In the decade since the UK rolled out its Great Firewall, the project of somehow dividing the entire internet into "good" and "bad" (or even "all-ages" and "adult") has run into a series of embarrassing gaffes, blocking rape crisis sites while letting through all sorts of ghastly porn -- and at every turn, the Conservative government's response has been to double down on internet censorship, expanding it from a parental filter to an opt-out porn filter, whose biggest backers have repeatedly demonstrated their technical incompetence.
It's not surprising that the loudest voices clamouring for an accurate and comprehensive list of all the world's adults-only material are also technological incompetents -- the UK porn firewall is a classic example of the "nerd harder" school of technology policymaking, in which a politician insists that the reason that all the technical experts have called their plans unworkable is that they're just not nerding hard enough.
Torrentfreak has used the Blocked Initiative from the UK Open Rights Group (disclosure: I helped found this group and am an unpaid volunteer for it) to probe the "harmful content" blocklist that UK ISPs are using to keep UK children safe.
Unsurprisingly, the list is full of embarrassing false positives, including disney.co.uk (the official UK site of the Walt Disney Company), as well as Disney's disneymoviesanywhere.com. More awkward: the UK's largest ISPs are blocking internetsafetyday.org, a website that teaches kids to use the internet safely; also blocked is kidsandcode.org, which teaches children to write software.
The list goes on and on: playkidsgames.com (games for kids), vikingsword.com (a website about Viking swords), and a raft of VPN providers, whose tools allow users to evade privacy-violating trackers and filters.
You can use the Blocked Initiative to check whether your favourite sites are blocked by your UK ISP, and pitch in to keep the site running.
UK Internet Filters Block Disney Sites, Internet Safety Tips, and More [Ernesto/Torrentfreak]