back to article IWF pulls Wikipedia from child porn blacklist

The Internet Watch Foundation has removed Wikipedia from its child porn blacklist, despite its contention that the free online encyclopedia includes an image "potentially in breach" of the UK Protection of Children Act. On Friday, under instructions from the IWF, several major UK ISPs began censoring a Wikipedia article …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    If they had any moral ground they just lost it

    What a laugh. Where did their high moral ground and position that they have never gone unchallenged go? Frankly, let's have a repeat of this. Let's submit them the covers of Nirvana albums and watch the show again, again and again until they get dissolved.

  2. Anonymous Hero
    Thumb Up

    w00t!

    *THIS* is what should happen every time people try to censor the internet. See? That wasn't so hard. The Streisand effect and a little good old fashioned defiance is all it takes to put a stop to this nonsense.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who was harmed?

    Ironically the IWF "harmed" the girl on the cover by bringing the World's attention to her, and "harmed" millions of innocent people by suggesting they were viewing an illegal image.

    The only people not to be harmed were your local neighborhood pedophiles, who will continue regardless as before.

  4. Stuart
    Alert

    The eye of the beholder

    What is striking about this event as recorded in many forums is that many people can see nothing pornographic in the image and are surprised that anyone can do so. Equally, and presumably including Jimmy Wales, do see it as pornographic and hence questionable to appear on Wikipedia & elsewhere.

    Now the difference of opinion is so widepread I don't think either group can claim the moral highground. It is just that. The image is dirty or not and this perception is independent of whether you are a perve or not.

    So how do we manage our way through the issues of images that one group couldn't guess would offend/not offend a significant part of the community? Does it not suggest that we should not rely on a particular group of watchdogs? That is, by all means, set up watch/ban panels which if they are in line with your view can be switched on/off to filter your or your kids viewing?

    After all, whatever the law, the split reaction of people would probably mean that if this image had gone to court it is unlikely that a jury (also being split) could return a unanimous or near unanimous decision.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Wikipedia *does* have a solution ....

    ISTR from various Wiki ramblings that images which may shock or offend can be given a link. And there are articles with ongoing discussions where people suggest images (for example) of an erect penis should not be on the front page of the article, but through a click link, which describes the image ... everybody happy ?

  6. Jamie Kitson

    Pointless

    It occurred to me that censoring one wikipedia page is pointless, as anyone can set up a redirect, and just access that page. Shame they've removed the censor as I can't test my theory now :)

  7. Dan Silver badge

    IWF

    Now the IWF have managed to confuse their remit with this precedent and make their criteria sound arbitrary...

    1. They say that as Amazon US is in the US, they didn't have to censor their image, just image hosted inside the UK. First, Wikipedia is hosted outside the UK. Secondly, does this mean that all images outside the UK are exempt?

    2. Now anyone can use an "artistic license" defence, which the other reason they gave for removing the ban.

    3. There's also a "length of time" defence.

    Reasons 1 and 2 aren't mentioned in El Reg's story but they are in others (BBC, Grauniad, etc...).

    And all of this because they knew they couldn't take on the might of Amazon.

  8. Psymon
    Paris Hilton

    Censorship doesn't work

    The IWF have clearly demonstrated in this instance that making something taboo, simply increases peoples curiosity about the subject matter.

    I've looked at said image (something I would have never done without this contraversy, as I'd never heard of the band) and yes, I would say it's mildly controversial, but it accurately and succinctly depicts the title of the album, as with all art it should be immune to cencorship.

    Death , thrash and heavy metal et al, are controversial art forms by their very nature, and as such challenge our preconceptions of social structure (the values of which undergoe radical and constant change as it steadily evolves). If anything, this album cover is pretty mild compared those of say, Cradle Of Filth, and is certainly less explicit than the images you'd find in a GCSE biology textbook.

    The real irony is that this entire attitutde towards "prepubescent sexuality" (in quotes becuase our current laws are actually distinctly out of sync with biological puberty) dates back a law introduced by Queen victoria.

    Victoria was not interested in defining the "right" age to become sexually active (which has now become the overriding dictum of these laws) but in fact, to stamp out the selling of young women into slavery by early forced marriage. Something that was also commonly accepted by society at the time.

    This was why she changed the law so that the woman also had to say "I do" during the marriage vows.

    Paris, cause she knows all about sexuality.

  9. Edward Lilley
    Stop

    More Wikibashing, *yawn*

    Seriously, this incessant wiki-flaming (as opposed to legitimate Jimbo-bashing) is getting somewhat dull.

    And I feel compelled to point out that JImbo's comment doesn't count as "a voice of reason" simply because he agrees with your views.

  10. Lloyd
    Flame

    Well

    I for one will not be taking this lying down, I have taken a copy of the Sun and used it to start a fire at my local paediatrician’s office, that'll teach him for sounding like a kiddy fiddler.

  11. Adrian Challinor
    Joke

    Shock! Horror! Out Rage! Vandalism!

    You reported that Jimmy Wales spoke in a calm and reasonable tone yesterday. How dare El Reg report such blattant lies? Don't you check anything you report?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So how many other sites have they censored

    So why is the list secret? If there's no problem with the censor list and everyone is happy with it, and all the ISPs in the UK are on board, why is the list censored.

    It's fine they censored Wikipedia for A FRIGGING ALBUM COVER SOLD IN SHOPS ACROSS THE WORLD, then backed down, but people know Wikipedia, it's a major site and so it was an issue. However it means that they're overzealous and most likely are banning many other things of no consequence for smaller sites.

    So release the list and the reasoning for censoring it. Just like the banned list of movies is public which should the censored list be secret?

    This is not like major government secrets, like illegally employing cleaners without permits, or something, it's a list, supposedly representing the majority view of the UK, yet the majority never get to see the list, so it cannot possibly represent the majority view.

  13. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    The Internet: The last bastion of Democracy?

    Quite heartening to see that public pressure can make those that seek to turn the Internet into a kind of cyber-nanny state see (some) sense.

    Now if only Brown, Wacqui and the other pillocks who run this corporeal Nanny State (Otherwise known as the UK) would also see the light.

  14. Stephen Stagg
    Go

    Another censorship own-goal

    Yet again, a censor has tried to prevent people from being exposed to content on the internet and, as a result, has massively increased the number of people viewing it. This is why trying to restrict the internet fails, and why [we] must continue to aggressively advertise every act of mis-censorship that happens, sooner or later these people may just realize that what they are doing is counter-productive

  15. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    This is not over

    Although I object to censorship of the internet altogether, my main objection here is the sneaky way in which it was done. Rather than reporting that the page is blocked, it shows a 404.

    Then we got a response from our ISP saying "Noone's had any problems with it before". Well duh! How are we supposed to know how many of those 404's we encountered were filtered? And not even the ISPs get to see whats on the list IIRC, they just get an encrypted file which they load into the filtering sw.

    For the sake of this argument I will ignore the fact that this sort of thing will not ever stop (or even reduce) child porn, or child abuse, or racial hatred. I will assume that the filter is necessary and censorship is the best method to tackle these problem. Even if that was the case, filtering in this way leaves the IWF without any complaints and pretty much unaccountable. How do we know that they are sticking to their remit? How do we know this isnt becoming just like the great firewall of china? I know this sounds far fetched, but as we dont know, the IWF (if leaned on by the govt) could ban sites to withold information.

    I personally think the censorship will not work, wastes money, and is morally wrong. But even if it stays, it needs a radical overhaul.

  16. Christopher P. Martin
    Thumb Up

    Sanity prevails.

    Let's hope we all learnt something.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Excuse me while I laugh quietly to myself

    I think they were wrong to block it in the first place - but ti seemsw that if there's enough of a stink, they just back down, so they are obviously not certain of their choices in the first place - which makes it even more of a mockery.

    Bad decisions and no backbones... I find the whole thing pathetic.

    To The Register's censor: Full marks - I've seen some pretty cutting comments for both sides of an argument, often against the reg - so I don't consider it censorship - but I've never seen spam in comments. Thanks from me for doing it right.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    This just means more secrecy from the IWF in future...

    Of course, the upshot of this is that the IWF will, henceforth, operate far more covertly and continue it's web-wide censorship hoping to avoid ever being noticed again. This is no victory for common sense; it's a temporary blip for the zealots at IWF and CEOP and strategies will be designed to avoid this kind of outcome in future, no doubt.

    It is important to note that the IWF (and by clear implication CEOP) still considers this image 'potentially illegal' in the UK - therefore still 'a scene of crime' if CEOP's own widely-stated utterances on such material is to be accepted at face value.

    Ah well. Tricky business, this Paedogeddon.

  19. Toastan Buttar
    Happy

    Jimbo Wales sez...

    "go back and take a hard look"

    Tee hee. <snigger>

  20. Paul Murphy

    So .

    Is the album any good? after all this marketing hype I'm tempted to buy it.

    ttfn

  21. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    Sweetness and Light?

    Nah, just SOB. A huge worldwide outcry that's loud and clear and mocking the arse off the authority in question, the possibility of riots and widespread defiance encouraging more and more people to use anonymous access, posting and so on. And as good as unanimous. The cost of carrying on the stupidity is greater than the cost of backing down redfaced. Reminds me a bit of the polltax farce that led to pensioners queuing up to be sent to jail and the demise of Thatcher (praise be).

    Go for the jugular and hang on like a pitbull and you'll get what you want.

    (I'm sure there's many a pensioner would queue up to be sent to Paris CA...)

  22. Mycho Silver badge

    It's an equality thing

    In simple terms, American law is on shaky ground whenever it does something to legislate against the chest of only one gender. Over here sex discrimination is far more acceptable and thus the fact that her genitals are covered is less significant.

  23. Eddie Edwards
    Black Helicopters

    Failure of intent

    Child Pornography laws exist in order to protect children from child abuse (making child pornography using real children implies child abuse).

    They are being used in an attempt to eradicate all images that certain people deem offensive. Cartoons of Simpson sex; ancient album covers posed by models who were presumably of legal age at the time; the list goes on, and will go on.

    None of those have anything to do with child abuse. These acts cheapen the serious intent of these laws and will ultimately desensitize us to occurences of real child pornography. We're going to read that someone was arrested for "having child porn" and deduce that they were a Scorpions fan with the sense of humour required to enjoy Simpsons sex cartoons.

    Never mind the hideous "vetting" process that now goes on for anyone wishing to work with other peoples' children, the blacklisting of those deemed unsuitable, and the subtle demonization of men in general.

    I think the moral majority really need to get a grip on this one.

    Won't someone think of the adults?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Congratulations

    We've had censorship of the UK internet for several years now and this is the first time you've all noticed?

    Posted anonymously because I work for one of the ISPs concerned and I've already had my knuckles rapped for expressing disapproval of this whole set up.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Eh?

    'the free online encyclopedia includes an image "potentially in breach" of the UK Protection of Children Act.'

    So what? I am "potentially" a burglar. I am "potentially" a rapist. I am "potentially" a murderer. SO is every other human! Are we to start punishing people on what they "potentially" may do?

    The IWF should have sought advice from a court (or other relevant authority) to have the image declared actually illegal or not and then placed Wikipedia on to the black-list. I realise this may give legal problems as Wiki would have committed an illegal act, but going on the black list would be fit punishment.

    Akin to a medical professional sectioning an individual, if you will (to go back to my analogy).

    Oh and El Reg, your reporting on this whole debacle has been shockingly poor. Why were you not pressuring the IWF for statements on their inconsistency? I guess the temptation to stick the boot into the Wikitards proved just too much.

  26. Ash
    Thumb Down

    If the image is found to be illegal...

    That makes everybody in the UK who's seen it a pedophile, under current legislation.

    Good luck, everyone.

  27. Lotaresco Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Give me a break

    To claim that Wikipedia is not censored is, at best, disingenuous. The pages are censored routinely by administrators who censor based on their knee-jerk reaction rather than fact. It's a fairly common experience of anyone who has tried to create/edit a Wikepedia page that the admins will pull pages that don't conform to the perceived wisdom of the common herd, even when there is plenty of evidence and the citations are given. Admins can't be bothered to do anythign as tedious as read citations, and why should they need to when they *know* that something is *wrong*.

    This is why Wikipedia is the antihesis of QI. The quiz challenges lazy thinking and trite assumptions. Wikipedia thrives on the trite, trivial and on consensus above accuracy.

    Paris, because even she's not as dumb as the average WikiDroid(tm).

  28. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Re-launch?

    World and dog have yet to get to grips with this multi-media existence we now have.

    Even Wiki is suffering from bit of the old in-out - it'll be needing some KY jelly.

    I'm still waiting for the re-launch of that old TV programme that showcased the talents of young people in a positive and life-affirming way. It showed what young people could achieve when given the chance and returned television to a pure art form.

    Not a single picture of any of the old Minipops series to be found on Wiki.

    I wonder why.

    Ah well, back to the mail-order catalogues, then.

    In the meantime, I'm amused that some idiot used a bit of a Gary Glitter song in an advert that was briefly broadcast. "Thank you very much" must be what Mr Gadd said when the cheque for several thousand quid arrived. I'm not so much pleased for the old bald kiddie fiddler but that several Daily Mail readers would have probably self-destructed in indignant fury.

  29. tfewster Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Re: w00t?

    The IWF are and those ISPs _are_ still censoring the internet. It's just that they've reconsidered this particular image, whatever the reason.

    Personally I don't care about this image or Wikip(a)edia in this case, what outrages me is the "404" response; At my place of work, I get a clear "Forbidden" message if I try to access a restricted site. That's fine, it's a clear message and everyone knows where they stand. I would even be happy if my ISP told me that they were blocking a certain page or site; It prevents "accidentally" going to that site and if I'm unhappy with their reasoning, I'll take responsibility for any of my actions to get around that ban.

    Even the black censors pen is an honest statement. Outright lies from politicians and the nanny state "because the truth might hurt us" is unacceptable.

  30. Gavin McMenemy

    Jimbo - the voice of reason?

    All he's doing is typical self censorship. That's just a consequence of the current political climate. It's add odds with with their stance on other topics and doesn't address the underlying problem. This particular image is controversial, there's debate surrounding it but that doesn't mean it should be taken off - the opposite if anything. The point here is that this is NOT child pornography.

    If you want to address difficult topics you should confront and openly discuss them - not sweep them under the carpet. It seems to me that the IWF do a difficult job that's worthwhile however they should not have the role expand into matters of taste. It's one thing to show a provocative image (and even the Scorpions admit that this image is probably in poor taste) it's another to censor based on the current level of hysteria.

  31. EvilGav

    The most important point . . .

    . . . and one the IWF keep trotting out as their reasoning, that it's "potentially illegal" is what should really be under the micro-scope.

    You cant ban something because it's "potentially illegal", it's either illegal or it isn't, if it's illegal, then the police can pass all these people on to the CPS and find out how far they get (my thinking would be no-where).

  32. Niall
    Thumb Down

    No improvement.

    Reading the statement it's clear the IWF still consider the image a child abuse image. But because it has been around for a while and because it's widely available, it's ok. That makes no sense and is surely a pretty poor determinant of how to deal with potentially legal/illegal material.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cracked camera lens and "relevant countries"

    I don't claim to be an expert in optics, but no way could a cracked camera lens give an effect like that.

    Neither do I claim to be an expert in law, but I would guess that the image is not at all likely to be illegal in the UK or the US. However, I'd be interested to hear Jimbo's opinion on what the "relevant countries" are. Does he only care about major English-speaking countries, as this is the English Wikipedia? Assuming the UK and the US have stricter rules on the legality of images, would he then not object to the image being in the French and German Wikipedias, for example?

  34. Pete Silver badge

    first glimmer of common sense?

    ... if not maturity from the self-appointed great and the good who have taken it upon themselves to "protect" us from all the nastiness in the world.</irony>

    The prim and proper guardians of the country's morals have given this particular image more publicity than it has ever had throughout all it's previous years, and it must be said, far more publicity than it deserves.

    Maybe they'll turn their abilities of turning obscurity into a cause celebre to good use. The art world is crying out for more promotion of it's products - so maybe all these latter-day Whitehouse's and Longford's will start a crusade to rid the world of all these horrible, nasty nude portraits and statues. The ones which artists, since the dawn of time, have produced and then displayed in public - all without comment or concern from prudes throughout the ages.

    Of course, they couldn't possibly corrupt the young, or impressionable - after all, it's art: innit.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    only covered = covered, surely?

    My musical tastes don't run that way, and I've not looked online, but the description "young girl with her genitals covered" seems as though it might be accurate.

    Where did the "only" get in?

    It suggests that someone providing the description is doing one or more of imagining what is not visible and reacting to it, trying to deny they have made a mistake and then corrected it, or got it right and then backed down with no rational argument, or pursuing a covert agenda by contaminating the semiotics of your discourse with us.

    If it is the latter, try not to let it happen - remove unnecessary modifiers.

  36. Tim J
    Alert

    The image *is* dodgy

    I've seen the image and I'm not at all comfortable with it. Anyone making comparisons with the Nirvana Nevermind cover image or somesuch is barking up the wrong tree - the Virgin Killer image isn't an innocent photograph, but rather a sexualised image of a pre-pubescent child. And I think it's right that sexualising children is a taboo. The notion of 'free speech' is being abused when people use it to defend images such as this.

  37. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Flame

    the picture

    I haven't seen the image before today, and I was thinking 'typical knee-jerk stuff I suppose'. But then I clicked on the wiki link and quite frankly I don't see how anyone can justify that this picture be published, regardless of how long it has been in the public domain.

    This isn't some innocent little naked cherub with a harp that was painted 100 years ago. It's a picture of a very young naked girl with the title 'virgin killer' which is clearly sexual in context.

    How this isn't classed as indecent I don't know.

    The IWF are pussies. They should have blocked access to the entirety of wikipedia until they removed the image or at least blocked out the chest and genital area.

    I'm not usually so puritanical but this seems fairly clear cut to me. Wiki should have self-censored this image.

  38. Gerry

    Reprise Blind Faith 1969

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_faith

    That controversy died down too, after a while. A collectors item, both for the cover and the music.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    celebration caution

    Anonymous Hero said, "See, it wasn't so hard". At face value, maybe.

    But lets remember what there was in favour of a bit of common sense. As well as the lots of shouting, there was a foreign company, with foreign servers, and a company that is staffed by volunteers and that is not dependant on advertising revenue.

    UK servers would have had a take down notice that the server farm would not have appealed against, fearing the taint of "supports kiddie fiddlers". Fasthosts and Craig Murray spring to mind.

    Direct UK legal action could have been taken against a UK firm, and few directors would volunteer to do time, especially considering what has just been reported happening to one of Sharron Matthews' abductors inside.

    Any company dependant on advertising revenue would back off very quickly because they would lose their advertisers even more quickly, all from the fear of taint from "supports kiddie fiddlers".

    Of course, as soon as Mandy gets his slimy hands on the levers that control UK domain name registrations (and the Domain Name System as it relates to the UK) then all these matters will be quickly brought under "proper" control. We have just seen a demonstration that he has the technology. The IWF is as independant of the Government as was Sir Ian Bliar!

    This is just further evidence that the climate of fear tool is working very effectively, and beyond its authority. (Cf "Common Purpose" and "Leading beyond authority"). Did you see how quickly those with big budgets, powerful lawyers, and revenues to protect, all scurried to remove the "offending image" from their pages? With the present structure of the Internet we don't really need too many more "victories" like this!

  40. Richard Kay
    Thumb Up

    art or pornography ?

    This has been a difficult question for many years, and standards and tastes have oscillated, e.g. when Victorian prudes removed genitalia from renaissance statues and paintings. It's not surprising that this one should eventually challenge Wikipedia policy, especially given the growing use of many of the excellent articles in this encyclopedia in education.

    My own view is that this image and comparable album covers from the same period are art and not pornography. While I don't think of these as being in as good taste as many statues and paintings from the renaissance period which are equally if not more revealing and provocative, who is to judge how future generations will see the controversial album covers ?

    You can see many images of renaissance art of similar or greater exposure starting with simple searches on Google images even with strictsafe mode on. Some of these are on Wikipedia itself, and I hope no-one would dream of removing them. Wikipedia's problem is that it is going to be difficult for them to remove controversial seventies rock album art on any objective basis without also removing many highly valued renaissance art images.

  41. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Happy

    Viva La Revolution!!

    "...So then the question becomes: does this image fit the definition under (especially) US law, or the law of any particularly relevant countries (UK). That is a question of judgment of fact that I do not think has been looked at sufficiently..."

    The thing that's so hilariously funny about this whole episode is that the IWF are in the right. The image DOES breach current legal guidelines on child porn. If you have viewed it on a computer over the last few days you ARE guilty of a sex crime.

    I hold no brief for the IWF - I think the lot of them should be dropped in a swamp - but I think they have done their appalling, peverse job accurately. The problem is NOT with the IWF, the problem is with the LAW. Current legislation criminalises almost every aspect of life, and sex is just one of the areas of oppression.

    What has happened here is that the country (or just the techies?) have revolted against the correct application of an oppressive law, and an arm of the state has backed down. Really, quite an important event for Britain, though much more common in France.

    Let us see much more of it! And make sure your MPs know. This is NOT a mistake by the IWF, but something much more fundamental...

  42. Francis Vaughan

    Many shades of black and white

    There is an underlying tension here that it seems both parties have managed to step away from, although it will no doubt return in the future. The IWF is probably smart enough to know that its entire operation depends upon it being regarded as trustworthy. Trustworthy in that they can be trusted to get it right. Almost exactly the same problem as spam blacklists. The precipice they stepped back from was the taint that they had become overly prescriptive, and were becoming, not a refection of standards, but beginning to prescribe standards. It is a short step from where they are now to becoming politicised, controversial, and very quickly after, ignored.

    As the article says, despite everything, Wales probably got it right. Wikipedia should, and mostly is, judged by exactly the same standards as the IWF. They should be trustworthy, not just for the correctness of the content (which is of course a different problem for them) but also the same ethical standards that they hold to. "We don't censor" is not an adequate ethical standard. (As had been pointed out time and time again, they do censor anyway, and do so with a heavy hand and essentially no accountability.) Being a pan-national effort, Wikipedia steps into a legal vacuum. But this isn't to say they step into an ethical vacuum. With luck Wikipedia might start to grow up a little and recognise this. As might the knee jerk "don't censor the internet" dweebs, although that will likely take much longer.

    Until this little debacle I was unaware of the the original album cover. Down here in Oz we got the posterised black and white version that was pretty innocuous. Having now seen the original, I think it would be a safe bet that, should that cover be brought to market today, the German police would have a very good case to bring against the photographer. Wikipedia might like to consider that.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it any good?

    @ Paul Murphy: It's from just about the end of their experimental, space jazz-rock phase. I find it pretentious aural masturbation, so it's probably got the right cover...

    IMHO, their later, straighter rocking sound works best.

    On the censorship front, I've got mixed views.

  44. daniel kingshott

    never mind...

    one of the first posters were right...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NirvanaNevermindalbumcover.jpg

    surely this contravenes the kiddie porn laws as well...

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    End of Part One...

    ... but what happens when the bungling idiots at the IWF start doing the same thing with anything they judge "extreme porn". Don't forget that the UK Govt have put them in-line for censoring the net when this law comes in to force next month.

    The real question we should be asking is if Mary Whitehouse has a broadband connection, or if any pressure group with a cause starts flooding the IWF with reports of anything they don't like.

  46. Tony Paulazzo
    Alien

    The Naked Title

    Yay for common sense. However, a timely warning. Once the human race (meaning the citizens of the US and UK), decide an image of a naked prebuscent child is obscene, that is the day I pronounce the human race as officially insane.

    No ifs, ors or buts (see what I did there :-), no matter if we cure cancer or dishonesty, the utter and pure innocence of the child will have been irrevocably lost for ever, so take heed you guardians of puritanical devilry, take care of what you pronounce to be 'bad'.

    If you see an image of a naked child and feel anything approaching 'wrongness' look within and examine your own devils before casting the first stone.

  47. Brian Cooke

    BT have joined the club

    My BT internet service is filtering the Virgin Killer page, although I can see it through anonymouse and the https wikipedia site. However, in response to a complaint, this is the answer I got (complete with their spilling mastikes):

    I am sorry to learn that you are not able to access the individual pages at Wikipaedia. I do understand your concern and will try my best to resolve the issue for you.

    First, I would like to inform you that BT has not censored or blocked any website or pages. We do not have the authority to block any sites. It might be some temporary issue hence I would advise you to perform the steps below and check the settings. You can also use a different browser (Morizilla fire fox, BT yahoo browser) and then check to access the Wikipaedia.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IWF FAIL

    The IWF over reached itself and got shown up and a well deserved kicking for it. As I've said, noble intentions should not save you from consequences when you fsck up. And the IWF have fscked up quite spectacularly.

    The questions about the IWF's methodology, transparency and accountability have been asked, need answering and a far more transparent and accountable solution putting in place. How a supposedly internet savvy organisation like the IWF couldn't see what would happen says an awful lot about their understanding.

    If the IWF does not realise how far their failure extends then the people there are not fit for purpose and need to be replaced. Their failure may have more consequences for UK internet users than they or we ever imagined.

    I hope that lessons have been learned here.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Two victories for common sense of consecutive days?

    What's the world coming to?

    Anyway, this is good news: I have a stack of "important editing work" left over from the weekend, and those pages aren't going to vandalise themselves.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    and next time?

    What happens next time? Can we as a mob summon this kind of outrage every single time they bugger up the censorship of the internet?

    Its time for a review of the IWF's role - any organisation that can block a site from 95% of the UK's broadband users (source: Wikipedia) deserves and needs more oversight and accountability built into its structure.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blink!

    The courage of their convictions seems to have deserted them as fast as a NuLab minister's do after reading the polls.

    Wankers.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well

    "I would recommend to the community that we go back and take a hard look at whether we ought to be keeping this based on our own principles, if it is in fact likely to be in violation of the law in the UK and (especially) US,"

    If you're gonna censor based on bad law in the US and UK then you should also censor based on bad law from China.

    The law/guidelines around indecent images is a joke, just as the guidelines that shall float around extreme porn are a joke.

    This entire episode illustrates how much of a f----ing joke it all is, there is no abuse in the picture, it's an artistic picture for artistic purpose not abuse. No crime involved. If some guy gets his rocks off fapping to it so f---ing what? Looking at the picture isn't gonna turn anyone into a peadophile and even if it does your first thought wont be "f--k me, this f---ing photo has made me want to go rape a child!", it isn't gonna mentally scar them for life, the law is a crock of s--- and the picture is probably less suggestive than the kids clothes advert on the side of a clothes shop in the city centre.

    The IWF followed the guidelines set out by the law and get the advice of the police, so the problem is not the IWF (they're just a tool) the problem is the bad law that keeps getting shat into existance by an incompetant government and a nutered parliment.

    Sad thing is, the tories will probably win in a similar way to Labour, and we'll be trapped with another 2 to 3 terms of utter s--t.

  53. Apocalypse Later

    Moral panic

    When did mere nudity become pornography? I haven't seen the picture, but it doesn't sound like anything a normal person would consider pornographic. If the IWF are not reaonably normal, we shouldn't be allowing them to edit the internet.

    Another thing I can't figure out; what does this sentence mean?

    "But you have to wonder why Wikipedia included in the first place."

    If this is the missing words round, there is supposed to be a black oblong where the word we are meant to guess goes.

  54. peter
    Thumb Down

    Total over-reaction

    "As a community, we are already quite firm: we do not and will not accept images of child pornography. So then the question becomes: does this image fit the definition under (especially) US law, or the law of any particularly relevant countries (UK). That is a question of judgment of fact that I do not think has been looked at sufficiently."

    Translation.........

    "Oops. Instead of a knee-jerk_ban_everything_just_in_case_on_the_basis_that_one_picture_'might'_be_illegal, we really should have done our jobs properly by determining if it was actually an illegal image and acting appropriately and proportionally. Otherwise we might look like complete twonks instead of a responsible organisation doing good work to protect children."

    Twonks.

  55. Serviscope Minor

    The real culprits go free...

    Meanwhile, it's the real culprits which go free.

    This is mostly the fault of the police, not the ISPs. A while ago, (late 90's?) the police threatened to raid an ISP and bring them to court for distributing illegal publications as a test case. Note the use of the phrase "test case": the police had no idea what the answer was, ie if the ISPs were legally responsible. Regardless of the legalities, it is likely that the unlucky ISP who got raided would have gone out of business or been severly damaged.

    As a response, the ISPs set up the IWF to filter with the blessing of the police. The real travesty is that the police have managed to bully the majority of the ISPs in to filtering with absoloutely no government oversight whatsoever.

    So if you want to put the blame where it belongs, blame the police for this, and blame the government for not fixing it.

  56. The BigYin

    Reprot the IWF

    As the IWF now seems to admit that it has made the image more prevalent and widely known, can we now report the IWF to itself? One of the reasons you can report a site is:

    "Inappropriate chat or behaviour with or towards a child online"

    And this to-do would seem to fit that criteria.

  57. Steve
    Dead Vulture

    What isThe F**ks?

    Did you ever write instruction manuals for cheap asian electronics companies in the late 80s?

    "We never thought we say such thing"

    "But you have to wonder why Wikipedia included in the first place."

    FALE!!!

  58. Dave
    Paris Hilton

    @Lloyd

    I do trust that the particular copy of The Sun you'll be using will be one dated Feb 22nd 1983, the issue noteable for its use of the then-16 year old Sam Fox as the Page 3 Girl. Nothing like an obscure bit of irony, I say.

    Paris, because I just want to fit in.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Tim J

    And I suggest that there is something not quite right with your mind, note that the people who seem to find the image slightly sexual are the ones who get so upset. A bit like people that get a bit turned on by gay images and then go out and beat up gay men.

    The problem isn't the image, the problem is people who think the image is sexy and get scared that they find it sexy.

    It isn't a picture of abuse, the law is bullshit and needs rewriting, but never will as long as the country is full of people that get scared when they find an image slightly arousing.

  60. Ben Norris
    Thumb Down

    Sweeping the real problem under the carpet.

    Ok so they have taken it off the list but this doesn't solve the real problem of the crummy method used to block blacklisted content. What if it really was something that needed to be blacklisted? Not only were they causing all these problems with wikipedia but they were not blocking the image itself and so still allowing direct access.

    What they have done is swept the real issue under the carpet. ISPs need to be more clear to the end user when they block something (and why) and they need to come up with a better technical means to block what is neccesary and only that, rather than the current half arsed attempt.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Other countries are affected too

    It's not only UK. Surprisingly many countries use the IWF blacklist.

    I realized this after seeing a sales presentation of the NetClean censorship box:

    http://www.slideshare.net/flyingpotato/netclean-whitebox-by-practeo-presentation

  62. Havin_it
    Stop

    @tfewster Re: w00t?

    FWIW, Demon didn't use a 404, their proxy returned a Demon-branded page succinctly explaining the situation. When I wrote to them telling them I was likely to dump them over this, I did give them (relative) props for at least being honest about it. The 404 tactic the others used is deeply offensive, and actually might constitute defamation/libel of the blocked site's webmaster, no?

    My intention to leave still stands BTW, as long as they continue to act on the IWF list. The current U-turn means nothing, the situation hasn't really changed. As long as they apply censorship without the backing of any legal authority, they're committing a human-rights breach in my book. How ironic, eh?

  63. Peter Flint-murray
    Unhappy

    Dangerous ground!

    Ok I don't approve of censoring the net, but by saying that this image is ok due to it being widespread and old doesn't this set up a future defence for people who do deal in this kind of image. Won't they now say that the horrible things they have are old pictures?

    I'm a bit uneasy about this and would prefered the IWF not to hand such a precedent to people involed with indecent images.

  64. Marty
    Coat

    Re: The image *is* dodgy

    @Tim J: I find your comparison with the Nirvana Nevermind cover image interesting... so you don't find that offensive but this Scorpions' one is? Ever wonder why? I for one didn't find either one offensive at all. Nor did I find this one 'sexualised' (your words). Maybe that's worth considering for a while?

    For example, a photo of 2 dogs humping in the park might be offensive to you. Or it might be funny. Or maybe it doesn't evoke a response at all. We all have different reactions to different stimuli. Why should I be prevented from watching the National Geographic channel just because you or some unelected private body finds it offensive?

    Society's values and laws change over time. As someone earlier pointed out, things that were offensive hundreds of years ago are not anymore. And vice-versa I'm sure (ah... the Romans *really* new how to party!!)

    One can argue that Wikipedia is documenting history by including the original album cover. So the question to ask is, should we alter our history to suit our current values/laws? Do we really want to start down that slippery slope?

    Mine's the one with the ticket off this crazy planet!!!

  65. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    @Apocalypse Later

    It's squarely in a grey area, I'd say, the pic. I can't believe all the posters here screaming about censorship really couldn't see *anything* provocative about it. It's a provocative pose she's in, and it would be if she were clothed and/or over 18. It's the kind of pose you don't get into by accident, you know? It's a porny pose - it's not like she was doing something innocent that had a lot of sexual spin put on it, like sucking on a lollipop. She so clearly wasn't over 18 that it's, well, a bit uncomfortable to look at, especially in the context (honestly, rock musicians). Don't think it quite warrants this degree of hoohah on any side, but maybe we should see it as a bit of a test case.

    And I do think it's OK to admit to finding the image a bit iffy while still considering the IWF's position (and/or Wikipedia's) problematic.

    Good name, by the way.

  66. Steven Jones

    @Dodgy Geezer

    It's simply not true that the image definitely breaches guidelines. It would require a court (and jury) to decide that one. It's potentially in breach - that's the problem. It's all highly subjective and would involve the judgement of a random group of people in a jury (well, as random as juries get). The actual affect of the image will depend on the person looking at it. There is no absolute standard in this case.

    Of course the likelyhood is that if somebody did have a similar image then it's very possible that pressure would be put on the person in question to accept a caution rather tahn the lottery of a court (note that accepting a caution is not to be taken lightly - do that on this sort of charge and you are likely to find yourself barred from all sorts of careers and passtimes).

    Note that I say similar image - this one is on the cover of an album which is widely available. Unless the police are to go round prosecuting everybody who has a copy (or an edict was made that they were to be destroyed based on a court test case) then I think it very unlikely that anybody would get a jury to convict and I suspect the police know that.

    However, I would advise people not to publish this picture on a personal website - it is just not worth being provocative and, at the very least, some might find this sort of photo pushing the bounds of decency even if some others rate it as art. That some rock band wants to be provocative and push the boundaries is their choice (and they might get away with it on artistic grounds). Gratuitous use might just attract unwelcome attention.

    This is the precautionary princple of course - and it is precisely this climate of fear that makes people and organisation act conservatively. Anything associated with risk and people fear that a legal steamroller will flatten them in its path. There are plenty of places now where what might be deemed "bad taste" will effectively terminate a career.

  67. Dcope
    Alert

    Google News

    well when looking at google news the section on tech had this story as its main header at the time and right next to it was the cover in thumb nail form, so if it is illeagal does that meen google are guilty of making it available? just a thought

  68. James Marten
    Thumb Up

    @ "End of Part One..."

    > The real question we should be asking is if Mary Whitehouse has a broadband connection

    Since she (thankfully, IMHO) died in 2001, it's most likely that the answer is "no".

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    It was the Government that made them do it.

    "As a response, the ISPs set up the IWF to filter with the blessing of the police. The real travesty is that the police have managed to bully the majority of the ISPs in to filtering with absoloutely no government oversight whatsoever.

    So if you want to put the blame where it belongs, blame the police for this, and blame the government for not fixing it."

    Actually, as I recall, it was the government that bullied most of the ISPs into filtering the Internet, by threatening to change the law to force them to do so unless they did it "voluntarily". Presumably, this is in the same sense as handing your wallet over when a gang of muggers threaten you with knifes is "voluntary".

  70. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    Oh poop!

    I was hoping to make a killing on the old "Internet Tat Market" with my old vinyl copy. That's that coal-boxed then!

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    IWF won't be taking on 'extreme porn'

    "Don't forget that the UK Govt have put them in-line for censoring the net when this law comes in to force next month."

    The IWF have made it clear their remit doesn't presently extend into tackling 'extreme porn'. They claim it's because they are focused primarily on 'indecent' pictures of kids, as well as stating they do not have the resources to extend their brief to cover new areas implicated by the new UK law on 'extreme pornography'.

    So this leaves the whole actual policing of the 'extreme porn' question in some sort of limbo in the UK. Having sledgehammered its news laws through Parliament with barely a flicker of dissent from our supine members of Parliament, the government here in the UK is now to discover there is quite literally nobody willing or able to offer themselves up as moral arbiters to decide what is and what is not 'indecent' between consenting adults behind closed doors (which is actually what the entire 'extreme pron' charade is about and is possibly why the Plods themselves are so clearly uncomfortable in having to deal with any of it themselves).

    The IWF will - unless offered serious financial inducements from Government - stay well away from 'extreme porn'. It knows it's onto a winner with pedo hunting (nobody much bothers to argue with them - and they haven't actually backed-down on the Wikkipedia question: it is still their view the image in question is 'potentially illegal') and will continue to plough its chosen furrow, regardless.

  72. John Redbook

    Brave ISP?

    Anyone know of an ISP who doesn't block this list?

  73. David McQuillan

    Censorship tags

    I contribute to Wikipedia and I do not agree with Jimmy Wales in what he said. The Register should not confuse Wikipedia and him. Censorship is different around the world, for all I know soon in Britain it'll be back to Victorian times with ankles being covered up again - will we then want wikipedia not to show any images of ankles? Personally I think the articles should be tagged with markers for various types of self censorship and if a nanny state like Britain then wants to block stuff instead it can.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    Innocent

    To reiterate my comment of yesterday, an image can't be "potentially in breach". Either it is, or it isn't. This is a criminal law that's being invoked and not a civil one where reasonable doubt can be applied. In criminal matters there's no leeway.

    If you can't decide, or the evidence is inconclusive, then you must find the 'defendant' innocent -

    "innocent till proven guilty".

  75. Francis Vaughan

    Amazon

    Seems no-one has bothered to check Amazon. All the images are gone. Not exactly surprising.

    A suggestion to many of the the posters above. Go find a copy opf the picture. Ten seconds with Google. Then consider your comments.

    The word "potential" is a legal weasel word, in that it has not been through a court case and actually found in breach. But it is pretty difficult to imagine that the image would emerge unscathed if it did find its way to court. As noted, in a pure sense of correctness the IWF are right. The fact that the image has leaked all over the net, and they have scored an own goal by publicising it, does not detract from this.

    This is a growing up process for the IWF and Wikipedia, and it seems, a lot of commentators.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    One Burning Question

    I've noticed that no one has bothered to actually verify the age of the said "child" at the time the photo was taken.

    Yeah she looks very, extremely, dangerously underage, but it was 1976 way before the hardcore hormones entered the food supply. Maybe she was just one of those late bloomers...

    Now I need to barricade the door, fdisk & format my HD and wait for the feds to kick my door in.

  77. Jimmy

    Save the children from the IWF.

    Child abuse in any of its manifestations is far too serious a matter to be left in the hands of self-appointed amateurs like the IWF, no matter how well-intentioned their motives. Recent events in the London borough of Haringey show that even professional social workers are struggling to cope with the harsh realities of abuse while satisfying the needs of a box ticking bureaucracy that overburdens them with casework because it cannot provide the resources that are necessary.

    Maybe if the do-gooders over at IWF got off their backsides and spent a few weeks working at the coalface alongside social workers and police officers dealing with physical, sexual, and emotional abuse they would realise the utter futility of their own simplistic attempts to 'save the children' by banning offensive images on the internet.

    Despite its claims to legitimacy the IWF has no statutory standing whatsoever and makes absolutely no contribution to the protection of children from sexual abuse. It is a creature of Nulabour's determination to censor content on the internet under the guise of saving the children. The fine Italian hand of la Jacquiavelli has got its fingerprints all over this sham organisation.

  78. Dave
    Stop

    IWF fail

    So, the IWF have now decided that an image that has been banned from the UK in the past (in its original form as a physical album cover) is now safe for us all to look at. How does it work that out? Has the original banning order been rescinded? Does anyone know the full detail of that banning order - was it an informal thing, or did it emanate from a High Court Judge?

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @lloyd

    >>I for one will not be taking this lying down, I have taken a copy of the Sun and used it to start a fire at my local paediatrician’s office, that'll teach him for sounding like a kiddy fiddler.

    i'm with you brother - i bringing a large pile of burning "news of the world"s to help...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1353904/Paediatrician-attack-People-dont-want-no-paedophiles-here.html?mobile=true

    remeber this happening - hard to believe - but nothing suprises anymore here in good old blightly :)

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    RE: the picture

    "The IWF are pussies. They should have blocked access to the entirety of wikipedia until they removed the image or at least blocked out the chest and genital area."

    What, you mean like by airbrushing out the nipples and obscuring the genetalia? ...oh...wait...

  81. ryan

    @Excuse me while I laugh quietly to myself

    Reg does self-censor - only the other week the lovely sarah bee emailed me to tell me that whilst she wasn't offended by the c-word, some people felt it wasn't appropriate for publication in the comments section of the register.

    Bunch of c*nts.

    (note to moderators: feel free to replace that asterisk with the letter u)

  82. ryan
    Alert

    @never mind...

    it's not an overtly sexual image, can't see it being flagged as child porn any time soon. the virgin killer one clearly has a sexual overtone.

    although that does raise an interesting question - can i sell photos of myself playing naked in a paddling pool as a child to kiddy fiddlers to tide me over in the current economic climate?

  83. Dick Emery
    Stop

    Wow!

    Did this ever come at the right time. Did anyone see Eastenders last night?

    What we have here is a whole questioning of the legal system as to regards what constitutes 'child porn'. Clearly we are at odds with our own laws regarding the subject and the internet again challenges these assumptions of what is right or wrong.

    As for the Eastenders coincidence, the other night the characters involved were in conflict as to what constituted an offence with regards to sex with a minor. I was glad to see they allowed both points of view to be heard and even though the character who had had sex with a minor was arrested under what is clearly the current laws of our land there was no attempt to batter the viewer over the head with 'it's wrong and it's illegal'. They merely presented the viewer with a set of questions. The character who had sex with the minor was allowed to present his case. The character who played the minor presented her case and the character who was unaware of the activity and found out about it presented hers (and called the police).

    Now I have my own set of views on the subject. Clearly I feel the character who had sex with the minor character was in the wrong and the minor was also in the wrong thinking that it was 'OK' to have done so. But it gave the viewer a good grounding for thinking more about the age of consent and what constitutes abuse/rape.

    Plus we also have the Shannon case being used as a football to 'have a go' at those on welfare. 'You must be a bad pedo because you are poor' etc. I bet the new welfare reform being proposed today has no opposition and it will be a 'screw the consequences to those who are wheelchair bound' type attitude.

    But I digress.

    Laws need to be set by moral majority and NOT by those few given charge of policing them. I think in this instance (the IWF debacle) this shows that we need to take back control of our laws and make the police, politicians and any other bodies accountable to the people who put them in power in the first place!

  84. Huw Davies
    Dead Vulture

    @AC re:End of Part One...

    "The real question we should be asking is if Mary Whitehouse has a broadband connection"

    I don't think they supply cable to the plots in cemeteries...

    Tombstone, for obvious reasons

  85. J R Fry
    Stop

    Pornography

    The image is pornography, as defined in the UK Sentencing Guide which is based on the COPINE scale. However, it's worth pointing out that some of the images on the Mothercare website are classed as Level One child pornography by that definition ("naked or semi-naked in legitimate settings / sources").

    What's really scary here is that the law has criminalised most parents - anyone who has taken a photo of their child in the bath, or in their underwear, is a child pornographer. My four and five kids take nude photos of themselves with my digital camera all the time. While it's unlikely that you'd actually be prosecuted the fact remains that, if you were, then you would be found guilty. There's a huge potential here for anyone with a grudge against you to simply shop you to the police for having child porn images on your computer. You can safely bet there are a handful of Level One pornographic images in most parents' photo albums. Heaven forbid if you've shared these with family members via email or posted them online - you're looking at a custodial sentence and being put on the sex offender's register.

    As with the extreme pornography law, the child porn laws criminalise a huge number of harmless individuals and gives anyone with a grudge a perfect reason to get you arrested and banged up. Likewise, if you're considered a troublemaker by the powers that be then they already have plenty of offences they could convict you for. You need to keep your nose very clean if you want to avoid going to jail.

  86. Tim J
    Alert

    @Anon Coward 12:44

    Thank you for suggesting that I am a paedophile. I did not find the image "slightly arousing" whatsoever - did you? Because it sounds like you did. I though the album cover was an all too transparent attempt at being provocative by using a sexualised image of a child - simply saying that it isn't a sexualised image but instead is a purely innocent image is a specious argument, one that is in denial of what the image portrays.

    I can understand why people are in denial over this - it is an inconvenient element with regards to the whole wider issue of Wikipedia and censorship - but in doing so they seek to gloss over any suggestion the image might be inappropriate by unilaterally declaring that it is an entirely innocent piece of art.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Interestingly...

    ...my ISP have responded to my (rather long-winded and embittered) threats to take my custom elsewhere by telling me they can lift the filtering for my connection. Took the wind out of my self-righteous sails somewhat...

    Then again, perhaps I should stick to my guns. This ISP (clue's in the icon BTW) replace what they block with a truthful explanation instead of the ubiquitous 404, and permit you (if you complain) to opt-out. Is this enough?

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Indecency and all that

    @J R Fry

    The COPINE scale is not a test for indecency. It was invented to categorize images used by pedophiles. More recently it has been accepted as a sentencing guideline AFTER an image has been deemed indecent by a jury. It does not mean that "naked or semi-naked in legitimate settings" or "provocative posing" images are necessarily indecent. Only that IF they are, they're the least serious.

    @Tim J

    I share your surprise at the number of people claiming the image is completely innocent. (For the record, yes I do have a dirty mind.) But I disagree that this should place it outside the realm of protected speech. It's not the unobjectionable speech that needs protecting. Of course if it's against your personal standards you don't need to buy it or look at it. But if one is going to tell other people they can't look at it, I think something more objective is required. Like whether the child was actually harmed somehow, and that would be very hard to prove in this case.

    @Interestingly...

    Personally, I would grudgingly accept that, given that there may not be too many other choices. An honest block message combined with the option to opt out doesn't sound terribly unreasonable. At least provided to IWF doesn't make a habit of disrupting major sites in the future.

  89. Brian Cooke

    Opting out of filtering

    If Demon Internet allows its customers to opt out of filtering, it might not be long before others do too.

    BT internet has told me in writing that they are not authorised to filter. But we know they do. So they're a bunch of liars. But I'll stay with them if they allow me to opt out of their offensive policies.

  90. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
    Unhappy

    A few responses...

    @Dodgy Geezer

    By Steven Jones Posted Wednesday 10th December 2008 15:26 GMT

    "It's simply not true that the image definitely breaches guidelines. It would require a court (and jury) to decide that one." - Um... You would be right to say that we cannot tell if the image is illegal until a court has pronounced. But it sure as hell meets the tests for Copine Level 1. (Images depicting nudity or erotic posing with no sexual activity) Check them out.

    "then I think it very unlikely that anybody would get a jury to convict and I suspect the police know that..." - Nope. You would be surprised what a prosecuting counsel would make of little Jimmy skinny dipping. And the jury would not bother to look. Did YOU care about Chris Langham? Do you know what pictures he had? Of course not - he's accused of being a kiddy fiddler - must be guilty.

    "What's really scary here is that the law has criminalised most parents - anyone who has taken a photo of their child in the bath, or in their underwear, is a child pornographer..."

    Yup. That's what's wrong. The IWF were actually doing their job right - the image is suspect according to the law. The problem is the law, not the IWF (who should never exist in a proper society). This government has put so many badly drafted laws in place, all of them granting the police exceptional powers to do anything.

    When you get in your car, you're guilty. When you drink a beer or have a cigarette, you're guilty. When you put your rubbish out, you're guilty. When you go out of your house, you're guilty. When you stay in and go on the net, you're guilty.

    "..Thank you for suggesting that I am a paedophile.." Well, you are. Everyone is. And you're probably guilty of tax evasion, illegal profiteering and racism as well. Either that, or you live in a cave and spend your days looking at the wall. That would just make you guilty of some Health and Safety crime or other....

    That's what the problem is, and it won't go away until this oppressive legal straightjacket is dismantled...

    "This ISP (clue's in the icon BTW)" - WHO ARE THEY?? ..I don't think Microsoft offer an ISP service....

    "Re: The image *is* dodgy " - yes, to some people it can be dodgy. To some it is indecent. Fine - that's what taste is about. taste and opinion is always full of shades of grey.

    What SHOULDN'T be full of grey is the law. We can have different opinions about decency and acceptability, in all sorts of different circumstances. What we can't have is what we've got - a law that depends on shades of grey and opinions. What I hope is that we're seeing history written here, in the demise of the anti-sex and anti-terrorism laws we have put up with for far too long....

    I must confess an interest here. A long time ago I was a technical adviser on a Civil Service panel considering what to do about pornography on BBS and Newsgroups (that will date me!) My opinion (after much practical study!) was that the boards were self-regulating - no one would get shocked if they weren't actually going out and looking for this sort of thing. The 'XXX' in most titles was a dead giveaway.

    I was ignored, and for a while the FBI (who had a liaison officer there) started to interfere with the porno news feeds. That failed, and the sorry saga of government intrusion into things best left private took off from there....

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    IWF pulls Wikipedia from child porn blacklist

    well, they were obviously pulling something.

    paris, 'cos she knows what it is.

  92. RogueElement
    Paris Hilton

    the lunatics have taken over the asylum

    The album image does not turn me on ergo... it is not pornography.

    The character in the image is not suffering, ergo there is no obvious abuse.

    No one is causing permanent harm to the subject's anus, ergo the image is legal as far as that political whore, the Goddess of censorship is concerned.

    This ill planned knee jerk action aimed at an historical document has simply dragged the album and the image back into the public eye from the domain of relative obscurity that it had inhabited for decades. Well done to the IWF for confusing this delicate subject even further and reminding us again what paedophilia ISN'T !!!

    BUT

    The real problem is the lack of accountability. We just got shafted... ok, the decision was reversed but we still got shafted... no one said sorry. Who gets dragged, kicking and screaming over miles of searing red hot coals (no pictures please, if anyone was aroused by it we'd all be in the clink) for this illegal infringement of our basic rights?

  93. Maty

    Now ...

    What happens if I report a website with Caravaggio's 'Love Triumphant'? (Which depicts a naked pre-adolescent clearly in breach of the IWF guidelines) ? Is an otherwise legal picture illegal only if it is on a computer - and what does that tell us about society and its response to technology?

    Now if you will excuse me, I'm just off to denounce my local church. Some of their cherubs are both naked and clearly underage.

  94. ShaggyDoggy

    Blind Faith

    As I was alive and buying records at the time (1969) I remember that the furore with the Blind Faith cover was not the naked girl, but the fact that the silver spacehip was 'phallic'

    You can buy the print from the original artist here (not cheap, then art isn't)

    http://www.bobseidemann.com/blind_faith_print.html

    Here's a nice explanation of the process for the cover art

    http://www.geocities.com/badcatrecords/bannedblindfaith.htm

    There, now you all know, and not a single wiki link involved

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @RogueElement

    "Well done to the IWF for confusing this delicate subject even further and reminding us again what paedophilia ISN'T !!!"

    For the record, I have it on good authority that paedophiles DO find that picture very sexy. However I can't think of any good reason why that alone should be a problem.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IWF

    So if I understand this correctly there are people at some organisation called IWF who collect and publish a huge database of child pornography links.

    I think that what they are doing is possible against the law. In order to check to see if a given image is in fact illegal they are downloading them and displaying them on their screens. They have committed a crime under UK law at this point.

    Shouldn't someone go and arrest them or something ? For any paedophile out there this must be the number one job for them to get.

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