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BT blocks Pirate Bay as part of self-regulation scheme

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Apr 2009 13:29 User comments (7)

BT blocks Pirate Bay as part of self-regulation scheme BT Broadband users who try to access the notorious Pirate Bay tracker are met with a "Content Blocked" message, claiming it has been blocked in "compliance with a new UK voluntary code". "This uses a barring and filtering mechanism to restrict access to all WAP and internet sites that are considered to have 'over 18' status," the warning states.
On the list of things blocked it has adult/sexually explicit content, information on "criminal skills" and hacking. It does not state the reason for the Pirate Bay block specifically, but the tracker does host links to torrents for pornography. The block can be lifted however if a user calls up customer services and requests it, the warning states.

The self-regulations scheme includes all five of the major mobile networks too. "The Code covers new types of content, including visual content, online gambling, mobile gaming, chat rooms and internet access," the code of practice at the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) site states. However, it then goes on to state that "the Code does not cover peer-to-peer communications but it does give assurances to customers that the mobile operators are taking action to combat illegal, bulk and nuisance communications."

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7 user comments

121.4.2009 14:12

IWF has also strong-armed Newshosting into blocking many newsgroups because they feel "offended" by the contents.


221.4.2009 14:15

content censorship.. plain and simple.. and illegal under UK freedom of access to information laws.

here we go.. big brother state by private business.. but instigated by government.

do the words "told you so" ring any bells?

321.4.2009 14:46

I am a BT broadband customer, living in the UK and I still have access to TPB and can download from it :S

421.4.2009 21:12

if you want to share you can. just use google if BT wants to be stupid and lose there precious profits, let them!

521.4.2009 23:43

this is a good thing.
it's a voluntary code, which you can opt out of by ringing up BT and saying I wish to opt out.

it achieves two major goals:

1. When you buy a mobile for your 12 year old it stops them from stumbling into donkey porn (stumbling, as in by accident).

2. A voluntary code makes it much much harder for laws to be introduced. Why would you need a law if the industry does it themselves?* it allows the agencies to stand up in court and say "we took reasonable measures so go after the pirates themselves rather than trying to force us to do something the majority of our users don't want".

*this does of course mean it can be abused. For example there was an awful lot of "self regulation" in the US banking system. And that didn't end too well.

622.4.2009 7:17

It does not help in court...the response would be "It clearly was not enough".

722.4.2009 16:36

Is this provider in China or something?

A little censorship tends to grow.
Who decides what is "Criminal Skills"?

What is voluntary now will be mandatory soon.

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