Pat Pilcher: The Dutch back down on Internet censorship

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Think clogs and windmills, and chances are the Netherlands is the first thing crossing your mind. Think Internet censorship however and chances are the Dutch would be one of the last nations on your list.

Yet Holland was one of the first EU states to adopt a tough anti piracy stance and was also one of the first to start blocking access to peer-to-peer tracking sites such as The Pirate Bay.

The million Euro question however was, did these tough policies actually work? It appears that the answer is a resounding "no" and it seems that the Dutch are now leading the world in admitting that Internet censorship doesn't work.

This is all coming to light thanks to a court ruling in The Hague which found that blocking traffic to sites such as The Pirate Bay didn't put a dent in peer-to-peer traffic volumes. The ruling also means that Dutch ISPs can again allow free access to The Pirate Bay and other peer tracker websites.

The original hardline policies of the Netherlands government were part of an action from BREIN, a Dutch anti-piracy group. The move to unblock access in Holland is also expected to result in the UK government coming under increasing pressure to un-censor Internet access which has also proven to be largely useless in reducing peer-to-peer traffic.

- NZ Herald

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