back to article Reg readers in the dark over extreme porn

A Register reader has been left baffled by the reaction of her local police force when they were asked what exactly is likely to constitute an actionable image when the extreme porn laws come into force in January. Although the Ministry of Justice has issued its own guidelines the message has yet to filter down to local forces. …

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Excuse me?

"The IWF can determine whether or not that website is hosted in the UK, and whether or not it is potentially showing material in breach of UK legislation."

Look we know that is complete shite. The IWF have shown themselves, over the wikipedia mess, to be an unaccountable bunch of un-elected, un controlled Neo-Puritans who will apparently black list anything that might possibly be illegal, even if its legal to go any buy the image in HMV.

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AC
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if that pic

falls foul of the guidlines then we are all doomed.

I was expecting an awesome pic that I was going to say required a NSFW tag but that clearly doesn't.

I think I am going to write to my local pigs too now and fire out some pictures just for the lulz.

Bet they'd be just as useless.

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so...

how long before the various chans and their clones are blocked by british ISP's under this law then?

And the claims of "you won't be able to censor the net, someone else will just post it" will only fuel plans for a whitelist style net access in this country because "there is no other way of policing the net".

Just you watch.

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Unhappy

Civil Service Ducks Responsibility - Film at 11...

So, not only is Sussex Police defering to the IWF, but the bloody Ministry of Justice has now granted a non-elected, non-governmental, self-appointed body the purview of interpreting the law...

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Round and Round

In the discussion over the Scorpions album cover, the IWF spokesperson said they consulted the police for advice. Here we have the police suggesting the reader contact the IWF.

Since no-one else seems to know, i vote that we all send our dodgy images to the Ministry of Justice, where that nice Mr Straw can check them personally.

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A title is required

Any chance you can tell us what that picture she linked was...?

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Stop

IWF

It's scary how much power the IWF suddenly has. They seem to have little oversight yet they have insane amounts of control over the UK's access to the web. Now it seems they are the ones who decide if you should be prosecuted or not. Shouldn't that be a judges job?

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Anonymous Coward

lol

it almost seems like a funny idea to create bots that sends teh hardcores and teh goros to police and judges email addresses with the tag line "Is this extreme pronz?"

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Anonymous Coward

Info here.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2008/ukpga_20080004_en_9

Goes into quite a bit of detail.

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Just who are the IWF ?

A quick look at their site - no mention of just who runs this outfit nor how are they appointed. Why the reticence ?

Seem to be yet another self-important charity "doing good", at least in the terms that they understand.

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They lied to you

The lawmakers specifically avoided including the requirement that material violate the OPA.

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Anonymous Coward

Looking at that picture......

In my opinion, the image linked above does not fall foul of this new law. The law states it must fall into all 3 of these elements:-

1. That the image is pornographic

Although she appears to be naked, I wouldn't say this picture was pornographic and it does appear to be in a very 'arty' context.

2. That the image is grossly offensive, disgusting, or otherwise of an obscene character

I wouldn't say it fitted any of these criteria.

3. That the image portrays in an explicit and realistic way, one of the following extreme acts

(a. an act which threatens a person's life, b. serious injury to a persons anus, breast or genitals, c. involving a corpse, d. involving a live or dead animal)

The only one that I can remotely see applying here is section a, threatens a persons life. On this point I would say it's borderline. As she appears to be a large plastic bag, but was the bag effect added using a computer later? She also doesn't appear in much distress, which although not mentioned, I would think is a contributing factor.

Even if the image is covered by element 3, I wouldn't say it falls into the either of the others and therefore would not be covered by this law. This is of course only one persons opinion and until there are test cases in court, we are never going to answer this question fully.

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I think we should...

flood the IWF with thousands of images so that they are completely overloaded and their computers go down.

Again we have an example of how this Government is trying to bring in populist laws that are ill thought out, unclear and worse still, can be used indiscriminately to place citizens under arrest, destroy their lives, etc as a result.

It always seemed to me that the law was reasonably clear and worked well untl now. There is so much stuff that it not allowed anymore 'just in case' that we are back in the times of the witchhunters.

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Wait a minute...

The police are saying you have to send potential criminal stuff elsewhere? To a non-governmental body, no less?

Lazy C***s...

How can such a vague law be legal?

AC because I find Brown and Whacky Jaquie's images extremely arousing. Especially when I think of them being suffocated. So they should be banned, I guess...

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Great!

Yet another NuLabour law that makes things illegal "when we say they are" so it can be [ab]used by the police to persecute people who they have no other evidence against or to gain a warrant to find more "evidence".

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Happy

Hopefully...

the statement that includes, "... and violence that is life threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breasts or genitals." will criminalize those absolutely pointless JackAss movies

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Stop

Borders currently sell

Battle Royal http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/images/1591823153/ref=dp_image_0/280-4763913-1215000?ie=UTF8&n=266239&s=books

I wonder if they will continue to do so after Jan 9th

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Alert

The police know very little about anything.

They don't even seem to know the laws concerning tyre tread depth laws (people still get taken to court for only having 1.3mm of tread on a motorcycle tyre- the law states motorcycle tyres must have at least 1mm of tread), so how could they be expected to know about more complex laws?

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Al
Black Helicopters

Oh dear.

Plod is suggesting the image gets referred to the Internet Watch Foundation? We're doomed for sure if they're making the decisions.

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Paris Hilton

IWF Comment

The IWF have publicly stated they will attempt to help people identify whether an image falls into the EP category, so if people want to send them a large amount of 'possibles' to vet I'm sure they'd appreciate it....

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Coat

IWF getting out of hand I think

why is the Internet Watch Foundation being used to decide what is or isnt illegal? They are an unelected body!! How long till they decide that any nudity is "possibly illegal" and their remit moves again to police an even wider area of the net? How long till a bunch of right wing religious nuts get their hands on the IWF and start to blacklist everything left right and centre? When someone said that the wikipedia farce was the thin end of the wedge, here it is ALREADY getting wider!

Mines the one with the s & m mag in the pocket

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Anonymous Coward

Oxygen tent porn?

Pant pant.

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Stop

For Porn

Could someone please explain to me why a privately funded organisation is being tasked with advising the public on what images are legal and what images are not ?

The IWFs remit is to take reports of objectionable material from the general public and then create a blocklist for ISPs to use at their discretion, it is funded by the ISPs and is purely an attempt to avoid government regulation.

Surely ISPs might get a bit upset if they find out they're funding an organisation tasked with advising the public on what is and is not legal content when it comes to the internet.

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Unhappy

"Bloop!"

"You heard the law! The sentence is death!"

Want a basic rule of thumb? Be afraid.

Being subject to police action and dragged through the legal system is a punishment on its own. Even if cases are dismissed, and precedents established, people will want to avoid being accused. Cue the chilling effect.

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What??

I had a look at that picture, as provided by link in the article. Here is a true record of my immediate thoughts.....

'Woman tries to fight her way past a giant spider's web'......no, probably not.

'Woman tries on silk nightie in a strong wind and gets all tangled up in it'.....hmmmm, no, silly.

'Dead woman in oversize body bag comes back to life and tries to get out.'.......eeeeww, but maybe.

Where is the 'sexuality' in this picture? How can it possibly be regarded as obscene in any way?

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Unhappy

A modest proposal...

"The IWFcan determine...whether or not it is potentially showing material in breach of UK legislation..."

I think I have the answer everyone has been looking for.

Everything is POTENTIALLY in breach of legislation. The IWF are offering an 'expert' (Ha, ha) opinion. That's fine. What the ISPs should do is provide that opinion before someone accesses a page, but then let them click through anyway.

The IWF opinion might be considered a 'valuable' service by a customer, so they can keep their watchlist if they want. But why should we convert their 'opinion' into straight law? If someone ignores the warning, clicks through and is later caught by the police, the courts will decide whether they were guilty (as it should be), and the fact that they ignored an 'expert' opinion can be taken into account during sentencing, if they are found guilty.

But as it is, the IWF are legislators, judge, jury and executioner, all in one, with no oversight....

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Boffin

Or put another way...

"We have no idea what we're talking about. Go talk to those people over there... *points to IWF* they know things about ipods and stuff. I think his son makes websites."

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Inclusive

"violence that is life threatening"

Doesn't that rule out just about every Hollywood and TV thriller, or is it only dangerous if there's nudity involved?

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Wow!

So, the police themselves "passed it onto a local Police Sergeant." because they believe it is simple enough for all but the lowest ranks to understand, but won't give an actual answer.

We all know from yesterday's activities that the IWF are:

a) Useless

b) Will pass all requests to the Police themselves, (who will say 'Maybe') which the IWF will automatically categorise as a ban.

What a total fail.

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Wow!

PS:

How nice to know that anything that is over the line is already illegal to publish, thereby making attempts to discuss by example decidedly difficult already.

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and...

...we all know how trustworthy the IWF is right? RIIIIGHT???

What a shambles. I hope this blows up in the governments faces. The IWF should be scrapped immediately. This stupid law should also be scrapped. Time to boot out this crappy government. They've been in power for too long and like any 'regime' that holds power for too long it becomes corrupted.

Waits for the sound of jackboots at the front door.

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Happy

More worrying!

I'm much more worried about Mr McNally's picture of a young gent dressed only in a skirt and about to swing a golf club - very sado-masochistic!

/oh, it's a kilt? Same thing, innit?

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Alert

The Internet Watch Foundation is a political organization

The Internet Watch Foundation is a non-governmental political organization that is self-admittedly not accountable to anyone. Do the Sussex Police ask the local Green's whether to prosecute J-walkers & speeders? Good Grief! Are all British police that daft?

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Stop

WTF

I must have missed the election. Can someone tell me when the Internet Watch Foundation was made an official part of Government and the judiciary? They must be if the police are sayng the IWF can decide whether something is in breach of UK legislation.

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this answers the question, doesn't it ?

"A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice confirmed that the new law will only catch material which would already be illegal under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959 but would introduce a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison."

that seems fairly clear and straightforward to me, or am i missing something ?

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Wikipedia to the rescue

Really should look to the police or MoJ for this but in the meantime . You could do worse than looking here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_pornography

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Black Helicopters

Post them to Jack Straw...?

Let's send them to that wonderful, quoteable lady, Wacky Jaqui.

At least that way, her reaction will be the deciding factor in the matter and we will all be able to rest easier at night after a day of hearty chortling at her decisions.

We'll probably all be just a littttttle bit scared too...

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Anonymous Coward

IWF has no legal standing, so how are they involved?

It's all good and well to refer to the IWF, but as far as I know they have at best an ADVISORY role (or think they have). They can collate, admire, report, blather about it, solicit awards for what they do but they are NOT enforcement.

If I translate the events in the article it means there is no guidance on the law available, which is going to make enforcement the usual slapdash, haphazard and pretty much random event any other law is subjected to in the UK (with the exception of, say, speeding and parking violations), combined with the occasional political kneejerk when some jerk (without knee) has managed to enhance newspaper sales.

Thank God nobody claims the UK is a democracy..

PS: does that mean goatse is now banned?

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Anonymous Coward

The internetclock foundation

who are these people, and are they providing tier one NTP servers?

Gosh I hope it is not some vigilante organisation trying to apply their cambridge style morals and ethics onto the rest of us, need anyone be reminded of the cambridge Russian spies :)

WTF, let's consult with the red hand gang, or the famous five on matters of legal precedent.

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Pirate

MoJ hopeless too

Typically poisonous Home Office drafting which the MoJ is trying quite hard to misunderstand.

It is very clearly NOT a criterion for the new s63 offence that the material be obscene within the definition of the Obscene Publications Act 1959.

The increase in the tarriff in s71 is for a specified offence under the older act, and nothing to do with the s63 offence.

The word 'obscene' *does* appear in s63 but there is nothing there or elsewhere to indicate it has a specialised meaning, and the words that it appears with ("...grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character...") relate to the subjective reaction of an unidentified and uncharacterised person, and do not contain any of the highly specialised meaning of 'obscene' as "tending to deprave or corrupt" used for prosecutions under the Obscene Publications Act.

Furthermore s63 *does* hang on a new definition, that of 'pornographic' which has not been attempted before in English Law. Whether something is 'pornographic' hinges on making assumptions about the intention of the *maker* of the image to provoke sexual arousal. There's no fundamental requirement that material be of a sexual nature or intended to be, for it to be 'obscene' in the specialised sense, so there is no particular reason to find a relationship between the two offences, other save that they both issue from the prurient puritans at the Home Office.

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Anonymous Coward

Going Round...

If they keep going round in circles, maybe the circles will get smaller and eventually they will all disappear up their own backsides? More likely the Great British Firewall will be imposed, complete with Phorm monitoring and recording and another huge step on the road to Gordongrad will be taken.

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Paris Hilton

Post some Porn...

so we can SEE what you're talking about. Then arrest yourselves.

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Dan
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Is anyone else...

...reminded of Robocop? In the first film, everything was simple (serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law) and by the time it gets to one of the lame sequels, he's got hundreds of picky little laws to deal with, gets confused, his 16-bit brain crashes and he goes a bit funny. The Police are expected to enforce an increasingly large number of increasingly complex laws, maybe they need replacing with infallible machines...

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Alien

An Idiot Simple Question the House would like to Know

To tread into Erotographic Pornography has One Surely Prepared for the Expected. Anything else is Assault and Abuse..... however, in the Land of Nymph and Satyrs are there no Losers?

And you may expect Analysis of Shared Replies to be Mined for Root Server Source RSS.

Do the Ministry of Justice have Special Access to Expert Professional Pornography Services? Who advises Ministers on such Prickly Matters?

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xjy
Paris Hilton

Oh boy, girl, androgyne!

Cream LP cover, blues song Nobody's business but my own, any song by Chuck Berry or Jerry Lee Lewis (Sweet Little Sixteen), Brenda Lee (Sweet nuthins), etc etc, the older it is, the worse it gets.

Art?? Botticelli? All those prepubescent lovelies tempting gods and heroes and rich guys? The Romans (girls and boys! The emperors especially Tiberius, not to mention the incestuous ones). The Greeks (boys and girls, especially the pretty young boys), all those incestuous polygamous, underage Egyptian marriages, among the Royals no less! Time to shut down the British Museum, the National Gallery etc and confiscate their postcards and prints. Not to mention the damage to tits, arses and genitals inflicted by our own monarchs on their opponents. How about the violence perpetrated by and done to Joan of Arc? All the martyrs? How old was the Virgin Mary, eh??

And the women of olden days were washed up after four kids by the age of 18!

That's History in the bin! And geography with all the nastiness going on today in broad daylight in too many countries to mention. Not to mention ethnography, or space travel - they can see all these countries heaving away from space. Masturbation! Oh deary me - that's biology out the windae! And all our pregnant teens - into the can with em!

And only sex? (Oh, I forgot to mention Lady Chatterly's Lover, Ulysses, and anything by Henry Miller - they could all be illustrated and put on line - and Anaïs Nin). Violence, and binge eating and alcohol and swearing and wearing pink knickers or short skirts, or hoodies, or no tie or the wrong tie, or "offensive" jeans, or driving around in a car whose back seat might be used for god knows what perversions. And dildos and bum plugs (oops not them - that'd rile the judges). And the streets! My god. And the parks - hotbeds of hell! And houses - the mind reels...

Might as well shut down the whole country and deport us to the Australian desert or Van Demon's Land. Only the Plymouth Brethren and the Wee Frees would be allowed to stay to work for the judges and censors and politically correct politicians.

Hallelujah (Christ on the cross - not a good example :-)

(Paris cos she might be able to bribe some of these bastards to leave say New Mexico open as a reservation for sinners and publicans)

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Joke

TeeHee

"If you believe you have come across illegal pornographic material on a website then . . "

Make sure you wipe up afterwards?

In all seriousness, I've been increasingly worried about this (I mean the monitoring itself, not the pr0n element per se). So much so that I've rented myself a couple of servers in a datacenter somewhere in Sweden and everything that comes out of my machines here in the UK goes through a VPN to there.

I'm now wondering how long it will be before ISPs are "asked" to block outgoing VPNs on domestic net connections, for the children of course. No doubt there will be a bit of a furore about that from homeworkers, but, to be fair, if you are using a VPN to connect to a corporate network, why the hell is your employer not paying for a separate commercial grade DSL/Cable connection?

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Waterboarding?

It would be interesting to know if the images of waterboarding that were broadcast on yesterday evening's TV (just after 10 o'clock) would fall within the guidelines.

Although it was appropriate for this to have been brought to public attention, I certainly find it "grossly offensive" that it does actually occur; and there can be little doubt that the activity shown "threatens harm to life or limb".

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Nuffink to do with us, guv

> Sussex Police said they were unable to answer her question last week but had passed it onto a local Police Sergeant.

Operational independence? If it's child pr0n, ok, few people would have an objection to the police doing something about it, least of all the plods themselves. Some plods even want to be reknown moral philosphers. But adult pr0n - you don't suppose that Plod is embarrassed to have to make a decision that someone higher up might overrule?

"Sarge. You dirty dog. That pr0n you cleared last week. I've had a complaint about it. Seems it ended up at Mrs J.P (fill in name of magistrate), and now I've seen it I tend to agree. Filthy, that's what it is. Sarge, you're nicked. Get in there".

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Anonymous Coward

This law provides provision for mainstream films

QUOTE (Amongst other posts)

Hopefully...

By Simon.W Posted Tuesday 9th December 2008 12:01 GMT

Happy

the statement that includes, "... and violence that is life threatening or likely to result in serious injury to the anus, breasts or genitals." will criminalize those absolutely pointless JackAss movies

Nope mainstream movies are not included as this is covered by section 64 of the same law which allows an exemption for classified films (ie has a age related certificate 12, 15, 18). Unless a clip has been removed from the film and thus doesn't have the full context of the film.

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