[dns-operations] DNS filtering in the UK

Jim Reid jim at rfc1035.com
Wed Sep 14 15:36:47 UTC 2016

> On 14 Sep 2016, at 15:33, Stephane Bortzmeyer <bortzmeyer at nic.fr> wrote:
> The Ars Technica article claims that the biggest ISP in Great Britain
> blocks porn sites by DNS lies

Don’t believe everything you read on the interwebs Stephane. This claim doesn’t tell the full story. That can’t be explained in a soundbite or clickbait.

Mainstream porn (whatever that is) is not blocked. However some of the largest UK ISPs operate parental controls, sometimes on an opt-in basis sometimes on an opt-out. This gets adopted as part of the ISP’s corporate social responsibility window-dressing rather than legal or regulatory obligations. These parental controls generally but not exclusively rely on DNS lies. Others may be using routing tricks and/or “this is not the smut you were looking for” proxies. I don’t know or care who does what.

Further measures are in place to deal with attempts to access illegal content -- eg child abuse images -- over and above these mostly ineffective parental controls. AFAIK these measures don’t involve government-generated blacklists of censored URLs, domain names or IP addresses.

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