ISPs agree to block child porn websites

The Dominion Post 12 November 2007
The Internal Affairs Department has begun working alongside Internet service providers to block access to websites dedicated to child pornography. Censorship manager Steve O’Brien says the department has drawn up a list of more than 7000 websites that host illegal material. Two Internet service providers agreed to block access to the sites in a trial which has been running for several months but which is still at “the very early stages”. Mr O’Brien says the idea is based on very successful approaches to combating child porn in Norway and Sweden.If the trial is expanded, people who try to access sites identified by Internal Affairs as hosting child porn may see a webpage telling them the site has been blocked and inviting them to contact the department if they have any queries. At the moment, they will find the sites will simply not load, he says. During September and last month, the two ISPs that are part of the trial processed six million website requests from customers, of which 3351 were blocked….Mr O’Brien says the scheme does not require legislation, relying instead on the goodwill of ISPs. “Once we’re satisfied with the technical mechanisms, we’ll invite a number of ISPs to increase the size of the trial and take it from there.”

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