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Brit porn filter censors 13 years of net history

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Cade Metz
The Register
Wednesday, Jan 14, 2008

Four weeks after birthing a nationwide Wikipedia edit ban, Britain’s child porn blacklist has led at least one ISP to muzzle the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine – an 85 billion page web history dating back to 1996.

According to multiple customers of Demon Internet – now owned by Brit telecom Thus – the London-based ISP is blocking access to all sites stored in the archive. When they query the Wayback Machine, hoping to retrieve archived pages, customers are met with generic “not found” error pages. But judging from their urls, these pages are generated by a web filter based on the blacklist compiled by the Internet Watch Foundation, a government-backed organization charged with policing online pornography.

One Demon customer tells us he was unable to visit archived versions of websites run by the BBC, Parliament, the United Nations, the Internet Watch Foundation, Demon Internet, and Thus. In other words, this customer points out, Thus is blocking its own web history. “It is nuts,” he says.

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His experience is confirmed by other Demon customers posting to a Demon newsgroup here.

We have contacted both Thus and the Internet Watch Foundation, but they did not receive our messages until after UK business hours. When they respond, we will update this story.

Full article here

This article was posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 5:08 am





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