Requiring ISPs to ban online gambling operators appears to be the weapon of choice for enforcers.
The growing use of pressure on Internet Service Providers to block online gambling sites in Europe has been noted by the European Digital Rights group in an article at: http://www.edri.org/edrigram/number8.16/gambling-websites-blocked-isp-europe.
The group comments on the assault on internet freedoms and gives links to ISP blocking intentions by the government regulators of France, Israel, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Holland, observing that ISPs are increasingly being pressured to screen certain messages to prevent users from circumventing the blocking measures which ISPs consider as a wrong measure.
It quotes Yves Le Mouël, head of the French telecoms federation, as saying: "We are like the postal service, we do not open the mail."
The list of ISP threats does not yet include the South Africans, who this week identified ISP blocking as a measure that can be deployed (see previous InfoPowa reports).
ISPs are arguing that taking such blocking measures is not only very difficult but also inefficient, and that the responsibility of blocking sites should be borne by the host. They complain that the courts have taken the easy road instead of going after the operator and its host.
ISPs also point out that they are not being offered any financial support for the additional costs imposed by blocking measures, and some question the legality of official directives served on them.
There is additionally the debate on the efficacy of ISP blocks, which can easily be circumvented (for example simply by creating new websites).
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