back to article You've got pr0n: Yes, smut by email is latest workaround for UK's looming cock block

Web-dwellers who don't use Tor but are worried about the UK's impending smut block interrupting their viewing habits have been offered a simple way to satisfy their urges – porn by Email. The idea is a two-fingered salute to the government's decision to require all sites hosting adult content to set up age-check gateways to …

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Big Brother

Everything old is new again

FTPmail is the term used for the practice of using an FTPmail server to gain access to various files over the Internet.[1] An FTPmail server is a proxy server which (asynchronously) connects to remote FTP servers in response to email requests, returning the downloaded files as an email attachment. This service might be useful to users who cannot themselves initiate an FTP session—for example, because they are constrained by restrictions on their Internet access.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTPmail

Yay progress.

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Re: Everything old is new again

"This service might be useful to users who cannot themselves initiate an FTP session—for example, because they are constrained by restrictions on their Internet access."

Or presumably because they only have one hand free.

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Coat

Re: Everything old is new again

I've never had any problem operating an FTP with just one hand.

Oh wait.......

I meant............

It's the one with the single handwipe in the pocket

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Everything old is new again

Ooops they forgot to add verification. Wouldn't it be terrible if someone was to say, load up Telnet and accidentally order someone I don't like lots of queer midget pron to his work email...

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What's next?

So what's next? Newsgroups?

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Re: What's next?

Art, obviously. After all, that was the solution from the Renaissance on. Paint bare ladies and gentlemen, call it art. In Victorian times, apparently, it was not uncommon for the upper classes to put the more interesting pictures in the bedrooms of their visitors, a kind of pre-wifi service. Perhaps it was assumed that the servants wouldn't notice them.

There is a story that on visiting one country house Mrs. Disraeli complained to her hostess "I find our room contains an indecent picture. I have been up all night preventing Disraeli from looking at it." She did not explain what stratagem she had employed to prevent him.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

"Art, obviously."

In South Africa in the 1970s there was an apparent classification for "art" and "pr0n" pictures. If the book was an expensive hard-back then it could be officially "art" - any other packaging would be "pr0n". That applied even if the contents were identical.

Hence why the imported "Amateur Photographer" magazine often appeared on the news stands minus its front cover. Record sleeves suffered differently - with indelible black marker ink blotting out any exposed body parts.

The UK published "News of the World" had an international edition which arrived by air - while a private mailing of the UK edition came by surface mail. In one notable case there was a back view of two young women streaking across Westminster Bridge. In the international edition the picture had been modified to add briefs and bra straps.

Someone took exception to the Time-Life educational photographic hard-back books in Pretoria Public Library. All boobs and pubic areas had been neatly excised - leaving neat triangular holes in the pages.

One famous poster was a silhouette of a young woman on a beach at sunset. She was standing sideways - and the shape of her briefs were obvious. What was less certain was whether she was wearing a bikini top. The poster was regularly banned or unbanned depending on current opinions.

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gv

Re: What's next?

Time to re-invigorate Usenet and Gopher.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

"Newsgroups?"

That also needs very slow transfer rates to achieve the heightened sense of delayed gratification when you have no idea what will be the actual content. Was it going to be worth the cost of the per minute connection charges?

A fast download used to be a warning that it was probably a BAT file containing "del C:\*.*"

Ah - such innocent days.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

Ahhh, now that brings back memories of soft porn mags like Scope etc, with stars on the tits.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

That also needs very slow transfer rates to achieve the heightened sense of delayed gratification when you have no idea what will be the actual content. Was it going to be worth the cost of the per minute connection charges?

And you'll never know if she have miff titties... or whether the line would drop mid-stroke/download...

Dialup was finicky enough those days, if you had a line that was close to 100% you were a really lucky bastard...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

"Dialup was finicky enough those days, [...]"

ISPs had massive banks of listening modems and occasionally you would be randomly assigned one that refused to negotiate higher than 2400bps. You could tell by the audible buzz, burble, and twang from your modem whether you were going to get a decent bit rate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

Magazines in the bushes..

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Paris Hilton

Re: What's next?

"the heightened sense of delayed gratification"

Comic Book Guy & Cpt. Janeway?

https://youtu.be/KSKBRWoGvL0

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Re: What's next?

del C:\*.* /q nowadays

/q so it does all nice and quiet

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

Quote: Magazines in the bushes..

and bushes in the magazines!

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Re: What's next?

Twitter #<insert adult interest here>

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That time of the month where I collect downvotes

This thread makes the case for the legislation. None of you grew up with instant access to more porn than even the most hardened wanker could consume in a lifetime. The government isn't aiming to build an impenetrable barrier; the point is to reduce the flow back towards that level.

Of course it would be better if we had better sex education and more responsible parenting. It's all but certain there will be some embarassing leaks. And It's likely it will concentrate power in the hands of one or two companies and put small providers out of business. But none of you are campaigning for solutions to those problems. You're just screaming "No, don' t take away porn from under 18s", on the grounds it might make your lives a tad stickier.

Outside the libertarian trend, everybody looks at the long list of things we stop under 18s accessing, and says "fair enough" to adding porn to the list, and then starts googling VPNs.

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Re: That time of the month where I collect downvotes

The government isn't aiming to capable of build an impenetrable barrier

But if someone offered them one, millions of pounds would be poured down the drain before they realised they had been conned. I really do not give a damn what the government intends. What matters is the extensive collateral damage they will cause with their pointless pet projects.

Back when the Roman occupation was getting down to business, the famous quote was "What we do in public with the best, you do in secret with the worst". Somehow the country was able to function for thousands of years when it was normal for people to boink in public. A couple of hundred years ago there were island cultures with the same attitude.

If you want an internet porn filter go out and buy one yourself. I do not see why my taxes should fund your fear of nudity. Increased broadband connectivity correlates with a decrease in sexual assaults on women. Where do you want your perverts: At home looking at porn or looking for work in a school?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

So what's next? Newsgroups?

Shhhhh! First rule of Usenet......

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Re: What's next?

Let us hope so, because the current generation will never know the sheer delight of a game of football abandoned for the reason "jazz mag stopped play".

I have no problem with attempts to stop children looking at porn, but this is the responsibility of the parents, not the government. Responsible parents (who may well like to look at a bit of porn themselves) will have web filters to stop their children looking at inappropriate content.

Responsible parents will also tell their children no, you can't live off sweets/crisps/pizza/burgers and feed them properly, rather than blaming the government for allowing the charlatans making this stuff to not only sell it but have the audacity to advertise it too.

It's not like our government don't have better things to spend their time on, there are one or two issues around after all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

But IRresponsible parents end up producing delinquents, and delinquency can be contagious due to the Forbidden Fruit effect. Since the effects of the guilty can bring collateral damage to the innocent, the status quo cannot be accepted and something needs to be done. If the parents won't take responsibility, SOMEONE needs to step in. How else do you propose to deal with delinquency?

The TL;DR version: If enough parents were taking charge, they would be keeping the nanny state from taking charge. The fact the nanny state is being tolerated points to a greater problem in society that has no easy solutions.

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Re: That time of the month where I collect downvotes

Fair enough. So porn gets "controlled". What's next? Political sites? Religious? Social? It's a slippery and steep sloop that once were on it, it will be impossible to get off.

Currently, freedoms everywhere are under attack... not just online. Much is usually started by "think of the children". So be careful what you advocate and/or wish for.

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Re: What's next?

If the state begins to control what the public is or isn't allowed to see, then how far away are we from a police state? (No doubt there are those that would argue we're not far away already). Where do you draw the line with pornography, as it is not something that every single person would agree on the definition of.

There is no easy answer to dealing with such issues as delinquency, but the continual heavy handed approach of punish all for the mistakes of the few is most certainly not the answer IMO.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What's next?

Given the state of the public, through, the alternative is anarchy: also unsavory. Which will the general public prefer?

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Re: What's next?

"Where do you draw the line with pornography, as it is not something that every single person would agree on the definition of."

And this is the real crux of the matter.

I personally draw the line at representations of nonconsensual sex (which by definition includes animals and children as well as assault, rape and people without capacity, so includes drunks and people on drugs.) Others would draw it somewhere else.

I suspect that the government, urged on by the Daily Mail, simply draws the line at nudity. The Mail website (before I blocked it with Tea & Kittens because people would shorten links to it) included pictures of underage girls in sexualised clothes, which to them was obviously OK but falls under my definition above since they could not give informed consent to the use of the pictures.

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Re: What's next?

...I personally draw the line at representations of nonconsensual sex (which by definition includes animals...

What do you do if a dog starts humping your trouser leg...?

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Re: What's next?

Whatever you do, don't film it!

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Anonymous Coward

I'm alright I only watch 1970's porn that had the instrumentals that never quite made it onto Starsky and hutch with the Germans, afros, handlebar moustaches and big titles at the start.

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Hehe! Bizarrely, the Mahna Mahna song from the Muppets was originally from an Italian soft core psuedo-documentary about Swedish sex life.

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Mahna_Mahna_(song)

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I read that as....

I only watch 1970's porn that had the instruments that never quite made it onto Starsky and hutch

I thought, 'what an odd choice of slang term', and 'could there have been a racier version of Starsky and Hutch I didn't previously know about....?'

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Anonymous Coward

Big titties at the start?

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Trollface

Alternatively...

Hedge-net.

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Re: Alternatively...

Surely Bushnet?

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Email account verification?

I Wonder if it actually bothers to verify the email account the request says it comes from. If it doesn't then all sorts of people will be sent all sorts of P0RN they never asked for, yes including kids pranking their mates and getting filth delivered to their inbox. I'm guessing Google and hotmail will block email from the P0RN domain & companies & organisations who use reputation filters should be ok too, just leaves those who roll their own email servers or some domain hosts that do email that may get a shock.

Anyone signing up politicians or others for a prank should be aware though that the intended recipient will likely never see the images as the mails would get blocked, even those who have to go through the trapped mails won't see them.

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FAIL

Re: all sorts of people will be sent all sorts of P0RN they never asked for,

AKA "The Law of Unintended Consequences"

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Re: Email account verification?

That's a feature - Plausible Denial.

"I never requested this smut, someone else must have signed me up!"

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Re: Email account verification?

Again we can look to history for guidance. Once upon a time I was given the conference badge for a VP (because the company was too cheap to buy admission for "grunts" and the VP couldn't be bothered to attend) The conference was CES, before they banished the porn to another building. In that day and age, one did not simply download an app, verify credentials, re-try the "I accept" button until some server deigned to sign you op for the newsletter. The badges were embossed like a credit card of the day. One swipe and mild crunching sound later you could "express interest" in their catalogue. I asked a friend to use his borrowed badge for the tech info that interested me, while that VP got a lot of (paper) catalogues for a variety of interests, in the office mailbox.

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Re: Email account verification?

That's why the first stage is getting hold of the politicians private email. Or, even better, his wife's...

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Re: Email account verification?

"Anyone signing up politicians or others for a prank should be aware though that the intended recipient will likely never see the images as the mails would get blocked, even those who have to go through the trapped mails won't see them."

You do realise you have to send the email from the address you want to recieve the emails on?

So unless you have access to your local politicians emails.... which raises a whole other set of questions....

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Re: Plausible Denial

Of course1

With the recent revelations about the amount of pr0n being looked at by government employees during office hours, it's no wonder the government wants to enforce plausible deniability.

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:-( My Mail Server....

Has a per message limit of 10MB. I can see my forearm wasting away already.

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Re: :-( My Mail Server....

"per message limit of 10MB"

C'mon, surely this is a golden opportunity to self-host, and you can dictate your own size limits?

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Boffin

Re: :-( My Mail Server....

Per email size limits was always an issue back in the day.

Plenty FTPMail sites let you download files like patches, I think Microsoft even had one. It's one of the reason split ZIPs, RARs and other file splitting tools flourished, sending multiple emails per file. (HJSplit still seems popular in some NewsGroups)

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Re: :-( My Mail Server....

self-host

I do. Unfortunately my Raspberry Pi only has a 16GB micro SD which would likely wear out before I do.

Still... I suppose it's a solution to my tennis elbow.

Not sure what Mrs May is going to do,

https://email.number10.gov.uk/

AsciiPron with a 1000 character limit?

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Re: :-( My Mail Server....

@camilla Smythe

my Raspberry Pi only has a 16GB micro SD which would likely wear out before I do

FWIW I ran a low-ish traffic mail server on a Pi 3 with a 32Gb card for over a year. The advantage (I've found) with using a large card is that it seems to wear out a lot slower, so based on, say 5Gb actual usage, I found 32Gb to be very reliable. If you can get a 64Gb card then that would be better. As always, regular backups are the answer and rpi-clone is a great solution.

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Re: Getting flash to last a decade

Over-provisioning is effective, but there are two other tricks that I find work. Flash is made by Samsung, Intel/Micron and Toshiba. Buy from one of them as directly as you can. Buy from someone that specialises in electronics. Anywhere else will be sold under-provisioned second hand fakes because they lack the skills to identify what they buy.

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Respect mah authoriteh!

The idea is a two-fingered salute to the government's decision

Surely that should be a full-fisted salute?

No? Just me, then. (Oops.)

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Probably mentioned already but

when I moved into my new pace and signed up with BT I am sure there was a question about who would be using the broadband connection and did I want filters, I said no thanks, but why are we not just having parents take some responsibility for their kids and having the functions blocked by ISPs. If your kid is accessing porn on a device you are paying for then its your responsibility as a parent to enforce that. Also, having MindGeek sell the passes and also control 90% of the internet porn industry seems to be a conflict of interest? Or at the least a chance for them to double sell their product.

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Re: Probably mentioned already but

Smoothwall/pfSense with Shalla's blacklist and added pr0n as a blocked content.

Bliss. Except for when the pr0n peddlers will start to use other ways and means to peddle their wares... *cough*

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