some commercial broadcasters have claimed labelling could dilute their brands.
Issue no. 337 - 13 April 2005
- BH - Internet Filtering in Bahrain in 2004-2005
The OpenNet Initiative's testing of more than 6,000 sites in Bahrain revealed only eight sites blocked. Three were pornographic; the others covered political and religious topics. In each case, sites with similar content remained accessible, and altering the requested URL slightly made several filtered sites available. Bahrain's legal system includes extensive potential controls of media, telecommunications, and the Internet, and its technical infrastructure has a single primary Internet Service Provider (ISP) and state-mandated Internet exchange point (IXP); this makes filtering relatively easy to implement. Our testing suggests that Bahrain's filtering efforts have eased recently, but the recent arrests of the editors of a Web site, and the blocking of the site, indicate that Bahrain continues to combine technical and legal controls for on-line content.
Issue no. 336 - 3 April 2005
- Internet Filtering in the United Arab Emirates
The OpenNet Initiative has released a study documenting Internet filtering in the United Arab Emirates. ONI tested over 8000 Web sites in the past six months, finding that UAE blocks material viewed as culturally inappropriate or offensive to the state's perception of Islam. The study notes that UAE relies on American software (SmartFilter) to implement its filtering, and points out that UAE's system suffers from considerable overblocking that prevents its citizens from accessing content unrelated to the state's expressed goals.
Issue no. 334 - 13 March 2005
- US - Video Game Ratings System Adds New Category
The video game ratings system will add a new category to protect children under 10 from seeing certain kinds of violence. The Entertainment Software Rating Board that administers the system said 'E10 ' would mark games that might contain 'moderate amounts of cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.' The E10+ rating will reside on the scale between "E," meaning a game is appropriate for all ages, and "T," meaning a game for teenagers. The ratings system also includes "M" ratings for those over 17 and the rarely-used "AO" for adult audiences only.
Issue no. 333 - 2 March 2005
- UK - Surfcontrol integrates Internet Watch Foundation database
IWF member, SurfControl, a provider of Web and email filtering, has strengthened its zero tolerance approach to illegal online content by integrating the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) URL database into its consumer parental control software product CyberPatrol. The IWF URL database contains a list of Web sites that have been assessed by the IWF and confirmed to contain indecent images of children that would be illegal to view in the UK.
Issue no. 332 - 22 February 2005
- DE - Modellversuche für Jugendschutzprogramme mit ICRAdeutschland und jugendschutzprogramm.de zugelassen
Die KJM hat zu zwei Anträgen im Bereich der Jugendschutzprogramme Entscheidungen getroffen. Jugendschutzprogramme sind technische Mittel, bei deren Einsatz es Anbietern erlaubt ist, entwicklungsbeeinträchtigende Angebote im Internet zu verbreiten. Die KJM hat sowohl das System ICRAdeutschland des Konsortiums von Wirtschaftsunternehmen und verbänden als auch das System jugendschutzprogramm.de des Vereins Jus Prog e.V. für einen befristeten Modellversuch für die Dauer von jeweils 18 Monaten zugelassen. Im Rahmen der Modellversuche müssen die Antragsteller Tests hinsichtlich der Funktionsfähigkeit, der Filterleistung, der Handhabbarkeit und der Akzeptanz ihrer Systeme durchführen. Bestandteil jedes Modellversuchs ist eine begleitende und abschließende Evaluation, die in Abstimmung zwischen den Antragstellern und der KJM erfolgt.
Issue no. 331 - 13 February 2005
- UK unfurls ratings system for adult content on mobiles
The long-awaited classification framework for adult content on mobile phones was launched yesterday by the Independent Mobile Classification Body (IMCB), a subsidiary of ICSTIS. The classification has been designed to be 'consistent, as far as is possible' with standards already used in film and game classification. The onus is now on the content providers to classify all the commercial content they supply according to these guidelines. If they do not, they risk breaching the terms of the contract with their mobile operator client, who is then responsible for enforcing the rules.
Issue no. 329 - 23 January 2005
- Finding filters & other software
(Net Family News)
If they've decided to use filtering or monitoring software, busy parents usually want to know yesterday which one to buy. Some very credible sites specialize in picking the best and making your job much easier. GetNetWise.org gets the prize for comprehensiveness, with its database of just about all online-safety tools available. But the best sites for narrowing the choices down are Software4Parents and InternetFilterReview.com. A third, FilterGuide.com, offers a credible 3rd opinion.
Issue no. 325 - 28 November 2004
- Saudi Arabia - Internet Filtering in 2004
ONI tested sites blocked by the Saudi Arabian government's internet filtering system. The most aggressive censorship focused on pornography, drug use, gambling, religious conversion of Muslims, and filtering circumvention tools. In contrast, the low blocking rate of sites on gay and lesbian issues, women's rights, politics, extremist groups, most religions, alcohol, and Israel suggests that the Saudi filtering regime does not target this content.
Issue no. 324 - 21 November 2004
- DE - Bundestag streitet über Web-Sperrungen und Filter
Im Prinzip waren sich bei einer Debatte im Plenum des Bundestags alle einig, dass Sperrungsverfügungen gegen Internet-Provider kein probates Mittel im Kampf gegen Schmutz, Schund sowie andere illegale und jugendgefährdende Inhalte im Netz sein können. Redner der rot-grünen Regierungskoalition betonten unisono mit Vertretern der Opposition, dass vielmehr internationale Absprachen, die Stärkung der Medienkompetenz der Nutzer, Selbstregulierungsmaßnahmen der Wirtschaft sowie von den Nutzern selbst auf ihren Rechnern in Betrieb genommene Filterprogramme gefragt seien. Dennoch stimmten die Abgeordneten von Rot-Grün letztlich gegen den von der FDP eingebrachten Antrag "Schutz vor illegalen und jugendgefährdenden Internetinhalten -- Filtern statt Sperren" (PDF), obwohl er genau diese Forderungen aufstellte.
- VeriSign and AOL To Demonstrate Prototype Of First "Safe Chat Room"
VeriSign and America Online will demonstrate the first "safe chat room" for kids and teens that uses authentication technology to verify a child's age. The companies intend to work together to expand the use of this technology through schools and other youth and family-oriented venues. In addition, VeriSign and AOL plan to work to integrate VeriSign's new two-factor authentication tokens with AOL standards, to enable secure log-in and other security applications in the future for consumers seeking stronger authentication when accessing the Internet and associated services.
Issue no. 323 - 24 October 2004
- EU - QUATRO: The Online Quality Assurance Project Launched
(ICRA Press Release)
A new project is being launched on 1st November under the European Union's Safer Internet Programme to help internet users find what they want, trust what they find, and avoid material they choose not to see. The Quality Assurance and Content Description project (Quatro) brings together 9 organisations from across Europe including labelling schemes, user advocacy groups, academics, technologists and publishers. see also ICRA Labelling working group: Interim Report and W3C Workshop on Metadata for Content Adaptation - ICRA Position paper.
- Legal Implications of Internet Filtering,
A new report, from the OpenNet Initiative - an ongoing research partnership by the Advanced Network Research Group of the University of Cambridge, the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, and the Berkman Center to monitor international Internet censorship - considers the diversity of filtering programs and their impact on international law, communications, and policy.
- UK - Mobile operators classify adult content
The UK mobile phone operators, O2, Orange, TMobile, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and 3, have appointed a body to oversee the self-classification of new forms of adult commercial content on mobiles. The new body, which will be named the Independent Mobile Classification Body (IMCB), is a subsidiary of premium rate regulator ICSTIS, and has been formed for this purpose. It will prepare a framework against which providers of commercial content to mobile subscribers will be able to self-classify new forms of content such as still images and video clips. Commercial content that is classified as 18, in accordance with this framework, will not be made available to customers under the age of 18. The independent body will also be able to investigate complaints about content providers not classifying content in line with the framework. This appointment follows the operators signing up to an industry Code of Practice for new mobile content in January 2004.
Issue no. 322 - 17 October 2004
- DE - Gericht: Altersverifikation mit ueber18.de nicht ausreichend
Nach Ansicht des Landgerichts Krefeld erfüllt das Altersverifikationsystem ueber18.de nicht die gesetzlichen Vorgaben zum Schutz von Jugendlichen vor pornografischen Inhalten. Das Gericht hat die vom Anbieter einer Pornoseite erwirkte einstweilige Verfügung gegen einen Wettbewerber bestätigt, der das Alterskontrollsystem ueber18.de nutzte. Der Konkurrent hat nun bis auf weiteres das Verbreiten von pornografischen Abbildungen im Internet, welche ausschließlich mit ueber18.de gesichert sind, zu unterlassen.
- UK - Panto email falls foul of filth filter
Today, Dick Whittington, thrice mayor of London, stands accused of peddling internet filth. The scandal erupted after emails promoting a Dick Whittington pantomime were deemed inappropriate by primary school computer filters because they contained the word Dick. Helen McDermott, a television presenter from Norwich, who helps to run the Ohyesitiz company, was puzzled when she emailed 30 primary schools in Norfolk offering to perform a panto scene free in assemblies but received only one reply. When she checked with school secretaries, she was told that schools had not received the offer because their filtering system, designed to prevent youngsters seeing offensive material, had blocked the emails because of the pantomime's title.
Issue no. 321 - 10 October 2004
- AU - Family First seeks net gag
A new Australian Conservative political party Family First wants an annual levy of $7 to $10 on all internet users to fund a $45 million mandatory national internet filtering scheme aimed at blocking pornographic and offensive content at server level.
- Norway to Block Child Pornography Sites
Norwegian police and a state-controlled telecommunications group announced a joint project to block access to child pornography Web sites on the Internet. The Telenor ASA group will filter hundreds of sites that the national crime police, Kripos, deem to contain child pornography. Anyone in Norway attempting to access such illegal sites will instead see a page informing them about the filter, and a Web link to Kripos. Telenor said the issue of censorship was not a problem, because if any user objects, the filter will be removed at their request, giving them access to the Web site. Telenor stressed that it would not log nor keep other records of those who attempt to access blocked sites, and that it would only block sites listed by the police.
Issue no. 320 - 25 September 2004
- NO - Norwegische Polizei und Telenor entwickelten Kinderpornofilter
Norwegens größter Internetprovider Telenor sperrt in Zusammenarbeit mit der Kriminalpolizei Kinderpornoseiten. Am Dienstag hat das Unternehmen einen neu entwickelten Filter vorgestellt, der die Benutzer daran hindern soll, auf entsprechende Seiten zuzugreifen.
- Nokia lets parents filter out mobile smut
Nokia has announced plans for new software that will allow customers to have more control over access to mobile content. The company said the product allows mobile service operators to offer control features that are based on subscriber recognition and user information. For instance, parents can indicate service categories to be barred in order to prevent their children from visiting questionable Web sites. The product is likely to be available during the last quarter of this year.
Issue no. 319 - 14 September 2004
- DE - Erfurter Initiative vergibt Siegel für gute Kinder-Internetseiten
Der Erfurter Verein Netcode vergibt am 17. November erstmals bundesweit ein Qualitätssiegel für Internetseiten, die sich an Kinder richten. Anbieter von Internetseiten, die etwa auf Jugendschutzbestimmungen und einen kindgerechten Inhalt achten, könnten sich um das Zertifikat bewerben, teilt Netcode mit. Das Siegel soll Eltern zeigen, welche Seiten für ihre Kinder geeignet sind. Netcode wurde 2002 auf Initiative der Stadt und der Kirchen gegründet, um Kinder vor Gewalt im Internet zu schützen.
- DE - Neuer Streit um Internet-Filter für Schulen
Im Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus fand ein Vorstoß der CDU-Fraktion zum Aufbau eines umfassenden Filterprogramms an Berliner Schulen am heutigen Mittwoch wenig Unterstützung. Vor allem Experten, die von den Grünen geladen worden waren, übten bei einer Anhörung im Ausschuss für Europa- und Bundesangelegenheiten und Medienpolitik heftige Kritik an der "Installierung eines umfassenden Medienschutzprogramms für Kinder und Jugendliche im Land Berlin".
Issue no. 318 - 5 September 2004
- Wireless: Dial-up pornography spurs search for filters
(International Herald Tribune)
Now that cellphones are offering Web access on a par with services offered via personal computers, the mobile phone sector is grappling with the same thorny question faced by Internet providers in the mid-1990s: how to safeguard children while protecting civil liberties. Governments in Japan, Germany, Australia and Taiwan are proposing or passing legislation that requires mobile operators to protect minors from pornographic or violent content on phones and to put controls on cellular chat and dating services. Cellphone operators in Britain have voluntarily adopted a code of conduct and agreed to implement filtering systems by year-end.
- China - Blocking Internet Searches
(Harvard Law School)
Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The OpenNet Initiative has released a new report about Internet censorship in China. While a number of studies have established that China blocks search results about certain political, cultural, and religious subjects (see this report, for example), the new study takes the investigation a step further by looking at China's filtering of the Google cache. Caching - the process of taking snapshots of webpages and archiving the data - is a common practice for search engines like Google. As the report notes, accessing the cache is a 'well known method of ad hoc circumvention of Internet censorship.' ONI researchers from the Citizen Lab, the University of Cambridge, and the Berkman Center found that China's filtering mechanisms interrupt any search specifically targeted at cached data, both Google and non-Google and regardless of domain name.
- DE - FSM hat über Anforderungen an Altersverifikationssysteme entschieden
Der Gemeinsame Ausschuss der Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter FSM hat in einem Beschwerdeverfahren gegen ein Mitglied der FSM über die an Altersverifikationssysteme (AVS) zu stellenden Anforderungen entschieden. Der Anbieter hatte ein rein online-gestütztes Verfahren eingesetzt, bekannt als Personalausweisroutine. Im Ausgangsverfahren hatte der Beschwerdeausschuss bereits entschieden, dass bei derzeitigem Stand der Technik rein online-gestützte AVS, wozu die von dem Beschwerdegegner eingesetzte Personalausweisroutine zählte, nicht den Anforderungen des Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrages (JMStV) an geschlossene Benutzergruppen genügen und daher momentan eine Face-to-Face-Kontrolle für den rechtmäßigen Vertrieb von Erwachsenenangeboten im Internet erforderlich ist. Darüber hinaus müsste ein AVS so beschaffen sein, dass es eine massenhafte Verbreitung der vom Anbieter vergebenen Zugangsdaten verhindert. In dem daraufhin erfolgten Berufungsverfahren bestätigte der vom Berufungsausschuss angerufene Gemeinsame Ausschuss diese Kriterien.
Issue no. 317 - 22 August 2004
- CN - Probing Chinese search engine filtering
ONI conducted a research probe into the practice of search engine filtering in China, with a focus on Baidu.com and Yisou.com, two popular Chinese search engines. Our probe concludes that the Yisou and Baidu search engines are indeed actively filtering keyword search requests and that searches for certain keywords are sometimes obstructed by China's gateway filtering.
- Microsoft wants Web designers to use content tagging
Microsoft is urging Web designers to take more responsibility for content filtering, after forming a partnership with ICRA (the Internet Content Rating Association). The software giant is incorporating support for ICRA's Web site blocker Meta tags into its FrontPage 2003 software. The partnership has been welcomed by child protection agencies, who hope designers will use it to make the Internet a safer place. Microsoft incorwants Web designers to use content tagging. See also Press Release.
- UK - Clarifying the IWF's database
There have been some misunderstandings about how BT is using the database of the Internet Watch Foundation for the company's "Operation Cleanfeed" which blocks access to child abuse images by retail customers of BT Internet service. So it's helpful that the IWF has now published a set of questions and answers about its database, how it is compiled and how it is used.
- Keep Your Kids Safe
Parents need to protect their kids online. For this story, we tested many types of parental-control tools. We reviewed seven traditional Web-filtering apps, which remain the most popular first line of defense in protecting children from accessing inappropriate content on the Web. We also tested ISPs that provide parental controls, as well as some that offer special browsers designed for children. We looked at two wireless routers that include filtering capabilities and other parental controls - an interesting solution if you have a home network. And we tested four monitoring applications; these apps provide the most aggressive approach, letting you view the sites your kids have visited, read their instant-messaging conversations, and review information about the applications they have used.
Issue no. 315 - 18 July 2004
- Internet : un gendarme bordelais débusque les cyber-pédophiles
Un gendarme de la section de recherche de Bordeaux est devenu la bête noire des internautes pédophiles après avoir mis au point, avec une équipe de développeurs privés, deux logiciels, Log-IRC et Log-P2P, pour traquer les diffuseurs d'images pédophiles, qui ont débouché sur 280 interpellations en quelques mois. Le gendarme a aussi mis au point, avec deux autres bénévoles, un logiciel gratuit (www.logprotect.net) permettant d'éviter que les enfants ne communiquent leur adresse sur les forums de discussion, souvent fréquentés par les pédophiles.
- UK - So why does Vodafone filter block Sky News?
Vodafone's new mobile content filtering system, designed to stop children accessing Web nasties with their mobiles, raises more questions than it answers. In January, the major UK operators agreed to implement a content filtering system, with an independent body in place to rate content, by the end of the year. Vodafone has launched its filtering system five months early, presumably hoping to steal a media victory from under the noses of its rivals. Child protection groups have welcomed the Voda's decision to begin content filtering before the December deadline, but early indications are that the operator has bitten off more than it can chew.
Issue no. 314 - 24 June 2004
- GSMA Joins Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA)
The GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association representing more than 630 GSM mobile network operators across 200 countries has joined the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA). ICRA's Board of Directors has also appointed Tom Phillips, Chief Government & Regulatory Affairs Officer of the GSMA as Chair of its Board and Executive Committee. ICRA is an independent, non-profit, organization working with Internet content providers and other members of the industry to develop a filtering and labelling system that can be used by parents around the world to protect their children from potentially harmful material on the Internet. The GSMA's commitment to ICRA reflects its growing focus on the challenges and issues surrounding inappropriate content that can be potentially accessed by, or delivered to mobile devices.
- Internet Content Filtering in India:
India is among a handful of democratic states that has recently implemented some form of nationwide Internet content filtering regulation. In September 2003, the Indian Ministry of Communications & Information Technology ordered Indian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block the Yahoo! Group kynhun. In response, many ISPs blocked access to the entire groups.yahoo.com domain, resulting in the collateral blocking of thousands of newsgroups. More recently, the Mumbai Police Commissioner's Office had ordered ISPs in India to block the website HinduUnity.org because of inflammatory anti-Islamic material contained on the website. Tests by OpenNet Initiative suggest that the ISPs are complying with the order by denying access to the IP address of HinduUnity.org, filtering at least eight other domains, because they share the same IP address. We also tested the groups.yahoo.com domain as well as the specific Yahoo! Group kynhun to test compliance with the previously issued Ministry of Communications blocking order. Of the three ISPs tested, only VSNL - the largest ISP in India - continues to block the Yahoo! Group kynhun.
Issue no. 313 - 13 June 2004
- UK - BT puts block on child porn sites
British Telecom has taken the unprecedented step of blocking all illegal child pornography websites in a crackdown on abuse online. The decision by Britain's largest high-speed internet provider will lead to the first mass censorship of the web attempted in a Western democracy. The move, previously thought to be at the limits of technical possibilities of the internet and prohibitively expensive, was given the personal backing of BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland at a board meeting last month after intense pressure from children's charities. Known as Cleanfeed, the project has been developed in consultation with the Home Office and will go live by the end of the month. Other major players in the internet market, such as Energis and Thus, which owns rival Demon Internet, are said to be preparing to block banned sites. BT trials website blocking technology (Web User News). The trial will prevent BT internet customers from visiting any site blacklisted by the UK's internet industry body. The Internet Watch Foundation's (IWF) blacklist relates to global child sexual abuse websites that have been assessed as ""illegal to view"" in the UK, under the 1978 Child Protection Act. see also Turning a corner in online abuse? (Guardian). As BT takes the unprecedented step of blocking all illegal child pornography websites, John Carr hopes other internet service providers across the world will follow suit. BT's modest plan to clean up the Net (The Register).
Issue no. 311 - 31 May 2004
- Web Content Filtering: Don't Go There
Web filtering is possibly the most controversial category of products we review here at PC magazine. No other topic so quickly suggests thoughts of an Orwellian Big Brother or so starkly divides employees and managers. You may consider blocking and monitoring Web access appropriate for children at home or school, but does it have any place at work? We tested four software products and three appliances that block and monitor access to various categories of Web sites. All the filtering products we looked at use block lists that most of the companies update daily, so expect to pay a high yearly subscription fee (half or more of the up-front cost). Some also use algorithmic techniques to determine whether content falls into a blocked category, but it turns out that plain old block lists are the most effective.
Issue no. 309 - 9 May 2004
- US - Official anti-censorship site blocks content
by Declan McCullagh. The U.S. government concocted a brilliant plan a few years ago: Why not give Internet surfers in China and Iran the ability to bypass their nations' notoriously restrictive blocks on Web sites? Soon afterward, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) invented a way to let people in China and Iran easily route around censorship by using a U.S.-based service to view banned sites such as BBC News, MIT and Amnesty International. But an independent report reveals that the U.S. government also censors what Chinese and Iranian citizens can see online. Technology used by the IBB, which puts out the Voice of America broadcasts, prevents them from visiting Web addresses that include certain verboten keywords. see Unintended Risks and Consequences of Circumvention Technologies: The IBB's Anonymizer Service in Iran (OpenNet Initiative).
Issue no. 307 - 25 April 2004
- Google's chastity belt too tight
by Declan McCullagh. Google's SafeSearch filter technology incorrectly blocks many innocuous Web sites based solely on strings of letters such as 'sex,' 'girls' or 'porn' embedded in their domain names. The indiscriminate nature of the tool is bad news for affected businesses. Google is the most widely used search engine, and failure to appear in its listings can have a direct impact on sales for some companies, particularly smaller enterprises with limited marketing budgets.
- US - ClearPlay To Clean Up Hollywood
People wanting to automatically mute foul language or skip violence in films have a new option - a DVD player from RCA that filters content deemed objectionable. Thomson, which owns the RCA brand, will sell the players in some Wal-Mart and Kmart stores as well as on Wal-Mart's Web site starting this month even as the filtering software they employ faces a legal challenge from Hollywood. The filtering software is from ClearPlay, which had offered it previously for watching DVDs on computers and began talking to RCA last year about a standalone player.
Issue no. 305 - 28 March 2004
- Child safety fears prompt u-turn on mobile phone porn
The mobile phone companies have performed a u-turn over adult content, deciding that products such as gambling and pornography will only be available to customers who have opted in for such services, rather than relying on parents to protect their children. The move is intended to head off any potential criticism of the industry as more phones with cameras, colour screens and internet access find their way into the hands of children. But the fact that customers will now have to express an active interest in accessing gambling and pornography - as well as prove their age - is likely to have a detrimental effect on prospective revenues from these services.
- DE - Urteil: Minderjährigenschutz auf Erotik-Websites soll "effektiv" sein
Um Kinder und Jugendliche vom Besuch von Erotik-Websites abzuhalten, reicht es nach einem Urteil des Oberlandesgerichts (OLG) Düsseldorf nicht aus, vor dem Zugang die Personalausweis- oder Kreditkartennummer abzufragen und die Einwahl über einen kostenpflichtigen Dialer durchzuführen. Das OLG hob damit den Freispruch in einem Strafverfahren des Landgerichts Düsseldorf gegen den Betreiber einer Erotik-Website auf. Angeklagt war er wegen Verbreitung pornographischer Schriften nach § 184 StGB.
Issue no. 304 - 21 March 2004
- US - Zittrain and The OpenNet Initiative Take on Internet Filtering
(Berkman Center for Internet & Society)
The OpenNet Initiative is a project documenting filtering and surveillance practices worldwide. On this project, the Berkman Center is working in partnership with the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, and the Advanced Network Research Group at the Centre for Security in International Society at Cambridge University. Professor Jonathan Zittrain leads the Berkman Center portion of the team.
Issue no. 302 - 15 February 2004
- FR - Porno et violence sur Internet : des mesures pour protéger les enfants
Le gouvernement prend des mesures pour protéger les mineurs contre les sites douteux. Le gouvernement a avancé deux mesures pour protéger les mineurs contre les dérives d'Internet concernant les sites pornographiques ou violents. Un budget de 7,5 millions d'euros a été dégagé à cet effet. Un logiciel de filtrage des sites Internet va être installé dans tous les établissements scolaires, afin d'écarter les moins recommandables, selon le ministre de l'enseignement scolaire, Xavier Darcos. Le logiciel, élaboré spécifiquement pour l'éducation nationale, est déjà opérationnel dans de nombreux collèges et lycées. Une "liste noire" de quelque 400 000 sites douteux a été établie et 150 à 200 nouveaux sites litigieux sont examinés par le logiciel chaque jour. De plus, 400 000 guides pratiques d'utilisation du Réseau à destination des parents et des mineurs vont être diffusés à partir du mois d'avril prochain. Ils seront distribués par Wanadoo, le premier fournisseur d'accès français et mis en encarts dans deux publications jeunesse de Bayard Presse (Je Bouquine et Okapi).
Issue no. 300 - 1 February 2004
- EU - European Commission to benchmark content filtering technologies
The European Commission is to attempt to set up a benchmarking scheme for content filtering technologies used in telecoms operators' networks. Richard Swetenham, head of sector for the EC Safer Internet programme, says his unit plans to fund a benchmarking study into the effectiveness of filtering technologies. Vendors and operators would be invited to enter their systems for comparative testing, in an effort to encourage cooperation across the industry. Delegates at the conference heard the first speakers say that co-regulation, or self-regulation within the law, was still the preferred scheme at the European level for regulating erotic, gaming and gambling services on mobile networks. But differences in national law and regulatory provisions have made it difficult for operators introducing new services to manage public concern about them.
Issue no. 299 - 24 January 2004
- Spam Filters Grab Good With Bad
While vigorous filtering will purge spam from inboxes, it can also act as an unintended censor by suppressing any mention of the typical spam themes - and even references to spam itself - in legitimate personal e-mails.
Issue no. 298 - 18 January 2004
- DE - Selbstkontrolle für Unterhaltungssoftware legt Jahresbilanz vor
Im vergangenen Jahr wurden von der Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) 2286 Titel geprüft. Im Jahr 2002 waren es noch 1210 und im Jahr zuvor 949 Titel. Das teilt die USK heute mit. Seit dem 1. April 2003 gilt das neue Jugendschutzgesetz (JuSchG). Bei 1806 Prüfungen seit dessen Inkrafttreten habe es 16-mal ein Veto des Ständigen Vertreters der Obersten Landesjugendbehörden gegeben, um den Kreis der Sachverständigen in Grenzfällen der Entscheidung zu erweitern. Zweimal wurden Prüfentscheidungen auf Antrag des Anbieters im Berufungsverfahren getroffen.
Issue no. 297 - 11 January 2004
- US - Court ponders Web site-blocking law
A federal judge in Philadelphia will hear a challenge to a controversial state law that has led to more than 1 million innocuous Web sites being accidentally blocked. Although the law is only a Pennsylvania state statute, it has an international reach. When the Pennsylvania attorney general used it to force MCI to ban access to some sites with suspected child pornography, the company said it had no choice but to block those Internet addresses for all of its North American subscribers.
Issue no. 295 - 21 December 2003
- Seth Finkelstein on Censorware, Copyright and Blogs
Seth Finkelstein is Mr Anti-Censorware. The MIT graduate and EFF Pioneer has devoted his talents into unpaid anti-censorware research. For good and bad, as it turns out. Finkelstein has not only spent a great amount of hours fighting censorware, he has also done his best to fight the digital millennium copyright act. If that's not enough to get you started - learn why punditry in blogs is not democracy. Greplaw has picked Finkelstein's brain.
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