Digital Civil Rights in Europe

As of 1 January 2007 a law took effect in Finland allowing the Police to maintain a secret blacklist of child porn sites and distribute it to ISPs so that these may block access to those sites. Use of the lists is ostensibly voluntary to ISPs, but there have been rather strong hints of making it mandatory if not adopted otherwise. After a slow start, Police actually started distributing the list late last year and several ISPs have began using them.

In February 2008, the police added the site lapsiporno.info to the blacklist. Despite the name (Lapsiporno means “child porn” in Finnish), the website contains no child or any other kind of porn, but criticism of censorship and a partial collection of addresses from the officially secret list.

Publishing the list was apparently what made the police blacklist it. The point of the published list, however, was to demonstrate that not all blocked sites were child porn ones and there, it has succeeded beyond expectations.

Several people have gone through the list of over 1000 addresses and have concluded that the numbers of actual child porn sites are no more than 10, with some 30 or so borderline cases. Most of the sites contained legal sexual content, while some had no apparent connection with sex at all, like a violin shop in Japan and a memorial of Thailand’s late princess. Even one search engine was blocked.

Rest of the article in EDRi-gram 6.4

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