Sunday, 7 December 2008

Slippery Slopes and Stupidity

As reported on ZDNET and the Open Rights Group's site, Virgin Media, my ISP, amongst other ISPs, have followed the Internet Watch Foundation's lead and installed a proxy filter against Wikipedia. This is apparently to filter content - such as the controversial "Virgin Killer" image. Now there are a few things to say about this...
  1. It is totally pointless, as anyone who searches for this phrase using Google, can instantly get the page by using the 'cache' link - or just clicking here...
  2. It has had the knock-on effect that, unless you were previously registered as an editor with Wikipedia, you will be unable to edit a page. In fact I had problems yesterday editing a page even though I am a registered user.
  3. As far as I can tell, no-one decided to elect the IWF as a arbiter of public morals...
This is a wonderful cock-up. The intent of the ISPs might well have been reasonable, but the consequences of this act have been unacceptable. A Pledgebank petition has been setup, and I ask you to read it and consider signing.

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