Why Internet Censorship Does Not Work - More Information: Current Censorship Projects


If you’ve purchased a new SIM card for your mobile phone recently, you’ll know that the mobile networks are now blocking adult material by default. This provides a great example of how filtering

  1. Is Worked around

  2. Inconveniences Everyone


Usually to lift the block, you either need to go in-store with ID or provide a credit card number. Most kids are unable to do either of these, and yet are still able to access porn on their phone! Why? Because the enterprising ones have started posting it on Facebook! So already the expense of implementing the filter (which ultimately the customer pays for) is already wasted because the kids have found a simple solution. In response to the blocking of Facebook, kids have moved onto other medium such as Multimedia Messaging.


On the other hand, if you happen to be trying to access something innocent like a forum, you may struggle. A lot of the operators have begun blocking forums purely because of the content that can be posted there!


Try loading a page even loosely related to a blocked term and you’re stuck. It doesn’t matter that the page you’re trying to access contains nothing adult, if it appears to do so it will be blocked.


This broad-brush approach not only inconveniences adults, but can prevent kids from using the internet for their homework. Try researching basic human biology on a device with this filter enabled and you’ll understand the difficulties caused by such a “one-size-fits-all” approach.


Anything the Independent Mobile Classification Body rates as adult will also be blocked, but given that they only rate ‘commercial’ content a lot of content will still be missed.