Internet Filtering in the UKIt seems that the terms “censorship” and “UK” come together for a while now, as the country keeps trying to curb online piracy, which is widely considered to be treading on the online freedom. Major movie studios may have won the court battle against one of largest ISPs of the United Kingdom – BT, after the High Court granted an injunction in their favour.
BT now has to block access to Newzbin2, a Sweden-based file-sharing service, to all users residing in the United Kingdom, because the court held the broadband provider responsible for facilitating copyright infringement. However, the exact measures will be established when the parties go back to court in a few months.
The movie studios, though, decided not to wait for a few months and have already come with another proposal – BT should employ the blocking technology called Cleanfeed, which was used to filter adult content. It is unclear how “healthy” the suggested methods are to Internet service providers, but a number of anonymous members of Newzbin2 have already promised to bring down any filters that the ISP or anyone else would use against them.
At the same time, the Internet service provider won’t be able to comply as easily as one may think, because the efficiency of website blocking is rather controversial, which may lead to conflict of interests. However, the High Court pointed out that website filtering worked great in Italy. In that European country a similar case over The Pirate Bay site was dealt with in the same way. However, many bloggers reported that it wasn’t the case and the site traffic had actually increased rather than dropped due to the media coverage of the issue.
The court ruled that circumvention of filtering technology needs extra expertise beyond what users currently possess. That’s why Newzbin2’s anonymous operators readily offered their users assistance in helping them to circumvent any filters to their service.
If you don’t remember, last year Newzbin2’s older version, Newzbin1, was shut down because of facilitating copyright infringement, having about 700.000 members paying 30p weekly to be able to download from the site. Now it seems that the recent court ruling will be just the beginning of a long-lasting conflict between Internet service providers and unsuitable legislation making things worse.