On the 1 September 2010, I once again found that http://bit.ly could be accessed, and the “Malicious website” warning was no longer blocking the site. I suspect that this in turn allowed all the other sites blocked by this filter—such as http://bit.ly/4LRamR— to once again be viewed ( I had personally put in a complaint about the blocking of http://bit.ly to http://www.trustedsource.org/urlcheck/, so that might have helped).
The fact is: you might never have known about this block to your websites—it took me to notice it and attempt to bring it to your attention.
In turn, many of you will never know how how badly your name has been tarnished—because this affected everyone who used bit.ly—and how many people have turned away from your website, blocked you or stopped following your twitter, blog, face book or whatever. On the internet (apart from this document) all is well, all is healed, it almost appears like it never happened.
I would like to think that http://bit.ly and everyone who uses the service will not be blocked again by filters like http://www.trustedsource.org/urlcheck/ , but I know from experience, that this block can be re-established at any moment and http://bit.ly—and all of you who use it—will once again be blocked and some nasty message will be tagged onto your websites reputation!
The fact is, I don’t know how http://bit.ly got blocked in the first place and I can not really say why it is now no longer blocked—but I hoped my complaint had some influence!
Lets wind the clocks back to 31 August 2010 and see what effect this type of block has according to me—because according to the “internet” the block never happened, they don’t have a history (except mine), don’t have to say sorry, or alter a document like mine here to reflect the time line events.
Here is an example of what happens when you block bit.ly. Every one who uses bit.ly to shorten their long URL will have their name tarnished to those of us affected by this particular filter! For example:
I like the songs and music http://twitter.com/VocaloidSongs makes and I don’t like to think he’s loosing future fans because of this!!!
Fortunately for me, if we wind the clocks forward for the moment to 1 Sept 2010 http://bit.ly/4LRamR will no longer be blocked and I get to enjoy the wonderful music made by the creative person called http://twitter.com/VocaloidSongs.
But I digress, we are still back in the past 31 August 2010, when all is not well in the time line—as it will appear in the future.
Increasingly, innocent websites are being blocked on our behalf
Australian libraries uses things like http://www.trustedsource.org/urlcheck/ to see if a URL is okay. Not all internet cafes need to use this filter…yet. Imagine when the government takes full control of our internet :(
Recently I typed in Twitters Preferred ULR Shortener: bit.ly and found the site blocked by the above mentioned filter and labelled as “Malicious.”
I don’t know exactly how a “URL Shortener” can be defined as “Malicious,” so I can only assume they are wrong by logic and by miles :P
While bit.ly may be innocent in this case! The story is never that simple…
If governments must gag some websites, they will also ask others (even the persecuted bit.ly) to comply with this gagging method
bit.ly has become a popular URL shortener because of Twitters support, and thus “Bit.ly… [has Started to Warn users] About Malicious Links” too. In essence, like Australia, it filters stuff on your behalf. It’s quite obvious that this filtering thing gets more complex as others try and filter the information for the public.
But the gag method is not perfect—the government filters have faults obviously, and may be an unworkable idea
“Use the FORCE padawan:” just like the fabled dark side of the force, when others spin the truth and use raw power to solve problems on our behalf, those solved problems can start to look very complicated as the lies make it harder to keep explanations simple (and true).
THE FACT IS, WE SHOULD CONTROL THE CONTENT WE CHOOSE OR CHOOSE NOT TO ACCEPT, AND ALSO MANAGE THE LEVEL OF RISK WE ARE WILLING TO TAKE. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL.
The down side of filtering the internet ourselves would seem to be that some people are going to be fooled and get hurt. But if the government can’t make a workable filter, then all that’s left is a machine that gags innocent websites and even our right to free speech!
The Dark Side of the Force: Governments tend to lie when they have to admit filtering stuff on our behalf is not that simple or fair to us
The lie the government is telling: that “filtering the internet on your behalf is simple, easy and achievable. We—the government—can achieve this task for you right now!”
But when you look into the issues of filtering (such as bit.ly) you realize things are starting to look very scary and complex. Added to this is what governments claim is the evil side of downloading and communication is the sophistication of rogue nations, terrorists, (FRANCE-rainbow warrior), hackers, phishers, malware and a host of other labels.
“Complex, and scary…” the government says, “that is exactly why we should do it on your behalf!” they claim.
How about this non-government explanation:
It’s called market research: let the customer decide what level of risk and filtering they want. Then allow several suppliers to try and satisfy this demand.
If the governments are concerned with terrorists, rogue nations and even France, then by all means subsidize those filters that cater to that fear, but don’t use laws to enforce such fears. I mean we are supposed to have free speech.
If this hurts before your elections, dear governments, then feel free to delete this website also… I’ve come to expect heavy handed policies and black ops as the norm in power-corrupted civilized governments—or was that a dictatorship?