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back to article All major UK ISPs prepping network-level porn 'n' violence filters

TalkTalk - it would seem - has blazed an unlikely trail for Britain's big name ISPs by being the first telco to switch on network level filtering of web content. Now, after many months resisting the urge to apply such controls to their services, the other major providers - BSkyB, Virgin Media and BT - have all decided to follow …

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Baby steps

So with this coming into play, how long until the Great British Firewall is setup? Does the automatic blocking of content not go against some European legislation or even human rights somewhere?

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Re: Baby steps

as i'm aware most isp's already do some level of blocking for certain sites.

I'm pretty sure it will soon be abused to get various non porn sites added, its just the way of things. Aus recently went through the same thing.

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Re: Baby steps

I am all for the blocking of illegal sites, though last time I checked it wasn't yet illegal to look at porn

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Re: Baby steps

There needs to be a way of seeing the block list, and penalising them if they make mistakes. Shame I don't have the resources to force a law decision on the matter.

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Re: Babbit55

Really, but on who's definition of illegal? And why can't we see this block list?

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Unhappy

Re: Baby steps

I like the way you shoehorned some EDL style politics into a discussion about ISP content filtering. Clever wording - cheers.

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Stop

Re: Baby steps

@Dave 15 the Nazis used demonisation of a religious minority as well as banning books Let's hope neither happens here.

With the christians coming over here and breeding, converting and forcing their views on impressionable young minds through the education system (like the Nazis did), we pagans have suffered for long enough. It's about time we kicked out this foreign religion or gave another one a go - they can't be any worse.

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Facepalm

Re: Baby steps

Yep, next thing fine-art photo websites with male and female nudes, that includes the Royal Photographic Society showcase pages, DeviantArt, 1x.com, all perfectly valid photography art sites but some prude with the blocking app on their PC at UK Gov HQ will no doubt deem the merest hint of a naked body to be porn and that's that!

Going to be just like the US, your kids can see all the beatings and shootings ( no blood of course! ) they like on pre-9pm TV but one flash of an inner-thigh or a nipple at any time, anywhere and all hell breaks lose!

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Re: Baby steps

And.......we're at Godwin's Law. Somewhat earlier than usual too.

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Re: Baby steps

I am going to expend large amounts of time trying to get the Mail Online put on the ban list.

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Re: Babbit55

The laws that are enforced in whatever country you are in.

On a side note, if they make it an "Opt-out" system they might aswell just call it "The Potential Peado List" considering they are trying to protect the kids.

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Re: Babbit55

"The national comittee of people who know best" - you aren't allowed to know who is on the comittee because they know best, and you can't see the list because then you might be exposed to naughty stuff - so just keep calm and carry on.

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Devil

Re: Babbit55

A publicly accessible official government directory of sex'n'violence? What could be wrong with that?

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Devil

Re: Paul Crawford

That would be for a court to decide. They're the only people empowered to make decisions on what is or isn't legal.

Erm ... wouldn't it?

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Re: NomNomNom

The Mail Online?

How about that most bloodthirsty work of all, the Bible?

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Re: CaNsA

Difficult to tell if you are just trolling or not.

Who makes up these lists and/or equipment? Last time I looked it was USA or Chinese suppliers. Do you really think they give a rat's cock about what the public should be seeing by the UK's laws?

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Re: Baby steps

Hadrian's Firewall?

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Re: CaNsA

Just answering your question "but on who's definition of illegal?"

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Re: Paul Crawford

"That would be for a court to decide. They're the only people empowered to make decisions on what is or isn't legal."

They would do the ASBO trick. The material on the list wouldn't have to be proved illegal - circumventing the list to access these sites would itself be illegal, even if the site was on the list by accident

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So the big brother state has won

Just like China, North Korea and other dictatorships around the world our dictatorship has managed to introduce censorship. Right now it is banning porn and violence because the stupid majority will buy that this is 'good for them'. Next it will be anything the government doesn't want you to see... that will be anything that disagrees with its view.

The problem with 'democracy' is that it is run by the privileged few and supported by the uneducated unwashed stupid idiots and those in the middle who can think but are powerless just get shafted with the bill.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So the big brother state has won

This will be a great way for businesses to block each others web stores. Send a report to an ISP about some dodgy stuff on a rival site. Get a hacker to "upload" adult to a rival website (no need to link anything to the JPG). Send URL to JPG to ISP, wait for the block.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So the big brother state has won

@Dave15 if you want to read the article there's a link at the top of this page.

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Black Helicopters

Re: So the big brother state has won

Dictatorship?!? Don't be ridiculous, that's one person! What we have is a bunch of unelected civil servants in lifetime jobs that make all the decisions and then persuade our elected leaders that it was really their idea all along. They're always very clever though; they make sure to push different ideas through different politicians, so that a right-wing idea is given to a right-wing politician and vice versa.

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Re: So the big brother state has won

Maybe it wasn't deliberate, but a dentist's web site had found its way onto the Australian list when that was finally made public. No-one owned up to knowing how it got there!

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Childcatcher

All about the revenue...

1. ISP promotes whole-home porn blocking.

2. ISP lets the nation's Dads subscribe for a couple of £s a month to "Enhanced per-device blocking" so he can still get his Redtube fix on his iPad.

3. PROFIT!!!

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Re: All about the revenue...

More like "Dad sets his DNS server to something else, like 8.8.8.8 (Google DNS) or OpenDNS, and gets on with his life.."

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FAIL

not only but also

a) The parents now feel safe in the knowledge that their kids can't see porn and so allow them unfettered access to the internet, where they can chat & webcam with kiddy fiddlers to their hearts content. But it's ok, they are safe. They can't look at porn.

b) The kids just change the DNS & carry on as normal.

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Boffin

Re: All about the revenue...

What's the difficulty with implementing IP based filtering instead of DNS based filtering? It could even use the same blacklist (or whitelist!).

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Re: All about the revenue...

Shared servers. Lots-and-lots of sites on one IP - very common practice in budget webhosting. If you go by IP it becomes very easy to accidentally block a few hundred sites that happened to share the same host as one porn site.

IPv6 will fix this. If it ever gets adopted fully. Some time between the rise of the ape civilisation and the death of the Sun.

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Re: not only but also

c) The ISP catches this because you're underutilizing the house DNS system and starts sniffing around. Pretty sure the ToS for such a service will require that the DNS settings not be altered on pain of cutoff.

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DNS based? So how long until the kids learn how to set a custom DNS server? Or are they going to transparent proxy all DNS requests, or block third-party DNS servers?

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Go

Makes me glad that, the first thing I did for out router was change the DNS. Although I forget which DNS I changed us to, any recommendations out there other than OpenDNS? (I think I set us up on OpenDNS)

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This will just mean the kids start memorising the IP for imagefap and the like.

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Big Brother

You guys assume that the Google Public DNS and OpenDNS services are not doing the same thing ;)

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Hard to say, but OpenDNS works for me and they offer *you* the choice of categories if you want to block stuff home-wide.

Having said that, their system is stupid in needing a client on your home machine so it knows your IP address to match any preferences to, without that it cant be controlled. Should be a router setting like dynamic DNS support.

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@Miek

> You guys assume that the Google Public DNS and OpenDNS services are not doing the same thing ;)

you just run your own DNS server and point back up to the root servers.

So unless they're going to transparently proxy all DNS requests then it will be easy to get around. If they transparently proxy it then only be fractionally more difficult to get around.

Its just that the kids will be much better at circumventing this than most parents. El'reg readers are typical. Stroppy teenager on the porn prowl is likely to be far more clued up than your average harassed single mum.

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Anonymous Coward

Open DNS servers

4.2.2.1

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4.2.2.4

It wouldn't let me post until I put some text in here :-s

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Anonymous Coward

I think that elReg comments system is powered by rabbits

As the post is required, and must contain lettuce.

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Re: @Miek @D&C

It would be pretty easy for the ISP to put a block on all TCP and UDP access to port 53 to nameservers other than their own. Or one stage further, only allow a whitelist of known ports out. There's lots of things they can do to make your life miserable.

My ISP says I have to use their ADSL router in their Ts&Cs. I don't, because I don't trust their customised firmware to not snoop, UPnP or backdoor my network (and I've a firewall there anyway).

Not having reasonably unfiltered access would be a real deal breaker for me.

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OpenDNS router updater

<quote>

Hard to say, but OpenDNS works for me and they offer *you* the choice of categories if you want to block stuff home-wide.

Having said that, their system is stupid in needing a client on your home machine so it knows your IP address to match any preferences to, without that it cant be controlled. Should be a router setting like dynamic DNS support.

<\quote>

There are some routers/firewalls that have an OpenDNS updater built in like those for DynamicDNS hostnames, IPCop which I use for example. IIUI it is a similar system used for the clients for both types of service updater clients, so shouldn't be a diificult job to build it in, it just needs the router manufacturers' support, of course whether they would be willing or not to do this is the big question. There does seem to be a bit of discussion on the OpenDNS fora about this, and ways around it though.

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Re: @Miek

Ooops - "El'reg readers are typical." should have read "El'reg readers aren't typical."

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Linux

Re: @Miek

"It would be pretty easy for the ISP to put a block on all TCP and UDP access to port 53 to nameservers other than their own. Or one stage further, only allow a whitelist of known ports out. There's lots of things they can do to make your life miserable." - That's kind of what my post hinted at. As it stands many ISPs block certain ports that you simply don't notice ... many block unencrypted SMTP connections (for security reasons), some block all SMTP connections (because they are bastards) and some ISPs place blocks on 'dangerous services', such as MSSQL default ports etc. It's not a great leap to realise that they will simply block external DNS providers if it provides an easy work around to their filtering service.

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Re: OpenDNS router updater

I think its a good thing really in this day an age. But I will still continue to use OpenDNS at home and in the SMB's I support to compliment any ISP filtering.

My son mentioned to me last week, that kids in his IT class were creating VPN connections to some free provider in the US. Then they were browsing what ever they liked, bypassing the schools internet filtering.

1. That's the schools fault for not locking down the PC's enough.

2. Kids are clever, and will always find some workaround, its up to us IT admins to outsmart the kids !.

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That's enough

If everyone follows TalkTalk, then central blocking will be available to whoever is responsible for the connection - not enforced. That seems to me quite adequate for the purpose.

I don't see any reason to agonise over ensuring that the person in control is over 18.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's enough

I expect it's talking about most adults ineptitude with computers relying on their offspring to do things like... make the printer work, plug a network cable in, remove the gambling pop up spam, etc etc etc.

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Re: That's enough

Available will shortly become enforced. Then you will have to 'prove' you are 18 to have them unblocked. Then somethings will be so bad you can't have it unblocked. Then we are exactly where everyone predicts. It is NOT good to have any censorship.

Frankly I have not found porn by accident. I have not found porn while searching for work things for example, or news, or information about places I'm visiting etc etc. If kids find porn it is because they are looking for it - largely because of something they were talking about at school. When I were a lad (someone had to go here), we didn't have the internet but we still found porn in the newsagent etc. Perhaps not quite as severe but still we found it. Most free porn is not much worse than the old newsagent stuff even if you are looking for it.

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