ISP Transparency in the UK

While my column this week focused on Canadian ISP transparency, the BBC reports that similar issues have arisen in the UK, where the Ofcom Consumer Panel is trying to address concerns that consumers are being misled about broadband services.


  1. Cory Doctorow says:

    BT’s secret child-porn blocklist
    Hey, Michael — I’m with you 100 percent on ISP transparency, but I wonder how you square your endorsement of the principle with your support for BT’s secret list of child porn sites, which are silently blocked, assembled in secret, and not subject to public scrutiny or review? I’m a BT customer and I get a LOT of 404s for sites that I can reach on other networks — how much of that is misplaced blacklisting? How do I find out? BT claims it blocks 30,000 calls to its blacklist a day, right? How many of those customers are trying to reach legit sites that have been non-transparently blocked by BT?

  2. Michael Geist says:

    BT’s List

    I don’t believe that I ever endorsed the BT list – I don’t know enough about it to do so. I did (and do) support the Canadian version (Childfind), based on their undertaking to provide appropriate safeguards and oversight. The transparency in this case comes from ensuring that the public is aware of the program, its impact, and appropriate judicial oversight to mitigate against the possibility of misplaced blacklisting.


  3. Cory Doctorow says:

    Misunderstood you, then
    Sorry, Michael, I must have misunderstood you earlier; I found out about the list from you during our earlier conversation about the Canadian blacklist; I understood you to be saying that you felt that the success of the BT list was an indicator that the Canadian list would work as well.