Mighty Blighty filter tilter causes communications chaos

No way to Hack a Day

The Great Firewall of Britain, aka the content filters operated by telcos Vodafone and Three, has blocked access to German hacker party the Chaos Communications Congress (CCC) ahead of its annual confab.

The block, presumably made in error, prevented punters from accessing the website, buying tickets and perusing the conference talks made public last week.

Vodafone also blocked access to the CCC's radio and monthly podcast site.

The privacy pundits chastised Blighty for the blunder.

"A significant portion of British citizens are currently blocked from accessing the CCC website," CCC bod Dirk Engling wrote in a post.

"On top of that, Vodafone customers are blocked from accessing the ticket sale facility for this year's Chaos Communication Congress (31C3).

"Internet filters simply do not work, but leaving technical limitation aside, the CCC's example shows that unsolicited over blocking, meaning wrongly classified websites, is a common phenomenon in large censorship infrastructures."

British Telecom's filter also blocked DIY site HackADay.

Vulture South has raised the block with Three and Vodafone, but does not suspect the blocking was intentional. The 31C3 is a long-running and highly respected security conference attended by researchers, academics and government spooks the world over.

Vodafone customers should be able to access the sites directly at or could opt out of the filter, use a trusted and secure VPN or swap to another connection to buy tickets. ®

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