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back to article Home Office backs down on net censorship laws

The government has abandoned its long-standing pledge to force 100 per cent of internet providers to block access to a list of child pornography websites. The decision to drop the policy will be finalised at a meeting on Monday to be attended by internet industry representatives, children's charities and Alun Michael MP. The …

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WTF?

"consumer and public pressure will encourage..."

'Consumer pressure' == 'public pressure', unless of course in the mind of this John Carr 'public pressure' means government coersion, and the old chestnut of 'encouragement' meaning 'force'.

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Stop

No surprises, then...

More weasel words from children's 'charidees', then. No admission that previous claims of a global 'commercial CP industry' worth some $20 billion (according to some at the time) has been proven to be nothing more than a lie - a scare tactic to get governments to censor online connections? Even CEOP aren't stupid enough these days to insist there is any truth in the myth of 'commercial' CP sites - and that's saying something, for an organisation still wedded to its love of sensationalism and headline-grabbing at every opportunity.

Of course, we'd have had none of this bother if clueless, naive Government Ministers were not quite so easily led by their 'partnerships' and 'consultations' with the usual offenders: child advocacy groups and the police. Bad advice based on individual agendas is always going to be just that - especially when received uncritically by supine politicians eager to keep riding whatever the week's popular bandwagon might happen to be.

Still, the mess we're in in this and most other Western so-called democracies with regard to the whole paedopandemic is what is so corrosive to individual liberties and freedoms as more and more bad laws are enacted on a whim (or a tabloid outrage) in order to satisfy some sort of mob-handed demand for something - anything, really - to be done to fight off the unstoppable tsunami of filth and indecency that must surely be threatening all of us.

There is no end to this idiocy in sight, sadly. Future generations will judge us harshly, I fear.

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FAIL

The spy who loved me

Nobody does it better

Nobody does it, half as assed as IWF...

"The charities haven't come away from IWF talks at the Home Office empty-handed. For the first time the IWF will publish the list of ISPs who are certified as having implemented its blacklist. "Hopefully consumer and public pressure will encourage the ISPs who aren't on the list to comply," said Carr."

No, what will happen is that savvy consumers who have seen a distinct lack of legislation showing where the IWF gets its powers and have been stung by slapdash approach to the technical implementation (think when Wiki was blocked for an album cover) and move to one of these ISPs. Perverts be damned, I know fine well there are a myriad of options available to them that wouldn't even come close to the IWF filter.

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Anonymous Coward

Certified - by who

"IWF will publish the list of ISPs who are certified "

So who's certifying it and how are they testing the system. "Here's a bunch of dodgy sites to try and look at - if you feel sick at any point the filter isn't working"

Or look at this statement alternatively .

Here's a list of ISPs who may be filtering your content - so avoid them.

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Useful excuse...

> A Home Office spokesman said: "We will continue to urge ISPs to implement blocking, and ask consumers to check with their suppliers that they have done so.

Defendant: Yes, your honour, it is true that I accessed these child porn sites and I did download 22 million pictures but I was only doing so because the Home Office requested that users check that their ISPs are blocking access. I am very concerned that my ISP does not appear to block access... it's a disgrace if you ask me.

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Go

Hmmm

Given that the IWF has no level of transparency, this is probably a good thing. As evidenced by the Wikipedia blockings etc.

However, publishing lists of ISPs that are use the blacklist? Surely that'll lead to a lot of tech-un-savvy pedos checking the list and signing up with those who don't implement it?

I think most people would be happy to be filtered by the IWF's list, but only if there was transparency, a way to appeal if your site is added. Notification that your site has been added (including reasons). Just a good general oversight of what is going on.

The cost of enforcing the list is going to be quite high, which consumers would pay for. It's ineffective as mentioned in the aritcle, so all in all, scrapping the plans is a good thing. Let people focus on actually catching the purveyors.

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Wasn't it just yesterday...

Isn't this the same IWF blacklist that just yesterday MPs were sugessting should be used world-wide. Why not put the global ambitions on hold for now and concentrate on getting 100% UK acceptance instead?

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Anonymous Coward

Home Office says something is cancelled

... and then goes ahead it with anyway... how many times have we seen that happen?

I'd wait, given the number of times I've read that the Home Office has reversed one of Jacqui Smith's stupid ideas, only to press ahead with it repackaged with different spin anyway.

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Big Brother

public pressure will encourage the ISPs who aren't on the list..,

So no doubt those who use these ISPs will now automatically be assumed to be perverts (take your choice) seeking to slip through the net.

A cause for suss activities on the CRB checks?

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Anonymous Coward

Censorshop

Oh yes, because I love being told what's right and wrong by a bunch of random interfering busybodies. If at all possible, I'll be supporting ISP that _does_ ignore the IWF blacklist.

Also, any organisation that tries to force it's aims through by using highly emotive issues gets a black mark from me. What's wrong with "vulnerable person pornography" or "pornography that breaks the law"? Ask your marketing department.

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Anonymous Coward

@Hmmm

"However, publishing lists of ISPs that are use the blacklist? Surely that'll lead to a lot of tech-un-savvy pedos checking the list and signing up with those who don't implement it?"

Get the sites removed, cp is illegal everywhere, so the site is the thing to fix. If that was done, then by definition any filter list must be empty, otherwise it contains sites found legal.

I don't think most people want IWF filtering, I think they want the sites removed. Filtering *my* feed doesn't fix anything because I don't visit the sites, *removing* the site, fixes it everywhere, and the legal process provides the necessary appeal process you refer to.

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the mroe they push

the more likley underground nets are going to become popular !

i dont want the goverment monitoring what i do on the net adn i dont do anything of any particular intrest

But thats not the point !!!

i spend most of my time here and on www.lowlifescum.com and occaisonally www.youtube.com

Why dont they just get it that the more they restrict us the more of us are going to look for a way round.

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Big Brother

@Hmmm, (And others)

"Surely that'll lead to a lot of tech-un-savvy pedos checking the list and signing up with those who don't implement it?"

Which will in turn lead to the presumption that if you're a customer of one of the ISP's on the list you must be a dirty pervert. They'll probably check which ISP you're with if you need to be vetted under the Child Protection Scheme. After all, if tabloid gossip and rumour mongoring is good enough to create policy, it's good enough to dispense justice (indiscriminate of course!)

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Anonymous Coward

children's charities

.. these are the same charities that cannot work with each other towards a common aim.

Wouldn't it be better to reduce all the overhead in administration by combining some of these charities.

Some of what is said behind closed doors in these places is shocking, they behave like big business in competition with each other... its amazing they have anyone who remembers to "think of the children".

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@ Hmmmm

"cp is illegal"

No, it's not, because countries have different definitions as to what actually constitutes "cp".

In the UK, taking a photo of your 17 year-old gf just after hanky-panky can be regarded as cp.

In the US, taking photos of young girls, clothed, in provocative poses is perfectly legal, but would get you some time in chokey in the UK.

What you've done, is fall in the media trap of calling everything "cp" and thusly watering down the actual issue - which is the problem of *actual* abuse (whether physical or mental) against children.

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Yesterday's issue, tomorrow's problem.

"The IWF's website blocking is seen as yesterday's issue."

In matters concerning child protection the IWF's blocking filter is, and always has been, a complete irrelevance. This alliance of government and a group of well-meaning people has significantly failed to produce one iota of evidence that mass censorship of the UK internet has protected or saved one child from sexual abuse or commercial exploitation. The work of child protection is best left in the hands of professional police officers like those employed at CEOP.

However, under its mantra of 'think of the children' what the IWF has done is to establish a precedent that any future government, acting in cahoots with any special interest group, can deny the population of this country access to information on the internet. We currently have a situation where a bunch of Rucking lawyers have tried to suppress unfavourable information about their clients appearing in the press. How irresistible would it be for them to have the prospect of filtering that same information on the UK internet?

The future may be Orange, but it will almost certainly be heavily filtered.

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Stop

You know what is going to happen next...

You know what is going to happen next if small ISPs can't afford to filter, they'll just mandate filtering on the backbone instead.

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time to invest in some small ISP's

They are going to undergoing a sudden growth spurt.

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Black Helicopters

Censorship for "the children" FUBAR

Yes, abuse of children is cruel, should be discouraged, and punished when unlawful, however this should never be at the expense of lawful behaviour or action, and it will only be an annoyance for determined or technically capable child abusers, or disturbed child voyeurs.

It should be compulsory for all site filter lists to be open, based on published criteria, and provide an impartial route to challenge site classifications, otherwise they can easily become abused for censorship of lawful, valid, but controversial or inconvenient media.

We should never allow Politicians to be involved in this kind of area uncontrolled, they can be just as gullible as other people, and worse, be quite amoral about the merits of action if they see it helps their political career. Charities can be just as bad as Politicians, also have running costs to cover, and can be quite irrational, due to character and thinking flaws, in their leadership and supporters.

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FAIL

Sam fox pic for pedos

As Jimmy 1 pointed out different countries have differnet laws on what are considered kiddy pron. If i remember correctly places like switzerland and germany still allow 16 year olds to appear in porn much like the UK did until recently when they changed the law from 16 to 18 meaning that people who look at early photos of Sam Fox doing topless page 3 shots back in the 80s at 16 and 17 yo are infact looking a kiddy pron under current UK law.

Tech savvy pedos dont care what the IWF list blocks as they can use proxys or TOR to get around it. Also wasnt there a recent article that said most of the kiddy pron was now shared on P2P rather than websites, something that the IWF list does diddly squat to stop

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Filter ...

Fliter sounds so much better than 'censor' doesn't it? Maybe in ten years time the UK web will have all 'extreme porn' , incitements to racism, violence, homophobia or dislike of the current govt 'filtered' from viewers' screens.

As an earlier commentator said, future generations will look at ours and weep. Amazing what the children of the 1960s turned into, isn't it?

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As i see it...

There have always been child abusers, we have never been very good at tracking them down, due to lack of evidence mostly.. some are charged when their victim is old enough to speak out, some are not.

then came the internet, a great mirror to all society's strengths and flaws, with it a wealth of evidence and an army, billions strong, of decent folk, more than willing to report abuse, and demand something be done.

but in most cases the demand was for action in abroad, which required political pressure, no more could our government decide who to trade and treaty with, purely for reasons of money and power, now they were pushed to favor those who protect children and enforced child protection laws..

so was born the IWF and clean feed. who promptly silenced the abused children, grayed the waters and plunged us back into a new-age version of the 50s, where a child molester could abuse his children without self incriminating, without legal interference, without causing an annoyance to our government who like to think they know best.

The few pedophiles that the IWF are trying so hard to protect will rush to the approved ISPs knowing they will be suspected less and within 3 minutes will be surfing through a proxy based abroad viewing whatever they want and considerably more difficult to track. and the free people of this country that want to change this world for the better, will proceed to the unapproved ISPs where they will be suspected of being pervs for wanting to see the world as it really is.

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Censorship

Censorship: the comb-over of law enforcement.

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"Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done."

It would seem that some of these people have left out a few words in this otherwise excellent principle. There you go! By judicious use of Internet blocking, we have put a stop to child molestation worldwide. This is on a par with people who think that child molesters will better their lives if you delete their MyFaceJournal account.

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