It is a good idea
Sadly, that fact is probably not relevant.
The UK's Open Rights Group has revived the campaign to create a new HTTP error code to protest censorship. The campaign to do so has burbled along for a few years, partly thanks to a Google employee named Tim Bray who created a draft for ”An HTTP Status Code to Report Legal Obstacles ”. Bray has revised the draft a couple of …
Some stuff is quite rightly illegal and I don't have a problem with it being blocked at source, but that is only acceptable if the blocking is made clearly apparent to the user.
If the government is confident that it is right to block material then it should also have no qualms about saying that this has occurred - we would all agree with the blocking after all, wouldn't we?
I look forward to the ISPs eagerly taking this up with DC's approval.
“It's still difficult to work out precisely why a website is blocked and to check if it's been blocked by mistake,” the group says, advising that “A really good Error 451 message would tell their customers how to challenge a block, how long the block's expected to last, where the relevant legal documents are and which legal authority imposed the blocking order.”
Transparent government? Where MAFIAA is also involved? Somehow I don't see it happen...
"Child pornography is quite rightly blocked - would you like to see a 451 message there too?"
Look through my post history and you'll see I sided with the porn filter. (You can't miss it - it's the one with all the downvotes.) But in an open society we need to know what is being blocked and why, and what we can do about it when inevitably an error is made. That some people might misuse the system is not a reason to abrogate it.
Stuff will be blocked. It happens already but only (as the Aus Government calls it) "The worst of the worst".
We have seen with the recent NSA leaks as well as numerous others relating to companies and government departments/agencies around the world that anything kept secret ends poorly for the public.
There are always stories about over-zealous and under-regulated agencies blocking massive ranges of IP addresses in order to 'catch' a single site, bringing thousands of innocent websites down with them. It happens because there is no incentive for those managing the list to care and no real punishment when they f%^k up.
The only remedy for such laxness is transparency.
My view is that transparency is absolutely VITAL to making sure that government projects are actually in the public's interest. As such it is non-negotiable; if your proposed system falls over if transparency is required then that is a sign that it is the system, and NOT the requirement for transparency, that needs to be rethought.
Child pornography is quite rightly blocked - would you like to see a 451 message there too?
Do you think the 451 message means they still get to see the porn? It doesn't. If they go to a blocked site all they will get is the 451 message.
Tim Bray is a poseur
Why the ad hominem attack, it serves no purpose other than to detract from any argument you might have.
criminals would use it the most.
Please explain how criminals would use the 451 message for criminal activities because I can't see how they would use it to their advantage.
Actually, if I remember correctly, 451F is the temperature required before paper will combust. It burns of course at all temperatures above that.
Books are made from materials other than paper, so while the paper might combust at 451F, and subsequently the rest of the material of the book will more than likely do so, if the fire can be maintained long enough to generate the heat required for the other material (leather for one).
It is somewhat ironic that they should use the Fahrenheit 451 reference when the story implied that the screen overruled the paper page for the dissemination of information in that society... The underlying truth of course being that the static nature of the information on a printed page (once that page is not destroyed) is less malleable than digital information.
Oh... and some people have too much time on their hands...
There is no magic number for the ignition temperature of 'paper'. Ignition temperature is a function of the materials something is made from and any chemical processes it undergoes in order to become the finished good.
There are about 1.7 zillion officially standardized types of 'paper', some of which ignite much lower and some much higher that 451F.
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Leaving aside the inevitable quips about grumble-flick-searchers' failed requests possibly encountering '417 Expectation Failed' or even '411 Length Required', it strikes me that :-
If some entity has decreed (Irrespective of the popularity, validity and correctness of said decree) that content available from a web server has been deemed unacceptable AND they have the clout to enforce it, what *is* wrong with the idea of a specific HTTP Error (In either the 4xx or 5xx series) being provided to the requesting client?
Looking at the existing list of 4xx and 5xx codes (See RFC2616 etc.), we see most of them have detailed and explicit use-cases...which are all designed for known or anticipated specific conditions.
IMHO this business of government censorship of the World Wide Web (If not the other wider aspects of the Internet) is a NEW specific condition which ought to be separately identified with it's own unique error code and use case with sensible optional or mandatory supplementary information. I'm thinking of it as a new requirement for HTTP.
And before someone jumps on me for supporting censorship - I don't. I'm merely pointing out that HTTP needs to evolve along with the rest of us, no matter what individuals think of censorship, politics or the 'nanny state'.
I'm not gonna guess on the details of this new error may be - there are enough people with bias doing that already [ '451' indeed, we are NOT in that sort of autocratic state as yet, and I hope we never are :-) ].
I think this bloody censorship-at-ISP level is a joke and is not the way to go..gotta be a better way than that for all concerned.
Fail, as there is no icon for cluster-f**k.
42 - Question unavailable (still calculating.)
007 - File has been designated "For Your Eyes Only."
22 - Request denied; you clearly requested it.
747 - Resource is in holding pattern. Please retry your request later.
88 - Resource unavailable due to time travel. Please retry your request sooner.
420 - Server reports "Munchies" (file has been eaten, even tried multi.)
666 - Resource busy being tortured. Please retry in: ∞ years.
What idiots thought 403 was a good error code to return for a government filter blocking the content? 403 means the server didn't want to send the file... Not that some government muppet has stuck a filter in the middle and blocked the page.
Let me guess. The same muppets also figured they may aswell put a huge max-age aswell to save on bandwidth....
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