June | 14.02.2008 17:12
British Telecom developed Cleanfeed. A list of IP addresses is drawn up by the ‘industry watchdog’, the Internet Watch Foundation, supplied to the Home Office which then augments it, and then handed to ISPs with the order to block traffic to and from those addresses.
As the Legalize Cannabis Alliance points out, no one except the Home Office knows what's on that final list. We were originally led to believe that it would be purely a list of child pornography sites. It has now expanded. No one outside government knows what is on it, not even the ISPs. They block; they don't look.
The Legalize Cannabis Alliance published an attack on the UK Cleanfeed action on Tuesday, 22 January 2008 under the title ‘Internet Censorship in the UK’. Like this web site, the LCA has also suffered Google censorship.
Here are some highlights from the LCA article.
You're now viewing a state-mandated subset of the internet. How do you feel about that?
Like to vote against it? You can't.
Like your MP to sit on a committee to oversee implementation? He can't.
Like to know if the Google results you're seeing are a full representation of Google's actual results? You can't.
Censorship at this level - above even ISPs, is all but invisible to the end user. It's a secret that they're keeping these secrets from you, (and me).
Now, this isn't China you might say, we trust our government to only censor material that needs censoring. Sure?
This is the same government that has leaned on ISPs inside the UK, and outside, not with the intention of blocking illegal or obscene material, but simply sites that irritated, embarrassed, or offended the government.
Not using legal methods either - a court order, say - but bullying and threats.
And this is the same government that was only beaten by one vote in the House of Lords, on their 2006 proposal to force UK ISPs to drop sites on the say-so of a single police officer.
This is, remember, that same government that's constantly telling us, with regard to ID cards, that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Why then, do they hide this list?
Editor. And don’t forget that this government is about to introduce the criminalization of extreme porn (including spanking!). Watch the dawn raids with TV crews filming when that happens.