Thursday, August 04, 2005

Canadian ISP Secretly Blocks Union/Cancer Sites

Report - Telus blocking of Labor Union Web Site Filters 766 Unrelated Sites (PDF)

About a week ago, Telus, a large Canadian ISP serving Alberta & BC, admitted that it was secretly blocking the IP address of it's Labor Union's Web Site from it's 1 million customers during a strike situation. The ISP did NOT notify any of it's customers that it was blocking the site...

Not only was the ISP adopting the Internet filtering tactics of Communist was stupid as well. The effect of blocking the IP address of their Union's site, resulted in over 700 unrelated Web Sites being blocked from their customers as well, including a non profit, Cancer site.

Here is what the targeted Union published on their site regarding this action:
July 29, 2005
After an out of court settlement today, TELUS acted quickly to remove the restrictions it placed on nearly one million customers. TELUS customers, and other Internet Service Providers who provide ADSL connections through the TELUS network are now able to connect to Voices For Change through its domain name

July 25, 2005
Customers who use as their Internet Service Provider are unable to access this website due to censorship by TELUS. When support was called on July 23, they claimed not to be blocking access. Numerous TV, radio and print media have picked up this story, after receiving calls from outraged TWU members. The story will become national when Global National airs a story tonight. TELUS has since admitted to blocking this site, although support was still denying the blocking after the fact.

This is happening in Canada? WTF?! And our goodly, Northerly neighbors are putting up with it? I would like to think that if an ISP attempted that here in the States, they would be left with a fraction of their customers...

The company is trying to spin the story (on it's own website's press section) as that it was for "the safety of their team members." Bullshit! (as if I even need to say it).

[From Telus Press Page]
Dated: 11:00am MDT July 30, 2005
"...TELUS has re-enabled access to the website from the TELUS network for TELUS customers and Internet service providers. TELUS' decision to disable access to the Voices for Change site was based on an overriding need to protect the safety and privacy of our employees who were being targeted and the subject of intimidation."

That too is bullshit - they only unblocked AFTER slashdot (here, and here) ran the story and they realized that their communist tactics were getting major, worldwide attention.

I would say that any ISP that takes Internet content filtering into their own hands needs to first be boycotted and publicly disgraced.

Perhaps more ominous to a "filtering" ISP are the consequences of any filtering action it takes. Once they take responsibility for filtering the content of the Internet - do they not expose themselves to the liability of allowing 'unwanted' content thru to their customers. Once they start filtering, they will not be able to stop...especially if you are to consider saving the poor children ;)


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