Internet Filtering (Last Updated: 6th May 2022)
Our general ethos with regards to internet filtering is to not do it at all. We pride ourselves on offering a real internet connection with no filtering or interception in place as standard.
Whilst we maintain this at the core of how we operate, in some cases we may be compelled to put in place some level of filtering as part of a wider law or sanction. With this being said, this page will show (where permitted) any filtering we may have in place with regard to UK law.
Do we filter anything as standard?
No, we do not filter your access to the internet by default, nor do we monitor what you do with your internet connection.
If this changes for any reason, we will include this below on this page to try and be as transparent as possible (where permitted).
Do we have any filtering in place as part of UK Law?
The UK Parliament passed a new law at the end of April 2022 without any consultation with ISPs, obligating Internet Service Providers (such as ourselves) to attempt to prevent access to Internet services run by sanctioned people. We have no option but to comply.
The new law says: "A person who provides an internet access service must take reasonable steps to prevent a user of the service in the United Kingdom from accessing, by means of that service, an internet service provided by a designated person."
Unfortunately, we have no choice but to comply with this law and the penalty for non-compliance is a fine of up to £1million.
In order to comply, we are utilising a combination of the UK Sanctions List and an open letter from Ofcom. Confusingly, the information provided in Ofcom's letter is different from that on the UK Sanctions List. Reasonably, the most sensible option is to apply measures to domains which are in both the Ofcom letter and UK Sanctions List. The government and Ofcom have not provided an easy to consume programmatic source for this information (yet), so our plan is to check the list weekly to see if we need to add or remove domains from the measures we have in place.
To try and prevent access to the domains we have identified in the aforementioned lists, we have configured our DNS caches to respond with '0.0.0.0' or '::0' if a customer attempts a lookup for the domains in question. This means any traffic destined for these domains (including email) will be prevented from working for the time being as we will not be returning an IP address for these domains.
Given the short-term notice for preventing access, we have found this to be the quickest way to try and comply in lieu of further requirements being made clear to us.
For clarity (and we have seen other ISPs do similar) we're including a list below of the domains we are returning 'null' responses for. This information has been sourced from the lists above and at the time of writing (6th May 2022), is publicly available for download:
|Domain||Date Added/Modified||Source of Data|
|rt.com||6th May 2022||Ofcom letter|
|sputniknews.com||6th May 2022||Ofcom letter|
|rossiyasegodnya.com||6th May 2022||UK Sanctions List|
It is currently not possible for us to know how long this filtering will have to be in place, and we don't anticipate this being a regular occurence. However, we will continously update this page with information as and when it becomes available.
Notes for the techie amongst us
I appreciate for those reading this who are of a technical mindset will understand that our chosen method of preventing access to these websites is maybe not as comprehensive as some other methods. This being said, short of removing the ability to use the internet at all, we feel we have chosen the best solution we can in the short-term whilst we seek further guidance and review our options going forward.
Further reading on this topic can be found at the following URLs: