Scorpions Cover Sets Off Internet Watchdogs: Updated

Scorpions Cover Sets Off Internet Watchdogs: Updated

image

IWF believe you may be looking at porn, so are banning you, one site at a time.

The Internet Watch Federation are working closely with British ISP's to make sure you are not seeing anything that could be classed as 'child porn'.

It started on Saturday.

Those in Britain, using Virgin Media, Be Unlimited/O2/Telefonica, EasyNet/UK Online, PlusNet, Demon, or Opal suddenly found themselves piped away from Wikipedia, after the IWF identified the cover of the Scorpions album, Virgin Killer to be offensive, despite being released 30 years ago, and still freely viewable on Amazon.

Now the problem; Wikipedia won't remove the image, as that's censorship, so the ban stays in place. However, because of the re-pipe, Wikipedia cannot tell who is who according to IP addresses, so has to block everyone on the IP, including some of their own editors.

But that's yesterday's news.

Today, the image was gone from Amazon.co.uk and Zavvi (formerly Virgin), but on display at Amazon.com.It has now gone from there as well after a massive hit rate.

When interviewed on Radio 4, the IWF spokeswoman was unable to explain why certain sites were banned but not others. One would assume that lawyers are very heavily involved.

Update (December 10th): After numerous complaints, the IWF have rescinded their block and apologized to Wikipedia's users. One still has to wonder whether all the fighting was worth it though.

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Seriously? What. The. Fuck.

Censorship. Control.
Dumb down the mass's.
Pass the McDonnalds.
The end is neigh.

Wow this is ridiculous. There has defenitely been a lot of censorship articles in the news recently.

All i can say is shit, i hope this doesnt affect me.

I've checked and right now I'm pissed off. The block does affect me, when I try to access the page in question it 'says' that the page is nowhere to be found, yet a proxy uncovers it rather quickly. This is complete idiocy, have you even seen the image? Could not be considered pornography by anyone's standards and considering it's the cover of an album which has been out for over 30 years this is simply ridiculous.

My question is where does this stop? When you start banning (mostly) harmless images such as this, how long until they decide what else isn't for our viewing? Others have said it and now I'm echoing it:

"The UK is sleepwalking into a police state"

having never seen the image I cant pass comment (though just checked out if was blocked n yeah the wiki thing don't work. Whats the big deal about said album cover? I assume ull still be able to buy it in all its apparent paedophilic glory? Doesn't really affect me as im not a fan of Scorpions, but its a worrying potential censorship trend. Going from shutting down paedophile sites & content to removing "offensive" material is a dangerous leap.

IWF.org
A Wikipedia web page, was reported through the IWF's online reporting mechanism in December 2008. As with all child sexual abuse reports received by our Hotline analysts, the image was assessed according to the UK Sentencing Guidelines Council (page 109). The content was considered to be a potentially illegal indecent image of a child under the age of 18, but hosted outside the UK. The IWF does not issue takedown notices to ISPs or hosting companies outside the UK, but we did advise one of our partner Hotlines abroad and our law enforcement partner agency of our assessment. The specific URL (individual webpage) was then added to the list provided to ISPs and other companies in the online sector to protect their customers from inadvertent exposure to a potentially illegal indecent image of a child.

Thats their official response to it. Frankly I think if the album is still buyable with that cover, cencoring it on the internet for fear of "offending" (which is why they banned it not for any sexual content) is pointless, pedantic & overbearing; paticularly as the IWF were threatening to block Amazon US over it. Though Scorpions themselves seem to recognize its a contraversial & perhaps not such a suitable cover The Guardian

I do find it ironic that banning it seems to have created alot of internet interest in the very thing theyre trying to stop our poor innocent minds from seeing :-D

THE LAW:
PART 6: EXPLOITATION OFFENCES
6.1 Whilst all sexual offences involve, to a greater or lesser degree, the exploitation or
abuse of a victim or victims, the specific sexual exploitation offences involve a high degree
of offender culpability, with offenders intentionally exploiting vulnerable individuals. In some
cases, for example the prostitution offences, the sexual acts themselves may not be unlawful,
but the purpose of the legislation is to address the behaviour of those who are prepared to
exploit others by causing, inciting or controlling their sexual activities, whether or not for gain.
The harm caused by the offences
6.2 Section 54 of the SOA 2003 defines 'gain' as:
(a) any financial advantage, including the discharge of an obligation to pay or the
provision of goods or services (including sexual services) gratuitously or at a discount;
or
(b) the goodwill of any person which is, or appears likely, in time, to bring financial
advantage.

Far as I can tell, this is what the image fell foul of. Retroactive laws FTW \o/

Three words: lolz censor fail.

Before we know it 3+ games will be classed as XXX

wow, well i just went onto the wiki and found the picture with no hinderance at all.

All I can say is Tiscali Broadband bitches!
As this doesn't affect me can someone clarify whether it's just banning that one page of Wiki or Wiki as a whole?

In the mean time...
How long before one of these automated censor systems bans somebody really big (like say, McDonalds or Sony) causing mass suicides as these somewhat self important organisations are litigated into oblivion?
Or whoever runs this particular group goes after someone particularly inappropriate, like the Queen or David Attenborough, prompting their EU funding to magically go zip.

Cousin_IT:
having never seen the image I cant pass comment. Going from shutting down paedophile sites & content to removing "offensive" material is a dangerous leap.

The image itself is certainly not illegal, granted you would never get it published now but neither the police nor a court of law would have any problem with it being in your house.
Indeed it is a dangerous leap, especially when the people who get to define 'offensive' seem to have no limits on their influence.

I just occured to me. Surely on the basis this image has been blocked every painted of the naked infant Jesus, every painting with a cherub etc should also be banned? Naked & under 18, thats bound to cause offense

Well I'm relieved at least that this isn't another story on Australia doing something stupid with the internet. What with people convicted over pornographic Simpson's pictures and the roll out soon of nation-wide ISP filtering which will slow our traffic by 85% (along with being stupid censorship which is impractical and unnecessary) it's good to know that we aren't the only ones experiencing reactionary knee-jerk decisions.

Cousin_IT:
I just occured to me. Surely on the basis this image has been blocked every painted of the naked infant Jesus, every painting with a cherub etc should also be banned? Naked & under 18, thats bound to cause offense

Daaaaarn you and your pre-theft (AKA originally conceiving) of good points!
*Shakes Fist*

Resist Rebel Revolt
Keep the interweb free!!1!
Coalition N0W!!1!
This is the first step to oppression N3rds take up arms

My question is why this so called watchdog "group" didn't launch a complaint sooner, especially since the image itself is so old...

Well, since I don't have that ip adress, I am still free to mast-I mean, "veiw", the album cover of the naked kid.

Still, this sucks for you guys.

*sigh*

Although their intentions are good, its always their execution where the fails begin to arise.

Ah well, seems that the time is almost nigh to keep a proxy in your favorites bar, or as your Home webpage...

But the album cover is a photo realistic drawing of a naked 12 year old. It actually is child pornography. How is that a stupid decision? Album in question http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Killer

Yet this picture is readily available on google images...

This nonsense is what happens when you have chris hansen and perverted justice types make organizations of alarmist Helen Lovejoys screaming "THINK OF THE CHILDREN", causing everyone freak out, think everyone else is a sexual predator, start banning/censoring everything and getting innocent people in trouble.

As nutty as the US is, at least the right people still have enough of a grip on reality and the constitution to keep crap like this from getting out of hand on our ISPs

While I certainly disdain attempts at censorship, and I do not like the way they're dealing with it, but this is child pornography. It's the sexualization of a naked child. This isn't art, nor does it hold deeper meaning. It's there for shock value.

Welcome to the new China, where the country can block you for no other reason than it can.

I suddenly feel a whole lot less bad about being American. That shit would never, ever fly here.

Lustwane:
Censorship. Control.
Dumb down the mass's.
Pass the McDonnalds.
The end is neigh.

Sadly your probably right lol............*sigh*
=(

xitel:
Three words: lolz censor fail.

What the hell happened to your face?

And looks like I have to give up on porn now, I mean incase I accidently typed in "tight teen virign" or something....not that I would ofcourse.....

TsunamiWombat:
I suddenly feel a whole lot less bad about being American. That shit would never, ever fly here.

Don't bet on it Tsunami. With Australia and Europol cracking down, America is likely to fall prey to the FUD.

Skrapt:
I've checked and right now I'm pissed off. The block does affect me, when I try to access the page in question it 'says' that the page is nowhere to be found, yet a proxy uncovers it rather quickly. This is complete idiocy, have you even seen the image? Could not be considered pornography by anyone's standards and considering it's the cover of an album which has been out for over 30 years this is simply ridiculous.

My question is where does this stop? When you start banning (mostly) harmless images such as this, how long until they decide what else isn't for our viewing? Others have said it and now I'm echoing it:

"The UK is sleepwalking into a police state"

Where's V when you need him to blow up the houses of parliament?

Lustwane:
The end is neigh.

image

Cousin_IT:

I do find it ironic that banning it seems to have created alot of internet interest in the very thing theyre trying to stop our poor innocent minds from seeing :-D

If more people where aware of the thick vat of irony we swim around in all day the world would be a better place.

Think about crime and the news, the more news we have the more crime. a tragic school shooting boots ratings for a week then it gets the thought into other kids heads and now they've become almost passe.

Its a horrible truth of our time that the bigger an issue me make of the world around us the worse it gets. A vicious cycle that.

A less tear jerking example, as i try to head my brain off from full blown rant, underage drinking. America makes a HUGE deal over this, while in other countries its the norm for the younger family members to have a glass of something or other at the dinner table. With no block to rebel against where do you think alcohol related crime and death is more of a problem?

Ima shut up now.

Elurindel:
Where's V when you need him to blow up the houses of parliament?

Well, I sort of look like him.

If you squint.

And stick a hat on me.

The really stupid thing is that they are not actually taking down any websites, they are just blocking people from veiwing them.

 

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