I am prolly gonna say something others have said before, supporting my thoughts with the same reasoning others have done before. But clearly it has not been enough yet. This morning I read Hackers put Telstra in filter bind” and after the news from last week that in the Netherlands we are getting more netneutrality, on the other side of the globe things have been heading another way. Now you could ask why even bother, since it’s on the other side of the world, different country, different continent.

The simple reason is that there are still people living there, people that I think have the same rights for information and transparancy as we do in the Netherlands. Now does this mean I am completely against filters? No, but that requires some explanation. For that I need to make some distinction between ‘mandatory’ and ‘voluntary’ filters and how transparancy works in this.

Voluntary Filters

What I understand under Voluntary filters are the filters you can enable or disable yourself. Whether they are filtering malicious websites, viruses or certain content. Whether this filters are run on the computer itself, on a broadband-router/modem or that traffic is being guided via these filters is also not important to me, as long as it can be disabled at any choosen time and being opt-in if this is being offered as an service by an ISP.

Mandatory Filters

What I understand under Mandatory filters are filters that are being pushed upon people. It are filters that people can not easily disable or workaround. Filters that have been implemented without the consent or approval of the person trying to access the internet. Most important, these filters have no option to opt-out under any condition.


Apart from whether a filter is voluntary or mandatory, they can also be transparant or not. Transparancy in this is a easy way to get a current listing of what content is being blocked from you. Where certain domains(sex.com), tld’s (.xxx) will be more static, also dynamic sites( sites injected with malicious code ) should be listed. This so the people that have choosen to use a filter, can also see what exactly they have chosen to be be inaccessible for them and why. Whether it is temporary or not.

Having explained this I can say that I can support Voluntary filters, assuming they are transparant, to have people choose not to be able to receive certain content. Mandatory filters are a whole different story tho. I cannot approve of mandatory filters on the internet, no matter what the reason of it is or whether it is transparant or not. Mandatory filters are a violation of the Human Rights since no other living being can tell another what he can or cannot read and believe.

I don’t support all what’s out there on the internet, I dont like certain ideas people are having and I certainly dont like to see how they  sometimes show those things. Now there is certain content I think 99.999% of the human population has moral issues with and would like such content to be inaccesible. Even without naming it any further I think everyone knows what I am talking about, since it has become the number 1 reason given why there should be filters on the internet. I must say that I got moral issues with this content as well, but blocking this content wont make it go away. Though it wouldn’t disturb 99.999% of  the internet population, it’s still there. The people that really want to gain access to this information will get to this, sharing their knowledge of how to get around it and the whole blocking mechanism has become ineffective. I mean, if we start blocking news about wars, catastrophes and worldhunger, tho it wont disturb most of the people not to be confronted with it any longer, but it will also still be there.

If there is content that is clearly beyond the moral limits from our society and our laws support that, then the judicial system should take care of that. Now some will say that such wont help, since with the laws are different and some content will always be able to be put on the internet from another country in a legal way. Now I understand the frustration that would raise with many, I think we should try to persuade their governments to change their laws via diplomatic methods.

I mean, if we want to prevent something from happening, we should actually try to prevent it from happening and not choosing an easy way out by closing our eyes or the eyes from those that have no interest in seeing it anyways by implementing filters. This is why I believe we should never ever implement mandatory filters.

p.s. During writing this article, Bits of Freedom posted the following link, might be interesting to see our currect dutch political view on netneutrality: http://bit.ly/lphuX5

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