A Canadian ISP responds

Dear editor,
Last week’s letter entitled “Stop child porn” requires clarification.
The writer claimed that “Canada’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs) refuse to follow the British lead and screen out these sites from their service. The British Telecom (BT) had set up the framework to make this easy for other providers around the world to implement.
“Why then, do our ISPs not follow suit? They cite freedom of expression.”
The BT framework mentioned is still in the beta testing stages and has not been officially released to even its own customers. Recent media coverage was due to a press leak in Britain.
While the trial is still under development, it is reported to be working quite well. To date, there is no framework for ISPs around the world to easily implement.
Rather than following suit, Canadian ISPs are proactive and as members of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), we have adopted the CHEC-Mark Program.
With this program, we are working with various organizations in fighting child pornography on the Internet.
A complete statement regarding this program from the chair of the CAIP is available on our website (www.jam21.net). Click on the CAIP link for further info.
For the letter writer to suggest Canadian ISPs would not help in developing ways to screen out child pornography is absurd. Freedom of expression is one thing, but child pornography is definitely against the law.
Our company, Jam21.Net, would not allow sites of this type to be hosted on our servers. If found, they would be immediately taken down and reported to the proper authorities.
Canadians (ISPs included) are restricted by law to actively search out these websites. Viewing these sites in itself is a criminal offence. We are willing to do our part, but a co-operative effort with law enforcement and legislators is required to find a solution.
Let’s work together, not against one another, and try to research the facts before resorting to finger-pointing.
Dave Ashworth
Fort Frances, Ont.
(ISP owner)