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back to article O2 boots up boobies blocker

O2 has finally switched on its porn-blocker, much to the annoyance of customers who don't see why they should prove their age. British mobile operators are required to provide age-verification before allowing access to "adult" content, but different operators opt customers in and out by default. It seems that O2 is now learning …

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Stop

Reading the small print

The first time you verify your age using a credit card they will charge £1 and give you £2.50 credit on your phone. Each subsequent time you verify your age using a credit card you will be charged £1 and NOT credited! So, how often do you need to verify your age, and how much is that going to cost I wonder?

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Response

Hi there,

Once you've verified your account, you don't need to verify again.

You're absolutely right about being charged £1 and credited £2.50 back for validating though.

Thanks

Paul

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FAIL

Well, what I'd like...

...is to have properly working proxies so that when trying to buy some laptop memory from Scan it allows me to add items to my basket, allows me to pay for a domain hosting renewal and doesn't fall over on the useless Verified by Visa stuff or indeed when trying to use Paypal for payment and also doesn't say "The host has stopped responding" when the useless Bango servers fail to proxy correctly.

If there were another operator with coverage where I need it (I've tried all of the others and they are useless) then I would move in a flash.

Grrrr!

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Anonymous Coward

Odd behaiviour

They've definitely been fiddling with the settings on this for a while. I've had a "restricted content - you must be over 18" block appear on my O2 iPhone once or twice on really innocuous sites but there was no option to authenticate at the time.

A reboot seemed to fix it.

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O2 fails again

I have in my mail file a lovely email dated last June from the Information Commissioner assuring me that O2 have promised never ever to send me any further SMS messages after their spamfest fiasco last year where they even pissed-off the writer of Father Ted.

At 12:05 this afternoon I got an O2 SMS message...

I'm no longer with O2. I left last summer having suffered their crap service for a year or so. I expect this censoring issue will leave them with fewer customers still.

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Google Translate?

They're blocking Google Translate, as apparently that's 18+ content. O2 are bloody useless!

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Re; Google Translate?

They're blocking Google Translate as it can be used as a gateway past any ISP web/porn filter with it's ability to translate a web site by entering a URL.

Banning Google translate is common practice with many company and netnanny web filters for the same reason.

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FAIL

Epic Fail

I can go in to a newsagent and buy a copy of the Sun for 30p no questions asked

www.page3.com on O2 and they want me to prove my age.

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Boffin

Go into a shop...

...and they can see your face - hence no questions asked.

Go online, and they don't get to see your face.

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Re: Go into a shop

But you don't need to prove your age to buy a newspaper (and I use the term loosely here)

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Unhappy

Two Pink Floyd albums....

..they made two?

I was ready to kill myself after hearing Dark Side of pretention.....

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Re: Two Pink Floyd albums....

"I was ready to kill myself ......"

OI! There's a queue to kill you. Get to the back of the line.

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"Dark Side of pretention"

Pretentious?

Compared to who, Lady Gaga?

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Anonymous Coward

Leave O2. Simples...

The only thing that talks is money.

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Questions...

@Bill Ray - If I'd said "A Nice Pair" would I have qualified?

On other matters - who wants "adult content" on mobile phones anyway? Do they still sell those water-filled lenses which you could use with old TV sets? Because you would surely need one of those to watch pr0n on a mobile?

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OK, now I know that at least 1 person likes to watch porn on his mobile phone and without a magnifying glass.

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Re: Thumb down

It's only us long time users that need to use a magnifying glass.

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What about those with no CC?

I do not have a CC does that mean I don't get the boobies then?

Surely having a monthly contract means I am over 18, granted that does not take into account parents that take out contracts of their kids

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I wondered this too.

what if you don't have a credit card. maybe someone could do some digging for us.

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WTF?

Yup

You can't use a debit card. Not been bothered to claim my "free" £1.50 yet. Was curious when it popped up back in November though - does it cover other age limited stuff like betting sites? Hmm, guess I should just dig out my phone and check...

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Re: No CC

Use a VPN - there are plenty of free IPSeC or PPTP options available

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No CC

Head into an O2 store with Photo ID.

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No card

Worry not! According to the blocking page "we can check your age if you take your photo ID to any O2 shop". Presumably while wearing a dirty mac.

Ignoring the fact that back when I became an O2 customer, I had to provide bank statements and photo ID and they have my date of birth, this is a f***ing joke.

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Muppets

Their mobile verification system is "Server Unavailable" and the one on the website says "Sorry we cannot send the verification message at the moment. Please try again later, alternatively our staff at any O2 shop will be happy to help if you bring proof of age and ID"

No warning at all, verification systems down, huge fail. The people who came over to O2 for iPhones can all leave and go back to sensible networks now.

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T-Mobile Too

T-Mobile do this too. When I got my new smartphone off them, I fould that I couldn't access e-Buddy, it was rated 18+ (wtf? Its a chat application).

T-Moble wanted me to pay a £1 charge via credit card, which they'd refund within 24hrs, to prove I was 18+. Note its specific, credit cards. Debit cards need not apply. I don't have a credit card, by personal choice, only a debit card.

In the end, rather than losing my contract because this restriction was not made known to me when I signed up, they agreed that I could take my drivers licence or passport, birth certificate, and 2 utility bills in my name to my nearest T-Mobile store, and they would validate my age there.

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Same situation

Only it's worked forever, I've been a customer since 1995 and now they want me to dig out my ID and go down to their shop in the next town to prove to them I'm a grown up.

Fuck them. I'm going to move networks when the contract is up just because they've made me hate them so much today.

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Website

My content lock is off, always has been with T-Mob contract.. However I logged in to the web portal and it enables me to toggle it there..

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T-Mobile had it for years

I un-barred mine a few years ago, as I couldn't get to the national lottery website without unblocking. Easy to do, minor inconvenience at the time.

For anyone to use this as an argument for having the same on home broadband is bonkers, given the broad brush they used for site restrictions for mobile networks.

Perhaps they deliberately filtered silly things to show how hard it would be to filter broadband connections?

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Black Helicopters

...is required

So I morally object to internet filtering... next thing you know, you're trying to find a bus time and the bus company website is randomly blocked.... I might be paranoid, but can you really trust them?

The page essentially says they need my CC number to charge me £1 and return £2.50... why would they need that when I pay by DD and have done for 5 years?

So I rang up O2 (on 202) and had a whinge. Apparently it's a "technical issue" that has happened to a fair few customers, so am hoping that enough people are complaining that they will be removing the filter from people that can be shown to be old enough.

*Sigh*

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No card needed for me

I rang up the Customer Service line and read the Riot Act at them - they removed the block (taking two working days to push the switch, but hey, it's O2) without asking for credit card details or any of that nonsense.

I also took the time to have a whinge at why my BT Openzone access no longer seems to work either!

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O2

don't like 2 O's.

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It blocked me from viewing the salacious delights of

Poker chips. Not gambling. Not even poker. But stopped me visiting a site about collectable poker chips.

I knew my hobby was a bit anal - but not that type!

I assumed it was some sort of hacked redirect.. now I see it is not. Hmm.

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Don't see the problem...

All the mobile networks do this in some way, my O2 sim had the block on from the day I got it. I just walked into an O2 shop and asked them to take it off, within about 2 minutes it was done. Didn't even ask for ID.

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Orange "will let you drop into a shop with a photo ID"

I'd feel like Alan Partridge calling down to reception if I had to go into an Orange shop and beg: "Can you make porn come on my phone?"

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No SSL

Also noticed that the page you put your CC into is not HTTPS://

Not great O2.

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WTF?

Contract phones

I could see the logic for prepaid phones, but for contract phones where you have to be 18 in order to have taken out the contract in the first place surely there should be no restriction?

If you are taking out a contract for your kids, then there should be a separate option at signup time to turn on the porn filter.

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Exactly!

I got hit by this today, when trying to view www.themonkeysyouordered.com - there's nothing worse at that site than a B&W cartoon of a topless mermaid.

Anyway, I already gave O2 my age when I signed the contract. Why the bloody hell do they need it again? I can feel an angry phone call coming on - something along the lines of:

"I've been a customer for 2 1/2 years, and am currently out of contract. Please get your heads out of your arses and fix this or I'm going to Vodafone when the iPhone 5 comes out instead of punting another £1000 in your direction."

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Kindly <censor> off.

It's always "for the cheeeldren", and you're obviously supposed to feel bad if you object.

If I was a parent (I'm not) I'd be happy to have the *option* of such a service, but would NOT and DO NOT expect it on by default. Protecting my child would by my concern, not theirs. Nanny off!

O2 (and other carriers) should stick to being the telecoms/data provider, responsible for provision of service, NOT enforcing rules and censorship. By all means provide us with the ABILITY to restrict sites/age related content, but TELL us about it first, and allow us to opt in. Don't force it upon me, or make me opt out.

As a comparison, I don't see my water company forcibly installing new pipes to my house ("part of their service"), for no charge ("all part of our 'added value' service!"), without my consent - and then charging me to remove them after I find they stop me opening my doors etc due to bad layout.

So, O2 - in a nutshell, do not opt me in by default. Do NOT charge me for the priviledge of opting out of a service I never signed up for in the first place (I don't see it anywhere in my t's & c's, and nor do I see Bango (or any other company) involved in the t's & c's - and we now know they'll be mining surfing habits for revenue gain etc). As mentioned, their own site states you'll only get a £2.50 refund ONCE - implying they KNOW their system can/may block you again, resulting in a fee.

I rang O2 C/S earlier, in a less than good mood, and the C/S agent concerned has apparently sent a form to their backoffice team to remove the blocking on my account FoC. This however, may take 48 hours, but I hope will be logged on my account, so that if I am blocked again, I will be able to complain (again).

I am now considering switching provider (possibly even to a more expensive one) who will not adversely interfere with my internet usage. "Fair usage" does not (to my knowledge) involve "sites *we* allow you to see, not sites you might want to see".

I may only pay £20 pcm (£240 p/a) but that's £240 that doesn't involve £1 fiddly payments every so often. I'll gladly spend £240 p/a for a hassle free experience elsewhere. 48 hours - the clock started ticking about 4 hours ago.

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T-Mobile will not do this in-store

I refused to give them CC details, so I tried in store. They accepted that I was who I said I was, accepted that the contract was mine (the contract you need to be 18 to sign...), and then asked me for credit card details...

FUCK OFF!

It wouldn't be so bad, except I wasn't trying to look at b00bies. They blocked a bloody programmer reference!

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Unhappy

no b3ta either

O2 are saying that you can pop into a shop with photo id to prove you're over 18. I'm gonna pop in after work and try and point out that my monthly direct debit they're happy to take, and my details they needed to set up the contract should point out quite clearly that I'm over 18. And having worked building anti-porn filters in the past I'm quite comfortable discussing pr0n access on my mobile, let's see if the staff in their shop are.

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Well

Your DD and your contract doesn't prove that you use the phone. Perhaps you have a DD for your 16 year old Kiddies contract phone?

(Why doesnt this ever seem to occur to anyone?)

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Anonymous Coward

@pastey

I had the same problem. When I bought the bloody phone from O2 it was pretty obvious that I was over 18, being 45, but content was blocked on the grounds that I had not proved my age! According to their C/S staff, it was an error by the sales person, who should have asked at the point of sale. They suggested using a credit card to verify my age and then got confused when I said I didn't have one : "but, but, everyone has one..."

O RLY?

As for Chad H, that's exactly the point. They can't stop anybody giving the phone to a 5 year old if they want to, so a credit card will make no difference. They could, however, try using some fucking common sense...

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WTF?

Think yourselves lucky

If that demented bitch Jackie Smith was still the fuhrer you would be put on list 99 and required to attend regular psychiatric treatment for your evil perversion just for asking to have the porn block removed.

Don't you understand how disgusting and perverted you are?

There is porn everywhere!

Everybody must attend their local NHS trust be fitted with a blindfold before they are allowed to go out in public! If you want the blindfold off in any public place or shop you will have to prove your age with a government issued ID card. Anyone asking to have their blindfold taken off within 100 miles of a school will have to ring a bell and loudly announce "paedo approaching, lock up your children" whenever they are in any public place.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Stop

Opera Mini

Bypasses their rubbish altogether. I could take my ID to their shop (only having debit cards), or use Opera for six months and take my ID to someone elses shop and give my nice contract money to someone else.

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Block pr0n...

...and reduce your network overload problems. Simples.

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No. Upgrade the network

Why should content suffer because the network in inadequate? Charge the content providers and use the money to upgrade the network. Why should the consumer always foot the costs, get the producers to pay or network usage too.

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All the answers to your questions

Hi everyone,

I've seen few comments here on why O2 has blocked a particular website, why is O2 asking to verify my age now and what are the different ways to verify the age on your O2 mobile (if one is not comfortable in giving our his/ her credit card details).

You can find more details and answers to all your questions here - http://tiny.cc/69ubx. Hope it's useful!

Thanks

Abs

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Anonymous Coward

O2 completely miss the obvious

I can buy a phone, verify I'm over 18 and then give it to anybody I want, including my children.

Most children's phones are bought for them by their parents, just like 18-rated video games etc.

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