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RE: Network Level Content Blocking (UK) for people who cant be bothered to read the article..
> Have you been asked by the Dibble for the squid's server log > yet? It's the obvious next step - if you had a URL request > blocked, obviously you were where you shouldn't have been. > You're either with us...or you're with the terrorists. If this website blocking is voluntary and if your goal is to protect your customers from inadvertently loading one of their pages, then you would not want to log any details, would you? If you want to help the police by reducing the number of spurious hits on this known illegal website so that they have a higher chance of tracking real criminals from the website hits, then you would not want to muddy the waters by sending your useless data to them, would you? Situations like this are always very complex and it does not help when people throw around simplistic analyses that are not grounded in reality. There was recent media coverage in the UK that indicates there are far more pedophiles than was thought and that real pedophiles don't fit the common stereotypes that people have of them. To me, this indicates that the police are struggling with data explosion and need help in reducing that data to increase their chances of catching SOME of the criminals. It does not suggest that police want to catch ALL the criminals and some number of innocent people as well. After all, any arrests will have to be processed through the court system and when you throw lots of innocent people and marginal cases into the courts, the cases drag on for a long time and clog up the system. That would be counterproductive wouldn't it? The objections that I see from people in regard to things like website blocking and network tapping, seem to assume that governments are very narrowminded, very efficient and have evil intent. In my experience, there is a lot more systems thinking in governments that you think, they are not terribly efficient, and they do not collectively have evil intent. They do make a lot of mistakes, but these get corrected. If nothing else, governments have learned that it is very bad to cover up mistakes, but you can make a lot of political hay by admitting them and proposing the next bold new solution. If you really don't like something that governments do, you are better off not attacking it in a narrow way, but suggesting that it was a mistake and pushing government into the next bold new initiative to fix the mistake. This works especially well around election time, but it can also be done between elections because even the party in power changes tack from time to time. In this case I would suggest that it is in ISPs best interests to get involved with network content blocking, so that ISPs collectively become deep experts on the subject. We are then in a position to modify these activities in a way that is beneficial to ISPs and their customers (who happen to be voters too). And we are in a position to advise government on future actions as well. If ISPs choose not to get involved, then they are less likely to be listened to by government partly because they have less credibility and partly because they simply don't understand the issue and therefore fail to communicate effectively. Inter-ISP cooperation is a big problem that needs to be solved on a global scale. Fortunately, there is a growing number of international forums in which ISPs do get together to deal with specific flashpoints. If your company has any part of your network in the UK, please do get involved by contacting LINX as requested: We have 13 companies involved so far but really want to get as many ISP's together to make sure that people understand the implications of the governments request. Whilst the intent is to focus the content on the technical side we are keen to make sure that the all parts of the ISP industry are brought up to date so may run multiple strands with different levels of technical content if we have the numbers. If you are interested please contact John Souter ([email protected]) or Malcolm Hutty ([email protected]) for more details. --Michael Dillon