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back to article Kids' sites 'must register moderators'

Organisations with interactive websites likely to be used mainly by children must ensure that staff moderating the sites are not barred from working with children from October. It will be a criminal offence for an organisation to knowingly employ a barred person for a regulated role, such as moderating children's sites. The …

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Alert

Well there is a nice problem brewing

The problem with this law is the definition of Vunerable adults, Anyone who is seeing a psychiatrist or therapist is classed as vunerable (I know this from my second job of Clinical Hypnotherapist) Also it means certain groups online like Transexuals and Transgendered individuals also come under this remit so that means a confidential forum site for TRansexuals will now have to have their moderators checked to make sure they are allowed to help people in the same state as them usually....

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Anonymous Coward

well

Well it's good to see that having destroyed youth clubs and voluntary organisations the government is moving on destroying any restbite and helpful advice children may recieve from online communites too.

Fantastic. Makes you wonder why kids hang out outside the local co-op with knives.

Dicks.

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Anonymous Coward

non-commercial sites

Would this apply to sites run for free by individuals? It's a bit of a chew on if so.

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Bronze badge

Scope and reach...

From the wording it would appear this applies to a lot more than just moderators as it refers to access to content. That could cover all sorts of technical support roles as well. Basically anybody that could get privileged access to file systems. Indeed such people would also have access to logs and various other things of use for tracing activities. As these types of sites will often be at commercial hosting sites with centralised technical support then where would that end?

It is very easy to see how this could sweep up all sorts of technical and admin roles. What I do see is a lot of sites putting age limits onto their sites.

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Unhappy

Offical Gaming websites

Well that's the death knell to official MMO gaming forums then. Why go through all that hassle of this when you can just pass the responsibility on to a fan run site?

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Unhappy

11 million roles?!

The very size of that number means that there will be very many mistakes, both for innocent people branded as kiddy fiddlers, and crims cleared as innocent.

This is another system which is bound to fail. But no doubt the people who were responsible for bringing it in, and the companies that run it on some lucrative government contract, will defend it to the hilt with their heads in the sand.

More money down the drain.

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Why OH WHY

Does anyone believe the internet is dangerous ffs??

How many people have died or suffered injury on the internet (except that mad bugger in korea who spent 48 hours straight gaming online)?

Pretty much NONE.

The only danger is in someone choosing to go IRL. And that is nothing at all to do with the internet, just personal stupidity.

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Anonymous Coward

What about the Reg?

Of course, the Reg isn't exactly a kids' site. But judging from the comments sections there are quite a few school bunking kids around. So, who was it to moderate the comments?

EA

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CRB check

If you want to run one of these sites, is it so hard to apply for a (extended) CRB check? For voluntary positions it's even free of charge.

And before you ask, yes I have one myself for my work with S.U. children's holidays.

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Anonymous Coward

What is a vulnerable adult?

http://www.torfaen.gov.uk/HealthAndSocialCare/ServicesForOlderPeople/VulnerableAdults/Definition.aspx

Is there anyone who isn't vulnerable?

Cannot go one week without alcohol, looks like you are vulnerable adult.

Oh, challenging behaviour, challenging what, authority? Has Cartman taken over, 'you must respect my authority!'.

Emotional problems, ever cried, well you have an emotional problem.

Looks like this might just about cover everyone, are we all vulnerable little things, needing to be looked after.

They do 'may' it, so who knows, nice and wishy washy, nothing like coming up with a half baked, dunce of an idea and then just maying it, and associating it with law.

And what is with the and/or, just or will do, normal English meanings do work.

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Silver badge

And the next step is

Banning people who are banned from working with children from banning moderators who are banned from working with children. Let's just cut to the chase and put people banned from working with children in a detainment center so that we're sure they'll never see a child again. Looks like Guantanamo ain't gonna be closing any time soon.

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What a can of worms

It is going to be interesting to see what the courts decide about people with system admin rights.

First they do the technically competent for possessing unconventional porn, which makes then sex offenders, and so not suitable people. All quite sensible...

Then all their Windows-using cronies can get jobs.

That'll finish off that pesky internet.

I pity the Judges who are going to have to sort this one out.

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Children

Can we not just clear children off the internet altogether? It's been nothing but bother since they arrived. Maybe the ISPs can do a quick background check against ContactPoint or the ISOs of the HMRC disks, find the presence of children in the property and then disconnect the interpipe.

I am thoroughly fucking sick of a de-centralised computer network being turned into CBeebies. It won't work. It'll never work. Even Saturday Superstore couldn't withold the truth from Matt Bianco.

It's a damn computer network, and children have no place in it, or on it, or using it. I guess parents will have to go back to - I dunno - parenting.

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Anonymous Coward

Only in the uk?

I moderate a forum and I know one user is a schizophrenic American. That doesn't count does it?

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Stop

Why dont they just...

...ban anyone underage from using the net, makie a seprate net soly for them and let them have access to it.

Annom due to the little creeps with knifes

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Anonymous Coward

Typically useless legislation

At the time of commenting there are five replies and assuming the following hasn't already been said in the murky ether of moderator lag then there is one big flaw in all of this.

HTF are they going to enforce this for non-UK residents with non-UK based servers? As usual UK.gov PLC is pissing in the wind.

Also, by being so, a paedophile is breaking the law in a rather distasteful way so I doubt running a website aimed at children without registering is going to worry them too much.

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Coat

What you will know when you read it...

They are using a howitzer to kill a fly. Again.

So what about all the private sites? I think they never did care to think one moment that anyone (and I mean ANYONE) could launch their own website hosted off shore and dodge the law. Easily.

Now we will have people assuming the web is a safe place because 'the government protects us', while the web stays effectively the same and bad guys (and galls) are merely hindered by some bureaucratic measure. Sure, maybe they need to change hosting companies O_o would that be complicated??

On a side note, a Dutch government funded research concluded that the threat of child molesters using the web to gather their prey (however repulsive) is too small to warrant the measures needed to prevent these things happening. 99% of child abuse is still carried out by someone known to the victim. Statistically speaking, we should ban all parents (and people who know parents) from contact with children.

Mine is the one with the RFID tag.

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Anonymous Coward

The internet was built by adults for adults

The kids can piss off.

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Self help groups

As someone pointed out, many self help groups will fall under this remit.

Having had a nephew with learning difficulties groomed, I know laws are required but the laws aready in existence should be enough - if they were used!

The B*tard who managed to trick my 16yo nephew was not even warned by the police - His dad had to fight to get him back home. And it was only after a psycologist measured his mental age as "under 14" did the police even consider removing frmo the monsters house.

Even now the plods say no crime, so no action taken. Why give them new powers when they fail to use the ones they already have?

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@Pascal Monett

Guantanamo is too small. I think that we'll need the Isle of Wight.

To hold those who PASS the ECBR checks that is. All the pervs and pedos and those signing whatever offenders list is top of the shitheap this week and all of the other unsavioury people (like er... adults) will have to stay on the mainland.

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@ Andrew

Thats nice for you, do you also believe that if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear ?

I have personally never been arrested or cautioned by the police, i've only ever had one speeding ticket. Yet I have refused to take part in activities that would require a CRB check to be done (community projects). Why ? Because it is a huge invasion of privacy and the simple fact is it doesn't stop anything (remember, the Soham murders that this was brought in for were done by someone who didn't work at the same school as the children, ergo it wouldn't have changed anything).

To bastardise a now oft used quote :

"First they came for the moderators and I said nothing."

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International Moderators

Clearly the law can be made to apply to EU citizens wherever the site is based (although it could make access to server records for legal enforcement - so that will no doubt be the next law; if you are responsible for a site, wherever based, you will be responsible for providing access records). However, how on earth can this law be applied to truly international sites - that is those where the users, admins and moderators can be from anywhere on the globe? How do you go about vetting a moderator who isn't based in the EU. For that matter, how would you go about vetting a moderator in a different country? Is there going to be some trans-national database of "unsuitable" people administered by the EU authorities?

I can see many more sites applying age rules for members as it will just be the simplest way to comply with the law for many organisations.

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Re The internet was built by adults for adults

Finally, some true words. Anything else is misuse.

EA

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Paris Hilton

Re The internet was built by adults for adults

Yeah! What are those kids doing on our pr0nshare anyway?? Who needs 'em.

Paris, she's a consenting adult...

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Unhappy

Does this apply to MMORPGs?

Does a WoW guildmaster fall under the scope of this law?

> "moderating a public interactive communication service which is likely to be used wholly or mainly by children"

Lets take this one step at a time:

> a public interactive communication service

There is guild chat which is a shared IRC-style chat channel used by all guild members.

> which is likely to be used wholly or mainly by children

This is Warcraft, a computer game. Of course there are loads of kids playing, as well as adults.

> moderating

Guildmasters invite people to the guild (and hence the chat channel) and kick them out if their behaviour is unacceptable.

So do I need to be CRB checked to be a guildmaster? Help, I'm confused... (which is probably the intention - after all, "there's no way to rule innocent men").

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Rule of law

The judiciary nowadays works through blacklists and presumption of guilt. Has there ever been a Rule of Law?

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Anonymous Coward

We've still got room...

...in the United States, for any of you Brits who'd like to regain some freedom! We'll even forgive you for impressing our sailors that one time.

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RW
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@ Steve Kay

"Can we not just clear children off the internet altogether?"

Correct. Give the man a jelly donut.

The present approach to classification of the internet is "everything is okay for children unless otherwise stated." Since the internet wasn't built as a kiddies' playground, let's cut to the chase and say that none of it is suitable for children by default. Certify the few that are okay for kids, make it incumbent upon the parents to make sure their crotch fruit enter their real ages, and off you go.

I'll leave it to the more paranoid among El Reg readers to dream up further details of some suitably harebrained Wakki Jakki implementation that fails to accomplish the objective while royally pissing everyone off.

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Flame

Interesting...

This seems to refer, not only to the admin staff, but anybody with direct access to the content, which would include technical roles.

What about webhosts? They'll have total access, do they need to run check on all their support staff?

What about the Datacenter staff? They all have direct access to these sites, so I'd imagine all DC staff will also have to undergo checks.

What about offsite backup staff? What about ISPs? How far up the hierarchy will this go?

No, it's much easier/cheaper to put a splash plage on the site with a TOS the length of War and Peace and legal documents so complex you'd need RIAA's laywers to decipher them. Or maybe just force Credit Card verification for all sites that a child MIGHT access and be done with it.

Whatever. It's just a stop-gap until we can force all children under 40 to browse through a whitelist filter, and then, finally, nothing bad will ever happen again.

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@David Wiernicki

Keep the Beer cool! I'll be there once these nice men finish copying everything on my laptop.

Oh look that one's got rubber gloves...

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Flame

And again...

The Internet == Soho on a busy Saturday night.

Sure, there's some nice, family friendly stuff out there, but you gotta fight your way through hookers and vomit to get at it.

Would you let your unsupervised child wander around Soho at kicking out time?

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Anonymous Coward

FFS!

What about 419 scam victims? aren't they vulnerable adults?

Like all scambaiters and scam advisers, I post anonymously on a couple of anti-scam forums, as scammers are potentially dangerous.

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Flame

Groan

So we're going to have another badly worded, totally nebulous and unspecific law that's being forced onto us "for the children".

F*ck the children (not literally).

Get them off my internets. Why should an operator of a free forum site, that he's probably put up for next to nothing (and makes no money from) have to pay money for the privilege of a police check because children or vulnerable adults might just use it? This raises the barrier for entry to the 'net. The very thing that makes it vibrant and alive.

I'm sorry, but I'm SICK of the nannying.

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Remember that...

... The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act allows for someone to be barred for "conduct involving sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings (including possession of such images), if it appears to [the Independant Barring Board] that the conduct is inappropriate"

So if you want to work as a Moderator now, you're going to have to let the IBB scan through your hard drive and check you don't have any "sexually explicit images depicting violence against human beings" even if it is consensual BDSM!

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tick box politics

every site, even the cbeebies website, will have a tick box stating the user is 18+ to enter, job done.

until they decide that the users need to be ID certified, after all once the national ID database is up and running everyone will be able to validate against the copy on wikileaks anyway.

more rules written by people with no clue, fir people with no clue, to be enforced by people with no clue, that will only effect people with no clue in any meaningful way.

but it gets a "for the children" headline, and thats the main point

dare say it will be enforced very selectively (anto guv political stuff mostly I'd guess) can't end up picking on someone who could fight it and get a court ruling against it after all.

seriously though. we need four new "laws"

1, no law may be introduced to make illegal, that which is already illegal under a different law (i.e. no duplication)

2, laws must focus on one subject, and one subject only i.e. must be focussed on a specific goal

3, laws must be no more than five of six sides of 10pt times roman text, and the intepretation of said laws will be left to the jury, i.e. must be understandable to "the common man"

4, must not ammend a current law, they can *replace* one. i.e.

this may help, but given the current system is a hjobs creation scheme by and for the legal profession no chance.

love the idea of DBSM forum moderator having to be approved because some nit decides the forum members are vunerable adults...

btw do MPs have to be CRB checked? if not why not?

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@Jacqui

The B*tard who managed to trick my 16yo nephew was not even warned by the police - His dad had to fight to get him back home.

WTF this side they would of crucified that guy. A minor can't choose were they live (unless there has been some sort of court hearing)

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another useless law

my plan to stop stupid laws woyuld be with every law put through it must have already gone through a test case and then we could get rid of all these fecking useless laws how exactly are!!

owuld lvoe to see a pedo get convicted because they were moderating a forum for children to stop kids saying rude words hmm sounds like another good chance to fill up our jails with more useless people to me

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Anonymous Coward

Pointless Update to Law

It appears that it wasn't included in the original Act & was introduced after it was passed into. Not very democratic. I wonder what other Acts have been amended in this way?

It is unenforceable. It is probably technically difficult to do & it appears no resources will be devoted to its enforcement. I suspect there maybe a handful of random & arbitrary prosecutions every year.

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Dead Vulture

Oh, FFS!

Ms Bee, if you are reading this; this kind of article is *exactly* why the Reg needs some sort of dateline/byline to tell us WHICH COUNTRY THIS NEWS ITEM APPLIES TO.

I re-read the article three times and still could not figure out if it applied to the US or the UK (or even Oz, although most articles about it refer to it specifically).

I can only assume by the fact it was caged from Out-Law that this applies to the UK. But I certainly wouldn't place a bet on it.

*PLEASE* include even a simple tag , flag or keyword at the start of the articles.

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Unhappy

Kids Online

I'm seeing a lot of comments directing negativity at children online. It's not fair. It's not the children who want to turn the internet into a rubber padded playpen. Heck, they would probably want *more* porn, online. Especially if it's free and easy to download. I know I did. It's the busybodies you should be mad at. If it wasn't children they've find some other excuse to stick their noses in your business.

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