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Monday, February 13, 2012 

Blocked!

It's come to my attention thanks to the good people at the Open Rights Group that this blog is being blocked by the mobile phone operators O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange for those who haven't verified their age and opted out of the default censorship on their networks. Hopefully apparent as it is that this blog isn't pornography, ORG point out that those who do opt out of the default firewall are often actually asked to "opt-in" to porn.

This blocking wouldn't be so bad if it was easier to appeal against, yet it seems as though the only way to get a site removed from the blacklist is for users themselves to complain, rather than site owners. ORG have the contact details for each of the major networks on their Blocked site, and I wholeheartedly support their recommendations for how the current system can be improved:

Phone companies should ensure that:

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I had a big problem with Vodafone's content block. I was using my broadband dongle to test a (gambling) website that I was working on and fairly often I'd get the message that Vodafone were unable to verify whether I'd removed the adult content bar, so they were blocking the site anyway. I called customer services but they said there was nothing they could do - the age verification service was down.

To get it remove din the first place you have to go into a real shop and tell them you'd like the adult content bar lifting. I can imagine that the smirks and knowing nods would put many off.

Not me :)

I'm on Orange and you're coming through on my phone loud and clear, as it were. (i even checked to make sure wifi was switched off).

I'm also pretty sure I haven't asked for any filter to be lifted. I'm sure i'd remember something like that.

I shall head over and to ORG and submit a report anyway.

You, of all people, should not be silenced.

ORG have reported it, so it may well have been removed already. We shall see.

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