Police Accidentally Censor Google, Facebook and 8,000 Other Sites

According to torrent freak, an alleged “human error” carried out by the police resulted in thousands of websites being completely blocked at the DNS level in Denmark.Over 8,000 websites that included everything from Google, to Facebook, went offline after informing the visitors that the websites offered child pornography.

The message that was displayed read “The National High Tech Crime Center of the Danish National Police [NITEC], who assist in investigations into crime on the internet, has informed Siminn Denmark A/S, that the internet page which your browser has tried to get in contact with may contain material which could be regarded as child pornography.”

The team is in charge of keeping up with a list of websites the Danish government feels are not suitable for it’s citizens. Everyday, the ISP companies collect the list aggregated by the NITEC team and they apply DNS blockades to their infrastructure. According to Johnny Lundberg, the chief of NThe country’s High Tech Crime Unit team didn’t pick up on the error for several hours. ITEC, an employee was moving computers to a colleagues computer in order to work on a list of legitimate “illegal” sites. Because the employee was not familiar with colleagues PC, he accidentally placed the websites in the wrong folder. When the ISP’s came in to collect the folder, the police didn’t pick up on the error until it was to late.

Immediately after realizing the problem, the NITEC corrected the error and notified the ISPs but it took at least 3 hours for customers of the ISPs to regain access to the sites in question.

Lundberg said that his organization was sorry for the mistake and has now adopted a new system whereby blocked sites have to now be approved by two employees instead of one.