Internet filters have become surprisingly popular, given that the internet was already wildly popular before anybody started to filter it. The UK has recently joined the growing list of countries that encourages self-censorship, with British ISPs asking new customers if they want ‘family friendly’ filters to be applied to their service. This has caused a predictable clash of opinions about freedoms. Whilst the public debate focuses on high-minded principles, it is easy to overlook the genuine and practical costs of filtering the internet. Whenever somebody decides what should be blocked – a decision that needs to be made for every single website – there are significant and practical costs, to both ISPs and to people who use the internet to communicate with other people. You can read more in my new article for BillingViews.
About the Author
Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others. Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a founding member of Qatar's National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group, and is an editorial advisor to Black Swan. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy. Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric's history as editor.