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Month: December 2008

Seasons Greetings

Best wishes for this holiday season and for a happy, successful and stupidity-free 2009.

With this current “government”, Phorm, Virgin Media and others around that last wish might be more of a wish than a reality.

We can but dream. And keep asking the awkward questions to expose idiocy.

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Another Reason To Dump Virgin Media

Virgin Media is confused about what it wants to be. An Internet Service Provider provides a connection to the internet. Nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t throw adverts at you, it doesn’t throw other organisations’ propaganda at you, it doesn’t tell you what it will and won’t allow you to use your connection for. And don’t even get me started on the helpdesk…

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IWF Climbdown Over Wikipedia Censorship

If it is trying a damage limitation exercise then it is too late. The IWF’s reputation has been damaged and its methodology, transparency and accountability publicly challenged. That damage still remains. The questions still remain to be answered. That the IWF has recognised that it got this one wrong is a good thing. A pity it has taken a backlash from the internet community as a whole to achieve that. As an organisation involved purely with the internet the IWF could and should have forseen the consequences of their heavy handed approach.

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IWF Censoring Wikipedia Furore

There has been a lot of debate surrounding the decision of the Internet Watch Foundation to censor a Wikipedia article about a Scorpions album from 1976 by putting the address of the page on its blacklist, claiming that the album cover is child pornography.

A number of ISPs use the IWF’s blacklist to block access to known potentially illegal sites which may include child porn.  Those ISPs are now reported as preventing their customers from accessing the Wikipedia website.

The Register posted its own report as well as a follow up about online retailers’ efforts to remove the “potentially illegal” (in the words of the IWF) image from their websites.  As ever, the comments pages following those articles raise some very valid points.

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