IS INTERNET CENSORSHIP TAKES OUT LEGAL WEBSITES?

Orwell's vision of the future

The Internet Watch Foundation allegedly discovered an illegal child pornography site on the WordPress hosting platform and instructed UK IPSs to take it out. The result was that many people, me included, found that access to their website was severely disrupted. WordPress, which hosts 19% of the world’s web traffic, laid the blame squarely at the ISPs. I got in touch with the chief executive of TalkTalk and they are still deciding how to respond. The IWF is a voluntary group, not a part of government, and one wonders just how much the ISPs actually investigate this alleged illegality. The Open Rights Group told me: “Based on reports from the public the IWF compiles a list of sites it believes are potentially illegal and they are passed onto ISPs for blocking. The upshot is overblocking of legal sites out of an excess of caution.”   Big Brother is at it again.

WordPress say: “a number of internet service providers based in the UK are now blocking sites listed by the Internet Watch Foundation. IWF flagged a site hosted on WordPress.com; we took the site down (it was in violation of our TOS), but not before some ISPs blocked it. Unfortunately, the blocking was not done very well and some of our servers were blacklisted, preventing our UK users from being able to fully access their sites. We communicated with the ISPs and IWF, and expect that things should be functioning normally soon.”

Latest: Now it apperars the IWF is denying this and TalkTalk hasnt come up with a definitive statement. Watch this space!

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