Increase the Cost of Filtering to ISPs by Raising ADR Complaints

OFCOM has a lot of rules for ISPs to follow and under General Condition 14 (GC14.5 – Dispute Resolution) – all ISPs in the United Kingdom are required to be members of an approved ADR scheme like CISAS or Ombudsman Services, which are designed to supplement (not replace) the ISPs own internal complaints procedures and are only used after a dispute has gone unresolved for 8 weeks (the “Deadlock Letter” stage).

The ADR process is a very useful tool for consumers, albeit an unpopular one among ISPs (i.e. they still have to pay up to around £350 +vat in fees to the ADR regardless of whether or not they win), but some smaller providers continue to flout the rules by wrongly assuming that they don’t have to offer an ADR or by failing to make customers aware that one is available.

The key here is that if one were to make a request to unblock a website and the ISP doesn’t co-operate then you can start the ADR process.

Upon being told that the ISP won’t unblock the website request a deadlock letter in accordance with the Alternative Dispute Resolution process.

At this point the ISP representative will probably try and convince you that you cannot make an ADR complaint about this as they are scared of costing the company ~£350. Insist on your deadlock

Imagine if everyone with a censored Internet connection raised an ADR complaint for every blocked website. has an excellent guide on how to go about raising an ADR.


Claire Perry – Ostrich or Hypocrite?

Claire Perry recently attended an event about tackling domestic violence

Despite numerous reports of Internet filters causing overblocking of domestic abuse help websites including a warning from Woman’s Aid Chief Executive Polly Neate;

Women’s Aid is warning that the new ‘porn filters’ used by most major internet service providers may be putting women experiencing domestic violence and others at risk.
It has been revealed that filters used by all four major providers are blocking access to lifesaving websites providing information on domestic violence and sexual health.
The charity is highlighting that it could be very dangerous for a woman experiencing domestic violence to ‘opt-in’ to domestic violence information sites, as her partner may check her computer and see she’s been accessing the information.Polly Neate Dec 2013

Claire Perry is insisting that such concerns and warnings are “peddling dangerous rubbish”

Is this MP simply sticking their head in the sand so as not to accept the damage they’ve caused or do they want to appear to be doing one thing regardless of what their actions actually cause?

How many children have been unable to reach the NSPCC or Childline website and how many woman have been unable to reach rape or domestic abuse help websites now that the filters are in place?


Bypassing EE’s Content Lock system without a credit card or identifying yourself

When you buy a service from EE it will be filtered at their moderate level by default, the other options are Strict and Off.
Strict is designed to be safe for children and Off is for Adults.

Of course even if you were to request that all filtering to be turned off it is still possible that you’ll fall foul of an incorrect IWF filter and be presented with the following page;

Putting the IWF and their secret blocklists aside there are many reasons you may not want to disclose information to EE or handover a credit card (you might not have one for instance) but still need to get past their filters that will block a female centric “adult” site that blogs about Censorship due to the content of the copy but will quite happily let you visit and watch people get killed.

The good news is that the EE Content Lock is quite easy to circumnavigate.

DNS Spoofing: No
Deep Packet Inspection: Yes
Destination IP Transit Interference: No
Unique Reason for Block: No
Categorised Block: No
Ability to report incorrect block: No

The goto advice is always to download Tor as it will not only bypass all filtering but it will also help mask those who need to use Tor to aid in protecting their privacy.

If you aren’t comfortable with installing software such as Tor then you could follow our guide on Creating a SOCKS5 Proxy which also works perfectly.

Finally the EE Content Lock system cannot MiTM SSL so even for blocked URLs such as (note that isn’t blocked but /r/nsfw is!) can be accessed by using SSL.
Unfortunately reddit relies heavily on Akamai so the SSL certificate will be incorrect and you really shouldn’t get in the habit of accepting incorrect SSL.

Whilst this post proves it is trivial to bypass Government co-erced filtering it is likely that there will soon be a call to make filtering mandatory and criminalising attempts at bypassing them.

The best way to prevent this is to write to your MP and tell them that you don’t believe that any form of filtering has any place on the Internet.


More Overblocking for reasons of “Sexual Orientation” – This time at Costa Coffee

It didn’t take long for more high profile websites to get overblocked by overzealous filters. reported today that it is blocked at Costa Coffee locations due to “Sexual Orientation”.

Yes, we’ve got to protect those kids from the childhood corrupting influence of Gay news.

But don’t worry, in the event that someone then planned on browsing to Stonewall to report what they may feel is an inappropriate block bordering on discrimination they’d find that Stonewall is blocked too.

Things are only going to get worse…


EE – Your Internet must be Filtered if *anyone* under 18 has access

So as an Adult it appears you are contractually obliged to be filtered if anyone under the age of 18 is going to “use” the SIM.

And yet EE still don’t tell you exactly what else it is that you’ll be blocked from seeing as their block lists aren’t public.


InternetMatters PR Campaign Starts Up

As part of the plan to filter the Internet the big ISPs also agreed to fund an awareness campaign to educate parents (the cynical among us believe this to be a PR ploy to gloss over the surveillance impact of DPI, filtering & the expansion of CleanFeed esque silent censorship).

The InternetMatters website itself ( ) contains a lot of actually useful advice and doesn’t resort to scare tactics for sensitive subjects like Grooming or Bullying to encourage the use of filters.

Furthermore the website even tells visitors that No Filter is 100% effective;


This leads onto a point highlighted in a recent tweet for the campaigns twitter account;

96% of parents believe it is their responsibility to keep their children safe (so not the ISPs) and no filter is ever 100% effective.

So why did David Cameron and Claire Perry insists that ISPs start filtering the Internet?

Why has TalkTalk deployed surveillance grade Deep Packet Inspection equipment on their network? Why does Sky and others interfere with in-transit packets to spoof responses to legitimate requests?

One answer is that this equipment makes it easier for the Police & GCHQ to intercept traffic. It also enables rights holders to arbitrarily choose where your packets can go by blocking and others like it.


Sky Overblocks and takes out JQuery

ThinkBroadband (amongst others) has reported that Sky has yet again overblocked a website.

This time it was which a lot of other websites rely on to serve the well know Javascript frameworks core files from.

Things like this are bound to happen, were predicted to happen and will continue to happen, causing untold damage to businesses and people.

JQuery was temporary blocked this morning having been misclassified. Our review process kicked in shortly afterwards and the site was unblocked just over an hour later.Sky


League of Legends patches intercepted by DPI / URL Filters has reported that patches being rolled out for League Of Legends has been blocked due to incidental filenames.

If your patcher logs show many lines like this:

RADS::Common::HTTPConnection::GetFile: File not found

And that happens with files with a name similar to this:



The cause is that your provider is blocking any URLs that contain any pornographic content. Apparently that includes cases like this. An other cause are Router protection settings, which may also block the word sex.

If you are experiencing this problem, you can try to get the whole LoL folder zipped from a friend every time you patch, or just call your ISP to lift the blockade.

Edit: This should only happen to people who switch or signup with new ISPs after a certain date (I’m assuming 1st Jan). The filter won’t be on by default to any existing customers, at least it won’t on BT, so most people will be unaffected. If the filter is on, all it takes is a call to your ISP and it’s off. (thanks to /u/mejti )

Edit2: Read this:

What is obviously quite scary about this revelation is that it means that this might not just be a simple URL or DNS based block but could be indicative of the far more intrusive Deep Packet Inspection technology rolled out by China and TalkTalk.

It’s not a long shot to fear that games will start breaking or gamers will get accused of cheating by software such as Steams VAC if ISPs start blocking data (e.g. chat messages or server instructions) that contain naughty words.

TorrentFreak Blocked the self described home of breaking news about File-sharing, copyright and privacy is the latest website to fall victim to UK Internet filter overblocking.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron wants all Internet providers to block porn by default, to protect the children. This filtering requirement is controversial for a number of reasons, not least due to ISPs’ filters targeting a wide range of other content too. Sky’s newly launched Broadband Shield, for example, blocks numerous legitimate file-sharing related sites including uTorrent and, download portals for Linux distributions, and even

If you are able to reach the page you can read the full write up here, if you can’t reach the page maybe it’s time to start looking at ways to evade the filters?


The Lie of Child Safe Filters

O2 have long had filters on their WAP/GPRS/3G networks to protect the children but as more attention is being focused on Internet filters and their ineffectiveness  we’ve come to realise just how bad the situation is.

As the OpenRightsGroup aptly puts it;

O2’s under-12 whitelist includes but excludes - showing that their aim of promoting child safety with this product really is not delivering very well.Jim Killock

Unfortunately as more and more people complained O2 started blaming 3rd party organisations;


BT likewise tried shifting some of the blame for their disgusting blocking of material about “gay and lesbian lifestyles” as just being a mistake in the wording;

There has been an accidental mis-description of the way our parental controls operate. Some parents of very young children may wish to block sex education material.

One of our optional filters does just that. It does not discriminate between heterosexual and LGBT content. We apologise for any confusion that has been caused.

We shall review the way we describe the optional sex education filters available for parents of very young children. The filters in question are not turned on by default but must be activated only if chosen by parents.

BT Spokesperson

The OpenRightsGroup and TheRegister have more detailed articles on the subject.