ISP traffic monitoring

Recently Telia, the Swedish state owned phone company. After public outcry, decided to install filters that would block internet traffic to child pornography sites on the Internet. Fighting kiddie porn is of course an honourable task; however, the means must be discussed.

What Telia is doing is just plain wrong, and unfitting in a democratic society (the Swedish minister of justice Thomas Bodström is also very wrong as he has threatened with legislation if the ISPs don't install such a system). If there would be a Big Brother award in Sweden, surely Telia and / or Bodström would deserve this award. The system is modelled after the one installed in the UK by British Telecom.

What is happening now is that Telia is installing filters, that will scan all Internet traffic passing through their servers and routers, these filters will then block traffic to and from specific servers that has been identified serving kiddie porn.

The main problem here is of course not the fight against child pornography, but the fact that such filters are being installed. It is easy to conceive that the government might threaten the ISPs into blocking other traffic, and it will happen. First it will be extended to hate crimes on the Internet, i.e. the blocking of neo-nazi, anti-gay, anti-islam web pages. Further on it might be other sites that are included especially those that are "uncomfortable" for the government.

This has to stop immediately!


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