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Surfing for something really illegal? Address Not Found

Interesting to see that a group of ISPs in the US have signed up to New York City's Internet code of conduct, which mandates that service providers will return an `address not found' response for seriously out of order pages with spam, child porn and malware on them.

You could argue this is the thin end of a wedge, but the scheme has been given the nod by a number of US agencies.

According to newswire reports, a growing number of ISPs in the United States have - or are thinking of - signing up to the agreement, and will also block access to known child porn Usenet groups,

And using VPNs and encrypted sessions won't get users past the ISPs, as they have all agreed to use deep level packet inspection to spot any clever stuff.

This obviously has privacy concerns, and I fully expect the story to explode in the ISP's faces in the months ahead, but, for the time being at least, it looks as though the battle against child porn is being won.

According to Nominum, the developer of DNS and DHCP technology for major ISPs such as Comcast, Verizon and Deutsche Telecom (to mention but a few), it has released new network software to block entire groups of suspect DNS numbers, and share the blocked data between ISPs.

Paul Mockapetris, the guy who is credited with creating the DNS way back in 1983, and who is now chief scientist with Nominum, is quoted on the Gigaom newswire as saying that ISPs are under growing pressure not to resolve addresses that contain porn and spyware.

"This is the first stage of removal for these sites," he said, adding that blocking DNS addresses won't stop truly determined users of the Internet, but it will stop innocent surfers from following a malicious link...