Immunicity Returns

On the 2nd of October the Government Intellectual Property Office and the City of London Police PIPCU posted to twitter about how they’d diverted 11 million views from ‘pirate’ websites since July 2014.

Unfortunately there’s a slight problem with their claim; some of the seized domains, such as, have been under the control of Brass Horn Communications for several months now, hundreds of thousands of those supposed diverts have actually been seeing the following page;


Domain seizures are censorship and as we all know; the Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

Hopefully PIPCU will concentrate on people actually committing crimes rather than those who are just routing packets.


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?


More smackdowns for the UK Police / Government

TechDirt have reported that EasyDNS have been victorious in their pursuit of due process when it comes to seizure of Domains by the City of London Police.

As you may be aware, the City of London Police’s new intellectual property crime unit took it upon themselves to seize domains they believed were involved in copyright infringement and some registrars co-operated without even asking for a warrant or court order.

Thankfully EasyDNS had this to say;

Who decides what is illegal? What makes somebody a criminal?  Given that the subtext of the request contains a threat to refer the matter to ICANN if we don’t play along, this is a non-trivial question. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I always thought it was something that gets decided in a court of law, as opposed to “some guy on the internet” sending emails. While that’s plenty reason enough for some registrars to take down domain names, it doesn’t fly here.

We have an obligation to our customers and we are bound by our Registrar Accreditation Agreements not to make arbitrary changes to our customers settings without a valid FOA (Form of Authorization). To supersede that we need a legal basis. To get a legal basis something has to happen in court.

The request also suggests we look at the whois contact information for the domain (which looks perfectly valid) and go ahead and suspend the domain based on invalid whois data. Again, there’s a process for that, you have to go through the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint process and most of the time that doesn’t result in a takedown anyway.

What gets me about all of this is that the largest, most egregious perpetrators of online criminal activity right now are our own governments, spying on their own citizens, illegally wiretapping our own private communications and nobody cares, nobody will answer for it, it’s just an out-of-scope conversation that is expected to blend into the overall background malaise of our ever increasing serfdom.

If I can’t make various governments and law enforcement agencies get warrants or court orders before they crack my private communications then I can at least  require a court order before I takedown my own customer.EasyDNS

Sounds interestingly similar to Andrews & Arnold’s reasons as to why they don’t like blocks doesn’t it?


The Possibility of a Legislative ban on Internet Filtering!

Oliver Wright at the Independent has just broken the news that Liberal Democrat President Tim Farron is going to propose legislation that enshrines the “digital rights of the citizen” which would include stopping “any requirement for opt-ins, opt-outs, filters, lists or controls on legal material”. has been registered and we’re about to start a campaign to get people to write to their MP to help define the Digital Rights we as citizens deserve.

In the meantime give Mr Farron a shout on Twitter to say thank you!

GoAwayCameron Chrome Plugin Released

GoAwayCameron Chrome Plugin Released

An enterprising Computer Student from Singapore going by the name @nubela on Twitter has released a Chrome plugin that allows people to evade some of the ISP filters.

On his websites he has published a mini FAQ and a getting started guide;

Will this work outside of UK?

Yes! This will work anywhere, and with any websites that are blocked by firewall, universities, workplaces, nanny filters, or well, censorship.

What is “Go away Cameron”?

“Go away Cameron”, or GAC, is a chrome extension that automates a private and smart proxy service to route your access around censorship so you can regain your access to your favourite blocked sites in UK.

Is it legal?

GAC is essentially a smart proxy service. And I don’t believe a proxy service is illegal.

Are you harvesting info?

No, no logs are stored.

Can you trace who I am?

No, I can’t even do that. Other from your IP address, which isn’t logged as well. But how can you know for sure? See my answer to the last question.

Is it safe?

It is even safer than you using any unknown Hotspot Shield, or surfing websites through the random web proxy (which you already am and needs no setting up in case you don’t know, thats how they block you from the websites). In fact, it is even FASTER. Because the server uses better international routing than your homeline internet. And most of the blocked websites are international.

Why do you need the permission to “access data on all websites?”

Because blocked sites lie on arbitrary urls! And I don’t have, nor will I ever can have, an exhuastive list of UK banned sites. What I can do is to merely detect whether the website returns you an error message saying UK blocked it. (This is when the extension kicks in). I think I have an at most 10line code that checks for this. I welcome you to check the code for this.

Why do you need the permission to “access tabs and browsing activity?”

Because I apply a private proxy (not public, so even safer) to your browser temporarily for you to be able to view the banned website. But because it is private, it needs to enter the username and password to the proxy. Which I don’t want you to manually enter, so I hijack the process and manually enter it for you. So thats why I need this permission so I can make it seamless for you. I promise I do nothing more than that.

What is your intention for making this?

3 reasons. One, It was a holiday project as I was learning Twitter bootstrap. Two, I enjoy my internet freedom, and urge all of you to never give that up, let alone to any government agencies. Three, I did have some blind hopes for it going viral.


Well here’s to hoping it, and the reasons for needing it, go viral!

Install Go Away Cameron for Chrome


Mainstream news have picked up on the story:


#CensoredUK Day of Action

The Sex and Censorship campaign put out a call to arms earlier this week for December 12th to be a day of action for calling attention to UK Internet Censorship.

As one of the technical volunteers to the Open Rights Group Censorship Monitoring Project I decided to track how the campaign went on Twitter using the DataSift platform.

Tweets by Time of Day

Message Reach

Whenever someone sends a tweet it is seen by all their followers. Over the course of the day a minimum of 2,985,023 people saw the #CensoredUK hash tag.

If we allow for duplicate tweets (same hashtag but different content) then the #CensoredUK message was seen a minimum of 3,959,409 times by followers alone.

Everyone cares about Internet Filters

Not that it was a surprise but it was interesting to see the rich mix of people (and reasons) for opposing ISP Filters.

By using profile names one can extrapolate gender and see that a significant number of woman also took part in the discussion.

Campaign Differences

The Protecting our Children website has only inspired 1,391 tweets in the 5 months it has been online whereas the #CensoredUK Day of Action involved a minimum of 4079 people with only 1 day notice and 38,276 people have signed the petition to stop Internet Filtering

Common Themes

Worst ISPs?

83% of tweets about ISP censorship mentioned the ISP O2 with BSkyB, ThreeUK, BT, EE and Plusnet also getting mentioned negatively.

The only ISP to be mentioned in a positive light was Andrews and Arnold thanks to their strong stance against filtering.

Does this make O2 the worst ISP for over blocking the UK Internet? Well once the Censorship Monitoring Project Probes start rolling out we’ll find out!

Keep up the good fight everyone and if you want to know more about Internet Censorship or want to help fight it then look at donating / volunteering to the Open Rights Group.


Android Censorship Probe Project Launched

Bowdlerize [verb] – To remove material that is considered improper or offensive from (a text or account), especially with the result that the text becomes weaker or less effective

Bowdlerize is the code name for an Android app based probe that is part of the Open Rights Group Censorship Monitoring Project, a crowd sourcing project to map the extent of censorship & filtering on the Internet

URLs are gathered from social media or user submissions & then sent to Android devices with the Censor Census app installed (and other ORG probe types too).

Upon receipt of a probe payload the app checks the URL via a HTTP HEAD request to test if it is censored or not.

The results of these tests are then aggregated by the Open Rights Group and relayed on to the Open Observatory of Network Interference project.

Anyone will be able to submit URLs to be checked via the app, this website & the website.

People will also be able to check if a link has been flagged as blocked via various mechanisms such as OONI Reports, the app & possibly an API.

Get it on Google Play