back to article Lords give automatic smut censorship bill the once-over

Internet service providers (ISPs) would be required to prevent customers accessing pornographic images unless those customers actively notify the ISPs that they want to access the material if draft new UK legislation being proposed receives backing. The Online Safety Bill, if enacted, would place a "duty" on ISPs and mobile …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because, obviously...

    ... everybody is underage unless proven old enough. And you'd better keep on proving that, because we really do have to defend against those evil age-reversers. Or maybe it's just to "protect" you from sudden lapses in good judgement, indicated by... watching pr0n or something. Sort-of a dead-man switch for your inherent adult depravity. It's the closest thing to "hands above the sheets, boys!" shouted to all ISP and telco customers alike.

    What if we'd just put that filter on whitehall, and nowhere else? Problem sorted, methinks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Because, obviously...

      I'm all for applying online scrutiny to Whitehall & the Houses of Parliament for a trial. Let's see how they like their online activities spied on before they apply it to us.

      Also, how about they make the default opt-in instead, i.e. if you want your online behaviour spied on, you have to ask for it?

      Bet they don't get many takers to allow ISPs, the government or anybody else to spy on them....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "opt-in" means "opt-out"

        Those pushing for such legislation have decided to reverse "opt-in" and "opt-out".

        In the past, those opposed to this kind of default filtering have said any such filtering should be "opt-in", instead of applied by default ("opt-out"). But those pushing for this filtering decided to reverse the terms, so that filtering is on by default, and you have to "opt-in" to not having filtering applied.

        Perhaps they think this makes it look like those who were saying such filtering should be "opt-in" actually support what they're calling for.

        And it's there, in the Bill itself, in section 1 subsection (4): "“opts-in” means a subscriber notifies the service provider of his or her consent to subscribe to a service that includes pornographic images."

        They are legislating to reverse the meanings of "opt-in" and "opt-out"!

        1. Bakunin
          Big Brother

          Newspeak

          " They are legislating to reverse the meanings of "opt-in" and "opt-out"! "

          No citizen, you opt-in to having the plusungood content.

          Remember "Ignorance is Strength"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: Because, obviously...

      "And you'd better keep on proving that, because we really do have to defend against those evil age-reversers."

      Bloody hell, I'll pay cash money if you can find something that'll make me 17 again. Knowing what I know now I wouldn't -need- pornography!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Because, obviously...

      >>... everybody is underage unless proven old enough

      On the internet this isn't that crazy a position to take!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "On the internet this isn't that crazy a position to take!"

        It's about as reasonable as picking any random spot on the earth and assuming everybody is underage, if you disregard the fact that we're talking about ISP and telco customers here, people legally allowed to sign contracts. The general case is thus demographic dependent with probability somewhere below one half, and this specific case, thanks to context, approaching nought.

        There are two things to realise, and I sincerely hope you are mature enough to follow the reasoning: First, leaving underage children unsupervised is generally frowned upon, and this should be no different "on the internet". If you do leave your children unsupervised with full access to the world, even if merely through an electronic window installed in their bedrooms, the problem isn't with the facility nor the provider of same, but with you, the irresponsible parent.

        Second, where being an irresponsible parent in the real world might land you in serious legal trouble, this law says that instead "on the internet" everyone else must suffer, just in case. This makes no sense, neither technically nor as a policy, unless you are indeed someone bent on forcing everybody to conform to your morality agenda. This goes somewhat against the grain of a free society, as it assumes that no adult is in fact fit to act like one.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't mind me, I'm just pointing out the obvious on the first page.

      Of course it's the EU...

  2. Usually Right or Wrong
    Unhappy

    Censorship and snooping...

    Both are very desirable for governments, and in that respect UK plc is way behind the trail blazers like China, Iran and Australia.

    We all know that parents are no longer responsible for their children, they are someone else's problem and better be looked after properly or someone else gets sued.

    Even adults are no longer responsible for themselves, as an adult recently setting themselves on fire at the behest of the government so clearly demonstrates.

    So there are clear indicators that the government must take responsibility for what we are allowed to see on the Internet, and they get a nice little potential sex offenders register as well.

    1. btone

      Re: Censorship and snooping...

      UK plc is way behind the trail blazers like China, Iran and Australia.

      Incorrect. Australia despite the best efforts of its troglodyte comms minister has only implemented 'voluntary' filtering (voluntary for the isps that is) of a secret 'Interpol' list of apparently only child porn 'sites', and only three isps have done so to date.

      The broader mandatory filter is stuck in a timewarp as the federal upper house will not pass it.

      So actually the Bits are well advanced in their censorship of the web despite the reports of the down under situation...

      1. btone

        Re: Censorship and snooping...

        or even the Brits... as opposed to the Bits..

  3. jake Silver badge

    Next ...

    I'll have to get permission from the telco to have an erotic conversation with my wife when I'm on the road ... This whole nanny-state mentality needs to go away. On both sides of the pond.

    1. Mr Young
      Thumb Up

      Re: Next ...

      I hope that a hands free erotic conversation - or are you using a mobile while driving?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Next ...

        I don't babble on the phone when driving.

        "On the road" means "not at home" ...

  4. Jeebus

    How exactly are they going to spin adult pornography into PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM TERRORIST PAEDOPHILES?

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      Easy...

      Pr0n creates TERRORPEADOS!!!

      1. Flatpackhamster

        Re: Easy...

        We call them Paedorists nowadays.

        1. Arrrggghh-otron

          Re: Easy...

          Hmm... sounds a bit too close to pederast and loses emphasis on 'terrorist'...

        2. The Fuzzy Wotnot
          Joke

          "Paedorists"!

          YEAH! A RALLYING CRY TO THE SUN READERS TO LYNCH ALL THE FOOT DOCTORS!!!

          ( Last time we got confused and beat up genuine kiddie doctors, not this time though! )

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Paedorists"!

            Wait 'til you see what the angry mobs do with the audiophiles.

      2. FIA

        Re: Easy...

        >Pr0n creates TERRORPEADOS!!!

        If that doesn't end up as a Gery Anderson series then the world's just not fair.

      3. Eponymous Cowherd
        Coat

        Re: Easy...

        I guess that if they use a well known onion router infrastructure to hide their web activity they will be known as TORPAEDOS.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ooh ooh, can I be the first to say...

      Round here, usually only if you're very quick.

  6. Crisp Silver badge

    Liability?

    If they implement this, and my innocent eyes are offended by something pornographic, is the ISP liable?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Liability?

      Almost certainly, and that is why it is such a bad idea to make it a legal requirement. ISPs will have to adopt a "better blocked than sorry" approach.

  7. John G Imrie

    definition to broad?

    any device "capable of connecting to an internet access service and downloading content".

    Will that include Pidgins? cf RFCs 1149, 2549 and 6214

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: definition to broad?

      And fridges. And electricity meters. It's so stupid ...

  8. Pete 2

    Indemnity

    So if you don't opt-in for smut, does this provide an alibi if something "dubious" is later found on your computer.

    "But constabubble, I never *asked* for pr0n, so it's not my fault ... "

    Something tells me you'd still get banged up - though it would be interesting to see how the ISPs would weasel out of admitting liability, or paying compo for the "damage" caused.

  9. Hooch181
    Stop

    So...

    not only will we need to get permission to watch/view what we want, but the govt will have a list. Surely this law would fail as soon as it's taken to Euro court?

    1. Anonymous Coward 15
      Boffin

      It'll be on Pastebin in ten seconds flat

      Here's the list of pr0n even the government doesn't want you to see!

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: It'll be on Pastebin in ten seconds flat

        I think the OP was referring to the "list of known perverts" that the ISPs would have to maintain.

    2. Ged T
      WTF?

      Re: So...

      ...will that list include:

      - The Freeview Smut like the "Adult BabeStation" et al 'data' services? - Will we have to opt-in for that?

      - A Freesat box - Will that be yet another opt-in required?

      - A device I buy that's capable of allowing me to "filter" the content/channels I don't want (Freeview/Freesat and to some extent Sky boxes let you do this...)?

      - Will the content/channels I choose NOT to filter on these types of devices be deemed that I opted-in?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So...

        I assume so.. who else is going to protect my young son from the gay rabbit dating and chat TV channel?

  10. Dazed and Confused

    So hows this going to work then?

    Am I going to be able to sue the ISP/government if a connection I've not authorised shows someone having a wardrobe malfunction?

    The number of porn sites on the internet is one of the closes approximations to infinity known to mathematics. Their rate of expansion is also astronomical. So how do they propose to know what sites are porn and which aren't. And that is a problem just for sites that are primarily aimed at being porn sites. How do they intend to deal with other sites which might well show something that is considered perfectly OK in its home jurisdiction but falls foul of some jealous old fart who decides to make it their business to ruin everyone else's lives.

    I run parental control SW on my kids PCs, I've also told them I can, if need be monitor, what sites they visit. I've never tried testing the limits of what the SW is capable of, I've always thought it was to some extent a rite of passage for the kids as they grow up to find their own ways around the cracks in world. I'm sure the SW isn't perfect, I'm sure it isn't possible for any system to be perfect. Lets face it the whole of the US went into shock because some publicity hungry pair of performers decided to flash a ladies nipples in the middle of prime time TV, they couldn't stop that. How the hell do they think they are going to stop the smut on the web? without infringing the human rights of everyone over the age of 18 to be a total perv if that is their choice.

    1. Miek

      Re: So hows this going to work then?

      I guess they are hoping the .xxx thingy will take off and then they can blanket block the entire domain.

    2. VinceH Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: So hows this going to work then?

      " The number of porn sites on the internet is one of the closes approximations to infinity known to mathematics. Their rate of expansion is also astronomical."

      "Yes, I'd like to register as over 18, please, so I can access pornographic websites. I'm an astronomer, you see, and I'm attempting to make a comparative study of the number of stars with the number of pornographic websites, as well as the rate of growth in terms of that number and the size of the Universe..."

  11. Benjamin 4
    Stop

    What a load of crap!

    An optional filter I can almost see the point of (almost being the operative word), but on by default, no way. And it should be within the pc or phone and not at the ISP. Also, what are they going to do with all the material available via P2P (torrents), block them as well? So they end up with a list of all the naughty people. Or is this just some untenable pipe dream that some morally righteous jealous old twit with too much time on their hands has thought up?

    I really think the whole world has gone completely mad.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
      Megaphone

      Re: What a load of crap!

      It is an ideal blackmailing tool for any and all involved including the people who brought you two illegal wars.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a load of crap!

      What about magazine sharing sites, that dish out scanned PDFs of NZX, Penthouse, et al,? How they going to stop all those?

      Back in the last century when we were growing up we'd head to our local hedgerow to find a rain-dampened copy of Penthouse or Fiesta. Now kids will have to do the online equivalent, finding a dodgy mag site and grab few old PDFs of some "rhythm magazines"!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a load of crap!

      "Or is this just some untenable pipe dream that some morally righteous jealous old twit with too much time on their hands has thought up?"

      That would be Mumsnet, I couldn't have described them better myself.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a load of crap!

      "Or is this just some untenable pipe dream that some morally righteous jealous old twit with too much time on their hands has thought up?"

      You might like to look up Reg Bailey, the Mothers' Union and the Bailey Report.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I fear the results.

    I work for a company who was invovled in the Home Access project. Som idiot in a comitee somewhere was told you can access pr0n in 15 seconds, so a filtering solutojn was mandated. This filtering solution blocked all access via a whitelist until it was configured and setup. After this it was category based blacklist.

    99% of our support calls was this filtering software fucking up and blocking all access.

  13. Chris Puttick
    Facepalm

    Failed to think this through

    (i) it's not the ISPs fault, that's like blaming radio waves for carrying unwanted material;

    (ii) parents need to look after their children (although the currently available tools are not best usable);

    (iii) most younger children need protecting from content other than pornography;

    (iv) the older children are looking for this material actively, and did so before the Internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

      I think it's time to repost these little stories.

      I went to a shop and bought a TV set. I took it home, plugged it in, fiddled with the aerial and started watching TV. I watched lots of programmes, and lots of channels. Eventually, I saw something that shocked me, truly shocked me! I never wanted any of that Sick Filth to be brought into my home. So I went back to the shop and kicked up a right old fuss about this. After all, it was they who sold me that TV set in the first place, so they ought to take responsibility for what that TV set brings into my home. Right?

      (Why is the ghost of Kenny Everett telling me to use my knob?)

      I got on a bus and went to the market. Browsing the market, I found a stall selling DVDs, so I had a look to see if there were any movies my family would enjoy. Imagine my surprise when I found hardcore porn DVDs there! I was shocked! So I went straight to the bus company and kicked up a right old fuss about this. After all, it was they who took me to that market on their bus, and my children could just as easily use their buses to get to that market, or to other places with unsuitable material. It's surely the bus company's responsibility not to expose us to such Sick Filth. Right?

      (Who said, "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people"?)

      I went to an ISP and bought a subscription to access the internet...

      (Feel free to copy, improve, distribute, etc, these little stories.)

      1. CD001

        Re: A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

        +1 despite the Godwin.

        (actually, what does worry me is the amount of rhetoric that's come out of the last 2 UK governments that sounds as though it was lifted from Mein Kampf)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

        Except:

        The sick filth on the telly was after the watershed, so you knew that there was a possibility of seeing it.

        The sick filth in the market on DVD was clearly marked r18, so you knew what it was.

        Personally, I don't have a problem with voluntary opt-in censorship of the Internet, for those who don't want to see certain types of image or site - Not everyone likes porn, it's not some personal failing if you don't whack off to porn every night or if you don't want your kids to see porn.

        Personally I quite like it, but I certainly wouldn't like a child of mine to see the images that I see, it's just not good for a young mind.

        1. This Side Up
          Flame

          Re: A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

          AC: "Personally I quite like it, but I certainly wouldn't like a child of mine to see the images that I see, it's just not good for a young mind."

          I would have thought that a little soft core pr0n was a lot less harmfull than all violent video games they indulge in.

      3. Weeble
        Coat

        Re: A Little Story, or Two. Or Three.

        If I recall the "not the nine o'clock news" sketch correctly, you were supposed to phone the electricity company.

  14. MrXavia
    WTF?

    This cant work

    How will this work???

    What is porn?

    How will they detect that it is a porn site?

    Do they consider a streaker porn?

    Do they consider a nudist porn?

    Do they consider an artistic nude by a famous artist porn?

    It is just censorship in another form, once the ISP's show they can do it, then the gov will slowely creep what they censor until were restricted more than China..

    I for one am going to write an email to my MP right now!

    1. Doctor_Wibble

      Re: This cant work

      > Do they consider an artistic nude by a famous artist porn?

      And if they don't, what about references to said works (even fictional ones)? All those episodes of Allo Allo that feature The Reclining Madonna would surely have the BBC/iplayer blocked by default...?

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: This cant work

        Ahh but ze fallen madonna with ze big boobiez is not porn, she is art!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This cant work

          But the egg whisk, wet celery and flying helmet most certainly were.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This cant work

      "What is porn?"

      According to section 5 of the Bill, "“image” and “pornographic” have the same meaning as in section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008".

      According to section 63 subsection (3) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, "An image is “pornographic” if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal."

      According to subsection (8), "In this section “image” means— (a) a moving or still image (produced by any means); or (b) data (stored by any means) which is capable of conversion into an image within paragraph (a)."

      1. Crisp Silver badge

        What is porn?

        According to section 63 subsection (3) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, "An image is “pornographic” if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal."

        Which is pretty much covers half of advertising and mainstream pop music videos.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This cant work

        "An image is “pornographic” if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal."

        Fine art nudes are photographed and drawn to be erotic, which is just a posh word for intellectual and controlled sexual arousal. Does it cover artistic eroticism? Does it cover things like fetish fine art? That's produced as art on one level and to appeal to our base sexual nature on another.

        What about more mainstream stuff? Where does that leave stuff like Kylie's pants in Tussauds? 90% of rap videos with some bird jiggling her bits in the camera or the vocalists face? Even something as simple as the latest pop-starlet's CD cover with her lounging around in some belt-passing-for-a-skirt outfit? Holy-pornstars Batman, let's ban Amazon, Play.com, etc for selling this filth on the movie blockbuster DVD cover and latest chart CD cack!

      3. John G Imrie

        Re: This cant work

        "or (b) data (stored by any means) which is capable of conversion into an image within paragraph (a)."

        But any data, when passed through the correct filter can be converted into an image within paragraph (a).

        Lets ban Hansard.

      4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: This cant work

        "produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal."

        So if the image was produced solely for the purpose of making money or getting the z-list celeb some publicity it's OK?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This cant work

      In order for me to make an informed decision, the govornment wil need to supply a representative sample of (a) the most worst that will not be blocked, and (b) the least worst that will be blocked. How else can one determine whether to be "in" or "out" - for a given definition of "in" and "out".

      [Sample (a) will, of course, exclude any images that might actually be illegal to view, as opposed to merely "undesirable].

  15. Jon 49

    Are you sure it's the website that needs the 'over 18 verification policy'? My interpretation of the bill is that it's the ISP that needs this system.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Exactly, Jon 49

      Kids under the age of consent can't enter into a contract.

      Without that contract, they can't get online in the first place.

      QED

    2. Eddie Edwards
      Pint

      Yes

      Also, the bill seems to refer only to "pornographic images" - that is, any image, from any source, which is pornographic. I don't see anything about specific websites or anything else. It would appear ISPs would need to block pornographic images that may appear on YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Something Awful ... or indeed absolutely any website on the internet.

      The only way for ISPs to do this is to block everything on the connection until an over-18 has verified with them. Which would be highly amusing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yes

        "The only way for ISPs to do this is to block everything on the connection until an over-18 has verified with them. Which would be highly amusing."

        That could very well be what happens and if it does I'll be laughing for a week.

        If the ISPs (have any balls) decide they have no option but to block everything we will see the fastest repeal of any law in history.

  16. adnim Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I despair

    Why don't they just bang all adults into a prison and put all kids in care homes.

    Ahhh that's right, they wouldn't be able to bleed us all for taxes.

  17. NumptyScrub

    filtering on "devices"?

    quote: "The Bill would also force the manufacturers of "electronic devices" to "provide customers with a means of filtering content from an internet access service at the time the device is purchased".

    The Bill defines 'electronic devices' as any device "capable of connecting to an internet access service and downloading content".

    So that would include (but is not limited to): desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, games consoles, media streamers, Bluray players, and TVs themselves. I'm sure there's a couple more device classes I've missed.

    Multiply those classes by the number of manufacturers, and you have some idea of how many different filtering interfaces you will have to navigate to set up all your equipment to allow / deny them access to grumble (delete as applicable).

    And that's not even getting in to the argument over how the device is going to be self-filtering content provided by a standard connection. If the BBFC have problems classifying (and then later deciding to reclassify) material using a panel of humans, how the fuck is an embedded system supposed to come close?

    There's taking the piss, there's retarded, and then there is the scope of this proposed legislation. It is as unworkable in practise as posted limits on public roads; we all know they are there and what we are supposed to do, but I sure as hell see traffic every day flagrantly ignoring them. Device manufacturers are going to do the same thing, provide token lip-service (an on/off selection in the settings) which will probably just block any .xxx domains and let everything else through. I can't see any other solution that will allow them to continue to sell devices at a reasonable price point :(

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: filtering on "devices"?

      But what if I want to watch porn on my internet enabled fridge?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: filtering on "devices"?

        Chill, Baby!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: filtering on "devices"?

        You'll just have to remain frigid!

        No? Ah, suit yourselves!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Data protection nightmare

    Every ISP will have to create a database of people who self identify as 'lonely old perverts'.

    I suspect this policy was just a bone David Cameron tossed to the Jam and Jerusalem wing of the Tory Party to stop them from whining. Maybe the house of lords will do something to kill it?

    1. xyz
      Devil

      Re: Data protection nightmare

      Please don't mention David Cameron, bone and toss in the same sentence...it's put me right off my sandwich

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Data protection nightmare

      It's a Private Member's Bill. It's not the government (officially) that's proposing this legislation. Just a member of the House of Lords proposing this.

      According to Hansard, "The Bill was introduced by Baroness Howe of Idlicote". Baroness Howe's husband is Geoffrey Howe, Lord Howe of Aberavon.

      Private Member's Bills often fail to get through. But we shouldn't be complacent. Not after the Bailey Report and the government's response to that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Data protection nightmare

        The House of Lords used to have a reasonable function as a revising chamber. Now it is swollen out of all proportion having been "stuffed" with party hacks by both sides over the last few years. Time for them to concentrate on slimming themselves down instead of bigging up their tabloid presence methinks.

      2. The Fuzzy Wotnot
        Facepalm

        Re: Data protection nightmare

        Only one "Private Member" that old fart is thinking about!

        Just 'cos they got old and their naughty bits stopped working or had to be removed, they think that's what's good for the rest of us!

  19. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    WTF is going on?

    - Web, email and other communications logging.

    - Secret courts for alleged terrorists

    - Blanket internet blocking

    This is not a fracking government I voted for a couple of years back. Are they all on drugs? Or is Mandelson back in power behind the scenes?

    1. Craig 12

      Re: WTF is going on?

      I share the despair. Perhaps that's what "they" want.

      Introduce these crappy laws one by one and we can make a noise until it gets watered down. Do everything heinous all in one go, and it just overwhelms people into not giving a crap.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's an idea.

    Dear MP,

    check out Blue Coats K9

    It's free

    Parents can CHOOSE if they want to use it.

    End of.

    No point voting for the other side either, they are also a bunch of power crazy c**ts as well, if not worse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's an idea.

      Here, here!!!

      This is on all PC's in my house and can vouch they work....even blocking facebook by default.

      Sure that there are other similar products on the market, maybe ISP could advise on taking a contract that these products are available, hey presto!!!

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bastards

      I don't think it's at the level of individual sites. My understanding is that I, as the person in my household who has a subscription with the ISP for the provision of internet access, have to opt-in. Once I've done that (and I will) all devices connected to my router will receive an un-filtered feed from the ISP.

      So no problem for free porn sites.

      Interesting problem for the ISP, though : how to provide the filtering in the first place.

      Also, an opt-in model means that the ISP is effectively providing a porn-on-demand service.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bastards

        > Interesting problem for the ISP, though : how to provide the filtering in the first place.

        Actually this is the least of the ISP's problems but the worst aspect of the law for us. The ISP will simply buy in the cheapest filtering service they can get. This will most likely be site blocking and overly broad. So a NSFW story in El Reg with a picture could get the whole of El Reg blocked for a few days.

        I think I will set up such a service and make sure www.conservatives.com is permanently on the block list.

    3. Morphius

      Re: Bastards

      Having re-read the article, the age verification requirements are actually on the ISP to prove that the user is over 18. Not that you can only access adult material on sites which verify you as over 18.

      I will still agree this is a bad idea and is another database that you shouldnt have to be registered on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bastards

        Yep, my bad.

        having reread it myself I agree. Comment Withdrawn.

  22. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Down

    Pork barrel (fnarr fnarr)

    Age verification is only used on pay sites. These politicians must have powerful porn-mongering donors if they're this desperate to wipe out YouPorn, XVideo, RedTube, *cough* or whatever those sites are called.

  23. The BigYin
    Flame

    Eh? How is this law in anyway reasonable? Oh wait, it's to "Protect the children". Perhaps the Sun et al should be moved to the top shelf and proof of age required?

    Those page 3 fun-bags will obviously ruin many childhoods.

    THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

  24. Morteus
    Devil

    Rediculous

    Oh For crying out loud.

    There are more than enough parental control applications available (many supplied by the ISP's ironically) to deal with unwanted/unsafe internet content. What is this bill REALLY about?

    1. CD001

      Re: Rediculous

      What is this bill REALLY about?

      Now that, I think, is the important question...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rediculous

      Well it clearly isn't about protecting children or it would specify all sorts of other potentially damaging material - alcohol, gambling, violent images, religious cults and fundamentalists. Perhaps those will come later after the precedent is set - the real aim is to establish the principle of keeping lists of subversives. I forecast it would be more convenient for GCHQ's monitoring teams to have separate "opt-in" lists for %thoughtcrime_of_the_month%.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One good thing, its only JUST being looked at so plenty of time to stop it.. Who thinks that the ISP's will let this happen? they would loose money!

  26. Michael 28
    FAIL

    This used to be called "ringfencing"

    . and I bet they found out if segregating family friendly from unfiltered cost too much , so they lumbered it on everyone, just in the same way ,as a single person, my council tax is sending some young chavs to school.I should send a strongly worded email to the daily fail.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh what fun this database of opt-ins will be

    when it leaks out (when, not if)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: oh what fun this database of opt-ins will be

      the question is HOW will they filter? is it by site, or by content checking

      If its site, will it be DNS lookup?

      Then use OpenVPN

      if its by content checking, then SSL so content cant be checked...

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: oh what fun this database of opt-ins will be

        Think you meant OpenDNS, but OpenVPN will work too if the endpoint is on an opted-out connection (or outside the UK).

        On my test sample of 1, when asked what they'd do if they wanted to view porn it took about 30 seconds for them to use the word 'proxy'. I suspect a quick google would lead most if not all horny teenagers to the same conclusion.

        So another waste of time then!

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: oh what fun this database of opt-ins will be

      What? You mean a list of every ISP contract holder over the age of 18 in the UK?

      Obviously, as other have mentioned already, to hold that contract you are, by defintion, over 18.

      Equally obviously, as people get frustrated by blocked false positives or over eager legal arse covering filtering, pretty much everyone will end up being opted-in to the unfiltered provision rather than the filtered provision.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can't sign up for home broadband unless you are an adult

    because it needs a credit card or Direct Debit. On mobile devices filtering is already in place. So this wouldn't just fall short, it would do *nothing at all*.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Definition of Pornography will be extended to include...

    ... any websites of any political parties that are not currently in the Government

  30. Skrrp
    Stop

    I've said it before and I'll say it again ...

    Get your damn kids off my Internet.

    A better solution would be to set up an alt DNS for the kiddies and just not list smut sites there.

    This would make it easier to hunt the grooming paedos too, as their IPs will be connecting to both real and kids' DNS.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
      FAIL

      Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again ...

      That is actually a good idea. It would mean writing a completely new internet though. No big deal I imagine now that we know how to do it. It isn't a big step for decent authorities to learn how to do it properly.

      I for one would sign up for it if I had children.

      Bur who would finance it?

      Porn companies? Microsoft?? Google??? The Government????

      No thanks!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A very good idea

        Which is why it will never happen.

        This new legislation will provide parents with reassurance that they can leave their children unsupervised at the computer because the nice software is keeping them all safe from everything and that leaves mummy and daddy time to go down the pub because little one is all nice and safe on the internet.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again ...

        "That is actually a good idea. It would mean writing a completely new internet though."

        Not really. Just an "intranet" at the ISP. Remember AOL?

        No access unless you use the AOL client. Set the kids accounts based on age and they can either only access the internal AOL pages, or, if older, whitelisted WWW sites.

        From the point of view of parental controls, at least at the very young kiddie level, it worked very well. There's were ways around it for those a bit older and more knowlegable, but then kids of a "certain" age will always rebel and get access to anything they are told they can't access.

        On the other hand, as has benn pointed out many times already, why should ther ISP be in charge what we see? Maye parents need to be educated rather than everyone restricted.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again ...

        I don't think it requires us to go quite as far as rewriting the whole Internet. RFC3514 specifies and reserves an IPv4 'security bit' that hasn't actually been adopted yet. We could re-purpose this bit and use it to identify pornographic content which could then be easily filtered.

        Of course, pornographers would probably all move to IPv6 instead. And there would also be the problem that this bit would only be used in the UK (since the legislation is only for the UK) so we would need to translate the bit back again to its RFC3514 purpose whenever packets left the UK. Fortunately Cisco manufacture 'border firewalls' that could do this.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've said it before and I'll say it again ...

      It's called OpenDNS and it allows you to block what you want at a DNS level.

      But if your kids are smart enough, they will enter the address of the P0rn DNS manually....

    3. Crisp Silver badge

      Get your damn kids off my Internet.

      How about a stripped down, heavily regulated, Fisher-Price internet for the kiddies and MP's. Then the rest of us can get on with being adults.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Children must not be allowed to see bare nipples...

    Let's ban breastfeeding!

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Alert

      Re: Children must not be allowed to see bare nipples...

      And all that religious iconographic filth masquerading as art in the National Gallery too!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Children must not be allowed to see bare nipples...

      To hell with the nipples; think about what they see when they're being born! Even the most deviated of deviants don't manage that kind of experience.

      At least, I don't think so...

      *shudders*

  32. James Smith 3
    Big Brother

    Already in use

    Certain mobile phone providers already have a system like this in place.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/03/o2_blocker/

    and as you can see from the comments of that article it worked soooo well.

    1. Skoorb

      Re: Already in use

      Yup. I'm currently jammed in O2's mobile "whitelist" mode somehow. This means I cannot access websites like, say, www.talktalk.co.uk, http://www.national-lottery.co.uk or www.theregister.co.uk, but can access O2's own internal sites and the BBC.

      I cannot remove it myself (just get an "internal error" message) reporting as a fault did nothing, re-reporting it and getting it sent to the "escalations team" has also done nothing.

      I'm going to have to write them a complaint letter now asking them to remove the filter! I have no other idea what to do.

  33. Andrew Jones 2
    Thumb Down

    I actually find the whole situation not just depressing but laughable too.....

    One one hand we have the Gov wishing to track our every site visit, phone call, text message - watch us on CCTV and generally be all big brother - and yet - on the other hand - the very thought that a website is allowed to place a cookie on your computer is completely outrageous - and as of next month - probably illegal.

    You might be interested to know - that the UK Met Office (and that is of course a .gov.uk domain) in their new site design - is still not only placing cookies on your computer - but is also loading a GIF on every page load called "websense" from an external web host - and passing your IP address in the URL to the image!

    Clearly the UK Gov is going for a we can be Big Brother but it's illegal for anyone else to - kind of stance.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Whats wrong with the router?

    Most if not all routers these days have filters. Most ISP customers get their routers 'free' from their ISP. If they want to block porn / gambling / terrorist sites, just stick the filter on the router and password protect it. Even the ISP can do this. None of this 'request access' rubbish.

    I mean, I would be embarrassed phoning up my ISP to request access to porn.

    Not that I'm saying I would...if this gets implemented...I was just using it as an example...

    *slowly slips away and gets his coat*

    1. John G Imrie

      I mean, I would be embarrassed phoning up my ISP to request access to porn.

      I wasn't, when I walked into the Vodaphone store and loudly demanded that I wanted the porn option turned on. Can't say the same for the pour sails assistant though :-)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The future's bright...

    Considering the number of ISP call centres outsourced to countries where prudery is the social norm (and indeed frequently written into the law), this promises to be a barrel of laughs guaranteed to make people other than the intended targets deeply uncomfortable.

    I changed my mobile provider last year, and on logging on to their seriously dysfunctional portal found that access to adult websites was blocked without proof of age (a legal requirement already for mobile providers I think), but that premium rate text were allowed - surprise, surprise. I a no interest in premium texts, and so wanted those off, but on principal wanted adult websites enabled (I say "principal" because I really can't be arsed with pr0n on a 3 inch screen). I should have been able to do both from the portal, but after half a dozen attempts and making the requisite "proof you have a credit card" payment, it just wouldn't do the simple thing I was asking.

    So after a long tedious wait in the IVR netherworld, I'm put through to a woman who sounds like she has a distinctly middle eastern accent. As I explain the basic problem, I can hear her starting to blush fairly heavily.

    "I'm sorry, I don't understand which service you want to change"

    Calmly; "I would like a bar placed on premium rate calls and SMS, and the bar removed on adult websites."

    "One moment...", slightly redder and a little more tight lipped. "OK, I've put a bar on premium calls and SMS, and the system says you have access to websites"

    "Thank you. I do have access to websites, but not adult websites"

    "Yes, adult websites", 'adult' whispered very reluctantly, "the system says you have that"

    "I don't. I've just refreshed the portal and it says I dont"

    "My screen says you do"

    Check phone browser "It may well do, but I'm afraid I dont"

    "Are you sure? The portal display may be inaccurate"

    "I am sure. I'm trying a site on my phone now and getting a 'blocked' page"

    "Which site?" Mild exasperation.

    "amateurlesbopr0n.com". Oh well, you asked.

    "And its not loading?" slightly choked, the vocal equivalent of bright crimson.

    "No, I'm getting an 'adult site blocked' screen".

    "Perhaps the site is down?" Hopeful.

    "No, I have your company's 'site blocked' screen. I have amateurlesbopr0n.com open on my laptop monitor and its loading fine"

    "Oh..." from crimson to pale in the blink of an eye. Distinctly brittle; "Can I put you on hold sir?"

    After which I was quickly shuffled off to tech support (in Holland I think) and it was all fixed in minutes.

    The decision to go all Daily Mail on pr0n web access may yet come home to haunt British foreign policy as a new generation of jihadi's are spurred on to self-detonation by the dishonouring of their sisters through exposure to smutty URLs whilst working in UK ISPs call centres. Or if the call centre's in India, company bosses might find their visits taking a bad turn if some local RSS zealot decides to press that old stalwart of the Indian Penal code, "outraging the modesty of a woman", into service after local women are apprised of the depraved phone habits of British punters.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hentai fans will be pleased

    Hentai, obviously, is already censored to avoid showing anything but line drawings, no fleshy bits on show at all and when something does look a bit too much like a penis then they change it to look like something else instead. Granted a few thousand people now have tentacle fixations but it's a small price to pay for a healthy medium.

    The British government is pro-hentai. Spread the word.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hentai fans will be pleased

      The 'dangerous cartoons' law would disagree with that, as I assume those owl eyed 'cute' girls shown in anime and it's 'sexy time' sibling are always going to young enough that you run the risk of being put on a register.

      Otherwise good point on how government p@rn censorship can have unforeseen consequences like a tentacle fetish.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hentai fans will be pleased

        That's why they put most of them in military or police uniforms, so you can't assume they're children.

        Seriously though, tentacle porn is proof that we don't need what censorship brings us.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hentai fans will be pleased

          The uniforms don't matter as the law is written that it's the 'impression' given that matters. Does the depiction give the 'impression' of being someone under 18. Not sure a uniform is going to cut much ice....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hentai fans will be pleased

            The law states that reasonable doubt is enough to acquit. Being dressed like a soldier and acting like a soldier indicates that, barring lifelike representation of a child, there is reasonable doubt that the cartoon figure in question is not a soldier.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hentai fans will be pleased

              I bet you're not a lawyer. Neither am I.

              I'm pretty sure reasonable doubt doesn't apply the way you think. Reasonable doubt would apply to whether or not the defendant was in possession of the image. I really don't think reasonable doubt would apply to whether or not the impressions given by such images are correct.

              Quoting from section 65 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009:-

              "(5) “Child”, subject to subsection (6), means a person under the age of 18.

              (6) Where an image shows a person the image is to be treated as an image of a child if—

              (a) the impression conveyed by the image is that the person shown is a child, or

              (b) the predominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child despite the fact that some of the physical characteristics shown are not those of a child.

              (7) References to an image of a person include references to an image of an imaginary person.

              (8) References to an image of a child include references to an image of an imaginary child."

              Although, as I say, I'm not a lawyer, my understanding is as follows. Yes, the prosecution would have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that either "(a) the impression conveyed by the image is that the person shown is a child, or (b) the predominant impression conveyed is that the person shown is a child despite the fact that some of the physical characteristics shown are not those of a child." But the prosecution doesn't have to prove that these impressions are correct. Proving that the images convey such impressions is not the same as proving that the impressions are correct.

              I suspect it would be enough, in practice, for a jury to simply get such impressions from such images when looking at them. That, I suspect, would be proof enough that the images convey such impressions. Then, according to that law, the images are to be treated as being images of children.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hentai fans will be pleased

                Replying to myself, my comment at 12:45 GMT was in response to Mycho's comment at 11:52 GMT.

    2. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Hentai fans will be pleased

      No, Hentai is still technically illegal under UK law.

    3. Anonymous Coward 15
      Coat

      I've seen enough hentai

      To know where this is going.

      (Coat, it's the dirty mac with a copy of Razzle and a pair of binoculars in the pocket)

  37. Velv Silver badge
    FAIL

    "has an age verification policy which has been used to confirm that the subscriber is aged 18 or over"

    That would be the CREDIT AGREEMENT the subscriber signed when they took out the service. As per usual, the ISP will only accept changes from the account holder who signed the agreement.

    This covers the vast majority of access (since it is fixed lines ISP, not just mobiles).

  38. alain williams Silver badge

    while they are at it ...

    Ensure that the Post Office check that they are not delivering any copies of Playboy/... unless the householder has signed a we-want-smut agreement. Then fix TVs to not show saucy material broadcast after the watershed.

    Just because computers are involved there seems to be this cloud cuckoo notion that any controls are possible and should be put in place.

    Or is it that now that the boys at MI5 will get to see what we are looking at they don't want them getting ideas and wasting time & government bandwidth when they should be spying on us ?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This bill is so stoopid, if they mandating that electronic devices do the filtering, there's no valid reason for ISP's to do it is there? Libcon Gov Fail.

  40. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A child abused every 20 mins

    Of course this is need as didn't you know a child is sexually abused in the UK every 20 minutes. Acording to multiple media stories this morning. Never mind that the original report from the NSPCC was that a child abuse allegation was made to the police every 20 minutes.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4237695/Child-sex-offence-every-20-minutes.html

    http://www.nspcc.org.uk/news-and-views/media-centre/press-releases/2011/11-05-26-NSPCC-finds-64-child-sex-crimes-a-day-recorded-by-police/11-05-26-nspcc-finds-64-child-sex-crimes-a-day-recorded-by-police_wdn82543.html

    Of course to the media an allegation is the same as guilt. So it's paedogeddon. Talk about scaremongering.

    1. nexsphil

      Re: A child abused every 20 mins

      This kind of thing is a useful way to discover which media outlets are under state control though.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A child abused every 20 mins

        Unfortunately it was reported so widely that nearly all the UK's media you would think are 'under state control'....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A child abused every 20 mins

      Fifty million children are eaten by bats every second.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The more I hear about what this (supposedly liberal-influenced, non-authoritarian) government is planning with the internet, the more I'm glad I have a server hosted in a non-UK datacentre that I can just open up a VPN tunnel to. If that's the only way to turn my ISP back into what it should be doing (just routing the damn packets I send it without spying, logging, filtering, altering, throttling, inspecting, or injecting advertising) so be it...

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Pint

      I can imagine a few more savvy people renting "proxy boxes" abroad to get a proper internet service, not the Fisher-Price Internet the UK Gov seems so desperate to put in place because we cannot be trusted to act like adults anymore!

  43. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Once they have this "think of the children" system in place...

    Think of all the other "stuff we don't like (TM)" that it can be applied to.

    1. Weeble

      Re: Once they have this "think of the children" system in place...

      "Think of all the other "stuff we don't like (TM)" that it can be applied to"

      No need, I'm sure *they* already have a very long list...

  44. the-it-slayer
    Stop

    Case of ISPs are too lazy... so the Gov't has to step-in?

    What's happened in the 21st century? I'm all okay with this sort of system to protect the innocent and offended. However, why isn't there a system/control panel at your ISP where you can switch this on if you know the innocent/offended are around in your household?

    It really probably isn't that complicated and shows ISPs will only do the least neccessary to provide you with a net connection service. Surely there's a gap in the market for third-parties to install/managed this sort of system inbetween the user and ISP? This control panel system could show you bandwidth used, service updates, post feedback directly to the ISP, FAQs, switch on/off services by type (i.e. p0rn, P2P, iPlayer etc) etc and a whole host of other features.

    UK Gov needs to back off and just hand advice to the neccessary authorities who are experts in this stuff. Was this bill ever planned in the torie/lib manifestos? The nanny state is becoming more like "we will tell you what you like/dislike and you have to make an effort to get it if we think the majority dislike it".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Case of ISPs are too lazy... so the Gov't has to step-in?

      More like, parents are too lazy to do any damn filtering for the sake of their own children!

      Social services should take their children if they can't look after them properly!

      1. nexsphil

        Re: Case of ISPs are too lazy... so the Gov't has to step-in?

        Stasi not doing job properly. Gestapo!

        Sort out your own fucking lives & stop empowering scammers to own us even more.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm... extra 'S' in URL?

    This law would cause the massive upheaval in the Internet address of every porn site, the adding of an "s" after the http part...

  46. wowfood

    Isn't it funny

    Just a few years ago all of these government ministers were up in arms about the great firewall of china, blocking content because the government didn't want its people seeing it, something about human rights?

    Isn't it funny how what they've now been trying to do for the last 3 years is basically slowly build up a great firewall of the UK, only wording it so its to "protect us" (something i'm pretty sure the chinese also said)

    Its just as bad as blaming videogames, TV violence and aspergers for kids being bad.

    Guess what, I have Aspergers, I've been playing 18 rated games since I was 12 watching porn since 13, and watching violent TV since I can remember.

    So far I have never killed anyone, never assaulted anyone, never raped, never intentionally harmed. Heck i've never even insulted or tormented random passers by (although I will admit I do swear at drivers quite often, they should learn to indicate)

    Yet one person I know was not allowed to watch any TV, nor play videogames, and his internet use was for homework only, and closely monitored by his father. Last I heard he was going to jail.

    If you impose too many limits on people it'll just drive them to binge when they get the chance. Imagine you spent yoru entire life isolated following a strict set of rules, and then you were given an hour to let loose and do whatever you want. I'd go bananas and probably break every rule out there in the most horrendous ways. Now imagine you have a set of rules, but not as strict, not as tightly enforced and you're given the same chance. Sure you'd do some stupid stuff, but I highly doubt it would be nearly as bad because well, its not exactly something new.

    Give somebody unlimited freedom and they will abuse it

    Give somebody no freedom and they will break free

    Give somebody guidelines and keep an eye on them, they'll generally stay on the path.

    It really doesn't help how feckless most parents are these days thanks to nanny culture. They assume that, because all these rules stop them controlling their own kids, its somebody elses job. First time parents should be given manditory parenting classes, how to reward and punish children, how to care for them, hell even how to cook meals.

    I'm gonna stop now because i'm going off topic.

  47. Winkypop Silver badge
    FAIL

    Behind many bad law lurks...

    Scared politicians or religious fundamentalists, or in the US; both.

  48. SJRulez

    What happen to parental supervision

    This new policy is a load of crap, parents should supervise their children on the net rather than have the attitude of "go use your computer" when they cant be bothered. I don't let my kids near the computer when I'm not around to keep an eye on them, no monitoring or filtering software is fool proof and kids being kids will always find what they shouldn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What happen to parental supervision

      all the parents are too busy supervising their buy to lets and bribing the police. thats why you get some millionaires daughter nicking tellys as if there were actually something worth watching.

      fuck me life is bleak.

  49. User McUser
    Holmes

    A self defeating law?

    "Under the terms of the bill, a customer would be said to have opted-in to the material if they tell 'the service provider of his or her consent to subscribe to a service that includes pornographic images'."

    Since the Internet is "a service that includes pornographic images*," wouldn't signing up for Internet service mean that you are consenting to subscribe to a service that includes pornographic images?

    *Clearly it must be, or else what is it that ISPs are supposed to be blocking?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They get worse by the day...

    Who decides what's pornographic?

    Isn't every ISP customer and bill payer over 18 by default?

    And of course, opendns or other such services are totally not available to do exactly this, now are they...?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So which one is it?

    The government thinks I'm a baby and a terrorist, surely I can't be both.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you've got nothing to hide...

    ... you've already been castrated.

  53. Gordon 11
    Paris Hilton

    The bill defines 'electronic devices' as any device "capable of connecting to an internet access service and downloading content".

    I suspect my car can do that when its being serviced.

    "It is important for parents to take an active role in what their children see and do online and configure and tailor tools as appropriate,"

    No it's not. It's important for parents to teach their children how to behave in any given situation. I don't want to censor my children - I taught them to censor themselves. I want them to be able to see anything and draw their own conclusions - not see the world through someone else's rose tinted spectacles.

    Even if they do have a night in Paris....

  54. The Alpha Klutz

    as you can see the police state coming in now

    get ready for your secret trail shitface, what does it matter, we will all be in the gulags by the time this whole shitty mess collapses around us. and flooding the country with tourists for the 2012 nolympics was all part of their plan to destablise things so when the country is full and there are no police, and criminals running rampant killing children and small animals on every street corner, then you will learn what it feels like to have your life in a database with some jobsworth touching you up every 5 minutes asking for your ID card. you think you will be able to get petrol then? ha fucking ha. you will be lucky if some hoody doesnt slash your tyres and your face and make off with the last of your savings which by the way wont be worth fuck all when the banks collapse which they already did.

    so eat shit and die, because you wont be able to afford to eat anything else.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: as you can see the police state coming in now

      Finally- the voice of reason.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We don't need no Net Nanny ..

    `The Online Safety Bill, if enacted, would place a "duty" on ISPs and mobile network operators that provide internet access services to "provide a service that excludes pornographic images" by default.'

    Unless you're a [i]mature adult then no-one has the right to tell you what to watch, for the rest it's up-to the parents ...

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They just don't have a clue...

    I guess the question "are they really this stupid?" is academic at this point.

    If such a filter is anything close to effective, in just about every house (other than the deeply religious and Daily Wail readers) one or other of the parents will bump up against this filter when surfing, ring the ISP and have it turned off. This will unblock every machine in the house and let little Johnny surf smut anyway. I'm sure in quite a number of cases these filters will be managed on a web portal to save people costs, Little Johnny will get hold of Dad's login information and turn it off himself. That also assumes none of the 3 open wifi networks in my street have the filter turned off.

    I say "if it is effective" as a serious point after an experience with my 3G dongle, which is on a business account. I'd been happily surfing all my favourite smut sites for months and had assumed because it was a business account and the smut blocking on my smartphone on the same account was lifted that it had been automatically taken off on the dongle too. This was until I tried to visit the Metasploit site and got the mobile provider's "Oh no you don't!" page. The filter was clearly failing in its job as I'd been visiting popular grumblevideo sites and in addition was going beyond its remit and blocking stuff that clearly wasn't porn. A quick call had the filter removed and it was explained to me that "hacking" sites were also blocked to "protect children."

    What is worrying me is that, if the ISP is liable for it not "protecting children", the block list will have to include proxies, VPNs, translation sites that keep images (We use Google Translate to bypass the naughty filter at work when it blocks public hosting sites), Tor, Freenet (if you can), all IM file transfers, IPv4/IPv6 gateways, torrents...

    Since this only applies to images... Will it be OK for my ISP to let my kids read adult fiction as long as the pictures are removed or listen to the sound?

    What a complete load of bollocks!

  57. billse10
    Devil

    Clouds and silver linings ...

    Maybe this is a way to pay off national debt?

    1. Make a named politician responsible for compiling a list of blocked URLs (not domains)

    2. ISPs block solely from that list and are not allowed to do any other filtering

    3. If an ISP fails to block something on that list, large fine applies

    3. Every time something inappropriate receives a (virtual) "hit" on the web, if it's not on that minister's list, he or she gets a (real) "hit" on the head and pays £1000 fine.

    4. If a site not showing criminal content is blocked because it's on that list, same minister gets a lifetime ban from politics, waves goodbye to pension and gets to pay back every penny received from the public purse

    5. The full name, home and office address of anyone able to add to that list must be public, and they get to pay £10 per URL they add

    6. TV companies, phone companies Royal Mail and courier/delivery firms all get to play by exactly the same rules. If Royal Mail delivers porn, it faces exactly the same consequence as an ISP would face. If TV company or phone company allows access pre-watershed, same.

    How does this solve debt problem? Well, we'll can pay-off national debt with those fines and fees and by charging "normal" people 1p a time to deliver the physical hits.

    Failing something like that, this is a phenomenally bad bill.

  58. Malcolm Boura 2

    Unjustified, ambiguous to the point of meaningless and dangerous

    The Bailey report. often cited as providing justification for this nonsense, does nothing of the sort. It admits that there is no real evidence that pornography causes harm to children. It also completely, and deliberately, fails to define pornography, which renders most of its findings in this area near meaningless.

    The Bill has the same problem It defines many terms but fails to define pornography. Is it the definition of Denmark or the defnition of Saudi Arabia? There is a suspicion, a well founded one in my opinion, that extreme pornography may cause harm to children. There is strong evidence that the attitudes associated with prudery results in widespread and often very serious harm to children and young people.

    This Bill is about a small minority imposing their morality on everyone else, not protection of children. If it were really about children then the Bill would follow the evidence.

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