Dutch Internet providers abandon "ineffective" web blocking

By EDRi · March 9, 2011

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Niederländische Internetprovider verzichten auf “unwirksame” Websperren |]

In 2010, the largest Dutch internet providers were taking steps to
implement the blocking of blacklists provided by the Dutch Child Abuse
hotline. EDRi has always insisted that the blocking of websites with images
of sexual child abuse is a counterproductive measure. The Dutch internet
providers, together with the Dutch hotline, now share the views of EDRi in
this regard, that web-blocking is not an effective measure.

The letter was sent to the Dutch Minister of Justice on 10 November
2010, but was officially released only at the beginning of March 2011
(i.e. after the publication of the report of the European Parliament
which also touched on web blocking). The providers conclude (unofficial

“Based on the reports of the Child Abuse Hotline we have come to the
preliminary conclusion that (…) blocking websites containing child
pornography by means of a blacklist can no longer serve as a reliable
and effective way to contribute to fighting child pornography on the

This is an important step in opening up the debate for concrete,
effective measures against the distribution of sexual child abuse
images: taking down the websites and prosecuting the criminals behind
these websites, instead of hiding these websites behind internet filters.

The original file can be found here (only in Dutch, 18.11.2010)

An unofficial translation of the letter can be found on the website of
Bits of Freedom (7.03.2011)

(contribution by Ot van Daalen – EDRi-member Bits of Freedom, Netherlands)