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News site TorrentFreak blacklisted by Sky Broadband Shield parental control

File-sharing news site TorrentFreak was mistakenly blacklisted as a pirate’s haven by Sky’s Broadband Shield parental control system.

The site, which covers censorship, copyright, privacy and piracy, was blocked for two months alongside file-sharing sites like the The Pirate Bay.

TorrentFreak founder Andy wrote: “ISPs exist to provide us with unfettered access to the Internet, not the version they or their technology partners feels is appropriate for us. 

News site TorrentFreak blocked by Sky Broadband Shield parental control
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“Their ‘parental controls’ do not achieve their stated aim of “protecting children” and are already causing collateral damage by blocking totally innocent sites such as the one you are reading now. 

“It’s hard not to get angry when you realize your website’s accessibility is becoming disabled by default.”

Launched in November 2013, Sky Broadband Shield is an opt-in system for Sky Broadband users which filters websites as they pass through Sky’s network.

Sky said its partner Symantec Webspace, which provides the site categories which drive for its network filters, corrected the error within 24 hours of being notified.

Sky said: “The categorisation of has now been updated so that the site will no longer be filtered by Sky Broadband Shield. 

“If at any time a website owner believes they have been unfairly filtered or miscategorised by Sky Broadband Shield, they can contact Sky and we will look into it as soon as we can.”

Symantec told Recombu that TorrentFreak had been listed alongside file-sharing sites like The Pirate Bay since 2007, but the mistake had only come to light since the launch of Broadband Shield to Sky’s five million broadband subscribers.

Sky Broadband Shield allows select from three BBFC-style age categories of PG, 13, and 18, or to choose which of ten categories of websites to block, as well as adding or removing their own choices.



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