Well, this week we received some tweets from @MustardSeedUK about a new report from the Open Rights Group about mobile operators blocking sites incorrectly as ‘p0rn’ sites.

bad publicity
Immediately we checked and the report says, we are in-fact blocked by Orange and T-Mobile. We then attempted to get on IRC with the Open Rights Group, tried to call, but ended up emailing them – no response yet. Well it turns out that a lot of other news groups picked up the story and ran very similar versions of it to the original report; however, pulling out this site as an example of the ridiculousness of the blocking mechanism.

At this point we don’t know what is going to happen, but read on if you are interested and comment if you have some ideas.

ISPs Blocking Porn Sites Is a Total Kick In the Nuts | Gizmodo UK

pornlady

“Worryingly, some of the sites that are erroneously blocked are political in nature, or concern free speech and privacy. Some of these sites may have been submitted maliciously by opponents, others…well, who would want to block the village green goings-on at this site? (Answer: Orange and T-Mobile)

Is it because it’s in Middlesex?"

www.gizmodo.co.uk

The Rise of Europe’s Private Internet Police | Foreign Policy

“In 2005, Peter Mahnke, a resident of the English town of St. Margaret’s, Middlesex, set up a community website. For the past seven years, he and a handful of local volunteers have been publishing regular updates about local events, parks, new businesses, weather, and train schedules. All G-rated and uncontroversial.

Yet in early March, for reasons that remain unclear, the St. Margaret’s website was blocked throughout Britain on mobile Internet services offered by Orange (a subsidiary of France Telecom) and T-mobile (owned by Deutsche Telecom). The site had fallen victim to a nationwide child-protection system run by the mobile companies themselves. Somehow the system, which activists say is rife with errors, had classified the site as “adult” content, causing it to be blocked on all phones by default."

www.foreignpolicy.com

Mobile networks block church and ‘BBC bias’ websites

“Non-sexual websites such as one created by the residents of St Margarets, Middlesex, to act as an online hub for local news and events, and a blog that challenges the impartiality of the BBC, have been blacklisted by mobile networks, a report by the London School of Economics found.”

www.telegraph.co.uk

Mobile porn filters catch innocent content, says report | ZDNet UK

“The report gave the example of a number of instances of blocking, including the Tor privacy project website being blocked by Vodafone, O2 and Three in January. Orange blocked La Quadrature du Net on 2 February, and together with Everything Everywhere co-partner T-Mobile, blocked St Margarets Community website in March.”

www.zdnet.co.uk

U.K. Cellphone Porn Filters ‘Too Blunt’ – Tech Europe – WSJ

“As would be expected when dealing with pornography, for which there is no absolute definition, there are problems with sites being blocked that should not be. But, in some cases, taking even the broadest view of adult material it is hard to see why some websites have been singled out, such as the community group in the leafy London suburb of St Margarets.”

blogs.wsj.com

Mobile internet blocking is rife – The Inquirer

“For example, the seemingly innocuous St Margarets Community web site (”www.stmgrts.org.uk":http://www.stmgrts.org.uk), described in the report as “a community information site created by a group of local residents of St Margarets, Middlesex,” was “Blocked on Orange and T-Mobile on 8th March”."

www.theinquirer.net

UK Government opt in porn plan panned by Open Rights Group and London School of Economics – Recombu

“Inexplicably, advice site eHow.com was reported to have been blocked by Orange this year and a community website for the town of St Margarets in Middlesex was reported blocked by both Orange and T-Mobile.”

recombu.com

Other articles

  • Web censorship hurts legit sites – Watchdog warns ISP censorship will make things worse | techeye – news.techeye.net
  • Report Slams Default Porn Filters On Mobiles | TechWeekEurope UK – www.techweekeurope.co.uk
  • Report: Mobile blocks show net filters “too blunt” – www.pcpro.co.uk