back to article ISPs and Vaizey set to bump heads over default porn filter

A meeting on Monday between Minister for Culture Ed Vaizey and representatives of UK ISPs could be a game-changing moment for the way in which we are all allowed to use the internet. At stake is the seemingly academic question of whether PCs should arrive with adult filters turned off - the current default - or on. Presently web …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Badgers

If it is the "mobile" filter level it covers not only porn

Try researching something on World War history or history of the more recent wars.

You will find a lot of material prohibited by default at least on Vodafone because it mentions such profoundly dangerous subjects like guns and munitions.

9
0
Anonymous Coward

re: mobile filters

I recently visited a manufacturer of slot machines, and needed to verify their address en-route (the sat-nav was misleading).

Out with the smartphone. Searched for their name. Tried to go to their "contact us" page.

Got the "this is an adult site" block page.

Grrr.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

you'd have thought

You'd have thought Childrens charities would have something more important to do with their time, like support sporting facilities, youth groups, better education for teachers and parents in noticing danger signs of abuse, and a half dozen other things.

Remind me again the last time a child went out and bought a computer and then subscribed to an isp?

The government has no role inside our homes and should get on with what it's supposed to be doing and that's making sure we have a working economy and infrastructure once they can manage that competently, well then they can have some time off.

20
0
Anonymous Coward

Problem.

The government has already arrogated itself a role within every aspect of our lives. The "debate" has become how forceful and obvious it should be about that.

As for getting the economy running, the government should do as little as possible in order to allow private enterprise to take the strain. Every goverment job is a net drain on the economy and as many as possible should be eliminated.

How much of what the government does is actually necessary? One could argue that healthcare is necessary, and roads. Local government should take care of basic infrastructure and keeping things clean (they were originally set up as water authorities to guarantee the quality of water supplies and that was it, everything else has been tacked on since then) along with law enforcement. Education, perhaps could be considered an absolutely vital government function. What else should they do beyond that? That's your absolute basics and all that a government strictly needs to do to provide a functional society. Everything else the government is involved in could easily be handled by private organisations and charities, and probably to a better level of quality as well as long as the government doesn't decide it needs to tell them exactly how to do their job.

There we go, two problems solved at once: the government is out of our lives and the budget is cut almost in half overnight. Hurrah!

6
5
Anonymous Coward

indeed

However freeing the economy of self perpetuating bureaucracy would technically be a thing government would do (though they would, as they'd be doing themselves out of a job)

0
0

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous Coward

Yeah......

Cos it worked so well with the trains didn't it!

2
0
Anonymous Coward

@Yeah

Did you use the trains before they were privatised?

2
3

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous Coward

@AC

Yep.

Shite as they were, they were still far better than the crap that National Express provides now.

There's quite a ream of other examples, which some may agree with and some won't. Rather than listing them (because I can't be arsed on a Friday) I'll just say there's a reason a lot of people detest Thatcher and friends.

Privatisation does work sometimes though

0
0
Silver badge

when i think of protecting children...

Its mostly about protecting them FROM repressed god botherers.

but what do i know about it :-S

6
1
Alien

no jury service for you then

'a trustee of the National Churches Trust' != 'shares the religious viewpoint of -- radicals'

www.nationalchurchestrust.org

"Our mission is to promote a culture that recognises and supports church buildings of historic, architectural and community value. If you have an interest in churches, we hope you will find something useful here"

I'd wager good money he'll be happy to promote 'opt-in' to filtering, as a sensible measure, your apparent animosity to everything the 'Church' stands for should not cloud your objective judgment.

1
2
Coat

@Naughtyhorse

"when i think of protecting children Its mostly about protecting them FROM repressed god botherers."

Religion is like a penis.

It's fine to have one.

It's fine to be proud of it.

But please don't whip it out and wave it about in public.

And never try and ram it down my childs throat.

Nope, no bible in there.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

Filter Tip

Porn is not something that children stumble upon accidentally, it has to be sought out as any hormonal teenager will confirm. All the major search-engines provide graded levels of filtering that parents can select and set as appropriate for their children.

What we parents don't require is an ignorant religious bigot like Perry trying to impose her views on the rest of us.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@AC 1259

Yes. We didn't have the best railway in the world, but it was a damn sight better value for the user (and particularly the taxpayer!) than anything we have seen since. Oh, and you could buy a ticket from anywhere to anywhere without studying a 400 page decision tree to guide your purchase.

If British Rail had seen half the public money pee'd away on private operators, we might well have something more like a proper service.

0
0
Paris Hilton

Could...

...lead to some interesting FOI requests...

4
0
Grenade

And premium rate phones services to be "opt in" too

Funny, how when big business stands to *lose*, they suddenly become interested in freedom of choice.

My son, aged 7, managed to saddle us with a £20 phone bill, after he dialled a premium rate "tips line" advertised on one of his PS2 games, without our knowing. Contacted Telewest (as 'twas) and discovered you need to pay £1/month to have premium rate numbers blocked.

Ever since then, it's been a personal bugbear of mine that such services should be OFF by default - if you want them, you need to ask for them.

After all, it's not as if the telcos business model relies on people abusing the premium rate system to make money is it ? I mean all revenue they gain from operating premium rate services is from people who really want to use the service, isn't it ?

Anyway, back to the story in hand. Personally I have no problem with filtering being on by default, as long as grown-ups can removed or modify it themselves. I do not want a "uk.plc approved" internet.

Now, where's that list of VPN providers ?

2
18
Stop

It's allways someone elses fault, eh?

"Ever since then, it's been a personal bugbear of mine that such services should be OFF by default - if you want them, you need to ask for them"

This is EXACTLEY what I HATE. No, they should not be off by default. It's only your fault the situation occurred. In this case you didn't know what your kid was doing AND you didn't know about the services and facilities offered by your phone company.

Only yourself to blame and absolutely no justification to make any changes.

Thanks for a clearly demonstrating my complaint.

20
3
Grenade

You won't be so smug ...

when you get burgled, and the theives run up a £1,500 bill on your phone, which your insurance doesn't cover, and your telco takes you to court for ...

It's got nothing to do with raising kids, or abrogating responsibility, and everything to do with being sensible. How many people use premium rate services as a proportion of the population ? 10% 5% 1% ? So how does that justify leaving the service "on" by default ? Bear in mind we needed to get to >50% of the population being non smokers, before the smoking ban started to be discussed seriously.

4
13
Silver badge

Beg to differ...

"It's got nothing to do with raising kids, or abrogating responsibility, and everything to do with being sensible. How many people use premium rate services as a proportion of the population ?"

I would say this has nothing to do with the argument.

Any "filtering" system which blocks access to legal content of any kind should be opt-in.

If you wish to have premium-rate numbers blocked on your phone, it should be up to you to ask for it. If you wish to have internet porn blocked on your connection, you should set it up. If you do not want your little girl playing with Barbie dolls because they "promote an unhealthy body image" (or some such reason), don't lobby the toy shop to stop selling them or place them in an out-of-the-way corner, it's not your place to dictate to others.

10
0
Silver badge

Erm.....

I don't think them being ON by default is really an issue.

The telco charging you monthly to block them is what I'd be complaining about.

As for being burgled and running up a 1.5k bill, what f*ckin thief is going to do that? Maybe if they own the premium rate number. Dunno about you, but I could probably fence most of my stuff for more than that.

And he's right, you should've known what your kid was doing.

Getting back on topic, don't want your kid to access porn? Read a fucking book on how to properly install and configure a filter. Don't expect me and every other ISP subscriber to pay so that you can stay ignorant on a subject that you _claim_ to care about

15
0
Silver badge

@Ben Tasker

"As for being burgled and running up a 1.5k bill, what f*ckin thief is going to do that?"

Probably the same sort that smears their shit on your walls I'd imagine.

1
2

This post has been deleted by a moderator

This post has been deleted by its author

and how long??

"This approach is rejected by Safermedia, which takes the line that an opt-in system, verifying that a user is over 18, is a simple common sense protection for children."

and how long before a teenager gets a freing to set up a profile so they can access adult content?

the same friend who goes into the local off licence and buys the drinks using the money provided to them by the under age drinker so long as they get a free bottle or two

its another case of low hanging easy fruit that makes big headlines but actually achieves bugger all of the objectives

just puts yet more holes in the rights of UK citizens and then the list of filtered topics / material will increase until we can only see tesco and asda's websites

11
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Safer?

I went on a site yesterday that wasn't NSFW but still wanted me to put in a birthdate beofre going any further (I was looking at a site for a company that does rum).

I simply put in a date that satisfied the machine and carried on -- similarly with those sites that have the option for 'click here if you are over 18' - -is that really, really going to stop your average teenager?

how about a young person who wants to do research on kiddy-fiddlers? Left to the 'advice' of the Mail, Telegraph, Express etc. etc.?

Gawd, they'll have us going back to sharing dodgy pics by floppy disc.

5
0

This post has been deleted by its author

(untitled)

Get the children off the adult internet. Easy.

17
3
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Exactly...

... the question is simple: Do you treat everyone as adults or everyone as children?

Should we all be required to say "Please Sir, can I look at this" or should we say "If I have children *I* am the one responsible for their safety be it out in the big wide world or inside on the big World Wide Web...?

3
0
Go

Purpose of Filtering

"At the moment, awareness of filtering technology is low and filters can be worked around, especially by IT-savvy children."

At the point when kids are deliberately and actively going looking for it, then you might as well not bother. They're sexually curious and are going to get it one way or another. I'm under no illusion about how 14 year old boys think, or the lengths they will go to. They will just trade information about gaps in the filtering or one kid will be the source of all images to USB sticks behind the bike sheds. And if they're looking for it, they're hardly likely to be shocked either.

The reason for filtering is that your kids are not accidentally or maliciously exposed to such images when they aren't expecting it. It protects your 8 year old from seeing stuff they could be disturbed by because they misspelt a domain or were sent some spam.

4
3
Stop

Sex

Every time this kind of issue comes up, the focus is almost exclusively about sex and nothing else.

There are plenty of things on the internet that are far more disturbing, damaging (and just down right sick) than watching people shagging, but yet this rarely seems to be acknowledged.

I've had (ex) friends send me stuff for "a laugh" that torments me to this day, so I can only imagine what a child would make of it.

Are the people making these proposals really so stupid that they think sex is the worst possible thing that a child (or adult come to that) could see on the internet?

I'm not suggesting for a moment that children should be allowed access to sexually explicit material, but if these MPs and organisations are claiming that their aim is to "protect" children, then why do they only ever focus on sex to the exclusion of all else?

6
0
Unhappy

Monkey rapes frog?

Just asking.

Never want to see that again!

0
0
Unhappy

Yes

"Are the people making these proposals really so stupid that they think sex is the worst possible thing that a child (or adult come to that) could see on the internet?"

Yes. Yes they are.

Notice that in films you can have as much gore and shocking scenes as you like (as long as it's a "fantasy" setting) but anything even remotely sexual is an instant 18.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

"why do they only ever focus on sex to the exclusion of all else?"

Because sex/nudity is wrong (imagine that - natural human appearance and behaviour is a sin! What a great deal for those who run the church.) but a bit of violence never hurt anyone! Especially religious violence, the best and most prolific kind. Ever.

You see there's this pretend guy called Satan who lives in a pretend place called Hell. If you want to kill someone, just pretend that Satan is controlling him/her and start cracking those skulls together. Just make sure you check which god they believe in first. Wouldn't want to score any own-goals.

0
0
Heart

Fucking Nanny State

I love the UK

6
0
Joke

Fucking Nannies?

That will be blocked by the filter

0
0
Stop

Education?

"Education is of limited value given children generally do not understand the dangers..."

What do Safermedia think education is?

Let's not teach children literacy, since children generally can't read. Let's not teach children arithmetic, since children generally don't know how to do sums. Let's not teach them PE, since they're generally unfit. Let's not teach them how to cross the road, or about drugs, or sexually transmitted diseases, since "children generally do not understand the dangers".

What do Safermedia think childhood is?

20
0
Silver badge

godbotherers are, by default, against education

it's a survival trait.

prolly came about by some kind of natural selection :D

Every tech advance seen by our civilisation has been fought tooth and nail by the godbotherers, the more dark corners we illuminate, the more obvious it becomes that their invisible friend is just 'lies told to children' <tm terry pratchett>

11
1
FAIL

Silly woman

"MPs like Claire Perry, the Conservative member for Devizes, who back in November last year proposed an opt-in age verification system before anyone could access internet porn" - as if she honestly believes that it is possible to block porn from anyone, under age or not.

Oh, yes, she does believe it. That is why she is promising the undeliverable which is what all good politicians do when they haven't got any solid promises to offer that they can keep.

12
0
Silver badge

Re:Silly Woman

Yep, I'm sure she thinks she has come up with a real barn-stormer of an idea until she realises that, given they all live in the same household, any verification that can be done by the adult can no doubt be performed by the child pretending to be the adult.

7
0
Heart

Re:Silly Woman

Just before the big puberty hit, I used to manage my mothers landline account as she was far too busy doing other things than parenting.

I can tell you it's not that difficult if you sound remotely like them, speak in a manner that an adult would and know those key bits of information such as Date of Birth, Post Code and Full Name.

I'm now 27 and I'm pretty sure I could still pull it off if I ever needed to. Sorry Claire :(

1
0
Alert

Its not an 'academic question'

Its a fundamental question of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and parental responsibility.

Communications censorship is a fools paradise; it amounts to a dereliction of parental responsibility and supervision.

It is impossible to categorise child safe material - sexuality, religion, art, music, war, health being particularly complex topics to delineate.

As a protection measure, censorship can never safeguard children from grooming or bullying.

And if it is restricted to a single unencrypted protocol (like http) it will be easy to circumvent by means of email or SSL.

NoDPI.org did ask Ed Vaizey if he would meet with anti-censorship campaigners to discuss, but he didn't bother to reply.

16
0
Anonymous Coward

How about increasing awareness of existing solutions.

If you don't want to be subjected to various stuff on the net opendns can filter it for you, there's probably others, I don't really care. It's free and existing. I don't want to have to pay a share of the cost of my ISP implementing a filter that i'm only going to disable anyway.

To be honest, if you're technically naive to implement a filtering solution that your child can't circumvent (opendns + non-default pwd on router should do the trick) then you probably should cancel your isp subscription before you hand over your bank details to a criminal anyway.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

(opendns + non-default pwd on router should do the trick)

It is my understanding that you can point a client machine to any DNS server.

Therefore you would need to lock down the client machines too. At this point you might as well piss into the wind. With physical access, a 12 year old can root pretty much any Windows or Linux box. The tools/instructions are out there, and I don’t suppose for a second that you’ll be able to effectively filter them. If worst comes to worst kids will invite the school nerd over and he’ll have their system dual booting Linux in 5 minutes.

There is no substitute for parenting. If you can’t be assed to teach your kid how to behave, or you can’t be assed to raise them as a trustworthy person, then they won’t be. And it will be YOUR fault.

0
0
FAIL

Not looking forward to these developments.

Sickipedia and Fitlads are favourites to block by o2.

One is mostly offensive jokes and the other is a gay social network with the option for naughty photos.

It's how you use the web really, without painting everyone as a parent with underage porn watching kids.

Besides, how can they slag off the Australian Firewall if they're implementing one anyway but at a slower pace?

4
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

@Tigra 07

"One is mostly offensive jokes and the other is a gay social network with the option for naughty photos."

But is it O2's *business* to require it's customers to verify their age? Or keep track of your interests?

Do they have *need* to ask? Or a *need* to know?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

From: Hustler Magazine V's Falwell Supreme Court Decision.

"The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker's opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection. For it is a central tenet of the First Amendment that the government must remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas."

Seems so obvious when put like that.

As for the "think of the children" aspect, it ain't my job mate, they're your kids.

7
0
Megaphone

and in Europe...

..."Freedom of expression applies not only to information which is favourably received, but also to that which shocks, offends and disturbs" (European Court of Human Rights, Handyside v UK judgment 1976)

6
0
Anonymous Coward

@LegalAlien

Now all we need is for my fellow Brits to get it, everyone else seems to understand what free speech means.

1
0
Bronze badge

and just how?

"MPs like Claire Perry, the Conservative member for Devizes, who back in November last year proposed an opt-in age verification system before anyone could access internet porn"

How do you think that would actually work then. You would need everyone to have a defined standard of ID which would prove conclusively that they were over 18. Something like a national ID card scheme perhaps?

As with ALL these ideas, they only cause an issue for the middle ground. The people who don't want go there won't have a problem, the ones (including the under-18s) who are determined to go there will get there but the poor old middle ground who might, just possibly, think about having a quick peek to see what the fuss is all about......they are royally stuffed.

How about Occam's razor......the simplest solution is for parent's to ensure their little darlings are aware of the risks and monitored on a random basis to let them know you want them to take responsibility but that you still care for their safety. They will make mistakes and cause you headaches but that is part of the learning process for all involved.

If you are never allowed to learn to assess risk in a safe environment, how the hell will you manage it when you are sent out alone into that cold, cold world.

4
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums