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back to article Planned SMUT TSUNAMI fails to wreak havoc on UK.gov email

UK government agencies were warned to batten down their hatches on Monday after elements of Anonymous threatened to flood email inboxes with smut in a protest against controversial net-filtering plans. Participants in “Operation Pornstorm” were encouraged to flood several hundred government and county council email addresses …

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Anonymous Coward

Wow. Who knew the pornwall was already in operation?

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Anonymous Coward

Was that a reference to this:

"Early indications are that the operation failed to attract a great deal of support. A dedicated website set up for the campaign quickly became unavailable, possibly because it was blocked."

If so I agree. It does sound like our dear leaders kind censorship is already in full effect. Organised dissent heroically disappearing from our lovely safe new interwebs. Just realised that this is what they've been so desperate to protect us from. No "western spring" for us then. Same 2.5 identical parties with their identical policies for all eternity.

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Whilst I object to these stupid and unworkable proposals...

... I can't say that I support this sort of action by Anonymous either, not least because it just gives Cameron and his cronies ammunition to say "Look at all this filth and smut we were sent. We need MORE censorship to ensure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again.!"

(They could also probably have added "And is this really the sort of thing you would want your wife or your servants to see"...)

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Childcatcher

Re: Whilst I object to these stupid and unworkable proposals...

.. it would be amusing if someone took the legal route and challenged the governments proposals using the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 8, the right to privacy, would seem to fit the bill. Now that really would upset the Tory boys (and gals), and it could work.

My argument is that if I HAVE to tell my ISP to unblock access to legal porn, then by having to have that conversation with my ISP, my privacy is being infringed. Article 8 isn't an absolute right, but the government has to have a good reason to override it. I'm not sure that forcing me to ask some 3rd party for permission to do something that is legal is a good enough reason.

If the governments intention is to protect children, then they could do that by making it an offence to give children access to an unfiltered internet. We already have plenty of laws to protect children, so they could legitimately justify such a law. As it stands now though, if a child has access to an unsecured network connection, then the authorities will not be able to protect that child

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Unhappy

@Swiss Anton - Re: Whilst I object to these stupid and unworkable proposals...

The problem with Article 8 of the ECHR is that it contains the following weasel words:

"2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

In other words, as long as the Government can argue (with a straight face) that they're doing it "for public safety" or "for the prevention of crime" or "the protection of morals" the odds are they'll get away with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Anon 0 Government 1

As much as I despise the Tories for the censorship (it's porn now, but it will expand; this is just the tin end of the wedge) I do not support this action. Give people the information, tools and support to speak out against state sponsored censorship. Whilst Anon can be a force for right (e.g. when they were going after the Scientology cult) they often seem to miss the mark these days.

The censorship won't work. China has spent *billions* on their censorship and it barely works. It just drives innovation amongst those what want freedom from oppression. The UK is too poor to waste money on crap like this. About the most the government has to do is mandate a minimum standard for parental control and then let the companies slug it out for best service.

Installing a net-nanny at the router/device level is not rocket science. Even better is educating the parents who can then educate the children. FFS, we teach kids to cross roads and (usually) not die don't we? Why can't we teach them to cross the information superhighway without dying too?

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Megaphone

Re: Anon 0 Government 1

Anon has been most effective at manipulating impressionable young teenagers into participating in online crimes and getting arrested and imprisoned for it. Their various campaigns against large companies have been little more than temporary annoyances. If my child were interested in computers and hacking, I would strongly advise them to avoid the Anon members and their projects. Experienced Anon members load the naive kiddies up with illegal online attack tools that will broadcast their IP address and location to the authorities.

Also, Anon members who have been arrested have apparently been quite willing to rat out their comrades in exchange for a lighter sentence. They display a very similar group ethic to your average street-corner drug dealer.

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Re: Anon 0 Government 1

The censorship won't work. China has spent *billions* on their censorship and it barely works. It just drives innovation amongst those what want freedom from oppression. The UK is too poor to waste money on crap like this. About the most the government has to do is mandate a minimum standard for parental control and then let the companies slug it out for best service.

The one big difference, I believe, is that a large part of the Great Firewall of China is state sponsored. This system is being forced on private enterprises and they will be footing the bill for implementing it (or rather, their customers will be in increased ISP bills)

I wonder if some of the smaller ISPs, who are likely less able to absorb the start up costs associated with this system, could appeal to the competition commission that the govt. hasn't undertaken a proper equality impact assessment.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Anon 0 Government 1 @HolyFreakinGhost

Oh man. Andrews and Arnoled trolled the PM. That's so full of win!

I wish I could see that kind of things in my country!

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FAIL

It later emerged that the TalkTalk system logs data on every URL customers visit, even in cases where the customer has opted out of the system

Shocker.

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Anonymous Coward

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2010/07/26/uk-isp-talktalk-monitoring-its-customers-online-activity-without-consent.html but they said they don't collect any data so long ago! They wouldn't lie to us would they?

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Anonymous Coward

Wasn't that what Phorm did .... everything was tracked but you got to opt out of the "doing something about the results" bit.

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Anonymous Coward

True, a shocker, and it shows yet again that politicians are quick to make stupid decisions and even quicker to endorse stuff they know sod all about. But hey, a good IT guy with a job in London can easily earn more than MPs get. No incentive for smart people to go into politics, especially not the honest ones.

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Stop

to AC at 18:17

You raise two interesting questions:

Are you arguing that politicians should be paid more to attract a higher level of smart people? - I'd be with you on that one.

However, just because a law is easily broken by someone with technical knowledge doesn't mean that it is a bad law. Are you really proposing that murder should be taken off the statute book because it is so easily committed with a sharp knife, a poisonous concoction or a firearm? Should burglary no longer be a crime because those with sufficient skill can force a lock or break down a door?

I think it is shameful that clever people, be they bankers, lawyers or IT people should believe themselves to be above the law because they are clever.

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Anonymous Coward

"I think it is shameful that clever people, be they bankers, lawyers or IT people should believe themselves to be above the law because they are clever."

Doubly shameful that, in the case of the first two categories at least, they actually are largely above the law in the UK. The US has probably prosecuted more UK bankers in the last five years than the UK itself has, and the last British lawyer I recall being on the wrong end of a court case was Tessa Jowell's husband, David Mills, initially found guilty of money laundering by an Italian court, but which was overturned on the second appeal.

They're happy enough nailing IT people as long as they're not directors of large companies.

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Re: to AC at 18:17

Are you arguing that politicians should be paid more to attract a higher level of smart people? - I'd be with you on that one.

Paying more for an easy job doesn't attract smart people, it attracts greedy ones.

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Anonymous Coward

"county councils"?

Why the county councils?

are anonymous not aware of the differentiation between the national government and local government.

id also have thought that their targets probably had effective filtering in place to stop incoming filth.

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Maybe there's been enough arrests that nobody feels like being chaff anymore. Plus the "your favourite porn" bit is just giving free information to the government; who are spending vast wads of cash trying to involuntarily milk it from you. "your favourite" just isn't believable...you'd be handing over your (an?) IP address; the fact that you were hostile enough to a government policy to actually bother to take action; plus your sexual preferences; and that really isn't sensible. "The biggest porn file you can find" might get better results

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Brilliant.......

The times I have visited websites that have porn advertisements running down the sides have increased beyond a joke. I have no problem with porn provided it's in the right place, hell I have downloaded the odd movie myself. Most of those that run porn websites though have taken it beyond what most consider acceptable. The times I have Googled my way to a website only to find it full of flash advertisements with someone shoving his fishing tackle into someone's face or whatever is getting to be a problem. there was talk of creating a top flight domain just for porn, like XXX or something along those lines. I like porn but only when I decide to visit it. If I want porn then I go look for it, I draw the line though when porn comes looking for me. Anything that has even the remotest chance of taking it out of mainstream internet is fine by me. Put it in a box in the corner where I can find it.

As for the Anonymous comedy act, they are beginning to piss me off. What does crashing up local government email servers suppose to serve? Yet again the average guy on the street will get the fallout.

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@Dennis Wilson - Re: Brilliant.......

"there was talk of creating a top flight domain just for porn, like XXX [...] Anything that has even the remotest chance of taking it out of mainstream internet is fine by me"

And, as I've pointed out many a time on El Reg, what about businesses like mine? I run Affordable Leather Products, making and selling leather bondage and BDSM gear. I have a .co.uk domain because it's a UK business.

My site has adult content, but it's not a "porn" site, so why should I have (and have to pay a stupid price for) a .xxx domain? You, like Cameron, don't seem to have thought this one through...

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Ministry of Naughty Bits

Think Monty Python and 1984 mixed together.

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Anonymous Coward

I have a better idea!

The Internet should have an IQ requirement.

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Re: I have a better idea!

"The Internet should have an IQ requirement."

But wouldn't that put access forever beyond the reach of politic- ... oh. I see.

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Is there a subscription service ?

Can I subscribe to the 'Porn Tsunami' ? It would save a lot of time for me if it were all delivered to my inbox......

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