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back to article MPs blocked from ogling 'web smut' 300,000 times – WHILE IN PARLIAMENT

British politicians triggered grumble-flick website filters within the Houses of Parliament more than 300,000 times in the past year. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that ministers and their staff upset the anti-porn blocking systems on the Westminster network 309,316 times in 12 months - a rate of 850 …

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Big Brother

Likely Cause

The November figures are so far out of line from all other months that Malware or similar seem very likely.

(obligatory choice of icon given the topic)

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Re: Likely Cause

They also forgot to mention that these were only the figures for a Mr. D. Cameron's office.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Likely Cause

"They also forgot to mention that these were only the figures for a Mr. D. Cameron's office....."

We all know all the Tories and Cameron in particular are wankers, but 850 times a day for Davey alone?

He's not man enough!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Likely Cause

Let me fix that for you:

We all know all politicians and politicians in particular are wankers, but 850 times a day for Davey alone?

The only difference between this lot & the last is the reaction. This bunch will find something to perform a u-turn over as a result of this 'revelation'. The last lot would have shoehorned yet another massive database project out of it.

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Go

Re: Likely Cause

I'm interested El Reg, was February 2013 a parliametary recess month (i.e. no politicians means no wankers in the house), or was this a busy parliametary time with all hands to the pumps (i.e. the parliametary aides were too busy (i.e. the boss was in) to be watching porn?).

Enquiring minds and all that...

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Happy

STOP PRESS: MPs are a bunch of w***ers.

"Malware or similar seem very likely."

Yeah, it was totally the Malware. I'm sure that's what they're all saying in parliament, too.

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Pint

Re: Likely Cause

More likely Clegg's, because it's not like he has anything to actually do...

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Stop

Re: Likely Cause

I wonder if Nik Dakin MP, or the former steel town which he represents, was in the news. I have not mentioned its name but the first letter is "s" then comes "c" , then "u" then "n" then "t" then "thorpe". My browser and security software is among those which obliterate his constituency from the on-line world and tells that they offend a mythical "acceptable use policy" that I appear powerless to over-ride.

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MP's should watch more porn

Anything to distract them from creating even more laws.

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Re Claire Perry - does anyone know if old Guido Fawkes actually sued her?

It seemed he had an open and shut case against her but its all disappeared and she continues to tweet her utter non-sense.

Even if a percentage of these 850 requests a day are down to malware / popups, what on earth is going on within that network!

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It was probably due to the Whips and Black Rod googling themselves.

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Can't even sort out their own house...

So they want to implement auto-filters on all of our web-devices, but they can't even discriminate between "News site" and "Porn site". I can see why people are scared about the potential to censor information via the "adult filters" they want to implement if there is prior evidence that this is already happening (albeit to themselves).

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Re: Can't even sort out their own house...

About the most pertinent point made so far.

To be honest, we the English people deserve what we get. Our Parliament reflects our desire for a dumbed down version of a political system, and much like the American system, the richer and best looking candidate who implements the daily mail requests for policy will get into number 10

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Happy

Re: Can't even sort out their own house...

Rather brilliantly this FOI request has got the MPs arguing the case against filters. I wonder if they'll actually realise or recognise it though...

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Re: Can't even sort out their own house... @ Gordon Pryra

Clearly I'm not part of the English people, then. I haven't got the government I think the country deserves, and I doubt I ever will.

Also, I now live in Scotland!

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Anonymous Coward

MPs == wankers

See title...

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Coat

Re: MPs == wankers

Now we know why tbey don't want TV cameras in The House.

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Angel

Re: MPs == wankers

And we know why we too don't want TV cameras in The House!!

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Paris Hilton

@fajensen - Re: MPs == wankers

Yuck, watching that on TV would be truly gross!

;-)

Paris because I need to reboot my mind.

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Really?

Are they really claiming that their Security is so lax that HOC PCs are riddled with Malware and other malicious software is producing false positives? Really, it’s like saying you couldn’t have wet the bed because you were too busy taking a dump on the carpet at the time.

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Re: Really?

It's more likely that their blocking software is throwing up lots of false positives.

The filters at my workplace block access to all sorts of random but innocent sites, such as the landing page you are sent to when the NoScript plugin is updated by Firefox or even some news sites (can't think of an example off the top of my head).

In fact, about 3-4 years ago even sites like Facebook were blocked. That was until management decided they wanted us to push the company to friends and family ('cos they all have a massive requirement for managed server farms, right?) and then realised the irony of preventing access to the very sites they wanted us to be promoting on. It took them six months, of course, but they did eventually realise.

Not that I know of anyone who *has* promoted the company to friends or family.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Really?

It's more likely that their blocking software is throwing up lots of false positives.

Our corporate filter once blocked us from checking info on the VirginAtlantic website as it was clearly a "sex site". Also it defined our local Scout district website as "gambling"

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Re: Really?

I highly suspect that the Web Filter is in fact a hosted solution possibly websense or some other GSX/PSN approved provider, which means that the likelyhood of false positives would be diminished. Be interested to know if this is the case.

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Coat

Re: Really?

'Also it defined our local Scout district website as "gambling"'

They must have confused gambling with gambolling.

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M7S
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Joke

To be fair, if they're going to legislate on something, they should know something about it

I'd propose the same level of investigation by them into a Suicide Bill.

Police, please note icon!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: To be fair, if they're going to legislate on something, they should know something about it

Please note previous cases where Joke alerts were posted and they still kicked in doors and destroyed lives.

Better brace yourself for a forced entry...and we're talking post trial.

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Coat

Re: To be fair, if they're going to legislate on something, they should know something about it

Better brace yourself for a forced entry

What , forced entry, pre-trial , is that to prepare you for your first day in prison.

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Thumb Down

Re: To be fair, if they're going to legislate on something, they should know something about it

Ah, the old prison rape schtick, eh? That's never going to start being funny.

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She said: "We do not consider the data to provide an accurate representation of the number of purposeful requests made by network users. [There are a] variety of ways in which websites can be designed to act, react and interact and due to the potential operation of third party software."

So they admit that their own statistics for their own filtering software are probably junk, and yet theyre happy to propose filtering and blocking on ALL of us because of some statistics about protecting children and the harm of pron.

"Some parliamentary staffers also hit back at the claims, blaming overzealous smut filters for mis-classifying innocent websites: The problem with the Porn Story Parliament Computers thing is that sometimes PICTs filter blocks news stories as pornographic"

Our elected representatives are researching news of the day on a filtered connection that may or may not be providing them with the full range of results. Then they decide if theyre going to be bothered to vote on a motion that they may or may not be fully informed about?

And they wonder why those of us with a least a passing interest and knowledge of how the series of connected tubes works, are telling them that the proposed new laws are a disaster?

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So let me understand this

Westminster can't even install the most basic-of-basic web filters, and yet Cameron wants to censor the entire nation?

edit 1: my mistake - I missed a couple of pertinent words in my first read. The requests were blocked. Good.

So now that Cameron knows local blocks work, why not just let folks filter their own connection as they see fit? Just like people censor their movies by (intake of breath) not watching things they don't like.

edit 2: Nice of them to mention that false positives are a problem. Do they understand that they wish to impose that problem country wide? I don't think they do. Idiots.

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Childcatcher

Re: So let me understand this

Except that they don't work because as a staffer said.... "The problem with the Porn Story Parliament Computers thing is that sometimes PICTs filter blocks news stories as pornographic"... In other words their own filters are blocking completely legitimate content which is exactly what campaigners against nationwide filters have been saying so it was nice of parliament to prove and uphold their case for them. It's a shame that they will completely ignore that fact and carry on implementing their Chinese internet wall anyway.

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Re: So let me understand this

Exactly. A "false positive" (you'll get "false negatives" too). And this is the kind of censorship that they wish to impose on the nation.

The great-unthinking who can't work out how to install a net-nanny will assume this to be a magic solution and not take the time to educate or talk to their kids.

It's not a magic solution, it's pandering to the knuckle-dragging Sun/Mail reader and trying to score brownie points all "for the children".

They want to protect the children? Advise parents to get a clue before letting their kids play on-line.

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I think we're missing the obvious

This traffic is all down to the member for Scunthorpe.

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Re: I think we're missing the obvious

... and Penistone.

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Illegal market manipulation?

Tory MP Claire Perry, who is advising the Prime Minister on porn, said yesterday: "The rise of sexting, online bullying, porn and young people documenting their entire lives on the web needs to be a core tenet of how we teach sex and relationships.”

She is shorting Facebook stock or something?

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Re: Illegal market manipulation?

I'll agree with her 100%. And that is why we have these things called parents who have, by and large, done a fairly decent job of bringing the kids up thusfar.

How do I know this?

Well, you're reading my drivel aren't you?

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Big Brother

@The BigYin

Parents are a nuisance if you want to control the population. They might actually be capable of encouraging children to think for themselves.

Every power-crazed dictatorship has done as much as possible to remove parents from bringing up children, and substituted the state.

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Re: Illegal market manipulation?

"She is shorting Facebook stock or something?"

Nah, too slow-- Twatter or BBM for kids these days.

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Re: @The BigYin

"Every power-crazed dictatorship has done as much as possible to remove parents from bringing up children, and substituted the state."

The Tories are Newer-New-Labour. Who knew?

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Holmes

Re: The Tories are Newer-New-Labour. Who knew?

I thought everybody did. You don't remember hearing the phrase "the heir to Blair" back in 2005?

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Anonymous Coward

Inaccurate

Having managed a number of private company networks and installed similar filters, I can tell you that many sites are inaccurately flagged as adult, some sites include iframes or other external includes which trigger the filter and a number of other non-user-initiated things can cause it.

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Anonymous Coward

So what's a

Porn site?

How do they classify them?

Do they have someone following the MPs around on the web checking every URL after them to see whether it counts as porn?

Or do they have a list of what they count as porn and what they count as non-porn?

Maybe they should see my twitter feed, naughtier than many pron sites, would it be allowed/counted?

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The malware popups I will not accept as an excuse .....

..... as all supplied IT equipment should be locked down enough to not allow them to be installed. Anything else should only be allowed on a separate VLAN, but there may be some number of hits which are completely innocent.

At a previous company they started using the filter report to discipline members of staff for looking at social network sites. I actually managed to look at some of the reports and found that when you look at the BBC news website it flagged hits to FB, Twitter et al because of the little share icons, which are pulled from the respective sites.

I have also found a number of adult blocks were caused by adverts, the page would load but certain ads were replaced with the default blocked message due to the adult rules. Most of the ads served by the agency were for adult sites and services so all ads from them were blocked as porn.

As for parliamentarians though, nah, they are all paid professional liars so would say 99.9% were actual hits.

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Re: The malware popups I will not accept as an excuse .....

Pop-ups?

Hmm, don't they have any IT experts (or young kids) to instruct on blockers?

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Coffee/keyboard

Why are they blocking the porn there?

If my local MP wants to wank himself silly in the privacy of the plush Westminster bog cubicals then I am jolly well all for it!

Anything to save me from having to look at those glum sexually frustrated backbencher faces every time I tune in for some PMQs!

Messy escape key for obvious reasons!

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You've got it all wrong

It was all done in the name of research for the anti-smut bill.

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Childcatcher

Claire Perry.......

Tory MP Claire Perry, who is advising the Prime Minister on porn, said yesterday: "The rise of sexting, online bullying, porn and young people documenting their entire lives on the web needs to be a core tenet of how we teach sex and relationships.”

The famous Churchillian quote about 'The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter' deffo works in the inverse. Whenever I see or hear anything that Claire says, I seriously am in awe of the political system that can elect such complete and utter window lickers to represent the people. Take a bow Claire, you are an idiot of the highest possible calibre. And, I bet the good people of Wiltshire return her to the house after the next election to continue to talk bollocks.

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And, I bet the good people of Wiltshire return her to the house ...

Well yes, you wouldn't want her back in Wiltshire talking bollocks, would you?

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Re: And, I bet the good people of Wiltshire return her to the house ...

"Well yes, you wouldn't want her back in Wiltshire talking bollocks, would you?"

(Speaking as a Wiltshire resident, but not one of her constituents - oh... apologies for the accidental use of "tit" back there Claire...) As long as she's in the middle of a field somewhere (or the Kennet & Avon canal), that'll do me just fine...

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Headmaster

@Derek Acorah Re: Claire Perry.......

I do so hate to split hairs (easy now, Claire!) but that's not inverse, that's the same thing.

Love your show, btw.

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