Monday, 8 December 2008

IWF and Wikipedia & Damian Green - updates

I've spent practically the entire morning on the phone to my ISP and have just had a call back and very interesting conversation. The gist of the conversations are:

  • first thing this morning the 1st and 2nd line teams did not know anything about this - and needed considerable convincing.
  • once convinced of what their employers were doing, the technical staff I talked to were _all_ personally of the feeling that the censorship was unacceptable - and were prepared to say so on calls that were probably being recorded.
  • the ISP has decided to leave the Wikipedia page blocked temporarily while formulating a decision.
  • they were aware that if they took on this responsibility then it would blossom into them having to control/monitor/supervise the complete up and download of their users.
  • this is currently being discussed at the level below Director, and will be run past them before a decision is made.
  • they will be releasing a press statement within the next 36 hours...
  • they had not appreciated the impact of the proxy filtering preventing Wikipedia from identifying posters and therefore requiring that the ip address be blackilisted.
  • no one I talked to knew about the existence of a proxy filer being purely deployed for Wikipedia.

I believe that this is the result of someone making an ill-informed decision to agree to IWF's ruling. I think that the technician side of the ISPs are astonished by the possible implications of following this decision through and will pressure for it to be reversed.

If you have an hour or so to spare I strongly recommend you phone your ISP and ask them the simple question "When did your company decide to become the arbiter of public morality?" - worked for me :-)

Also, there is a petition on the Number 10 website which is worth signing (if you agree with it!)

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