// Internet Duct Tape

Newsflash: You can’t block content on the Internet.

Posted in Online Privacy and Reputation Management, Technology by engtech on August 24, 2006

Mark Goldberg doesn’t understand how the Internet works. He thinks that the CRTC can mandate ISPs to block content that originates outside of our borders.

The news will be breaking shortly, so you might as well read about it here first. Late in the day on Tuesday afternoon, I helped in filing the first application requesting the CRTC to authorize Canadian carriers to block internet content.

This won’t work. You can get ISPs to block two website addresses, but they can’t block the content.

The CRTC aren’t technically able to block the content. You can put up temporary measures like the Great Firewall of China and India’s ban of Blogger, but these are only stop-gaps and make work projects.

I’m not in any way supporting the hate speech, I’m saying that it isn’t technically feasible to block content on the Internet.

DARPA designed it 30 years ago to withstand nuclear attacks. It isn’t possible for one government agency to effectively block “hate speech” that is originating from outsite of the country.

You “get this garbage off of the internet” by going after the offender, not by trying to keep people in Canada from viewing it.

This is a huge make work project that has ABSOLUTELY no technical chance of doing anything effective.

As you mention in your post, all anyone has to do to access this content is use a foreign owned and controlled ISP.

Technically, all they would have to do is use a foreign proxy, of which there are numerous free ones available.


Here is a cached version of a previous post on your blog:,+how+do+we+fund+the+shortfall%3F%22&hl=en&gl=ca&ct=clnk&cd=2

The CRTC could ban ISPs from displaying your blog, and anyone with rudimentary technical knowledge (ie: how to click on a link in a Google search result) can still access it.

If they can’t find it on Google, they can still find it on the Wayback Internet Archive.

And these aren’t even the websites / programs that are designed to circumvent Internet censorship.

And there is nothing the CRTC can do about it.

Please do something EFFECTIVE and go after the owners/ISPs of the two US based websites. Getting rid of the content at the source is the only means to attack problems like this.

Government censorship of the Internet doesn’t work on websites hosted out of their borders.

>> Telecom Trends: Blocking content

More Discussion:

  • >> Mark Glaser at PBS MediaShift has hands-down the best write-up on this story.
  • >> Alex Saunders reminds us that it’s about “hate” not “net neutrality”.
  • >> Michael Geist doesn’t draw a conclusion but there are some good comments.
  • >> J. LeRoy thinks this is a slippery slope, and Mark Goldberg has no comment on the technical limitations of his request.
  • >> Bill White, the blogger who started all this is enjoying the attention and commenting on how this has drawn 76,000 visitors to his website who would have otherwise never have known about this.

2 Responses

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  1. […] Broadcasters Seek New Internet Regulation Hundreds of Sites Blocked By Canadian ISP Newsflash: You can’t block content on the Internet What the Canadian Government Really Thinks About Net […]

  2. david said, on May 11, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    it is pretty gay you can’t get on myspace in school.

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