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Government whitelist to counter parental controls over-blocking

Posted by malcolm on Friday, January 31st, 2014 at 15:39

The UK government is reportedly compiling a whitelist of sites that have been incorrectly blocked by network-level parental controls.

The “big four” ISPs began rolling out network-level parental controls at the beginning of 2014, at the request of the government. New customers are presented with an “unavoidable choice” on whether or not to activate parental controls, with certain categories of content “pre-ticked” for blocking.

However, the filters came under fire when it was discovered that a number of sites were being blocked incorrectly. These included websites providing sex education, support for rape survivors, blogs discussing Internet politics and even the JQuery library relied upon by thousands of websites.

The whitelist is being drawn up by a working group of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, which plans to share the list with ISPs to help mitigate over-blocking.

However, from the very start, these filters have provoked fears of creeping censorship; requiring the over-blocked to seek inclusion on a government approved whitelist will do nothing to calm these fears.

For more information, see UK government tackles wrongly-blocked websites - BBC News.

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