Sky reclassifies, unblocks TorrentFreak after censorship row

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Sky has updated its network-level filtering to remove the block on TorrentFreak after the news sites was blocked following a false classification as a file-sharing site.

TorrentFreak co-founder, Andy Maxwell revealed through a rather ‘angry’ post that Sky had blocked access to the site across the UK under its latest network-level porn filter, which was launched two months back. The site was blocked for all users who set their filter levels at ‘13’, which is a default for all new customers. “This website blocking nonsense that is beginning to pollute the Internet has gone way too far and is becoming my sworn enemy”, wrote in the post.

Soon after ISPs in the UK including BT, Sky implemented the network-level porn filters, reports started trickling in that even though the filter was supposed to block only unsuitable content for children such as porn, gambling or violent sites, it was also blocking legitimate sites including the ones that were related to sex education and support.

TorrentFreak editor-in-chief Ernesto van der Dar revealed that Sky had informed him that the block would remain. However, after big publishing banners including the BBC picked up the story from TorrentFreak, Sky has been forced to remove the block.

“The categorisation of Torrentfreak.com has now been updated so that the site will no longer be filtered by Sky Broadband Shield,” Sky revealed in a statement reports BBC.

“If at any time a website owner believes they have been unfairly filtered or miscategorised by Sky Broadband Shield, they can contact Sky and we will look into it as soon as we can”, the company added.