back to article UK ISPs may be handed cock-blocking powers

Internet providers in the UK could be given powers to block user access at their own discretion in an amendment to the controversial Digital Economy Bill. The Bill, currently being scrutinised by the House of Lords*, will introduce age verification checks for online porn. Under the proposed legislation, pornographic websites …

Page:

  1. Slx

    I really hate this kind of prudishness and puritanical nonsense.

    There are far, far, far worse things out there than sexual images of adult humans doing adult human things to other adult humans.

    Extreme violence, beheadings, radicalisation, abuse of all sorts of vulnerable people, vicious bullying etc etc but nope, it's all about cock blocking!

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      You forgot the really horrible one

      Tory conferences - age verification definitely needed.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      You forgot trump

      1. alpine

        "You forgot trump"

        And Corbyn.

        1. itzman
          Paris Hilton

          Who is 'Corbyn'?

          I must have done. Who is 'Corbyn'?

          Is he on some reality show.? I never watch those.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Corbyn / Trump

          Actually Corbyn is an embarrasing throwback to the 1970s, but he is not obscene like Trump.

          Sad old man vs angry Orangutang immitator

      2. Chemical Bob Bronze badge

        "You forgot trump"

        We're trying to build a wall around him.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
        Unhappy

        "You forgot trump"

        Oh gods above, how I wish that were true, but I can't forget, not for a second. He's everywhere I turn. His face. His little pudgy hands. His sneer. His deep, deep stupidity. Please, if you HAVE forgotten Trump, tell us the secret? How do we erase him from our waking nightmares?

        Help me. Please.

    3. John Sanders
      Childcatcher

      you just wait

      Until this is in place and they begin to label other things under the classification of "adult content"

      Sliiiiipery slope.

      And no one, no one voted or asked for this. Our dear elites once again telling us what is best for us.

      1. James 139

        Re: you just wait

        I'm sure that Westminsters chief advisers on morality, Mumsnet, just slipped a note through No !0s door and policy was decided.

        Mumsnet, if it was run by men would already have been proscribed.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nature knows no indecencies, man invents them.

      Mark twain.

  2. imanidiot Silver badge
    Coat

    sigh...

    Are these people really THIS close minded...

    I've had it. I don't want to live on this planet anymore -->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: sigh...

      I don't want them to live on this planet anymore.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: sigh...

      "I've had it. I don't want to live on this planet anymore -->"

      With my timer reaching its final grains I despair about the way the way UK policies on sex and nudity have regressed in many ways since 2000. Even a recent reasonable proposal on sex education was effectively filibustered by conservative MPs.

      Censorship isn't the answer to people seeking facts - they need education to help them make sense of all the alternative views.

      $deity$ help the younger generation when they have to try to unwind all this.

    3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: sigh...

      Are these people really THIS close minded...

      Yes. And immensely hypocritical as well - just look at one of the sources of this hate nonsense, the Daily Mail, and compare it to the celebrity drivel they contimually push about what swimwear some talentless nobody is wearing, or often even their children. In the next article they then instruct their "readers" on how the sexualisaton of society is the fault of <delete-as-applicable> (current bogeyman).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sigh...

        "[...] the Daily Mail,[...]"

        Like that other paragon of establishment support - The Sun. Prurient reports about the evils of under 16 sexuality - then signing girls up for Page3 on their 16th birthday.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: sigh...

          And advertising sex chat lines at the back of the rag.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: sigh...

        The Mail is at its most magnificently hypocritical when raging at a 'racy' or 'disgusting' scene in a post-watershed BBC programme, an article liberally illustrated by screen grabs of all the naughtiness - and which is available to anyone under the age of 16 if they open a copy of the Mail.

        Has the Mail stopped the 'all grown up' swimsuit features of various pubescent children yet? Or do their editorial staff still enjoy photos of teenage girls in bathing suits?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: sigh...

          The only redemeaning feature is that NOBODY under the age of 45 is going to open a copy of the Daily Mail

  3. Halfmad

    So for now it's just porn.

    Then another amendment and it's P2P traffic.

    Then another stating anything as instructed by whitehall.

    Then another and it's basically anything any ISP fancies blocking.

    It's laughable that the UK criticizes other countries for internet censorship whilst heading down this path., inevitable? No but let's face it with the current government it's highly likely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " No but let's face it with the current government it's highly likely."

      Labour or UKIP would be as bad. Only the Liberals have a recent track record on sensible approaches - although their new leader does not inspire confidence that he would continue that policy.

    2. VinceH Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "Then another and it's basically anything any ISP fancies blocking."

      Umm....

      But an amendment by the House of Lords published this week [PDF] appears to permit an ISP to engage in content filtering, provided that it is consistent with its terms of service.

      It's on page 15 of the PDF:

      A provider of an internet access service to an end-user may prevent or restrict access on the service to information, content, applications or services, for child protection or other purposes, if the action is in accordance with the terms on which the end-user uses the service.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          That's a fantastic thing. removing the ability to completely censor information is always a good thing.

    3. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Doesn't need an amendment

      Watch out for the inclusion of statutory instruments which will let ministers redefine the scope of the act almost at will without recourse to Parliament. They're a big favourite of recent governments and so efficient at cutting back on unnecessary democracy.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blocking P2P would be hard to do.

  4. Dwarf Silver badge

    I wonder if anyone has drawn any of these idiots a picture of how a home network connects to the Internet via a single IP address and NAT (possibly with CG NAT) and then extended that to dynamic IP addresses on mobile and fixed networks.

    So, what will they proposed to block on ?

    Perhaps they are suggesting logins to the sites, no risk here as nobody ever shares a password with something more important.

    Obviously handing any personal information to the people that run these sort of sites couldn't possibly lead to problems with identity theft, car fraud or other such little issues.

    What a bunch of muppets. Why can't the just let us get on and live our lives.

    Why don't they focus on the important stuff such as dealing with the issues of Trump, Europe China and Russia

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They will do it the way they do now.

      The IWF "block list" is loaded at the ISP level and looks for IP &/or URL - try to access one of those and "nope". Similar tech is used for the court order sites (torrent etc).

      The ISP level filters (currently opt in/out) are looking at URLs mostly - but once they start doing traffic identification and content inspection, it's a whole new ball game.

      HTTPS (assuming no MITM certificates) will prevent a lot of HTTP content inspection, however then domain/subnet level blocking can be enacted.

      VPN usage will go up, until that's blocked - "Sorry, we can't decrypt your traffic..."

      1. yossarianuk

        VPN usage will go up,

        Well China this week announced a crackdown on vpns (making them illegal) -> https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/23/china-vpn-illegal-internet-censorship-government-approval/

        Only a matter of time until Theresa copies the idea.

        I would say everyone should learn how to connect via Tor bridges/pluggable transports as soon as possible (so your ISP isn't aware you are using Tor and will also get around DPI)

        https://www.torproject.org/docs/pluggable-transports.html.en

      2. Dwarf Silver badge

        They will do it the way they do now.

        The IWF "block list" is loaded at the ISP level and looks for IP &/or URL - try to access one of those and "nope". Similar tech is used for the court order sites (torrent etc).

        The ISP level filters (currently opt in/out) are looking at URLs mostly - but once they start doing traffic identification and content inspection, it's a whole new ball game.

        HTTPS (assuming no MITM certificates) will prevent a lot of HTTP content inspection, however then domain/subnet level blocking can be enacted.

        VPN usage will go up, until that's blocked - "Sorry, we can't decrypt your traffic..."

        You missed the point. Assuming the "viewer" passes the "age verification" step. Who would go about unblocking what and where ??

        URL blocking of gov. defined "bad sites" is a constant, there is no opt in for things like mega*.* or whatever its called this week..

        Content inspection - good luck with that. One image where the algorithm detects some skin tone - is it just a picture of someone on their holls, some medical picture on the NHS web site, a person wearing a beard or one or more people having some fun. Now change the location, change the race of one or more people, now change the camera angle, light level etc.

        What if its just a picture of a crowd of people. The tech for "block porn" doesn't seem to exist just in the same way that the definition of "porn" doesn't seem to be too easy to define either. Its no different in many ways to the definition of virus or malware - none of those technologies are 100% accurate either.

        So, back to the original point, when there is opt-in, there can be multiple people behind the same home firewall or there can be the same person on different devices or someone checked into a hotel or a coffee shop. The ISP can only block on source or target address type rules. The remote site can do all sorts but I can't see every web site owner world-wide doing this given that it seems to be a UK initiative.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          > You missed the point. Assuming the "viewer" passes the "age verification" step. Who would go about unblocking what and where ??

          I think you've missed the point a little too.

          If pornhub refuse to implement age verification on their site, they'll be blocked at the network level (so by the ISP).

          However, if they agree to implement age-verification, they won't be blocked at the network level.

          The actual age-verification will happen on Pornhub's servers. So if you fail to verify your age, you won't be allowed to access the juicy stuff. No network blocks involved there.

          NAT and stuff isn't too hard to deal with either, they'll just make you sign into your account (which'll record whether you've verified or not).

          For sites that agree to implement age verification, it's not at all complex.

          For known sites that refuse to, it's still not complex.

          What is complex, is having any kind of effective system that can catch "non-compliant" pages/sites by looking at the content itself.

          > The remote site can do all sorts but I can't see every web site owner world-wide doing this given that it seems to be a UK initiative.

          The pols seem to think that either

          a) the world will kow-tow to their whims

          b) It's trivially easy to detect and block content

          Both of which, are clearly wrong. But things like that don't factor into politicians decisions, because it'd mean actually thinking about something.

          It does at least mean I'm putting more effort into my VPN setup to make it as inconvenient/difficult to detect and block as possible. It shouldn't be needed, but if it turns into an arms race, I at least have the advantage of enjoying fucking around with stuff like this.

    2. fajensen Silver badge

      Why don't they focus on the important stuff such as dealing with the issues of Trump, Europe China and Russia

      Because most actual conservative values are sadly ones that require work to produce results. It is so much easier and more convenient to adopt liberal thinking and go all in on emotion- and feelings- issues.

      Keeps the eyes off the sorry results created by universally agreed-upon neo-liberalism too; LGBT toilets and Diversity Issues - it's like laser pointers and cats. Saves the catnip too.

  5. Amias
    Linux

    Contact your ISP

    A simple action you can take here is to contact your ISP and tell them you will move to another provider if they implement filtering on your account. I use AAISP who seem to be capable of resisting all these ludicrous requests from the government.

    1. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Contact your ISP

      GuvMint will just tell ISP's: "You can run your business any way you like, Sir, you just have to take all of your traffic feeds off this here core network that we will provide for you."

      GuvMInt will certainly win that contest, because GuvMint has infinite resources (well, all of "yours") and also kinetic options, should it come to that. Only way to not lose is to change government into one which is on our side on this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Contact your ISP

        Unlikely that will happen

    2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Contact your ISP

      oh c'mon. As long as this proviso stands "... provided that it is consistent with its terms of service" there is no chance in hell AAISP would apply filtering. Because that would be flagrant violation of their own ToS .

      As for other ISPs? I can imagine some ISP might want to put an USP "child friendly, only manually handpicked websites will be available to you". Would that sell, I do not know, but the law being considered would allow an ISP to sell such a service. Apparently it is not allowed now?

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Contact your ISP

        I can imagine some ISP might want to put an USP "child friendly, only manually handpicked websites will be available to you".

        Remember AOL?

        Would that sell, I do not know,

        Seems not, judging by history.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Contact your ISP

      That will go down well in the call center you talk to. I can just imagine them following the script for your query.

      "So Amias you have a problem with the filter on your phone line. Is that correct? Have you tried using another phone?"

    4. Cameron Colley

      Re: Contact your ISP

      Why contact your ISP? Once these laws there will be two kinds of ISP -- those that implement it and those that will be shut down or face other legal issues.

      Granted, some might go all AOL and block more but none can block less because it will be illegal thanks to Chairman May.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Contact your ISP

        You know that most small ISP wont have to implement it right? just check out AAISP who wont be doing any of that and they wont be shut down or face other legal issues because the law says they dont have to enforce blocks.

        http://aaisp.net/kb-broadband-realinternet.html

        And many ISP will block less even if Chairman May says they have to do it. the Gov can not shut down ISP if they try there would be a huge court case and its likely there will be one over this bill so this bill may be shot down like parts of the IPbill

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Save the kiddies - parents' job!

    This whole thing is wrong way up. Its proponents are presenting it as the same sort of age verification you have in shops to buy alcohol etc. But anyone can buy alcohol and give it to their children, or let them drink bleach, or play with matches - so there are social norms that you don't let your children have these things and if you do, it is your responsibility for any harm that ensues. I can't see why the internet access isn't the same: it has to be paid for by an adult, and that is the point at which age verification should happen. If you want to keep you children out of porn sites, you should be able to choose an ISP that filters your connections for all your family's devices. If you don't, then it's your job to arange filtering, and if you don't and your children end up at the psychiatrist, then you should be up in court for neglect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Save the kiddies - parents' job!

      The problem here, its not about Porn at all, it's all about Public Control, showing who's boss and Theresa May is the epitome of that, she gets her kicks from having such control and getting even more control.

      If this was about Porn, we send all the Daily Mail hyperbolers on the equivalent of Speed Awareness courses, i.e. Porn awareness courses, showing the clueless - how to setup an OpenDNS account, and be done with it.

      The only way you stop Porn into a home, is if everyone in that home agrees to stop accessing Porn. Clueless Jackie Smyth* types take note.

      *Previous Home Secretary whose Son (sorry, Husband) accessed paid Porn channels via their Redditch home cable network and she expensed them, as part of her MP's parliamentary expenses, which bought it to the public's attention. It completely possible the husband took the blame to save her the embarassment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Save the kiddies - parents' job!

        how to setup an OpenDNS account, and be done with it.

        That would be a great idea. They would then think everything is filtered, while those that want to view porn would spend less than 30 seconds getting around it. Everyone is happy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Save the kiddies - parents' job!

          I think you missed the bit where I said:

          The only way you stop Porn into a home, is if everyone in that home agrees to stop accessing Porn.

  7. LeeE Silver badge

    Why?

    I think that the most important question is: What is the problem that this intended to solve and how will it solve it?

    Unless there's evidence that viewing pornography leads to crime then it suggests that simply viewing pornography is regarded as the 'problem'.

    One also has to wonder where this leaves any existing obscenity laws that proscribe what is legal and what is illegal, as this new legislation appears to be targeting legal pornography.

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      "I think that the most important question is: What is the problem that this intended to solve and how will it solve it?"

      The problem is we think politicians are a bunch of useless wankers so they keep coming up with new things they think we will appreciate and consistently fail because we are right and they are a bunch of completely useless wankers.

      1. Nolveys Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Why?

        The problem is we think politicians are a bunch of useless wankers so they keep coming up with new things they think we will appreciate and consistently fail because we are right and they are a bunch of completely useless wankers.

        The ISPs should block access to all government sites, we don't need our children looking at all that wanking.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?

      "One also has to wonder where this leaves any existing obscenity laws that proscribe what is legal and what is illegal, as this new legislation appears to be targeting legal pornography."

      For a while now new laws have contained ill-drafted vagueness. The law enforcers have then pushed the boundaries with often ridiculous prosecutions. The result has been that the average person becomes confused about the demarcation line and starts to stay well clear even of that which is permitted.

      As Machiavelli advised his prince - fear gives the ultimate control over a society.

      1. Cameron Colley

        Re: Why?

        The point, as I think I raised before, is to make money for Chairman May. Whether she's being paid by the people who make "IP-blocking solutions" or the UK porn industry is anybody's guess but mark my words there's money in it for her somewhere. That and, as pointed out above, she gets to exercise power -- something amoral pond-scum like her like to do to make them feel more important than others who, unlike them, are worth more than the shit one scraps of one's shoe after a walk in the country.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019