Britain’s broadband censors: a bunch of students
A small team of students decides what content should be blacklisted by several of Britain’s leading ISPs, McAfee has admitted.
McAfee creates blacklists of online content, categorising sites into pornography, gambling or 30 other definitions, in order to let ISPs block them.
BT and Sky use McAfee’s lists for their parental controls, which a new Government-sponsored code of conduct requires them to offer to all customers. The system is already used by tens of thousands of users around the world, McAfee said.
However, there’s no way to view the list of sites that are blocked and appeals are at the discretion of McAfee, meaning incorrectly categorised sites could be wrongfully blocked. And, despite the inherent subjectivity in labelling pornography and the like, the categorisation of such websites is left to a small team with little training.