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UK ISPs Are Censoring Wikipedia

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the how-not-to-accomplish-something dept.

Censorship 668

Concerned Wikipedian writes "Starting December 4th, Wikipedia administrators noticed a surge of edits from certain IP addresses. These IPs turned out to be the proxies for the content filters of at least 6 major UK ISPs. After some research by Wikipedians, it appears that the image of the 1970s LP cover art of the Scorpions' 'Virgin Killer' album has been blocked because it was judged to be 'child pornography,' and all other attempts to access Wikimedia foundation sites from these ISPs are being proxied to only a few IP addresses. This is causing many problems for Wikipedia administrators, because much of the UK vandalism now comes from a single IP, which, when blocked, affects potentially hundreds of thousands of anonymous users who intend no harm and are utterly confused as to why they are no longer able to edit. The image was flagged by the the Internet Watch Foundation, which is funded by the EU and the UK government, and has the support of many ISPs and online institutions in the UK. The filter is fairly easy to circumvent simply by viewing the article in some other languages, or by logging in on the secure version of Wikipedia."

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668 comments

It probably is chold pornography (0, Redundant)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019991)

But who cares? Seeing how not pedo probably has that cover and instead wants something more sexual.

Re:It probably is chold pornography (3, Interesting)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020265)

it appears that the image of the 1970s LP cover art of the Scorpions' 'Virgin Killer' album has been blocked because it was judged to be 'child pornography,'

Actually, reading the wikipedia article on Virgin Killer [wikipedia.org] , it seems that it is bonafide child pornography. Or, regardless of your definition of "pornography", there's a naked, under-age* girl on the cover.


*Not all countries have the same under-age pornography laws

Re:It probably is chold pornography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020315)

I agree. It is child porn. This cover is disgusting. And the Scorpions have been one of my favorite bands since the 70s.

Re:It probably is chold pornography (5, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020425)

"Or, regardless of your definition of "pornography", there's a naked, under-age* girl on the cover."

Well, are pictures of kids in non-sexual settings child porn? Plenty of parents still take pics of their kids in the tub...etc.

Now...granted...this album cover, well, could be taken as a bit more suggestive that those type of pics, but, she is not in any sexual situation, so is it child porn? Or, these days, does any nude picture of someone under (age in you area) constitute child porn?

At any rate..I'm guessing they will have a problem with:

Houses of the Holy [wikipedia.org] with the kids climbing up the rocks

And Blind Faith [wikipedia.org] 's album.

Sigh...are we going backwards or what? These albums have been out forever, and are classic....why are people having such a fit now?

Then again....on the classic rock station the other day...I was shocked to hear them censor Pink Floyd's "Money", The Who's "Who Are You", Steve Miller Band "Jet Airliner"....and a couple of others. These songs have been played since I was a kid....why are they censoring them NOW?!?!?

OH well...time for juice and coffee....and You kids get off my lawn!!

Um, it's not pornography (5, Insightful)

coder111 (912060) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020479)

It's erotica. Porn = explicit SEX, or naked people in a way designed to arouse you sexually. Erotica= just naked people, can be art.

That picture is more art than porn, even though it has an underage naked girl in it.

--Coder

Re:Um, it's not pornography (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020511)

Nice weasel wording, perv.

That's OK. (1)

spaceturtle (687994) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020011)

Turns out Wikipedia got to censor edits from the UK ISPs as well. ;)

Re:That's OK. (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020051)

To the administrators of Wikipedia:

Play hardball. Block those 6 IPs from any access whatsoever, explain why, stick to your guns.

The worst thing that will happen is, people in the UK will become stupider, while those who are not participating in this censorship will be advantaged, so your enemies will diminish themselves by their own hand and your friends will become more powerful allies by virtue of the gift you have given them.

Re:That's OK. (5, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020133)

Totally agree. I'm on one of these ISPs, and I'm appalled by this censorship. I'd like to take it a step further though. Organise a DNSRBL along the lines of SpamHaus that contains a list of IPs on ISPs that perform censorship. Redirect any port 80 requests from people in that IP range to a page explaining that, their ISP is only allowing them access to some arbitrary subest of the Internet, rather than the whole Internet, they are now allowed to view your page. Make it easy for other organisations to use. When you have a choice between Virgin Media at £25/month for a small subset of the Internet, or a small ISP at £30/month but with access to Wikipedia and all of the other sites that value freedom then it's not such an easy choice as when price is the only issue.

Profit making sites probably can't afford to join in (unless they have a left-leaning demographic and use 'we oppose censorship' as a marketing gimmick), but there are lots of non-commercial sites on the 'net that would.

Re:That's OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020205)

Good to see BeThere not on the list of funding ISPs, just as it was good to see them not associated with Phorm.

Re:That's OK. (4, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020213)

What? So it's really a service called virgin media which block virgin media? That sucks :/

Good idea.

Re:That's OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020259)

I'm just waiting till someone starts a DDOS attack on these IPs. This is how simple you can get a whole nation off-line.

Re:That's OK. (5, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020279)

I predicted it! Just yesterday I said it's only a matter of time until wikipedia get filtered by the Australian. Well I was off by about 10,000 miles but I was right that SOME government would eventually filter wikipedia & suppress freedom of knowledge.

And I agree with the parent poster. If the UK Government is going to stupidly censor the internet, then block the whole damn country until the UK citizens rise-up and demand "freedom" and "liberty" from their Parliamentarian Oligarchs.

BTW here's the picture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Virgin_Killer.jpg [wikipedia.org]

Wow. It's a naked girl. Contrary to being insulted, I think it's beautiful. The naked human body is a testament to the Creator's majesty and perfection, not a sin, and I see no reason why we should cover-up a naked human anymore than we cover-up a naked deer or naked bear or naked seal. There is *nothing* shameful here. "Because God created it, the human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve intact its splendor and its beauty." - Pope John Paul II.

Re:That's OK. (5, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020345)

The naked human body is a testament to the Creator's majesty and perfection, not a sin, and I see no reason why we should cover-up a naked human anymore than we cover-up a naked deer or naked bear or naked seal.

You forgot naked beaver.

-

Re:That's OK. (4, Funny)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020419)

I have beavers in my backyard.

They are completely naked and despite the protests of my Bible-thumping neighbors, the beavers are welcome to remain on my property & be as naked as a jaybird if that's what they desire.

Re:That's OK. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020527)

"Because God created it, the human body can remain nude and uncovered and preserve intact its splendor and its beauty." - Pope John Paul II

Considering God's reaction to discovering that Adam and Eve had eaten from the tree of knowledge and had become embarrassed at being naked, I'd even argue that if we want to be closer to God we shouldn't be wearing anything anyway.

Great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020493)

The British are being slowly strangled by increasing government surveillance and interference. The Brits seem oblivious to the changes that are occurring around them. If you slowly increase the water temperature you can boil a frog alive without it noticing until it passes out. That is Britain. Large scale reactions like cutting off Wikipedia are the only way the British will wake up before it is too late.

Re:That's OK. (4, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020191)

Worked just fine for me (BBB, Sweden), so now I've found out they had a small nude girl on their cover and have spread the URL. Also it made me kind of naughty feeling and penis-tingeling ....

Streisand-effect indeed.

What does Virgin say? (2, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020247)

If the album's name is "Virgin Killer", I think Virgin [virgin.com] should take a stand on this.

Re:What does Virgin say? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020459)

virgin media [virgin.com] is one of blocking ISPs - i think their stand on this is pretty clear...

bleh... (1)

lw0x15 (1421129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020015)

my isp is filtering it :]

Get a refund (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020097)

my isp is filtering it :]

Then you should ask for a refund. They are not providing the internet to you (as I assume they advertised), so you deserve a full refund.

Of course, good luck finding a better ISP :)

Re:bleh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020141)

Try this [wikipedia.org] , this [wikipedia.org] or this [wikimedia.org] .

Re:bleh... (1)

Zwicky (702757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020281)

It seems they're blocking the image page itself not the article containing it. From the above links the secure.wikipedia.org link works, the others block access ("connection interrupted").

Re:bleh... (1)

Zwicky (702757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020355)

Sorry to reply to myself here, but having read some of the other comments it would appear that some ISPs are blocking the Virgin Killer [wikipedia.org] page itself whereas others - as silly as it may seem - are blocking only the image [wikipedia.org] page [PlusNet].

Re:bleh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020409)

Try this [wikipedia.org] for the image page or this [wikimedia.org] for the image itself.

Re:bleh... (1)

Zwicky (702757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020547)

FYI: First link fails (I mentioned this in my second post). Second link is fine.

I don't care about the image itself any more than any other Slashdotter, I don't consider it to be child pornography and I certainly don't get excited by it. But I am annoyed at the censorship, as poorly implemented as it is.

I'm examining UKFSN [ukfsn.org] as a switch target as we speak (thanks to Pentagram's [slashdot.org] recommendation).

Re:bleh... (1)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020303)

Great link, the third one, I didn't know there was https access to Wikipedia. The second link also displays fine.

Links (5, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020017)

Facebook group against this [facebook.com]
Pledgebank ISP boycott [pledgebank.com]
Wikinews story [wikinews.org]

The technical press are swarming. Dunno if the national press are too as yet.

The IWF apparently sought the advice of police before blocking. Now, the police in the UK are notorious for trying it on with censorship cases, so that doesn't mean the image is illegal.

The album was released in 1976; child porn was illegalised in the UK in 1978. If the album was distributed in the UK since 1978 with that cover, it's probably legal.

The album cover has been reprinted in many books. Most of those books are in the Briitsh Library. Are those now obscene?

Question for all: Has this precise image ever come to court? In the UK, in the world?

The IWF had it pointed out that they were censoring encyclopedia text, which was clearly not illegal. The IWF responded that they needed to block the page to block the image effectively. This is of course utterly ludicrous bollocks, but apparently that's the advice the IWF have received.

They were also asked if they'd be censoring Amazon as well. They said they'd have to get back on that one.

It's the clbuttic error [today.com] , but this time on a top-10 site for everyone.

Disclaimer: I do press for Wikipedia/Wikimedia in the UK as a volunteer (and I've been on my email and phone all last night to about 2am and today since 9am). However, I am not a WMF employee and cannot legally claim to speak for them, only as a volunteer editor.

Re:Links (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020173)

According to an article by German computer magazine c't, the image itself has not been blocked, only the article referencing it.
The article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Killer [wikipedia.org]
The image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Virgin_Killer.jpg [wikipedia.org]

Google knows this image as well: http://images.google.de/images?q=virgin%20killer [google.de]

Not only is this another example of blocking the wrong thing, it is also an example of the Streisand effect in action. Who here knew about this image before ISPs tried to block it?

This incident demonstrates that individual URLs, even on very high-traffic sites, can technically be censored with devices which are already installed at UK ISPs. This should prompt more web server operators to enable SSL for all content (but it won't).

Re:Links (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020237)

You can get to it via the https connection to Wikipedia.

Re:Links (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020551)

According to an article by German computer magazine c't, the image itself has not been blocked, only the article referencing it.

I'm on Virgin Media, and can confirm that both of the URLs you give (for image and article) have been blocked (return a "page not found" error).

Re:Links (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020263)

Oh, and Blind Faith by Blind Faith and Houses of the Holy, also depicting nude underage persons, are still readily available in any high street CD store in the UK.

It is clearly false that all images of an unclothed person under the age of consent (16 in the UK) is automatically child porn and illegal. However, that's the rule the IWF works to.

Like DRM, if anyone works out there's an IWF and how it works, then they've already lost. They're tolerated precisely as long as they target only clearly illegal material. Here, they're expanding their remit.

Re:Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020305)

I just took a look at the image myself and I was disgusted. It is child porn because of the pose she is making. It should be blurred out or removed. No child should ever be asked to make a pose like that. They should not even be allowed to question why someone would be interested in a pose like that. Children should be allowed to have their childhood, and things like this...images like this rob them of it.

Re:Links (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020349)

Hey, kiddie peddler, the only reason you were "disgusted with it" was because you found it erotic and hated yourself for it. I see nothing erotic about that picture. It does not elicit any sexual excitement from me. It is art. That's it. The child in question was probably robbed of nothing. Nice try, douche bag.

Re:Links (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020389)

Nudity does not mean pornography. I find nothing erotic about the pose. It's... just a pose. That's what people do when they're having their pictures taken. They pose. Would you consider Maxim magazine pornographic then? While those women are naked, they are scantily clad and pose and more erotic ways than this girl.

Re:Links (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020491)

I just took a look at the image myself

Most likely because of this action a lot of people have gone looking for this image who would otherwise not have done so.

Re:Press coverage (1)

AlisonW (1391799) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020309)

FYI I took a call from a reporter filing a story on this with the Guardian early this morning. The issue here isn't just that the image was blocked but that the text was too. Indeed, if only the image had been blocked it is likely the massive collateral damage the ISPs blocking has caused would not have developed.

Re:Press coverage (1)

grahammm (9083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020463)

FYI I took a call from a reporter filing a story on this with the Guardian early this morning. The issue here isn't just that the image was blocked but that the text was too. Indeed, if only the image had been blocked it is likely the massive collateral damage the ISPs blocking has caused would not have developed.

What seems to have caused the damage is not the actual blocking (whether of just image or text as well) but the way that the blocking is implemented. If the ISPs had just blocked the URL(s) without making it seem as if all requests to Wikipedia from their customers all came from the same IP address, then it would not have caused all these problems and would probably have gone relatively unnoticed. They should either (using deep packet filtering) not altered the source IP of the requests or (preferably) used X-Forwarded-For and Via headers so that Wikipedia would know both that the connection came from a proxy and also the true originating address.

Re:Links (1)

HardwarePeteUK (850316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020391)

Interestingly, Virgin Media (well, the part that used to be NTL) simplifies this for themselves by hijacking DNS requests; by which I mean it doesn't matter what you set your DNS to (such as OpenDNS) - all DNS requests go to the ISP DNS servers.

I ran into this a few years back when I was using NTL, which I now do not.

Re:Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020531)

The album cover has been reprinted in many books. Most of those books are in the Briitsh Library. Are those now obscene?

What a redundant question, of course they are and therefore they will be burned in a public book-burning (coming to a street near You soon).

Re:Links (1, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020565)

Obscene ( and other ) materials don't get grandfathered in when the laws are changed.

If they 'move the bar' then existing materials may just become illegal. ( not saying that is the case here, but just because it was distributed in the past doesn't mean it can now )

Confirmed, Be There ISP is blocking access (1)

coder111 (912060) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020027)

When I try to load the wikipedia page for "virgin killer" album, I get "404 not found", "Not Found - The requested URL en.wikipedia.org was not found on this server."

I think this is coming from some proxy server. The page loads just fine from Google cache, images included.

--Coder

Re:Confirmed, Be There ISP is blocking access (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020115)

I could see it... I am not being filtered. Frankly, I don't see child porn... I can see where some might think so, however. For something to be porn, it has to inspire me to touch myself... this does not. A female has to have that shape of a woman which this child does not. And of course the "naughty bit" must be showing. It's not. But I suppose people who actually like that sort of thing would find alternative sources of access to this art. Close one door and there will be hundreds more available.

Re:Confirmed, Be There ISP is blocking access (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020339)

I don't know about the UK, but in the U.S. the Supreme Court has defined porn as including sex.

This Virgin Killer album is not sex, therefore not porn. It's just "simple nudity" and protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Re:Confirmed, Be There ISP is blocking access (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020347)

For something to be porn, it has to inspire me

Kinda makes one wonder exactly what kind of creeps populate organizations like IWF.Then again, I guess the job of reviewing such pictures would tend to attract a certain kind of people.

Confirmed on Orange (1)

Looce (1062620) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020155)

Confirming the block on the Orange network.

The contents of the cited Wikipedia page are "Object not found". HTTPS fails to connect at all.

Affected (1)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020033)

Heh.. I am behind the filter. Check here [wikipedia.org] to see if you are. Damn Virgin Media..

Re:Affected (3, Interesting)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020067)

BTW, the offending image is viewable in Amazon [images-amazon.com] .

Re:Affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020137)

On Sky, the article is not filtered but the direct link to the image [wikipedia.org] is, producing a fake 404 error that looks nothing like Wikimedia's normal 404 page.

Re:Affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020299)

Same here. Probably crap attempt at filtering by Sky :)

Re:Affected (1)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020319)

I just get a blank page, at Virgin they didn't bother to fake a 404 error.

Re:Affected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020397)

If you are blocked, go here [wikipedia.org] to see it anyway.

no problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020035)

Wikipedia should simply redirect those proxy ip's to a page explaining the situation and encourage the users to contact their ISP to solve the problem.

ONE controversial piece of content has caused this (5, Insightful)

Luke has no name (1423139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020047)

Congratulations on trying to shape Internet access. Just imagine if something actually IMPORTANT came along the UK didn't want you to see!

Wikimedia Bugzilla Commentary (2, Informative)

fibrewire (1132953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020075)

an exerpt... "This explains a lot if true; we seem to have multiple providers all simultaneously setting up a transparent proxy on Wikimedia, and only Wikimedia. In a way I hope it's not true because it means a media shitstorm, but... meh. Someone ought to contact, er, whoever the relevant authorities are."

Re:Wikimedia Bugzilla Commentary (1)

legirons (809082) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020283)

"Someone ought to contact, er, whoever the relevant authorities are."

Neatly highlighting the problem - who decides? In this case it seems to have been either a private campaign group, or the police, neither of which are usually credited with judicial powers.

Sigh (5, Insightful)

nicnab (1000987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020077)

I'm so glad. This is clearly a step that will relieve many children from suffering. I think we should stop talking about child abuse now and move on to the next big problem. Let's now censor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism [wikipedia.org] and thus end and finally win the war on terror. It's about time because I can't stand hearing the phrase anymore.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020393)

Right, lets shove our heads in the sand further. Because of course, if we don't talk about it, it doesn't exist. Just because you don't speak of something does not make it go away. You have to talk about it, work on the problem, and figure a solution for that. Censorship is NOT the solution.

I think that by modern law, they are in the right (0)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020081)

Looking at the picture in question, I have little doubt that it would be considered child porn under the modern laws of at least US and UK, and possibly most European countries. So, if the UK indeed have laws that require ISPs to censor child porn, then they would have to censor this particular image.

Whether the pic actually should fall in this category, and whether the category is even meaningful, is another matter.

Re:I think that by modern law, they are in the rig (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020171)

If you read the article, you will find that the depicted girl had no problem with the image, when asked 15 years after publication. And by the way, I disagree that this should be classified as child porn. It's not porn. It's nudity. This is akin to Berlusconi ordering to repaint a 300-year old painting [reuters.com] because it depicted a naked breast and happened to be hanging in his office.

Re:I think that by modern law, they are in the rig (5, Interesting)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020255)

I know that the girl didn't mind. It doesn't matter these days - remember, these days, we (the society) convict children for producing and distributing child porn when they make and share nude pictures of themselves!

To remind: I'm not saying that the censors are morally right here. I'm saying that they are legally right. Singling this one case of stupidity is good, but we should really point out the root of the problem, which is the laws on the books. We should fix those, rather then fighting the symptoms.

Re:I think that by modern law, they are in the rig (0)

pbhj (607776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020381)

And by the way, I disagree that this should be classified as child porn.

If somebody, anybody, finds it sexually stimulating then it can be pornography. You may not find penthouse centrefolds to be stimulating but that doesn't stop them from being pornography.

I'd say the primary test is the intention of the creator - is it intended to stimulate. A secondary test, as I've intimated, is if a viewer finds it sexually stimulating. This image is likely to pass on both tests and does show a child.

Yes this means an underwear magazine could be called pornographic.

If they'd only cast the image in marble I'm sure it would have been fine ...

Re:I think that by modern law, they are in the rig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020271)

As has been suggested on the register - should these pages now be blocked:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevermind
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_Faith_(album)

for having pictures of naked children.

My God ! What about:

http://www.abcgallery.com/T/titian/titian4.html

While the picture in question on the Scorpions album cover might be in poor taste 30 years after the event it is NOT porn, it is nudity.

I've viewed the image (like many other Brits no doubt) and I'd never have seen it had it not been 'censored' ! Nice one ISPs - you've unwittingly caused it to be viewed many more times than had it not made it to the press.

How much other stuff are they not allowing me to see :|

Re:I think that by modern law, they are in the rig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020325)

"Looking at the picture in question,"

I haven't looked. But that demonstrates part of the problem. If this action is upheld you wouldn't have had the ability to become informed, and before forming your opinion on the matter you'd know as much as I do (i.e. nothing). They intend to take away an option you've already exercised. How do you feel about that?

All you did was try to make up your own mind.

Re:I think that by modern law, they are in the rig (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020421)

How do you feel about that?

It sucks. I never said anything to the contrary.

Re:I think that by modern law, they are in the rig (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020369)

>>>would be considered child porn under the modern laws of at least US and UK, and possibly most European countries

FALSE. In the United States there are tons of books for sale, and nudist sites online, which contain naked images of children. The SCOTUS does not considered porn until there is sex, and simple nudity is protected by the First Amendment.

Re:I think that by modern law, they are in the rig (2, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020507)

Looking at the picture in question, I have little doubt that it would be considered child porn under the modern laws of at least US and UK, and possibly most European countries.

You neglect to add that most advertisements for childrens suncream would also be considered child porn, as would half the contents for a family pictures album.

This has gone too far! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020091)

No cause justifies censorship!
Leave Wikipedia alone!

I personally believe Wikipedia worth 10000 child.

I really despise... (1)

JackassJedi (1263412) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020121)

..people taking law enforcement into their own hands. Because "the internet is free to roam", or what is the premise here? ISPs still have too much power. It sort of plays into the net neutrality issue for me.

It reminds me of how some trolls who were constantly trolling me on IRC recently, when asked about their behaviour, replied to me "well, it's the internet!" (i.e. "deal with it"). This is not much better. I'd treat these ISPs as trolls, block them from my servers altogether, and that's that (that is, until I get a proper C&D court order).

A case of virality over a lack of virility? (5, Interesting)

Virtualetters (980728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020159)

I read about the cover in a Cracked magazine list of the worst album covers ever. The image, or a censored version of it, appears in the article there. At any rate, within 5 minutes I had found my way over to Wikinews (on a completely different surfing tangent) and discovered the UK censorship story. Now curious, I headed over to Mininova to find that, sure enough, Scorpions torrents were suddenly hot stuff (lots of new torrents, tons of activity on older torrents). I'm not sure how this will reflect on album sales but it may just be that the stupid idea of putting a naked little girl on the cover has worked out to be a pretty damn good way of selling albums...even if it took over 20 years to start working.

Let's have a closer look (3, Informative)

tmk (712144) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020177)

I have tested a proxy from UK. The article [wikipedia.org] returned an empty page, but the image [wikipedia.org] could be accessed directly without any problem. Other report problems with the image and the article, costumers of one provider get an actual error message with an explanation why a page was blocked.

UK users, please tell us what you can see.

Re:Let's have a closer look (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020351)

Virgin Media user - they just drop the connection so it looks like the website you're connecting to has some sort of problem.

Absolutely despicable - I'm less bothered about the censorship aspect than I am about the "breaking the Internet" aspect. If they're going to go dropping random connections because they don't like what may be transmitted in the packet, how on Earth am I meant to reliably troubleshoot any internet issues?

Re:Let's have a closer look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020467)

...costumers of one provider get an actual error message with an explanation why a page was blocked.

I hate how they always pick on the costumers [costumes.org] ;)

UK users, please tell us what you can see.

I see the Virgin Killer [wikipedia.org] page just fine, complete with album cover art. I don't see what all the fuss is about really, the girl is posed slightly lasciviously, but I don't find it that offensive, nor do I think I'm in any danger of magically turning into a paedophile having seen it.
*shrug*

Here we go again :( (4, Insightful)

muffen (321442) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020179)

It's on the register at least [theregister.co.uk]
I do hope it hits mainstream media like the BBC, checked it just now but no mention of it.

Makes me remember the quote that was posted in this [slashdot.org] thread:
"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation" - quote from Mein Kampf.....

Seriously though, do they actually believe that pedophiles are sitting and watching that one image on wikipedia?
...which by the way, you can find quite easily if you just make a search on google [google.com] . Yet another example of something dumb that affects people who have nothing to do with child pornography, and does absolutely nothing for people that are interested in it.

Re:Here we go again :( (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020433)

...which by the way, you can find quite easily if you just make a search on google [google.com] .

I'm pretty sure a Google search can lead to umpteen pages that when viewed cause the observer to break UK laws (and that probably holds true for most developed nations).

Such an observation has no bearing on the legality of anything, nor should it.

It's not only this single article (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020193)

It's not just about this single article. Since there are only a few proxies guess what happens when I just tried to create an account on English Wikipedia:

Visitors to Wikipedia using your IP address have created 6 accounts in the last 24 hours, which is the maximum allowed in this time period. As a result, visitors using this IP address cannot create any more accounts at the moment.

I couldn't also use password recovery function for my old account because:

Your IP address is blocked from editing, and so is not allowed to use the password recovery function to prevent abuse.

THIS is serious.

Re:It's not only this single article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020523)

If you're affected and cannot edit or create an account for yourself, Wikipedia can make an account for you [toolserver.org] .

Angry Be Customer (4, Insightful)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020215)

I've already complained from their contacts page [bethere.co.uk] . Now I am wondering which ISP to move to. Obviously anyone with Phorm is right out (BT, for instance), as is anyone with a strict download cap. Any suggestions?

Like everyone else here, it's not that I want to look at child porn, but rather that I object on principle to censorship. I didn't realise I was helping to fund this sort of thing [iwf.org.uk] with my broadband subscription

Extreme example I know, but today it's "criminally obscene content" and "incitement to racial hatred", and tomorrow it's the British equivalents of "Tianamen Square" and "Democracy". If I have a choice, I'm not funding that.

Re:Angry Be Customer (3, Informative)

Pentagram (40862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020327)

Now I am wondering which ISP to move to. Obviously anyone with Phorm is right out (BT, for instance), as is anyone with a strict download cap. Any suggestions?

How strict is strict?

I've found the UK Free Software Network, UKFSN [ukfsn.org] , to be pretty good provided you can mostly sort your own techy problems out. Plus they're specifically anti-Phorm and all profits go towards funding Free Software, if you like that sort of thing.

Re:Angry Be Customer (2, Informative)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020405)

Update, a reply from Be. (I complained about this several hours ago.)

Dear FourthAge, Thank you for contacting us and please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused. We expect an official statement on this case to be published as soon as possible. In the mean time we would appreciate your patience. Best regards, The Be* Team

Re:Angry Be Customer (1)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020541)

I'd mod you informative, but I'd rather reply.

I'm with Be as well and I found out thanks to this article that they are one of the ones filtering / censoring. They will lose me as a customer as well. It's a damn shame as they are pretty good otherwise.

I'll be looking for an ISP that has both IPv6 support and doesn't filter. I have a feeling my money will be going to a small ISP, and I'm happy with that. SixXS has a page with 5 ISPs that support IPv6 [sixxs.net] , and I'm going to find out if they offer connectivity in my area.

Please post again here if you find a decent alternative.

Re:Angry Be Customer (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020449)

Like everyone else here [...] I object on principle to censorship.

I'm not that bothered.

Just saying.

OK (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020223)

Simply routes around it. This is what everybody does in China.

Not pornography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020227)

The term pornography was intended to refer to photography which contains sex. This album cover does not depict that so therefore it should not be considered pornography.

Child Nudity is Prohibited in the UK and Ireland (4, Informative)

Brian Ribbon (986353) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020235)

Under UK law, an image of a naked child is usually considered child pornography; context is irrelevant. Garda (the Irish police) reported that, between 2000-2004, 44% of "child pornography" cases in Ireland involved images which depicted no sexual activity whatsoever*. Child pornography laws in Ireland are very similar to those of the UK.

In a strict legal sense, this censorship is justified; the problem is the law itself, which should not define nudity as "pornography". The frequently used term "child abuse images" is used to invoke strong emotions and discredit those who disagree with the current laws. Don't forget that if the IWF fail to maintain outrage over child pornography, they'll lose their funding.

I have written a detailed summary of UK child pornography laws, here [newgon.com]

* The content of indecent images [attractedtochildren.org]

Re:Child Nudity is Prohibited in the UK and Irelan (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020519)

Um, what about cherubs, being most definitely representations of child-like angels (some even show genitalia) ? If I photograph a cherub in the UK, say from a painting or a sculpture, would that also qualify me?

Re:Child Nudity is Prohibited in the UK and Irelan (1)

neonux (1000992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020563)

So that means this [wikipedia.org] famous historic Pullitzer-winning photograph is illegal in the UK ?

This law is f$#@ ridiculous...

 

The solution is simple... (3, Informative)

Kindaian (577374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020243)

They are a registered charity in UK. SO, it only need UK citizens to make the move to have that status removed! As a charity they are entitled to several TONS of fiscal advantages... That you pay with your taxes. If there is anything I'm against is ANY kind of censorship... And filtering content is just a camouflaged way to do it. ;) p.s.- This message is protected by free speech and free opinion laws. Also the opinions are mine and mine alone and don't carry anything more then my opinions and facts that are of public knowledge. All judicial complains about this post have to be settled in an arbitration court in Lisbon/Portugal.

If this is content-based... (3, Informative)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020287)

... and not IP/domain based, can you guys in the UK use this HTTPS page?

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Main_Page [wikimedia.org]

You can also substitute "wikipedia" in the above URL for Wikimedia Foundation's other projects to access them using SSL. e.g. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikisource/en/wiki/Main_Page [wikimedia.org] for Wikisource. To use them in other languages, simple replace "en" with another language code (e.g. "de" or "ja").

Re:If this is content-based... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020471)

yes, this is possibly the worst "block" ever. even <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Virgin_Killer">this</a> works. A simple greasemonkeys script can easily get round it too

something like...

// @include        http:*wikipedia.org*
// @include        https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/*

var allLinks, thisLink, change;
var banned = [];
banned = ["action=edit","Virgin_Killer"];

allLinks = document.evaluate('//a[@href]',document,null,XPathResult.UNORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE, null);

if (window.location.host.match("wikipedia.org")) {
    for (var i = 0; i < allLinks.snapshotLength; i++) {
        thisLink = allLinks.snapshotItem(i);
        change = false
        for (var j = 0; j < banned.length ; j++) {
            if (thisLink.href.match(banned[j])) { change = true }
        } if (change) {
            thisLink.href = thisLink.href.replace("http://", "https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/")
            thisLink.href = thisLink.href.replace(window.location.host , window.location.host.replace(".wikipedia.org",""))
}    }    }

if (window.location.host.match("secure.wikimedia.org")) {
    for (var i = 0; i < allLinks.snapshotLength; i++) {
        thisLink = allLinks.snapshotItem(i);
        change = false
        for (var j = 0; j < banned.length ; j++) {
            if (thisLink.href.match(banned[j])) { change = true }
        } if (!change) {
            thisLink.href = thisLink.href.replace("https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/","http://")
            thisLink.href = thisLink.href.replace("/w",".wikipedia.org/w")
}    }    }

Easy way round it, if you really want it (1)

Stu101 (1031686) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020289)

I'm in the UK and I can't access the page. I am not so bothered about that more than the fact that it provides no mention of why its blocked. I would have no problem with them saying "It's blocked because of..." but to just blank it totally, is crap.

To view it, just google virgin killers and then look at the cached version. When will the idiots learn that this is the internet. There is always a way round it.

Also I think the strysand effect may well be helping the sales skyrocket.

Re:Easy way round it, if you really want it (1)

phr1 (211689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020387)

> Also I think the strysand effect may well be helping the sales skyrocket.

The version of the record with that picture has been out of print for many years. They switched it over to a picture of the (fully clothed) band. The record itself may well be out of print by now.

I guess there's just nothing else to do then.. (1)

rzei (622725) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020365)

Congrats to UK, now they have freed people of UK from child pornography!

Are we running out of terrirists and actual child pornographers so bad that someone actually has to be given salary for censoring Wikipedia?

I'd guess even UK could do much better with using the money to for example burning it and warming their houses than this.

Don't worry, they can't censor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020367)

Freenet.

Time to switch.

confirmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020375)

I can confirm this on Be internet (which is really o2). I get a 404 when trying to access the page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Killer.

The most ridiculous thing I ever seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020477)

We are getting into the time where anything that is a *potential* hazard will be blocked out. Common sense doesn't matter, humanity doesn't matter. Just block the fucking thing.

WHO the fuck they think they are to decide what's good for me/us?

"Extreme" Image to be Censored too, from January? (3, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020495)

Whether or not that image should be considered child porn should be up to the courts to decide.

And from January, according to Government guidance [justice.gov.uk] , it seems the IWF are going to be handling reports of "extreme pornography" [theregister.co.uk] (that criminalises possession of adult images considered "extreme" and "disgusting", even those involving consenting adults, staged acts, and screenshots from legal films), which is broader and far vaguer than child porn law - so if they start blocking anything that might "potentially" be extreme, I worry that this could mean a lot more sites being blocked.

This also shows that they are willing to blacklist mainstream sites - well, at least they get points for being consistent I suppose (there`s nothing worse than selective enforcement) - but the point is that images that might "potentially" come under the extreme porn law have been found on mainstream non-porn sites. Now even if it may be the case that such a site would never be prosecuted, this shows that the IWF may happily censor any site that has a potentially extreme image on it, no matter what site it is on, or for what purpose it is there for.

It is also misleading that the site returns a fake 404 message - Virgin Media do this, although apparently Demon do not [wikinews.org] . Is this something decided on a per-ISP level, and something worth complaining to them about?

It's not like Wikipedia is hosted in some lawless country - it's hosted in the US, which has similar laws on child porn, and if it was really a problem it would be easy to cooperate with the US to remove the images.

Amazon also has these images [amazon.com] , which are not blocked.

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