This topic was created by Vimes.
3UK, the IWF and filtering
I've been assured by 3UK that my connection is not being filtered beyond the contents of the list provided by the IWF, but there is a problem with this: tshirthell.com is still being blocked.
It's a tasteless site that I would not under normal circumstances use but it does serve as a useful test since it is always almost always blocked when 'adult content' is being filtered.
I'm curious though: as tasteless as it is it does not seem to be illegal. Why then is the IWF blocking it?
And how can I - assuming it's even possible - opt out of filtering that for me personally serves no useful purpose?
Re: 3UK, the IWF and filtering
My understanding is - you can't.
Your communications are being monitored/filtered by a Bluecoat Proxy SG appliance. This relays the URLs you visit to California for analysis and a replay attack...
This process is completely illegal (unlawful interception, copyright theft, fraud, computer misuse to offer a few examples). Particularly so if it is done without your explicit consent, and without the consent of the web site that you are communicating with.
Re: 3UK, the IWF and filtering
My understanding (and this is borne out by their own site) is that the IWF is solely concerned with content depicting child abuse. I just had a look at the tshirthell.com site and it is, as you say, tasteless - but not apparently illegal.
Given that I can see it via my (not 3UK) ISP it doesn't seem likely that the blocking that you are experiencing is because of the IWF filter (unless ISPs are selective about applying the filter, and unless the IWF are quietly going beyonnd their remit).
It seems more likely that 3UK is blocking 'adult content' in your case - but that of course means that 3UK are lying to you. Interesting : either 3UK or the IWF are being naughty. I'd bet on 3UK.
A thought occurred to me: up until recently my visits were being duplicated by Bluecoat - as previously mentioned by Dephormation.org.uk - but this stopped recently whereas the filtering continued. I assume that they took the filtering away from Bluecoat and started doing it themselves.
If they have kept filtering within the company then presumably their list would have two main categories: adult material and illegal material. I suppose it's possible that an adult entry has incorrectly ended up in the illegal category...
I remember reading a piece on here by Bill Ray that mentioned the mobile companies are regulated differently from the ISPs. I don't remember why this is now, or in fact many details at all. But one of the things he mentioned is that they have to filter for adult content. Can't remember if that's a term of their license, or different regulation either I'm afraid.
I'd imagine it's not something that's heavily mentioned anywhere, so I'd guess the call centre drone you spoke to didn't know, did know that filtering's not an option, and so just assumed that they weren't.
Not quite true. They don't *have* to, they *choose* to when they get together and come up with industry level standards that they are then all rather conveniently obliged to follow. There is nothing in law that forces them to do this as far as I'm aware, other than vague threats from government that pop up from time to time that new laws will be put into place (laws incidentally that may themselves be illegal - I don't see anything about age limits in laws like RIPA, the DPA or the CMA. Everybody has rights to private communications - even children).
It's a bit like problems in the EU - national governments can't get something done on a national level because it would cause problems, so they get to get together in Brussels, come up with new EU laws that they wanted to put into place at the national level the first place and then they shout 'The EU made us do it!' if anybody actually complains.
These industry standards are a nice distraction from the way in whice they chose themselves to implement this filtering.
I've just gone to that website on my mobile, which is Vodafone, and it loaded with no problems. Don't think any of the piccies are being blocked.
I guess Voda are using a different filter to 3.
Fact about 3 Mobile DNS
It will request from a DNS server the requested domain's A address and AAAA address
But somehow goes based upon the SOA servers IP irrespective of the actual domain being requested! :-/
...so it only likes masterful / authorative nameservers that seemingly MUST host the content too. Isnt that a little BDSM like!?