Feeds

back to article ISPs set to install network-level smut filters despite Lib Dem opposition

UK telcos are continuing to work towards flicking the switch on network-level filters that will allow subscribers to block "harmful" content by the end of this year. That's despite the fact that the Liberal Democrat Party - which is the junior member of the Coalition government - has overwhelmingly opposed the parental controls …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Bronze badge
Pint

"There's an app for that"

Switch to Opera and use the Turbo/Off-Road mode which enables all the smut and TPB as well.

8
0
Bronze badge

Re: "There's an app for that"

Sush. Lets keep that to ourselves.

2
0

Re: "There's an app for that"

Was about to post how trivial it would be to get around but you beat me to it.

Complete waste of time but will appeal to the mumsnet and daily fail lot so obvious why it's going ahead.

Still feel it's a very slippery slope to start down. Would be more comfortable if they agreed to publish a list of blocked sites to ensure this doesn't start being abused for other purposes. Who am I kidding that it will be abused became obvious the moment it was announced.

Surely there are more important things for the government to be focussing on like dreaming up new ways of demonising the poor?

8
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: "There's an app for that"

Ditto "uc browser", which has so far made me appear from the USA, India, and China!

www.ucweb.com

1
1
Silver badge

Title is too long.

"UK telcos are continuing to work towards flicking the switch on network-level filters that will allow subscribers to block "harmful" content by the end of this year."

So, how long before the lib dem website gets added to the list of 'harmful' sites?

18
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Title is too long.

"So, how long before the lib dem website gets added to the list of 'harmful' sites?"

Well, I saw Vince Cable's speech earlier and it certainly did some harm to the TV i started throwing things at ..

4
2
Silver badge

Re: Title is too long.

Probably after the next election.

Problem is, it's not just smut. It's a lot of other content that everyone should have free access to, including basic gaming sites like Minecraft and - of course - political sites that someone doesn't approve of.

Such as the Daily Kos, which is left-wing but hardly full of bomb-throwing anarchists, and was already been banned in libraries and schools. (I don't know if it was ever unbanned.)

You can be sure that anything vaguely odd and tut-worthy (if you're dead from the waist down and the waist up) is going to end up on that black list.

But I expect parliament will get a special opt-out, just because.

5
0
Bronze badge

Re: Title is too long. @TheOtherHobbes

But I expect parliament will get a special opt-out, just because.

Don't be so sure.

There was that story recently about MPs accessing porn. That could only be known if the connections they were using were monitored. In addition some of them were apparently complaining that some sites had been incorrectly categorised as porn, which suggests that access is also being filtered.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Title is too long. @TheOtherHobbes

The MP's connections are being monitored so that the spooks have something to blackmail them with when they'd want the next RIPA or similar laws to be passed...

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Title is too long. @TheOtherHobbes

It's not just the internet based communications of those working within government being monitored either apparently...

https://nodpi.org/2009/08/18/phorm-is-like-the-gms-opening-your-mail/

0
0
Bronze badge

Personally I have yet to see any answer to the following questions:

- What right will website owners have to be notified that they've had their site filtered?

- What compensation can they expect when they're incorrectly filtered? (this *will* happen - as recent problems with the radio times demonstrates)

- What sanctions will be taken against ISPs that incorrectly filter a site? (don't do anything about it and they'll keep on making the same mistakes - add a penalty and they'll think twice before filtering)

- What minimum standards will be applied when trying to get a site off the list? (Talk talk's site seems to suggest that they'll do what they want, and tough luck if you disagree - and even more tough luck if you actually want a response from them - this just isn't good enough)

- What minimum standards will be applied when complaining about how a case has been handled?

ISPs seem to forget that it's not just the website user that's having their web usage interfered with - it's the person on the other end too. No thought seems to have been given to this.

51
2
Bronze badge

I'm curious: why the downvote?

In any case whoever decided to do that might like to recall that filtering systems have already been abused.

http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2012/orange-uk-blocking-la-quadrature-du-net

If we're effectively going to cut websites off the British part of the net then we really do need to spare some thought for those that run and own those sites, especially when some are relied upon for a livelihood and others contain information that is too easily censored.

20
2
Len

Compensation for correctly filtered

You are only talking about incorrectly filtered. I still don't know why porn sites who are correctly filtered would not be entitled to compensation, either from the ISP that block their legitimate business or from the government. I hope a smut monger sues they state for missed income.

11
2
Gav

Re: Compensation for correctly filtered

And what definition are we using for "correctly" filtered. My definition of what is "correct" may differ from that or the ISP's or the government's.

Here is the nub of the problem, in that you are giving the power to make that decision to either some drone in a commercial company, (where arse-covering is the watchword) or some drone in government, (where either vote-appeasement or political dogma is the deciding factor). Neither should be trusted to decide what is "correctly" filtered.

But that's the slippery slope that apparently some are eager we approach. Once the method of filtering is in place and working, how long before the ISP or the government start "tweaking" the criteria to suit themselves? How long before the ISP decides that certain traffic is an inconvenient drain on their resources, and might possibly be considered by some as maybe a bit scary to small children? Plonk it on the list then, problem solved! How long before the government decide that a website they don't like "promotes terrorism" (the magic words!), and must, ipso-facto, therefore be child unfriendly? Onto the block list with it!

So only those without the filter get to annoy the ISP or read what the government doesn't like. But that doesn't matter, because we've already established that they are all deviants that need kept an eye on.

9
0
Bronze badge

Re: Compensation for correctly filtered

"So only those without the filter get to annoy the ISP or read what the government doesn't like. But that doesn't matter, because we've already established that they are all deviants that need kept an eye on."

how do you know they won;t be filtered too? The ISPs could easily have a basic filter that everyone is subject to and then the smut filter that you can opt out of. If someone notices their traffic going through the filter, they could just lie and say that is how the network is blocked; everything goes through that particular piece of equipment.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Compensation for correctly filtered

The ISPs could easily have a basic filter that everyone is subject to and then the smut filter that you can opt out of.

AFAIK they effectively already do this to some degree - items on the naughty list established by the IWF are in all liklihood still blocked even if you opt out of other filtering.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

What's that US saying ?

"A day late, and a dollar short".

You might have pulled a stunt off like this 10 years ago. But nowadays, with a proliferation of millions of people sending each other links every second of the day, I suspect most "on" filters will get turned "off" within 24 hours, as people start wanting to access the links their friends can see.

Out of curiosity, how many links on (say) they Daily Mail website will require opting out ?

12
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: What's that US saying ?

Reminds me of my sysadmining days. The company I worked for around 6 years ago just hired a new HR director. On her first day at the job she called me to discuss why we are have only AV checking and threat checking on our connection and no "net nanny".

At which point I told her that I am fine with filtering provided that it is equivalent to whatever is already considered acceptable in the workplace. Which realistically means nothing. She threw a wobbly and went to the CEO. I got called in for a "conversation" so I brought a selection of rags from the kitchenette. Sun, Daily Fail and a couple of others. I slapped them on the table and told her to explain me exactly why she is banning them first.

That ended the discussion.

23
0
Bronze badge

If David Cameron and other naive MPs want to associate themselves with this...

... and other ill thought out schemes let them. They'll just end up as a laughing stock as the internet routes round the damage.

In the end the 'official' internet is headed for a white-list only, with forms to fill in and a charge to pay to get on. By then of course the world will have moved on.

10
0
CBN

Thus...

we begin our journey down the slippery slope to Internet filtering in the wider context, not to mention making certain that parents are deemed to no longer be responsible for what their children do.

19
0
Bronze badge

Re: Thus...

...parents are deemed to no longer be responsible for what their children do.

Funnily enough pretty much every report I've seen on children & IT on the TV news shows the kids with the PC in the bedroom rather than somewhere where the parents can see what's happening.

God forbid that society expect parents to keep an eye on their own children.

14
0

But...

So, how long will it be before some ISP Sysadmin decides to leak a list of celebs and politicians that have opten in? No doubt certain tabloids would reward that very generously....

3
0

Re: But...

Pre-empt any such story. Declare your intention openly, and explain that it's nothing to do with wanting to view smut, and everything to do with choosing Shakespeare over Bowdler.

http://bahumbug.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/endarkenment/

http://blog.inkyfool.com/2013/08/hamlet-is-banned.html

3
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Democracy by Mumsnet

I know it wasn't Mumsnet that kicked off the current batch of whinging but you know what I mean. There's nothing quite as awful as someone who knows what you shouldn't be reading.

If this lot blocks any of the sites I manage I shall be mightily pissed off. I tried for months to get one site unblocked by Orange. No luck.

13
0

Re: Democracy by Mumsnet

Well, seeing as Mumsnet has several forums dedicated to sex (about getting pregnant, natch, as well as more cosmo type relationship ones) I would suggest it is on the far side of the filter "to protect the children". After all, it has a cuddly website name, so a child would assume it was a safe place that mum would approve of after all.

Who will protect our children from the filth peddlers of Mumsnet eh?

And don't get me started on the Daily Mail sidebar...

21
0
Bronze badge

Re: Democracy by Mumsnet

The answer in this is when the filter is in place is to start reporting these sites to your ISP as inappropriate.

Social Media as well... all sorts of degenerates have a Twitter or Facebook account that the little ones need to be protected from.

It will hopefully become a contest for the Anonymous types to see which sites they can get blocked by the porn filter.

Then 6 months down the line when Claire Perry can no longer post on Twitter because of the ISP ban this will quietly be removed and we can all go back to normal.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Democracy by Mumsnet

I wonder how loudly Mumsnet will scream when they find that br**st cancer help sites are blocked?

11
0
Bronze badge

Re: Democracy by Mumsnet

We won't be 'going back to normal'. This has all been thought through. When the current scheme is deemed failed a more aggressive scheme will be necessary. This in turn will fail leading eventually to a government approved white list. Stretch out with your feelings - you know it's true.

4
0
Silver badge
WTF?

@ Shrimpling - Re: Democracy by Mumsnet

What a wonderful idea! Apart, of course, from the fact that Claire Perry will be automatically blocked for having the initials CP and a lot of mentions of porn on her site.

As soon as there's somewhere that one can report websites to, I'll be on it and report just about everything.

For example this atrocity, this smut, certainly this or anything related to the Conservative Party.

I also would like naked images excluded from the school curriculum, especially from biology and PSHE, seeing that parents aren't even asked about this filth.

Children under 25 should by law be required to wear a sheet-metal burqa anyway . . .

Where the <Austrian town of choice> is this going?

4
0
Silver badge

"Where the <Austrian town of choice> is this going?"

On a side note, there was at one point a movement to have Fucking, Austria twinned with the Norwegian town of Hell.

0
0
Bronze badge

DNS level blocking? That means blocking the BBC, Wiki, the British Museum, The Sun, NHS Online, IMDB, Cancer Research, National Institutes for Health......

If you're going to block anything the only practical way of doing it is with URL level blocking. Which of course requires millions of humans examining the content of every single URL categorising it. Ok, where are the jobs being advertised?

5
0
Bronze badge

Not categorising, rewriting Winston. Your job is to rewrite.

5
0
Bronze badge
Big Brother

dailymail 8.5.15 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs clegg miliband unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling

5
0
Silver badge
Unhappy

@ Rukario -

Plusgoodthink.

I just have the feeling that after the CP* reveals it's renaming to Ingsoc and creates the Minitrue that there will not be a PornoSec . . .

*Not Child Porn, Conservative Party. Or Claire Perry, if you prefer.

0
0
Silver badge

Global Insularism In a Global Market?

This just seems like one more step on the road to blocking a country off from the rest of the world, while still trying to influence global events. You can't have keep it both ways.

Censorship never works, it results only in the information being twisted and warped beyond recognition as it inevitably makes its way to the populace.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Global Insularism In a Global Market?@ Don Jefe

"You can't have keep it both ways."

Well, you're from the country in which topless sunbathing is largely frowned upon and even illegal, yet which is home to the world's porn industry, and the same country that defends the values of democracy through the National (domestic) Spying Agency.

Worth noting that what is proposed is "only" an opt in system. I shall be opting out (a) to look at the sort of material the internet was invented for, and (b) as a matter of principle, because I don't want lightweights like our political leaders censoring what I read. But in some ways I think a default filter is probably a good thing for those not clever enough to either install K9 or other filters for themselves, or alternatively monitor what their kids do. The common challenge of "you can work round it" is no more valid than suggesting you shouldn't lock a door because locks can be picked.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: Global Insularism In a Global Market?@ Don Jefe

Believe me, the incongruities and hypocrisy here are readily apparent and excruciatingly frustrating. Even the platforms of the two major political parties are each internally contradictry and guarantee neither will ever be able to overcome their own conflicted interests; dooming the country to mediocrity. It was only due to, literally, nuclear powered momentum we got this far.

The repercussions of the lost momentum are painfully obvious to anyone who isn't covering their eyes with an American Flag soaked in apple pie and gravy.

0
0
Bronze badge
Big Brother

Re: Global Insularism In a Global Market?@ Don Jefe

You're missing the main point, that as soon as people start opting-out, the filters soon become mandatory.

0
1
Silver badge

Re: Global Insularism In a Global Market?@ Fluffy Bunny

"You're missing the main point, that as soon as people start opting-out, the filters soon become mandatory."

Well, IWF watchlists are already in effect a mandatory baseline filter for most ISPs in the UK.

I think the fuss will go away once the filters are in place, because the people who think this is a good idea will go back to promoting other illiberal ideas, of which there are many. For example, having all but banned smoking, expect The People Who Know Better Than You (tm) to move to outlaw smoking in public open spaces, and then they'll be on to clamping down on alcohol.

1
0
Mushroom

Not withstanding the joy of VPN, utilizing DNSCrypt will (or bloody well should) entirely stuff your ISP from viewing your DNS traffic, unless they get all MITM capable...

Then all that can be done is IP blacklisting, which, as mentioned, will block "quite a few" sites. HTTP Host Headers anyone?

re: Vimes' & J G Harston's comments - OpenDNS sort of do this now - it's crowd sourced reviewing, and sites may well find themselves "categorized" incorrectly, with all fun that ensues. See here for an example : http://www.techpavan.com/2009/07/14/website-blocked-opendns-wrong-category-unblocking-solutions/

I suspect various legal beagles will (again) be employed to ensure the wording used on any ISP block carefully avoids libelous comments, and that all blocks are for "suggested" content....

1
0
FAIL

OpenDNS

Anything under me.uk is categorised as “blog” by default, which is sometimes a pain in the rear when I want to access my home network from somewhere which has blogs blocked. Ignoring the DNS resolvers specified via DHCP on such networks gets around that.

0
0

3

I recently switched from o2 to 3 for my mobile internet. I was SHOCKED, shocked I tell you, to discover that the nanny filter was off by default. Won't somebody think of the children?

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

The easiest way to get around this

Is surely to say 'No Thanks'

Repeatedly.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: The easiest way to get around this

I don't know about you guys over there, but here if you have to repeatedly say no to something being forcibly pushed in on you it is harassment or aggressive panhandling; both criminal and in some states, civil crimes.

0
0
Silver badge

I wouldn't mind except they are lying

"The decision to turn on filters is then put into the hands of parents and carers who know best what is appropriate for their children."

(My emphasis)

By pre-ticking "turn on filter" they are in fact pushing you to have the filter, and it's actually "the decision to turn OFF filters".

Not to mention that a website owner can't get their site unblocked or compensation for wrongful blocking, this is an all-or-nothing concept, with no granularity (why can't I see porn on my login to the home WiFi, even though my kids can't?), is trivially bypassed by accident (connect to next-doors WiFi) and rightfully would need to block most of the "Red-top" news sites, Mumsnet, half of YouTube...

Basically, it's a bit of knee-jerk twattery that not only won't work, fundamentally can't possibly "work" in the way that its been claimed, will do a lot of damage and then get quietly (or perhaps loudly) dropped.

7
0
Silver badge

Re: I wouldn't mind except they are lying

They've pulled the oldest trick in Democracy. To force the refusal to comply with 'right' thinking, as defined by "them", onto 'the people'. You can choose either option, but you must choose one: Democracy Is Choice With Consequences, Choose Wisely.

Any desirable citizen will acquiesce to the governments chosen way, whereas those undesirables who do not wish to comply must make a loaded, pre-defined statement, that although they know what is 'right' they actively want to do 'wrong'.

[_] Check Here if you endorse institutionalized farming of children as food and you do not want an ID card.

5
0
FAIL

Re: I wouldn't mind except they are lying

I can't get the check box to work.........

:D

8
0
Bronze badge
Unhappy

Re: I wouldn't mind except they are lying

It won't work for me either... I wanted Soylent Green.

Its just a shame about the ID card thing being tacked on. How are we supposed to make sure our food is sourced ethically if we don't give it an ID card?

7
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.