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ISPs Warn Europe — Website Blocks Don't Work

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the where-have-we-heard-that-before dept.

Censorship 210

Mark.JUK writes "The European Internet Services Providers Association has today warned the European Union that plans aimed at tackling online child sexual abuse content, which propose to force ISPs into adopting mandatory website blocking (censorship) technology, will not work because such methods are easy to circumvent; an ISP might cover your eyes but anybody can still take the blindfold off. Instead the EuroISPA has called for members of Parliament to consider permanently removing Internet-based child sexual abuse content at source, although this also runs into problems when the servers are based outside of your jurisdiction."

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210 comments

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Predicted EU response: (3, Insightful)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837360)

EU: You say it's impossible? Pick one: do it anyway, stop being an ISP, or go to jail. Also, you get to work out the implementation and we get to determine if you're doing it right.

Re:Predicted EU response: (-1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837396)

you american, i presume ..... why dont you go back to 1957 with your ayn rand rhetoric and mccarthy schizophrenia of anything non ayn rand.

Re:Predicted EU response: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837436)

you american, i presume ..... why dont you go back to 1957 with your ayn rand rhetoric and mccarthy schizophrenia of anything non ayn rand.

Why don't you go back to 1947 WHEN WE SAVED YOUR ASS FROM HITLER, FAGGOT?!?!?!?

Re:Predicted EU response: (4, Informative)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837462)

He died in 1945...

Re:Predicted EU response: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837640)

He died in 1945...

America --FUCK YEAH!!

Re:Predicted EU response: (3, Insightful)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837756)

There are only two reasons I'm sometimes embarassed to be an American. One is that we generally only speak one language and often not very well. The other is the guy you responded to.

Re:Predicted EU response: (2)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838026)

Eh, don't feel so bad. The ones I've met have tended to be very warm, whether they were intelligent or stupid.

Re:Predicted EU response: (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837882)

Maybe he still hasn't converted to the gregorian calendar?

Re:Predicted EU response: (2)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34839056)

He died in 1945...

Meh.. They arrived late back then too...

Re:Predicted EU response: (2)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837466)

1947 ??? You have been watching to much startrek Enterprise alternate history.

your knowledge. (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837582)

is astounding.

that's what YOUR MOM said (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837716)

...about my PENIS!

ooooohhh (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837944)

age factor eh ...

Re:Predicted EU response: (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837630)

I'm just scratching my head in bewilderment. I don't know if this is a joke or serious. I really hope it is a joke I don't understand!

Re:Predicted EU response: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838472)

The Soviets did that, not the Americans.

Re:Predicted EU response: (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838632)

If we didn't come to save your bacon in WWII, you Germans would all be speaking German now!

Re:Predicted ISP response: (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837646)

We have implemented a filter. If someone goes around it - too bad, but we have done what we can.

It's nothing new, channels for illegal and immoral information will find new ways all the time. It's like trying to block wasps entering a beehive.

Re:Predicted ISP response: (5, Insightful)

JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838356)

Here's the problem I see -- it's not that blocking sites is infeasible and ineffective, and it's not that an ISP can't do it anyways, because they can. The problem I see is that when/if an ISP does implement a censor, no matter how ineffective, it will be abused and legitimate content will be blocked for legitimate users. Child porn will still be out there, and the people who participate in that industry will at best be inconvenienced -- it's the legitimate content that accidentally or maliciously gets caught in the crossfire that concerns me. The potential for good approaches zero, and the possible harm is non-negligable. This is why it shouldn't be implemented.

Re:Predicted EU response: (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837734)

If I point a gun to your head and tell you that I will kill you if you don't jump over the moon, that still doesn't mean you will jump over the moon. Bypassing any blocks by an ISP can easily be bypassed.

Using DNS to assign bad sites with fake IPs? Use a different DNS server, any DNS server outside your country. Takes about 1 minute to setup in Windows, or install your own DNS server on your desktop, which will take about 10 minutes. Blocking IP addresses wholesale? Use a proxy server. Slightly slower, but bypasses any block by the ISP in seconds. Deep packet inspection? Use https. The point is that anyone that even remotely wants to bypass the "security" setup by the ISP can, with very little effort. If you don't remove the source (and all mirrors) of content, it is virtually impossible to prevent access to it on the net. Even China can't, and heaven knows, they are trying.

"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" - John Gilmore, Internet Pioneer

Not if their routing tables are sent to nulls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837878)

"Bypassing any blocks by an ISP can easily be bypassed." - by Pharmboy (216950) on Tuesday January 11, @12:57PM (#34837734)

Per my subject-line: A little bit of work with arp @ the ISP/BSP end can do wonders here, & send requests for "objectionable content bearing" IP Addresses to a NULL destination, easily enough (& yes, @ the ISP/BSP level).

(The use of routing tables, in combination with DNSBL, really SHOULD "do the trick" for PROPER BLOCKING!)

APK

P.S.=> I do this here @ home with:

---

1.) A custom HOSTS file (works @ browser level)
2.) A .pac file (works @ browser/JIT engine level)
3.) A custom .css file (works @ browser level)
4.) Hardware/Router FIREWALL rules tables (works at hardware routing level)
5.) Software FIREWALL rules tables (works @ near ISP stack level (via filtering drivers)).
6.) Browser addons like WOT or NoScript & Adblock (all in combination)

---

(To block out any "objectionable" or outright DANGEROUS content - & the ONLY thing that "gets around it" isn't something I generally use - anonymous proxies like TOR, or others (they slow you down all to hell is why))

apk

Re:Predicted EU response: (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838230)

Blocking IP addresses wholesale? Use a proxy server.

Hmm... that depends on finding one that's willing to route your requests, and I doubt that those are cheap. Of course, if I was an LEA, I'd set up a "low cost proxy server for requesting illegal content" and start logging requests right now.

Re:Predicted EU response: (4, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838290)

finding one that's willing to route your requests, and I doubt that those are cheap.

tor

Re:Predicted EU response: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838596)

Of course, if I was an LEA, I'd set up a "low cost proxy server for requesting illegal content" and start logging requests right now.

tor.

Re:Predicted EU response: (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837760)

Actually heard in the French assembly : "They can do it China, why would it be impossible to do in France ?"

Re:Predicted EU response: (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837808)

Maybe 'cause it's hard to shut people up about the details how to circumvent it when you don't hold a gun to their head if they only want to try to attempt to think about pondering going around your Great Firewall.

But, given the personality of li'l Napoleon, I should probably shut up before I give the gnome some ideas.

Re:Predicted EU response: (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838062)

Serious answer:

They can't do it in China. The filters (mostly) prevent people from accidentally finding the things that The Party doesn't want them to see. It's pretty easy for anyone in China to work around the filters if they want to. It's also quite easy for the state to identify people who are making an effort to bypass the filters by their traffic patterns. If they're considered a potential threat to the oligarchy, they can be visited in the middle of the night, taken away from their homes, and shot.

Without implementing the last step, the system wouldn't work. If you can find a politician in your country who wants a secret police with this power, then I suggest that you remove him or her from power by whatever means possible, as soon as is feasible.

Re:Predicted EU response: (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838954)

That's very interesting. Did anyone understand the poor bloke? Did the ones who may have understood actually admit they could understand such an uninformed outburst of English?

Re:Predicted EU response: (2, Informative)

weicco (645927) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838360)

I told these exact reasons to our Minister of Finance: a) it does't work b) it's easy to circumvent c) it's against the constitution d) it's going to be abused. Still Finland decided to pass a censorship law [wikipedia.org] . It is already abused by censoring local Finnish sites when the law enables censor only foreign sites. There's also gay porn sites and sites that aren't even related to porn any way in the censorship list.

Sigh.... (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837438)

No one proposes banning pawn shops and second hand shops just because these are used by the criminal element to fence stolen goods. Legitimate businesses or structures are sadly used to illicit ends. You deal with crimes as they happen, not try all manner of questionable laws that infringe on civil liberties in the vain hope that somehow you can prevent crimes from happening.

The only thing filtering will do is catch the more inept child porn producers and consumers. The smart ones have a command of the technical aspects of the networks they swap their foul evil on. The best we can hope to do with child porn, like any criminal act, is create savvy enough investigators to catch and prosecute them.

Re:Sigh.... (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837524)

The best we can hope to do with child porn, like any criminal act, is create savvy enough investigators to catch and prosecute them.

You set your hopes too low.

Do it like this:

"The best I hope can be done with child porn is that the perpetrators are burned alive on worldwide television."

Re:Sigh.... (1)

after.fallout.34t98e (1908288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837664)

You set your hopes too low.

Do it like this:

"The best I hope can be done with child porn is that the perpetrators are burned alive on worldwide television."

After their hands, feet and privates are repeatedly cut and dipped in vats of boiling sulfuric acid and they are force-fed a mixture of broken glass, rusty nails and diesel fuel.

Re:Sigh.... (1)

I8TheWorm (645702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837766)

And forced to date Rosie O'Donnell.

Re:Sigh.... (3, Funny)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837786)

Hey, now. There's that whole "cruel and unusual" thing. The acid and glass, ok, but Rosie O'Donnell? That's just crossing a line.

Re:Sigh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837872)

Never underestimate the power of Rosie's penis.

Re:Sigh.... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837628)

What fraction of it is distributed via websites anyway - and I mean dedicated websites not passworded files on file hosters and such. It seems to me a very awkward way to do a hit-n-run operation, I know the Internet is a fairly lawless place but I doubt there are countries that'll let you serve it openly. Is this just one more "is she 17 or 18 and do we call that pose sexual but they don't" thing about jurisdictions or what?

Re:Sigh.... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838100)

2257 [wikipedia.org] was well intended in the US, but it had some serious flaws to it. For one thing the compliance statement was at the bottom of the page, requiring you to load an entire page of possibly illegal photos in order to check the statement. If you wound up on an index site, good luck figuring out which images if any were illegal. And the records requirements were really tough to comply with.

But, there was some assurance that you wouldn't be thrown in jail for looking at a 2257 compliant site. Unfortunately in the US there is no mens rea requirement for child porn charges, you're equally guilty if you solicit such images as if somebody emails them to you or you randomly encounter one that you can't tell the age of the people in the photos.

Re:Sigh.... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837824)

Wait, wait... you still think this is really about child porn? C'mon...

Re:Sigh.... (1)

gox (1595435) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837922)

They might catch child abusers who upload content directly (though I doubt that such people exist) but there's the negative side of censoring content in the other direction. You are preventing people from realizing the extent of the situation. If viewing child porn doesn't have the power to convert ordinary people to paedophiles, I don't see why it needs to be filtered. Do I have to trust their better judgement about what I can expose myself to?

It's probably that they don't think they will be able to take down these websites, and even if they do, they know that it won't decrease the prevalence of child abuse. Keeping us from being exposed to the reality while seeming to do something about it is the most rational choice for them.

"Creating pedophiles" actually happens (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838488)

If viewing child porn doesn't have the power to convert ordinary people to paedophiles, I don't see why it needs to be filtered.

There are a LOT of men and some women out there who but for social rules and the morality their parents ingrained in them growing up would think nothing of molesting their own 14 year old girl or maybe their own 8 year old boy.

The availability of child porn and pedophile-apologist material online can have a corrosive effect on such people, removing their inhibitions.

This can turn someone who "by nature" is a mix of pedophile and non-pedophile but who "by nurture" is an upstanding citizen who would cringe at the idea of molesting children into someone who might consider or even do such an act, ruining many lives including their own in the process.

By far most people do not have a "latent pedophile" side to them so they are not harmed by exposure to such material other than needing a new keyboard after they vomit, but a significant number of people are. Even if it's only 0.5-2% of men and say 0.1-0.4% of women who are vulnerable in this way but who aren't "100% pedophiles" already, that's a still a big number in a country the size of the United States or for that matter worldwide.

This is the same reason that in some countries alcohol, tobacco, and adult-entertainment products are not allowed to be advertised even to adults or their advertising is limited to groups that that have already made the decision to buy those types of products. It's also the reason in some countries such products are not allowed to be marketed to children or adolescents.

Here are some examples of what can happen if you have a society where such behavior is tolerated:

*Pitcairn sexual assault trial of 2004 [wikipedia.org]

*Official response to Aboriginal child sexual abuse in Australia: more law and order [wsws.org]

*The whole Roman Catholic and other clergy abuses of the last half-century or more that were made worse by official tolerance or official downplaying of the seriousness of the crimes.

*The "peer culture" among teenagers and preteens in Rockdale County, Georgia in the 1990s that led to promiscuity and a syphilis epidemic. See Frontline: The Lost Children of Rockdale County [pbs.org]

Granted, none of these directly touch on the question of "does child porn create pedophiles" but they all show the influence a person's contacts have on his willingness to engage in behavior that the larger society condemns.

For some specific cases of child porn creating or awakening a pedophile in a previously-law-abiding person, go through the many court cases of people charged with child porn or child molestation crimes. Many will claim "I was curious and got addicted." Some of these criminals are lying and just looking for sympathy from a jury but some really are who they say they are: People who but for that initial exposure would have remained happy law-abiding responsible adults and who are now paying the price for satisfying their curiosity and the resulting addiction.

By the way, this argument has been used by anti-gay forces to suppress homosexuals. While the argument has merit for "true 50/50 bisexuals" and even the "90/10" "bi-curious" group in that they may be tempted to "try it out" if they live in a gay-tolerant or gay-affirming culture, there is one key difference: It's not child abuse. The "queers recruit" anti-gay argument is about as valid and about as silly as "McDonalds recruits kids to eat unhealthy high-fat foods" - yes, but so what? The "if child porn is widely available you will have more [active, or at least child-porn-viewing] pedophiles" argument, on the other hand, must be taken seriously if it is real, and the evidence I've seen and my general knowledge of human behavior leads me to conclude that it is very real.

Re:"Creating pedophiles" actually happens (1)

freak0fnature (1838248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838908)

Internet porn in general desensitizes people to do things they normally wouldn't had they not been exposed and takes away from intimacy in general. Someone who watches child pornography did not start there, the porn that is considered acceptable by our society usually comes first. If you trace the root cause of the problem...it comes down to lust being an acceptable behavior, even homosexuality.

Re:Sigh.... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837924)

Does your definition of "child porn" also include nude children or teens?
I bet the politicians' definition does.
It is suppression of nudism.

Re:Sigh.... (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838128)

Does your definition of "child porn" also include nude children or teens?
I bet the politicians' definition does.
It is suppression of nudism.

Does your definition of "child porn" also include the oppposing party's political websites?
I bet the politicians' definition does.
It is suppression, full stop.

Of course, adding political material to the supposed child-porn black list has only happened in every country that has every implemented a child-porn black list - maybe this time it will be different!

Re:Sigh.... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838180)

>>>The US national debt: $126,000 per taxpayer. Spent enough yet? [usdebtclock.org]

I like to use the Per household" numbers which is 14 trillion divided by ~100 million homes == ~$140,000 per US household
.

>>>adding political material to the supposed child-porn black list has only happened in every country that has every implemented

I didn't realize that.
Got a citation?

Re:Sigh.... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838732)

I didn't realize that.
Got a citation?

proper form is [citation needed] , please follow it, you're throwing off the bots' parsers.

Re:Sigh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838268)

No one proposes banning pawn shops and second hand shops just because these are used by the criminal element to fence stolen goods. Legitimate businesses or structures are sadly used to illicit ends. You deal with crimes as they happen, not try all manner of questionable laws that infringe on civil liberties in the vain hope that somehow you can prevent crimes from happening..

You are aware Pawn shops are restricted in all sorts of ways, right? Such as having to hold items before they can sell them, and checking lists of stolen goods. Pawn shops that don't follow such rules get themselves in trouble.

Re:Sigh.... (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838532)

Kinda like Nick Cage in 8mm. Yeah Nick Cage

Re:Sigh.... (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838600)

Most pawn shops do have to enter the seller's ID and the item description into a database for police. Once we get our "internet IDs" some advanced filtering might be able to recognize the contents of each data transmission so that the parties involved can be charged with the appropriate crime.

Re:Sigh.... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838986)

Your analogy is terrible. Pawn shops have to follow the law or they will be shut down. If they are knowingly selling illegal goods, they will be shut down. Analogies are only useful when trying to explain a difficult concept. This is not one of those cases. The government wants to stop child porn. They propose a technical solution which isn't feasible and places the burden on the ISP. ISP complains it isn't feasible. Pretty simple.

Lets hope they don't do something drastic (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837454)

Like requiring their domestic ISPs to null-route IP addresses instead of just blocking DNS.

Re:Lets hope they don't do something drastic (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837602)

And what about the poor innocent sods who happen to be running a website on a shared (probably compromised) server?

Re:Lets hope they don't do something drastic (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837842)

They get to whine and petition the government to open it up again until they go bankrupt. Why're you asking?

Re:Lets hope they don't do something drastic (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837974)

That won't work either. These perverts will simply get VPNs to third world nations.

Re:Lets hope they don't do something drastic (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838098)

then block vpn traffic, too. in fact, encryption should be banned, including SSL, except for banks and online merchants, as we wouldn't want the ECONOMY to suffer, now would we? ;-)

Won't someone think of the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837500)

Except you internet perverts.. You need to stop thinking about the children.. You sick bastards.

Re:Won't someone think of the children! (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837532)

They are thinking of the children that is whole problem ! ;-)

Re:Won't someone think of the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837558)

Don't think, just do!

Warn and prosecute (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837554)

Surely the only answer is for ISPs to simply flag-up a warning with a 'Do you wish to Continue' button when someone tries to access a child-porn site, but do not block them. The Police know where these sites are, and can presumably log who goes there, with the assistance of the ISPs. This way, innocent surfers will be able to avoid these sites, but the visitors would be logged, and can face the consequences.

Re:Warn and prosecute (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837942)

More and more ways to put your neighbors with open/WEP APs in trouble.

Re:Warn and prosecute (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838132)

The problem is identifying those sites. You generally don't have to worry a lot about major pay sites, but the smaller sites and the free sites are a different matter. Establishing the age of the individuals is really the hurdle. It's often times not any easier for law enforcement to determine that the individual is 15 rather than a young looking 18 year old.

Additionally, if you get dumped onto an index site there's no way of knowing which images are legal and which ones aren't unless they're very obviously illegal.

Jurisdiction (3, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837562)

I call this bullshit.

Look at banks. When a fake bank site goes up, it only takes hours sometimes a few days for it to be taken down after it was asked. Anywhere in the world.

But it is probably better not to take the site down, but to collect IP-addresses and so on anyway.

Re:Jurisdiction (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837880)

Yup, that's pretty much the case. So one has to wonder why.

How about sites that offer a service that is "illegal" (or just "unwanted" in a country) but legal in the country where the server is positioned.

Hint: Think beyond child porn to solve this.

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838588)

Hint: Think beyond child porn to solve this.

You mean like opening a fake-major-worldwide-bank-web site in a country where that's legal.

Hmm, sounds like a great business plan *maniacal laugh*.

most child porn in EU, USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837600)

Most of the blocked sites are hosted in EU or USA, so the issue of jurisdiction is a moot point. Most of the blocked sites also use fairly common domain names, whose owners should be easily reachable or the domains themselves could be revoked instead of blocking them. The only argument for blocking is that it "gives a message" that this is important, which is bullshit since it eats resources that could be used to REALLY do something about the problem...

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838694)

I believe Russia and the Ukraine are the countries known for such problems, and they're not in the EU...

any sex blocking must pass the breast cancer test (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837604)

any sex blocking must pass the breast cancer test or it will fail big time.

Sure, don't explain what "breast cancer test" is (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837752)

How about you clarify yourself as to what that is. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2? Monastrol sensitivity? Whether or not you can feel a lump while in the shower?

Re:Sure, don't explain what "breast cancer test" i (1)

IsThisNickTaken (555227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837828)

I probably deserve a "whoosh" for pointing this out. In case you were really asking, by "breast cancer test" the parent means that the filtering software should not block sites that provide information about breast cancer.

Re:Sure, don't explain what "breast cancer test" i (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837940)

Or breastfeeding [nytimes.com] information either.

Re:Sure, don't explain what "breast cancer test" i (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838124)

I don't think he was asking what the "breast cancer test" is. He was merely pointing out that the person who first mentioned it could have elaborated, even a little, to explain what it is - for those of us who haven't heard the term before in this context.

Re:Sure, don't explain what "breast cancer test" i (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837912)

I think he means that if the "solution" blocks access to sites about "breast cancer" (Shades of Websense...), it's wrong.

Re:Sure, don't explain what "breast cancer test" i (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837926)

Perhaps you are trolling, but for clarity's sake...

He's referring to the test as to whether the method of censorship will prevent discussions of breast cancer (including images, text and videos on the subject) to pass through a filter without being censored.

It is a valuable test because it makes clear that most methods of censorship operate based on words, phrases, or presence of body parts, not on subject matter. Most laws are actually concerned with subject matter, so the disconnect is a critical legal problem.

Re:any sex blocking must pass the breast cancer te (3, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837978)

No, any ISP-level sex blocking should pass the legal porn test. Which also means it's almost impossible to block it automatically, that's why these filters are planned to use manually updated (and probably secret) blacklists.

Re:any sex blocking must pass the breast cancer te (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838170)

You know, it's probably easier to just ban porn, then you don't have to worry about that. Won't happen because despite all the prudish social expressions, Americans like us some porn. It's been a real problem for people that want it banned, but I'd hazard a guess that only a fraction of the people who claim to hate porn in public aren't secretly sneaking a pick in the privacy of their own home.

Re:any sex blocking must pass the breast cancer te (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838916)

well considering that there are multiple generations of the "sex is evil" crowd i think we can safely conclude that there's some level of hypocrisy going on here.

It's not just ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837622)

Anybody with sufficient technical knowledge has been saying this all along. The other concern from anybody with non-infantile understanding of the issues is that blocking will be abused to cover any content deemed problematic to governments of EU member states.

There are some questionable propenents [guardian.co.uk] of such censorship. Presumably their zeal for social conservatism blinds them to the inevitable calls for censoring religious texts once a system is in place.

Re:It's not just ISPs (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837736)

I imagine that once the technology is in place, it's use will be expanded. How long before the big copyright organisations start lobbying for laws to add major copyright infringing websites to the list, thus allowing them to finally be rid of the pirate bay?

Re:It's not just ISPs (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837896)

I think we have a winner for the "why is this done in the first place when it can't do jack about child porn?" riddle.

Re:It's not just ISPs (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838018)

An organization in my country tried to lobby for an ISP-level block on TPB. Then they got what was coming... [slyck.com] (and the block wasn't implemented).

Now they're delivering thousands of IPs of file sharers, when it's illegal to record that data (IP + time) without an authorization from out national data protection commission. I hope they crash and burn.

Re:It's not just ISPs (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838422)

Changing the law is hard. But changing a policy is comparatively easy. If they can get the filtering technology mandated for another reason - child porn is as good a way as any - then getting it expanded to copyright infringement might be as simple as convincing one key politician.

Re:It's not just ISPs (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838406)

Uh that would be last year.

The copyright industry is already on the record as saying (quote from memory) "child porn is great. It is something politicians understand, and we can use to make them implement the infrastructure we require. Then once it is in place, we can ask for it to be expanded using the usual channels and arguments, and add our own lists to it."

Which is why lots of people are fighting this one very hard, because on day one child porn will be blocked, but before the sun sets on that day, other interested parties will have sent in their requests, and before you know it, the big firewall of China has a western competitor.

Re:It's not just ISPs (1)

Xemu (50595) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838654)

The child porn filter was started in Sweden in 2005 (1), and it has several times been used to block The Pirate Bay already, and it will be done again (2). Sweden prides itself with no censorship but ask Wikileaks and see what they think about it.(3)

(1) http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&artikel=622590 [sverigesradio.se]
(2) http://www.piratpartiet.se/nyheter/press_release_swedish_police_shuts_down_pirate_bay_again [piratpartiet.se]
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship#Sweden [wikipedia.org]

Why don't they think of the children... (1)

i (8254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837768)

..when it comes to "Mein Kampf" ?

Re:Why don't they think of the children... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838192)

OK, so one time at band kampf...

Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837772)

Instead the EuroISPA has called for MEP's to consider permanently removing internet based child sexual abuse content at source

...there seems to be a sudden outbreak of common sense.

solution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34837790)

pull out the weed WITH its root!
just clipping the top won't kill it.
for example, in some countries children are a source of income ...
again i laud the internet for bringing the "taboo" into the limelight.
sure just remove the light-bulb and say:"problem, be gone!"

Would that they spent so much effort on the crime (2)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837858)

I wish these governments would apply all the resources they spend on supressing the EVIDENCE of child abuse, on supressing the abuse itself. Instead, posession of the evidence of the crime seems to be considered the crime itself. I have to wonder what caused this state of affairs to arise and why we don't have rules criminalizing the posession of evidence of other wrongdoing.

Google Translate (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837888)

Most highschool students just run a site they want to go to that's blocked through Google Translate and oh my now I can access the blocked content! Find the people who are manufacturing the content instead of trying to block the content.

Re:Google Translate (1)

callmebill (1917294) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838962)

"The site you are trying to translate is already in English."

The solution is to take over the world (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34837908)

That way nobody is outside your jurisdiction... Seems simple enough to me

Good thing... (1)

Psychophrenes (1600027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838092)

Good thing we Europeans were warned before one of our member countries did something stupid...
Oh wait... [electronista.com]

The paranoid theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838110)

Suprise! It doesn't work. Everybody would be better off if the ISPs just gave the IP information of the DNS searches directly to authorities. I mean, who goes to childpron.xxx for legimate purposes? Just keep a database of those, hire a talented analyst (like me) and I'll have a list of perverts in no time.

Thing is, I am opposed to goverment and/or authorities having the power to block websites. Forcing ISPs to obey their rules gives them a TOOL to control web content. Today it is child porn and sexual abuse stuff. You cannot disagree with that, because then you are automaticly labeled as a supporter for that kind of stuff. But if you think - where will they go next? How about banning tobacco and alcohol websites. Oh well, I can live with that. How about.. banning a web site with different political views than the current goverment? If you let them to advance to a position where they can actually do that, they will most certainly do it. One baby step at a time, all leading to totalitarian society.

Just sayin'

"Child Pornography" - the old buzzword (1)

gygy (1182865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838258)

"Child Pornography" is the old buzzword. Afther this only terrorism remains: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7qTBkA8X_E [youtube.com]

"Servers outside your jurisdiction" (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838278)

Surely they can simply declare child porn a "crime against humanity" and therefor subject to "universal jursidiction".

nonsense (5, Informative)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838302)

permanently removing internet based child sexual abuse content at source, although this also runs into problems when the servers are based outside of your jurisdiction."

No, it doesn't. This is the argument the proponents of filters are putting forward all the time. They've smartened up since we sunk their ship last, and are now claiming their goal is to "only block where we can not delete".

Well, that would be nowhere because for a year now we've been asking them the same question, and they still haven't provided an answer: "Where in the world would that be?" It turns out that child pornography is illegal in every country on earth that has any Internet infrastructure worth mentioning. An especially naive and dumb politician here in Germany threw out a few country names when the debate started, and was quickly proven wrong in addition to receiving angry comments from those countries ambassadors. Then she tried a stupid trick, claiming that in some countries (again, names were named) there was no law against child pornography. She was technically correct - the muslim countries she had mentioned consider all pornography to illegal, punishable by death, so there is no specific law mentioning children.

This whole campaign has been lies and bullshit on the side of the proponents from the start. I have yet to hear one argument from their side that is not a lie. However, they aren't dumb. They know how to play the public. They tested the waters and found them hotter than they had anticipated. But their current campaign is lot more "reasonable". In a debate, they stand a great chance of being able to convince Joe Public that they have a moderate POV that takes all eventualities into account and only wants to reserve the most drastic measure for the exceptional cases, but those freedom hippies they are the extremists and refuse to consider the possibility of evil, evil people abusing children by the thousands.

So, remember, even the "block what we can not delete" is not a balanced position, it is a strawman. The only reason that the police here in Germany does not currently contact providers outside of Germany with a simple notice "hey, you are hosting child pornography, did you know that?" - which according to tests done by an NGO last year leads to a 95% takedown rate within a week, and a 100% takedown rate within a month - is that they are not allowed to do so. Not allowed by whom? Take a guess. Yes, that is right, the same people that need their "inability" to act so they can push for "block where we can not delete".

They are lying bastards, and children are the least thing they worry about.

Re:nonsense (3, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838672)

It turns out that child pornography is illegal in every country on earth that has any Internet infrastructure worth mentioning.

Perhaps illegal, but if you look at countries where enforcement is either not a priority or is only done when requested by the politically powerful, including by foreign governments that the local government is or wants to be on good terms with, the numbers change.

For a good starting point go back to the mid-1990s and count the number of countries that either had no laws outlawing child porn or no or minimal enforcement despite ample evidence it was happening.

Oh, another set of issues with child porn enforcement:
* Not everyone agrees what "underage" is. As you pointed out, in some countries you are underage until you die for porn purposes. In other countries the age to be a legal porn actress is higher or lower than America's 18.
* Not every person agrees what "porn" is. In some cultures, it includes animated or computer-generated imagery. In others it includes sexually provocative non-nude imagery. In some cultures all nudity is presumed to be porn unless it's obviously not, such as a medical photo. In others such as America the definition shifts across time and localities - what may be "child porn" in one city may be "legitimate art" in another, what may be considered art today may be considered pornographic in a generation.

why not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838392)

hmm, why not just make them block the entire ISP of the porn site? If an ISP finds they are being blocked from reaching large portions of the population due to a single customer who is providing porn on their network, they will shut em

Our Lack of Jurisdiction is Amusing (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838606)

"...although this also runs into problems when the servers are based outside of your jurisdiction."

No, it doesn't. [slashdot.org]

cant even stop spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838648)

90% of my spam folder contains of spammers using domains/ips/AS hosted in the USA and yet they continue unabated
it would be trivial (for the FBI/LEO) to catch and prosecute them or remove the domain names but they dont
and so my account continues to be innundated with creditcard offers and MLM scams

Okay... somebody had to do this eventually. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34838782)

You have advocated a

(x) technical (x) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting online child porn (and/or pedophilia in general). Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from country to country before a bad international agreement was made.)

(x) Pedophiles can easily use it to harvest URLs of sites containing child porn
( ) Family photo albums with bathtub photos ( ) legitimate porn sites would be affected
( ) No one will be able to find the guy or arrest him
(x) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
(x) It will stop child porn for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
(x) Internet users will not put up with it
( ) ISPs will not put up with it
( ) The police will not put up with it
(x) Requires too much cooperation from pedophiles
(x) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
( ) Many internet users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
( ) Pedophiles don't care about innocent people who get caught in FBI honeypots
(x) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career, business, or entire life

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

(x) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(x) Lack of centrally controlling authority for the internet
(x) Open relays in foreign countries
(x) Ease of bypassing security measures
( ) Asshats
(x) Jurisdictional problems
( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
(x) Huge existing software investment in (x) HTTP (x) DNS
(x) Availability of protocols other than (x) HTTP[S] (x) FTP to access the internet
( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
(x) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
( ) Extreme profitability of "18-year-old" porn
(x) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
(x) Technically illiterate politicians
( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who download child porn
( ) Dishonesty on the part of pedophiles
(x) Exploitation of children which is unaffected by ISPs filtering the web
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
(x) HTTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
(x) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
(x) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
(x) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
( ) Visiting a web site should be free
(x) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatibility with open source or open source licenses
(x) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
(x) I don't want the government reading my internet logs
( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
(x) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

DNS filtering for all! (1)

freak0fnature (1838248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34838998)

The EuroISPA is only partially right. The determined people will find a way around it, but even if you stop 50% of it, then it's worth it. How hard is it for each ISP to run DNS servers like OpenDNS and by default block out pornography unless the subscriber otherwise enables it.
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