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back to article Lords give automatic smut censorship bill the once-over

Internet service providers (ISPs) would be required to prevent customers accessing pornographic images unless those customers actively notify the ISPs that they want to access the material if draft new UK legislation being proposed receives backing. The Online Safety Bill, if enacted, would place a "duty" on ISPs and mobile …

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Anonymous Coward

Because, obviously...

... everybody is underage unless proven old enough. And you'd better keep on proving that, because we really do have to defend against those evil age-reversers. Or maybe it's just to "protect" you from sudden lapses in good judgement, indicated by... watching pr0n or something. Sort-of a dead-man switch for your inherent adult depravity. It's the closest thing to "hands above the sheets, boys!" shouted to all ISP and telco customers alike.

What if we'd just put that filter on whitehall, and nowhere else? Problem sorted, methinks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Because, obviously...

I'm all for applying online scrutiny to Whitehall & the Houses of Parliament for a trial. Let's see how they like their online activities spied on before they apply it to us.

Also, how about they make the default opt-in instead, i.e. if you want your online behaviour spied on, you have to ask for it?

Bet they don't get many takers to allow ISPs, the government or anybody else to spy on them....

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Anonymous Coward

"opt-in" means "opt-out"

Those pushing for such legislation have decided to reverse "opt-in" and "opt-out".

In the past, those opposed to this kind of default filtering have said any such filtering should be "opt-in", instead of applied by default ("opt-out"). But those pushing for this filtering decided to reverse the terms, so that filtering is on by default, and you have to "opt-in" to not having filtering applied.

Perhaps they think this makes it look like those who were saying such filtering should be "opt-in" actually support what they're calling for.

And it's there, in the Bill itself, in section 1 subsection (4): "“opts-in” means a subscriber notifies the service provider of his or her consent to subscribe to a service that includes pornographic images."

They are legislating to reverse the meanings of "opt-in" and "opt-out"!

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Big Brother

Newspeak

" They are legislating to reverse the meanings of "opt-in" and "opt-out"! "

No citizen, you opt-in to having the plusungood content.

Remember "Ignorance is Strength"

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Boffin

Re: Because, obviously...

"And you'd better keep on proving that, because we really do have to defend against those evil age-reversers."

Bloody hell, I'll pay cash money if you can find something that'll make me 17 again. Knowing what I know now I wouldn't -need- pornography!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Because, obviously...

>>... everybody is underage unless proven old enough

On the internet this isn't that crazy a position to take!

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Anonymous Coward

"On the internet this isn't that crazy a position to take!"

It's about as reasonable as picking any random spot on the earth and assuming everybody is underage, if you disregard the fact that we're talking about ISP and telco customers here, people legally allowed to sign contracts. The general case is thus demographic dependent with probability somewhere below one half, and this specific case, thanks to context, approaching nought.

There are two things to realise, and I sincerely hope you are mature enough to follow the reasoning: First, leaving underage children unsupervised is generally frowned upon, and this should be no different "on the internet". If you do leave your children unsupervised with full access to the world, even if merely through an electronic window installed in their bedrooms, the problem isn't with the facility nor the provider of same, but with you, the irresponsible parent.

Second, where being an irresponsible parent in the real world might land you in serious legal trouble, this law says that instead "on the internet" everyone else must suffer, just in case. This makes no sense, neither technically nor as a policy, unless you are indeed someone bent on forcing everybody to conform to your morality agenda. This goes somewhat against the grain of a free society, as it assumes that no adult is in fact fit to act like one.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't mind me, I'm just pointing out the obvious on the first page.

Of course it's the EU...

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Unhappy

Censorship and snooping...

Both are very desirable for governments, and in that respect UK plc is way behind the trail blazers like China, Iran and Australia.

We all know that parents are no longer responsible for their children, they are someone else's problem and better be looked after properly or someone else gets sued.

Even adults are no longer responsible for themselves, as an adult recently setting themselves on fire at the behest of the government so clearly demonstrates.

So there are clear indicators that the government must take responsibility for what we are allowed to see on the Internet, and they get a nice little potential sex offenders register as well.

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Re: Censorship and snooping...

UK plc is way behind the trail blazers like China, Iran and Australia.

Incorrect. Australia despite the best efforts of its troglodyte comms minister has only implemented 'voluntary' filtering (voluntary for the isps that is) of a secret 'Interpol' list of apparently only child porn 'sites', and only three isps have done so to date.

The broader mandatory filter is stuck in a timewarp as the federal upper house will not pass it.

So actually the Bits are well advanced in their censorship of the web despite the reports of the down under situation...

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Re: Censorship and snooping...

or even the Brits... as opposed to the Bits..

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Silver badge

Next ...

I'll have to get permission from the telco to have an erotic conversation with my wife when I'm on the road ... This whole nanny-state mentality needs to go away. On both sides of the pond.

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Thumb Up

Re: Next ...

I hope that a hands free erotic conversation - or are you using a mobile while driving?

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Silver badge

Re: Next ...

I don't babble on the phone when driving.

"On the road" means "not at home" ...

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How exactly are they going to spin adult pornography into PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM TERRORIST PAEDOPHILES?

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Easy...

Pr0n creates TERRORPEADOS!!!

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Bronze badge

Re: Easy...

We call them Paedorists nowadays.

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Re: Easy...

Hmm... sounds a bit too close to pederast and loses emphasis on 'terrorist'...

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FIA

Re: Easy...

>Pr0n creates TERRORPEADOS!!!

If that doesn't end up as a Gery Anderson series then the world's just not fair.

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Coat

Re: Easy...

I guess that if they use a well known onion router infrastructure to hide their web activity they will be known as TORPAEDOS.

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Joke

"Paedorists"!

YEAH! A RALLYING CRY TO THE SUN READERS TO LYNCH ALL THE FOOT DOCTORS!!!

( Last time we got confused and beat up genuine kiddie doctors, not this time though! )

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Silver badge

Re: "Paedorists"!

Wait 'til you see what the angry mobs do with the audiophiles.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ooh ooh, can I be the first to say...

Round here, usually only if you're very quick.

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Liability?

If they implement this, and my innocent eyes are offended by something pornographic, is the ISP liable?

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Gold badge

Re: Liability?

Almost certainly, and that is why it is such a bad idea to make it a legal requirement. ISPs will have to adopt a "better blocked than sorry" approach.

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Silver badge

definition to broad?

any device "capable of connecting to an internet access service and downloading content".

Will that include Pidgins? cf RFCs 1149, 2549 and 6214

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Re: definition to broad?

And fridges. And electricity meters. It's so stupid ...

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Silver badge

Indemnity

So if you don't opt-in for smut, does this provide an alibi if something "dubious" is later found on your computer.

"But constabubble, I never *asked* for pr0n, so it's not my fault ... "

Something tells me you'd still get banged up - though it would be interesting to see how the ISPs would weasel out of admitting liability, or paying compo for the "damage" caused.

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Stop

So...

not only will we need to get permission to watch/view what we want, but the govt will have a list. Surely this law would fail as soon as it's taken to Euro court?

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Boffin

It'll be on Pastebin in ten seconds flat

Here's the list of pr0n even the government doesn't want you to see!

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Gold badge

Re: It'll be on Pastebin in ten seconds flat

I think the OP was referring to the "list of known perverts" that the ISPs would have to maintain.

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WTF?

Re: So...

...will that list include:

- The Freeview Smut like the "Adult BabeStation" et al 'data' services? - Will we have to opt-in for that?

- A Freesat box - Will that be yet another opt-in required?

- A device I buy that's capable of allowing me to "filter" the content/channels I don't want (Freeview/Freesat and to some extent Sky boxes let you do this...)?

- Will the content/channels I choose NOT to filter on these types of devices be deemed that I opted-in?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So...

I assume so.. who else is going to protect my young son from the gay rabbit dating and chat TV channel?

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Silver badge

So hows this going to work then?

Am I going to be able to sue the ISP/government if a connection I've not authorised shows someone having a wardrobe malfunction?

The number of porn sites on the internet is one of the closes approximations to infinity known to mathematics. Their rate of expansion is also astronomical. So how do they propose to know what sites are porn and which aren't. And that is a problem just for sites that are primarily aimed at being porn sites. How do they intend to deal with other sites which might well show something that is considered perfectly OK in its home jurisdiction but falls foul of some jealous old fart who decides to make it their business to ruin everyone else's lives.

I run parental control SW on my kids PCs, I've also told them I can, if need be monitor, what sites they visit. I've never tried testing the limits of what the SW is capable of, I've always thought it was to some extent a rite of passage for the kids as they grow up to find their own ways around the cracks in world. I'm sure the SW isn't perfect, I'm sure it isn't possible for any system to be perfect. Lets face it the whole of the US went into shock because some publicity hungry pair of performers decided to flash a ladies nipples in the middle of prime time TV, they couldn't stop that. How the hell do they think they are going to stop the smut on the web? without infringing the human rights of everyone over the age of 18 to be a total perv if that is their choice.

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Silver badge

Re: So hows this going to work then?

I guess they are hoping the .xxx thingy will take off and then they can blanket block the entire domain.

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Joke

Re: So hows this going to work then?

" The number of porn sites on the internet is one of the closes approximations to infinity known to mathematics. Their rate of expansion is also astronomical."

"Yes, I'd like to register as over 18, please, so I can access pornographic websites. I'm an astronomer, you see, and I'm attempting to make a comparative study of the number of stars with the number of pornographic websites, as well as the rate of growth in terms of that number and the size of the Universe..."

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Stop

What a load of crap!

An optional filter I can almost see the point of (almost being the operative word), but on by default, no way. And it should be within the pc or phone and not at the ISP. Also, what are they going to do with all the material available via P2P (torrents), block them as well? So they end up with a list of all the naughty people. Or is this just some untenable pipe dream that some morally righteous jealous old twit with too much time on their hands has thought up?

I really think the whole world has gone completely mad.

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Megaphone

Re: What a load of crap!

It is an ideal blackmailing tool for any and all involved including the people who brought you two illegal wars.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap!

What about magazine sharing sites, that dish out scanned PDFs of NZX, Penthouse, et al,? How they going to stop all those?

Back in the last century when we were growing up we'd head to our local hedgerow to find a rain-dampened copy of Penthouse or Fiesta. Now kids will have to do the online equivalent, finding a dodgy mag site and grab few old PDFs of some "rhythm magazines"!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap!

"Or is this just some untenable pipe dream that some morally righteous jealous old twit with too much time on their hands has thought up?"

That would be Mumsnet, I couldn't have described them better myself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap!

"Or is this just some untenable pipe dream that some morally righteous jealous old twit with too much time on their hands has thought up?"

You might like to look up Reg Bailey, the Mothers' Union and the Bailey Report.

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Anonymous Coward

I fear the results.

I work for a company who was invovled in the Home Access project. Som idiot in a comitee somewhere was told you can access pr0n in 15 seconds, so a filtering solutojn was mandated. This filtering solution blocked all access via a whitelist until it was configured and setup. After this it was category based blacklist.

99% of our support calls was this filtering software fucking up and blocking all access.

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Facepalm

Failed to think this through

(i) it's not the ISPs fault, that's like blaming radio waves for carrying unwanted material;

(ii) parents need to look after their children (although the currently available tools are not best usable);

(iii) most younger children need protecting from content other than pornography;

(iv) the older children are looking for this material actively, and did so before the Internet.

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Anonymous Coward

A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

I think it's time to repost these little stories.

I went to a shop and bought a TV set. I took it home, plugged it in, fiddled with the aerial and started watching TV. I watched lots of programmes, and lots of channels. Eventually, I saw something that shocked me, truly shocked me! I never wanted any of that Sick Filth to be brought into my home. So I went back to the shop and kicked up a right old fuss about this. After all, it was they who sold me that TV set in the first place, so they ought to take responsibility for what that TV set brings into my home. Right?

(Why is the ghost of Kenny Everett telling me to use my knob?)

I got on a bus and went to the market. Browsing the market, I found a stall selling DVDs, so I had a look to see if there were any movies my family would enjoy. Imagine my surprise when I found hardcore porn DVDs there! I was shocked! So I went straight to the bus company and kicked up a right old fuss about this. After all, it was they who took me to that market on their bus, and my children could just as easily use their buses to get to that market, or to other places with unsuitable material. It's surely the bus company's responsibility not to expose us to such Sick Filth. Right?

(Who said, "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people"?)

I went to an ISP and bought a subscription to access the internet...

(Feel free to copy, improve, distribute, etc, these little stories.)

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Re: A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

+1 despite the Godwin.

(actually, what does worry me is the amount of rhetoric that's come out of the last 2 UK governments that sounds as though it was lifted from Mein Kampf)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

Except:

The sick filth on the telly was after the watershed, so you knew that there was a possibility of seeing it.

The sick filth in the market on DVD was clearly marked r18, so you knew what it was.

Personally, I don't have a problem with voluntary opt-in censorship of the Internet, for those who don't want to see certain types of image or site - Not everyone likes porn, it's not some personal failing if you don't whack off to porn every night or if you don't want your kids to see porn.

Personally I quite like it, but I certainly wouldn't like a child of mine to see the images that I see, it's just not good for a young mind.

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Coat

Re: A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

If I recall the "not the nine o'clock news" sketch correctly, you were supposed to phone the electricity company.

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Flame

Re: A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

AC: "Personally I quite like it, but I certainly wouldn't like a child of mine to see the images that I see, it's just not good for a young mind."

I would have thought that a little soft core pr0n was a lot less harmfull than all violent video games they indulge in.

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WTF?

This cant work

How will this work???

What is porn?

How will they detect that it is a porn site?

Do they consider a streaker porn?

Do they consider a nudist porn?

Do they consider an artistic nude by a famous artist porn?

It is just censorship in another form, once the ISP's show they can do it, then the gov will slowely creep what they censor until were restricted more than China..

I for one am going to write an email to my MP right now!

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