Digital Privacy

Update on reported BT block of Black Triangle campaign website

Earlier this week TechWeekly reported the campaign group Black Triangle had complained that their site was being blocked by BT. From the TechWeekly piece:

“…for almost six months now the website has been blocked by BT alongside extreme pornography and political extremism.

The only way for BT customers to access the website is through TOR or proxy servers. The group claims this has been extremely damaging to its campaigning and fundraising efforts.”

We asked BT about this and having looked into it, they have told us they can’t find any evidence of a block or issue. Here’s their statement:

“BT has never placed any block on this site.

In fact, when the issue was raised we found it difficult to find any BT customer that could not access it.

After significant discussion with the Black Triangle Campaign’s representative and extensive technical analysis we have as yet been unable to find any technical issue on the BT network preventing access to this site.

We have asked Black Triangle for permission to speak its site hosts in Iceland to establish the cause of this issue.”

We’ve asked Black Triangle whether they’re still experiencing the problem and their take on what’s happening.

It can be difficult to work out exactly what is happening and why with reports of website blocking. If you’re on BT, drop us a note below to let us know if you are experiencing a problem.

You can read our report on mobile Internet censorship, where we write about evidence of a lot of mistaken blocking on mobile networks’ child protection filters, here.

Update 14:50 June 13: We asked on Twitter for BT broadband users to check if they could access the site. It certainly seems like there are plenty of people who are struggling to access it. Here are some of the replies:

  • “@leydon @PatrickSocha @OpenRightsGroup Not working here and we’re with Exponential E.”
  • “@PatrickSocha: Anyone on BT able to access ? @OpenRightsGroup claiming it’s down and it’s not working for me.
  • “@MrLadoodle:  @PatrickSocha @openrightsgroup Not working here.”
  • “@hatross: @OpenRightsGroup no. Can’t connect”
  • “@techypaul: @OpenRightsGroup BT is blocking (no message, just hangs). IDNET is fine (we have fail over so tried both).”
  • “@smiggers: @OpenRightsGroup I too get a timeout. On BT Broadband not Infinity. Ping seems to work though.”
  • “@andrew2186: @OpenRightsGroup I get the same timing out error as the one you RT’ed, and yet the website seems to be working fine:”
  • “@mobilizingmouse: @OpenRightsGroup Can’t access via Bt broadband here in Herts.”
  • “@aliguana: @OpenRightsGroup nope “Chrome could not connect to” -try loading cached copy gives 404 #bt”
  • “@guy_herbert: @OpenRightsGroup I’m on @BT and get “Error 118 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT): The operation timed out.”