Censorship: idiots playing god with morality
Isn’t censorship a wonderful thing? While my friends were exercising at the local sports centre in Newton Abbot, I decided to sit things out and carry on working in the gallery. Out came my trusty tablet to connect with the centre’s BT hotspot – and I scanned the news.
This headline caught my eye: New MegaUpload will deflect copyright liability and become raid-proof.
I assumed it would be a move to the cloud – just as I understand The Pirate Bay has or will be doing. But I had to check, so I clicked the link. What I got was this:
Domain Blocked: feed.torrentfreak.com
The domain you are trying to access
has been blocked by the network
If you feel this is in error, please contact email@example.com
Why on earth would someone block a legitimate news site? So that’s what I wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the reply I got from Jonathon:
This site is obviously blocked under torrents, due to its relation to torrenting and the provision of links to torrent sites and torrent programs. Unfortunately we cannot allow such p2p communication over the network as it is a public service, and these types of communications can massively impact the network for other users.
Let’s be clear – TorrentFreak is a highly regarded news site that provides news on a popular, legal, and pretty damn good and technically advanced computing concept. TorrentFreak does not provide a torrent service, so you won’t get ‘p2p communication over the network‘ from TorrentFreak. If you search through its archives you will find links to some sites and some software – but even there it would be a whole lot simpler to use Google.
Why, then, doesn’t WiFiSpark block Google? Doesn’t stand up does it? This is simple censorship, either because they’ve got crap censorship software that blocks any site with the word ‘torrent’, or because someone has leant on them, or because they think they are the arbiters of right and wrong. And that’s the danger in censorship: some idiot gets to play god with morality and invariably gets it wrong.