Britain's Great Firewall blocks access to official Disney sites, internet safety guides, VPNs, and coding sites for kids

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Unsurprisingly, the list is full of embarrassing false positives…

What about the false negatives? Just hypothetically, where can one find this alleged list of ghastly porn?


A parental filter sounds good. I’m sure that blocking off parts of the Internet from parents would make a lot of kids happier.


Britain’s Great Firewall




Say no more!
Seriously, or we’ll all be in trouble.


See, this is what happens when you A) decide to roll your own filter; and B) not use competent people to run it.

I am (sadly) in charge of my company’s web content filter, which is ironic because I am anti-censorship on almost a religious level. I understand why it’s in place, though. ( it pulls triple duty in providing security services, data loss prevention, and productivity loss prevention)


It’s not a Great Firewall - it doesn’t affect what the population of the UK can see on the Internet. If you use BT as your ISP and turn on a Family Filter, then the whitelist/blacklist may not be exactly what you want. But it’s not a UK Filter.


So that’s what they are calling it these days?


Great Optional Firewall. Unlike China’s, for example.

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If your company must have a filter, you sound like the best person to run it. I only worry that you’ll run it well enough to make filtering acceptable!


I think you have it backwards, we don’t opt out of the list, we are automatically opted into it and need to contact the ISP by phone and ask them to remove it and that’s just the optional list, they have blocked a lot of websites that you don’t have access to period.

I feel like there is something going on with British ISP’s like there is with Google, a year ago Google said that over 99.95% of DMCA requests they get are false but they can’t do much about it because they get over a million requests a month so they just block websites and then when they get the time they will unblock them if they haven’t violated the DMCA. This kinda sucks because the review process can take weeks or months but the bots just spam out results that are false negatives and hope they get it right a few times too. British ISP’s have blocked everything from Steam, to Star Wars promotional websites, Netflix, Playstation Network and Disney’s websites in my personal experience and when I called my ISP they revealed that they had their hands tied by court order/complying with the DMCA but they were looking at it and were going to make an appeal. PSN was only down for a few days for me but other websites have fallen off the radar, IMBD was a nightmare for a while, I thought I broke my modem or something. Oh did I mention you CANNOT opt out of this not optional feature?

Basically we have two levels of firewall. One is the one that blocks an enormous amount of websites because alleged piracy, the other blocks stuff that kids shouldn’t see. Both of them suck but the problems I mentioned with PSN, Steam etc have nothing to do with the optional censorship since I had to opt out to visit Vimeo because Vimeo is shady as fuck and kids need to be protected from it.


Should be using a vpn anyway but especially if you’re with one of the major ISPs seeing as they store your browsing history for 12 months and make it an all you can eat buffet for 48 authorities (snooper’s charter). Dare i hope this foul piece of authoritarian fanwank will soon be repealed.

I’m with BT, one of the 6 providers mentioned. I didn’t have to opt out of anything. When I set up my broadband I chose not to install “BT Parental Controls” and so no websites are blocked. In my personal experience, I can access all of Steam, Star Wars promotional websites, Netflix, Playstation Network and Disney’s websites. Can you give other examples of websites you think I shouldn’t be able to access? Because I haven’t found any.


Asking for a friend?


Maybe this article is just a bit of social engineering to drive up traffic on that viking sword site by getting people to see if they can reach it through the Great Firewall of Great Britain.

Theirs is optional, too, Mr. Tuttle.

I suspect that Chinese citizens might disagree. There are web sites it is impossible to get to from/when in China, as I understand it (e.g. any site about Tiananmen Square events all those years ago). The UK situation is that any user can turn off parental controls/whatever filters the govt implements - hence ‘optional’. I can opt to use it or opt not to - I just tell my ISP (I am in UK). Can the Chinese ask their ISP to not implement the Chinese filters/blocks and expect the same result?
So for all the UK govt’s awfulness in implementing an incompetent set of filters, it is hardly in the same league as what seems to be an entirely mandatory set of filters in China - that was the point I was trying to make with the perhaps too succinct comment ref ‘optional’
(Not familiar with “Mr Tuttle”, whoever that is.)

Dare I post it?

There’s one in the spotlight, he don’t look right to me, Get him up against the wall!

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