I have learned many things in the course of managing this website, but lately the most prominent thing is that it is easier to censor than to follow due process. I would like to apologize at this time to RIPE NCC because we were led to believe they were responsible for this latest interference. It is clear now that they did not block our site. The misunderstanding arose from a complaint from Canadian Centre for Child Protection (CCCP) which resulted in someone else placing the block. We assumed that since RIPE is the proper organization to order such an action, that it was they who did it. But internet providers have an incessant tendency to err on the side of conservatism and often take precipitant action instead of observing standing procedures and the due process of law. We have opened communication with CCCP and RIPE to keep tabs on things and to demonstrate our willingness to listen to concerns reported by the public. We have also requested a service ticket with the internet provider we believe is actually responsible in the hopes that they can see their way clear to follow reasonable practices, keep us in the loop and not to take summary action based on the say-so of an overzealous organization claiming to act for the greater good.
We cannot make any promises about future service interruptions but we will act with due diligence to keep things running here. We will continue to put a mirror up to society’s face and get them to notice, with whatever discomfort, who we are as human beings and resist the temptation to scapegoat others for our own shortcomings.
Favorite Quote: There is a quote by Laurie Lee that is a favorite of Graham Ovenden’s. In fact, he quotes it so much, I’ve gotten kind of sick of it! So I was surprised to learn that this quote is virtually impossible to find on the internet. I wanted to post it here last month, but I couldn’t find a copy of it. Graham was kind enough to forward a copy which appears in a the Garage Press edition of his monograph. And for your information, the quote was not just taken out of context. Lee was a fan of Graham’s work, wrote an introduction to his original monograph and made this statement in reaction to efforts to censor and persecute him.
… I well remember when my own Cider with Rosie was first published how some moralists picked on the natural sensuality of girlhood and tried their utmost to defame this series of essays based on my boyhood experiences. I hardly dare write this, but I now wish I had been more forthright in showing certain members of the public their puerile actions and minds, for they are the true pornographers. Laurie Lee, 1988
Cooperation: One of the positive effects of reaching out to RIPE is that we were invited to participate in their Cooperation Working Group or Anti-Abuse Working Group. Although this would add some more bureaucracy in our world, what is at stake is having our voices heard in a forum which monitors and regulates behavior standards in the publicly accessible internet in most of the world.
Protestations of Protection: I was informed by the Prostasia Foundation that the CCCP (also referred to as C3P) has been on their radar and that they will be publishing an exposé on the organization soon. The details are too extensive to go into here, but essentially it is a private organization receiving public funds and yet is not subject to reasonable rules of transparency. Their recent launch of Project Arachnid was designed with the idea that not enough illegal content is getting reported while law enforcement actually has their hands full with legitimate investigations. Arachnid is an automated system which does not carefully distinguish between legitimate content and illegal and so numerous above-board sites are getting reported when they shouldn’t. This process actually contributes to the harm of children because it draws law enforcement attention away from serious issues that need it.