back to article Telcos react coldly to renewed UK.gov smut-censoring push

Telcos have once again reacted frigidly to suggestions that Prime Minister David Cameron will force ISPs to proactively offer web-blocking measures to subscribers signing up for their services. It comes after a Daily Mail report on Saturday, citing Downing Street sources, suggested that the PM was about to call on a tightening …

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Tiscali will rue the day...

...their active filtering fails (which it absolutely will) and some kid tops themselves purportedly because they looked at a suicide site and it fractured their tiny little mind. Cue lawsuits and a world of hurt.

How many more times does it have to be said? Its the responsibility of the PARENTS to monitor access. The ISPs can give them tools, but they shouldn't be responsible for controlling access to legal content (illegal content is a different matter, but is already managed).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tiscali will rue the day...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/broadband/8936722/TalkTalk-child-filter-fails-to-block-adult-website.html

'nuff said...

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Facepalm

Re: Tiscali will rue the day...

I'm still trying to get my head around the reason why Talk Talk have jumped at the chance of implementing the "filter thingy". It's got to cost them, so unless their CEO or board are a bunch of prudes.

If you have so little interest in monitoring your children's internet activity that you need Talk Talk (a company not renowned for their efficiency) to do it for you, then you're not a very good parent. I imagine Claire Perry would be incredulous if you couldn't be arsed to tell your children to not to take lifts from strangers.

I'm going to raise the same argument with my MP and see what his reaction is.

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Re: Tiscali will rue the day...

"I'm still trying to get my head around the reason why Talk Talk have jumped at the chance of implementing the "filter thingy"."

Well there will be savings resulting from any reduction in data download, and less need to respond to law-suits against copyright claims which will reduce admin costs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tiscali will rue the day...

I guess it's also something the marketing chimps can shout about as well.

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Bronze badge

Re: Tiscali will rue the day...

I haven't heard much shouting from the marketing chimps, and they're still shouting "unlimited" anyway.

However you do the filtering, on the network or on a local PC, it depends on the people setting the filters. If it goes wrong, can they afford the cost of failure? I'm not totally against an opt-in network-level filter, but even the basic tools I have here suggest that websites can carry some suspicious content linked via third-parties. I wonder if the lack of failure accusations is a sign that this is a threat being whipped up by the politicians.

OK, maybe I'm a freak in how I react to some of the stuff out there. I know I sometimes see a schlocky horror scene in a film and wonder about how it was done. But it also seems that Politicians will believe anything, no matter how flimsy the evidence.

Stage magic. there are TV shows that reveal how the trick works. You can have the shock of the impossible, and the revelation of the reality. And the performance of the trick is the result of a lot of hard work and practice. We still have reason to applaud.

Do the politicians know we are onto their tricks?

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Anonymous Coward

The MP's knowledge of the internet is about on par with a certain US senator's view of the internet being a series of 'tubes' then.

As for the rest IANAL but wouldn't there be a good chance of any proposed legislation itself being illegal? I seem to recall RIPA being modified to remove the concept of 'implied consent' last year, so anything that forces ISPs to filter content by intercepting and potentially modifying communications would presumably fall foul of that. At least if permission was not sought beforehand FROM BOTH PARTIES (including the owners of the site that are, through their website, communicating with their users).

And any further change to RIPA could well incur the wrath of the EU commission, albeit extremely slowly

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But...

..Can't they just put a net over the tube to catch all the bad stuff?

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Silver badge

Re: But...

And what about all those packets that get smuggled in through the tubes

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Anonymous Coward

But what about the children's fathers?

Any bloke with a babies and small children in the house will know what I mean. Currently I'm discovering that older children don't go sleep till their parents are too tired to bother so looking at pictures/films of other people shagging is still about the nearest I seem get to it.

Growing up with my parents at it hammer and tongs a couple of rooms away might have made me a bit sensitive though. Still makes me cringe.

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Oh dear

I believe the answer is called "good parenting". This half-baked scheme has obviously been thought up by technically clueless politicians and is one step away from the very slippery slope of out-and-out internet censorship.

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Bronze badge

Don't do that

If you can't ask the public how to regulate communications without breaking the law regarding regulation of communications then you should be in charge of regulations regarding communications

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Unhappy

Always look on the bright side ...

Content filtering might encourage kids to find ways around it, leading to a more technically literate population.

But more cynically, Gustav around the corner will develop a tool that turns your kid's device into a bot but also allows him/her to view whatever content he/she desires. It will also further encourage the rise of the Private Networks to enable criminals to hide their activity behind lots of kids trying to view a bit of 'naughty' stuff.

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry, everyone

Claire Perry is the MP for my constituency, but not that I voted for her..

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: Sorry, everyone

"Claire Perry is the MP for my constituency, but not that I voted for her.."

Poor b***ard.

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"Do you have any children sir?"

None of your fucking business mate!

David Cameron can suck my dick.

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Silver badge

Re: "Do you have any children sir?"

Question 2: Are you an MP with a husband a home?

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Thumb Down

What a bunch of tits. And these are the kind that are sadly impossible to filter out and no fun at all to look at.

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WTF?

The Morality Police

Who is actually demanding this? Is it the same parents who allow their children to play age-restricted violent video games and watch age-restricted violent films, yet baulk at the idea of them watching pr0n?

I challenged my friend about him allowing his 12-year-old son to play 18+ violent games. I suggested he might as well let him watch pr0n as well. "Ahh, that's different!" came the reply.

So can someone please answer me this: Since when has violence in games/TV/film been more acceptable to society than watching two people engaging in sex? After all, sex is how we all got here! All violence leads to is death.

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Coat

Re: The Morality Police

"After all, sex is how we all got here! All violence leads to is death."

Not quite, for some people violence leads to sex. I was going to make a joke of it, and then realised that it could refer to non-consensual sex too.

Anyhow, if young people learn about sex from porn, odds are that it'll be a [relatively] disappointing experience the first time round, so much so that they make an effort to improve themselves - Everybody's a winner!

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Silver badge

Re: The Morality Police

>Since when has violence in games/TV/film been more acceptable

Since it was easier to answer - why is that man sticking a knife through the other man's eye?

Because he is a no good Commie/Kraut/Terrorist/from another cave

Than it is to ask, why is that man doing that to a women?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Morality Police

"I challenged my friend about him allowing his 12-year-old son to play 18+ violent games. I suggested he might as well let him watch pr0n as well. "Ahh, that's different!" came the reply."

That's OK. When his 12 year old son starts beating him around the head with a 3 foot dildo à la SR3, you can just remind him of that fact.

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Re: The Morality Police

That's one of those cultural differences, and because people are far more likely to have sex than to have guns, it's not one I can entirely dismiss.

But what I have seen of porn, there's a lot of bad sex: potentially abusive, risky, and generally awkward situations, which are a poor example for the young. Even when almost all of it was still photographs, in the days before broadband and streaming video, you could find pictures of what could be consenting adults having fun, with captions that made it out to be abusive.

Any answer to the problems had to involve good sex education.

Without that, porn seems dangerous. How many times is a condom used? What does it suggest about a woman who enjoys sex? How does it warp our perceptions?

Besides, sexual signalling is so widespread in the adult world that I can't see how we can ignore sex, as we raise our children. Porn is a terrible set of examples, but hardly the end of the world.

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and im getting pretty sick of this idea that kids are all so emotionally crippled

that the first dodgy porn site they see is gunna have them tying a noose.

its just not the case.

there are children in countries right now having their faces blown into pieces for the fun and profit of those who like doing that shit. you can see the brain pour out of their skulls in some cases. ive seen that shit online and guess what im not dead (i didnt even cry)... but i do have a mistrust of the government brain blowing out of skull politicians. heeeeey there's a thing. I wonder if that could have anything to do with the government pushing this.

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Re: and im getting pretty sick of this idea that kids are all so emotionally crippled

the government will do anything they can to protect children but if they're born in the wrong country they just might have to blow their brains out? give me a break

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Silver badge

Re: and im getting pretty sick of this idea that kids are all so emotionally crippled

This foreign video game shows fake CGI people having fake CGI sex with other fake CGI people = ban it.

We want to export these cluster munitions to blow up kids in this foreign country - but the country can't afford them = no problem we will give you an export credit guarrantee and the tax payer will pay for it

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Flame

Re: and im getting pretty sick of this idea that kids are all so emotionally crippled

The government doesn't care about the children. It just wants to get votes from parents by giving them a nice warm sense of security which just happens to be completely false. This sort of thing is actually dangerous. "Look, we're protecting your kids form all this nasty stuff." Like hell they are. It's the "something must be done" syndrome. They have to be seen to do something even if it's totally ineffective.

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Megaphone

Let's stop torturing people first, then we can worry about the suicide websites, yeah?

Trying to get these politicians to acknowledge any real issues is just, well, impossible. They come up with these manufactured issues year after year. Nobody questions it. The media just tells people to go along with it and they do. Who is asking for this? Nobody. Where is the grass roots support? Nowhere. How is it being pushed? Top-Down as always. How is it that they get away with this?

Who are you going to vote for? The party that ignores you and does what it wants, but has a red logo, or the same guys but with a blue logo? Who cares?

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the thing about suicide websites is the audience is entirely self-selecting.

scratch that, the thing about all websites is that the audience is self-selecting.

and that's what these mass media idiots dont understand. when you buy a computer and go online, bad sites aren't the first ones you see, IDIOT. If you want to look at them then YOU want to look at them.

And one kid that finds the site bad might live next door to another kid who gets his whole life meaning from running the site. So have some fucking understanding about how the internet works.

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Megaphone

BTW, If you are old enough to use a keyboard to type out what you want to see, then you should be old enough to see it. It's a simple but profound idea that people don't have a biological switch that changes their brains age 18 so that at midnight its finally safe for them to see sex (having already been doing the nasty for years etc).

authoritarians gunna be authoritarian. If you trust them, human progress will have peaked. If you let us go beyond that shit, we might finally reach new heights of humanity.

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Unhappy

Slightly skewed on the reasoning for the push on this.

It has very little to do with politicians and everything to do with gutter press media. The media wrap everything up as either protect the children or terrorists and scream that something has to be done, the population go along with it and force government to act.

It's a sad truth but Britain (and the USA) are run by media companies, not by the electorate.

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Anonymous Coward

Better approach

It would be far easier if they just made their main DNS servers block this content rather than using DPI thus slowing down traffic in general. Opting out would be as simple as choosing the opt out servers at your ISP or by choosing a 3rd party DNS provider.

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Facepalm

Re: Better approach

Those thumbs down-tards fail to understand why I mentioned DNS blocking.

They would rather they use DPI thus slowing down every Internet access including VoIP and gaming? no thanks.

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FAIL

Re: Better approach

no we perfectly understood why you mentioned it.

However as a preventative measure it's in the same category as a chocolate fireguard.

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Re: Better approach

Ain't all of these methods a 'chocolate fireguard' My point was that if they want to DO IT which THEY WILL, they may as well use the least invasive one, being the DNS server blocklist rather than a DPI blocklist which inspects all requests thus slowing down ALL NETWORK TRAFFIC!

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Re: Better approach

some chocolate fireguards are better than others and DNS blocking is just too easy to get around - Any kid will have this sorted within hours of it being implemented (even the none teccy ones can have a quick cheat sheet written for them).

Slowing down your internet traffic to "protect the kidz" is worth it - that's how the govt would explain it.

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FAIL

Re: Better approach

some chocolate fireguards are better than others and DNS blocking is just too easy to get around - Any kid will have this sorted within hours of it being implemented (even the none teccy ones can have a quick cheat sheet written for them).

Yeah that's true, but SSSHHH the government doesn't know that. But then yeah okay let's use the DPI method just for the hell of slowing everything else down, yeah that'll work, oh wait a minute.

ANY KID will know how to bypass BOTH methods, DPI isn't that much harder to bypass, and takes a throughput toll on the networks so let's not convince them to use it aye?

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The telcos should install the filter

And block the Daily Mail on the grounds that it has an unhealthy obsession with photographs of teenage girls.

Then see how long it is before the Mail changes its tune.

Actually a filter which *only* blocked the Mail would improve the world in so many ways.

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'Labour MP Helen Goodman, who is the shadow culture secretary, recently displayed her woefully inadequate knowledge of installing software on a computer, which makes her brain go "bzzzz", apparently.'

Maybe they need to change the batteries on her New Labour era thought-control chip?

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Gold badge
Flame

Wanted by the Daily Heil.

and WTF else?

And BTW Does not Cameron & Co have *many* more important things to do with their time?

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Big Brother

"and other material deemed by the government"

This part scares the crap out of me.........................

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Yes

And once the "think of the children" system is in place it will be simple to add a list of stuff they don't like that will be filtered for everyone with no opt-out.

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Unhappy

This part scares the crap out of me.........................

As it should.

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Re: Yes

That's the trouble: we already have CleanFeed, using the IWF's watch list. That's OK, we were assured, it only blocks child pornography, and that's illegal, so no need for an opt-out or any safeguards ... then it restricts Wikipedia for a while. Then it starts getting used for copyright enforcement too. How long before it's blocking "extreme" political sites? BNP? Hamas? Animal Liberation Front? Greenpeace? I'm no fan of any of those, but we need to head this filtering off NOW, before we get any further down that slippery slope.

I'd rather enjoy the irony if ISPs were to block access to all the pro-censorship sites, though...

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I used to work in schools were the kids internet was heavily filtered to stop the 'bad' sites getting though, and i can tell you most kids know how to get around the filtering using proxys, google cache etc so if the kids want to view porn they will do so.

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Anonymous Coward

Deja Vu

We only just managed to defeat this nonsense in Australia. It took an organised grass roots campaign lasting several years to finally convince the government that it would cost them too many votes.

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Anonymous Coward

Personally I would have thought our PM would have more important things to do. You know, sort out the economy, to tell Herman Van Rompuy to keep his grubby mits off our EU rebate, to tell the French to go ride on a big fat German hairy one, to sort out our looming energy crisis, to eradicate large scale poverty in the UK, to put stop to the UK following the US into their petty little wars around the world, and maybe to start working on the issue of an EU in/out referendum. But no. Dave knows better. He has more important things to do like plan to peddle school data to the highest bidder and to legislate parental tasks. Twat.

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Flame

Smokescreen at work

This is simply a clever smokescreen at work.

People assume it's the gutter press instigating this but my guess this is driven by the govt and ruling elite who want (and need) to control the internet. Currently, the only way to get any kind of Internet censorship in place is by using the "Think of the children" [ (C) Govts around the world] mantra.

They pretend to re-act to public opinion and we end up with a Great FW of [insert country of choice here]

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Silver badge
WTF?

It'll all be moot in 10 years anyway

Currently "they" seem to be telling us that we need ISP level filtering because "kids" are tech literate whilst their parents are not. Those so-called tech-illiterate parents will have stopped having more kids in ten years time whereas the new parents, just starting out, will be the tech literate generation who grew up with computers and ought to know how to install filter thingies properly.

I'm basing this on kids in school now and for the last 10 years all being exposed to ICT <spit!> classes at least in secondary school and in 10 years time will be all of the active parents with "impressionable" children.

I'm just shy of 50 years old and like many of my friends, had a computer at home from age 16. I suspect that there's a lot more "tech-literate" parents around than the Govt would like us to believe.

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