Back in 2006 Finland implemented a censorship legislation that targeted websites distributing child pornography. Legislation handed the National Bureau of Investigation rights to add child porn sites to its secret block list which national ISPs would then implement and enforce.
As the process of blocking the sites is done in secret and the list of blocked sites has never been officially made public, an individual, Matti Nikki, decided to create a site called lapsiporno.info (translates as child porn dot info) criticizing the secretive process and the fact that there's no way to make an official complaint about one's site being listed on such block list. He also hosted on his site a list of sites known to be on the list, but didn't contain any child porn material whatsoever.
After his website gained popularity, especially in Finnish tech media, his site, too, was added to the NBI's block list.
Nikki sued the NBI for adding his site to the list. First, the Administrative Court of Helsinki ruled that inclusion of his site was illegal on the grounds that the block list was meant to block only sites hosted outside Finland (whereas Nikki's site was hosted and maintained in Finland). The case proceeded to the highest administrative court in Finland, the Supreme Administrative Court, which today ruled that adding Nikki's site to the censorship list was legal.
The court found that as Nikki listed the links to the sites that are known to be included in the censorship list, his site was aiding people to find them. It found that even the fact that Nikki's site contained material that was clearly legal (articles criticizing the censorship legislation), the interests of the children must come before freedom of speech. It also stated that if it were to rule Nikki's site legal on the grounds that it hosts legal material, other child porn sites could also circumvent the legislation by adding non-child porn material to their sites.
Additionally, even though Nikki's site is hosted in Finland, it contains links to foreign child porn sites and thus, the legislation (against foreign child porn sites) should also apply to Nikki's site, the court found.
Here's a link to court's ruling in full (in Finnish).
Written by: Petteri Pyyny @ 26 Aug 2013 3:26