Uh Oh, UK Porn Filter Also Blocks VPNs

By Sam Gibbs on at

It looks like yet more non-porn things are going to get blocked in the UK as part of the indiscriminate filtering. VPNs are apparently now a target of filtering because they could possibly be used by children to get around age gates. Great, way to go and ruin it for the rest of us.

The scary thing is this isn't even an implementation of the Great Firewall of Cameron, this is a pre-existing filter that's being redefined. According to a leaked communication between GiffGaff and iPredator, a VPN service provider, it's being blocked because of the kids. GiffGaff apparently said, as quoted by TorrentFreak:

"[...] websites or services that offer, inter alia, a method for younger members to access over 18 content, without age verification; such as VPN services, are blocked [...]"

According to GiffGaff, it has no power to control what does and doesn't get blocked on its network due to it simply being an MVNO running on O2's network, which means perhaps we should take this up with O2.

The problem is that VPNs are used for all sorts of things, as are proxies and even Google's cache runs on a similar system, which means various things could get indiscriminately disrupted by the up-rating of the filters.

I understand the need to protect our children, don't get me wrong, but I suspect very few kids use VPNs to get around age gates. Maybe we should just block the internet full-stop, only then can we be absolutely sure they'll be safe online. [TorrentFreak]

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