back to article Smut oglers told to opt in to keep web filth flowing

Grubby smut gazers will be forced to "opt in" to view porn under government-backed restrictions to be imposed on ISPs. PM David Cameron will propose a raft of measures today at a Downing Street meeting with Christian charity group Mothers' Union. The restrictions are designed to protect children from sexualised content. A …


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  1. Lockwood


    We again reach the question of demarkation.

    At what point do naughty images become naughty images.

    All this think of the children stuff is getting old now.

    1. The BigYin

      We should censor art galleris too

      Time to take black markers to all those old masters. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      While most people would be hard pushed to say exactly where a line is crossed, the same most people will be able to tell you when a line has definitely been crossed.

      Some naked breasts, probably not going to be an issue.

      The contents of (NSFW, obviously) not ok.

      Personally I don't have kids and I do 'consume' porn, however that's not to say that I'd want my 4 year old niece to see what I see, it's just not appropriate. Think of the kids can be taken too far, but also it is fairly reasonable to think of what's appropriate for children to see, they shouldn't be exposed to everything in the adult world.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


        It's your responsibility to supervise your children, not the government's. And it is certainly not the responsibility of the government to supervise everyone in case they happen to be children.

        If you don't want to expose your children to the full content of the internet, then don't. If you can't figure out how to use one of the many content filtering / parental control products out there then maybe you should just not let them access the internet at all?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "It's your responsibility to supervise your children, not the government's"

          Take your kids to work with you, do you?

          1. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT) Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            @Loyal Commentor

            Agreed, if you want the government to raise your kids for you, you should hand them over at birth. I don't see why it comes as a shock to parents that something they made is their responsibility.

            @Robert Long 1

            Er no, that would be silly. My Wife, their mother, looks after them when they are home, the school for the older one during the day. And before anyone says it, no, that's not the government raising my child, its the government EDUCATING my child.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Managing to avoid state schools

              Not happy with them around us

              2 in an academy

              1 in a grammar with bursary

              So government not raising nor educating!

        2. L1feless

          beat me to it

          I couldn't agree more.

      2. L1feless

        Here's a solution

        PARENT YOUR GDAMN kids. Any idiot who lets their kids wild on the net is just asking for their kids to see crap. Watch what your kids are doing and perhaps spend some quality time with them. You might find that they will end up seeing EXACTLY what they should be seeing and little to nothing of what they shouldn't be seeing.


        If you let your 4 year old niece wild on the wonky web...your one hell of a retarded Uncle.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Hows about it's a bit more shades of gray than that? Yes, parents should parent their children, but any parent will tell you that it simply isn't possible to look after your kids 24/7/365. You know all the stuff you need to do as a single person? All of that needs to be done, plus all of the things that your dependents - and they're call dependents for a reason - need to have done for them. Making an evening mean? Well, you could have them in the kitchen with you, or you could accept that you have to keep half an eye on them, while you make their food.

          And as a PS - No, I don't leave my niece alone with the Internet, I was just using a relative as an illustration of someone who doesn't need the nastier elements of the net shown to her yet. And resorting to calling people retards is hardly brilliant discussion skills, is it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC 22:24

            First off, let me say that I agree with you completely regarding the "retarded" comment - it didn't help the conversation, and really detracted from the poster's message. I also watch my nephew a lot - his mother has had an extended sickness recently. So while I technically don't have kids of my own, I've spent a pretty good amount of time watching a young one. I know how hard it is to keep track of him 24/7, and how much sometimes I just desperately want a break.

            Yet, with all that said, it is still not the government's job to try to raise my nephew. I know what he sees online; the only computer he gets to use is in the living room. If I'm taking care of him (or my nieces, or my own hypothetical children) at some point in the future when they're older, I'll consider other options as necessary. The one thing I will never be satisfied with is a government approved feed. It's not porn - or, at least, it's not just porn. Sexual health sites, some religious sites, alcohol sites, you name it - if it's at all associated with vice, someone will complain, and it could end up on the censorship list. I'd rather be in the living room and catch one of the young ones under my care starting to wander away from the PBS website/the netflix queue I set up for him/whatever and steer them back than accept government censorship into ANY of our lives.

    3. Anonymous Cowerd

      I'm told that

      Gary Glitter always thinks of the children...

    4. Number6
      Big Brother

      Mass opt-in

      The only answer is for a large number of people to opt-in on principle, whether they actually want to download the stuff or not. It's not the content that's important here, merely that it is necessary to sign up to something that the government decides requires it.

      Porn often leads the way and drives new ideas to completion, this time it's the concept of registering to receive certain materials. What other categories might then be added, with the list of registrants later used by a future government for other purposes?

      It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

      1. steeplejack

        Well they are out to get you. I was once a victim of O2's default restrictions and wasn't allowed to see Whisky distillers sites, or airgun sites. I know drinking and shooting probably ain't a great combination, but I am 58 and have so far managed not to kill anyone.

    5. John Robson Silver badge

      Well apparently phpbb3 logos are naughty - because the $mobile_prover filters won't let me look any anything phpbb related...

      So I'm now "unfiltered"

    6. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      naughty images

      "At what point do naughty images become naughty images."

      I heard that an "Islam charity group Fathers' Union" is also pushing for this. They have started making a list of all domains that contain obscene images that depict women where you can see more than their eyes.

      So far the list includes *.com, *, *.net, *....

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Opt In ...

      ... is obviously useful to a degree. However, there will always be sufficient stuff available for those who don't want to be recorded as opting in (sex offender on parole?), and too much stuff which is inoffensive getting blocked by dumb filters (I was blocked from some simple searches on my phone by Orange, gave up, grabbed the laptop).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Internment camps next?

    Now everyone repeat after me "Heil Cameron, Seig Heil" "Jawohl Mein Fuhrer" "I would like to report my neighbour as a 'foreigner/terrorist/paedophile/sexual deviant/homosexual/disabled scrounger"

    This shower of fascists are disturbing me far more than even new labour at the height of their fasicst BS.

    Shades of Mentel corporation arriving....

    1. The First Dave

      "The restrictions are designed to protect children from sexualised content."

      and will therefore also prevent children from watching the X-Factor, and the majority of modern pop videos... No? Didn't think so. Yet that stuff is proven to be damaging our kids.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        @The First Dave

        "and will therefore also prevent children from watching the X-Factor, and the majority of modern pop videos"

        no, the copyright mafiaa are an even bigger and more powerful lobby group than the mothers' union, therefore their videos will not be blocked .

    2. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: Internment camps next?

      What utter tosh. Cameron is talking about it, Blair/Brown would have just got on and done it without so much as a hint of consultation. Not only that they'd have set up a national database of those who opt in as they are obviously one step away from kiddiefiddling. The database would naturally turn up in a taxi/train/ebay/etc soonest.

      Get back to your (not)working mens club and stick to whining about the pits closing down.

      1. Daniel 4

        Completely uncalled for

        "Get back to your (not)working mens club and stick to whining about the pits closing down."

        I just wanted to let you know that I downvoted you for that one line alone.

        Thank you.


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why would you need to report your neighbour as a sexual deviant?

      The Sex Offenders Register will soon come with an opt-in button.

    4. Tilman Ahr

      I know it doesn't do anything for the debate at hand, but could all you "anglos" trying to use German-sounding quotes please at least try to run that shit through a spell-checker?

      This wasn't an overly bad example, and I'm by no means a fan of language-purists, but it does grate on my nerves that people who'll happily pounce on every little typo or grammatical quirk in English-language comments absolutely murder even short quotes in other languages.

      If you're so fucking sophisticated that you MUST put in quotes in languages you don't understand, at least check your references.

      No, English is not my native language. Still I am fairly confident my written English is somewhat decent. Wouldn't dream of putting in French quotes without checking at least a phrasebook. My French is definitely not up to par (essentially non-existent would be more realistic).

      What is it about somewhat educated Englishmen/Americans and faux-german quotes?

  3. Gideon 1

    Austrailia tried it

    and it didn't work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Australia... not ready to come out of the anti-democracy closet yet.

      Unlike some countries which have a People's Army, which have had better, but still not 100% success

      PS (note spelling of Australia)

  4. Not Fred31

    The perfect intro to the non-neutral Internet

    Game set and match to the big ISPs who have managed to produce a situation where government applauds and demands interferences in traffic and the introduction and use of invasive anti-net neutrality tools. Of course the government won't actually cotton on until it is too late. Idiots.

  5. Richard 81

    Where am I?

    I seem to have to woken up in Australia.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happened to parents taking responsibility for what their children are doing? Have we become so lazy we can't be bothered to look over our kids' shoulder now and again checking they are doing what they should be. If you can't manage your families online browsing you shouldn't be online.

    1. Nuke


      Irrespective of the main issue here, you have got to have some dumb kids who cannot fool their parents. Bear in mind we are talking mainly about 12-18 yo's. I did all sorts of things without my parents finding out (before the Web, but eg making fireworks, experimenting with mains electricity), and I was not particularly irresponsible compared with some I knew.

      For starters, doesn't your kids' keyboard respond to ALT-TAB ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How about opt out then?

        As title..

      2. Ragarath

        Faulty Eyes Mr Nuke?

        Are your eyes that bad that you cannot see what is on the task bar / dock / whatever your OS uses?

        Net neutrality is needed ISP's are there to provide you a route onto the net not to police it.

      3. Cameron Colley


        Have you not heard, Windows allows you to lock it down so that only the administrator can change anything, as does Linux and probably OSX too? It's actually not all that hard to control internet access if you're willing to spend some time and/or money doing it.

        If you're suggesting that the child would go to a friend's house, whose parents don't lock down the PC

        I would like to suggest that the other child's parents may well opt in for porn under this scheme.

        As for this being "mainly about 12-18 yo's" -- anyone censoring what their 16 year old sees is likely wasting their time, unless they keep them under house arrest. To my mind they're also being prudish and pathetic in dictating what another adult can see, rather than just talking about things.

      4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Mainly 12-18 year olds?

        Interestingly, a third of that demographic, 16 to 18 year olds are legally allowed to have sex with each other, but not to look at pictures of other people doing the same. Do you not think that maybe this country is prudish enough already without further restricting the freedom of young people to explore and discover their own sexuality?

        I also note that you seem to imply that children under twelve are somehow not affected? is this possibly because having not yet reached the average age of puberty, such children would most likely neither understand or care much about what they might see in pornographic images?

        There seems to be a belief (which appears to be the majority view amongst the political classes) that children who have reached puberty, but who have not yet reached the legal age of consent somehow know knothing of sex, and should be kept in the dark about the changes which they are going through. I fail to see how hiding this knowledge from them is in any way productive. Instead, logically it engenders a sense of guilt and secrecy surrounding issues of sex. Maybe this is why we have such appalingly high teenage pregnancy rates in this country?

        Maybe the correct response would be to throw away your Victorian views and tell your children about the existence of sexual norms so that they can make the informed decisions that they should be making and not get knocked up by some boy in their class at the age of twelve, because neither knows nor understands what they are doing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          16 year old males

          " a third of that demographic, 16 to 18 year olds are legally allowed to have sex with each other, but not to look at pictures of other people doing the same"

          How many 16 year old males do you know ? I assure you, they do and they also know how to get round the simple blocking that routers allow. Perhaps the ones with grielfiends who say Yes don't bother but contrary to rumours this is the minority (see The Inbetweeners as a sound factual reference).

          1. Daniel 4

            AC @13:59

            "How many 16 year old males do you know ? I assure you, they do and they also know how to get round the simple blocking that routers allow. Perhaps the ones with grielfiends who say Yes don't bother but contrary to rumours this is the minority (see The Inbetweeners as a sound factual reference)."

            And it provides most of them a cheap thrill that they are scared of getting caught at, so most don't do it very much - no more than when skin mags were around in our time. For the rest, they are determined enough that if they absolutely must they will go over to a friend's house who's parents have signed up for the porn feed - you know, just like teen boys used to go over to the one house where someone had found their parent's stash of porno VHS tapes.

            Either way, trying to control this particular aspect of 16 year old behavior is somewhere between silly and obscene. That's not to say that I am going to hand out pornography to my kids, but I AM realistic about it - it is something that they will see. Better to teach them about the realities of sex and prepare them for the world than try to wrap them in wool and fail.


      5. Greg J Preece


        "I did all sorts of things without my parents finding out (before the Web, but eg making fireworks, experimenting with mains electricity), and I was not particularly irresponsible compared with some I knew."

        And how much of that melted your mind, corrupted your Christian soul and ruined your life?

        What kind of fucking state do we have to be in when the group being consulted on MASS CENSORSHIP of modern communications is a fucking Christian mothers group?

  7. JeevesMkII

    Ah yes, Christians. Always obeying the 11th commandment: thou shalt interfere with what others do in the privacy of their own homes. For the good of the children of course.

    I have a proposal. How about ISPs block all access to Christian material to kids younger than 16, on the grounds that it's obviously detrimental to their mental development. Seems like the kind of thing the Mother's Union can get behind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Totally agree

      Just think of the harm religion has done over the centuries.

      Porn, hmmm, not so much.

      1. Nextweek

        Speak for yourself

        I am now blind

        1. Jolyon


          Although on the upside your hairy palms are ideal for speed reading Braille.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Also totally agree

        Funny, I don't remember any wars with human casualties because of porn.

        Religion on the other hand...

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          @AC 12:05, there's a least one

          Didn't somebody shoot Larry Flint over his porn empire?

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: wars because of porn

          They wouldn't be wars. A war is between two societies with differing views. If you want porn casualties, what you should be looking for is conflict within a society between men and women. You'll have no trouble finding evidence for that. Whether porn causes such conflicts is another question, just as it is debatable whether religion causes wars. As ever, correlation is not causation.

          I'll now get my flame-proof coat before I'm accused of having argued any particular point of view.

          1. Boring Bob

            People who want to hate someone will always find an excuse, a way of differentiating themselves in order to turn a group of people into enemies. In the early 20th century there were problems between Catholics and Protestants in England but then with the mass immigration that occurred in the 60s those who were bent on hate found new targets instead.

            Most religions preach pacifism. Those who do not attempt to be pacifist cannot correctly claim to be aligned to such a religion. For example, Catholics and Protestants who attack each other cannot claim to be Christian. Calling themselves Catholic or Protestant is an abuse of the label. The fighting is not caused by too much religion but rather a lack of it.

            1. Daniel 4

              What is in a label?

              "For example, Catholics and Protestants who attack each other cannot claim to be Christian."

              That's a nice thought Bob, but when the bulk of the world, including the practicing Catholics and Protestants, identify them as Christian, it pretty much falls apart. I'm not trying to be trite here, but it's sort of like a "hoover" or "kleenex" or "xerox" - all of these words may have meant something very specific a long time ago, but that's well and over now.

              It really is a nice thought, though.


            2. Greg J Preece

              @Boring Bob

              "Most religions preach pacifism."


              "Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel." (Deuteronomy 17:12)

              "Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed." (Exodus 22:19)

              "Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood." (Jeremiah 48:10)

              You and I have obviously been reading different holy books...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ooh look

      Saying something anti-religion on the Register, aren't you smart and in a group where your opinions may be challenged.

      Hows about: Not all material on the Internet is good for children and not all people who practice religion are a good example of that religion. No, it's got to be black and white, hasn't it?

      1. Greg J Preece

        @AC 12:04

        "Not all material on the Internet is good for children and not all people who practice religion are a good example of that religion."

        You're absolutely right! A lot of Christians don't seem to be very good ones. They only practice the busybody interfering, and seem to have forgotten the genital mutilation, slavery, genocide, etc altogether!


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