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back to article Murdoch stands between your kids and filth with BSkyB network-level SHIELD

BSkyB's network-level filters are now in place 10 months after it first confirmed plans to follow TalkTalk's strategy that allows subscribers to censor large lumps of the web. And it looks like, at least for now, existing subscribers who wish to avoid the smut 'n' security block will be unable to opt out altogether, and will …

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Ironic

This from a man who introduced smut to the general public over in the UK via Page 3 within a year of buying the Sun?

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Re: Ironic

Much as I dislike Rupert, this is not his choice. He is obeying a crackpot law. Expect other ISPs to fall in line.

PS I feel safer already.

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Re: Ironic

What law? There isn't one - he's just kissing Dave's arse in case Rebekah isn't the last of Rupert's crew in his sights.

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Re: Ironic

More accurately, he is obeying the threat of a law. Cameron et al have made it apparent that they are prepared to pass a law, and can probably do it too, if the ISPs don't voluntarily filter first. From the ISPs perspective, better to install a filter to their own specification right now than have to install one written to government (ie, technologically-ignorant MP) specification in a year or two.

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Anonymous Coward

Where's the dashboard so I can see what settings people, especially MPs are selecting?

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Where's the "I dont need protection"?

Ive just moved over (about half an hour ago) from O2 to Sky and there is definitely an opt-out button on the filter page. At the bottom of the page there is a large grey button with the words "I dont need protection" emblazoned on it. After clicking on it everything that I used to get with O2 is accessible. Maybe they have different pages for different categories of people, adult single, adult with children etc. I must have got the single adult page.

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Re: Where's the "I dont need protection"?

I had to select an option before I got the turn off option.

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Re: Where's the "I dont need protection"?

It's called get yourself a paid proxy. Fuck this ball bag law!

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Re: Where's the "I dont need protection"?

Probably in the same place as "I'll protect my own household" option.

The last thing I would want is a bunch of crooks limiting what I see. Um....

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Anonymous Coward

Great news

With people not wanting to contact them to have this switched off, and therefore not being able to download anything they normally would, I'll have more of the pitifully small uphaul bandwidth for my connection.

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No Technical Details?

How does this filter work exactly?

Are they analysing every packet? Is it a DNS block? Some sort of URL filter?

How far does this network level filter go?

So many unanswered questions.

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FAIL

Re: No Technical Details?

"How does this filter work exactly?"

The sky FAQ tells you

============================

How does Sky Broadband Shield work?

It automatically helps secure your Sky Broadband connected devices from any websites containing viruses, from hacking or phishing sites and it filters out web content you think is unsuitable.

Simply choose an age rating suited to the people in your home to create the appropriate internet security settings.

============================

Typical vacuous drivel from sky which will make you as knowledgeable as their first and second line technical support.

The crap system does present you with just the 3 options shown in the article. After selecting one you can access a control panel with more options including turning it off.

Dunno what the sky router is supposed to have to do with it. I don't use one. What is the probability the blocking is done in the router?

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Re: No Technical Details?

All valid questions. However, somewhat of an irrelevance beyond mere technical interest. Anyone old enough to think for themselves will be able to circumvent any such filter with next to no effort at all.

The questions I would like to see answered relate to access logging, data collection and storage, oversight etc.

For those who want to protest silently, I'd say sign up for the smut filter and just continue to access the material they claim they can 'block' anyway.

Yes, this is situation is better than yet more moronic government sponsored legislation, but as it stands it is still highly questionable.

If, at any time, you wear a tin foil hat one may ponder upon events since the key escrow debacle in the 90's, the governments bygone love for Phorm etc. and perhaps conclude that there may in fact be a deeper motivation being illustrated by our elected representatives.

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Re: No Technical Details?

"After selecting one you can access a control panel"

And then they send you a confirmation email containing 400 lines of HTML crap my email program refuses render and no plain text.

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Re: No Technical Details?

There's no confirmation link to be clicked in the email at least, so you can just ignore it, it just informs you you've turned broadband shield on or off (doesn't even say the age setting), and gives you a link to My Sky if you want to change it again, plus a link to their help section on the Shield.

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Always ask for Uncle Rupes Personally Approved Jubblies

I'm sure Murdoch was heartbroken at blocking access to free titillation, so upset in fact he's offering his own Sun-brand phwoah! behind a teensie-weensie paywall.

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The first option should ......

...... be on or off. Then select the level required.

I wish there was a concise list of all of the 'scaremongering because they are too stupid to monitor their own kids' groups that have been lobbying for this, so I can invoice them for the time I have to spend turning this crap off.

If you can't be bothered to put in place software or rules to protect your children on the net you shouldn't have had them. The Childrens Act 1989 means we should have never have got to this point, there is no need because as a parent you are required by the state to be doing this yourself, already.

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Re: The first option should ......

Your going to charge your time? At what cost? Who decides?

To be honest most of us are not as you put it "too stupid to monitor their own kids" and we do monitor them. I assume as a child you never did anything wrong, nor did you do something your parents did not ask you to do?

On that note I also assume you had at least one parent hovering over your shoulder until you were at least 16, never letting you out of sight for any reason what-so-ever and controlling everything you did?

No? That's right, you were given freedom to do what every child has to do... grow up. But you carry on complaining how a 3 second drain on your time means you need to label everyone with children irresponsible.

If you can't be bothered to put in place software or rules to protect your children on the net you shouldn't have had them.

When was it required by law that to have children you have to be technologically literate enough to set this software* up correctly?

* Software for which device? everyone that wants to bring a piece of technology into your home? Big sign at the gate, "install this before entering"? See below for more.

I agree that it should not be needed but we now live in a world where it is trivial for any device to be connected (do smart TVs have filters?). If your asking everyone to set up a proxy then your having a laugh a lot of people are not that technically literate. Set up DNS via another provider that can filter, I hear you say. Well many ISPs do not let their users change hardware let alone DNS and changing that on every individual device that can / might enter your home is very disingenuous.

When I first heard of this, I was appalled (I want the net to be free and open to all) but I think that this is a good alternative. You can set the level of filtering and hey you can even turn it off, here have your 1p for the time it took you to click that button, it seems so precious to you.

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Re: The first option should ......

"When was it required by law that to have children you have to be technologically literate enough to set this software* up correctly?"

Since 1989, as I mentioned the Childrens Act. The section regarding parental responsibility. Succinctly summed up as:

"Parental Responsibility is defined by the Children Act 1989 as being all the rights, duties, powers and responsibility which a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his or her property. It includes rights and duties with regard to education, choice of religion, administration of a child’s property and choice of residence."

As for software, most routers have the ability to block either sites by address or by keyword. A google search will tell you that.

As a child I did many things I shouldn't have, but for the part of my childhood I had parents they didn't expect the government to inflict blanket measures affecting all of society because of something I did. My brother and I once found an adult magazine under a hedge when I was about 6 and I certainly don't remember all adult magazines being removed from sale because of that.

Education before legislation.

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Re: The first option should ......

On that note I also assume you had at least one parent hovering over your shoulder until you were at least 16, never letting you out of sight for any reason what-so-ever and controlling everything you did?

No, but they were probably smart enough to ask questions before letting me have access to anything that might have unpleasant consequences. No BB guns for example.

As an aside why should children even be allowed access to smartphones at all if such a large chunk of the inappropriate material is being generated by them? Ditto laptops with webcams.

Every single report on child safety I've seen on the TV shows the child with the PC in their bedroom. It's amazing quite frankly that parents continue to do this and then feign confusion when something terrible happens to their kid.

Some parents seem to continue having problems understanding that whilst they can't watch their kids all the time this does not mean they should abandon any effort to watch them at all. This is not an 'either/or' situation. You don't have to choose between one extreme or the other, and there's a good chance that overall simply using a little common sense will have better results in the longer term that using blunt instruments like this.

I hear you say. Well many ISPs do not let their users change hardware let alone DNS and changing that on every individual device that can / might enter your home is very disingenuous.

Actually device level protection is probably better if the aim is to protect the child in question. Imagine your child taking their laptop to somewhere where the connection isn't filtered for example. Of course setting up each device might take a few minutes each time, but unless you're a gadget junkie I find it difficult to believe that it will really take that much time or effort.

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Mushroom

Re: The first option should ......

You've missed the point.

This is about trialling network level filtering for commercial reasons in a manner which won't immediately provoke outrage.

The continued existence of most of the mass media aimed at children on TV and on the radio (without technological filters), is proof these measures are not what they purport to be.

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Re: The first option should ......

Oh lots of replies, so many to reply too.

I'll start with these...

@Eradicate all BB entrants

"When was it required by law that to have children you have to be technologically literate enough to set this software* up correctly?"

Since 1989, as I mentioned the Childrens Act. The section regarding parental responsibility. Succinctly summed up as:

"Parental Responsibility is defined by the Children Act 1989 as being all the rights, duties, powers and responsibility which a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his or her property. It includes rights and duties with regard to education, choice of religion, administration of a child’s property and choice of residence."

Again, I ask in there where there is a need for a parent to be technologically literate. education tick, child sent to school. Religion tick, residence tick.

According to you there is no need for child protection agencies at all. Which I could go on all the way to asking why you need protection from the Police or Army. That is a wider philosophical debate but, still related.

As for software, most routers have the ability to block either sites by address or by keyword. A google search will tell you that.

You did not even read my comments. A lot do not have this option with routers provided by the ISP which the ISP makes hard to change. You claim to be able to use Google. Use it to look up changing this on those routers.

As a child I did many things I shouldn't have, but for the part of my childhood I had parents they didn't expect the government to inflict blanket measures affecting all of society because of something I did. My brother and I once found an adult magazine under a hedge when I was about 6 and I certainly don't remember all adult magazines being removed from sale because of that.

Right now put that in the correct context. Imagine that there were porn mags under every hedge and all you had to do was find them. Now looking in every hedge is not so hard is it? Now tell me how, without a central system this would be stopped without mandating that all mags be governed in some way (and by the way, they are governed by law).

Education before legislation

I bring you back again to your self admission of doing things you knew you shouldn't. It seems that education worked well on you?

@Vimes

No, but they were probably smart enough to ask questions before letting me have access to anything that might have unpleasant consequences. No BB guns for example.

And the parent that says "no porn sites" to the child using the Internet that is not listened to? Or is it no Internet? Also known as no learning about modern life till you are at least 18? Again if you say the parent should be watching 100% of the time, I ask if your parents were at your shoulder 100% of the time when you were growing up?

As an aside why should children even be allowed access to smartphones at all if such a large chunk of the inappropriate material is being generated by them? Ditto laptops with webcams.

Why? really? Erm let me see (btw I answered this in my original post) Because a large chunk of important (for learning and other things) stuff that is NOT inappropriate material is being generated by them.

Every single report on child safety I've seen on the TV shows the child with the PC in their bedroom. It's amazing quite frankly that parents continue to do this and then feign confusion when something terrible happens to their kid.

Oh it's on TV every parent must be doing it, everything on TV is real isn't it? I think you will find that most don't until the child is deemed responsible enough. And yes as with everything in life, there will be parents that are irresponsible. I think you will find this is a lot less than the propaganda the media portray.

Actually device level protection is probably better if the aim is to protect the child in question. Imagine your child taking their laptop to somewhere where the connection isn't filtered for example. Of course setting up each device might take a few minutes each time, but unless you're a gadget junkie I find it difficult to believe that it will really take that much time or effort.

It does not take much time and effort, but the time and effort is easily circumvented. And you have also just argued what I have been saying and you have been railing against. A parent cannot be there 100% of the time. This helps and turning it off is simple. It helps against the parents that do not protect their children and so not see that they need it as well as those that with their already busy lives, occasionally forget something.

@ P Lee

You've missed the point.

This is about trialling network level filtering for commercial reasons in a manner which won't immediately provoke outrage.

The continued existence of most of the mass media aimed at children on TV and on the radio (without technological filters), is proof these measures are not what they purport to be.

I see where you are coming from and yes I hope it does not go this far and that yes this can be a dangerous line to cross. I suppose a compromise would be that if these filters came in, they are opt in not opt out (including this current one). This would have the effect of having the filters easily available for those that want them but leaving those without the need unaffected.

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Re: The first option should ...... @Ragarath

And the parent that says "no porn sites" to the child using the Internet that is not listened to?

Simple. Filter their devices. No need to filter the entire connection and the connections of any adults present. And you have the added benefit of making sure that your decisions are respected even when your children use their devices on networks that you have no control over.

Because a large chunk of important (for learning and other things) stuff that is NOT inappropriate material is being generated by them.

There is no need for them to have mobiles with either a camera and internet access beyond the desire of phone companies to make more money out of the little ones. Regardless of where the material comes from large parts of the internet are unsuitable for children and unless we can demonstrate a need for technology we ought to be questioning why we're allowing access to minors in the first place IMO. At present these seems to be the one question that nobody - and certainly no politician - wants to ask. But then both current and previous governments have had strong links to the telecoms industry. Just look at Ian Livingston.

I think you will find that most don't until the child is deemed responsible enough.

If they're responsible enough then why filter the connection?

It does not take much time and effort, but the time and effort is easily circumvented.

Do you honestly think that the same doesn't apply to network level filtering? Seriously? Even TalkTalk had to remove references to secure websites since it knew it couldn't realistically stop them, and I would not be surprised if there were other mechanisms available for evading this sort of thing.

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Re: The first option should ...... @Ragarath

Incidentally, you're assuming that the filter will always work as advertised. A dangerous mistake to make...

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

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Re: The first option should ......

I see where you are coming from and yes I hope it does not go this far and that yes this can be a dangerous line to cross. I suppose a compromise would be that if these filters came in, they are opt in not opt out (including this current one). This would have the effect of having the filters easily available for those that want them but leaving those without the need unaffected.

There's one addition I would suggest: The monitoring only starts when the filtering is switched on and ends when the filtering is switched off.

As things stand ISPs are free to intercept private communications as part of the filtering system even if the filtering isn't being used on that particular connection. Personally I think the idea of filtering won't work as well as people think it will and will end up being little more than a placebo.

However if people insist on using it then it should have zero impact on those of us that don't choose to use it. As long as that can be achieved then personally I think people should be free to do what they want with their internet connection - as long as it doesn't affect everybody else in any shape or form. This includes having to take any form of action when signing up to an ISP.

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Re: The first option should ......

Ragarath is Maria Miller and I claim my £2

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stupid

okay...unless its really scarey technology its NOT going to be able to filter what videos/films the customers are streaming via netflix, lovefilm etc - at which point parents are going to find their kids watching stuff via such services that they thought BSkyB would be filtering...after all, they've been told that their ISP is filtering their content. law suits await.

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Black Helicopters

filth?

We should be more concerned about letting our kids read the Dirty Diggers' pseudo-news.

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the middleman, in other words

Enough said.

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Re: the middleman, in other words

My thoughts exactly. Have an upvote.

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Anonymous Coward

Welcome to a world created by....

Bad parenting.

The age restrictions on anything you can think of have been routinely ignored for decades.

You've got the kid on one hand who wants to be an adult and takes steps to achieve this by either lying, gaining fraudulent documents to the parent who ignores age restrictions on computer games or magazines, films being shown on TV, etc, etc.

So now, because parents find the easiest option for dealing with their child is to let them hide in their bedroom with their laptop connected to a world of unknown quantities rather than have to actually engage with them, we're forced to deal with these 'protections' to keep them safe.

The end result is kids as young as ten addicted to porn, girls with their lives ruined because they did a tit flash to someone and it's now all over the web, yadda yadda.

I have two girls, one is 13 the other is 16. I have done the exact same thing with both of them in terms of internet safety in that I have explained to them what is out there and what can go wrong. They know the value of their bodies and how easy is to to ruin that.

They both have laptops but they don't have Wifi access in the house and have to plug into the router in the living room.

True, I have no idea what they get up to out of the house, but at least I have taken all reasonable steps to make them aware and protect them.

If every parent did that, and actually talked to their kids about sex and what it all means, then there wouldn't be as many issues.

Christ, when I was a lad the most smut we were able to get a hold of was my dads copy of the Daily Star.

Now a kid can go online to one of a hundred websites and see women being beaten and sexually abused within five clicks of a mouse.

Internet regulation is few and far between. ISP's bringing this in is the tip of the iceberg and I suggest that in ten years time, everyone that wants to will need to be using a proxy to get past country wide firewalls blocking all the smut, gore, etc.

Don't forget as well though, there's also the argument that this needs to be done to protect those that can't protect themselves. Again you can refer that to kids or those with learning issues or people that just can't grasp what they're doing / looking at.

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Re: Welcome to a world created by....

In the interests of accuracy I checked, it's actually 3 clicks, 4 shakes and a kaboom. Totally agree with you though, parental responsibility these days seems to be "get others to take responsibility, and if something happens to my kids, it's THEIR fault!".

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Re: Welcome to a world created by....

Totally agree with you though, parental responsibility these days seems to be "get others to take responsibility, and if something happens to my kids, it's THEIR fault!".

The problem is, this reinforces that too.

I've already had this conversation with wifey, and when we get asked the question the filters will be off. Littlun will grow up with the filters I put in place, filtering content that I feel is inappropriate. Alongside those filters will be the most important thing - discussions and parenting. Quite frankly, if he reaches the point that he's technically apt enough to get around my defences then he'll have earnt all the wonders smut that awaits.

I'm treating it as a learning experience for him. Will be heavy on the logging, but the filters will start off easy and get harder and harder (*snigger*). Teenagers are always going to want to get at this stuff, so might as well take advantage (whilst teaching him not to) and make sure he learns a few things along the way.

As for going to a mate's to see it, didn't we all?

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Paris Hilton

Re: Welcome to a world created by....

It is both bad parenting (the main defense) and mass media (the main attack) which is to blame. The media has pushed more and more adult oriented material packaged up for kids as they use shock tactics to impress the under-aged and drive a wedge between children and those who really do know better.

Does anyone remember when Madonna's antics caused outrage? Now Miley and Thicke get mostly faux horror at miming sex between a young girl and a married man, live on stage at a mainstream music industry awards ceremony.

Anyone remember when "The Sullivans" was the lunchtime soap? Now we have vast amounts of partner-swapping, sexual-infidelity and more unusual sexual relationships put front and centre on the TV. This makes extraordinarily broken relationships the normal thing that children see. It is right that children should be able to expect and demand integrity, truthfulness and fidelity. When all the characters they see lie and cheat in turn, their expectations of others and themselves are diminished and they are worse off for it.

Certainly the "bad" parts of the internet are unpleasant and not for children, but the real damage is done by mainstream media and the inability of parents to say, "this whole TV/music thing is inappropriate."

As an example, how many times have I seen the Macarena done at children's parties? Is it just my dirty mind, or are the actions (contrary to the lyrics?) miming, "take my hand, come with me, hug/cuddle, lie back, have sex, move on/turn to your next partner?" The toddler's don't know what's going on and there's no harm done at the time, but at what point do you say to your kid, "actually the dance I taught you in this video is about things you shouldn't be doing?" The problem is that this sort of thing is so pervasive that it is almost impossible to participate in popular culture. We've got rid of all big screen TV's (any TV for grown-ups has to be recorded on the server and is played at low volume on a laptop after the kids are in bed) and the radio stays on classic fm. Wagner may have been a little decadent, but he doesn't have a dance on yourtube where he mimes adult spanking.

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Anonymous Coward

Aaaaaaaand

Off.

Considered "18" but then thought why should I be down as a "happy customer" statistic for Cameron.

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Anonymous Coward

Parents are not kids

Why would a parent want to set their filtering policy to be the same as that of a child?

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Thumb Down

Consigned

To the dustbin

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Flame

Oi Murdoch!

Do you charge less the more filtered your feed is?

Thought not.

Sod off now, you odious crinkly worm.

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FAIL

Re: Oi Murdoch!

At least two people like to pay more for less, I see.

Advertisers dream.

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Big Brother

SYMANTEC...

Hmm...think i will change to F-Secure...or Bullguard...seems once trusted

brands are queuing up to help control the internet.

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Hey!

Hey, Murdoch, leave them kids alone!

All in all you're just another...[fill in as you see fit]

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Re: Hey!

..'.nother tit in the (pay)wall.....

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Mushroom

@Smurfette: *Do* opt out

For those who want to protest silently, I'd say sign up for the smut filter and just continue to access the material they claim they can 'block' anyway.

The problem is (and it's intentional) if people do that, then the government will claim the fact that only 5% opted out "proves" they had public support for the measure. Which they will then use to crowbar other asinine laws into the statute books.

Despite what they say, *somebody* is watching all that porn.

It's the same with the brain dead "war on drugs". Almost daily you will read of the police busting another "cannabis farm" claiming they have public support. Well, *somebody* is buying all that dope .....

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Re: @Smurfette: *Do* opt out

Yes, and it's me.

I'd like to complain that there aren't enough hours in a day to watch all of of the new porn on the Internet.

Used to be, it took 10 minutes to download an image. Now I can download an hour-long video in 3 minutes.

That reminds me. I need a 2nd video card for my computer as I've run out of space for new windows.

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xyz

Cuming soon...

Sky Pr0n HD @ £50 pcm

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cuming soon...

Sky Pr0n HD @ £50 pcm

It's called "Canal+"

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Still no mention of any rights that the website owners have.

I wonder if Sky's policy amounts to the same sort of one being used by TalkTalk? i.e. 'Tough shit if you're blocked and we decide you should stay on the list - and we won't respond to any complaints'

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"Still no mention of any rights that the website owners have."

That's an interesting point. EU single market rules mean that legitimate businesses should be able to sell their goods and services across the single market without hindrance - that includes legal porn businesses, like this is Germany and the Netherlands.

There has already been a case of this nature back in the 1990s. The government of the day in Britain was trying to stop a hardcore porn channel called Red Hot Dutch from selling subscriptions in the UK. This was deemed to be in breach of single market rules as RHD's services were legal in the country of origin (the Netherlands) and the British government was ordered to stop interfering with RHD's legal business. RHD subsequently went bankrupt and this was rumoured to be due to British government pressure but the reality was that RHD lost too much business to pirated cards for their services.

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It is highly likely...

That the kit to do this lives in or about 'the radius' where you log in and are given an IP address. Your log in details will be 'hard coded' to you/your router. If you enable the system all of your traffic will be redirected through the Symantec Kit, probably built by Huawei anyway, and DPI will be performed on all of your communications to pick out requested URLs from the traffic and check them. Of course once in place the equipment may be 'refurbished' at any time in order to 'provision' requested information to GCHQ. Symantec do not need to generate a list from SKY customers in the same way that StalkStalk has from theirs because StalkStalk has already done it using the Huawei-Symantec StalkStalk bot MKI

Of course I could be wrong....

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Mushroom

Which setting do I need to choose...

Which setting do I need to choose to block Page 3 of the Sun and the Daily Mail Sidebar of shame. Also I'd like to block any pictures or Theresa May? Is this possible?

While we are at it how about blocking any leaked Tory speeches prior to 2010?

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