Computer Crime Research Center


Your Opinion: Should Your Internet Service Provider Block Child Pornography Websites?

Date: July 26, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Robert T DeMarco

Should Your Internet Service Provider Block Child Pornography Websites?

By Robert T DeMarco

British Telecom (BT), the largest telecom operator in the UK, announced on Tuesday that it is using software to block visits to websites that contain child pornography. The software called Clean Feed, blocks access to illegal websites that are listed by the Internet Watch Foundation . Clean Feed prevents BTs 2.5 million Internet customers from viewing child pornography websites.

BT spokesman Jon Carter said:

We use the technology to protect our customers from accessing illegal content...they would be committing a crime if they downloaded the images from the Internet.

During the first three weeks of use, the Clean Feed software stopped more than 250,000 attempts to access websites containing child pornography --more than 10,000 attempts per day. For those doubting that child pornography is a problem on the Internet this is the first clear evidence of the pervasiveness of the problem.

In describing the software Carter went on to say:

It is essentially a server hosting a very powerful filter that checks requests for Web sites against the Internet Watch Foundation list, and if it finds a positive match, it gives an error message -- 'Web site not found.' Filtering is easy, as all the server has to do is to match the HTTP Web site address supplied by the customer against the IWF list.

British Telecom does not pass on the name of any individual blocked from accessing a child pornography website. This information currently remains private.

Carter says British Telecom is willing to offer the software to other Internet Service Providers and said:

We will be happy to make the filtering technology available free of charge to other ISPs to help them prevent access to child-pornography Web sites. We are in fact in talks with several ISPs at the moment.

Would you be for or against the installation of this software by your Internet Service Provider (ISP)?

 Please feel free to comment in detail and express your opinion.

Teachers, parents, law enforcement agencies and others can get a free syndicated news feed for their Home Pages at Watch Right Internet Crimes Against Children Syndicated News Feed

About the Author

Robert T DeMarco is CEO of IP Group in Herndon VA. IP Group offers software communication tools for use on the Internet. These include: PowerTools, Watch Right, Always on Time and IM Frame. Mr. DeMarco is the author/editor of several Weblogs and is also a member of the High Tech Crimes Industry Association (HTCIA). Mr. DeMarco has university level and corporate training and teaching experience, spent 20 years on Wall Street, acted as CEO of a small software company, and is currently discovering the world of blogging.

Contact by Email

Other Blogs and Resources

The War on Child Pornography, Who are the Victims?
The War on Child Pornography--What to do?
All American Investor Weblog
Watch Right Internet Crimes Against Children Weblog
Robert T DeMarco

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