The following notice has appeared on Wikipedia today when many UK users attempt to edit content:
Wikipedia has been added to a Internet Watch Foundation UK website blacklist, and your Internet service provider has decided to block part of your access. Unfortunately, this also makes it impossible for us to differentiate between
different users, and block those abusing the site without blocking other innocent people as well.
According to discussions on the Wikipedia administrators noticeboard, this is because a transparent proxy has been enabled for customers of Virgin Media, Be/O2/Telefonica, EasyNet/UK Online, PlusNet, Demon and Opal. This has two effects: users cannot see
content filtered by the proxies, and all user traffic passing through the proxies is given a single IP address per proxy. As Wikipedia's anti-vandalism system blocks users by IP address, one single case of vandalism by a single UK user prevents all users
on that user's ISP from editing. The effect is to block all editing from anonymous UK users on that list of ISPs. Registered users can continue to edit.
The content being filtered is apparently that deemed to meet the Internet Watch Foundation's critera for child pornography – in one case, this involves a 1970s LP cover art for Scorpion's Virgin Killer which, although controversial, is still widely
Reports on the admin noticeboard say that this filtering is easy to circumvent, either by using Wikipedia's secure server or by sending a request to find the page via parameters in the URL. However, no fix has been found – nor is one expected – for the
blocking of anonymous authors problem.
Comment: Makes you wonder what is being prosecuted these days
8th December 2008. From Harvey on the Melon Farmers Forum
Whether a particular image is or is not indecent and of a child will be facts to be determined by a particular jury on a particular day, when judging a particular image.
The IWF clearly believe that the Wikipedia images they are blocking access to would be so determined. The ISPs involved clearly must think so too, and they will have taken legal advice before moving to block access to such a popular site. That alone
should give you some idea of the kind of images which are being prosecuted in the courts in this country.
It also puts into perspective some of the claims made previously by the IWF about the quantity of sites they encounter which contain child abuse images.
Child porn allegations? Weird. It looks like an album cover to me - hardly something primarily produced to cause sexual arousal is it? That is the current legal definition of pornography if I`m not mistaken.
And I can hardly see this photo being classified as an indecent image of a child either. I can`t see how an artistic shot of a reclining 8 year-old with all the naughty bits obscured by a broken glass effect could be.