Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Censoring the internet

Once again we get the message that the government truly doesn't understand the internet with supposed measures about to be introduced to block pornography unless the subscriber "opts-in". This will supposedly be handled at the ISP level. How exactly?

Chances are the ISPs will simply create a black list of sites and prevent content from them. Except that's exactly what the majority of internet-protection software does anyway. Sure one could argue that the parents don't know how to install or configure them, but that's their problem and one they should fix themselves rather than handing off the problem to someone else.

Oh and of course they don't really work. A black list is dependent on being updated and generally gets larger and larger. Blocking an IP address will block any multiple web addressed pointing to it, but providers will switch to dynamic addresses and so both IP addresses and web addresses will need to be maintained which the providers will simply change or forward.

That doesn't even address anonymisers  whereby traffic is directed to that site then forwarded on to the requester using the covering address.

Even in a business sense the government appears to be contemplating shutting down this entire branch of software production and potentially putting some companies out of business. After all way would anyone need this type of software when the filtering takes place at the provider's end?

Stamp with FAIL.


Orphi said...

Stories like this make me weep.

And then, something occurred to me: Perhaps the government officials behind this idea do know that it absolutely cannot work. They're betting on the idea that the voting public don't understand that this cannot work.

After all, who are you going to vote for? The party that says there's nothing we can do about Internet porn? Or the party that proposes radical new laws to protect us from Internet porn? If your working knowledge of the Internet comes from watching Sandra Bullock in The Net, then this probably sounds totally plausible to you — and something you should definitely vote for!

In which case… I weep. For a different reason this time. :-(