10 December 2008

U.K. Internet watchdog backtracks on Wikipedia ban

The UK's Internet watchdog reversed its decision to prevent users in that country from visiting a Wikipedia page containing an image of a naked child. The Internet Watch Foundation had taken exception with a page dedicated to a 1976 album by rock band The Scorpions. The cover of that album - called Virgin Killer -includes the image of a prepubescent girl, which the group deemed a "potentially illegal indecent image," landing Wikipedia on the group's blacklist. As a result, Internet service providers in the U.K. began filtering access to all pages of the online encyclopedia over the weekend. The IWF reversed that decision after an appeal and presentation by the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia. "The IWF board has today considered these findings and the contextual issues involved in this specific case, and - in the light of the length of time the image has existed and its wide availability - the decision has been taken to remove this Web page from our list," it said. see How to make child-porn blocks safe for the internet (Guardian) by Cory Doctorow.