• Danish MPs Mull Using Browser-Based Blacklists to Fight Piracy

    Since using DNS system to block sites can easily be circumvented several Danish MPS suggest they enlist the help of browsers developers to add piracy sites to their malware site filtering list.

    Last week Danish parliamentary politicians in Science and Legal Affairs held a consultation meeting with business and public interest groups to discuss the country’s escalating web filtering efforts, and what limits, if any, ought to be considered.

    “If we block access to Internet, so we begin to tamper with fundamental questions about freedom of speech and freedom of information – especially after the Internet will have an increasing impact on how we collect our information,” law professor and Vice-President of Danish IT, Henry Udsen, toldComputer World afterwards.

    Last June, for example, Denmark’s Supreme Court ruled that it was lawful to order ISP Telenor to block customers’ access to Swedish BitTorrent tracker site The Pirate Bay because of the “large-scale infringement of intellectual property rights” that it helps facilitate.
    Sadly, a new type of filtering regime proposed by a member of the audience at that consultation was one that would ostensibly require browser developers to include piracy sites to their malware blacklists.
    “We know of course that when Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome visit a page with a virus, so we get a warning that there is virus on the site. Such is not filtered in the network, but it’s browser vendors who maintains a list of viral sites, which then lies in the browser,” said Niels Larsen Elgaard, also in an interview with Computer World.
    He added that the govt must scrutinize the blacklist for accuracy, but that it was a “much smarter” approach that cautions users while at the same time “respecting their privacy.”

    The proposal was borne from the consideration that DNS system web filters are easily circumventable (by entering the IP address for example).
    Udesn says the discussion should first be about whether not blocking should occur it all, and if it does, then there needs to be “legal certainty” about how to go about it.
    “We have a need to fly up into the helicopter to a principled discussion and try to get an overview of the extent to which we will block and why it is that we are blocking the websites,” he says.
    Liberal IT spokesman Michael Aastrup-Jensen called DNS blocking a “slippery slope,” but that if there are few options to choose from then there needs to be an “extended dialogue” with browser developers about the proposal.

    Now I’m sure Danes are appreciative that MPs and others are taking a cautious approach to any web filtering proposals, but somebody ought to remind them of the billions of harmful sites that exist in the world, the ease with which they can reappear under a different domain address, and the difficulty of trying to maintain a blacklist that could conceivably number in the hundreds of thousands.

    Source: ZeroPaid
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. duke0102's Avatar
      duke0102 -
      So... we just add the site to our own exception list and carry on with business as usual?
    1. brilman's Avatar
      brilman -
      yep, seems like the same game just another field.
    1. bobbintb's Avatar
      bobbintb -
      yea, is it just me or doesnt that seem even easier to circumvent? seriously, this is just a stupid idea that will do nothing but waste government time and money.