back to article Net censors use UK's kid-safety frenzy to justify clampdown

An obsession with child protection in the UK and throughout the EU is encouraging a cavalier approach to law-making, which less democratic regimes are using to justify much broader repression on any speech seen as extreme or dangerous. That was the accusation made by academic and online legal expert, Dr Yaman Akdeniz, at last …


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Anonymous Coward

Why would they block Geocities ...

... when it's been closed down for a while now?

And is John Carr's middle name Wayne?

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No, it's Alan


Hacker training !!!

Well assuming "kids" in all this are under 18s all this talk about controlling surfing habits is frankly counter productive. Any tech savvy 16 year old (yes, the geeks) will be able to work around these ip restrictions (tor ?) and in the process they'll learn about back-doors, proxys & encryption. It only takes a few to help the rest and set up a private p2p network and there you go, protection worked around. This is easy already with tools like "LogMeIn Hamachi" which is basically a free plug n play vpn tool.

Also if they are hitting things like tor then they could potentially be exposed to images far more extreme than is currently generally available.

In short "kids" are curious and like a challenge.... especially if it's something "not allowed" and hard to reach... maybe a decent porn collection will mark out the "cool" kids one day ?

Still, all these restrictions in place trains a new generation of hackers who know how to work around blocks, survilence and generally against the "system".

I'm not advocating a completely internet of course but what we have now doesn't seem broken so why try and fix it ?

Paris Hilton

Reminds me of Dilbert

He asked a kid to test his porn-blocking filter. "His youthful curiosity is no match for my technical brilliance."

The last frame of the strip has Dilbert saying to Alice "I hope that wasn't the sound of eyeballs getting really big".

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Blocking Geocities and Myspace?

And not a decade too soon!


They keep chipping away...

The excuses for increased repression of speech just keep on coming. Soon there will be nothing else to watch but infotainment by subscription (yes, you will have to pay for the privilege!). Absolutely no real news, just news you 'should' watch and reality TV (whose reality?) to entertain the 'great unwashed' and the masses who couldn't care less about anything. Yes, there should be some limits to publishing content online, but "measures that allow for websites to be censored on the basis of purely administrative processes, without need for judicial oversight" should not be allowed in a modern constitutional democracy/monarchy. Or is this just too far out for our governments? Should we be given the the facts and allowed to decide for ourselves? Nanny state do gooders should crawl back into their offices and stay there! They would do less harm by doing nothing.

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Protect my Children

OK, so I haven't got any yet, but when I do they will need protecting. All the following should be blocked to protect them:

1. Religion

2. Fake (druid) "science" (Astrology, homeopathy, numerology, climate "science"...)

3. Politics

However I consider the following to be only natural, so should be allowed through:

1. What people look like with no clothes on (except their ankles, which are obscene!).

2. What happens when you mix different chemicals together.

3. The fact that in order for species to survive, animals need to mate.

4. Large prime numbers and how to use them.

Oh flying spaghetti monstor, now I look as mad as the rest...


Thank You!

I am so pleased there is someone who actually thinks of the children and has thought carefully about the absolute filth and lies that fill the internet but you really don't go far enough.

Let them on to the BBC cooking for kids and they get a taste for mixing chemicals.

Let them see how animals procreate and, at the age of seven, they will be on Craigslist selling ther bodies.

Give 'em five minutes on an 'alternative medicine' site and let them discover how 'science' is all made up rubbish and that you only need a crumb of aspirin to fix a headache - it's 'BigPharma' that insists on you using two whole tablets. (and anyway, the headace is just a result of bad karma. A thorough spiritual and aural cleansing is required (at only £500 a pop) ).

Large prime numbers are not to be fooled with -- even toddlers are now using them to crack government security and bring down entire countries networks.

Nope, you need to spread your net wider to see the awful damage done to our cherished youngsters. Then cut thier hands off to prevent use of keyboard and mouse -- harsh but fair, they will thank you in later life.

You need to prove to them it's not just Pedo's that think of the children!

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"the British 'way of protecting children' "

Which is as follows:

1) Some tragedy happens

2) The Tabloid Media get hold of it, distort the story and blow it out of all proportion and then start a campaign to "Ban This Filth"

3) A Publicity Grabbing MP will jump on the band-wagon and say that we need new laws to be put in place because there are "loopholes" in the old laws.

4) Parliament holds a "Consultation" which involves asking anyone who agrees to say "yes we agree" and ignores anyone who disagrees, then shoves a few new clauses into a "Christmas Tree" Bill (where everyone gets to hang something on it)

5) A stupidly vague and unenforceable law is passed which will do nothing to protect anyone, least of all kids however will end up criminalising people who would never do any harm but are now caught in the net and branded potential kiddy fiddlers.

6) Rinse and repeat...

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a title



Ah, you missed a bit on point 4

It won't be called the "Internet Censorship ThinkOfTheChildren Act", either. It'll be the "Much too dull for anyone to read this or check it Act" which is approximately 2,000 pages longer than it needs to be- thanks to it's "<s>Christmas</s> Winter Holiday Tree" nature- and so can effectively bury the contentious bits in pages and pages of crap like "It has nothing to do with the rest of this act, but we should endeavour to become more green".

Anonymous Coward

you missed

You missed an important step that's important nowdays, locate an over worked social worker tied up in red tape and with too much paper work to blaime the failure of parents/teachers/police/doctors/friends and, family on.

Gates Horns

a title (it late) (a le tit) (ET tail) :oP

There is no movement that I am aware of to enable 5 year-olds to drive articulated lorries on the motorways of 21st century Britain. Why? Because it would be utterly stupid to let a minor play with something so incredibly dangerous.

Equally, there is no plan to issue all 7 year-olds with automatic rifles; the age of concent is not 12 (except interestingly, the Vatican and a few other popular tourist resorts); H2SO4 (despite my assertions to the contrary) is not a toy; nor, whilst relaxing in a restaurant, do we expect to be served our starter by a foetus or to watch a toddler fry our egg and chips whilst juggling razorblades.

Why then should anyone under the age of 18 (or 21, 25... etc pick a number, as long as it's <40) be permitted to access the world-wide webternet of spareware, uberporn and bomb recipes unsupervised? The solution is NOT to make it safe but to prevent the mentally challenged and emotionally developing from accidentally harming themselves, poor dears (think of the patronising minority referenced individuals, PLEASE).

Those sufficiently "with it" to know the difference between OS and virus (significantly less than 50% of the population it seems), or the correct spelling for "[their] coats over [there]" (about 2% of facebook-ers) could then be issued with an MAC address. Yeh, I know - they'll NEVER do something radical like that, think of the lost revenues.

All Hail and Welcome... to our cushion wielding masters. The land of Joined-Up-Thinking prostrates itself before you.

Anonymous Coward

if proof was needed that parents SUCK

The UK and EU are supporting measures that allow for websites to be censored .....

.....because they cannot look after their children correctly.

Every one must be subject to restrictions cause mumy and daddy would rather leave the kids infront of a computer than spend time with them.

Fight stupidity!

Anonymous Coward

Exactly why

I think that neither governments nor government-backed other organisations ought to even try and act like a "moral preventer". No censorship in any form. Exactly for the children: They too must eventually grow up, and smell the coffee.


Lack of parental care

It actually demonstrates how little most parents understand t'internet.

If they did they would be able to teach thier kids how not to fall in to various traps. My two had unfiltered access all the time but never complained about getting stuck in a porn advert loop. They were taught that if an offer or a link seems too good to be true then it usually is and they ought to search Google to find out.

They also learnt (while using Habbo Hotel - yup, some time back) to use chat groups carefully, even how to deal with the 'download and run this cool game' posters -- keep asking stuff on line while also searching about the 'game' to see what it's actually all about.

BUT parents want to just plug them in to a screen and fuck off elsewhere then blame it all on 'society' or ISP's when thier machine gets pwnd or they find that it's not actually 'animal on animal' action on the sceen. Television and consoles and computers are not intelligent babysitters or childminders and, by the age of ten they are already looking up 'fuck'.

We used to watch as our kids and thier mates browed through dictionarles for the 'rude' words. Should we have burnt the books as well - just in case?


@ Ooo-wait-BUT!

You missed 'ale tit'

Silver badge

Censorship, like manners, begins in the home

The problem with mass censorship be it Apple or government is that in trying to cater for all tastes the more liberal minded members of society get shafted.

Just because a brother of mine is a bible-thumper and frowns on 'pornography, even though affairs are OK, shouldn't mean I have to share his views (which I don't).

The optimum answer is for individual content controls based on government lists and accessed through ISP's so each user can enjoy the InterNet as best suits them.

Why is the InterNet proceeding differently to other forms of media - just because some loud mouthed do-gooders think I shouldn't enjoy watching what I want. Next they will be giving us 'closed' Sundays as in former times.

A pox on the lot - and hands off my InterNet.

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