Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship
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    Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    If a website you're trying to reach is blocked for legal reasons, do you have a right to know about it?
    Developer advocate Tim Bray thinks so, and he's got a perfect error code for it: 451, a tribute to the late Ray Bradbury's landmark novel about censorship, Fahrenheit 451.


    Bray, a self-described "general-purpose Web geek" who helped develop several key Internet standards, wrote a formal specification for his proposal and submitted it to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the body that develops and promotes Internet standards. The group is slated to take up Bray's proposal at next week's annual meeting, which begins Sunday in Vancouver, Canada.
    "I've been told by the chair of the IETF HTTP Working Group that he'll give the proposal some agenda time at the next IETF meeting," Bray told CNNMoney by email. "It's not a big proposal; shouldn't take long."
    Most internet users are familiar with "404 Not Found" errors, the HTTP status messages that come up when you click on a broken or dead link. Another common error, "403 Forbidden," is displayed when you try to reach a site whose server won't grant you access to it.
    That's the error code U.K. blogger Terence Eden hit when he tried to reach The Pirate Bay, a notorious hub for pirated content that is frequently targeted in lawsuits. Eden's Internet provider had been ordered to block out the site, but Eden wasn't happy with the 403 error response it generated.
    "As far as I am concerned, this response is factually incorrect," Eden wrote on his blog.
    He points out that it wasn't Pirate Bay's server that refused to allow him access. "The server did not even see the request. It was intercepted by my ISP and rejected by them on legal grounds," he wrote.
    Eden called for a new "HTTP code for censorship" -- a call Bray answered with literary flair.
    Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship - Jul. 25, 2012



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    Re: Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    Interesting. Hard to believe that the UK has internet censorship like that and I agree they should let you know it's being blocked by a third party.



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    Re: Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    Quote Originally Posted by agrabes View Post
    Interesting. Hard to believe that the UK has internet censorship like that and I agree they should let you know it's being blocked by a third party.
    The UK is way more advanced in stifling free speech and individual rights than we are.



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    Re: Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    The UK is way more advanced in stifling free speech and individual rights than we are.
    Yeah, what's so hard to believe about that



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    Re: Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    Just one person who doesn't understand what the **** censorship is.



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    Re: Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    Just one person who doesn't understand what the **** censorship is.
    What? I'm not sure who you are referring to.

    On-topic though, I think this is a great idea both for it's practicality and humor. Plus Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorite books.



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    Re: Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    Quote Originally Posted by MrOtter View Post
    What? I'm not sure who you are referring to.
    Referring to the guy in the story. Meant to say "just one MORE guy." It's not censorship, not even close.



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    Re: Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    It probably isn't, but it could be. I think that's the point (as I see it anyway). Some of the new proposed laws leave a lot of room for offended parties to determine whether someone is infringing on their intellectual property. As I see it, some of these things are already being done, and the threat of a lawsuit can make providers shut down a site or page without necessarily determining whether there was any real infringement.

    So no, if they are using someone's intellectual property without permission, it is not censorship, but in some cases, it might be.



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    Re: Error 451: A proposed Internet status code for censorship

    Quote Originally Posted by Senolcyc View Post
    Referring to the guy in the story. Meant to say "just one MORE guy." It's not censorship, not even close.
    It's not censorship, but close enough that censorship is probably the best word to describe what they are doing. You could say "blocking websites which host illegal or legally ambiguous content", but that takes a lot more words. In the context of the internet which has always been a wild west anything goes type environment, it's close enough to censorship for me to call it that.



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