Entries with tag content filtering software.

UK Government Tasks ISPs with Terrorism Reporting

The UK government is asking the nation’s major ISPs to help “tackle online extremism.” Although no specific agreements have yet been made, the ISPs will provide stronger filtering and a “public reporting button” for reporting terrorism materials, according to the BBC. The filtering would reportedly be similar to that which is currently used to filter pornography or gambling websites at a network level. Officials say this could be a problem as some extremist groups use popular social networks such as YouTube or Twitter. The Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit has been charged with removing terrorism-related material from various websites, including 34,000 pieces of content in the past year. It is now taking down one terrorist-related posting every 10 minutes, or about 5,000 per week. Downing Street is continuing negotiations on the matter with ISPs including Virgin, Sky, BT, and Talk Talk. (BBC)(The Telegraph)

British Library’s Filtering Software Blocks Access to Hamlet, Citing Violent Content

Filtering software denied an author using the British Library’s Wi-Fi network access to an online version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet based on its violent content. Mark Forsyth was writing a book in the library and wanted to check a line from the play in the MIT digital collection. However, filtering software denied him access. The library claimed the incident was the result of a new Wi-Fi service provider and that it has adjusted its filtering software to eliminate future problems. Filtering is under increased scrutiny in the UK since the government announced plans to block pornographic sites unless users opt in. Opponents have voiced concern that this policy will indiscriminately block sites that should be widely available. Forsyth wrote that his inability to access Hamlet demonstrated “the amusing absurdity of the greatest work of British literature being blocked by the British Library [and] the evident silliness of filtering systems, particularly one that blocks mit.edu but not Facebook. (BBC)(The Register)(The Inky Fool -- Mark Forsyth Blog)(British Library Reference Services Twitter Feed)

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