back to article Brit porn filter censors 13 years of net history

A further update to this story an be found here Four weeks after birthing a nationwide Wikipedia edit ban, Britain's child porn blacklist has led at least one ISP to muzzle the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine - an 85 billion page web history dating back to 1996. According to multiple customers of Demon Internet - now owned …


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  1. Alex Wright

    I'm a blocked HomeOffice customer.

    So I pay over the odds for a supposedly good connection, and they start censoring random bits of the Internet. Great.

    Right, What's the Reg Reader approved ADSL supplier nowadays? Zen? AA?

  2. hikaricore


    And why do the British put up with this crap?

    There needs to be a riot.

  3. Neil Greatorex

    What we really need

    Is a definitive list of the ISPs that use this list, then we can avoid them like the plague they are.

    Bloody nannies.

  4. The BigYin

    The list is not the issue

    It's the fact that the block is not transparent. The ISPs should just redirected to a page that says

    "The URL you have tried to access is deemed illegal or otherwise inappropriate. If you feel this is incorrect, please contact 0878-LIKEWECARE"

    You can bet that the Wayback Machine contains lots of dodgy stuff and someone complained, so the censor brought out the iron fist and smacked it down. All these morons are doing is getting people's back up and going to make it harder to police the net.

    Although I am not quite if (or how) the net needs policed. Well, apart from SPAMmers. Death is too good for them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nanny's little helper

    Doesn't appear to be block from Plus Net, but the site is extremely slow.

    The IWF should be feeling very embarrassed at the moment, but then anyone with a functioning sense of shame wouldn't be censoring the internet for a living.

    >There needs to be a riot.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Wayback machine ok on my ISP

    Never suffered a problem on Wikipedia either. And while I never go anywhere weird (honest, gov), I'm not promoting the name of my ISP in case someone gets on their case.

    ...because I never go there, either.

  7. dan

    Virgin Media Too - Again!

    It was originally redirecting through a url that started webfilter.** and throwing 404s.

    It's now simply dropping the connection. No 404, nothing at all - just dropped.

  8. Soruk

    Same solution as the Wikimessup

    Use the OpenDNS nameservers instead of your ISP - as I mentioned in the thread on demon.service they're doing this by hijacking the DNS.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Consider my recent comment about feeling vaguely charitable towards IWF in comparison to CleanFeed rescinded. They have just proved themselves complete idiots. Apparently they learned absolutely nothing from the last incident.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    i use nildram

    and it's blocked for me.

    you can rest assured that I have sent an extremely strong worded e-mail to the cunts and will let you know if I hear back.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Virgin Media working fine

    No filter on my Virgin Media Cable. They blocked the Wikipedia image last time, but they are not involved is this (daft) filter. Looks like it is just a Demon thing.

  12. michael

    @ pepol

    @alex :I use keconnect ( and am very happy with them but I am not affilated with el reg and can not speek for them

    @ neil

    I would be carful when asking that pepol might get the wrong impresion

  13. Steve

    Virgin Also blocking

    Well at work atm but Virgin are blocking access also lol

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re Home Office customer

    Yeah I'm a HomeOffice customer as well, and have become increasingly pissed off with Demon's pricing - I pay 21 squid a month for an '8Mb' (read 2.5Mb sync) connection.

    Its fucking embarrassing in the pub when my mates pay like £5 or £10 a month for far better connections!!

    Demon are pulling my pants down and laughing at my dick!!!

    Well at least until the contract finishes end of Feb - thank jebus

  15. Eddie Edwards

    Err ...

    Hikaricore, the reason we don't riot over stuff like this is that these issues are not worth rioting over.

    In fact, I'm not aware of any physical country where riots occur over minor transient DRM issues. Where do you live? WoW?

    Last riot in the UK was Saturday, over Israel's bombing of Gaza.

  16. Chronos


    Zen, AAISP, UKFSN, any Entanet reseller, O2/Be (who'da thunk?) and possibly Zetnet. Even some of these are castrated by bandwidth caps and a lot of smaller ISPs who had a good rep in the past (Nildram used to be good) are owned by Tiscali, Italian for crap. Expect to pay £35+ PM for any reasonable service, more if you want a static IP or block thereof.

    By the way, Cade, could you please change "Brit telecom" to "Brit telco," which is what I think you mean? Some may think that Thus are another tentacle (testicle?) of Phorm's bitch BT, which they are most assuredly not.

    On the subject of riots, there was one. One of us threw the keyboard out the window last month, which is about as close as we come to civil disobedience these days. Nobody noticed, but it were a riot t' us.

    Unsmiley: I am very unhappy with the dire state and poor choice offered by UK ISPs and wish to express both my discontent and dismay at the vast levels of cluelessness in the AOLers that now run them.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need a proper list of ISPs by service and fucktardiness

    Let me see, what I want in a new ISP

    Static IP is an option not compulsory

    Open about how they handle bandwidth shaping

    No Phorm.

    No random blacklisting of sites.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh yes, and...

    ... I just got the Reg on wayback on Pipex. Working okay here.

  19. Dr. Mouse

    Please please please...

    ... let the arses at the IWF make MORE of these mistakes, it's the only way to let the average Joe user know whats going on!

    It's not even as though it does any good in stopping real peados accessing CP (anyone heard of newsgroups? not blocked. SSL? not blocked. BitTorrent? FTP? VPN/SSH to a server in Russia/Sweden/USA/Anywhere else?), all it does is stop law abiding citizens from "accidentally" accessing "potentially illegal" content.

    Go on, censor more, piss more people off, and trigger a revolt!

  20. John Imrie
    Black Helicopters

    1984 any one?

    He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.

  21. Joe K
    Black Helicopters

    Tell you what

    Why don't we just switch off the whole internet, just in case we accidentally become a pedo (i refuse to use the brit spelling) by stumbing across an image some tit has flagged.

  22. Ian Gray

    @Alex Wright

    Try Aquiss, they aren't cheap but the service and customer care are second-to-none and the connection is very fast and low latency. Also, no filtering of anything, no blocking P2P or any of that junk. No I don't work for them ;)


  23. Matthew Morrison
    Thumb Up

    @Alex Wright

    I'm with ID Net myself - they make a point of stating they don't and will not throttle P2P apps. I asked them about whether they were considering Phorm back during that media storm and the response was basically 'over our dead bodies'. Good stuff.

  24. Brian Mankin

    Not Found!

    What annoys me most about this is not that they block content but the fact that they hide that they have blocked content by claiming that it is not found. They should responed with '450' and admit that they are censoring your search. Hiding their actions behind 'page not found' is a tacit admission that their actions are wrong.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward




    Why, exactly have we handed control of a public resource over to an unelected extragovernmental, unaccountable group of people? Who on earth thought that was a good idea?

  26. Simon Painter
    Black Helicopters

    @What we really need

    Not sure that ringing up IWF and asking for a list of ISPs that don't use their service would be a good idea.

    It's bound to get you put on some sort of watch list.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Demon Mobile Internet

    We (by that I mean Thus) don't have the facility to filter anything on the Mobile Internet. Vodafone (our supplier) uses a basic 18+ content filter, which can be disabled at any time.And I'm not leaving my name, i like my job.

  28. Chris Miller

    My ISP works correctly

    Nildram/Pipex/Tiscali allows access to (for now, at least)

  29. EdwardP

    Absolutly amazed.

    This is proper censorship is it not? I wasn't aware we'd reached this stage yet.

    I know the register has only recently started covering this kind of thing, but it seems to be happening more and more often (I'm sure I'd have heard from elsewhere if something of this scale had happened before). So what's changed? Has the IWF just come under new management?

    I'm with KeConnect Internet and it's not blocked, but I am really astonished that something like can be blocked and not be widely reported.

  30. Christoph

    Mine was blocked

    The Wayback Machine was blocked by an upstream provider. My ISP coded round it.

  31. Jon


    What gets me the most is that they hide the fact they are doing it. If they came up with a page like web{non}sense saying "Blocked: kiddie pr0n - Click here to if you think this is wrongly labelled" that would at least solve some the problem*. The fact that they just give a 404 or whatever happens is wrong.

    *Of course does nothing for the fact that consenting adults should be able to do anything that does not harm others, and the heavy handed and ham fisted way in which sites whole sites get lablled in the first place.

  32. David Pollard

    @ hikaricore

    Do Brits do riots?

  33. Seán


    Some content is "bad" but all censorship is evil.

  34. Andy Smith


    I just searched on it for '', and the links came back like this: '', but I'm not even on Demon... I'm on Zen!

  35. TallPaul

    Not the same as last time

    I'm with VirginMedia (ex NTL). We were caught in the Wikipedia farce but this time around we seem to be OK and I can see sites via Wayback Machine which makes me wonder if this really an IWF problem.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Fair Game, Lets take back control of the net

    We need to declare 'fair game' and start doing everything in our power to subvert web censorship world wide. Sys admins responsible for implementing filtering systems in ISPs need to make sure they leave gaping flaws, lie, cheat and do whatever it takes to ensure web censorship is never effective.

    Consultants hired by the government need to avoid talking about circumvention methods such as tunnels, vpns, proxies etc. Just leave it out of your reports, Joe MP doesn't need to know about such things.

    Governments around the world are starting to implement these ridiculous filtering initiatives around the world and unless we act now we might wake up tomorrow and find there's no place to VPN to.

  37. Julian Bond


    There's something wrong with that Wikipedia story. Even transparent proxies should pass though the client IP address. And Mediawiki and the wikipedia code should be checking HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR and HTTP_CLIENT_IP not just REMOTE_ADDR

    So either the wikipedia code is stupid or the IWF proxies are not playing fair.

  38. Keith_C


    Seems that Entanet are filtering as well, although only for ADSL customers. Our leased line with them is fine, as is their transit feed.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Neil Greatorex: Good ISPs

    After extensive research, I've compiled an exhaustive list of ISPs that are guaranteed to provide good bandwidth and good customer service without censoring or facilitating warrantless wiretaps. Here is the complete list:



  40. Ed
    Thumb Down


    I've been using Nildram for my internet for years, and they were great. Since they were bought by Pipex, then Tiscalli, they've limited bittorrent and usenet in the evenings from the 800KB/s I'd normally get to 10KB/s. Apparently this is 'reasonable' traffic management...

    I'm off to Be - I hope they're better. They're cheaper and faster, so I have my doubts! So, avoid Nildram at all costs - used to be the best, now one of the worst.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What next?>

    I am betting blogs will be next! The media barons and Government are shit scared of them. They didnt spend hundreds of millions on a newspaper in order to control what the Govt does only to find it ignored by the masses!

  42. Dann

    Virgin Media blocked too

    All I Get is


  43. lIsRT
    Thumb Down

    DRM lessening today, filtering lessening tomorrow...


    I never knew something for viewing old versions of websites was an "Anonymizing Utility".

    Viewing from work, not likely anything related to IWF, but it's confirmed my view that filtering is idiotic.

    "Smartfilter Bess Edition" in this case.

    > You cannot access the following Web address:



    > The site you requested is blocked under the following categories: Anonymizing Utilities

  44. John Chadwick

    Who are the IWF?

    Who are the people behind this organisation, do they actually know anything about the Internet or the sites they ban, do they actually investigate the Sites and URLs before they decide what to ban? Likewise do the ISPs bother to do impact analysis, or even check the URLs and Sites themselves?

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Bethere are also filtering the same

    But our colo server in IFL isn't.......

  46. Jim Willsher
    Thumb Down


    Strange. I can access from my Eclipse Internet (Kingston) connection, but ADSL24 (Entanet) gives a 404....

  47. Peter Sommer

    Available via BT Internet at the moment

    Not the slightest problem here; I have just managed to view pages I created back in 1997...

  48. Anonymous Coward

    @Neil Greatorex

    "What we really need is a definitive list of the ISPs that use this list"

    What we really need is transparency, i.e. we need to be able to see what's on the list, so that we can know if the censorship is reasonable. At the moment, the IWF is completely unaccountable to the public.

    (The Wayback Machine is accessible on Orange.)

  49. robert
    Thumb Up

    What's the Reg Reader approved ADSL supplier nowadays?

    BeThere if you can get it gets the thumbs up all round

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IWF-using ISP List

    Is a good idea. The explanations for this censorship should be interesting. I'm on Be and have been able to visit old versions of websites ok. So far...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Publish the block list

    Shine some sunshine on the blocklist, if it represents a consensus of filtering then there is no problem because all the ISPs will be blocking it and so no Brit can access it. If it does NOT represent a consensus then the ISP that's gone a little wackie jackie on us, will lose customers.

    But a secret list of censored sites decides by a secret group of people? No.

    If their choice is reasonable they can justify it, and it will be the consensus opinion. Otherwise it's just more busy bodies overruling others world opinion with their own opinion.

    If you recall the Swedish blokes filter complaint, he diff'd the Swedish filter with an unfiltered list and found the block list was blocking legal sites.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up via is fine via is fine.

  53. Anonymous Coward

    @why do the British put up with this crap?

    Probably for the same reason everyone else puts up with Apples non-replacable batteries...

    No choice ... coorporate descision.. new standards etc etc...

    I for one am safe, no filters here..

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    it seems to be OK if you do NOT use Demon's Nameservers

  55. Tom

    Role on Web3

    Web3 will be created by using Mesh networking which will totally remove the need for ISP's and make it almost impossible to block sites. If governments and self appointed censors dont want us to find things they'll just have to stop them existing!

  56. The Harbinger
    Thumb Down


    I'm a Demon customer, access to pages from wayback machine seems very patchy, the appears to have been unblocked, other searches just time out and produce no results and some go straight to: with the date of the page and url tagged on the end.

    What a stupid stupid situation. Surely we need something better than the IWF?

    "Won't somebody please think of the children!"

  57. Dave Stark


    If the IWF has added the Wayback Machine to its list, then all the ISPs which were hit by the Wikipedia farce should be blocking it.

    My ISP (Be) blocked the Wikipedia page but isn't blocking the Wayback Machine, which makes me think that this isn't the IWF's work.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I've just jumped from Demon - since Thus has become part of NTL, their customer service has become rude and unco-operative. Their connection has become slower and unreliable.

    Called to tell them, they didn't want to know - they basically said 'we're providing you with a connection that you are using, there's nothing more we can do'

    I've been with them since 1992, but that doesn't matter to them - i'm just a number.

    When Demon were still Demon, they couldn't do enough to help. Their technical staff knew what they were on about - not just reading a script.

    I'm also recomending that any of my clients leave demon now and seek better connections.


  59. Jon


    Just tried:-*/

    and got redirected to a 404 page not found, clearly that's a hot bed of kiddy porn....

    Interestingly, just tried it again 2 minutes later and it seems to be working (7:30am 14/1)

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Oh dear...

    By hikaricore Posted Wednesday 14th January 2009 07:07 GMT

    And why do the British put up with this crap?

    There needs to be a riot you realise that you've commited an offense under the Anti-Terrorism Act ?

    Incitement to cause riot, damage etc etc

    Question: why is it I only read about this stuff on El Reg and not, for example, the BBC (ok, obvious answer) or any other mainsteam press?

  61. Geoff Johnson
    Black Helicopters

    Be Unlimited

    Be Unlimited* are blocking the archive of my website but I can get pages from the archive of

    I agree that we need a definitive list of what ISPs use this list.

    * Unlimited is just the name, nothing to do with their service.

  62. Luke
    Black Helicopters

    Is this being justified by 'terrorism' too?

    An ISP censoring huge chunks of the internet because there may or may not be some dodgy content is like putting an entire town under house arrest because a few people may go out and break a law otherwise.

    The internet should be completely uncensored – people who choose to break the laws of their country should be held accountable for the actions they chose to take.

    Worst thing is that the UK government criticises China for this sort of nonsense - but allows it here.

  63. Mark Broadhurst
    Thumb Down

    and now the news later this week...

    Demon internet announced that it was going in to administration after all of its users left, after demon restricted access to the internet. the very service the people we paying to access.

  64. Matt Ryan

    List of banned sites

    They don't publish the list as it would just give paedophiles a place to start. Thats also the reason they don't tell you its blocked - you could reference every URL out there and see which ones said they were blocked - then you could build the list yourself (not likely I know unless you work for Google!). As for Demon, it could be that they use the usual method - list of bad URLs gets mapped to IP addresses, these are then routed within the ISP network to the filtering proxy which then blocks access to the actual URL. Demon may have balls this up and just drop all traffic to that particular IP address.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Faulty filtering...

    I left UKOnline because of their dodgy filtering on behalf of the IWF. They are blocking by IP rather than url which causes chaos - PhotoBucket MegaUpload Rapidshare etc. etc. are frequently unavailable. The really daft thing is that for RapidShare at least the bypass is childishly simple - just changing the url to the ssl subdomain bypasses the filter because that resolves to a different IP and Rapidshare redirect internally to the correct file.

    I also imagine that the pervs are well versed in the use of proxies so this filtering is simply causing a nuisance to normal users without blocking access to anything. The idea that you might "accidentally" come across child porn is laughable - has this happened to anybody? Certainly not me and nobody I know has ever come across any.

  66. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    My company is with demon and I've just had no trouble accessing our corporate web page from the mid 90s. Either business customers aren't filtered, or the IWF read El Reg.

  67. James

    Censors indicate no intelligent life forms

    Neil Greatorex is spot on: these clowns shouldn't be tolerated in any way. The IWF just needs to be shut down entirely, and Demon should be forced to refund the month's subscription fees to every customer: they just intentionally denied paying customers the service they were paying for.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hold on

    They're now officially blacklisting an American library.

  69. Graham Wood

    Not BeThere, unfortunately - but I would recommend AAISP

    Be* do use the IWF filter, and gave me some b******t about it being a legal requirement when I pulled them up for false advertising (since they claim they provide "unlimited" access)...

    Which is a shame, since the connection I had with them was pretty good until recently - although since O2 have taken over the customer services seems to have deteriated.

    I jumped ship to Andrews & Arnold (, and although I'm back to having a bandwidth cap (rather than some fake 'fair use policy') it's preferable. The connection is as fast (if not faster) than Be in reality in the evening - the link speed is lower, but data transfer is faster.

    What price freedom? For me, a couple of quid a month, and a usage cap that I don't get anywhere near anyway.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Yes it's 1984

    George Orwell was a couple of decades late in his prophetic 1984 novel written i think just after WW2. But WOW, how close he was to understanding the Thought Police, re-writing history, continuous wars to "portect the population", pervasive TV / media, surveillance. How come that we are all so accepting of all this? Are we simply happy with a few quid in our pockets to spend on beers down the pub, watch a bit of footie, play on the PC, a holiday or two, and then F**k the rest regardless ?! We should protest (not riot) since that is legal...well in most places apart from Parliament square, the centre of our "democracy" !!!

    'kin'ell, it like a bad movie.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Faulty filtering...

    Only place I think it's generally possible is on p2p services where you expect hot lesbain dildo action but get filthy cp (result is WHAT THE S--T IS THIS! ARGHH GET OFF MAH PC! DO NOT WAAANT! Some paniced clicking later cleansing your machine.)

    I'd guess another way would be a DNS hijack. Final way would be long days browsing for porn, but I've done alot of porn browsing in my days and havn't found myself trapped in cp hell.

    What I find interesting is the term "Shield" I mean do they think a person is gonna see some CP and think "Jee I've spent so long wanting to have a gang bang with hot lesbians, but now I've seen this delicious CP I see that I have been wrong, I must chase teh 8 year olds!"

  72. hikaricore

    I'm serious here.

    The day my ISP starts to block ANYTHING in an attempt to say what I can and can not view, I will drive down town to their local office and put a flaming brick through their front window. You brits, the aussies and freaking china need to put and end to this chite before it gets out of hand. Don't just say "oh well it's just this one thing... i'm mad but not mad enough to get in twoubble" ... kick-start the revolution and burn it all down.

  73. Paul Murphy

    Is Google an ISP yet?

    Just asking...

    Try using the OpenDNS servers, rather than the default ones your ISP uses, that may help.

    or for those that can't be bothered to click'n'look:

    ---------- <nicked from their page> ----------------

    The straight dope

    Our nameservers are and

    ---------- </nicked from their page> ----------------

    My access is fine (but slow) from work and worked fine with VM this morning at home (with OpenDNS).


  74. Martin Jones
    Paris Hilton

    Stay in your Homes! Remain calm!

    Anyone notice that we scream like hell about Censorship in China, but are more than happy to implement it over here?

    I for one welcome our New Fascist Overlords.

    Except that they're not new. :(

    Paris, just cause.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Sadly, we brits don't riot often. We grumble. Passive-aggressive to a terrifying degree :)

  76. Lionel Baden


    I get the main page of the Site but beyond it nothing !

    Just blank pages as i try to do a search

  77. Michael Fremlins

    The IWF don't block anything...

    I can read in the comments above that a lot of people have misconceptions about the IWF "blocking" things.

    The IWF does not block anything. It doesn't provide proxies. It doesn't incercept any traffic.

    The IWF compiles a list of URLs (the Child Abuse Image list) which which is provided to subscribing ISPs.

    The ISPs implement the block in their own way. If your ISP is blocking an entire site and not just a single URL, then speak to your ISP.

    The list of ISPs taking the list is here:

  78. Anonymous Coward

    IWF criteria and approach ill considered

    IWF's approach needs an overhaul, especially regarding an implementation that satisfies the criteria you espoused yesterday (in relation to the proposed Australian web filter) here:


    ""To assess legitimacy, the process-based framework asks four questions. First, is a country open about its Internet censorship, and why it restricts information? Second, is the state transparent about what material it filters and what it leaves untouched? Third, how narrow is filtering: how well does the content that is actually blocked - and not blocked - correspond to those criteria?

    Finally, to what degree are citizens and Internet users able to participate in decisionmaking about these restrictions, such that censors are accountable? Legitimate censorship is open; transparent about what is banned; effective, yet narrowly targeted; and responsive to the preferences of each state’s citizens."" by Derek Bambauer.

    BY the way, re: "According to multiple customers of Demon Internet - now owned by Brit telecom Thus -"

    IWF's approach fails on at least three if not all four counts!

    Demon formerly of Thus, are now owned by Clueless and Witless (aka Cable&Wireless) are they not?

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Def DNS Hijacking

    Certainly demon are doing this by DNS hijacking. Here's the forward lookup results when asking a Demon nameserver for


    ; IN A


    And a non Demon nameserver:


    ; IN A

    ;; ANSWER SECTION: 1188 IN CNAME 1800 IN A

    If thats not enough of a smoking gun, this is the reverse lookup for


    ; IN PTR


  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To : IWF

    FOI Request.

    Please supply the uh uh uh watchlist that you publish so that I can see if my kill, kill, kill them all freedom of expression is not being limited.

    How many political sites are you denying access to?

  81. Geoff Johnson

    Be Unlimited

    It's working now (11:30 ish) through Be Unlimited. My earlier post was based on testing at 7:30. Looks like they're acting faster this time than they did over Wikipedia. Still seems to be blocked on Demon though.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    It's all very silly

    Despite having been with my mobile provider for 15 years, I still had to provide proof of age to get the web browser content lock taken off my phone.

    The irony being that while I couldn't access with the block in place, I could still access the porn site I moderate.

    There was a sombre documentary on Radio 4 last night about how our children are all being exposed to porn on the internet. It's likely to be the first step in a new round of censorship laws to 'protect' us.

  83. Anonymous Coward

    No Problem Here

    I use PedoNet and don't have any problems...

  84. Irp


    If demon think DNS Hijacking [which is what this is] is acceptable behaviour for an ISP, I wonder what they would think of their own domains being hijacked...

    Do unto others...

    Pirates, well 'cause.

  85. John

    On Be...

    Tried accessing*/ and eventually it timed out saying "We're sorry. Your request failed to connect to our servers. This may be due to temporary problems in our data center, or difficulty serving a higher-than-usual volume of traffic. "

    But while attempting I saw it connect through the '' pointed at above. I figure they arn't actually blocking the bbc, just that all requests through are routed through the IWF servers, and their servers have buggered up. I can't really see the BBC ever having hosted child porn.

    I can access other websites on archive correctly though.

  86. Cris Page

    Enta users Blocked or Borked?

    Enta (for all their recent "communications issues") have had a problem overnight wich seems to have reduced many customers to being able to access only a few domains, I wonder if those on Enta have been to some extent caught up in that.? works fine for me from Enta (UKFSN)

    There is a fair sized thread about the problem in the Enta forum on Thinkbroadband.

  87. Blitheringeejit

    Why does Demon let OpenDNS work anyway?

    I connect via Demon, and can confirm that switching to OpenDNS does defeat their filter.

    But what I don't understand is - since Demon think it's so important to stop me seeing this stuff, why do they let me use someone else's DNS to work around their oh-so-clever filter? Surely it's a simple matter to redirect all port 53 requests coming from their own network to their own DNS servers, irrespective of where they were originally sent to?

    If you're going to be a twat, you might as well be a complete twat...

  88. The Harbinger
    Thumb Down

    parental controls gone mad!

    or maybe they're just doing regex matching on the url for "bad" words.



  89. alphaxion


    I'd avoid opendns.. they are ad supported, so your browsing is being used to pump crap your way.

    Just avoid them all and use the root dns servers!

    Personally, I'm getting more and more tempted to advance my plans for running a public wireless network with the expressed purpose of cutting ISP's out of the loop all together.

    Pay your local node operator for access, if you don't like what they're doing set up your own node and advertise to those around you.

    Get that network repeated across the country and place a massive up yours to the governmental attempts at controlling what we see and do.

  90. Anonymous Coward

    IWF - The global effect

    "Who are the IWF?"

    Mostly ex-policemen - the IWF is one of the few organisations outside of CEOP to enjoy freedom from prosecution for looking at alleged CP. The IWF have strong links with the UK police force and with CEOP. They might be UK self-appointed guardian of public morals here, but watch out The Rest of the World...

    "...We work with UK government to influence initiatives developed to combat online abuse and this dialogue goes beyond the UK and Europe to ensure greater awareness of global issues, trends and responsibilities. We work internationally with INHOPE and other relevant authorities and organisations to encourage wider adoption of good practice in combating online child sexual abuse content and to promote inclusive and united global responses to this dynamic, cross-border criminality..."

    Coming to an IP in your country soon. You cannot argue or object. You will be assimilated.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    "The idea that you might "accidentally" come across child porn is laughable - has this happened to anybody? Certainly not me and nobody I know has ever come across any."

    This actually happened to me. Remember back in the day when you got a popup for a porn site, and when you closed it, you got another 2? And they usually got gradually worse. One day, whilst fighting a losing battle against these popups, one came up featuring some rather nasty images. I immediately reported it to the first watchdog I could find. But it did happen. I should imagine with most people having popup-blockers these days it is not a problem these days, but back in the day it certainally was a possibility.

    Also, have you ever used UseNet / NewsGroups? I used to be involved in a group on one of those channels, and every few weeks or so someone would post porn of various degrees of obscenity to every group on there. Some of the filenames suggested content that could be of an underage nature. I wouldn't know, I never clicked on them, and had autodisplay turned off, but someone who was naive, or had a client set to automatically download and display all content could be in for a shock.

    AC because even though I did report it, I fear the helecopters...

  92. Anonymous Coward

    Something Odd

    If you follow the link in the newsgroup:*/

    then the page comes up immediately (which is very odd for the archive) and all the page links are like:

    But if you go to

    and enter

    then it all works fine, if you search for then it works fine too

    I am not with Demon so there is no way I should ever see the iwfwebfilters.

    So I think its actually lot more complicated that IWF blocking the internet archive

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Entanet not blocking for me

    @Jim Willsher

    Tried via Entanet just now and can access without problems, so I was able to view the old Demon pages from 2003 and earlier.

    I don't think Entanet use the IWF list, in much the same way that they explicitly say they won't ever have any dealings with Phorm. Scum the pair of 'em.

  94. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    @Graham Wood

    AAISP sound like they have some really good staff and features - which is always more important to me than anything else. But, hell, do you pay through the nose for it. That might be a good solution for a rich numpty who does a couple of emails a week but their basic package is 1Gb/month at peak periods... for £18+VAT (and a large limit on off-peak).

    It doesn't even compare to the current offerings that my ISP (PlusNet) are supplying (and I get a better deal than is on their webpages because I'm an old-time Premier customer).

    Their most bog-standard, basic, low-use package has 1Gb/month peak (and unlimited off-peak) for £6.65/month (which technically beats AAISP's £18+VAT package). PlusNet's next highest option has 2Gb for £9.75 and you can get *twice* the peak allowance of AAISP's *top* package (£38+VAT per month with AAISP) for only £14.65. PlusNet's top options gives 30Gb (4 times AAISP's best peak usage) for under £20/month.

    PlusNet are (technically) owned by BT but they have remained staunchly independent and refused Phorm and quite a lot of this sort of rubbish even though they are a subsidiary. Their staff are highly technical, they run all manner of hosting outfits on the side, they are *extremely* reasonable on their traffic limits (off-peak is basically free and unlimited) and I've never had a problem with them. In fact, since they were taken over, all I've noticed is that line adjustments and new signups are quicker, I assume because the engineers are part of the same company!

    I haven't noticed any filters at all with PlusNet (I was using Wayback when I found this article in another tab) and they are highly skilled - I've had my line latencies dropped dramatically within seconds of a support ticket that I created online merely mentioning the fact they were high and they changed all the options on my broadband line to make it happen that quickly. I've called in numerous support tickets for tiny, technical issues (more to alert them to problems than because it was actually cause a problem) on dozens of their customers that I've recommended.

    Good service is worth paying for, no doubt, but AAISP just charge stupid prices. And have you *seen* their co-lo price?

  95. Geoff Johnson


    The last one I can remember here was pro-censorship. Something about some cartoons in a Danish paper.

  96. Peter Hewitt

    Virgin seems ok

    Don't seem to be having any trouble accessing it on Virgin.

    I noticed Heat magazine's website was blocked by Google (and therefore also firefox) yesterday. v

    Perhaps the IWF should implement a "think this is wrong?" system like google's malware system has.

  97. druck Silver badge

    No censorship without a court order

    The unelected and unaccountable IWF and the like, have no place in a supposed democratic country and should be disbanded immediately. No web page should be censored without a court order, and the page it is replaced with should refer to the case number so reason for the verdict can be discovered, and an appeal launched if inappropriate.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OpenDNS? Not for me...

    A number of people are recommending OpenDNS.

    Trouble with OpenDNS is that they never return a NXDOMAIN result - if you try to get something that doesn't have a record, you get one of their IP addresses. That's domain hijacking in my book...

    Which is a shame - DavidU's previous DNS work (EveryDNS) is very good, and I still use it. Sadly, although the service still works perfectly (for existing users, anyway), I can't get anyone to respond to any form of communication :-(

  99. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Accidental Child Porn! Argh!

    >> The idea that you might "accidentally" come across child porn is laughable - has this happened to anybody? Certainly not me and nobody I know has ever come across any.

    It can happen if you are visiting those semi-managed picture sites (cough). There are regular spambots posting child porn with links to "moar" or weirdos who seem to be bored with their basement lifestyle and feel the urge to piss off people "out there in the Internets". Once the moderator wakes up / has finished his schoolwork / comes home, the stuff gets deleted pretty quickly.

    Now, I hear that even some kind of cartoons from the shores of Japan or even the fugly reuse of Simpson characters are considered child porn these days , so you might come accidentally across "CP" faster than you might think.

    In any case, you know that you need to bash some law-and-order politicians' heads with a 5 kg crowbar when you catch yourself worrying about accidentally encountering <insert arbitrary type of content here>.

  100. Graham


    seems like your internet censorship is going in the direction of CHINA....

    i'm an australian and i'm kinda scared as our government is looking to do the same to our internet as yours has. kinda scary.

    i'm all for protection of children/racism, but do 99.9% of internet users need to have this hassle for the .1% that all this is for??

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Double Plus Ungood

    @Michael Fremlins

    If the IWP dosen't block anything why do I get this:-******.**/********

    Not Found

    The requested URL /web/20010628232731/http://www.******.**/******** was not found on this server.

    @The Harbinger

    That's my own site that is blocked, a site dedicated to learning difficulties.

    This is all double plus ungood.

  102. Anonymous Coward

    Internet Watch Foundation is run by technical illiterates

    Probably the British Government is the only organization around even less technically literate. Even the goat herding Al Queda types hiding in the mountains of Pakistan are more technically literate. Why do you Brits put up with this behavior by ISP's and the IWF that violates your own laws?

  103. Anonymous Coward


    "Also, have you ever used UseNet / NewsGroups? I used to be involved in a group on one of those channels, and every few weeks or so someone would post porn of various degrees of obscenity to every group on there. Some of the filenames suggested content that could be of an underage nature. I wouldn't know, I never clicked on them, and had autodisplay turned off, but someone who was naive, or had a client set to automatically download and display all content could be in for a shock."

    Me too, in fact its my experience that allot of files give no indication as to the nature of its content, after all if the filenames contained "preteen", "12YO" or Lolita" that would be a sure fire way to ensure its swift removal.

    One board I used to use fairly frequently became ruined by a small minority of users uploading or linking to some fairly dodgy material with no indication as to it's true nature and when the moderators could no longer police it effectively I left. Luckily it was borderline in terms of obscenity (as least the small amount of stuff I was unfortunatly enough to see) but still very much illegal. So its more of a danger than you think.

    In fact didn't the IWF release a survey a couple of years ago indicating that as many as 1 in 20 net users have been exposed to such stuff inadvertently? Given that they get around 30'000 reports a year its obvious it's happening more often than you may think. Just because you've been lucky don't assume it not happened to anyone else. Its not a pleasant experience.

  104. David Hicks

    @Michael Fremlins

    That's just not true.

    The IWF provide a list and then requests to any site on the list are sent, by the subscriber's ISP, via the IWF's proxies.

    This is why nobody could edit anything through wikipedia during the last one, because nearly all UK traffic to wikipedia was sent via the IWF proxy and appeared, to wiki, to be coming from a single IP address.

  105. jason


    Heaven forbid but if it was your child that was being abused to satidfy just the .1% would you still object?

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It seems the banned archive site is working again now (using demon internet), also; it seems since THUS have taken over demon and since the crazzy and systematic of blocking half the web - browsing is god awful now (in general) even the use of open DNS seems to have little effect. Damnned proxy servers!!! I want the old internet back :(

  107. dan

    ERM! Some very, very strange stuff going on here

    I'm very, very confused:

    I'm on Virgin, @ home.*/ yields links that look like this:

    So that's fine.*/ yields links that look like this:


    1) Why am I (a Virgin Media customer) getting the filter? I know that were involved with Cable & Wireless - is this the reason?

    2) Why are only the wayback links for being affected?

    Can anyone else on Virgin confirm if they can find any other sites in wayback that yield filtered links?!

    Are we sure this is not something that's been done by Sounds crazy, but this could be an attempt to draw attention to / frame the IWF.

    Just to be clear - if someone can confirm that Virgin Media are indeed using the domain for filter sites I will be the first to cancel my service. If this is the case, they've breached the contract by not providing me the access I pay for.

    So, someone help me to confirm exactly what's going on here.

  108. ShaggyDoggy



  109. Graham Wood

    @Lee Dowling

    You seem to be comparing apples & oranges, but the point is sort of valid ;)

    The colo prices are indeed very high - and my colo box is elsewhere where it's a lot cheaper. I don't need the uptime/service that AAISP offers for my machine, so I don't pay for it. My connection home is (however) more important to me. Since not having access for 2 hours in the evening is more of an impact than my colo box dropping off for that long.

    Plusnet don't (unless things have changed since I was a customer of theirs) offer support for load balanced lines, IP ranges (if you can justify them enough for RIPE to be happy), native IPv6, and people with a clue at the end of the phone...

    Finally - plusnet include IWF filtering.

  110. Dave Webb

    Access OK through Enta

    I am able to access the site through several standard ADSL connections provided by Enta. They did have some routing issues today and several sites were inaccessible, but this has been resolved now.

  111. MarkMac


    "Trouble with OpenDNS is that they never return a NXDOMAIN result "

    Open a (free) account with them, and you can turn off that feature via their Control Panel. Basically you can tell it to treat all DNS requests coming from your IP 'normally' and return NXDOMAIN as you'd hope for.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Who are the IWF?

    There's an easy way to find out if they investigate claims or just add URLs mindlessly (I personally think it's the latter).

    Just have everybody complain about the same, perfecly legal, URL and see if they add it to their list.


  113. Michael Fremlins

    Ponder Stebbings and David Hicks

    Ponder - that's because Thus have blocked the sites. The IWF does not block anything. They provide a list of "bad" sites to subscribers. That is all.

    David, you are wrong. The IWF does NOT provide proxies. Your traffic does not go via the IWF in any way (unless you browse to the IWF site). Your ISP will probably run proxies for the IWF sites, but that is down to the ISP.

    You and Ponder have just demonstrated what I wrote earlier about misconceptions.

    A sensible thing to do in this case would be for Thus to remove the proxy for the Web Archive site, and contact the IWF.

  114. jason

    Get a perspective

    Sheeeeeesh...... People on this thread need to get a life. Im sorry but all this ranting at "censorship" is just bollox. In the past six months theres been 2 major outages due to the implementation (its the ISP's implementation not the IWF list that is at fault here by the way) of the IWF block list, yes they were two high traffic sites , Scorpions wiki page and this site (sarcasm intended) now how many indecent images has it legitimately blocked in comparison? Supply/demand etal.....

    suppose most people on here would not want to ban a child porn mag if it was to be published...

  115. Greem

    This all sounds like a cock-up

    A monumental one, which someone will get punted for, but a cockup nonetheless.

    Unfortunately HMG and the industry they have dictated to, along with the Daily Fail and hordes of screaming panicking "I red it in da paper so it must be troo" Joe Publics have conditioned us all to the immediately respond with "CONSPIRACY! NANNY STATE!"

    Shall we see what the *real* cause is before we holler?

    BTW I'm an NTL (well, VM) punter and it all works fine for me.

  116. Richard
    Thumb Down


    I'm on VM too and also get redirected to the 404 on the thus server, very odd.

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Accidental access

    OK on those who say accidental access is possible - I was obviously mistaken. Maybe I've been spared this because I don't spend my time trawling newsgroups looking for free standard porn or just pirated movies?

  118. Ross Ryles

    Deceit or Incompetence?

    Demon state here:

    That if they block something because it is on the IWF list that they will serve a page like this:

  119. Geoff Johnson


    "Trouble with OpenDNS is that they never return a NXDOMAIN result "

    Not a problem to most people. I'm usually picky but I'm prepared to be served a page full of adverts when I mistype a URL in return for a decent DNS service.

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ADSL24 Speaks

    I just shot off a support ticket with ADSL24; they got back to me just now confirming that ADSL24 does not use the IWF's list, and *if* there was any blocks to the service was because they might have used THUS (owners of Demon) to route traffic there.

  121. Anonymous Coward


    Something wrong here. From a university, I can access past versions of through the wayback machine, but not the BBC. However, it appears that the string has been inserted into all the links on the page*/

    Maybe a problem with the wayback machine itself.

  122. jason
    Thumb Down


    and Protect the Internet at all times.

    They are slowly building a framework to be able to ban any content they want.

    Wake up ppl!

    Soon countries will be forced to implement this:

    And if you haven't already, watch this:

  123. George-Cristian Birzan


    It's not only people from the UK that get the iwfwebfilter address. I'm connecting from Romania and I still get redirected to, for example. But not all sites do that. BBC is blocked, isn't.

  124. Paul


    "Maybe a problem with the wayback machine itself."

    It seems unlikely that would be using IWF, since they're based in the US. And I (myself in the US) am not seeing anything like that. I am getting quite a few "Path Index Error" messages, but that's not too unusual.

    IMHO, It's starting to look like this is a screwup of some kind rather then a deliberate attempt at censorship, but it's still a problem that wouldn't have happened if the filters weren't there.

  125. Schultz


    Too much history to make any original contribution, time to start from a fresh slate!

  126. This post has been deleted by its author

  127. Graham Wood


    Couple of disagreements:

    > 3. All UK ISP's use some form of filter, although not all use Cleanfeed

    Please tell me what AAISP use. They claim not to filter at all, and I've got my account with them for that reason (as well as a few others). This sort of FUD is part of the problem.

    > it's both specific and considered extremely good

    Evidence of this? The whole reason so many people (me included) are up in arms at this is the secretive way that it's carried out. Any block list that blocks a text article BUT NOT THE IMAGE THAT IS THE PROBLEM is not "extremely good"

    > based purely on the ISP's descision, not the IWF's.

    Apart from the fact that the IWF strongly recommends that ISPs use the 404 to prevent people working out that they've been blocked.

    > 6. The IWF have been running for 12 years. 12 years, people!

    The Chinese government (and the NSA) have been running for longer than that. What's your point?

    > do some research before you spout off, please?

    Yes, please do.

  128. David Hicks
    Thumb Down

    @Michael Fremlins

    You may be right, on further investigation it is the ISPs that run the proxy based on the IWF list.

    Even so, you comment here -

    "The ISPs implement the block in their own way. If your ISP is blocking an entire site and not just a single URL, then speak to your ISP."

    Is not necessarily pertinent because it was shown last time that the IWF block whole pages (The article about the Skorpions album) and not just the offending material. They use very blunt tools indeed and it wouldn't surprise me if they've blocked the whole archive.

    Now, are the ISPs to blame for mindlessly following their edicts? Sure, but the IWF clearly need to get their act together too.

  129. David Hicks


    You argue that we have our perspective wrong and then equate oppostion to the IWF (unelected body that arbitrarily blocks sites and gets in the way of legitimate web usage) with approval of the publishing of a magazine full of child porn?

    Get some perspective yourself, fucking moron.

  130. Tony Hoyle

    @IWF sales troll

    1. IWF seem pretty damned unaccountable to me.

    2. No it isn't. They censor anything they don't like, using kiddie porn as a pretext.

    3. Many ISPs do *not* use any kind of filter. Only the shitty ones do.

    4. You've seen it? I suspect you work for the IWF then, because they won't tell anyone about it. Completely unaccountable.. they could block my companies website and the first I'd know would be the drop in traffic.

    5. The IWF chooses *which* pages though doesn't it. They have the power to randomly shut down sites they don't like. Only shitty ISPs use it but not everyone knows in advance what they're buying into.

    6. It's only been actively filtering since 2004 and has been pushing a censorship agenda ever since.

  131. This post has been deleted by its author

  132. jason

    @David Hicks

    Im sorry but you are just showing your ignorance. The IWF do not block anything! The IWF supply a list of URL's that has images that are potentially illegal under UK law. The IWF is unelected, but has been running for 12 years and is manned by a lot of ex policeman who have dealt with child crime/exploitation and are versed in the laws. It is the ISP's who implement this list and the way that they do it that causes these "outages"

    Are you implying that because legitimate web browsing is occasionally interrupted (twice as far as i know in 12 years) that access to these images should be available?

    This whole discussion is seriously out of perspective. If it had been google or the bbc site that got blocked then yes I could see a reason for some kind of uproar. But this is ridiculous.

    My comment about the mag was just made in the context that with freedom comes responsibility and responsibility means sometimes you have to curtail freedom etal censorship. We have a responsibility to protect children and I for one support any method that helps rid our planet of this disease.

  133. Anonymous Coward

    also @IWF sales troll

    "The IWF's list is 800-1200 pages, and it's both specific and considered extremely good"

    Sounds like you've seen it.

    Perhaps the rest of us should be allowed to assess it too, or do you think the rest of us are all potential paedophiles, whereas, of course, you are completely trustworthy?

    Those who are paedophiles won't stop being paedophiles because the internet is blocked. Paedophiles have been around since the year dot and there's no evidence to suggest that they are suddenly multiplying because of the existence of the internet. It may be that we are catching more of them, but that's because technomorons are easier to detect, that's all.

    It is perfectly reasonable to expect the IWF to be accountable to the public, seeing as though it is publicly funded.

    Stop jerking your knee every time somebody mentions "the children".

  134. jason

    @david hicks

    See for an true perspective of what happened last time.

    also David, whats the alternative?

  135. Hombre sin nombre
    Black Helicopters


    Of what benefit at all are the IWF to society? Really now. They are there to "prevent accidental access to inappropriate material." Not to stop the actual criminals who are actively searching for such filth. They really are the full embodiment of the nanny state, preventing you from seeing things you might not want to see, without your knowledge or consent.

    In theory, any image is 'potentially illegal', so any images that aren't blocked must therefore be guaranteed legal, otherwise it would be blocked.

    Also, for the record, their blocklist has only been enforced for around 4 years now, not 12.

    No AC because I am out of their sphere of influence.

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm a Demon customer and like the Wiki problem I'm NOT seeing any filtering/blockage. Both sites are working as intended at time of the restrictions.

  137. Anonymous Coward

    Accidental Exposure

    I admit that I too have bumped into child porn a couple times online. But the important thing to realize are that it's not a matter of stumbling into a "child porn site"; if such things exist they would necessarily be very well hidden. It's user generated content on news groups, "image boards", P2P etc. It exists either because the medium is all but unpolicable (P2P) or just because it can only be deleted so fast. It may only take minutes but some people will be "exposed". But if it takes Bob the moderator half an hour to notice and delete a dodgy picture, you can be sure it will take *longer* for it be reported to the IWF, reviewed by their "experts" and blocked.

    And it doesn't just happen while you're browsing El Reg or googling "kitten". I knew what kind of site I was visiting (one where anybody can post pictures real time) and went there anyway. Well someone decided to be a dick and post child porn and I got burned, so to speak. Not that I think I was actually *harmed*, but that's another topic. Still I'd prefer not to see that kind of thing or have illegal images on my computer so I decided not to hang around there any more.

    But it's my choice whether to take that risk. The only realistic way the IWF or any censor could have prevented it is by blocking all sites where users can post unmoderated content entirely. Even China doesn't do that.

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Um, jason.. The simple fact is that we're not dealing with a disease but a natural sexual preference.

    That's not to say we should allow their activities, but you need to realise that we won't ever stop people from getting aroused by that material. All we can do is investigate ways of stopping them from abusing children. If this means electronic depiction of the act that didn't involve any human in the real world to "placate" them then we should investigate the options.

    TL;DR - As long as humans exist, so will the problem so we had better start thinking on how to treat it to reduce the impact!

  139. Gav
    Thumb Down

    Maybe, just maybe..

    We should wait until this 'censorship' is confirmed by even one of the parties involved (Demon, IWF or Wayback).

    Until then, there are other possible reasons. The chief and most likely one being someone has screwed up somewhere.

    We now return you to your normal diet of screams of outrage and jumping to conclusions....

  140. Dr. Mouse

    Got about half way though...

    the comments here then got bored.

    To all those who say "I've encountered CP accidentally and want the IWF to opperate": You know you can actually filter your OWN connections right? Then at least you have controll over it. Net Nanny among others.

    RE: IWF do/dont filter arguments.

    No, they dont. They provide a list to the ISP for a 'nominal fee'. The ISP must implement the filter themselves.

    Heres the catch though, they MUST use the ENTIRE list or not at all. If they discover a mistake has been made, they are in breach of contract if they remove the block.

    Also, most implementations do not just use DNS hijacking, they use a routing table that redirects certaion IPs through the transparent proxy. This proxy then intercepts (HTTP port 80 only), checks the URL, and drops the connection if the URL matches one on the IWF list. So use of alternate DNS servers will not always work (sometimes will if a site has multiple servers and you pick up an IP of a foreign server not on the list).

    Anyway, IWF is a joke, as ANYONE could EASILY get round it. And do you REALLY think that real paedos host their mucky pics on public websites anymore?

  141. Paul Kelly
    Thumb Down


    >This whole discussion is seriously out of perspective. If it had been google or the bbc site that got blocked then yes I could see a reason for some kind of uproar. But this is ridiculous.

    It's inspiring how selflessly you're prepared to see eveyone else's freedoms curtailed in the name of thinking of the children.

  142. Anonymous Coward


    Are you implying that we're all too thick or depraved to censor ourselves?

    Stop thinking of the children. That's the job of the kiddie-fiddlers.

    (Not funny when somebody suggests you're a pervert simply because of your perfectly legitimate viewpoint, is it? David's right. You're a moron - and a very self-righteous one at that.)

  143. Russ Moore

    Demon DNS - still not correct

    host -a -v

    Trying ""

    ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 64791

    ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 7, ADDITIONAL: 6


    ; IN ANY


    ;; AUTHORITY SECTION: 1525 IN NS 1525 IN NS 1525 IN NS 1525 IN NS 1525 IN NS 1525 IN NS 1525 IN NS

    ;; ADDITIONAL SECTION: 73377 IN A 1525 IN A 73421 IN A 73377 IN A 73377 IN A 73377 IN A

    Received 290 bytes from in 26 ms

    host -a -v

    Trying ""

    Received 33 bytes from in 23 ms

    Trying ""

    Trying ""

    Trying ""

    Using domain server:




    Host not found: 5(REFUSED)

    Received 33 bytes from in 22 ms

  144. hikaricore


    Get off my internet, no really, you're not wanted here.

    If you really think this is about protecting the children, you're as ignorant as you let on.

    This is about content control, and setting precedence for future content blocks.

    Why not start banning books that talk about underage sex? They're evil and will hurt our children right?

    If you want to protect children become a crossing guard you twit.

  145. George-Cristian Birzan
    Dead Vulture


    And them being policemen gives them the right to be judge, jurry and (to some extent) executioner? There is no peer review of their 'screening' process, even their list is private. I have nothing against censoring child pornography, but why have everything behind closed doors?

    You're misunderstanding our outrage. We are not outraged they screwed up. We are outraged they are doing this censorship behind closed doors, in a way designed not to be transparent. This is why the police doesn't have a carte blanche for kicking in doors, listening to phone conversations (erm, well, except if you're a terrorist :-( ) and all that. This is just a slippery slope, in my opinion...

    Imagine they wanted to censor, for whatever reason, theregister. They could do it (yes, not them as such, but the ISPs that use their 'services', but in my book, they're just as guilty), and only a handful of people have the technical knowledge to go around the methods currently used (though, El Reg's audience might actually have a chance... but that's beside the point).

  146. Sam
    Thumb Down

    Deary me.

    Bloody hell... I'm glad I got out of old blighty. Its getting more like V for Vendetta every feckin week. Next on the chopping block, Mozart.

  147. Russ Moore

    The point is the total secrecy blanket

    The untrustworthy fact that with the current British Government what you are told has no connection with the real truth.

    Is the IWF an independant group, a subsidiary of the Home Office, another gravy train for the party faithful or something else. I wouldn't mind betting you ask in the wrong place and you and your DNA will soon be government property.

    It has all the hallmarks of a NuLabour gravy train - unelected, unaccountable, unquestionable and totally full of their way being thee ONLY way.

  148. jason

    @anonymous and any one else..

    'but you need to realise that we won't ever stop people from getting aroused by that material'

    Does that mean we should do nothing?

    'They are there to "prevent accidental access to inappropriate material." Not to stop the actual criminals who are actively searching for such filth.'

    Yes to a degree... but stop demand... stop supply... economics..

    'Also, for the record, their blocklist has only been enforced for around 4 years now, not 12'

    ok so 2 incidents in 4 bad...

    'It's inspiring how selflessly you're prepared to see eveyone else's freedoms curtailed in the name of thinking of the children'

    Im sorry but again so out of perspective.. have you been locked away in a cell? have you been put under house arrest? no. you have not been able to browse to a couple of web pages.. is that a price im willing to pay to help try an stop child porn? your damn right i am.

    I know the IWF from experience. I worked at an ISP when it was implemented. We were not a massive ISP but saw on average 300 attempts a day to access banned urls (we didn't see the details just the stats.) so say over 4 years thats 438,000 attempts to view and that was just us... and the price? just potentially 2 sites unbrowsable for a day (and one might not even be related)

    'Are you implying that we're all too thick or depraved to censor ourselves?'

    Self censorship does not work for the masses. we are human and fallible.. also accidental viewing would happen and once its cached on your machine you have broken the law.

  149. fnordianslip
    Paris Hilton



    I'm not having an issue, with ADSL via Entanet (UKFSN to be precise). I checked through the wayback machine and although it wouldn't let me see the oldest version of the index page, it did work for more recent versions.

  150. Anonymous Coward


    "Self censorship does not work for the masses."

    Ah, then we need a brave and selfless guy like you to protect us from ourselves, as we clearly can't control our own actions. How noble of you. Of course, it was okay for you to see the list because you're a special case, right? Wrong. You are no different to the rest of us. You admit to being one of the "human and fallible" and thus, having seen the list, you therefore can't be trusted and must be removed from society as a potential threat to our children.

    In fact, it sounds to me like you're worried that you might be the one who would not be able to censor himself (having direct knowledge of what's on the list) and that you're paranoid about getting caught.

  151. Hombre sin nombre

    It seems jason for one...

    welcomes our new all judging, all censoring, authoritarian overlords.

    "Self censorship does not work for the masses. we are human and fallible."

    So is the government you tit.

  152. jason


    'Get off my internet, no really, you're not wanted here.'

    now theres censorship.. ironic...

    'Why not start banning books that talk about underage sex? They're evil and will hurt our children right?'

    are they illegal? if you don't like the legality part of it then at the next general election vote for someone who will repeal the law...

    I agree in principle with George-Cristian Birzan. Yes its not perfect but thats no reason just to give up on it. instead of all the bitching about freedom (and im sure in Zimbabwe right now the MDC are organising a rally in support of you all) have healthy debate about making system work better.

    thats my last post as I'm spending too much time on something that just aint important... and watch out.. the goverment at this very moment are tapping your phones, monitoring your movements adn collecting your DNA !!!!

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  154. Anonymous Coward

    Blocked on O2

    I was blocked on O2, changed my DNS to OpenDNS all OK now :)

  155. hikaricore
    Thumb Down


    > also accidental viewing would happen and once its cached on your machine you have broken the law

    So... from your concept of the law.

    If some homeless loon were to run up to you and open a large poster of kiddie porn and it was witnessed by a police officer then YOU would be breaking the law for accidentally seeing it?

    Think for a second about that you douche.

  156. George-Cristian Birzan


    > Im sorry but again so out of perspective.. have you been locked away in a cell? have you been put under house arrest? no. you have not been able to browse to a couple of web pages.. is that a price im willing to pay to help try an stop child porn? your damn right i am.

    That sums it up perfectly. You are. I'm not.

    Most child pornography is still accessible, I would say, so for this ellusive Holy Grail, you're willing to sacrifice your freedom (and, more importantly, mine), handing it out to a group of people that are unaccountable and that are known to have even the least of common sense. (Come on. Banning the album cover on Wikipedia? There are a billion other sources for the image

    > We were not a massive ISP but saw on average 300 attempts a day to access banned urls

    Were all those sites child pornography sites?

  157. Frank Fisher

    Replacing the IWF

    Pasting this from another place, but this is my suggestion for replacing the IWF:

    I've been thinking about this a great deal – I think if we need ISP level censorship to be done (and I stress I still oppose net censorship, even of child porn – tackle the producers) then we need a system outside of government, but on a statutory basis, to oversee it. I'm thinking of something along the lines of the HFEA (Human fertilisation and embryology authority) where experts and lay members examine key issues and and put out legally binding regulation. It cannot be left inside government – who guards the guards? - we need, alongside the committed censors, outsiders with commitment to free speech, with a right to inspect the list, inspect ISP routing tables, with limited exemption from the law – akin to police officers today – to enable them to verify the legality or otherwise of challenged sites,with a voice inside and outside the body to challenge and shape policy. I don't want this to happen, it shouldn't have to – but if we are having an all enveloping internet censorship in the UK then an authority along these lines needs to be established to ensure the government and all players stick to the agreed rules and dont' slip political IPs onto the list. You'd need a good chair known in the industry, and committed members – and you bet I'd be interested in participating.

  158. jason


    Sorry, had to coment.....

    'If some homeless loon were to run up to you and open a large poster of kiddie porn and it was witnessed by a police officer then YOU would be breaking the law for accidentally seeing it?'

    No... but viewing it on a computer caches the image. You will then goto prison if caught. pretty straight forward... Im also sure that if they can prove you viewed it (not cached) then this is also illegal but im not 100% sure without research.

    '(Come on. Banning the album cover on Wikipedia? There are a billion other sources for the image'

    I refer you again to The image was potentially illegal. The fact that it is also elswhere on the interweb does not make it a legal image.

    'of course, it was okay for you to see the list because you're a special case, right'

    I never said that I saw the list.

  159. Paul


    Jason: "I worked at an ISP when it was implemented. We were not a massive ISP but saw on average 300 attempts a day to access banned urls (we didn't see the details just the stats.) so say over 4 years thats 438,000"

    Congrats, you saved 438,000 legitimate users from accidentally seeing child porn... or annoyed 438,000 paedophiles... or not. 'Cause you don't actually know those URLs were blocked for any good reason do you? You only have IWF's word that there were illegal... I mean "potentially illegal". You only have IWF's word that they may have been illegal. Sorry, but that's not a very impressive success story.

    On the other hand, some if the rest of you are getting a little too conspiracy minded, IMHO. Granted I don't live in your country so I don't know how bad things are, but I really doubt IWF is part of a secret plan to take over the Internet. It's more the natural Power Corrupts principle that would worry me. And the ability to secretly censor the Internet is a pretty big power to have with no accountability.

  160. jason


    'Congrats, you saved 438,000 legitimate users from accidentally seeing child porn... or annoyed 438,000 paedophiles... or not. 'Cause you don't actually know those URLs were blocked for any good reason do you? You only have IWF's word that there were illegal... I mean "potentially illegal". You only have IWF's word that they may have been illegal. Sorry, but that's not a very impressive success story.'

    I think if either the two or correct then yes that is a success....given the fact that only 2 non legitimate sites have been blocked. If it was the 3rd of your choices then we would have had masses of complaints from customers... we did not. If we had we would have dropped the list as it was not a legal obligation to implement. So yes, the IWF are accountable. Accountable to the ISP#s becuase if they were blocking non CP websites the ISP's would drop them and they would not be funded. I spoke on many occasions with people from the IWF and guess what? they dont wear black suits and sunglasses....

  161. jason

    @frank Fisher

    'I still oppose net censorship, even of child porn'

    and this is the frank fisher who did not oppose the broadcasting of radio messages in rawanda calling for the massacre of tutsi's all in the name of 'free speech' and freedom....

    I really hope Frank that you are in the minority...

  162. John Redbook

    Potentially (Il)legal..

    > Self censorship does not work for the masses..

    Yes it does.. it's called freedom of choice.

    > also accidental viewing would happen and once its cached on your machine you have broken the law

    Not a solicitor but my understanding is that 'making' (the fancy legal term they give to possessing indecent images) has to be deliberate and with intent. You're not guilty if you were unaware that the web page, e-mail etc., contained or was likely to contain an illegal image. There is also provision for you storing such images so that you can provide police with evidence.

    > the IWF is one of the few organisations outside of CEOP to enjoy freedom from prosecution for looking at alleged CP.

    Wonder how many pedo's work there?

    The IWF block what 'they' deem to be 'potentially' illegal. They're not judges The images haven't been near a court of law. No-one has been allowed to speak in their defence. The IWF are just members of the public.

    > And the ability to secretly censor the Internet is a pretty big power to have with no accountability.

    Wanted to say the same thing but ass-u-me beat me to it. Worth saying again.

  163. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Lack of trust


    Personally I don't trust this Labour government and last time I remember I didn't vote for Gordon Brown to lead the country (though I didn't vote for Tony either!).

    I'm stick of Jackie Smith and her right wing agenda - which seems pretty scary. She reminds me of Jack Straw (she and he look like the "Demon headmaster" - remember that??).

    I don't trust the Conservatives - I rate them about the same as the Labour party (i.e. not highly).

    I would like to have the Lib Dems in power as at least they seem to have a good grasp on the economic situation (Vince Cable does seem quite competent).

    I don't like the way we seem to have the IWF trying to censor the internet in the UK - this isn't a good situation to be in - why don't the government get their act together and fight paedos in each country with an international task force/body and get the people uploading the pictures in the first place? - from where I'm sitting this is looks like a crude attempt to block web pages without good reason (why is the BBC banned from which can be stopped by using a 3rd party DNS server.

    Also I'm a Demon customer looking for a new ISP - I do like the look of


  164. Paul


    >only 2 non legitimate sites have been blocked.

    If you seriously believe that, you're incredibly naive. Only two non legitimate sites *that were big enough to notice* were blocked. Considering ISPs chose to dishonestly claim the banned URLs were "not found" it's going to have to be big to notice. You don't seriously think the first questionable judgment they ever made just happened to be on one of the largest sites on the internet, do you?

    Other child porn blacklists--when investigated, which is difficult--have a notoriously high false positive rate. I would frankly be surprised if IWF's is really that much better.

  165. This post has been deleted by its author

  166. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Watch Committees

    Unelected, unaccountable - and until the Secretary of State makes a determination otherwise(*), completely immune to FOI requests

    (*) This has NEVER happened, despite being in FOI legislation to cover non-govt organisations having regulatory(**), quasi-governmental or government contracted functions.

    (**) Including professional body regulation, such as: ASA, ICSTIS, medical council, law society, etc etc etc.

    Unsmiley, becaise all that's happened since FOI is that structures have been put in place to avoid having to make disclosures.

  167. Anonymous Coward

    @ Jason - as someone once said

    Anyone willing to give up freedom for security deserves neither (or words to that effect)

    Jefferson I think it was.

    Knew some muppet would pop up with "S0m30n3 think of the Childrenz/babeez!!!111"

    Hmm whats the bet "jason" is either

    a) a Heil reader / insert other used toilet roll masquerading as newspaper

    b) police staff

    c) home office staff

    d) religious whackjob

    e) all of the above

    the IWF are a fudge to placate the population till the govt can skew the argument enough to filter the net and censor views totally.

    I swear this country is racing towards a govt style last seen in 1984 / brave new world / V for Vendetta / Insert other dystopian future here

    except the meeja are mainly all for it, as groups of "morons against men" like to whip up "peedo nation" scandals constantly and the meeja on the whole report it as it saves them from work.

    So heres some advice, box up your computer, mail it back to where you bought it with a note "I'm returning this machine as I'm too stupid, self righteous and naive to own and use a computer"

    Perhaps you should change your u/n to "jackys number 1 fan"

    or perhaps "archbishop of canterbury as divine ruler"

    How about a childfree internet? Also an image is either LEGAL or ILLEGAL, I wish the govt would just come out and create a post where site were deemed legal or illegal (with reasons) and notices put up to that effect with options to appeal.

    But this is Air strip one run by pastor brown and deacon smith so we get a religion powered mess with decisions made likely by puritanical cops who think nudity, homosexuality and alternative interests such as BDSM are evil perversions against god and nature and should be banned and their followers branded as perverts.

    Oh and they wouldnt like the decisions made by someone actually briefed in the law as opposed to above religious ferverent "ex-cops" who mostly have no clue about the law and "retired" as the IWF is a cushy number and police work is "too hard and dangerous"

    oh and if your trolling for the sake of it go Die in a fire and / or eat shit and die

    Yes this is a rant but I'm sick to death of this constant BS from trolls, govt sympathisers and general morons who believe adults should be subject to stupid restrictions to remove any risk from kids lives, thus resulting in feral kids who steal, kill and generally believe they can do no fucking wrong and im not even 30 yet

  168. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > given the fact that only 2 non legitimate sites have been blocked

    How do you know?

    How do any of us know that the myriad failures experienced in Internet connectivity aren't as a result of this? Because the ISPs tell us it isn't?

    ISPs lie. Mine swears blind that they do not use any form of proxy, whilst simultaneously (eventually) telling me that some traffic is routed through filter machines...

    And it took a long time to get to that admission. Initially, is was a case of "we don't filter anything. Have you tried resetting your router?".

  169. Brian Ribbon

    So much for supply and demand

    The fact that the IWF are allegedly blocking access to indecent images in the Internet Archive suggests that they are a moralistic organisation rather than one which wishes to protect children. The dubious claim made by organisations such as the IWF is that simply viewing indecent images "creates a demand". While this claim is already flawed due to the fact that most producers take illegal images for profit/trade, the claim is undoubtedly wrong in the case of images on an archive which is almost certainly not operated by people who create indecent images. Just how would a producer be aware of the "increased demand" when he doesn't even know that the images are being viewed?

  170. This post has been deleted by its author

  171. Frank Fisher


    " really hope Frank that you are in the minority..."

    I guess I am Jason, but I think that's what's called an ad hominem attack - you seem remarkably trusting of government and IWF; I wonder why that might be?

    The fact of the matter is that they operate national internet censorship in conditions of absolute secrecy with no oversight whatsoever. That is not compatible with any kind of democracy I've ever heard of.

  172. Graham Wood


    > If that hapen't happened, would you have even noticed the IWF's existance? Right.

    Thanks for proving my point for me.

    If it weren't for the complete mess they made of Wikipedia, most people would not have been aware of the limits that the IWF filters are placing on their internet. I like to think I'm tech savy (since it's my job), but I wasn't aware that my old ISP had added it - and they put it in while I was a member, but just didn't advertise it.

    Did I know it was there? No. Did it affect my browsing? I DON'T KNOW!

    The biggest problem with this list is that the IWF provides a list that cannot get any form of peer review. I get 404s when browsing (normally from google searches resulting in stuff that is offline due to being old) - and how many of them are actually the IWF (via my old ISP) deciding that something is "wrong" for me to see?

    They want to block child porn, and THAT IS ALL - so get some independant people to review the list and any changes. Do background checks on them or something, and then get them to generate an SHA signature of the list they see. That can then be checked with the SHA of the list provided to the ISPs to guarantee that nothing unrelated is blocked.

    Most people on here would accept that. No, we don't like the idea of censorship, but if there is independant review, and oversight, to make sure that this list is not "abused", then the problem is a lot less than it is now. I agree with the aim of reducing child abuse (although I don't think this is going to make any difference) so would accept that in order to "think of the children".

    Who would I accept as a valid person to review it? I'd suggest a judge (since they can also give an independant view of the legality/not of the items on the list), and then someone like a senior member of Amnesty International - that way it's someone that has an interest in "free press" and also is unrelated to the government. They don't need to be technical, since they can be given software to do all the work for them.

  173. Brian Ribbon

    @ Andrew Crystall

    "You are spouting plain nonsense - cleanfeed is, as quite clearly stated, to prevent accidental exposure to cp images. Regardless of who hosts them."

    No. According to the IWF, their "Mission & Vision" is:

    "To work in partnership with internet service providers, telecommunication companies, mobile operators, software providers, the police, Government and the public to minimise the availability of online illegal content, particularly child sexual abuse images." [ ]

    The claim that they are trying "to prevent accidental exposure to cp images" was invented during the Wikipedia fiasco, but it is not one of their stated aims. Considering their history of misleading people into believing that "indecent images" automatically means "child abuse images", I am not inclined to believe their claims.

  174. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another demon customer

    I have been redirected to the IWF page a few times over 2008. This was while using a site that I have used over many years with no problems. Strangley just a page refresh sometimes got past the redirect. I suspect it might have been an embedded advert causing the problem.

    Im just pleased that the IWF doesnt have a direct line to the feds and the local media. Especially in these modern times of guilty till proven innocent. Maybe the direct line to the feds is on the way and next time you see the IWF page the black helicopters come for you.

    I have no plans to leave Demon as the grass is not always greener elsewhere.

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  176. Anonymous Coward


    This is discrimination! The only remaining online copy of my brothers eulogy is being censored!

  177. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    troll huh?

    I think Andrew has what is called in the law "a vested interest"

    makes me wonder if his job spec requires him to defend his industry and throw childish insults constantly.

    I'm sure whacky would love another boot licker andrew, possibly you should apply?

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