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The Great (fire)Wall of Europe.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before the EUSSR got around to considering this one :

Broadband providers have voiced alarm over an EU proposal to create a “Great Firewall of Europe” by blocking “illicit” web material at the borders of the bloc.

Anti-censorship campaigners compared the plan to China’s notorious system for controlling citizens’ access to blogs, news websites and social networking services.

The proposal emerged an obscure meeting of the Council of the European Union’s Law Enforcement Work Party (LEWP), a forum for cooperation on issues such as counter terrorism, customs and fraud.

“The Presidency of the LEWP presented its intention to propose concrete measures towards creating a single secure European cyberspace,” according to brief minutes of the meeting.

The secure European cyberspace would have a “virtual Schengen border”, it adds, referring to the treaty that allows freedom of movement within the EU but imposes controls on entry to the bloc.

There would also be “virtual access points” whereby “the Internet Service Providers would block illicit contents on the basis of the EU ‘black-list’”, the proposal says.

Hungary currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, but attempts to contact its spokesmen in Brussels for more information, such as the definition of “illicit contents”, were unsuccessful.

A spokesman for the Council of the European Union itself meanwhile said nobody was available to discuss the issue because officials are on holiday.

If they do try to create a European firewall along the lines of China’s then they will have to be prepared to plough in huge sums of money to get a very leaky wall.

My brother is in China at the moment and was telling me about the system they have to control internet access. At cyber cafes, users have to log on with an ID card. Most cyber cafes have a pile of “spare” ID cards behind the counter for use by visitors as they would otherwise lose money. Hardly secure but, then again, what is a small business supposed to do?

I am sure there are many many other ways around the blocks and ID checks as well but if a country with Chinas level of control freakery cannot manage a solid block then what chance do the bloated EUSSR have?

The only end result from this exercise will be more of our money pissed up against their firewall plans.

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2 comments to The Great (fire)Wall of Europe.

  • “If they do try to create a European firewall along the lines of China’s then they will have to be prepared to plough in huge sums of money to get a very leaky wall.”

    Given the eyewatering sums of money they frittered away on their answer to US satnav, I don’t think it’ll be a problem.
    JuliaM´s last blog post ..Proving Once Again

  • Down here they still haven’t worked out these problems for the Great Firewall of Australia despite a good three year’s work on it. They thought they’d got it with one of the early trials but then they tested it by putting a reasonably savvy 14 year old geek on the wrong side of it. He bypassed the thing in minutes. The current dream of complete niceness and fluffication of the entire interwebs for all Australians involves ISP level filtering, but the ISPs don’t actually want the job or the costs that go along with it or having to deal with customers who are pissed off at having to pay more for slower connections when most of the real filth is going P2P anyway.
    Angry Exile´s last blog post ..Theres just no getting away from it