| Filtering web content
Filtering web content is a sensitive issue regardless of the location or cultural imperatives. It is also an issue that is marked by an increased attention and legislation from countries of all types.
There are certain kinds of web content people agree can and should be blocked: child pornography is universally despised and there can be little argument with the social and moral value in blocking it. Many countries require removal of such content found on computers, and in some cases there is the requirement to block access to these kinds of sites abroad. This is the minimum level of blocking that will occur.
In contrast, some countries (like China, Cuba, North Korea and Iran) employ exhaustive controls to tightly control access to content. For most countries, reality lies in between these two extremes, where legality and societal mores drive that country’s position in the spectrum of web filtering.
For most nations, there are three broad concerns when considering regulation and web filtering:
- Social/political requirements – this might include blocking hate speech, racist or terrorist content and related information. Depending on the political environment and social mores, this mandate may be narrower or broader, for example blocking pornographic content.
- Economic concerns – the increasing value of web-based transactions as well as the sheer impact of internet traffic volume imposes economic factors in the web filtering equation. For the former, this translates into lost taxation revenues (and similar issues). For the latter, the challenge is more in terms of the technical and infrastructure challenges faced by telcos who are faced with compliance while offering increasing levels of speed and throughput in a globally competitive market.
- Intellectual property and copyright – there is increasing concern around online copyright infringement and illegal downloading has been a topic of discussion for many years now. Increasingly, the media industry is putting pressure on government to legislate limitations (if not solutions) to protect their eroding market.
Typical Web Filtering solutions can be cumbersome, expensive and have scalability issues in an ISP or Telco environment. Netsweeper technology offers a solution which scales to the large throughputs of ISP and Telcos compared to enterprises, while providing a means to provide web filtering across their entire network without introducing risk or latency to the network.
For more information please visit http://www.netsweeper.com/