Effi: Finnish police censors a critic of censorship

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http://www.effi.org/julkaisut/tiedotteet/lehdistotiedote-2008-02-12-en.html

This is an English translation of the original Finnish press release at


Press release 12 February 2008
Electronic Frontier Finland - Effi ry

Electronic Frontier Finland (Effi) demands the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of Finland to explain why it has censored a net site that criticises Internet censorship.

NBI maintains a secret blocking list of web sites allegedly containing child pornography, pursuant to a law passed last year. [Most of the major Finnish Internet service providers use this list in a DNS based filtering system under pressure from the government.] The purpose of the law is to prevent the access to the foreign sites that contain child pornography.

Now the censorship list has been appended with a site called lapsiporno.info [translates to childpornography.info] that is maintained by a Finnish Internet activist Matti Nikki. The site does not contain child pornography, but articles that criticise censorship and a list of blocked IP addresses.

Leena Romppainen, a member of the Effi board wonders: "If the site really had some illegal content, wouldn't the correct solution be to take the site down and take the site owner to the court? The site is located on a Finnish server and the name of the site owner appears visibly on the root page of the site."

"The whole net censorship project is just a hat trick that is used to sweep under the carpet the real problem, that is, the sexual abuse of the children", shoots Tero Tilus, a member of the board of Effi.

Most of the censored sites are located either in the United States or EU countries.

"The local authorities have taken no action on these sites. Therefore, either the sites do not contain child pornography or the NBI has not informed the local authorities", says Leena Romppainen. "Both of the alternatives are equally scary."

Major part of the censored sites are legal adult sites. From the beginning, there have also been attempts to expand the censorship for example to the net poker sites.

"Some faceless official decides which sites the Finns may not see, and this decision cannot be appealed. Now he has apparently decided that net filtering may not be criticised", finishes Tero Tilus.

Additional information

Tero Tilus <tero [dot] tilus [at] effi [dot] org>

Leena Romppainen <leena [dot] romppainen [at] effi [dot] org>

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