The UK's ISP Porn Blocking System Lasts An Entire 24 Hours Before Being Bypassed

Posted: Dec 21 2013, 7:46am CST | by , in News

 

 

This porn blocking system that David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, has insisted must be put in place by the ISPs has actually lasted longer than I thought it would. It managed, by my count at least, to last an entire 24 hours. Which is pretty good for a technologically illiterate non-solution to a non-serious problem.

There was of course the usual amusement about attempting to block pornography based on keywords. As has been pointed out certain sites that really shouldn’t have been blocked were:

Porn blocking has claimed its first victims: stopping users from reaching the deep dark parts of the internet like the Lib Dem LGBT website and Guido, among others. TalkTalk and BT are now getting it in the neck for blocking rape crisis centres and gay lifestyle sites.

For those not entirely up to date with England and things English the Lib Dems are actually a part of the coalition that makes up the current government. And Guido is the pre-eminent political blog in the country. That the porn filters are blocking them is a sign that the technology really isn’t very good as yet.
But we can go further: it’s not just that the technology isn’t very good as yet it’s that it’s also entirely possible to route around it:

….a simple Google Chrome extension highlights the futility of trying to censor the Internet’s naughty bits. The extension, dubbed “Go Away Cameron,” simply utilizes a proxy to get around the filters. The creator tells Redditors no logs are retained, and it’s essentially just a variant of the same tool he crafted to dodge Singapore government filters. The filter bypass mirrors similar events in Australia, where a teenager bypassed their $84 million porn filters in all of a few days.

For any enveloped in Cameron’s stultifying censorship that extension can be found here.

This is a good illustration of one of the problems that government (and governance) has these days. Those doing the government and governance don’t really understand the tech world that they’re trying to regulate. Last week it was the Italians trying the “Google Tax” in a manner that could never actually be implemented in the real world, as well as being illegal to boot. Recent months have shown that large numbers of people, up to and including President Obama himself, thought that Healthcare.gov was just a simple website when it fact it was a highly complex task involving the interrogation of multiple (and offsite, to add to the difficulties) databases. And here we’ve the government of a nation insisting on a method of porn filtering that can be bypassed by a script kiddie in an afternoon’s work.

Didn’t anyone tell them that the internet routes itself around censorship?

Source: Forbes

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