IWF blocking policy questioned by Open Rights Group
The ORG post contains this quotation from the Guardian newspaper, in turn quoting a comment from the IWF; "A spokeswoman for the IWF said that to her knowledge it was the first time in its decade-long history that any image or page banned by the IWF had been re-assessed, and the first time that any page or image on Wikipedia had been banned."
Their observation is that these two firsts are likely to be related since the activities of the IWF have only been brought into the limelight through its very public interaction with the well known Wikipedia. Previously, the ORG say, the IWF and their decisions were not open to scrutiny. While they go to some pains to say they appreciate the work the IWF does, they feel improvements can be made. For example they suggest that where web pages have been blocked, rather than display the 404 file-not-found message they should show the 403 access forbidden message, indicating that a page has been blocked.
They go on to say that the IWF should make more effort to contact ISPs and site owners, even when these are outside the UK and that their decisions should be subject to judicial oversight.
The ORG is a group formed, in 2005 by open rights enthusiasts. It lists as its patron(s) only one individual, the fantasy author Neil Gaiman. On the ORG site they say "The ORG is a grassroots technology organisation which exists to protect civil liberties wherever they are threatened by the poor understanding, implementation and regulation of digital technology".