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Website Blocking / Filters, etc

shylok
Rising Star
Posts: 252
Thanks: 23
Fixes: 1
Registered: 29-11-2014

Website Blocking / Filters, etc

Hi, im a new Plusnet customer thats just signed up (migrating over from Sky Fibre)
I would like to know where Plusnet stands on censorship generally, theres nothing current i can find on the web, due to all the fuss in recent years over the blocking of torrent, usenet, music & movie streaming sites, etc, by EU court rulings, along with the Tory government acting as a moral guardian by trying to get ISPs & search sites to implement adult filters (switched on by default) & the snooping / infringement of civil rights / data protection being eroded under the banner of terrorism by the Home Office, GCHQ, NSA, etc, which all pretty much leads me to think that we're moving in the direction of a dictatorship rather than one of democracy  Lips are sealed
I've stumbled across these sites stating "Plusnet is working on a network-level filter to block pirate sites" this is from about one year ago, whats happening with this? something in the works for 2015?
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/22/plusnet_network_filter_to_block_pirate_sites_censor_access/
"PlusNet to Replace McAfee Security with Network Level Filtering"
http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/01/uk-isp-plusnet-replace-mcafee-security-network-level-fi...
Since Plusnet is owned by BT what influence do they have in such matters? its not against uk law / legislation to give access to torrent sites despite the court rulings, where smaller ISPs like AAISP state that they offer an 'unfiltered' internet, none of the big ISPs have tried to challenge the court rulings probably because of the media licensing deals that they have to broadcast tv & music channels, if Plusnet starts to offer tv packages then its likely they will be following the same path.
7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Website Blocking / Filters, etc

I don't believe Plusnet block any sites themselves, other than those on the IWF list (child pornography etc.)
Plusnet is a separate business entity to that of BT Retail. Unless court orders specifically instruct Plusnet to block certain sites, then there is no obligation for them to do so.
The reason none of the big 6 ISPs have challenged the blocking orders, is that there is nothing to challenge. The cases are so clear cut that it would be a waste of time and money to contest the blocking orders.
AAISP may well say they offer unfiltered internet, however they would still have to comply with court orders issued against them and they also have little or no control about what happens beyond their network (i.e. one of their peers may block certain sites).
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,466
Thanks: 276
Fixes: 4
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Website Blocking / Filters, etc

Irrespective of Plusnet's policy on filtering etc,  there have been a number of cases reported on this forum where Plusnet customers have been denied access to websites which BT have been instructed to block because of court orders.  This appears to be because Plusnet have traffic 'peering' across the BT network, but BT are implementing the website blocking on those transit connections, rather than applying the restrictions just to their own customers, even though the court order does not apply to non-BT customers on their network.
Cry
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,340
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Website Blocking / Filters, etc

As AndyH said they are a separate business entity to that of BT Retail.
But they do not have a separate broadband infrastructure.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,322
Thanks: 467
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Website Blocking / Filters, etc

I'm not sure about filtering, but every time I run a search on "President, semtex, Air Force One" I seem to get strange black vans parked across the street.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
shylok
Rising Star
Posts: 252
Thanks: 23
Fixes: 1
Registered: 29-11-2014

Re: Website Blocking / Filters, etc

I found this little site about ISPs & VPNs that do not censor but it only lists two small isps http://www.minifree.org/isp/
I was considering Xilo who told me they do not block websites, its the least expensive out of those smaller niche ISPs, it only uses dl caps during peak times (weekdays) as most of them do but generally 24/7, but its still a bit expensive for me especially having to pay £80 (+vat) set up fee for fibre
This site is also useful https://www.blocked.org.uk/ it tells you what sites are blocked by ISP's, AAISP is used as a benchmark against the other suppliers, Plusnet does show up as blocking websites but not as many as the big ISPs BT, Sky, Virgin
Still waiting on a Plusnet rep to reply in response to those Network Filters i linked which there said to be working on, also to know what their future plans are?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Website Blocking / Filters, etc

Plusnet's own filtering refers to an optional parental type controls.
Plusnet do not block any sites, other than those picked up by the IWF proxy.
shylok
Rising Star
Posts: 252
Thanks: 23
Fixes: 1
Registered: 29-11-2014

Re: Website Blocking / Filters, etc

Well if we're not paranoid enough, its become public knowledge that NSA/GCHQ have back door access through the BT supplied vdsl modems apparently http://cryptome.org/2013/12/Full-Disclosure.pdf
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/16/bruce_schneier_leaves_bt/?mt=1417389459336
hhhm ....
http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/fibre/4146028-ptm1301.html?fpart=2&vc=1
Although its likely they would have this access through your ISP who are being pressured to retain data on its customers for upto 2 years, all this snooping / surveillance is like the Stasi of East Germany or the phone tapping scandals of the 1980s.
There isnt really any need for BT to lock down its modems, blocking access to the GUI interface which can provide helpful data on the connection if there is a fault, just like it is with ADSL, why can we not buy our own VDSL Modem / Routers & configure it for Fibre? just like a number of ISPs have started doing Sky Hub 2, BT Home Hub 5, EE, you can unlock them but its a bit of a faff