back to article Brit ISPs censor Wikipedia over 'child porn' album cover

Six British ISPs are filtering access to Wikipedia after the site was added to an Internet Watch Foundation child-pornography blacklist, according to Wikipedia administrators. As of Sunday morning UK time, certain British web surfers were unable to view at least one Wikipedia article tagged with ostensible child porn. And, in …


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  1. Christopher Martin

    I'm mostly bothered by the 404

    .... because it's a lie. 4-- errors indicate a client error. We're going to need a new error code.

    506: Server returned censored content.

  2. Paul McClure

    ISP function

    I thought that ISP's were to provide access to the Internet not their version. Is this why I get a US flag on web pages and several other non US news web sites?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Is it blocked?

    I just clicked on the link and there was the page without any censoring. Does this mean they decided to allow it? I'm on Plusnet.

    I guess Paris Hilton will have to do for a confused icon.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oddly enough...

    I'm on Demon, and can see the image fine. No filtering for me then!

  5. Jonas Taylor

    Surely some common sense?

    Nudity is not a crime. There is no sexual intent here so it is not pornography. It seems sad that modern society cannot tolerate the idea of our natural form being displayed, compounded here by the subject being a child. I also find it sad that as an adult I have to worry about talking to a child I don't know for fear of being seen as a sexual predator, especially as kids look up to adults for guidance. What sort of message does it send to a child for adults to have to ignore them or break eye-contact for fear of being condemned by society?

    Obviously there should be laws and systems in place to prevent abuse, especially to protect children, but it seems even the slightest suggestion of a link to child pornography - no matter how baseless - sends everyone panicking. No doubt it won't be long till we have MPs jumping up to take the limelight on such an issue and pick a stance that no-one could not object to, like "I oppose child pornography". And all this over a pointless album cover that is of no real significance.

    I don't know what the answer is but I just know that what we've got now is very broken.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somewhat bizarrely

    While the pages containing information on the album, and image in question are censored, neither the image itself, or the thumbnail are blocked. Viewing the page through google cache which refrains from caching images, renders the page complete, images and all.

    If they're going to censor content, the very least they could do is censor the offending content, not just a few arbitrary links to it.

  7. mike
    Black Helicopters

    clicked the link

    no problem page displays im on demon this if the article correct shows how imposible it is to censor the net polititions take note esp. australia.

  8. Chris Johnson
    Thumb Up


    Alternatively, browse Wikipedia via the secure site for a censorship free experience ...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blocking is pointless

    Well I'm on Virgin Media and the page is blocked for me. It's a bit of a sad affair that if this continues we'll no longer be able to contribute to Wikipedia, although I can see this escalating. These kind of situations always turn into a mexican stand-off where the only person that gets hurt is the end-user.

    The image is still available for blocked users that happen to browse to the WikiNews page linked to in the article. Goes to show that if you use an enforcement system that relies on just blocking access to a single source it will be available at a different location almost immediately.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm also on Demon, and can see the article and image. However I get "Anonymous editing from your Internet Provider is disabled, please log in." etc if I try and edit the page.

  11. Chris Johnson
    Thumb Up


    Head to Wikipedia's secure server (in the FQDN, change www [or en] to secure) and you get Wikipedia uncensored...

  12. Graham Murray

    IP forgery

    Maybe the people affected by this should complain to their ISPs that they are forging the origin of the page requests. RFC 2616 states (section 14.45) that proxies MUST insert a "Via:" header to indicate the origin of the request to the destination HTTP server. If the ISPs were doing this, then Wikipedia would detect it and there would not be the problem of all then users seeming to come from the same IP address.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Between users and their ISPs

    This seems to me to boil down strictly to an issue between certain ISPs and their users. If those ISPs decided to impose censorship (something, remember, for which we are always eager to condemn the Chinese and others) then their users have a remedy - walk. As long as there are ISPs that don't censor, we have a choice.

    Wikipedia is right not to take any action. It's not their concern.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely kiddie porn is kiddie porn

    no matter who publishes it?

  15. Ian Ferguson

    What about

    Nirvana's Nevermind?

  16. Michael Fremlins

    Is this a child abuse image?

    I haven't seen the image (nor am I going to deliberately look for it). But the list compiled by the IWF is called the Child Abuse Image list. If the image is merely a naked child then in what way is that abuse?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Orange also appear to be censoring

    I get "Object not found" from the link.

    Just who the fuck are the Internet Watch Foundation anyway? I'm perfectly capable of deciding for myself what I want to look at or not.

    "Naked child" <> "kiddie porn". If it is, all Pampers adverts will need to be banned too.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wikipedia is hidden commercial

    It is just about posting links to your own site then claiming everyone else's is spam :)

    Now they are begging for money.

    echo "" >> /etc/hosts

    problem solved.

  19. Ian

    Visible on BT Connection

    The original album cover is visible in the wikipedia page from my BT connection this morning. Which is odd.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Censored on Virgin Media

    However, like all filtering it's trivial to get round.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Stange it is like DPI

    This is very strange. It make think of DPI is taking place like Phorm.

    If you on Virgin Media send you browser to


    There is you public IP and not some magical proxed IP. In fact this also work at other IP reporting sites, they will show you public IP.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Demon not censored

    I'm on Demon here too, and just out of interest, clicked your link.

    The page appeared in its entirety.

    The only thing I was offended by when the page loaded, was the fact that certain ISPs would go to the trouble of censoring it.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Demon not censored (yes it is)

    Ah, actually it IS censored on Demon.

    The Wiki page appears fine, but clicking on the album cover thumbnail presents

    "Access Denied (403)

    We have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.

    What To Do

    If you were directed to this site by an email or another site, then you should consider reporting the email or site to the Internet Watch Foundation. Visit their web site ( for details about how to do this.

    This blocking service is provided solely for the protection of our customers. We have not recorded that you attempted to visit this site, nor will we be taking any further action. You can find more information about the IWF list of URLs to block here:

    Demon is a brand of THUS plc "

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    still blocked at Eclipse

    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

  25. Greg

    For fuck's sake!

    Are they going to ban the cover of Nevermind then?

  26. Alex Tingle

    Let's boycott them...

    "I will move to an ISP that does not censor my Internet access but only if 1,000 other people in the UK will do the same"

    Tell your friends!

  27. Jacqui

    NTHell 'accellerator'

    NTHell has almost always ran a reverse proxy cache to try and cut down on bandwidth but they never mentioned that this was filtered.

    Also I do not see what the problem is with wiki edits - I have never bothered to try and edit anything but I would hope that edits are via https which is not RP'd therefore sees my current dynamic IP - which I can keep or renew by changing the lease data in the dhcp-client cache ;:-)

    Finally cachig reverse proxies are pretty common. Wiki designers should expect and allow for them.


    p.s. I have noticed that various statsiN freeads servers have recently gone off line fron NTHell but the image links work if you switch to a different 'N'. Another case if IWF madness?

    If so what to the IWF have against trailers and lifejackets?

  28. Les


    As the album cover can be seen on other sites, arbitrarily blocking Wikipedia makes remarkably little sense.

    Having seen it on the "Museum of bad album covers"[1], I'd describe it as in poor taste, but not actually pornographic...

    [1] Link not provided to avoid anyone thinking the Reg is a pr0n site[2], but it's the first hit if you use a well-known search engine on that phrase

    [2] As the loonies have not only taken over the asylum but sold it off to the lowest bidder and generally trashed it, anything seems possible....

  29. Simon Greenwood
    Thumb Down

    Not so much to do with Wikipedia

    As to do with the flat out fact that my ISP is choosing what I can see on the Internet. I don't recall agreeing to that in the terms and conditions that I was presented with when I signed up. That it is Wikipedia and that the page is being blocked in such a clumsy way is significant in that this would appear to be the first time that such a case has been noticed. I don't particularily care about the article in question, just that the page has been blocked by my ISP without my permission because a picture on it, which, as dubious as it is (I mean really, who thought that that would be an acceptable thing to put on an album sleeve even in 1976), is correct to show in the context of the article as it's the cover of the record under description.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    what to do if you have the album?

    Presumably possession of said album cover is now potentially an offence....

    Better check your LP collection. That Wytchfinder General (?) cover with satanic sexual violence might be misconstrued. And don't forget the bookcase! Any books by Nabokov there?

  31. Rementoire

    Yes, some common sense

    I think all sides here need to keep some perspective.

    Wikipedia is not hosting CP; if that image is considered CP, then so is the Pulitzer Prize-winning image of Kim Phuc Phan Thi. Secondly, the image is "available" (in a higher resolution) at the Amazon page for the album, and has been for years. Can you see the IWF adding Amazon to the blacklist? it wouldn't have hurt for the IWF to have contacted the WMF if they had concerns.

    But Wikipedians who are crying foul over this also need to calm down just a tad. The IWF is not a right wing or conservative organisation; it is paid to respond to perfectly valid complaints, even if the IWF acted in a heavy-handed manner on this occasion.

    Wikipedia administrators, no matter how well meaning, are not going to be the ones to solve this problem. Someone from the WMF needs to contact the IWF to thrash out a way forward.

  32. Julian Bond
    Thumb Down

    O RLY?

    "Because the six ISPs are routing Wikipedia traffic through transparent proxies, huge numbers of would-be Wikipedia editors appear to be coming from the same IP range."

    If this is true, then either the proxies are not following http or the wikipedia is making an elementary mistake in parsing the http headers. HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR or HTTP_CLIENT_IP are almost always included by proxies, transparent or otherwise.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    If the image is the issue, block the image.

    The wiki page actually details the story behind the image, and how in hindsight they regretted using it. Which is more important than the image itself.

    This is disappointing, knee-jerk reaction censorship.

  34. Mark Fraser

    Orange too?

    I'm getting 'Object not found' here with Orange broadband.

  35. pAnoNymous

    what do you expect?

    So far the IWF seem to be doing their job with reasonable discretion and I'm not going to question their judgement. I'm also not stupid enough to access the page above as lets face it chances are it's illegal in this country (UK) and I certainly can't afford the lawyers/time to argue otherwise. I'm also glad that they were wise enough to only block the offending page and not the whole site. As for Wiki, although people can no longer make anonymous edits if they use the above ISPs they can still register and make edits as known users - which has its merits.

    It is a bit worrying however that ISPs can selectively reroute our traffic into a proxy and block access to specific sites/urls without any warning/notice. When the governments say they want to monitor which sites we visit I can see this can also mean any specific content we access within the site. Privacy and the net really are an illusion that's never been less real.

  36. Steve

    Quick Workaroud

    Go here and paste for thoese of who whos isp have still blocked you

  37. Don Foister
    Black Helicopters


    Makes a mockery of Virgin medias attempt to save us all from ourselves when a quick google images request brings up many clear versions of the said banned cover.

    This kind of nannying by the overzealous morality overlords that now are flexing their muscles here in the UK as regards Internet content is somewhat pernicious. It can only lead to further net censorship & just panders to the Daily Mail reader mindset.

    As Rick (Silent P) once said: "Lets raise a peoples Army & seize control of the state"...

  38. Andrew Moore


    My money was on Blind Faith...

  39. Anonymous Coward


    Yes it's a stupid CD cover but also - it's just a stupid CD cover!

    It's nothing that you can't see on most beaches, if you're so inclined.

    That these UK ISPs have set themselves up as our moral arbiters may just encourage people with curiosity to *gasp* check Google cache, Google image search or even some of the shadier areas of teh internets.

    Let's see if the war on nudity goes as well as the war on drugs and the war on terror.

  40. Peter D'Hoye
    Thumb Down

    So what's next?

    Mark a lot of art as porn? This zero-tolerance sh*t that is slowly coming over from the US of A is getting on my nerves....

  41. Adrian Challinor
    Paris Hilton

    "Wikipedia doesn't censor."

    Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Now let me wipe my coffee off the screen. Does anyone here remember naked short selling? Oh, I think we can all agree that WikiMasters do edit when its in their own best interest.

    Now, on the album cover, as it was rereleased with a different cover, is it such a gross editorial restriction for Wiki to use that one?

    Anyway, all this will do is get everyone googleing for "Virgin Killer Scorpions" to see what the fuss is about. Oh and by the way, despite their being German, look for an acronym related to the new wave of british heavy music.

    Paris - well, because she knows from experience that you can't police the intertubes

  42. Chris Cox


    I'm with Demon, the link in the story works fine, so if it's being filtered, they're not doing a very good job!

    However, whilst I agree that there should be very strict laws to provents any form of abuse, nudity in itself isnt a crime, and this reminds me of stories like the newsreader who got arrested for taking pictures of her daughter in the bath etc. A sense of perspective is required, and effort should be put into abuse, not censoring 30 year old album covers

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blue Nosed Responce (as usual)

    I may be incorrect, but I believe the picture involved is part of a series by a famous photographer who specialised in pubescent and pre-pubescent girls, and who's collections are available in book form via the British Library!!

    Certainly images showing the genitals (this photo doesn't), are included in several photo collections by this photographer, and all of them are kept by our wonderful Library system.

    How do I know this?? It was the defence given in a child pornography case a few years ago, why were these images illegal to have on your PC when they were available at the local Library (on request), or to anyone who walked into a major city reference library??

    As far as I can tell, the defence of this stupid situation was "because", the fall back answer of any 4-10 y/o!!!

    Apparently, if it is wrapped in expensive bindings, on vellum paper and comes complete with descriptions and a philosophy it is "ART"

  44. Leo Davidson

    Wikipedia *is* censored

    When discussing whether or not the image should be removed, I think it is silly that Wikipedia admins immediately end the discussion with the mantra "Wikipedia isn't censored."

    Wikipedia *is* censored. How can they claim it is not? They will remove content which is illegal in Florida, USA. If that isn't censorship then what is?

    I am not saying that the album cover should be removed -- FWIW I don't think it should be -- but that the argument should be about what to censor and why, not whether or not things are censored at all (when they clearly already are if they are illegal in Florida).

    Their reasons for censoring content illegal in Florida are clear: Getting the servers taken offline (or forcing them to move countries) would be very damaging to the project. Fair enough. But banning anon edits for half the UK is also damaging, so perhaps the discussion should be about how damaging something should be before it is censored. Or just say "we only care about Florida and don't care about the rest of the world" which would be fine. That's still censorship, though.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    IWF Distribute Child Porn

    According to Wikimedia's bug #16569, IWF is failing to filter other methods of accessing the page. Makes me wonder whether the IWF can initiate a prosecution against themselves for permitting distribution of the image they're failing at banning.

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Aaron Gilliland

    Wikipedia doesn't censor?

    Go on. Pull the other one.

  48. Paul Talbot

    re: Surely some common sense?

    Yeah, I agree with Jonas. Context has to be taken into account, else every parent in the country is guilty of child pornography for having that silly picture of their toddler taking a bath.

    The naked body is not inherently sexual. If this album cover was fine to be displayed in record stores in the 70s, then it's fine to be displayed on Wikipedia today. Are people banning HMV next, because they have Nirvana's Nevermind album cover, with prepubescent todger on display? Of course not, because it's not a sexual image.

    I would take issue with Wikipedia if there were actually child porn there. This picture is not sexual in context, and therefore not pornography. So, no wrongdoing, only another warning that there are those in the UK who still think that we're too stupid to make judgements for ourselves and would rather censor any kind of free speech than actually go after the guilty.

  49. Kanhef

    @Christoher Martin

    Actually, 404 is appropriate here. 410 (gone) is only to be used when a resource is permanently unavailable, which is unlikely in this case. While 403 is more accurate technically, it should state why the request was refused; if the server doesn't want to disclose it, a 404 can be used instead. (see RFC 2616)

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Like all censors, consistently inconsistent.

    If the IWF want to be consistent then they should also block access to the Wikipedia article on Blind Faith's album Blind Faith. It caused a bit of a kerfuffle nearly 40 years ago when it was released but I don't recall some self-appointed moral guardians standing in front of the racks in record shops so that spotty long-haired youths like myself would instead spend our pocket money on Cliff Richard's latest magnum opus.

  51. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Ban wikiwhacky completely

    It's of no real use anyway.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Be Unlimited... or not

    I'm on Be, and the Wiki article is indeed returning 404. Very irritating as mentioned above that they feel the need to lie.

  53. This post has been deleted by its author

  54. David Mullen
    Thumb Down

    No thanks

    Talk talk are blocking it. Just been and looked via google and I wouldn't have said it was sexual content

  55. jon


    check google cache... it's a young lady, naked, with a shattered glass effect covering her nether regions... what's the big deal?

    People need to grow up and stop seeing demons in every shadow

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misuse of 404 error page

    Christopher Martin Posted: "it's a lie. 4-- errors indicate a client error. We're going to need a new error code. 506: Server returned censored content."

    Demon appear to be up front, honest, and show a page clearly stating that it is blocked and that to go further might break UK law. Most of the others lie, because "they" do not want us to realise how pervasive are the checks and controls until it is too late to do anything about it.

    Anonymous Coward (0734) Posted: "I just clicked on the link and there was the page without any censoring. Does this mean they decided to allow it? I'm on Plusnet."

    They seem to allow the page with a small version, but block the link to the larger ones.

    AC for all the obvious.

  57. Hubert

    Virgin Media filter bypass

    I find this scandalous, I don't want my browsing to be inspected or filtered in any way. The way it works appears to be literally like the great firewall of China, the connection is reset when you request the banned URL.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK, so now simple nudity is always porn then

    It is no wonder that parents are now scared to take pictures of even their own childeren. Maybe we should make all art galleries over 21 only.

    The rules were, or at least what I thought they were for, to protect children from abuse and exploitation, this is now going way too far.

    If this is now the new norm any parent allowing an under 16 to get their ears pierced is now an accessory to abuse and the piercer is a child molester. Getting measured for first bra, again an adult may have to see or touch parts of a child.

    We cannot live in such a paranoid world, the only way forward seems to dont look at, discuss, create, or be present near any children.

    Maybe the album cover is extreme porn too, but who would decide that one!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Appeared as thought it wasn't censored on Demon at first..

    You can see the small version embedded in the page. However, if you are determined to double-check that it really isn't blocked, and click on the damn thing, you get:

    Page Error!

    Access Denied (403)

    We have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.

    What To Do

    If you were directed to this site by an email or another site, then you should consider reporting the email or site to the Internet Watch Foundation. Visit their web site ( for details about how to do this.

    This blocking service is provided solely for the protection of our customers. We have not recorded that you attempted to visit this site, nor will we be taking any further action. You can find more information about the IWF list of URLs to block here:

    Demon is a brand of THUS plc

  60. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    What about a mass naked child event

    It's all very nice to give Wikipedia the customary lashing for being a cult and all but the *real* problem is evidently the fact that Internet Vigilantes have had their little self-censoring neurons triggered and found "Child Pornography" the same way some people are finding antichrist messages in time-mirrored audio tracks -- and then then we have ISPs update their blocking lists (hopefully automatically) from there.

    The image may not be in the best taste, but one should stop at some point with the Moral Panic or risk looking like an ass. We can of course go the whole way and have the big Common Internet Blocklist, where old ladies, politicans and religious authorities can inject their own idea of what's unhealthy for the sheep to see.

    Maybe it's time for an Internet Mass Naked Child Event where sites post a random naked child image (but not Porn) at a given day of the year. People excited by that can spend their day at the races or something.

  61. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    British Library

    The British Library has to keep a copy of everything published in the UK by law - been a while since I worked there but my understanding is that includes every porn magazine. I heard they kept them in a room under lock and key and you needed a good reason to go in :-)

  62. Anonymous Coward


    The next thing will be anybody viewing the image will receive a vistit from the "we know better than you" police and you will get charged with viewing child pornography.

    Bearing in mind our current knee jerk reaction "we know better than you police" pehaps wikipedia should remove the offending image from the front of the artical. Place it in a secure area, censor an image thumbnail and link via a warning message "your local police may arrest you for viewing this image".

    If the "we know better than you" police want to block internet access they can block it to the secure area rather than the whole of wiki. If you want to run the risk of arrest you can click on the thumbnail.

    To be fair this "issue" is only going to get worse. Artists have already had images impounded and released on "peodophilia grounds" and recent changes in UK law will mean viewing anything more than a ladies bare ankle will put you in prison.

    God help those people who view whole naked table legs. Welcome back to victorian times. Anti-maskers on everything, "no sex please we are british". If you are going to do anything make sure its the chamber/scullery maid in a darkened cellar, don't take any photos, ensure there are no witnesses etc..etc..

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Im happy

    Thankfully there is someone out there that thinks peado pics should not be visible to the public of the UK. I personally am glad, I dont want to accidentally visit wikipeodo and then get a stretch in jail. In this instance the Gov has protected me from jail. Right On.

  64. Anonymous Coward

    Who are they really protecting?

    It is blatantly clear that this is only going to prevent the viewing of the page by those less technically savvy in the use of a browser. Anyone with a small amount of knowhow can view this page in its entirety without too much difficulty. Google cache, is the first that springs to mind, then there is the Way Back Machine, not to mention a whole host of anonymous proxies.

    The people who pedal the real child porn go to great lengths to ensure they remain uncaught, and I imagine the technology they employ to do this is far more complex than the crude method these ISPs have employed to block a page. The point is, the real pedophiles wouldn't even bat an eyelid at this particular image. So, is there any real point to blocking it?

    The most worrying thing is that this may be the first step down a long road to censoring anything deemed inappropriate by any "independent self-regulatory body". Just who are the IWF and what makes them authority on deciding what's acceptable and what's not? It would be a little easier to swallow if it was a government body, as opposed to government backed body. I'm all for removing the rubbish and unacceptable material from the Internet but it should be removed at source, and not censored. Censoring suggests its okay for some, but not okay for others. If Wikipedia were forced by law to remove the image, then it would be deemed inappropriate for all. The fact that Wikipedia is not forced to remove the image suggests that someone, somewhere in authority doesn't see things the same way the IWF does. Who's right?

  65. Ed


    As people have touched on before, there is a photo of a little boy naked here:

    It is not censored. The lack of consistency is the issue.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Any non-standards-compliant behaviour probably deliberate

    "If this is true, then either the proxies are not following http or the wikipedia is making an elementary mistake in parsing the http headers. HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR or HTTP_CLIENT_IP are almost always included by proxies, transparent or otherwise."

    I'm guessing that they deliberately don't include them. The setup seems to be designed for stealth - for example, I know that the transparent proxy Opal Telecoms/TalkTalk use has a reverse IP lookup that looks just like an ordinary end-user IP.

    (Of course, Wikipedia doesn't take any notice of HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR etc when it's checking if an IP is banned, at least by default anyway. There are obvious security issues with doing so - can anyone say "ban evasion"?)

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "There is no sexual intent here so it is not pornography"

    "There is no sexual intent here so it is not pornography"

    Doesn't matter to the UK police state. Naked / Semi-Naked = Porn. Regardless of intent. Including cartoons! ("simulated porn").

    Just even looking at a child these days in the UK marks you as a kiddy fiddler anyway. On the news they blur out children and just show pictures of their feet (must be a plus for foot fetish freaks though!). Point a camera at a child in public and you'll be arrested (though likely they'll use anti-terror laws to justify it).

    Feel sorry for kids these days, as they must get very little contact with adults. Even their own parents can be suspects.

    Anyway, On Plus here and yes the image is blocked. However it's only the full size image. The article is fine and the smaller clip is fine.

    I'm waiting for ISPs to filter on CapAlert. That'll block the vast majority of the internet on the basis of extreme Christian moralities!

  68. mark l Silver badge

    record shops

    I've seen this album in a few record shops over the years and the police havent seen the need to raid them for 'kiddy porn' so i dont see why it needs to be censored on wikipedia.

    Nudity does not necessarily = porn.

    I've seen pre-pubesent children naked lots of times on beaches while on holiday and don't suddenly feel the need to go and molest a child. Its another example of the nanny state and has probably come about because 1 daily mail newspaper reading twat has been a bit offended and made a complaint

  69. MikeG

    Silver lining

    Well, it's not all bad - it's put a temporary stopper on the incessant Wiki messing by anonymous UK dingbats :)

  70. Anonymous Coward

    re: Im happy

    "In this instance the Gov has protected me from jail."

    The Gov protected you from an imaginary crime they've made to hunt people with the wrong age preferences. It used to be people with the wrong religion or wrong gender preference (homosexuals) but today, pedophiles.

    Will we, the human race, ever learn to tolerate those that are different?

    I say, stand up and defend the weak, don't let this taliban-wanna-be government continue this madness.

  71. Daniel Evans

    Just to add to that list...

    Talktalk's blocking that link too.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    How about "extreme porn"? Religious hate? Supporting terrorism?

    No, Wikipedia will get away with this scot free, and they should.

    The problem here, is that the IWF have a great firewall in place that many UK citizens are totally unaware of until now. Sure, protecting us from the evil of child porn is all well and good, how about when it's used to protect us from "extreme pornography"?

    The Register has already come out in opposition against "extreme porn" laws, and the possible role of the IWF to enforce this -, yet Cade Metz can't resist another cheap shot at Wikipedia, when it's the UK Government and the opaque procedures of the IWF who should be held into account.

    How about when the firewall is used to protect us against "Religious Hate"? What about sites which "Support Terrorism"? How do you define "support terrorism"? If you go by the government definition, that's essentially everything. Copyright infringement supports terrorism, littering supports terrorism, opposing ID cards supports terrorism...

  73. Philip
    Black Helicopters

    404 - Integrity Not Found

    Authoritarian behaviour more redolent of our disgraceful Government than a group of private telecoms companies

    This appalling Government are the most authoritarian, fascistic mob that have ever ruled over us - and these cowardly, lying ISPs are its enablers. China-style censorship is now reality in the Shittish Isles.

    The technique of sneaking creeping surveillance and censorship through the back door whilst waving the false flag of kiddy fiddling is now well-established practice in a country that used to stand for free speech and democracy.

    Shame on Be O2 for signing up to that fat cow Smith's control and surveillance agenda. I see boom times ahead for 3rd party paid proxies.

  74. Matt Ryan

    Blame the government as well

    The government told the ISPs that they either voluntarily block (using the IWF list) kiddie porn or that legislation would be bought in to force them to. The gutless one's (like VM) went and did it without any thought as to what the long term consequences would be - that's their bad. However the government are the thought controlling muppets that started this.

  75. Brian Ribbon
    Thumb Down

    UK law prohibits child nudity

    Under UK law, an image of a naked child is usually considered child pornography; context is irrelevant. Garda (the Irish police) reported that, between 2000-2004, 44% of "child pornography" cases in Ireland involved images which depicted no sexual activity whatsoever. Child pornography laws in Ireland are very similar to those of the UK.

    In a strict legal sense, this censorship is justified; the problem is the law itself, which should not define nudity as "pornography". The term "child abuse images" is used to invoke strong emotions and discredit those who disagree with the current laws. Don't forget that if the IWF fail to maintain outrage over child pornography, they'll lose their funding.

    See for a detailed summary of child pornography laws

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oh yeah, and:

    "If you were directed to this site by an email or another site, then you should consider reporting the email or site to the Internet Watch Foundation. Visit their web site ( for details about how to do this."

    So should we report El Reg en masse to the Mary Whitehaus Redux that is the IWF, and show just what a bunch of total ninnies they are?

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No nudes is good news?

    The law deems images to be inappropriate if they are INDECENT. See the Sexual Offences Bill at

    Of course there is no legal definition of indecent, and what you find indecent is different to what I find indecent.

    So newsreader Julia Somerville was arrested by Scotland Yard's child-pornography unit because a photo technician found "innocent family photos" to be indecent, see

    And more recently, Australian photographer Bill Henson's was questioned over his "art" photographs of a nude 12- and 13-year-old boy and girl, see (warning: potential child porn).

    But today, it is presumed that if you have an image of a nude child, then YOU are a potential abuser and pedophile. Soon, owning cans of beer will make you a potential alcoholic, and videos of Arnold Schwarzenegger will make you a potential murderer.

  78. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    What's the REAL reason for this...?

    "I'm on Demon, and can see the image fine. No filtering for me then!"

    Nope. Just a police visit.

    If we are interested in criminalising the entire British population, a simple and poor method of censorship does the job perfectly. It indicates that the image is illegal (WTF am I writing?), and then leaves it quite easy for anyone to circumvent. By circumventing the censorship you are committing two crimes, avoiding censorship and viewing a forbidden image (which you knew was forbidden because you had to avoid the censorship). Bingo! Life imprisionment unless you want to commit suicide like the unfortunates wrongly accused in Operation Ore.

    Of course, it could also be that the IWF has found that its blocking list is actually catching no one, and its customers are demanding a bit of proof that filtering is productive. This litle episode should enable the IWF to claim several million hits for its flagship product. Does anyone know if the government or the ISPs pay the IWF a figure based on the blocked access numbers?

  79. Robert

    whoa, hold your horses

    "Whether it removes the naked prepubescent or not, the Foundation will receive an uncensored Web 2.0 tongue lashing. Wikipedia isn't a user-generated utopia. It's a cultish self-contradiction that can't help but undermine its own ideals. ®"

    what the? where did that come from?

  80. Anonymous Coward

    It's broken!

    On Virgin Media the page for that specific album is gone... but the image itself quite clearly isn't, as it's found on other places on the site related to it. Expect this'll be fixed by first thing on Monday, not even Virgin Media are stupid enough to block wikipedia, especially with the number of complaints they'll get.

    Policing child porn = good.

    Banning encyclopedias = bad.

  81. Andrew Taylor
    Black Helicopters

    Wrong issue

    Whilst not a fan of Wikipedia, it seems to me that this is an issue with IWF not with Wikipedia and I am more concerned that the guardians of our internet morals find the picture sexually stimulating than the fact that Wikipedia have the cover on their site.

    Black helicopter, what else

  82. Martyn

    Next google indexer crawl..

    How many sites will be linking to this next time google updates?

    Place your bets now!

  83. Mark

    "Extreme" Images to be censored too, from January?

    Whether or not that image should be considered child porn should be up to the courts to decide.

    And from January, it seems the IWF are going to be handling reports of "extreme pornography" ( ), which is broader and far vaguer than child porn law - so if they start blocking anything that might "potentially" be extreme, I worry that this could mean a lot more sites being blocked.

    This also shows that they are willing to blacklist mainstream sites - well, at least they get points for being consistent I suppose (there`s nothing worse than selective enforcement) - but the point is that images that might "potentially" come under the extreme porn law have been found on mainstream non-porn sites. Now even if it may be the case that such a site would never be prosecuted, this shows that the IWF may happily censor any site that has a potentially extreme image on it, no matter what site it is on, or for what purpose it is there for.

    It is also wrong that the site returns a fake 404 message - Virgin Media do this, although apparently Demon do not (see the Wikinews article). Is this something decided on a per-ISP level, and something worth complaining to them about?

    @Leo Davidson - whilst you are correct, I think that's being a bit pedantic. Their policy page ( ) clearly states that they remove content in some cases. Moreover, that illegal things are removed is an issue to take up with the US Government (or Florida state), as obviously it isn't something that Wikipedia can change. The point is that many editors argue that Wikipedia should be censored even in cases where the images are not illegal, so beating them with the "Wikipedia is not censored" stick is useful.

  84. This post has been deleted by its author

  85. Tony Paulazzo

    Censored Title

    Isn't Europe going to introduce some form of US like Class action thing for consumers - well now is the time to start fighting back for our freedom. The only reason the copyrighters / moral brigade / government / fun haters are getting away with trampling over every freedom we've attained since WW2 is because we sit there and take it.

    Maybe this economic recession is a good thing, because it's only when the material 'good times' end do we, as a nation, find our voice again.

    The internet watch foundation... Ok, went there, and while there is a link for reporting websites for suspected child abuse, there is no link to query why certain websites might not be child porn. Also, one of the first things on the FAQ is how to make cartoon child images illegal - and you start to realise that witch hunts are not an evil event that happened in the past.

    I haven't even checked out the site, not being interested in German music or semi naked children, but I'm beginning to think the only way through this present stunted part of civilised non thinking is to keep your head down and ride the wave - oh yea, and if you can afford it, move out of the cities.

    Not anonymous, just very very sad that the sceptred Isle has apparently fallen into the Illuminatus hands... (and I believe Jaqui Smith is one of their agents) - paranoid much? only when I see the knives out.

  86. Long Fei
    Thumb Up

    Not blocked.

    I find it amusing that I can access the page from China unfiltered whilst my poor stifled comrades in the Socialist Big Brother State of Repression (UK) can't.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    kiddie diddling

    Guys and Gals,

    You have missed the point of these rather basic filtering rules the ISP's follow.

    The Gov is trying to protect children from being exploited in a life changing way, if you want Peado stuff, time to emigrate or face the big bloke of 30stone in your cell who likes chaps each night.

    In protecting kids from being exploited, they need some firm rules, and that means they must NOT dick around having months of debate about whether something is 'intended that way'. I am glad they have not wasted 500k£ on focus groups and legal discussions over one pic. They have done the right thing, this pic is of a naked kid that is inappropriate and deemed illegal. If you don't like it or believe it incorrect, then you have the right to challenge the law! And please do.

    And now for the most important part:

    This censorship is being done to prevent people accidentally stumbling upon a pic that could get them a jail term and a life of hell after with that paedo label. If you REALLY want to risk you freedom, you can still google cache, proxy, TOR ...etc... the pik. But thats reduces your chance of getting away with the 'ohhh i didn't realize it was kiddie fiddling porn when I accidentally bumped into it'.

    And as for 'its not in the T&C' when I signed up. Two things, firstly the T&Cs may change as and when they like, tuff! Secondly, the LAW does not need to be in any T&C.

    And finally, most T&C will already mention this because it will mention 'and stuff thats illegal'.

    You guys need to get out more than worry about a little bit of legal censorship!

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Libel case coming?

    I mean the photographer, the band and the wikimedia foundation have been pretty badly libelled by the IWF here.

  89. John Ozimek

    A warning

    I have been following the story this morning and may - editors allowing - add to it tomorrow. Be aware that under UK Law, POSSESSION of an indecent image of a child is an offence.

    Your intention (research, rubber-necking, whatever) do not count.

    Having spoken with the IWF, they are reasonably happy with their conclusion that this image breaches UK Law. Therefore, be very aware that downloading the page could have consequences.

    I am sure I don't need to point out to the technically-minded on here that simply opening the page will probably leave a copy of the image in your cache somewhere.

    Options: don't access the page. Or access it with images turned off.

    Or be prepared to argue the toss before a court. A highly unlikely outcome - but maybe one that those who pay attention to NSFW categories should bear in mind.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    about the nirvana - nevermind cover? im outraged, outraged, that this isn't banned as well.

    Im also outraged my isp hasnt banned me from seeing this filth.

  91. Anonymous Coward

    Seems we definetely have drifted into a christian Iran

    Ukonline shows the page but clicking on the thumbnail brings up the 404,

    I wonder if the black and red cross flags (a la V for Vendetta) have been ordered by Wacky and her bible thumping, red top reading minions.

    This country is a hell hole, civil liberties being tramped on constantly and 90% of people bending over yelling "harder, harder I know its for my own good mr/mrs politician"

    Kids are going to be less and less safe and more badly behaved due to the lunacy that prevails in this country that single women and men of any type are ready to snatch kids away from their parents for rampant rape and murder.

    I wish these dumb cunts would realise that (in order) parents/ family members / family friends commit the VAST majority of child abuse. But then that would require a lot of people to admit that their partner/aunt/uncle/cousin etc do act odd around their kids and the kids seem uncomfortable around them. Instead......"burn the man in the van, he is a PEEEDOO!!11!!, he looked at me kids in a funny way"

    Also most of the so called "child porn" stashes they find tend to be photos from naturist sites (explaining why they are described in court as "indecent images of children" which the red tops and any other "newspaper" brand as PAEDOPORN!!!"), rather than kids being abused, but then the police try to hide that fact as much as possible so to keep themselves in a job when the reality is that while they sit and fanny about online, crimes are being committed in the real world, kids are being abused etc but thats too much work so lets just sit in front of the computer and pretend we are doing "research"

    At least the Soviets had a sensible concept regarding nudity instead of all these insane hang ups about nudity. Hell sometimes I wish they had just pressed the big red button, would have saved me from living in a paranoid, religion obsessed police state

    Flame as some moron will pipe up claiming that I'm wrong as they dont want to face facts.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    How we love our legal system...

    From the IWF's FAQ:

    "If the complainant appeals against the reassessment decision the

    assessment on whether the content is potentially illegal according to the

    relevant UK legislation made by CEOP or the Metropolitan Police will be


    So suddenly a legal decision can be made by the police, with no potential to appeal in court?

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    this also mean that anyone who has a hard copy of the album with said cover, is breaking the law and can be arrested.

    they should have an 'images/art/music/books we have suddenly deemed to be offensive amnesty day'.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, that's my Sunday afternoon ruined then

    how am I supposed to vandalise stuff when anonymous editing's disabled? And no, I'm not about to use my socks

    @ Im happy [sic]

    nice trolling ;-)

  95. Keith T

    Wikipedia should use the solution the record labels did

    The other solution would be for wikipedia itself to do what the original record labels did: Serve up one image of the album cover in countries that have weaker kiddie porn laws, and another image of the album cover in countries that have stricter kiddie porn laws.

  96. spacealien
    Thumb Down

    What to do about it?

    I'm not happy about that at all! Is it really acceptable they do this sort of thing?

    I was banned from editing wikipedia because someone else had vandalised it, I got tarred with the same brush because of this censorship!

    Any suggestions how to make sure that the ISPs don't do this sort of thing to us? (Other than complaining to them)

  97. Anonymous Coward

    you have got to question the motives...

    .. of the sheer amount of effort that has been expended by el-reg readers to view said child porno...

    lets face it, the uk child porn laws make it illegal to posess an argos additions catalog if you dont have a child you might be buying child underwear / swimwear for...

    also those ceop inspired proxies log all blocked pages to therell be a lot of el-reg resders on variious watch lists now...

    as el-reg pointed out in an earlier article. when plod comes and lifts yout pc youl be waiting a fe years to get it back

  98. RW
    Thumb Down

    Nekkid kiddies

    Anyone who thinks depictions of naked people are inherently pornographic has at least two problems: a dirty mind and too much time on their hands. They are dirty-minded busybodies, in a word. In the case of apparatchiks, a further problem: a willingness to seize any excuse to diminish personal freedoms in the name of Correct Thought.

    In fact, maybe the complainers in this case are the ones needing police investigation. Their unease with an innocent picture of a naked child strongly suggests a seriously screwed up sexual impulse.

    Further, my sensitive nose for hidden ideology detects whiffs of the "radical feminist" p.o.v. that all men are monsters, all intercourse is rape, and similar nonsense that can be laid at the door of the late and unlamented Andrea Dworkin. I spit on her memory, though I can feel sorry for someone who so obviously never had a happy sexual experience in her sad life.

    What ever happened to the concept that naked children romping around are a symbol of carefree innocence? Freud's comment "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" is, with generous lashings of mutatis mutandis, applicable here.

  99. Anonymous Coward

    not on the big 6

    Checked out the site, have had access difficulties to the wiki when using openDNS, but the site and the picture are visible.

    Guess the ISP's ought to ban naturist sites, baby sites

    The picture has something across the lower body and suspect anyone can goto google images and search for naked girl.. Lets ban all search engines just in case they find something not wanted ?

  100. James
    Thumb Down


    Kingston Communications/Karoo whatever have blocked this page with a standard 404 error page:


    HTTP Error 404

    404 Not Found

    The Web server cannot find the file or script you asked for. Please check the URL to ensure that the path is correct.

    Please contact the server's administrator if this problem persists.

    The rest of wikipedia seems to work fine.


    This is another problem of censorship, who decides what to censor and what not to? How about ? Is this worse?

  101. McObvious

    of course... the Streisand Effect (or something similar) is kicking in:

    By making a point of blocking this page/image, masses of people who wouldn't have given it a second thought are rushing around trying to find the image on other sites, through the Google cache or via proxies.

    I'm sure this is precisely what they had in mind!

  102. This post has been deleted by its author

  103. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: British Library

    " needed a good reason to go in....."

    I'm guessing at having a staff ID badge and needing a wank being the necessary requirements here.

  104. Franklin
    Thumb Down

    Incomplete statement

    Surely Wikipedia's policy is not "We don't censor," but rather "We don't censor unless we agree with the reason for it or there's something in i for us"?

    Wikipedia has an entru on "child pornography" at

    Now, surely, if some editor uploaded a number of real images of child porn and placed them in the article with a caption like "Some examples of child pornography," they'd be removed right quick. I got fifty bucks what says Wikipedia would censor those images in a heartbeat.

    So the real issue is not that Wikipedia doesn't censor, but that in this reason they see no particularly compelling argument in favor of removing this particular image. In which, I must grudgingly concede, they are right; labeling the album cover as "porn" is ludicrous in the extreme, and blocking Wikipedia but not over it simply shows the inherent silliness of censorship.

  105. Anonymous Coward

    Jerking knees all round :(

    @Simon Greenwood:

    " do with the flat out fact that my ISP is choosing what I can see on the Internet. I don't recall agreeing to that in the terms and conditions that I was presented with when I signed up."

    You need to go back and read them again. See that bit about complying with the law at all times? Well guess what, possession and distribution of child porn is illegal. Are you saying that you disagree with this? Let me know how you get on campaigning on that.

    I'm a member of the EFF, FSF, Liberty and Amnesty International, and a founding member of the Open Rights Group as well. (I mention this not by way of boasting, but to demonstrate that I'm not one of the knee-jerk, Daily Mail-reading, "hang teh peedos!!1" brigade; and incidentally that's also why I'm posting anon on this occasion.[1]) None of these organisations advocate decriminalising child porn. They can and in some cases do have a great deal to say on a number of related matters, such as when bad laws are enacted in the name of "teh childrenoneone", but unless all you angry posters are actually prepared to advocate free access to child porn, what you're getting worked up about is a fine detail of the operating of the process. Is an image of a child in a sexual pose (which that cover clearly is, albeit not a Playboy-type pose) to be considered as illegal child porn, even though it does not represent actual sexual abuse of a minor? "No!" I hear everyone shout. OK, so what about if (purely hypothetically) Gary Glitter's computer contained that image alongside a bunch of other, more straightforwardly pornographic, images? That's the reason for filtering images like this; the notion that (a) paedophiles will use them for sexual gratification, and that (b) men (or more likely adolescents) in the early stages of sexual development may get imprinted with a sexual response to the image, such that they become in effect paedophiliac themselves. Can someone explain why such images, in that context, should /not/ be filtered? Please do write to your MP about it and come back and report what they say...

    "Man the pumps" icon, because there seem to be very little actual thinking going on (on either side of the debate - I await tomorrow morning's tabloids with interest) and an awful lot of mindless knee-jerk reactions. It's a complex issue with a lot of grey areas. People posting twat-o-tron / "from the message boards"-type comments about "nu-labour crushing free speech" are just as dumb as those "think of the children, hang the peedos" cretins often to be seen forming mobs outside the prison gates when child murderers and the like are bused in and out of court.

    [1] And where are they all today, anyway? If this was a story on AGW they'd be all over these comments like a rash...

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the law may be an ass......

    Many years ago (70's I think) a reasonably sleazy magazine in the uk got busted for obscenity, the case itself and the magazine would have remained reasonably obscure, the story went mainstream (tabloids and broadsheets, broadcast media alike), not because of the bust, or even really the content (I don't remember the specifics of the story - even the name of the publication, which acheived short lived fame before disappearing whence it came) but because of the way the prosecution was brought and it because it made clear that there was no hard fast definition of obscenity that editors could refer to in order to stay out of trouble.

    The editor asked how he could be sure that he wouldn't be busted in future. The senior officer told him that it doesn't work like that, the editor publishes and then he, the cop, or his politically motivated masters make the decision whether to bust him for it...... This has traditionally been the bugbear of our deliberately vaguely worded laws and thir enforcement. Neither the enforcement or the public can legally know quite where they stand. The vague wording gives law enforcement flexibility to tackle ne'er do wells tickling the edges of acceptability, but in the hands of politically minded media attention seekers ......... ?

    I'd argue that we need a little more application of common sense (from enforcement, publishers and law makers), less attention seeking and hysteria from everyone, and a lot more diligence from law makers, but hey, that's an unfashionable view. An MP being paid to actually think ? That's what those pagers are the party can tell 'em what they think.

  107. Alex

    was it...

    who was it had an album cover that featured a prepubescent girl holding a chrome model airplane? I can recall seeing that in a book of famous album art and thinking that was "inappropriate" and that was about 15 or so years ago, imagine the furor should they ever reissue that!

    oh and what about led zeps houses of the holy??

  108. Dave

    Campaign of Complaints

    I think what is needed is a sustained campaign by people to object to any image they see anywhere that might be even potentially pornographic. Sometimes the best way to fight stupidity is to overload the system with trivial complaints about stuff to highlight how restrictive the rules have become.

  109. Armus Squelprom

    It's the dishonesty that's disappointing...

    My ISP is blocking it, but with a fake 404. Linking though anonymouse proved that the page isn't missing at all, but that it's been censored.

    I concur with previous comments - regardless of the desirability of having that image on display (and I personally think it's nonsense), it is *wrong* for UK ISP's to falsely claim that the page doesn't exist. This is the thin-end of some very dodgy state censorship.

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virgin Killer

    But the Wikinews article you cite is not censored

  111. Anonymous Coward


    I fully agree with you, this is rapidly turning into an orwellian nightmare of the worst kind.

    I'm concerned that this is merely a decoy to keep the population and the media looking the other way while wacky slips another "emergency measure" through under the radar as she is prone to doing.

    I personally am getting close to legging it and using my permanent residence of another country to get away permanently. Don't want to do that, but I am NOT living in Myanmar/Burma, North Korea, China or Iran. Seems the government would prefer to ignore that and pretend this is one of the above totalitarian states.

    I hope Wacky makes a fuck up and is forced from office, but I get the feeling she won't or it will be covered up or at worst she will temporarily leave govt to return in a few months by the back door ala Mandelson.

    This country is rapidly reminding me of McCarthy era American, seems Wacky is using all the tricks she can from Sen McCarthy's book of dirty tricks and then some.

    I mean what was the point of WW2 if all we have done is replaced an megalomaniacal Austrian with a power mad British lunatic 60 years up the road. I get the feeling nothing was done about "the final solution" as certain "diplomats" were annoyed the Nazis thought of something they hadn't (given Britain and America were the major purveyors of anti-semitism before Nazism)

    Sadly its still going on, reportedly Britains Ambassador to Afghanistan thinks we should select a dictator as "it would be the easiest way to control the natives and maximise our potential to exploit the resources of Afghanistan"

    Sickening really, To think I was stupid enough to believe Tony Blair 11 years ago, seems the saying is true "Power corrupts, Absolute power corrupts absolutely" perhaps if the Tories had got their gameplan together sooner rather than trying to be further right than the BNP then it might have kept the loonier fringe out of the cabinet office. Sadly I think this is just the beginning of a rapid decline of UK civil liberties and the transference to a totalitarian police state.

  112. Witch finder general

    Sistine chapel FTW

  113. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    What to do...?

    "...I've seen pre-pubesent children naked lots of times on beaches while on holiday and don't suddenly feel the need to go and molest a child. .."

    Record Shops

    As has been pointed out here, the UK law on criminal images has no concept of INTENT. You saw these children, therefore you must be a paedophile. You have already ruined their innocent lives, and must be locked away before you bring Western Civilisation to its knees.....

    Seriously, what is everyone doing about this? What can everyone do about this? Is there any point compaining to our MPs? The Home Office? The affected ISPs?

  114. Witch finder general

    @ Brian Ribbon

    "Under UK law, an image of a naked child is usually considered child pornography; context is irrelevant."

    No doubt a trawl of the National Gallery would turn up some cherubim, but I won't do that because I'm <s>shit scared</s> a law abiding citizen.

    Oh, and the newsreaders photos? Or would there be some context here?

    Smells like FUD to me.

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Stop has the album cover

    Looks like my ISP had better start censoring amongst other online retailers:

  116. D

    Virgin Media have censored the article.

    returning just a blank page with no explanation. Looking at the page via a proxy service it isn't porn by any reasonable definition. In fact I think you have to be a bit of a kiddy fiddler perv type to even think of it as a sexual image.

  117. James White

    Not just home users

    We get our leased line and colo space from easynet and its filtered there. I saw this on Friday when i tried to edit a wikipedia page. I must read our contract, if they are redirecting this traffic through their "filter" then what about our hosting traffic....

    It sets a dangerous precident.

  118. Anthony Eeles

    "A cultish self-contradiction that can't help but undermine its own ideals"

    Come on, don't sit on the fence. Stand up and have an opinion....

  119. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    The good news

    is that a lot of (preciously oblivious) people will now be aware that their content is censored.

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1976 album cover.

    Seems to me the argument over whether this is child abuse has kinda missed something. The subject of the photo must at least be in her late 30s if not early 40s. Surely at this point she has the right to allow use of her image or not according to her own choice. In fact at this point could she not just be asked "were you abused in the making of this image ?" surely if the answer is no then there is no problem.

    I'm all for protecting kids from baby bouncers and preventing exploitation of anyone but I'm sure you'll all agree that the subject of the photo in question is in very little danger of being molested now.

  121. Dick Emery
    Black Helicopters

    Power corrupts...

    ...and people are sheep. We 'lefties' as 'terrists' as those in power like to tag us are few and weak. Daily Mail 'Soccer moms' who don't have a brain cell to work with are the majority here.

    Don't expect some V for Vendetta type uprsing to occur anytime soon. If ever.

    The government is the power. The media is the controller. The people are the weapon.

    Thought crime tin foil helmets on!

  122. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to do HTTPS by default?

    Please, if anyone knows if something like this exists, please say:

    We all need a way to make our browsers default to HTTPS.

    A firefox extension that contacts HTTPS for everything, then if it fails plain HTTP? I don't care that self signed certs will produce warnings (for a while anyway - it won't be long before the transparent proxies are forging certs), it will stop ISPs censoring. Maybe there's an open browser that can be easily tweaked to behave like this? If you have ever seen anything like this, please say.

    The worst thing about this offensive censoring is that to go to the Virgin Killers article I went to it through TOR. I regularly use TOR to avoid the potential actions of our oppressive government, but I didn't think it'd be needed for Wikipedia!

    Where's the icon of Jackboot Smith when you need it?

  123. blue

    Obscene? Bah! It's No Nan Goldin!

    Does nobody remember the Nan Goldin/Elton John/Baltic Art Gallery incident?

    A photo of young naked girl doing the splits directly facing the camera, showing her va-jay-jay for all to see. Seized by Northumbria police for being obscene and then deemed by the CPS to be 'not obscene' and returned to the owner (Sir Elton).

    If that image was LEGAL, then how can this one not be? It's almost prudish by comparison.

    Arbitrary censorship, pehaps? Lack of oversight = law unto themselves = bad decisions?

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Paul Talbot

    "The naked body is not inherently sexual."

    Mine is.

  125. kissingthecarpet

    @ kiddie diddling

    I'd just like to point out that AFAIK male rape is uncommon in UK gaols. The UK prison system, whilst no doubt riddled with flaws, does not have the same problems with violence(sexual or otherwise) or gang warfare as the US one, which is no doubt where your rape fantasies came from.

  126. James White

    example of a filter

  127. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I never thought...

    ... I'd have a kind word to say about Tiscali, but thanks to their terrible network management abilities, it will be at least 6 months before they work out how to block something.

    How about this for a revolutionary idea... Instead of knee-jerking (no tittering at the back), as the girl in the picture will now be approaching 40... How about asking her if she minds?

    If however the Knee-jerk brigade are removing any image that might possibly cause some kind of sexual arousal in a minority, even if the subject consented at the time, and still does, then we'd better brace ourselves for an image-free internet... And as soon as they realise that the written word can be arousing, it's all gonna go very blank.

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bucketload of FAIL

    Really, I dispair!

    First some idiot mis-identifies an album cover as pornographic.

    Next, the IWF fails to spot the mistake.

    Then my ISP decides to aggravate me by revealing that it's censoring my content, ignoring the fact that the entire internet is dedicated to letting me find the album cover on any number of other sites (and not to mention that I can also go though any number of proxies and get the original Wikipedia article anyway).

    Then Wikipedia fails to handle the proxied headers properly so that it looks as if all blocked UK users come from the same IP address.

    Wow. A great stonking steaming Christmas pudding load of FAIL with holly on.

    Good job we've got better people running our economy, eh?

  129. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Consistency? Nous?

    "...This also shows that they are willing to blacklist mainstream sites - well, at least they get points for being consistent I suppose (there`s nothing worse than selective enforcement)..."


    I don't know why you think they are consistent. That image is on a record cover, so it is available all over the web. You can buy a copy of the record on Amazon, so there is a copy there, which is not blocked in any way. , since you ask....

  130. Paul


    I'm inclined to agree that it is. It's not porn, but it doesn't have to be. The significance of the glass crack is none to subtle; I don't see how someone can say there isn't a sexual element there, especially combined with the album name. It's indecent, seriously.

    So that leaves three questions:

    1. Is that reason enough to make something illegal?

    I think not. I value freedom of information highly, and in general I think laws should only protect from things that are actually harmful. Indecent doesn't cut it.

    2. Do you want your ISP to attempt to block illegal content?

    I guess most people would say that's a no-brainer. But the key word is "attempt". You have no guarantee that they will successfully protect you from unwittingly committing a crime, nor that they won't accidentally block something legal.

    There is also the possibility that you wish to access illegal content and take your chances with the law. If so, or if you would consider doing so under some circumstance you might prefer your ISP mind its own business and just serve what you ask for.

    3. Did the ISPs in this case go about it in a really stupid way?


  131. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AP have interviewed IWF

    Seems Associated Press have in interview with IWF

  132. jon

    'Houses of the Holy' anyone???

    Just going back through my old LPs.... ah, good old days... :)

  133. Tom Paine

    "stand up for the weak"


    > "The Gov protected you from an imaginary crime they've made to hunt people with the

    > wrong age preferences. It used to be people with the wrong religion or wrong gender

    > preference (homosexuals) but today, pedophiles.


    Speaking as self-confessed player of the pink oboe, I'd like to introduce you to my good friend Mister Cluestick, over here, for equating sex between consenting adults of the same gender with sex with children. The prejudiced myth that us puddle-jumpers are more likely to be child abusers than breeders are is still alive and well thanks to idiots like you. (Of course, in reality child abusers are more likely to be hetties.)

    > Will we, the human race, ever learn to tolerate those that are different?"

    People convicted of child sex offences are criminals of an especially vile kind, and whilst they still merit basic human rights like not being tortured and so forth -- "an imaginary crime"? To quote the learned sages of South Park Elementary:


    KYLE: Dude. You have sex with children.

    STAN: Yeah. You know, we believe in equality for everybody, and tolerance, and all that gay stuff, but dude, fuck you.

    KYLE: Seriously.


    Children ARE sexually abused, and it IS a horrible crime. Sadly I have to add that I completely condemn the tabloid scaremongering and witchhunts, too, and certainly accept that there can be plenty of unforseen negative consequences to a paranoid fear of "peedos", too... just to be clear about that.

  134. Wombat

    Too much anon

    The more I read comments on The Register articles, the more prominent Anonymous Coward appears. Over 40 items this article alone. He who knows everything about everything, and has a variety of (sometimes self-contradicting) opinions on everything else.

    I need to ask the question - is this his personal blog, or is he one of the fortunate few with nothing to do all day?

  135. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A good piece on censorship

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Censorship and the Streissand Effect

    It's not surprising to learn that Virgin Killer is the #2 most popular article on Wikipedia in the last hour.

  137. Anonymous Coward

    @member of the EFF, FSF, Liberty and Amnesty International

    "a child in a sexual pose ... which that cover clearly is"

    No, it isn't.

    A couple of points you might wish to consider if you are going to continue to claim that it is, though :

    1) As you clearly believe it to be an illegal image, then by your own definition, as you have viewed the picture, you should be arrested for downloading and viewing child pornography.

    2) You see it as a sexual pose, where others just see a naked child. This actually demonstrates that you have a tendency to pederasty and should be arrested for clearly being a pervert and kiddie fiddler.

  138. Beelzeebub

    Oh shit

    I'm abandoning t'interweb forever.

    Cheers, bleeptards!

  139. Anonymous Hero


    Since it keeps coming up, I'm going to harp on the terminology issue again.

    Child pornography, indecent images of children, child abuse images. People tend to treat these terms as interchangeable, but they are not.

    CHILD PORNOGRAPHY (or variations thereof: child porn, kiddy porn) is the most common term and probably closest to what people mean most of the time. Obviously this term refers to material which shows a child and is pornographic (sexually explicit for the purpose of arousing the viewer). Some people (including the IWF) object to this term on the grounds that by analogy with adult pornography it implies the child is a willing participant. (Which in reality may or may not be the case.)

    INDECENT IMAGES OF CHILDREN is the legal term in the UK. "Indecent " is even more subjective than "pornography", but I think we can agree that the former includes all of the latter plus some content that is not explicit enough to be considered pornography. This is one of the strictest laws around on the subject.

    CHILD ABUSE IMAGES is the term preferred child protection activists and organizations such as IWF. Logically this would mean an image of a child being abused, which understandably provokes an emotional response. Unfortunately people rarely mean that when they say it. Nobody takes this to mean images of non-sexual abuse (except in Australia). Instead they mean "child pornography" or even the broader "indecent images of children". This is inaccurate because there is nothing in the definition of those terms which indicated there must be abuse.

    Mixing up these terms causes quite a bit of confusion. For instance, in this case IWF says "we block child abuse images" and then goes on to block a picture because they deem it indecent (and thus illegal) and people seeing this conclude that "IWF accuses Wikipedia of hosting child pornography". Wot?

    The Virgin Killer cover may be indecent, but it is not pornographic or an image of child abuse. If a child decides of his or her on free will to masturbate in front of a webcam, the result is child pornography, and indecent, but still not an image of child abuse. If the police are caught on camera tazing a 10-year-old, that's an image of child abuse, but not indecent or pornographic.

    So, GET IT RIGHT people!

    Here's a helpful Venn Diagram: (IIoC {CP [CAI } ) ]

  140. Jason Sheldon
    Paris Hilton

    Virgin Killer?

    I'm with Virgin Media and the page is blocked.. but I'm wondering if they're just offended by the album title, not it's cover image...

  141. jackofhearts

    This works even if your ISP is blocking it. Like mine,

  142. skeptical i
    Thumb Up

    Scorps' new album is due out soon?

    First, there are other album cover artworks that deserve at least the same amount of scrutiny as the Scorpions' _Virgin Killers_. Second, the _VK_ image is no more or less [$adjective] than what can be seen gaggled at the local mall or junior high school (in all its too- tight, too- short, and too- much- makeup clad glory). Third, _VK_ has been out for over 30 years (i.e., those who care already know all about the original album art, as they do with Guns'n'Roses' _Appetite for Destruction_), and any ill effects remotely possibly caused by the cover would have come and been long gone by now.

    Protecting da youfs from paedos must not, then, be the intent of the page blocks; so what is?

    Predictably, the page- block will drive folks (including -- I'll 'fess up -- yers truly) to the Wiki page to see what all the fuss is about ... and then what? To paraphrase Oscar, "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." Gold star goes to the hired royalty- / publicity- wringers who may have done more to revive sales for a band whose prime has long ago left the building, and a strong smack upside to the ISPs who fell for this ruse and to the political stooges whose panderings gave color of law to the whole page- blocking/ censorship mess. I can't wait to see what other stunts get concocted in order to drive product sales in a tanking economy.

  143. Anonymous Coward

    on a silly note..

    Seems slightly ironic to me that Virgin media are blocking access to pictures of virgins. Anyone been on to trade descriptions yet?

  144. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    ASCII art, please?

    So can the Reg post an ASCII art picture of the Album Cover Formerly In Dubious Taste But Now Considered Criminally Perverse so that people can have an idea what it is all about without having to go take a look-see and fall afoul of some ill-conceived law?

  145. Illsay
    Thumb Up

    Ahem, it's Scorpions...

    What commenters here do not seem to get, is that censorship sometimes works pretty darn good. If the result is that anything related to the Scorpions is kept out of sight, than that decision simply cannot be up for debate.

    Two words: German Rockband!

  146. Optymystic


    I think the article is incorrect. It may be a minor point, but my understanding is that the IWF has one single criterion which is legality. It only sensors what is illegal, so it sensors pornographic images of children, but not porn.

  147. frymaster

    Re: Neil Gaiman article

    All that article says basically is "if we have to define what we can and can't say in a legalistic way, then it is not only likely but inevitable that some of the definitions will be unfair to valuable art". This I agree with. But he then goes on the imply that means you can't therefore enforce that definition, because some people will be disadvantaged.

    I disagree. That's like saying threre shouldn't be a speed limit (whatever value it might be), because it disadvantages people with the ability to drive safer at a higher speed, or there shouldn't be a minimum age of consent, because some people are well adjusted and mature enough to be able to make those decisions at a lower age.

    There are already limitations in our speech - slander, verbal abuse etc.

    Oh, re: lack of consistency: This appears to be a disease especially affecting people in IT. There's a notion that because we can't do _everything_, doing _something_ is therefore "unfair". I'd contend doing nothing is even worse.

    Do I think there's been an almighty cock-up in this specific instance? Pretty much definitely. Do I feel that in instances like this, erring on the side of caution and sorting it out later is better than doing nothing? Definitely

  148. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end...

    All of this ranting would make more sense if the LP cover in question did contain child porn. It doesn't. It may be indecent, or tasteless, but no one has seriously suggested that this model was an abused child. The cover was controversial, she was later asked what she felt about it and is reported to be very happy and have no regrets.

    Tom Paine's complaint about child sex offenders being an especially vile kind of criminal would make more sense to me if:

    a) I didn't remember exactly the same thing being said about 'queers' in the 50s

    b) there was any indication that this cover portrayed some kind of child sex abuse.

    If we assume that the IWF are telling the truth when they say that the image is illegal according to current law (of which they seem to be the sole interpreter), then the obvious implication is that the law needs changing. In fact, we all know this - the current government (I use the term loosely) are famed for drafting amazingly wide legislation and then forcing it through with bland statements that it will be applied sensitively. Which it then never is.

    Much of our 'terror' legislation is of this type. We are told that 'only nasty terrorists' will be banged up for 42 days without charge, and then we look on amazed as a librarian and student at Nottingham University are hauled off to jail for printing out part of their coursework. Nothing to do with terrorism at all.

    Now we have exactly the same thing happening with sex legislation. I understand that this record didn't sell terribly well the first time round, so with any luck there won't be too many aging rock fans being hauled off to jail because of their record collection. But if there are, it will be nothing to do with child abuse, and exactly the same kind of misdirected legislation will be to blame. It's good to see the opposition MPs subject to the same over-reactive incompetence, but I seriously doubt that they'll learn the appropriate lesson if they ever get to power.

    Myself, I'm wondering what will happen when we have 'carbon' legislation on the statute books. Misinterpretation of that will probably have us asphyxiated in the streets....

  149. adnim


    The image is not porn. An image of a naked child is not necessarily pornographic. The girl in the image looks content and appears not to be under any kind of stress or duress, so it is not an image of child abuse either.

    The furore caused by this image is ridiculous. FFS what is all the fuss about. Does context not mean anything these days? It is an album cover, there are no other images of naked children in the article. The article is about a rock album.

    Will I be labeled as a pedophile, for saying she is(was) a cute kid, because that's what I thought when I saw the image (My ISP is not blocking this). Being an old rocker I first saw this image a long time ago, memories of the era and some old tunes came to mind. The image is not sexually arousing in the slightest, at least it shouldn't be. I do see why some sensibilities would regard the image as indecent, although I see innocence. I feel images of 10-14 year old girls caked in makeup and alluringly dressed are far more indecent.

    Anyone who does find this image arousing or sexually explicit should go seek some help.

    As for censorship and a service provider protecting me on my behalf, I don't need nor want it, I am perfectly able to close a browser window and not click on the same link twice should I be disgusted by what I see. As for the legality of viewing this page/image and the possible repercussions, context should be taken into account. However, we are at the mercy of laws that are open to interpretation and inconsistent in their application. And when it comes to pedophilia or the mere suspicion of pedophilia, such an emotive subject often if not always results in an intolerant, merciless and uneven response.

  150. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    So now nudity = porn...

    good to see the west taking a leaf out of the middle east's book.

  151. Anonymous Coward

    Firefox Anti-Censorship Extension

    What we need is an anti-censorship extension. If a page returns a 404 then the extension tries in the background using a (non-UK) proxy. If the extension gets an http 200 then there's a good chance the page is being censored, so it flashes a warning of some sort.

  152. Christopher Martin


    The request wasn't rejected by the "server", though - it was intercepted by a third party. There's no error code for that.

  153. Paul


    "Imaginary crime" doesn't make much sense, but I think I know what AC was trying to say because I expressed something similar myself. I suggested it might be a "thought crime in disguise". Sometimes it isn't even a very good disguise. Take the ongoing attempt to outlaw virtual child pornography. No real children are hurt, so what other explanation can there be?

    Even with real child pornography, just looking at it doesn't obviously hurt anyone. In that case there are some legitimate explanations for why it should be illegal, but I suspect the the main reason for the harsh punishments (five years for looking at a picture!) is just that we're disgusted by it and anyone who uses it.

  154. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a solution

    There is a workaround this increasingly repressive attitude towards men and children; simply burn your eyes out, cut off your hands and burn yourself so severely that you need several layers of protective clothing in order to survive. That way the next time so welfare scrounger of a mother accuses you of kiddie fiddling, you can proudly say that she is a liar. And the police will believe you!

  155. Beelzeebub

    Ah feckit

    Might as well die (c) Steely Dan:-

    * Comms DB

    * Photography restrictions

    * Illegal images

    Hands tied so much, I can't even strangle meself.

    Oh well. We've all got mad cow disease and it's starting to show.

  156. Gavin Lyons
    Thumb Up


    " Savvio 15K.2 has a SAS 2.0 interface running at 6Gbit/s and comes in either 73GB or 2146GB"

    Cool I'll take the 2TB version please :)

  157. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    @The guy pretending to be member from AI, EFF etc..

    "OK, so what about if (purely hypothetically) Gary Glitter's computer contained that image alongside a bunch of other, more straightforwardly pornographic, images?"

    He probably also has images of his mom or dog on his PC. Why should anyone care?

    "That's the reason for filtering images like this; the notion that (a) paedophiles will use them for sexual gratification"

    Please explain why we can't have that.

    "(b) men (or more likely adolescents) in the early stages of sexual development may get imprinted with a sexual response to the image, such that they become in effect paedophiliac themselves"

    That sounds like total BS coming from some quack psychologist looking for a steep career in law enforcement (like what happened with the "repressed memories of child abuse" so popular in US courtrooms 10y ago). Care to cite any peer reviewed papers on any of this?

    "Can someone explain why such images, in that context, should /not/ be filtered? Please do write to your MP about it and come back and report what they say..."

    DEFAULT ACCESS IS NOT TO FILTER. Please hand back your AI, EFF etc. membership cards forthwith. If I haven't been too clear: your reasoning applies perfectly well to any democratic "free world" propaganda found on a PC of some poor sod in Bananastan...

  158. Simon Painter
    IT Angle

    oh balls...

    now I have to change ISP *again*.

  159. Anonymous Coward

    wiki v IWF

    The album art you are all on about i am aware of from the original outburst of arguments in the 70's...

    Personally, i believe it is inappropriate material. the kid looks young and is in a pose directed by the photographer.... it was right back then, and it is right now to class that filth as child porn...

    a few people have piped up about Nirvana and the album art for Nevermind. that picture is another story, its of a baby swimming in water... the photograph is not directed by a photographer and is not sexual in any way.... There is no issue with that...

    a few others have said about "what about photos of the kids in the bath", well again, unless the photo is posed in a sexually provocative manner then there should no be a issue..

    Wikki should do the right thing and pull the image and then argue the corner....

    all that said, i do not believe in censorship... if you are offended by the page, then complain to your local authorities and do not go back there...

  160. Tom Paine

    Must child porn depict abuse to be child porn?

    @AC "In fact at this point could she not just be asked "were you abused in the making of this image ?" surely if the answer is no then there is no problem."

    Hypothetical scenario.

    Suppose the cops catch someone who has in the past, but who's served a jail term and been released, with a large numbers of images where the child depicted was not being directly abused *in the picture* (setting aside whether the act of taking the picture, or distributing it, or having a wank over it, is in itself abusive or not.) Let's suppose for the sake of argument that that there's no doubt from the context that the guy's using this material as pornography. Should the possession of that material by that man be a criminal offence, or not?

    Visitor icon, 'cos today I feel more like a stranger in a strange land than ever - I can't believe I'm having to make this case 8.

  161. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution.

    Chuck the whole lot of them on a bonfire.

  162. Richard Bishop

    Definitely going through proxies on both Virgin and Eclipse Internet

    Visiting the page on Virgin Media gives a blank page (0 bytes). It seems that they have redirected requests to to some proxy at - to get the proxy IP simply try and edit any page on Wikipedia which will reveal the IP. Visiting any other website or one of the many 'whatismyip' websites shows me my actual public IP. The Virgin proxy doesn't seem to add or modify any headers though - you literally get a blank page.

    Visiting the page through Eclipse Internet gives me a 404 error page

    "The Web server cannot find the file or script you asked for. Please check the URL to ensure that the path is correct." This is apparantly generated by a Squid server (squid/2.6.STABLE15) called 'wensleydale.karoo.lan' - public IP is The Eclipse proxy appears to be adding HTTP via, cache and error 'access denied' headers. Again, visiting any other websites displays my 'real ip'.

    <- Flaming ISP's!

  163. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How can this be considered "nude" anyway?

    I'm surprised no one has commented on this already, but take a good close look at the "full res" 300x300 image on Wikipedia. There are no naughty bits on view anyway. The cracked glass effect covers the pubic area and if you examine the chest for the presence of nipples you will find nothing. Whether this is the effect of the low resolution or they have been deliberately airbrushed out is irrelevant. There are no genitalia on show here.

  164. Jim

    @Don Foister

    "As Rick (Silent P) once said: "Lets raise a peoples Army & seize control of the state"..."

    Hardly a revolutionary idea...

  165. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uh oh...

    ...better keep an eye out for the Nevermind album page!

  166. Alex
    Thumb Down

    the Scorpions'

    a lot of people seemed to have missed an important point here, the Scorpions are shit.

    that said WTF is with ISP's now? since when did forging web pages (or the lack of existing) be part of their 'service'???

  167. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ jackofhearts

    My ISP isn't blocking the page, but my IP address still falls under the naughty range, so I can't edit anything without being logged in: that https://secure trick allows me to do both, and, interestingly, shows that Wikipaedia is getting my actual IP address rather than that of some proxy with an address in the range.

    Anyway, panic over, move along, nothing to see here.

  168. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    But Wikipedia DOES censor.

    Have you ever tried putting the actual Goatse picture in the goatse article? Gone in seconds!

  169. Duncan Hothersall

    @ Destroy all Monsters

    Bravo, bravo. Well said throughout.

    I rang my ISP (Virgin) yesterday to register a complaint that they are censoring my internet connection transparently and without notification. I am absolutely horrified by this, because it means that even with all the anti-phishing features in my browser, all the domain-ownership checking that can be done to be sure of the site one is on, any given page I look at could be the invention of Virgin and I would be none the wiser.

    If I want to censor the content coming into my house I will do so. If I want an internet connection censored by someone else (and I can't imagine a situation where I would) I will buy that service. And most importantly of all, if Virgin feels that it must block access to a particular site or image under its legal obligations it MUST TELL ME IT IS DOING SO rather than present a false version of the internet to me without ant notice.

    Demon appears to have it right here - explicit notification that the jackboot of government has prevented an image being shown. Virgin has it totally wrong, with their transparent proxying.

    I'm really fucked off.

  170. Trix
    Black Helicopters

    Can we leave out the irrelevant editorial

    "Whether it removes the naked prepubescent or not, the Foundation will receive an uncensored Web 2.0 tongue lashing. Wikipedia isn't a user-generated utopia. It's a cultish self-contradiction that can't help but undermine its own ideals. "

    As others have said, seriously, WTF is up with that statement? No one, other than perhaps Jimmy Wales, is professing that Wikipedia is a utopia. But "cultish" and "self-contradictory"? I don't see what's "cultish" or "contradictory" about my throwing up articles about the NZ Women's Rugby Team and a governor of NSW in the 1800s. It's a *resource* of variable quality (some parts excellent, some parts crap) contributed to by the general public, with all the strengths and drawbacks that implies. Get over yourself.

    That statement really detracted from an otherwise decent news article.

  171. James


    Virgin killer is now THE most popular viewed article hit on Wikipedia

    the second most popular is Scorpions

  172. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talk about misguided...

    And this on the advice of an unidentified police 'service'!

    'IWF spokeswoman said a reader had brought the image to the foundation's attention last week and it had contacted the police before adding the page to their list.' (today's BBC News article

    Not, apparently, the Home Office you'll note - just 'the police'...

    Looks to me as if 'the police' are becoming pretty much a loose cannon lately, what with recent events involving MPs?

    The obvious question is, do the politically correct members of the police services have nothing more pressing to occupy their time these days than offering advice concerning access to Internet sites? Surely that is the province of the legal profession?

    Both they, and the bulk of UK ISPs seem way too eager to anticipate the unspoken requirements of what they see as their political masters of late.

    Well, if they would care to get back in contact with reality they might, possibly, realise that, in a situation where there are far more pressing matters looming (public order in the police's case, lack of business in the ISP's case) than toadying to the curtain peeking supporters of a government that has a severely limited life span...

    I'm fed up, most of us I feel are fed up, with the current situation where, with things visibly coming apart big time, our government appears to be sitting, fingers in its ears, singing 'la, la, nothing's happening, we can't hear you' while things go to hell.

    The IWF, supported by our police services, seems to have mutated, as most similar organisations founded with what appear to be the best of interests do, into yet another haven for politically correct control freaks. And the bulk of UK ISPs seem to have placed themselves firmly in the same camp.

    Ah well, it's not going to last long. I foresee a nasty outbreak of pragmatism on the not too distant horizon.

    Meantime - it really does seem that the loonies have taken over the asylum...

    (Anon because, until this is sorted out, it's clearly unwise to speak one's mind in the UK these days)

  173. Anonymous Coward

    we need a legal challenge

    Heres an idea, why don't we all register the amazon links with IWF... IWF cuts off Amazon.... then before you know it a MASSIVE legal challenge is started and we will get this ironed out.

  174. Danny

    European sensibilities

    Which famous photographer took it ?

    I watched a 20 minute EuroNews TV report on David Hamilton which featured many his his young nude portraits. Ironically that was broadcast by Virgin.

  175. James Hughes

    Methinks they do protest too much...

    Picture of naked girl with cracked glass effect over genitals, underneath a banner which says Virgin Killer. Nah, no sexual content there at all. Can't see any paedoes getting there rocks off over that one.


    When most of the commentators above have their own children (First you will need a girlfriend, then stop watching porn for long enough to lose your virginity), perhaps they won't be so outraged at this prevention of them watching whatever they like on the internet.

    The best thing to happen would be for Wikipedia to remove the offensive picture, and whilst I don't have any sort of nudity taboo whatsoever, I did find the picture unnecessarily offensive . Whether they regard it as porn or not, it would save so much cr*p just to remove it.

  176. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Speeding Analogy

    I was going to say that speed limits were a poor analogy because they only inconvenience speeders.

    Then I remembered a steep gradient near bicester which you had to hit the accelerator hard to get up and which had a speed camera exactly where it levelled off and your speed jumped up for a couple of seconds. So yes, excessively strict speed rules are a bad thing.

    Still, a better analogy would be parking restrictions and the nurse in Canterbury whose car was clamped while she knelt beside it in full uniform giving emergency first aid to someone who had collapsed on the pavement.

  177. Peter White

    this debate illustrate the issues caused by the global nature of the net

    i have not looked at the image and would not want to, but this debate raises some important issues with the internet as it stands

    content (such as the image above), ISP processes (for instance phorm in the UK) or even if for advertsing / privacy options etc (some countries says has to be opt-in others opt-out to be legal) which are legal in one country may not be in another, so how should these situations be handled

    this legal mess is a global issue and can't be resolved by a single quango or ISP unilaterally censoring bits of the net

    but the issue is to try to get all governments / legal authorities to agree on a common framework and punishments for infringment, as some countries run on cash generated by black economies this will be a problem in itself, take medicines if you read some of the emails it seems to indicate canada allows online sales of prescription drugs, hence all the viagra adverts say canadian origin etc. take pron, what is deemed accepable images of consenting adults in one country are not acceptable in another

    i do not see a sensible conclusion to this issue until there is international co-operation and a body with teeth and that is not afraid to use them enforcing any rules against the website owners and if required hosting companies. but then you have issues with hijack sites and various other issues as well that could lead to innocent sites being subject to penalties

    as i say no sensible conclusion to this case, but it is yet again showing just how much tracking and invading of privacy the major ISP's are doing without telling their customers


  178. Anonymous Coward


    "I have been following the story this morning and may - editors allowing - add to it tomorrow. Be aware that under UK Law, POSSESSION of an indecent image of a child is an offence.

    Your intention (research, rubber-necking, whatever) do not count.

    Having spoken with the IWF, they are reasonably happy with their conclusion that this image breaches UK Law. Therefore, be very aware that downloading the page could have consequences.

    I am sure I don't need to point out to the technically-minded on here that simply opening the page will probably leave a copy of the image in your cache somewhere.

    Options: don't access the page. Or access it with images turned off.

    Or be prepared to argue the toss before a court. A highly unlikely outcome - but maybe one that those who pay attention to NSFW categories should bear in mind."

    Such a cowardly response from a staff writer on The Reg: I expected better. This image has been 'retrospectively' declared 'indecent by the New Inquisition but for how many years has it been a perfectly acceptable album artwork without ever raising an eyebrow? How is it now - suddenly - a 'dangerous' thing?

    Where are the champions of free speech and common sense? All cowering, it seems, behind incoherent and servile statements of morality and 'staying the right side of the law'. Good job, Reg - you got nobbled, too, didn't you, by the State - they put the sh*ts so far up you even you dare not reprint what has been a perfectly legal image for decades because the Paedogeddon has decided it's now 'obscene' and 'indecent'.

    Things are getting very silly now. And very, very dangerous for all...

    I'm also too chicken-shit to post as anything other than Anonymous. It's pathetic.

  179. Rory Wilson

    VIrgin Media in breach of it's own Use Policy


    12.2 We are not responsible for the content of materials and information published by others (including Users) that are accessible via the Services, and we do not accept liability or responsibility for any such publication.

    (I don't think 12.3 applies to this case, since wikipedia isn't on their servers).

  180. Sean Casaidhe
    Thumb Down

    What a load of steaming donkey-crap!

    Here's the rules;

    To minimise the availability of potentially illegal internet content specifically;

    * images of child sexual abuse* hosted anywhere in the world

    * criminally obscene content hosted in the UK

    * incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK

    *Please note the IWF use the term child sexual abuse images to accurately reflect the gravity of the images we deal with. They are also commonly referred to as: Child Pornography, Child Porn, Child Porno and Kiddie Porn. If you see such images online please report them.

    So this picture is serious kiddie porn. Presumabely;

    A) The band is going to face charges about producing child porn, and it's now an offence to possess said image


    B) IWF is going to back down with serious egg-on-faces


    C) the IWF censor-list is going to be dumped by ISPs with serious egg-on-faces.

    Well done IWF!

  181. Michael Nielsen

    If I was paranoid

    Terror laws, indecent images and Child protection laws (specificially child abuse/porn laws), all seem to be written in the vaguest possible way, so that the laws can be applied to anything without exception.

    It is almost as if the politicians have discovered a way to introduce the orwellian society, legally, and with the consent of the public.

    Most of these laws seem to circumvent the normal protections that the public had, such as rights to privacy, innocent until proven guilty, and so forth.

    The change is achieved by diverting the attention from the content of the laws to the focus of the law, which means critics will consistently have to defend actions such as terrorism, paedofiles, and so forth, which means critics are silenced by that association with nasty things, and thus such laws are created without opposition, nor any real debate about their contents. This of course results in the scope of the laws being almost unlimited, and the potential for misuse of the laws is also unlimited.

    If the erosion of civil rights, and protection of the individual, is organised or driven by someone, that person is ingeniously moving the so called free world (tm) towards a totalitarian state, that will make the USSR and China seem like progressive, freedom loving societies. Most incredibly, they are achieving it with the support of the population.

    My fear is that once a certain critical mass of these types of laws are achieved, then judicial system will collapse, and the west will be shifted from "The Free world" to "the federation of police states"

    Most frightening about the way the world is moving is that all these new laws, surveillance of the general public is not improving the security of our world (as the creators of the laws claim), the laws are just the foundation of the coming orwellian police states.

    For instance in Denmark the current rate of new laws over the last few years, is more than 1 law passed per day. It is probably of a similar magnitude in other so called free states,

  182. Richard Fletcher

    Another ISP

    I'm using Eclipse internet ( ). They too are blocking the page so you can add them to the list of participating ISPs.

  183. Anonymous Coward

    ASCII a stupid question, get a stupid ANSI

    Anonymous Delivers

    Unfortunately El Reg isn't very ascii art friendly it seems. You'll have to see it here:

    No she isn't really made up like a clown. Yes, all of the cracks represented are in the glass, not the girl. And yes, I do feel slightly creepy for having made that.

  184. Anonymous Coward

    Spinal Tap has finally become reality

    Bobbi Flekman: You put a *greased naked woman* on all fours with a dog collar around her neck, and a leash, and a man's arm extended out up to here, holding onto the leash, and pushing a black glove in her face to sniff it. You don't find that offensive? You don't find that sexist?

    Ian Faith: This is 1982, Bobbi, c'mon!

    Bobbi Flekman: That's *right*, it's 1982! Get out of the '60s. We don't have this mentality anymore.

    Ian Faith: Well, you should have seen the cover they *wanted* to do! It wasn't a glove, believe me.


    David St. Hubbins: It's a fine line between being stupid and clever.

    IMHO, the IWF are so far beyond the stupid side of the line that they can't even see it any more.

  185. Stephen Coshott

    Virgin Banned it ?

    Virgin used to be all for fighting against that sort of thing.

    Are our friends in the colonies and in Europe busy laughing at us for such a fuss over an album cover ?

    The UK is so fucked.

  186. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have the right to be offended!!! ?

    WHAT THE F**** ????

    I don't need protected, I am an ADULT.

    If I want protection I will go watch a film rated 12. I will not go to a website which we must all know by now, makes a point of not censoring itself and admitting what is surely common sense online: that you might come across potentially offensive content..

    Well great. I go online specifically to get the uncensored truth but darn it, my government is stepping in to make such a thing impossible.

    If I type in the word crab anywhere on the internet, (for example) looking for an innocent little image of a crab running along the beach... I am fully aware that a huge picture of a penis may pop up at any moment. In fact, I would be surprised if it didn't.

    I realise bad things happen, and honestly, a photo of a naked child is not something that would disturb me, what disturbs me is the government going out of it's way to control my life and not only guess what will offend and corrupt me, but make it impossible for me to one day see anything but cute little fluffy kittens and rainbows.

    I fail to understand the extreme seriousness of supposed child porn images, mostly the pseudo images, and specifically things like cartoons. I don't understand the gross over-reaction. Yes, it is appalling blah blah, but a photo is not a crime. Seeing a photo cannot possibly be an offense because no-one is being harmed by the viewer. The viewer has not done anything wrong and even if it was a mistake they apparently still get in trouble with our police which means we end up with a society saying 'will I report it or will reporting it get ME in trouble?' It's already going on with various other crimes.

    This is all backwards. If the images that are getting censored are so bad then I hope that whoever took them are all sitting in jail right now, whilst our government waste millions of pounds trying to eradicate (NOT child porn) but all photos of all children ever. Meanwhile they fail to get the point that paedophiles will be cranking out more (real life stuff) by the hour, so their efforts are futile.

    But at least instead of the bad guys getting away with it, the police seek comfort in thinking they're actually achieving something, by transferring the blame and punishing people who come across the photos by accident, or merely have a photo of a naked child.

    Not to mention the fact that they have now brought a very obscure cd/photo to the attention of god knows how many people!! (also the ridiculousness of their attempted censor doesn't even take into account that you can view the page complete with the photo on their very website if you just view the page in another language. Oops! I shouldn''t have said that. I guess they'll have to pay more attention the next time they try to ban us from seeing certain things online...)

  187. Ash

    The best bit?

    All of you who have posted about being able to view the image without issue have admitted to viewing the image. Under UK law, that makes you a dirty dirty child rapist.

    Prepare to receive a deeeeeeeep cavity search from the Long Arm of Fasci^H^H^H^H^HThe Law.

  188. This post has been deleted by its author

  189. Anonymous Coward

    Going Further Down The Plughole

    Has the IWF actually published a legal opinion to confirm its own belief?

    Oh Christ, does my being in the house when my other half bathes her young son make me a nonce? I know people who have been abused and people who have been lied to by convicted nonces (they said they weren't when they are on the SOR) and even they think the IWF has overreacted here.

    I can see the future - people being dragged off to the cells by police because a neighbour has reported them for being in the house while a child was bathed.

    Time to get the flock out of here.

  190. Anonymous Coward

    The proxying is actually easy to bypass

    The ISPs that do the filtering do so by serving up altered DNS records from their name servers to point your browser at the filtering proxy.

    Set your nameservers in your router to and Say hello to OpenDNS and goodbye to proxies. As a long-time OpenDNS user I followed the Virgin Killer link from Slashdot, and the page loaded normally, and I'm on one of the ISPs who do the filtering.

    Changing your DNS servers is much faster, easier and a lot less hassle than changing ISP!

  191. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tee hee !

    The BBC news site is carrying this story and includes links to the IWF and to the Scorpions website - which features a picture of said album cover. Of course I was shocked, and immediatly reported the BBC to the IWF...

  192. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Child Porn

    If this image is really child pron, then the IWF should get off it's arse and prosecute the "criminals". They can start with HMV, Zavvi and anyone else in the UK stocking this item. They can then move on to etc.

    It's either child porn or it isn't. It can't change it's status simply depending on what site it it on.

  193. Steve

    WARNING - link to image of genuine child abuse

    - The child within the linked image is not simulated

    This has been commented upon several times already, but in case you missed it:

    - This image is not simulated

    - The child is obviously a minor

    - The child is naked

    - The child is obvious distress

    - The image is not artistic


    So where do we draw the line?

  194. Rob Burke

    Ethical ISP

    There are plenty of ISP review sites, but it would be nice is if review sites also considered how ethical ISP's are.... Policies on phorm, censorship, how green they are...

  195. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: WARNING - link to image of genuine child abuse

    - The child within the linked image is not simulated

    Not a problem

    - This image is not simulated

    Not a problem

    - The child is obviously a minor

    Not a problem (do you have pictures of your children? Or are they simulated...)

    - The child is naked

    Nudity is not sexual. Read the act and the definitions used in it.

    - The child is obvious distress

    Nope. The child themselves were asked and were OK. There IS NO DISTRESS.

    - The image is not artistic

    In what way?


    No, it isn't. You have made some points that have nothing to do with the legality. You make a point which says it is something to do with the illegality and you are wrong. You make up something that doesn't exist and then finish with a personal opinion (pre-raphaelite pictures) and the award winning picture of a girl in Vietnam running away screaming because she's been burned by napalm is neither artistic, showing a simulation, showing someone not in distress, nor showing a minor, or with a minor dressed even partially would fall foul of your definition of what ***you*** consider child porn.

    Yet if we remove that picture from history, we have damaged our history and hide the horror of decisions made in error. Cheapeneing our future as humanity.

    But, so long as you can't see nekkid kiddies, that's A-OK!

  196. j
    Thumb Down

    The wikimedia foundation is a long way from perfect

    perfection, and I read with great interest the reg's investigations into the somewhat obscured machinery behind the scenes of what is a very influential resource which is not probed adequately by mainstream media......but using this debacle as an excuse to attack the wikimedia foundation is frankly pathetic, and you now have me wondering if other reg reports on wikimedia are born out of biased vitriol.

    I'd feel far more comfortable if our author would fully disclose any details about his own relationship with wikimedia?

  197. Mark
    Paris Hilton


    "Picture of naked girl with cracked glass effect over genitals, underneath a banner which says Virgin Killer. Nah, no sexual content there at all. Can't see any paedoes getting there rocks off over that one."

    There's nothing about sexual intercourse. In fact, to take the black-and-white, if the child was molested, they could not be killed because they would no longer be a virgin.

    So the very title, rather than intimating sex, merely intimates killing and explicitly EXCLUDES sex.

    And paedos get their rocks off over beauty queen pageants and underwear section of Argos catalogue. Heck, if they have a foot fetish too, children fully clothed walking barefoot. Do we chop off feet to stop that?

  198. Anonymous Coward


    Since I suspect none of the isps blocking this has included the right to censor the internet in their customer agreement, you guys are lucky. You just got out of your binding-time agreement, since the ISP is not supplying the product you agreed on, and you are free to switch to another supplier. If sufficient amount of customer leave the censoring bastards, they'll start loosing money, and will stop this practise.

    Or, you can demand that they block as well, unless they want to be sued for unfair practises (which they are open to now)

  199. Mark

    re: Rediculous

    "The image is not sexually arousing in the slightest, at least it shouldn't be."

    A friend at University was telling me once about how "The Accused" was watched and a male friend afterwards said to her that the movie made him feel ashamed.

    My first thought was "Why? Did he get a boner?". The second was "Why? Was he trying to show how 'sensitive' he was and get therefore into your knickers?".

    I said neither.

    Probably just as well.

    But yup, the rape scene was horrific. It didn't shame me because the bad actions of someone with some chromosomes missing like I have doesn't make me ashamed of me.

    If I *had* gotten a boner at that scene, I would have been somewhat ashamed, but that would be because of *my* actions or reactions. Not the actions of others.

  200. Mark C

    Is it me?

    I actually find the replacement cover far more offensive. Hairy german men .... one seemingly offering a good fisting.

    Mine's the black leather one with studs

  201. Anonymous Coward

    @Tee hee !

    This is why they have a disclaimer there saying "The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites".

  202. TorMentor

    Objectivity please.

    Evaluating the image in question seems to be a highly subjective issue. Does it eroticise a naked child or not? IWF obviously thinks it does. The law, as per R. v Oliver, Court of Appeal 2002, gives the following guidlines defining levels of indecent child images:

    "Sentencing those having indecent pictures of children

    For the purposes of sentencing those convicted of offences involving indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children, the two primary factors determinative of the seriousness of a particular offence were the nature of the indecent material and the extent of the offender's involvement in it.

    As to the material, pornographic images were to be categorised by the following levels of seriousness:

    (i) images depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity;

    (ii) sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child;

    (iii) non-penetrative sexual activity between adults and children;

    (iv) penetrative sexual activity between children and adults, and

    (v) sadism or bestiality.

    As to the nature of the offender's activity, the seriousness of an individual offence increased with the offender's proximity to, and responsibility for the original abuse."

  203. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VM 'silent' intercepts

    Just came across this, haven't been online for a couple of days.

    Link is most definitely down on VM, but what gets me is how surprised pple are that this sort of thing is going on.

    I'd spotted months ago that VMs 'transparent' web censoring and content monitoring boxes were selectively intercepting traffic bound to-fro a well known file sharing service (badongo, which I see, is still being intercepted, rapidshare appears to be ok)

    A few months back, someone else in one of the newsgroups spotted something similar, and was, ISTR, fobbed a line by VM technical Support about 'network problems' (which, as anyone on VM knowns, is a very plausible excuse).

    Occasionally, when downloading files from a number of sites, I've found a lot of broken transfers, on the first try, then on second attempt, very fast downloads - spoor of a borken webcache/proxy - but hey, if they (VM, Spook Squad, Uncle Tom Cobley et al) want to waste cpu time parsing Unix/Linux application source code for anything dodgy... at the time, it made me wonder if they were trying out something which triggered on keywords.

    In most cases, using traceroute then tcptraceroute, I'd tracked the issue to unnamed boxes lurking somewhere on the VM network.

    I see since then, the boxes have been given names..

    hey ho, double plus ungood and all that...

    (BTW can we have a please ?)

  204. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: re: WARNING - link to image of genuine child abuse

    Sorry, I see that you already said that.

    If only I waited to read all your message.


    (see, we really DO need a male dumbass icon, since I'm not a woman, but just evidenced dumbassery of the required cailbre)

  205. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If this image is illegal it's also a 'scene of crime'...

    If this really is an 'indecent' image as defined in UK law, then it follows that it is also 'a scene of crime' (see: Jim Gamble CEO - CEOP).

    I await the first of the dawn raids on all and everyone who has either viewed this image online, owns the original album artwork, the record companies, the retailers on and off-line who have been pimping this filth and, of course, the taking of the woman who was presumably forced as a child to pose for this 'abuse' all those years ago. She could probably make a mint in criminal compensation now, actually.

    I suspect UK law will dodge this bullet by claiming any new laws regarding 'obscenity' do not apply retrospectively; thus anyone who saw or owned this image prior to the Inquisition's latest dictats on 'indecency' can somehow continue owning and looking at it without fear of persecution, but as for those new to the party... time to expect the six o'clock knock..?

  206. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The bigger picture

    Aren't we missing the bigger picture here. The real question is not Wiki's attitude to all of this or the way the IWF (7 people plus some coppers) have decided that this single image is "potentially illegal" - btw I'm waiting for the cops to raid Amazon and HMV and seize their stock and arrest all their staff for distributing illegal images, or maybe I should wait for The Scorpions and their record label to sue IWF.... now that would be fun

    The bigger question is really what else out there have the IWF blocked for similar reasons that we haven't noticed? They keep their list so close to their chest to stop people working out if they've been put on it that no-one really knows what is on it.

    Of course its also made every person realise that their internet feed is monitored and controlled by an unelected group of New Puritans....

    Oliver Cromwell would be laughing.. or did he make that illegal too?

  207. Frank Fisher

    A thoughtless thought crime

    "It's either child porn or it isn't. It can't change it's status simply depending on what site it it on."

    Doesn't work like that in British law - it can change status depending on who looks at it or posesses it, or if you're turned on by it or not. No joke. Naked child photo in parents hands who look on it with fond afection: no crime. Naked child photo in stranger's hands who looks on it as cute: no crime. Naked child photo in paedo hands who looks on it and gets the horn: crime.

    The trick of course is how you decide what people are thinking.... At this level - level 1 of their sliding scale, simple nudity, no sexual content - it's a thought crime. The item only becomes child porn if you're aroused by it.

  208. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Once again, no such thing a bad publicity!

    There must have been about 10 of us Scorpions fans in the whole world who knew about it, and the Blind Faith one, now everyone knows about it! Should raise their profile again, been a bit quiet lately!

    Well I have a huge box of vinyl ready for Mary Whitehouse style cronies to come round and censor when they have time, just hope they have a big budget for taxis and fire lighters as it's going to take a while to get around to all of us!

  209. Anonymous Coward

    ludicrous IWF judgement

    Police opinion - horseweathers. I don't believe for a second they obtained an opinion from anyone qualified to to offer one. They'll have asked some random plod who'll have simply trotted out the party line - "Better safe than sorry, ban it"

    Lets recap: this is a photo

    - taken with the consent of the subject's guardian.

    - neither involving sex acts nor posed provocatively.

    - concealing the genitals.

    - of a young girl topless.

    Go to any beach in the UK in the summer and you'll see girls this age topless. Go to any beach on the continent and you'll see far more - in Barcelona this summer there were lots of kids skinny dipping.

    So what we have here is a bunch of self-appointed censors, with no public oversight process, operating without a legal framework to impose a set of ill-defined rules of their own devising. And who would dare complain? Who wants to be branded a paed? Its a win/win situation for the puritans.

    Question is - will they dare to go after Amazon and the other retailers selling the album?

  210. David Hicks

    i think I'll be writing to my ISP

    I didn't sign up for a censored internet.

    I have no interest in naked children or any Scorpions album cover, I don't care about that. I care that my traffic is being routed via some moral arbiter's transparent proxies.

    I didn't sign up to use the IWF 'service' and I don't want their petty fear-based moralising having an influence on the information i can and can't see. Interfering England at its worst.

  211. Anonymous Coward

    @Kim_Phuc_Phan_Thi commentors

    That's not porn because you'd have to be one sick fucker- waaaaaay past paedo (hell, probably past rapist) on the "sick fucker" scale- to find that arousing. Whereas it's concievably possible that someone not too far from "normal" on the same scale could find the VK album cover arousing.

    I mean she's been badly burnt by napalm, and is running. I think that image will haunt me for a long time. Sort of the ultimate bit of evidence for El Reg's earlier article about snipers being a good thing- she'd have been okay if they'd used snipers rather than liquid firey-death.

    And Nevermind is clearly not porn as it features a male rather than a female- and we all know that it's the men who do the abusing and women who are raped.

  212. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    They're morons...

    Not only are they randomly censoring pages that are no worse / different to other sites that are still accessible, they've completely missed out the alternative language versions of the wiki that still show the image.

    And I never knew the IWF had this kind of power. It's horrifying that they can blacklist a page and within 24 hours it become nigh-inaccessible in the UK. If they can do it to an album cover/wiki-entry, they can do it to anything: Blogs, books, petitions...

  213. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    isn't this just how internet regulation & law making in general (in the UK) works? problem occurs - heavy-handed sledgehammer response, big "debate" (i.e. it's the end of democracy / oh no we're living in a fascist police state etc.), lessons eventually get learned, things get tweaked a little and the world becomes a better place...

    of course a little thought/planning could have avoided all of this - but hey it's generated some news and some debate, made some people some money and validated some peoples viewpoints.

  214. Frank Zuiderduin


    "we did advise one of our partner Hotlines abroad and our law enforcement partner agency of our assessment"

    And they are probably still rolling around on the floor laughing.

  215. Nick

    What's next ?

    Check out the next child-porn article to be banned:

    These are the mores of a warped puritan society that glorifies violence and vilifies sex and the natural human form. Now, _every_ depiction of child nudity is becoming anathema. Even parents cannot snap adulating pictures of their naked toddlers, to show the world how plump and healthy their offspring is, for fear of persecution !

    As the article states, the "porn" picture dates from 1976. So, every time the morality threshold changes, we should run ever everything through the new censor filter ? How about having a go at some Botticelli and Rembrandt, or even Michael Angelo ? Let's go back to the 18th century, when all male genitals were excised from statues, since they "scandalised" the "Good Christian" people !

    And finally, who will censor the guardians of our "morality" ?

  216. Jimmy

    Internet Witch Finders.

    Wikipedia has been so compromised by fact fiddlers that it is nothing more than a sideshow in this debate. The real issue is the relationship between the UK government and the self-appointed moral puritans who run the Internet Watch Foundation. These people don't seem to have any legislative standing that authorises them to decide what we can and cannot watch on the internet, so one immediately detects the Jacquiavellian hand of our much loved Home Secretary fiddling with process in order to promote her own agenda of bigotry and control-freakery.

    The IWF website is big on the usual NuLabour bullshit about partners and mission statements but short on the methodology they employ when deciding which images to censor. Presumably they use the only acceptable benchmark for determining pornographic content, and that is the degree of sexual arousal caused by an image. But as with most things in life, one man's meat is another man's poison, so following this logic they have to employ a diverse panel of experts consisting of sadists, masochists, kiddy fiddlers, gays, straights, foot fetishists, amputee fetishists, and so on through the whole spectrum of sexual behaviour. The panellists would have their genitals wired to sensors and the slightest twitch or stiffening indicated on the smut meter would have the chairman reaching for the big blue pencil.

    Only kidding guys, the real panel consists of the Mary Whitehouse Society, Mrs Grundy, the Oliver Cromwell Society and numerous reps from the Churches for Divine Intervention.

    In keeping with the government's desire for more data sharing can we please have the names and addresses of the IWF employees who were sexually aroused by this particular image.

  217. Steve

    @ Mark

    "The child themselves were asked and were OK. There IS NO DISTRESS.”

    “running away screaming because she's been burned by napalm”

    Oh no, there’s no way she is in distress after being burned by napalm; she must have been screaming with joy in that photo – right?

    “Not artistic” as in: it is not beautiful to anyone, it is not a creation, the capture and/or reproduction of it needs no special skill (just a lot of bravery). There is no expression, only documentation; an icon isn’t inherently art. A dead sheep in formaldehyde is obviously much more artistic intent than that – yet most wouldn’t consider that as art either.

    “Nudity is not sexual.”

    Not inherently, but it is if not presented (or is it more correct to say ‘accepted’?) as an art form (nudists being the only exception I can think of).

    “Yet if we remove that picture from history, we have damaged our history and hide the horror of decisions made in error. Cheapeneing our future as humanity.”

    This was kinda my point. I didn’t say it should be removed, nor did I hint at it, nor would I agree with doing so; I actually asked where the line should be drawn – in terms of depicting an abused child, this is far worse than that ‘album cover’. Like the others who already mentioned this: I was trying to highlight an apparent inconsistency. I can’t help but think we’ve got our crossed wires here.

  218. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re; Demon

    "indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page."

    It's not the purpose of ISPs to prevent people from breaking the law. If some one breaks the Law then the ISP is not responsible.

    If everbody tried to operate in this way, prevent people from breaking the law, society as we know it today would not exist. For one example, a car manufacturer would not be allowed to sell a car in case a) some one breaks the speed limit, b) someone doesn't take sufficient care when driving and mows down a little old lady.

    Society does not work in this way and it's wrong for ISPs to do so.

  219. Anonymous John

    Foot. Meet bullet.

    How many pedos knew about this image last week before the IWF banned it? None? Hardly any?

    How many know about it now?

  220. Anonymous Coward

    Sentencing Guidelines definition

    So which idiot at IWF finds that Scorpions cover erotic? Because the sentencing guidelines clearly state it's an indecent photo if it depicts "erotic posing with no sexual activity".

    Reckon whoever it is should be signing up for their dirty old man mac.

  221. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Anonymous Hero

    To quote:

    "Indecent " is even more subjective than "pornography", but I think we can agree that the former includes all of the latter plus some content that is not explicit enough to be considered pornography.

    This is precisely the wrong way around. Pornography is legal (unless banned for some other reason e.g. like here, it involves underage children). Obscenity is not legal, and is neither a subset nor a superset of pornographic material. This is basic background knowledge not just for this issue but of UK censorship laws in general. I suggest you read up on the basics before offering your misinformed quasi-legal sounding gibberish. Begin with the obvious and try reading up about the Obscene Publications Acts.

    The chances of any court finding this cover to be obscene within the meaning of the law are slim to say the least.

  222. bobbles31

    Ministry of Truth?

    Is the IWF the begining of the MOT? Will they be reshaping the internet everyday with revised politically acceptable web pages?

  223. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    uncensored covers in swiss media

    as answer to this ridiculous censorship a Swiss news paper publish some censored covers:

  224. dreadful scathe

    oh dear

    its rather a victorian attitude to assume "indecency" in simple nudity :( Censorship is bad enough, but stupid censorship based on someone else outdated views of decency is a big step toward the collapse of our free society. :(

  225. Tawakalna


    I bought the album back in the 70s with my pocket money, back in the days when record covers were full size. I bought it when I was 13, does this mean I can now expect a dawn raid from the Morality Police, and will it go worse for me because it's a full-size album cover and not a poxy Whackopaedyphile .jpg?

    I was listening to this story on R4 on the way into work and roaring with laughter, but it is rather tragic that some self-righteous busybodies can exert such power, even if it is at Wackypedia's expense. That you can see the cover on Amazon's site (££££££) pretty much tells you what you need to know - if you're a big business and you have some cash to throw at corporate lawyers, you're safe from interference by the Morality Police cos you might sue them! but if you're a charitable foundation (even Wookiepeddia) or worse still, some poor sap on his own, you're fair game for the Mary Whitehouses of the interweb. This is nothing more than a flexing of the muscles on the part of the IWF to see what they can get away with.

    tolerate this kind of populist publicity-grabbing censorship that actually does nothing to protect real abused kids and you migth as well throw your rights and freedoms out of the Windows. Pretty soon Iran is going to look like a haven of tolerance in comparison.

    I'll get me burquah.... (a hand-me-down from Paris, naturally)

  226. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Complain to your ISP

    I have just submitted a complaint to my ISP about their censoring the internet and questioning whether they are in breach of RIPA because they're intercepting my communictions.

    I suggest everyone complain to their ISPs on this one.

    It is not the job of an ISP to try to prevent someone from breaking the law. It is not the job of an ISP to enforce the law.

  227. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If the image is illegal then let the Police go after the producers of the album cover.

    What we must not have is the situation where content in the real world is regarded as legal and the exact same content on the internet is deemed to be illegal.

    You can not allow censorship on the internet but allow these kinds of things in the real world.

    Clearly that makes no sense.

  228. A J Stiles

    @ AC -- "Scene of Crime"

    "I suspect UK law will dodge this bullet by claiming any new laws regarding 'obscenity' do not apply retrospectively; thus anyone who saw or owned this image prior to the Inquisition's latest dictats on 'indecency' can somehow continue owning and looking at it without fear of persecution, but as for those new to the party... time to expect the six o'clock knock..?"

    You are quite correct. New laws cannot be applied to any action that was performed before the law was passed. This general principle is second only to treating all people as innocent unless proved guilty, and is enshrined in Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights -- "No Punishment Without Law".

    If Wacky Jacqui tried that one on so soon after breaching Article 8, she might well be opening up the UK to international sanctions -- including being on the *receiving* end of a declaration of war.

  229. John Wilson
    Thumb Down

    Can't they get their acts together?

    If a spokesperson for the IWF has suggested that an offence has been comitted under the UK Children's Act, and another points the reader in the direction of the Sentencing Guidelines, may I suggest they bother to read them themselves?

    The UK Children's Act deals with the welfare of a child - it does not deal with child pr0n. The sentencing guidelines pointed to by the IWF make mention of the Protection of Children Act 1978, and the Criminal Justice Act 1988. Furthermore, sentincing guidelines are precisely that: guidelines for sentencing someone who has actually been found guilty of an offense. They explain what a person is sentenced to for the various levels of offences covered. What it does not do is determine what contitutes an "Image depicting erotic posing with no sexual activity", only what sentence is attached for someone committed of possessing such an image.

    So IWF: Get your act together, and stop bullshitting.

  230. Mr C

    I want candy

    "Provocatively posed naked 15-year-old girl cavorting with several badly dressed new romantics in woodland sex-scene album-cover pedo shock!"

    I see that 80s popsters Bow Wow Wow haven't had their Wikipedia page censored yet -

  231. Mark


    Steve, I apologised. See earlier (which may not have been visible before you posted).


  232. Mark

    re: @Kim_Phuc_Phan_Thi commentors

    However, that's the point.

    Reading the law, that image IS kiddie porn and "possibly illegal (which is well weaselly, since EVERYTHING is possibly illegal, you only find out by bringing a lawsuit).

    So it "should" be banned.

    And so we lose a dramatic image.

    PS: Snipers don't see people. Just targets. They are not nice happy people. And they can aim at the wrong person no problem, just as napalming a village incorrectly will cause distress to the innocent, seeing your father with their brains blown out in front of your face will haunt you for the rest of your life (see "Saving Private Ryan" with the sniper: how do you feel for the characters?).

    NOTE: it doesn't matter how "sick a fucker" you have to bee to see it as pornographic:

    a) The law doesn't make the distinction

    b) There are people who get off on visions of pain or corpses

    c) KP activists (ones who DO it) are pretty darn sick to begin with

  233. David


    ...with the censors.

  234. Lottie

    Who decided

    I may have missed it, but just who decided that this was potentially illegal? Surely if IWF had looked at it, they could asscertain for certain the legality?

    Also, I'm assuming that the people who *did* make the decision are in jail now as obviously seeing such corrupting images will turn them into peados in the blink of an eye.

  235. Giles Jones Gold badge

    What next, Nirvana?

    I haven't see the album cover in question and I couldnt care less about a 32 year old album cover.

    I know that Nirvana's Nevermind album cover has a naked child, are they going to ban that as well?

  236. James

    Still popular

    The articles "virgin Killer" and "Scorpions" are the most popular articles on Wiki - they have had over 35,000 hits in the past hour alone

    Compare with the 3rd most popular - this has had a mere 6,900 hits

    All thanks to the IWF

  237. James Hughes

    Go swimming!

    Quick question...

    Why are all the commentators who thing this 'censorship' is a bad thing not complaining about not being able to take photographs in the local swimming baths? You cannot do that without permission, because they are worried about child abuse etc. So I cannot take a picture of my own child in a swimming costume in a public place, but I can look at a picture of a naked prepubescent girl with Virgin Killer plastered on in? Double standards anyone?

    Presumably, most of the commentators are too stuck behind their monitors whinging about their civil rights that to get out and do some exercise, so have never encountered a swimming pool.

  238. James

    New news

    Just when you thought it couldnt get any worse...

    The Internet Watch Foundation may add Amazon US to its list of sites "blocked" for hosting a picture of an album cover by The Scorpions

  239. dervheid
    Thumb Down

    Yet more "Act first, think later"

    From those who "know best".

    This album has been around for over 30 years FFS, can we PLEASE have our collective sense of proportion returned to us.

    This is SO fucking heavy handed.

    It would also appear that Amazon are 'in trouble' over this album cover now too.

    What a crock of shit.

  240. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Don't complain to your ISP

    At the moment ISPs are encouraged to implement IWF filtering. There is no requirement for them to do this. If they remove the filtering, then govt might just enact a law for all ISPs to do this. That would be a very bad thing, much worse than the current quango that is the IWF.

  241. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    How long before we see "IWF screwup blocks access to bulk of 'net - economic chaos ensues"

    A lot of people seem to be missing the point, that there's an organisation out there that can, at a whim, block internet access to certain URL's etc. at will.

    How long before it 'goes wrong' - and accidentally blocks everything? - That'd be a great 'show stopper' for December 8th's so called "eChristmas Shopping Day"

    Or, what if important stuff is (cough) 'added by accident'? - Typos?

    What if one of the techies running the show goes 'postal' and decides to wipe out a few companies by blocking certain 'criticial' URL's for their checkout processes? (or the system does it on it's own).

    What if / when the IWF is charged with blocking access to 'terrorist' material, or material likely to encite, educate, or be used in terrorist acts? - That'd be handy, maybe there's something else we can get them to block...

    Where's it all end?

    Like most of the 'IT Solutions' produced, all this does is try to 'fix' the problem on the cheap. Sweep it under the carpet, make the people involved 'look good' - and keep the 'public' happy. Is it actually effective at stopping the people who want to see this material? No.

    What happened to proper police work? - I mean, everyone in the Industry *knows* what could be done to trace, prosecute - and jail the bulk of the people comitting the actual offences, but that would need properly funded, educated police - oh, and more prisons...

    Costs vs. Apparent result? - IWF ftw!

  242. Anonymous Coward

    If a picture is arousing it is 'indecent'...

    This all comes down to a question of whether or not you will find the image of the girl on the album a turn-on or not: the IWF says you will and therefore any picture of a minor (in the UK, btw, that includes anyone at or below age 17) that is in anyway arousing (even partially clothed or completely non-nude) is deemed at best 'inappropriate' at worst 'indecent'. Hmmm. I really should stop reading the likes of iD and other such jail-baiting fashion magazines...

    Just looking at any such image is enough to corrupt you, the IWF and it's associates believe, so its best you don't even have the option. Besides, we all know anyone below the age of 17 (male or female) has no sexuality and therefore any and all such pictures, however innocuous, must be crime scenes.

    I've seen that album cover. She's a pretty girl, looks quite happy and I can't see any sign of a criminal in or out of shot about to abuse her. I'm not 'offended' by the picture and I can understand the shock factor the artistes intended to garner by using such a provocative image. Probably says more about the shortcomings of the music therein than anything else...

  243. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Changing your DNS has NO EFFECT

    >to anonymous coward above

    I've been on OpenDNS all along, on Be Broadband and any page requests to wikipedia are NOT performed with my known IP. I can access pages on wikipedia with https and my true IP is displayed. Changing your DNS has NO EFFECT

  244. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Response from Virgin Media

    I just got off the phone after a long conversation with Virgin Media in response to my complaint. I originally complained about 3 points.

    1. They were being dishonest with customers by dropping the connection or returning a page not found error when blocking, and that they should inform the customer when they block something. Surprisingly, Virgin assured me that they were making changes to do so!

    2. That by redirecting the whole of Wikipedia through a transparent proxy and not passing the "X-Forwarded-From" header they were breaking Wikipedia and preventing all of their customers from editing Wikipedia anonymously. On this point the customer services rep claimed that I was the first person who had complained about this, but if 5 people reported it as a technical problem then it would be investigated. So if you are a Virgin Media customers, please call Virgin and complain that you can't edit Wikipedia anonymously due to a Virgin technical problem!

    3. That Virgin Media had broken their contract to me by blocking some content and not providing access to the whole of the internet. They claimed that their terms and conditions allowed them to do this, although they insisted on sending me a highlighted copy by post(!) to tell me which part applied.

  245. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @James Hughes

    "Can't see any paedoes getting there[sic] rocks off over that one"

    You seem to have put your finger on the gummints intention here, which is to stop the evil perverts getting the horn. In order to do this effectively, you require a totalitarian state, complete with informers, invasive monitoring of peoples' thought processes etc etc.

    [snip the ad hominem bit]

    "The best thing to happen would be for Wikipedia to remove the offensive picture"

    Ok, and the point people are making here is that, in order for the IWF to be effective (and consistent, but that's not a problem if you're the govt), they ought ban all instances of this picture. I don't think anyone (certainly not me) is defending the abuse of children, whether for sexual gratification or some other motive; but that isn't the issue here. If the IWF are in the business of suppressing the production and distribution of images of child abuse (eg. Mr Swirly) that's fine by me. If they're indulging in some function creep, they, and their supporters, can fuck right off.

    It would be amusing to report all instances of this picture to the IWF, but I fancy you wouldn't get your computer(s) + mobile(s) back quite as quickly as that nice Mr. Green.

    I also find myself wondering about the saddos in the papers who've been found with "images at the bottom of the scale". Presumably they've haven't got any pictures of abused children at all, just pictures of children alongside some rather disturbing thought processes? This seems to be a perversion of justice: surely the rationale for this law was to prevent children being abused, not to worry about what someone might be thinking about whilst spanking the monkey?

    If the politically correct mob want something else to go at, you can try this:; the Ancient Greeks were great ones for just buggering about. They may also like to ponder Cardinal Richelieu's dictum: “Give me six lines written in any man's hand and I'll find you a reason to hang him.”

  246. blackworx
    Thumb Up


    Cool. Imagine if they tried the Great Aussie^H British Firewall. At least something's working round here.

  247. A J Stiles

    @ James Hughes

    Who says we're *not* annoyed at not being able to take pictures at the swimming pool? (Not that the humidity would do a camera any good anyway, as I learned myself back in the days when you were allowed to do exactly that, but that's beside the point.)

    However, this was in specific reference to an album cover which depicts a naked young girl with a tastefully-placed "broken glass" effect.

    And if some perv wants to get his rocks off to that then frankly, as long as he only does so into a box of Kleenex, it's none of anyone else's business.

  248. Schultz

    Welcome to Web 3.0

    Government controlled content.

    Welcome to China.

  249. Mark


    "Naked child photo in parents hands who look on it with fond afection: no crime. Naked child photo in stranger's hands who looks on it as cute: no crime. Naked child photo in paedo hands who looks on it and gets the horn: crime."

    Anne Diamond: done for a photo of her child in the bath.

    Doesn't always work as it should.

  250. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Go swimming!

    Nope, I'm pretty consistent, I think that that is bulls--t too, you can take a photo of your kid where ever you please as far as I'm concerned. But then I'm not a weird freak (either a mentally retarded pro censorship - ZOMFG PEADOS ARE EVERYWHERE AND THEY'RE GONNA RAPE YOUR KIDS! Or a peado.)

    But whatever, I don't need a bunch of retards protecting my mind, it's mine and I'll look after it however I damn well please.

  251. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Public depictions of nude kids

    Can the the IWF send someone round with a hammer and chisel to knock off those nude kid statutes around the "Wedding Cake" outside Buckingham Palace.

  252. Steve

    A fundamental question:

    Its funny how something which was acceptable not too many years ago is now absolutely vilified and anything affiliated with it is closed down without due process or recourse, even if doing so impinges on the innocent. Our society has clearly changed, partly in the right direction but by an amount which seems to be totally overkill. But … has our social shift really directly led to a reduction of paedo activities?

    Worse yet, do we know what creates paedos? We know that many homosexuals are so not by choice (testosterone release weeks after conception), so could paedo tendencies be by choice (self-conditioning), or is there some as yet unknown physiological effect at work?

    Don’t get me wrong: I will always unreservedly condemn anyone who abuses children in any way, but without this critical information who can confidently say we are tacking this the best way?

    @ Mark: no probs matey. I didn't see your clarification when I submitted.

  253. ThinkingOutLoud

    Ah, the futility...

    So, for the want of a little caution, the censors have triggered a mass search on Google which will return the image they tried to withhold. I'm old enough to remember the album when it was released in Spain, where I lived at the time. I was more inclined towards Deep Purple...

    Anyway, funny how no-one remarks on the album title itself: "Virgin Killers"...

    'nuff said.

  254. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Mullah control can't be far off

    A J Stiles: "You are quite correct. New laws cannot be applied to any action that was performed before the law was passed. This general principle is second only to treating all people as innocent unless proved guilty, and is enshrined in Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights -- "No Punishment Without Law"."

    Not true in the US at least via Megan's law, so it's not gonna last real long over here either, innit:

    But we are digressing...

  255. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about paintings, and statues of cherubs?

    All that art through the centuries, and statues in our public places and on buildings of naked children. All that needs to be censored.

    Whilst we're at it, lock up our children in dark rooms until they are 18 to prevent anyone being able to see them.

    Or make them wear clothing that covers up their entire body... hmm, wait, reminds me of somewhere...

  256. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Where are we going from here...!

    @James Hughes

    "I also find myself wondering about the saddos in the papers who've been found with "images at the bottom of the scale". Presumably they've haven't got any pictures of abused children at all, just pictures of children alongside some rather disturbing thought processes?"

    Possibly they're not saddos, and don't even have 'disturbing thought processes'. Possibly they're normal people who have been raided by mistake, and the family photos have been taken to prove that they are paedophiles, because the alternative would have been the police having to say sorry.

    Possibly some of the 35 people who committed suicide as a result of Operation Ore were some of those normal people, before the police got hold of them....

    In other news, over the last few days in Australia:

    -Someone has been arrested for taking a picture of the harbour in Sydney while there were children paddling

    -Someone has had his child sex conviction confirmed for being caught with a joke sex cartoon of the Simpsons on his computer

    -Someone has been raided and arrested because he recommended viewing a youtube video of another man swinging his baby around the room. No sex, just swinging, but that counts as abuse down under, apparently....

  257. John Imrie

    Romeo and Juliet

    We must ban this sick and deprived play immediately. It is obvious to even the most casual reader that Juliet is only 13 years old and as such should never be the attention of the perverted and licentious, he spends the early part of the play joking about sex, Romeo.

    Why oh Why ...

    I'm sorry I must have been channeling the Daily Mail. I'll get my coat.

  258. David Hicks
    Thumb Down

    @"Don't complain to your ISP" AC

    We absolutely should complain to our ISPs, I didn't sign up for having my connection censored by some self appointed bunch of puritan halfwits, and if the government tried to make an official body or mandatory filtering out of this we would at least have some debate.

    This, this ugly facet of PC Britain, this is under the covers, underhand, secret and as a result not subject to even our weak semblance of democracy.

  259. Anonymous Hero

    Indecency @AC

    > > "Indecent " is even more subjective than "pornography", but I think we can agree that the former includes all of the latter plus some content that is not explicit enough to be considered pornography.

    > This is precisely the wrong way around. Pornography is legal (unless banned for some other reason e.g. like here, it involves underage children). Obscenity is not legal, and is neither a subset nor a superset of pornographic material. This is basic background knowledge not just for this issue but of UK censorship laws in general.

    It's you who needs to read up on the law. Indecency and obscenity are not the same. Obscenity is defined as that which "tends to deprave and corrupt" those who see it (probably an empty set in real life). Indecency does not have a firm definition, but if you have any doubt that it's a lower standard than pornography try dropping your trousers at Tesco, see what crime you get charged with.

  260. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    X-Forwarded-For and privacy balance

    The HTTP extension tag is X-Forwarded-For, not X-Forwarded-From. This is not a standardized header tag, and doesn't appear in an RFC (Certainly not RFC2616 - HTTP 1.1).

    If the ISP is not supplying it, they are not failing to provide a service: They are complying with the standard.

    It's generally a good thing (TM) if ISPs don't explicity reveal IP addresses from a privacy point of view. Then again, we will always have the conflict between privacy/freedom and the abuse of it (by people hiding behind anonymity to perform crimes such as child abuse/child porn).

  261. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT have joined the club

    BT weren't filtering it yesterday, but they are today.

    Which ISP is least likely to filter content? I want to change to them.

  262. Steve

    Why do the workarounds work?

    The following don't work (obviously I'm one of those ISPs): (obviously) (from an earlier post)

    Other suggested links do work: (truncated from an earlier post)

    Can anyone tell me how these latter links work?

  263. Steve

    Answering one of my pwn questions...

    @ me 10 mins ago:

    "Affected readers and editors of Wikipedia can readily view the page via the secure server at this link ( Editing is currently restricted to administrators."

    Wasn't that really nice of Wiki to leave everyone with a backup link !

    (Yeah, the typo in the title was genuine, but I left it in because I thought it was appropriate in this case)

  264. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not web 3.0 but McCarthyism 2.0

    Zeitgeist – our local council implements a Stasicam [correction: CCTV] everywhere policy. We have Stasicams everywhere. Even in the swimming pool where there are lifeguards. For a crime fighting reason that escapes me the Stasicam coverage extends to changing and shower areas.

    I’m lost. Can someone explain to me why I’ve [potentially] committed an offence for having seen an album cover but the many that are employed to view, annotate, file, archive and rebroadcast the shower footage have not?

    I would like to thank the IWF and every other witchfinder general for infiltrating and ultimately poisoning every experience I could possibly have with my kids.

  265. Dougthedug

    Coral cache

    I'm on Demon. Why they let you see small but clear version of the jpg on Wikipedia but block the larger one doesn't seem logical.

    You can make out the picture on the Wiki page quite clearly but if you try to get to it at the larger size it comes up with the Demon Block page.

    It's fairly easy to circumvent if you stick the Coral Cache suffix into the domain name.

    This will get you the picture.

    It is an Album cover and therefore a work of art but in these days of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (UK chapter) and the Religious Police it's not something you would want PC Mutawwa'in Plod to find on your computer despite the fact it's been on sale in record shops for the last 30 years.

    I've cleaned out the cache before the black helicopters get here.

  266. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    I'm on BeUnlimited (?!) but handily google cached a copy of the page before it was censored, which you can still easily view. That's if you want to, I can't see why you would other than to say you beat the filters.

  267. mittfh

    Proof the image itself ain't blocked...

    As all the other workarounds described here illustrate, where there's a will there's a way...

  268. Anonymous Coward

    Actually laws can be retrospectively applied

    Actually it can be and is,

    I'm virtually certain there was a case involving a photographer who took nude glamour shots of a 16 year old (perfectly legal when the photos were taken)

    Then the law was altered and the minimum age raised to 18 and he was retrospectively charged with possession of and making indecent images of a child and put on the sex offenders register, jailed and ordered to attend a sex offenders rehabilitation program upon release.

    The "judge" decided that the defence of "it was perfectly legal to take those pictures at the time" wasn't a valid defence and that the photographer was something along the lines of a "wicked man and a disgusting pervert"

    Sadly I cant find a link, perhaps the ministry of truth have airbrushed it off the web? (or maybe I'm just to shattered to spot it )

  269. Richard
    Black Helicopters

    Virgin blocking wikipedia virgin_killer image

    Whilst Virgin are blocking the page that contains the questionable image of the Scorpions album, they are not blocking the image. A Google images search can find many references to the image and you can see the image itsefl from the wiki servers:

    Thus proving the censorship is not for the image but the content of the wiki page.

    If you decide that an unelected body is going to be allowed to censor material at least do it properly. More people have now seen the (feely available) image than would have had the busy-bodies not interfered.

    Big brother is out there just 24 years late.

  270. Paul
    Black Helicopters

    Have just reported the truly shocking images on...

    To the internet thought police via their handy homepage.

    Save us from record covers you can buy in the shops!

    Or a better plan would be save us all from the STUPID FUCKTARDS that censor 30 year old, publicly available content, on wikipedia.

    Where the hell are we? China??

  271. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WWF should sort out IWF

    When I ran an ISP we got a letter from the IWF that sort of started all official and governmental. We had to impliment this filter. On further reading it was clear that it was still volentary. So the letter went in the bin.

    It seems that this girl is just not sexy enough. If she had boobs then it would not be child porn because she was probably 16 at the time of the photo.

    With soya products boys and girls are growing breasta at a younger gae.

  272. Anonymous Coward

    Rusty Shackleford says'

    I think they should ban that Bible. Have you seen the amount of slayings and begattings? If it came with pictures it would be a sure fire candidate for IWF action.

    We must at costs be protected from exposure to reality.

    Won't anyone think of the children!

  273. Adam

    Bow Wow Wow

    If the IWF (the principal of which I think is a good idea, but they have too much power for what they are) applied their rules consistently, they would have more credibility.

    They have got it wrong in this case in so many ways:

    1. Nudity IS NOT pornography, and this picture is obviously not meant to be sexually provocative.

    2. A quick image search on Google for 'Virgin Killer' shows that plenty of other sites are hosting this image. Are they going to block them all?

    3. Bow Wow Wow's page has not been blocked ( (the girl in the picture is 15 years old)

    4. Nirvana's Nevermind album has not been blocked, including the Wikipedia page (

    5. An image search for Nevermind returns far more hits than 'Virgin Killer', many of which are quite high resolution (much higher than the Virgin Killer images). They quite clearly show the baby's genitals and he would appear to have already been circumcised. Genital mutilation is a far more serious example of child abuse than the Virgin Killer album cover.

    C'mon IWF - get a grip on what you are doing, pick on real examples of child porn or you risk losing any sense of credibility you may have.

  274. RogueElement
    Paris Hilton

    Error 404 - I can't *Be there

    Article 11 (b) of the Declaration of Human Rights states, "No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed."

    This album cover, and the free viewing of it, did not constitute a criminal (penal?) offence when it was released in 1976 (admittedly, without the obscuring glass crack we would be in an entirely different situation). Nudity is not an offence; children are not breaking the law by being nude (it is, some would argue, a naturally tenable condition given the speed with which kids like to discard clothing). But any publicity shot of any member of Girls Aloud has more latent sexual content than the front cover art work on the Scorpion's Virgin Killer album. In truth, all this censorship does is to deny the odd sick peado from viewing an otherwise harmless image which, by virtue of being more than 25 years old, is part of the public domain.

    Are we to assume, as the "Spinal Tap" equivalent goes, that it would be okay if a naked pre-pubescent girl was throwing broken glass at Rudolf Schenker or Klaus Meine since then she is not seen as the 'victim'?

    If you, like me, can't even view the censored page by the way, try the Scorpion's own home page ( but make it quick, before the suits with no brains shut that down too).

  275. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Where to go from here...?

    "...If you, like me, can't even view the censored page by the way, try the Scorpion's own home page...."

    There are myriads of ways of seeing this image.

    What worries me more is that lots of other sites may have been censored, or taken completely off the net, and we never heard about this because they didn't impact the Wiki.

    We need to take this much further. What we have is an unelected ex-police pressure group who have got themselves a nice little earner by preying on the 'won't somebody think of the children' control mentality of the present government.

    Has any other country got a completely uncontrolled, responsible to no one, club of Daily Mail readers who tell everyone what to look at? I thought laws were the job of the government to pass, the executive to enforce, and the courts to determine when broken - each of these being a seperate independent entity.

    We should be demanding proper accountable government from our MPs, not shadowy witch-hunts. Don't get onto the IWF - get onto their masters, this oppressive government...

  276. Robert Baker
    IT Angle

    I'm not blocked

    As of a few minutes ago, Three (Hutchinson Telecom) are not blocking the image, nor either of the two articles which use it (Virgin Killer, IWF block of Wikipedia).

    A bit strange, given that Orange (who reportedly are blocking these pages) were founded by Hutchison (and are said to still have an agreement of some kind with Three), but I'm glad to be on an uncensored ISP -- until the Thought Police get around to them, at any rate...

    And what about Lennon's classic (and similarly-named) Two Virgins album -- how long before that gets banned? Will the Virgin ISP get banned because of its name?

  277. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Some words from the Wiki...

    This comment on the Wiki discussion page seems worth giving a wider audience to:

    "I think testing the IWF in court would be a very bad thing. I cannot believe the IWF would block a Wikipedia page and not expect an enormous shitstorm to brew up, thus one may presume that for publicity/PR/legal purposes they have deliberately gone after a major site on a bit of a 'fishing expedition' to test the response. Taking them to court would risk legitimising what is a very small-time organisation that has never gone after a Google, Amazon or Microsoft (despite the supposed 'offensive image' being all over Google images and Amazon) in a big way and could give them the push to go up to that higher level of interference and censorship (just look at the situation in Australia atm to see how far it can go). The best thing to do if you live in the UK is to contact your MP ( highlighting the problem of an unelected, unaccountable censorship body (and the press along the same lines), until the IWF becomes an embarrasment to the Government who ultimately holds it's leash. Jw2034 (talk) 17:12, 8 December 2008 (UTC)"

    We really do need to get the MPs involved. The big problem is that the IWF is unelected and unaccountable.

  278. Jimmy

    Taking the never ending piss.

    In the civilised Belgian city of Brussels there is a world famous piece of statuary called the Manneken Pis. This amusing little statue depicts a naked young boy with a seemingly endless stream of piss flowing from his penis into a pool below. Millions of tourists are attracted to this site every year and according to the local tourist board most of them take photographs of the 'pissing boy'. Presumably many of these snappers are UK citizens, which raises several interesting questions for Saint Jacquiavelli and her moral outriders at the IWF.

    Is the Home Secretary aware of the existence of these corrupting images in the homes and on the computers of many UK citizens?

    In true NuLabour style is she going to assemble a task force to invade Belgium and impose 'regime change'?

    Is the IWF aware that the internet is awash with images depicting the 'pissing boy'?

    I hesitate to mention that there is a similar statue in another part of the city depicting a naked young girl performing the same natural function, but solely for the benefit of the perverts at IWF it is called Jeanneke Pis and can be found at the east side of Impasse de la Fidélité / Getrouwheidsgang (Faith Alley).

  279. Paul Banacks

    The problem is the law

    The law as written is just an example in a long list of badly written legislation from Labour in their ever ending quest to be seen to be "doing something." This has done a HUGE amount of damage to our legal system. I would like to see a re-debate of ALL laws passed under this Labour government with a view to writing them properly.

    No-one would argue that child pornography is a bad thing but this image is not child pornography yet it comes under this law because it is not written properly. No-one would argue that children need protecting from exploitation but most would argue that this should not be at the expense of existing freedoms. Such freedoms are just as important. This is what makes writing good legislation difficult.

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