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Re: UK ISPs v. US ISPs (was RE: Network Level Content Blocking)

  • From: Keegan . Holley
  • Date: Sat Jun 09 18:15:05 2007

IMHO, unless it's something blatantly illegal such as kiddie porn and the like I don't think content filtering is the responsibility of the ISP's.  Besides all of the conspiracy theories that are bound to surface, I think forcing ISP's to block content is a bit like forcing car makers to police what can be played on the radio.  I think that giving parents the option of manually turning off porn sites would be an improvement.  Although still not within the responsibility of the ISP they are in the best place to implement such a technology.  However, I don't like the idea of a mandatory global traffic filtering initiative.

Sean Donelan <[email protected]>
Sent by: [email protected]

06/09/2007 04:43 PM

[email protected]
UK ISPs v. US ISPs (was RE: Network Level Content Blocking)

On Fri, 8 Jun 2007, [email protected] wrote:
> 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.

UK ISP associations have developed a centralized blocking solution with
IWF providing the decision making of what to filter.  90% of the UK
broadband users accept the same "voluntary" decisions about what to

On the other hand, US ISP associations have advocated for decentralized
blocking solutions, leaving the decision to parents and multiple content
filtering companies.  US ISP associations have been active in this area
since the early 1990's, although US ISP associations seem to only last so
long before they disappear and a new association springs up.

Is a centralized filtering solution better or worse than a decentralized
filtering solution?

Schools, libraries, families, etc in the US choose which content filter
product to use, which vary greatly how well they work and what they
choose to filter.  Since its "voluntary," some US families choose not to
have any content filters.  Other US families choose to filter much more
than other families.

Cisco, Juniper, Streamshield, NetNanny, etc sell identical products around
the world.  If an ISP anywhere in the world wants to offer either a
centralized or decentralized filtering solution, the products are available.
Likewise, if an individual is concerned about what his or her family sees,
they can use without their ISP, the products are available.