back to article All major UK ISPs prepping network-level porn 'n' violence filters

TalkTalk - it would seem - has blazed an unlikely trail for Britain's big name ISPs by being the first telco to switch on network level filtering of web content. Now, after many months resisting the urge to apply such controls to their services, the other major providers - BSkyB, Virgin Media and BT - have all decided to follow …

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  1. Babbit55
    Thumb Down

    Baby steps

    So with this coming into play, how long until the Great British Firewall is setup? Does the automatic blocking of content not go against some European legislation or even human rights somewhere?

    1. NinjasFTW

      Re: Baby steps

      as i'm aware most isp's already do some level of blocking for certain sites.

      I'm pretty sure it will soon be abused to get various non porn sites added, its just the way of things. Aus recently went through the same thing.

      1. Babbit55

        Re: Baby steps

        I am all for the blocking of illegal sites, though last time I checked it wasn't yet illegal to look at porn

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Babbit55

          Really, but on who's definition of illegal? And why can't we see this block list?

          1. CaNsA

            Re: Babbit55

            The laws that are enforced in whatever country you are in.

            On a side note, if they make it an "Opt-out" system they might aswell just call it "The Potential Peado List" considering they are trying to protect the kids.

            1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

              Re: CaNsA

              Difficult to tell if you are just trolling or not.

              Who makes up these lists and/or equipment? Last time I looked it was USA or Chinese suppliers. Do you really think they give a rat's cock about what the public should be seeing by the UK's laws?

              1. CaNsA

                Re: CaNsA

                Just answering your question "but on who's definition of illegal?"

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Babbit55

            "The national comittee of people who know best" - you aren't allowed to know who is on the comittee because they know best, and you can't see the list because then you might be exposed to naughty stuff - so just keep calm and carry on.

            1. Anonymous Coward 15
              Devil

              Re: Babbit55

              A publicly accessible official government directory of sex'n'violence? What could be wrong with that?

          3. Nick Kew Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Paul Crawford

            That would be for a court to decide. They're the only people empowered to make decisions on what is or isn't legal.

            Erm ... wouldn't it?

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Paul Crawford

              "That would be for a court to decide. They're the only people empowered to make decisions on what is or isn't legal."

              They would do the ASBO trick. The material on the list wouldn't have to be proved illegal - circumventing the list to access these sites would itself be illegal, even if the site was on the list by accident

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Smallbrainfield
            Unhappy

            Re: Baby steps

            I like the way you shoehorned some EDL style politics into a discussion about ISP content filtering. Clever wording - cheers.

          2. Craigness
            Stop

            Re: Baby steps

            @Dave 15 the Nazis used demonisation of a religious minority as well as banning books Let's hope neither happens here.

            With the christians coming over here and breeding, converting and forcing their views on impressionable young minds through the education system (like the Nazis did), we pagans have suffered for long enough. It's about time we kicked out this foreign religion or gave another one a go - they can't be any worse.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Baby steps

            And.......we're at Godwin's Law. Somewhat earlier than usual too.

          4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Baby steps

      There needs to be a way of seeing the block list, and penalising them if they make mistakes. Shame I don't have the resources to force a law decision on the matter.

    3. Amorous Cowherder
      Facepalm

      Re: Baby steps

      Yep, next thing fine-art photo websites with male and female nudes, that includes the Royal Photographic Society showcase pages, DeviantArt, 1x.com, all perfectly valid photography art sites but some prude with the blocking app on their PC at UK Gov HQ will no doubt deem the merest hint of a naked body to be porn and that's that!

      Going to be just like the US, your kids can see all the beatings and shootings ( no blood of course! ) they like on pre-9pm TV but one flash of an inner-thigh or a nipple at any time, anywhere and all hell breaks lose!

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Baby steps

        I am going to expend large amounts of time trying to get the Mail Online put on the ban list.

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: NomNomNom

          The Mail Online?

          How about that most bloodthirsty work of all, the Bible?

    4. Don Jefe

      Re: Baby steps

      Hadrian's Firewall?

  2. Dave 15

    So the big brother state has won

    Just like China, North Korea and other dictatorships around the world our dictatorship has managed to introduce censorship. Right now it is banning porn and violence because the stupid majority will buy that this is 'good for them'. Next it will be anything the government doesn't want you to see... that will be anything that disagrees with its view.

    The problem with 'democracy' is that it is run by the privileged few and supported by the uneducated unwashed stupid idiots and those in the middle who can think but are powerless just get shafted with the bill.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So the big brother state has won

      This will be a great way for businesses to block each others web stores. Send a report to an ISP about some dodgy stuff on a rival site. Get a hacker to "upload" adult to a rival website (no need to link anything to the JPG). Send URL to JPG to ISP, wait for the block.

      1. Jeff Deacon

        Re: So the big brother state has won

        Maybe it wasn't deliberate, but a dentist's web site had found its way onto the Australian list when that was finally made public. No-one owned up to knowing how it got there!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So the big brother state has won

      @Dave15 if you want to read the article there's a link at the top of this page.

    3. Richard 81
      Black Helicopters

      Re: So the big brother state has won

      Dictatorship?!? Don't be ridiculous, that's one person! What we have is a bunch of unelected civil servants in lifetime jobs that make all the decisions and then persuade our elected leaders that it was really their idea all along. They're always very clever though; they make sure to push different ideas through different politicians, so that a right-wing idea is given to a right-wing politician and vice versa.

  3. Bill Bennett
    Childcatcher

    All about the revenue...

    1. ISP promotes whole-home porn blocking.

    2. ISP lets the nation's Dads subscribe for a couple of £s a month to "Enhanced per-device blocking" so he can still get his Redtube fix on his iPad.

    3. PROFIT!!!

    1. Piro

      Re: All about the revenue...

      More like "Dad sets his DNS server to something else, like 8.8.8.8 (Google DNS) or OpenDNS, and gets on with his life.."

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. janimal
        FAIL

        not only but also

        a) The parents now feel safe in the knowledge that their kids can't see porn and so allow them unfettered access to the internet, where they can chat & webcam with kiddy fiddlers to their hearts content. But it's ok, they are safe. They can't look at porn.

        b) The kids just change the DNS & carry on as normal.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: not only but also

          c) The ISP catches this because you're underutilizing the house DNS system and starts sniffing around. Pretty sure the ToS for such a service will require that the DNS settings not be altered on pain of cutoff.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Decius
        Boffin

        Re: All about the revenue...

        What's the difficulty with implementing IP based filtering instead of DNS based filtering? It could even use the same blacklist (or whitelist!).

        1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

          Re: All about the revenue...

          Shared servers. Lots-and-lots of sites on one IP - very common practice in budget webhosting. If you go by IP it becomes very easy to accidentally block a few hundred sites that happened to share the same host as one porn site.

          IPv6 will fix this. If it ever gets adopted fully. Some time between the rise of the ape civilisation and the death of the Sun.

  4. Anonymous Coward 15

    DNS based? So how long until the kids learn how to set a custom DNS server? Or are they going to transparent proxy all DNS requests, or block third-party DNS servers?

    1. wowfood
      Go

      Makes me glad that, the first thing I did for out router was change the DNS. Although I forget which DNS I changed us to, any recommendations out there other than OpenDNS? (I think I set us up on OpenDNS)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Open DNS servers

        4.2.2.1

        4.2.2.2

        4.2.2.3

        4.2.2.4

        It wouldn't let me post until I put some text in here :-s

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I think that elReg comments system is powered by rabbits

          As the post is required, and must contain lettuce.

    2. S4qFBxkFFg

      This will just mean the kids start memorising the IP for imagefap and the like.

      1. Miek
        Big Brother

        You guys assume that the Google Public DNS and OpenDNS services are not doing the same thing ;)

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Hard to say, but OpenDNS works for me and they offer *you* the choice of categories if you want to block stuff home-wide.

          Having said that, their system is stupid in needing a client on your home machine so it knows your IP address to match any preferences to, without that it cant be controlled. Should be a router setting like dynamic DNS support.

          1. Rasczak

            OpenDNS router updater

            <quote>

            Hard to say, but OpenDNS works for me and they offer *you* the choice of categories if you want to block stuff home-wide.

            Having said that, their system is stupid in needing a client on your home machine so it knows your IP address to match any preferences to, without that it cant be controlled. Should be a router setting like dynamic DNS support.

            <\quote>

            There are some routers/firewalls that have an OpenDNS updater built in like those for DynamicDNS hostnames, IPCop which I use for example. IIUI it is a similar system used for the clients for both types of service updater clients, so shouldn't be a diificult job to build it in, it just needs the router manufacturers' support, of course whether they would be willing or not to do this is the big question. There does seem to be a bit of discussion on the OpenDNS fora about this, and ways around it though.

            1. P Taylor

              Re: OpenDNS router updater

              I think its a good thing really in this day an age. But I will still continue to use OpenDNS at home and in the SMB's I support to compliment any ISP filtering.

              My son mentioned to me last week, that kids in his IT class were creating VPN connections to some free provider in the US. Then they were browsing what ever they liked, bypassing the schools internet filtering.

              1. That's the schools fault for not locking down the PC's enough.

              2. Kids are clever, and will always find some workaround, its up to us IT admins to outsmart the kids !.

        2. Dazed and Confused

          @Miek

          > You guys assume that the Google Public DNS and OpenDNS services are not doing the same thing ;)

          you just run your own DNS server and point back up to the root servers.

          So unless they're going to transparently proxy all DNS requests then it will be easy to get around. If they transparently proxy it then only be fractionally more difficult to get around.

          Its just that the kids will be much better at circumventing this than most parents. El'reg readers are typical. Stroppy teenager on the porn prowl is likely to be far more clued up than your average harassed single mum.

          1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: @Miek @D&C

            It would be pretty easy for the ISP to put a block on all TCP and UDP access to port 53 to nameservers other than their own. Or one stage further, only allow a whitelist of known ports out. There's lots of things they can do to make your life miserable.

            My ISP says I have to use their ADSL router in their Ts&Cs. I don't, because I don't trust their customised firmware to not snoop, UPnP or backdoor my network (and I've a firewall there anyway).

            Not having reasonably unfiltered access would be a real deal breaker for me.

          2. Dazed and Confused

            Re: @Miek

            Ooops - "El'reg readers are typical." should have read "El'reg readers aren't typical."

            1. Miek
              Linux

              Re: @Miek

              "It would be pretty easy for the ISP to put a block on all TCP and UDP access to port 53 to nameservers other than their own. Or one stage further, only allow a whitelist of known ports out. There's lots of things they can do to make your life miserable." - That's kind of what my post hinted at. As it stands many ISPs block certain ports that you simply don't notice ... many block unencrypted SMTP connections (for security reasons), some block all SMTP connections (because they are bastards) and some ISPs place blocks on 'dangerous services', such as MSSQL default ports etc. It's not a great leap to realise that they will simply block external DNS providers if it provides an easy work around to their filtering service.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's enough

    If everyone follows TalkTalk, then central blocking will be available to whoever is responsible for the connection - not enforced. That seems to me quite adequate for the purpose.

    I don't see any reason to agonise over ensuring that the person in control is over 18.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's enough

      I expect it's talking about most adults ineptitude with computers relying on their offspring to do things like... make the printer work, plug a network cable in, remove the gambling pop up spam, etc etc etc.

    2. Dave 15

      Re: That's enough

      Available will shortly become enforced. Then you will have to 'prove' you are 18 to have them unblocked. Then somethings will be so bad you can't have it unblocked. Then we are exactly where everyone predicts. It is NOT good to have any censorship.

      Frankly I have not found porn by accident. I have not found porn while searching for work things for example, or news, or information about places I'm visiting etc etc. If kids find porn it is because they are looking for it - largely because of something they were talking about at school. When I were a lad (someone had to go here), we didn't have the internet but we still found porn in the newsagent etc. Perhaps not quite as severe but still we found it. Most free porn is not much worse than the old newsagent stuff even if you are looking for it.

      1. janimal
        Devil

        Re: That's enough

        Most of the porn I got to see at school was from under the beds of friend's parents (mine were very religious, although maybe they just hid the stuff better)

        Funnily enough this was usually stuff from Holland which was much more explicit than anything that was allowed in the UK even from licensed sex shops.

        All long, long before the internet & mobiles.

        Mines the long dirty raincoat....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's enough

        @Dave that's a very interesting set of facts you're presenting. Do you have a link so I can research further please?

        Or are you a BS alarmist?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "facts"?

          Dave did not purport to be presenting facts. I am confused as to which statements you interpreted as such.

          I am also of the experience that one generally does not find porn on the Internet unless one is looking for it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "facts"?

            The alarmist's "facts":

            1. Available will shortly become enforced.

            2. Then you will have to 'prove' you are 18 to have them unblocked.

            3. Then somethings will be so bad you can't have it unblocked.

            4. Most free porn is not much worse than the old newsagent stuff

            Is it really too much to ask for a reference?

      3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: That's enough @Dave 15

        Two points.

        Porn is hugely different on the Internet than in H&E, Fiesta, Club or Playboy. Legal magazines were not able to show explicit sex, and the pornography laws were so poorly defined that mainstream magazines kept well to the safer side of what was acceptable. Moving images add a lot to the impact of porn, and many of the free sites do nothing other than asking that you don't enter if you are under the legal age in your juristiction. With magazine still photos, and story pages, you had to use imagination, which was (in my day) often just guesswork for virgin teenagers. Nothing is left to the imagination on the Internet.

        Secondly, it is easy to find porn, even with quite innocent words, and very easy indeed if you really do want to find it. I grant that is has become less frequent that google returns such results than it used to be, but just think how many ordinary words have alternate meanings.

        There was a time when a site could 'seed' their pages with lists of completely innocent words, normally in white-on-white and in very small characters, just to try to get random hits. Many years ago, I remember my daughter searching for "medieval castles", and getting hits from some quite unplesent sites. I think that problem has largely gone away now, though.

        I do not agree with restricting the Internet by default, but I can see how horrifying it can be to some people.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's enough @Dave 15

          Leave google safe search on (which it defaults to) and you will almost never find porn, even if you try.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's enough

        @Dave15 I have found pr0n by accident, I blame Red Dwarf.

  6. alain williams Silver badge

    The Swivel Eyed Loons carry the day

    Up tight about sex while ignoring stuff that has a far worse effect: gratuitous violence & religious mumbo jumbo.

    This will just have the effect of blocking some NHS sites & the like while adding to the costs of ISPs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Swivel Eyed Loons carry the day

      Indeed, you can have beheading videos on youtube/facebook but don't even think of showing any nipples.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: The Swivel Eyed Loons carry the day

      I believe the technical term for this is Claire Perry , who it seems has suffered some recent marital misfortune.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: The Swivel Eyed Loons carry the day

        Claire Perry who is both dumb and anti-pr0n has a failed marriage?

        Sadly it iis cruel to laugh at another human's misfortune.

        Oh wait, its a politician? HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH...

        1. Piro

          Re: The Swivel Eyed Loons carry the day

          She's the MP for my area. I have no faith in politics.

          If I even felt like I had to point to raise, I'd be wasting my time with that loon.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: Claire Perry

        I was looking on t'interwebs to see what qualifications she has to be an "advisor" on children's issues.

        So no psychology degree, never been a social worker.

        She's a mother, apparently, and well, that's it.

        About as qualified as a large swathe of the population then.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Boffin

          Re: Claire Perry

          "About as qualified as a large swathe of the population then."

          True but she was really worried about this (although not enough apparently to figure out how to turn parental filtering on her browser on. I suspect the helldesk of her ISP might have some stories to tell)

          And she organized a debate of "concerned MP's" which got almost 7 attendees.

          So "sort of" qualified (by Call Me Dave's standard).

  7. pewpie
    FAIL

    =

    More Tor/VPN users.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Re: =

      Tor/VPN is a bit overkill for this and who actually wants to surf the web via a VPN anyway. My ISP murders VPN connections (along with SSH and other "business" technologies)

      Realistically, it seems that a simple work around is to choose another DNS provider, such as, Google Public DNS or OpenDNS, which I suspect will eventually be blocked.

      1. Jonathan 29
        Devil

        Re: =

        Just for info:

        Changing the DNS on a Sky router is actually a pain or at least it was last time I looked. They like to lock everything down, so the only way to do this I think would be to extract the main admin password and settings and configure on a new router. As this would be running non Sky firmware it has always been possible for them to block it. I know I could change ISP, evil Murdoch blah blah, etc, but this would be an effective method of filtering for most of their customers.

        1. Miek
          Linux

          Re: =

          Whilst I can see the benefit in changing the DNS on your router; you can also change your client's DNS settings if it is too complicated to adjust the router's DNS settings.

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Holmes

    So in the house with two adults and Junior

    How does the ISP know who is accessing the service?

    Short answer, it doesn't, so it blocks by default...

    This is not an ISP issue; it's a parental issue. If they don't want their kids to see porn (apparently it's OK to see people being blown to bits, but that's another argument) then *they* need to take the responsibility to stop it.

    Where you have a single browsing device associated with a particular person - for example, a phone - which has access beyond a home network, it's reasonable to tell the supplier 'turn the porn off' if that's what you want to do. But where multiple devices share a single NAT service, and can access other networks simply by moving down the road, it's impossible.

    It can only be managed within the house, and it needs a multi-level approach:

    - block junior's device at the NAT

    - ensure junior can't use any other device

    - teach junior that there are some things he might like to consider in a year or two, and that if he sees them, to talk to you about it

    And even then, you won't stop little Johnny at school emailing him pictures, jokes, and the like; you won't stop the social networks posting things you don't want him to see...

    One external possibility is an externally managed ID which does *not* ID anyone other than to say 'this person is over eighteen years old'. However, it's not a solution unless it's worldwide; it's not a solution if it's a single-factor test, and it's not a solution unless the providers use it automatically. It might work at an ISP level if the ISP is blocking by IP, but it *still* won't stop email and other message methods with unsavoury content.

    1. g e
      Unhappy

      A parental issue, true

      But given that around 50% of UK parents these days seem to expect the gubbmint to raise their children for them while they flop on the sofa watching jeremy kyle with 40 B&H and a six pack of carling I fear the only reasonable recourse is to win the lotto and emigrate.

      As they say ... good luck with that :o/

      1. ACx

        Re: A parental issue, true

        But not you, of course.

      2. g e

        Re: A parental issue, true

        Two thumbs down?

        Bet they occurred in the advert break in Jeremy Kyle...

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: So in the house with two adults and Junior

      Heartily agree - it would be nice if we could set the DNS entries on a user-account basis in whichever OS we were using, though. Obviously the more technically aware kids can get around this, but it would be a good start for the little 'uns (and mine have to use the computer in a public space in the house so supervision can take place).

  9. Suricou Raven Silver badge

    Goodbye, privacy.

    Invite the parents or girlfriend around? Better keep them off of your computers and not let them on the wifi then, because the first thing they'll do is check sex.com to see if their son/partner is a dirty porn-viewing perv.

    1. Piro

      Re: Goodbye, privacy.

      My girlfriend knows I'm a dirty pervert. If you have a partner that you keep secrets from, I don't know how well that relationship can go.

    2. Dazed and Confused
      Happy

      Re: Goodbye, privacy.

      Could some please explain the use of a partner who doesn't know you're a dirty perv. I thought that is precisely why my wife chose me in the first place.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >How many customers, for example, when signing up for a broadband service state that they have children living in their house?

    Hmm, maybe the blocking could be turned on if the household regularly watches teletubbies through iPlayer?

    But yeah, it should be a parent thing.

    1. Horridbloke
      Facepalm

      @AC09:57

      "Hmm, maybe the blocking could be turned on if the household regularly watches teletubbies through iPlayer?"

      Why should undergraduates be blocked from viewing porn?

  11. Mike Richards

    Well that'll make the Daily Mail happy.

    At least for five minutes - until a case comes along when it's revealed the perpetrator was within half a mile of a sleeping computer that *could* easily have been hacked by Eastern European migrants to display non-Associated Newspapers approved titillation - and then they'll be off again.

    1. Dazed and Confused
      Childcatcher

      @ Mike Richards

      > Well that'll make the Daily Mail happy.

      Surely their website will be for the chop.

      They regularly feature photos of scantily clad ladies.

      They regularly have articles talking about sex. Some of them don't even follow the line of "All sex it terrible and dirty and should be banned immediately" Won't someone think of the children.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    I'm surprised we have gone this far without filtering to be honest. You pretty much get pr0n and violence thrown in your face if you venture outside the comfy confines of the major websites such as eBay, Amazon and Facebook. So let's protect folks as a first step.

    Now for those that feel their freedom and liberties have been trampled on there are VPNs and there is a multitude of privacy enhancing packages that you can use if you want to bypass filtering.

    The proposal was for filtering the worst sites - we're not going to go down the road of tracking down those that choose to use alternative connection methods.

    1. xyz

      @ chris n

      >>The proposal was for filtering the worst sites - we're not going to go down the road of tracking down those that choose to use alternative connection methods.

      YET

      >>You pretty much get pr0n and violence thrown in your face if you venture outside the comfy confines of the major websites

      Can I have your search strings please?

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: @ chris n

        Anything on the Daily Mail or Fox News, for starters. In fact, I'd rather my 6-yo didn't go to either of those sites to start with :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ chris n

          Amazon and EBay have both Porn and Violence (look for porn on them and it will deliver and a copy of hostel)

          Facebook has graphic real violence.

      2. Dave 15

        Re: @ chris n

        I don't know what Chris is searching for but try....

        "naked ladies being beaten" and I'm sure something would turn up... personally I've never accidentally found porn (have found it deliberately). Nor - as I guess have you - have I had porn or violence thrust at me while searching for various things to help work, travel, holiday, helping the kids with homework or other non-porn style activities.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: @ chris n

        Sure; for Google:

        inurl:disney "fluffy bunnies" -(pr0n|violence)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you are a parent you are supposed to be responsible and limit their access to the web by actually keeping an eye on what they do.

      Putting a TV in their room means they see things on TV they're not supposed to see and giving them a smartphone or tablet without monitoring what they are doing is also stupid.

    3. S4qFBxkFFg
      WTF?

      "You pretty much get pr0n and violence thrown in your face if you venture outside the comfy confines of the major websites such as eBay, Amazon and Facebook. So let's protect folks as a first step." [citation needed]

      I've been using the internet for about 16 years now, and I could count on one hand (fnarr, fnarr) the amount of times I found porn when I wasn't looking for it.

      1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

        Depends where you go. The pirate-stuff sites are full of it, as most mainstream advertising services shun them. That, and pirates are generally a very liberal lot and pirate porn as well as anything else.

    4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      So who will get to see the block list to verify it is only for pr0n?

      Who will compensate any business incorrectly blocked?

      How much do you want to bet it will just be for pr0n, as clearly sex is bad, but not for violence?

      You are stupidly naive if you don't believe this will be abused for Gov policy, and business reasons by the ISPs.

    5. hplasm Silver badge

      @ chrisn

      You use IE6 then?

  13. xyz
    FAIL

    Forget the children...

    ...think of the adults! Besides give kids a couple of mins and the new meme will be TOR (because they can and it's a finger to The Man)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Forget the children...

      And if they "discover" porn on the regular internet they'll soon "discover" the Silk Road on Tor.

  14. Frankee Llonnygog

    The default had better be effin' off!!!

    That would keep everyone happy

  15. StampedChipmunk

    Talk Talk's Homesafe provided by Huwaei...

    Oooo I feel safer already </sarcasm>

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Talk Talk's Homesafe provided by Huwaei...

      Let's be honest, though - if you're looking for a router that can block access to certain websites, a Chinese product would be the obvious choice since they're the experts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Talk Talk's Homesafe provided by Huwaei...

        http://www.economist.com/news/world-week/21578729-kals-cartoon

        (don't forget to read the small print!)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the real question is

    not whether the filters are going to be on or off, but WHO will be able to access the information about what default people chose.

    ...

    hell, I already know the answer. And the default for the filters will be "on", so that it'll be easier to trawl through the database of those paedo-terrorists, who were foolish enough to request the filters off. Yes, some leftist-misguided-media-trash will raise hell, but hey, the great British summer's conveniently round the corner and is the great British public gonna listen when the safety of our children's at stake? Plus, there's an already well-established practice of burying the bad news, so it's all gonna be ok...

    1. Dave 15

      Re: the real question is

      Yup, the British public are basically as thick as two planks and will accept this with open arms.

      Just as they did with CRB checks and all the associated bullshit to protect their kids, and 'elf and safety' to ensure they are in no danger.

      And look what they've achieved...

      Sports clubs that no longer have clubs for kids because it is too much of a PITA

      Youth clubs closed

      Pervs STILL getting into schools and the remaining places with access to kids because they have enough interest to go through the hoops and aggravations the rest of us can't be arsed with

      Then if you do take your kids somewhere they can't actually touch anything, climb 6" to see something, sit on your shoulders, stand on something that might move, not be seat belted in... and consequently they get no excitement out of it - when I was a kid I used to go to the GWR depot, wander about among the oily waste and help people clean rust off the engines, cut bits of metal, shovel the coal on while the train was moving, pull the whistle etc etc etc (as early as 9 years old).

      And the expense... first I had to have seatbelts in the back of the car for kids, then a car seat, now it has to be a rear facing seat, then when they are 6 months a new forward facing seat (yup, used to have one that could go either way but you can't get them now), then a seat for larger kids then a booster seat (both of these ugly and massive constructions only achieving an uncomfortable version of an adult seat and almost as safe as the seatbelt clip I used to use to make the adult seatbelt fit correctly). This makes a mint for the 3 car seat manufacturers but has saved how many kids from injury? Probably none if truth is told.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the real question is

        How do you define a "perv"? Is it someone with the wrong type of thoughts?

        1. h3

          Re: the real question is

          99.9% of adult males or more probably. It is an impulse the only men who are not "perv's" are people who lack that impulse for whatever reason.

          (e.g on really strong opiates or anti psychotics. Or perhaps they are just not bothered due to naturally not having the impulse).

      2. FraK
        Stop

        Re: the real question is

        The Daily Mail website is that way ------>

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the real question is

        " This makes a mint for the 3 car seat manufacturers but has saved how many kids from injury? Probably none if truth is told."

        Yes, and think of how much money you could save if you didn't even bother about the back seat, but just sat them on the roof, after all they can hold on to the roof rails...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So is this just on or off?

    Ideally I would be very happy to have real-life violence, hate sites, bomb specs, child porn, etc blocked.

    It would be nice to have a list of 20 (or so) categories and you can pick which ones offend you or are unsuitable for your household.

    The best solution is to have it all off by default and you are reminded once a year that blocks are available.

    No-one has to sign up to get porn but everyone would then be fully aware that blocking was available.

    Even better if there was a web ui to switch them on and off (no Partridge calls "Can you turn the porn back on please")

    1. Dave 15

      Why

      Why should you have the blocks - why not try using your judgement - don't search for 'child porn' or 'beheadings' and don't look at websites with names like www.choppingheadsofchildren.com or whatever

      You know, there are plenty of books and magazines out there that I don't want or approve of. Yet I don't call for the shops to be divided and split up lest they should be there in front of me and offend me. There are plenty of people who offend me, and certainly lots of dress styles that do, no one offers to filter them out for me (unless google glass will start doing that).

  18. Doozer
    FAIL

    VPN anyone...?

    This will mean people will have to get nice cheap VPN enabled router (Im doing this for the non-techies) hung out of the back of their cable modem or ADSL router. Use a VPN service like Hide My Ass or any of the other million companies out their.

    Yes this lowers your speed, but gives you all the sites you want to get to. Oh, and its encrypted...

  19. Roger Greenwood

    "how to deal with age verification online"

    My daughter (still at school) got a happy 23rd birthday message from facebook. Some work still needed there then.

    She also shares wifi at various locations via tablets & phones with her friends. They all do it.

    I trust her judgement.

    1. Jediben
      Joke

      Re: "how to deal with age verification online"

      "My daughter (still at school) got a happy 23rd birthday message from facebook. Some work still needed there then."

      Now now, there's no shame in being older than your teacher. It's clearly the US education system at fault!

      But may I recommend she read a book some time soon?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "how to deal with age verification online"

      You shouldn't trust her judgement. She probably lied about her age in order to access things that Facebook deems unsuitable.

      1. Roger Greenwood

        Re: "how to deal with age verification online"

        She gave a false DOB as did most of her friends at the time, and as I do to all online forms who "need" it. I've been 94 for years now.

    3. Dave 15

      Re: "how to deal with age verification online"

      Good for her, she probably also lied about name, address and everything else. Just as I do when accessing pages that demand to know who I am (such as the BBC). This is one very very very good reason to resist any form of 'id card' as eventually you would be required to 'log in' with it... and then when it was stolen you would end up being accused of all sorts.

      The fact that we can (and most do) lie routinely on the internet is one damned good reason that this will fail. My wireless is also deliberately unlocked so anyone can use it - that way it is going to be damned difficult to prove anything done via it was done by me.

  20. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Won't somebody think of the adults?

    Title says it all.

  21. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    Fanfiction blocked.

    A couple of year back I switched to T-Mobile in the USA and discovered that their "adult content" filter defaulted to on and that it blocked fanfiction.net ... preventing my daughter from reading and updating her Dr Who stories.

    So naturally the first thing I did was turn the filter off.

    My guess is that while web content filtering does block some bad stuff, it will block so many sites that people want to visit that most people will turn it off. Thus everyone will be happy.

  22. Graham Marsden
    Big Brother

    Who decides...?

    As has already been seen with other filtering systems and the Australian Great Firewall, who will decide what should or shouldn't be blocked?

    How is a legitimate business like mine (selling affordable Leather Products and BDSM equipment to consenting adults) going to be classified? I already have Adults Only on the front and links to various filtering services, will that be enough or am I going to find it on someone's centralised block list and suddenly see my customer base plummet (meanwhile my potential customers will simply switch to the ones which aren't filtered).

    And what happens when the puritains start deciding that *other* services or websites are "morally unacceptable" to them? Will the list of blocked sites be publicly available? What methods of appeal will available? How much will they cost and how long will they take?

    Cui bono?

  23. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Flame

    So, presumably, premium-rate phone numbers

    will be blocked by default ?

    No.

    Hypocritical cant then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, presumably, premium-rate phone numbers

      and Royal Mail / FedEx / etc will be required to open every item to make sure nothing's coming in that way ...

      No?

      Hypocritical cants indeed.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So that whole public consultation debacle was .. a debacle ?

    What happened with that by the way?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/19/department_for_education_breaks_data_protection_act_after_online_smut_consultation_system_leaks_sensitive_details_of_respondents/

    oh yeah. Nothing

  25. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Violence Included

    So this includes sites promoting violence. In that case I will be expecting facebook with its beheading videos and Youtube with the Russian car smash and bits of people flying about videos also to be blocked. Somehow expect these sites to be allowed though.

  26. janimal
    Flame

    Oh good

    Brilliant! Now parents will feel that it is perfectly safe for their kids to use the internet alone. Awesome news for the groomers out there.

    It may or may not be unhealthy for kids of a certain age to see pornography, but it is definitely unhealthy to allow them to communicate with literally anyone in the world without supervision.

    Whatever happened to don't talk to strangers eh?

    The internet is not a safe place for children to wander alone

    Giving parents a false sense of security is just fucking stupid.

    1. TheWeenie
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh good

      This should be something that you sign off whenever you obtain Internet access.

      "I/we acknowledge that the Internet is a public, unmoderated network and accept full responsibility for monitoring and controlling the activities of any individuals in my care who are under the age of consent".

      But then that would involve people actually accepting some responsibility as opposed to farming out the "This is everyone's fault but mine" line. In fact, make that "This is everyone's fault but mine and I deserve compensation".

      Plus, remember that teenage boys looking for whacking material are like the Terminator. They cannot be bargained with, cannot be reasoned with...and they absolutely will not stop. Until they find Knave. Or the lingerie section that the catalogue just happens to fall open at!

      1. janimal

        Re: Oh good

        Indeed any timeporn has been discussed in my life, I have never heard of any male who didn't have plenty of access to the stuff in their early teens. I was at school in the late 70's early 80's we all had our own porn stashes.

        These people seem to think networks are a new thing d'oh!

        Anyway my point being, I don't think the % of men who happen to be rapists or peado's is anywhere near the % of men who looked at porn when they were 11 years old (for that is when I found my first hardcore porn mag in the woods!).

        We also used to look at them when the paper delivery dropped them off & the newsagents while we were waiting to start our paper rounds.

        no internet required.

        1. auburnman
          Trollface

          Re: Oh good

          'timeporn' (no spaces)

          I know that was probably a typo, but it's set my mind wondering as to what timeporn could be. A code for Dr Who fanfic porn? Maybe Marty McFly & doc Brown? Or people having sex with timepieces?

          1. janimal
            Coat

            Re: Oh good

            or maybe just when you have a limited window of privacy?

            Mines the one with the stopwatch in the pocket...

      2. M7S

        Re: Oh good

        I am required to sign something similar to what you propose by the school to which my 7yo goes regarding his internet use at home. I've only not done so on the basis that I don't permit any use whatsoever at the moment, although I accept that will change at some stage.

        1. Old Handle

          Re: Oh good

          Why is it any of the school's business what your child does on the internet at home?

  27. dephormation.org.uk
    FAIL

    Ludicrous.

    Violence? Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Pokemon? Or war & crime reporting on BBC Newsround?

    Nudity? Like the Sun? Or the National Gallery? Or sexual health sites?

    It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest anyone can make these distinctions effectively... it has to be a question of parental responsibility.

    I choose what is suitable for my children to view, not a fascist Government.

  28. TheCraigE

    I think I'm missing something...

    I think I'm missing something here..

    Ignoring the fact that this can be circumvented with great ease - surely there's a major design flaw..

    To block porn for kids, surely it has to be blocked for the whole family in this system? So, dads can't look at porn without allowing the whole family the same access?

  29. Matt__P
    Trollface

    Hopefully they will also block tree hugging propoganda nonsense under the false guise of a newspaper, such as The Guardian.

  30. Seamaster
    Thumb Down

    "In places where books are burned...

    ...people will be burned." — Heinrich Heine

  31. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Big Brother

    So will it be opt in or opt out, with *unfiltered* being the default.

    But remember Lenin.

    "Push the bayonet in. If it hit muscle, pull back. If it hits fat, press harder."

  32. NomNomNom

    If I were google what I would do is "accidentally" block "legitimate" websites to prove a point and then take ages to unblock them.

    The Daily Mail has been quite a vocal advocate of this porn block.

    Today on the Daily Mail Online we have a story "Kelly Brook is at her sultry best as she writhes around in a swimsuit and high heels for Turkish GQ photoshoot"

    Wouldn't it be a travesty if Google's "automated" porn-detecting system determined the Daily Mail Online website hosted pornographic material and blocked the Daily Mail Online...

    1. TheWeenie
      Pint

      This is a paradox. On the one hand, I would like to see that. But on the other hand, I would have to go to the DM website to do so.

      There must come a tipping point where the former outweighs the latter though!

  33. Oligova
    FAIL

    Peril Sensitive Sunglasses anybody ? Peril Sensitive Sunglasses !

    How about spending the money on improving schools / education / childcare & active child protection. Ahh - forgot - that actually works and couldn't be (ab)used against the internet users / citizens / taxpayers

  34. Brian Morrison
    Flame

    Porn is not the problem...

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201305/porn-is-not-the-problem-you-are

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DNS...so simple...

    Seriously - all you need is a decent TCP bridge and you can intercept all DNS requests and force the lookup. If the end-user uses an IP address, just have the DNS lookup carried out against them as part of the URL checking, then compare. Easily done...I helped build a system 8 years ago that could do this at a rate of 250,000 per second without it being seen on the network by end users.

    1. John Deeb
      Boffin

      Re: DNS...so simple...

      Correct! People often respond by suggesting old tricks that might have worked a decade ago perhaps. Nowadays it would need some spcial client software and possibly serious performance degradation to get around high-end DNS filtering.

  36. This Side Up
    Childcatcher

    Whole home?

    Well I'm relieved to know that my smart fridge won't be downloading pr0n in future.

    Now what about mobes?

  37. h3

    Government trying to dictate morality is something that seriously irritates me.

    I don't mind government attempting to do things to stop bad things happening.

    The Japanese government does things that seem weird to us but they are done to stop a specific thing happening in the most effective way.

    Our government does stuff that is totally ineffective and they don't have any morality as far as I am concerned.

    Annoys me far more than people who are religious and actually follow what any of the books say properly.

    1. Dave 15

      Morality

      It is of course totally moral to accept back handers for favours rendered, giving your neighbours kids a job, employing someone of dubious past performance, fiddling expenses, or making the rules so that you can put as much of the publics wonga in your back pocket as possible.

      But these people know far more about morals than you do.

  38. Waspy
    WTF?

    What happened to the Big Society?

    Dave seems to have forgotten all about his little tirade against 'silly regulations' and 'governement quangos'...as leader of a party that traditionally hates regulating (or threatening to regulate), he doing a lot of regulating (or threatening...).

    Where do I start? On a broad level it seems the pace of technology is faster than the general populaces ability to actually know how to use that technology. In my experience most people frankly don't have a fucking clue how to use any of the shiny gadgets they buy, and they don't really understand how the Web works. They also seem to fail to understand the ethical and moral implications of enforcing ISP level blocking (and on a side note they also fail to see the issues around giving police and GCHQ greater powers in the wake of a brutal terrorist attack, but that's another story...).

    Just because Esther Ranson has been bleating in the government's collective ear (Ranson and most of the government also don't have a fucking clue how any of this stuff works) doesn't mean that access to (crucially legal) material and information should be blocked, just because parents can't be fucked to learn how to use said shiny stuff.

    Here's my solution: the gov should try and run educational programs / or contract out such lessons/material/TV programs to teach people how to set up simple blocks on PCs/tablets/networks. They should also teach kids in schools (starting from now) on how our increasingly complex elctronic world works so that in the future we don't have a nation of clueless fuckwits and we end up in a simlar situation when those kids grow up. Instead, Michael Gove thinks that lessons on a long since faded empire are the solution to all of our educational woes.

    This whole thing is by an old buys PPE educated club in government, and we need more scientists, engineers and academics in charge to give balance, because the House of Commons right mostly does not understand any of the things they are regulating and acting on.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utter horseshit..

    The internet is not a FREE babysitting device. There are already controls and filters that parents can install to restrict access to such sites. It's about time parents took responsibly and the government can piss off and concentrate on doing something slightly more useful - like trying extra hard not to totally screw up the NHS although that also appears to be an addiction of theirs!

  40. Dave 15

    Written to talktalk

    Pointing out that I think they are misguided and won't be buying their 'service' - if enough did that they would rethink

  41. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
    Trollface

    Even simpler answer...

    Got kids?

    U banned from Interwebs until they leave home!

  42. nevstah

    what is porn?

    material designed to arouse/cause sexual excitement

    we should ban pictures of ferrari's, ducati's, lamborghini's etc

  43. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    FAIL

    Fortunately.......

    .... no kids or perverts know how to change their DNS settings to something like google dns or any other open dns...

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Fortunately....... @Jame Jones

      You've missed one of the next steps, that of locking down the OS such that end-users (all end-users) are unable to change these settings 'becuase ordinary users don't understand enough about computers to make sensible decisions'.

      Sorry to bring Microsoft into this argument, but creating an OS that encourages users to use admin or admin-enabled accounts should (and was by those in the know) have been regarded as a stupid move way back when.

      I used to set up the WinXP machines that my kids used when they were younger so that they were not using admin accounts. Caused some problems with some games, but prevented the computers from being fiddled about with.

      Now they all have their own machines they have admin accounts, but regard their machines much more carefully.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind the pr0n...

    ... how about filtering out some of the real shit that children (and adults) are exposed to on the internet - like anything relating to Justin Bieber?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long before sites like The Reg have to remove the option for anonymous posting, and are forced by some Whitehall muppet to impose registration of the users real name and address?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the original post doesnt appear?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Filtering facebook would be preferable.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kelly

    I'm sure you're capable of writing a much better article than this - did you leave the grey matter at home today?

    Some actual thinking through of what you're saying would probably be advantageous. Some actual analysis in the article rather than just a regurgitation?

    "How many customers, for example, when signing up for a broadband service state that they have children living in their house?" - Well, all of them, if you make it a mandatory field on the sign-up form or an item on the telephone script.

    "...ensure that the person setting up parental controls on their service is over the age of 18. Good luck with that!" - Oh, you mean like many organisations of different kinds do already? Such as by taking a bank account or credit card number to actually pay for the service?

    Oh dear, I'm going to have to have a lie down now after the inhuman mental effort involved in thinking about those completely obvious, one-step answers...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kelly

      So, what about people who stick to one ISP? I've been on the same ISP for 7 years now, without a change. In that time I could have had a child, adopted, fostered, had a partner with children move in.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kelly

        Well... [speaks slowly and carefully] maybe the ISP could ask the user periodically to update their details in the on-line portal?

        They could send an email or even display a pop-up message.

  48. Blue eyed boy
    Big Brother

    Who gets to . . .

    (a) know that a particular person has opted in for porn?

    (b) define what is porn and what isn't?

    I am a naturist, and naturists as a group are worried about censorship, in case our perfectly normal, natural and healthy way of life, to which several websites are devoted, will be swept up into some all-embracing "porn" classification on the basis of frequent references on the same page to "kids" and "nudity".

  49. The Grump
    Big Brother

    Well...

    I hope you enjoyed the days when the web was free and unedited. Now that they are aware of the web, our political masters will tell us what we can access, and what we can't. After all, most people make bad decisions when left to their own devices (SUV's, real fur coats, Big Macs, etc). We obviously need them to look out for us, and wrap the world in foam rubber, so it will be nice and safe for us. All we have to do is...OBEY. Simple. They say it - you do it. BTW - did you pay taxes on that internet purchase, citizen ?

    We're from the government, and we're here to help you !

  50. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Obituary for The Internet

    You were a bright lively child, if a little mischievous.

    As a teen you went everywhere and did everything without fear.

    When you grew up people 'wiser' started to tell you what to do, and used you as a source of income. So your steps faltered and you lost your sense of purpose.

    Today you are crippled from all the knives in the back from governments, leeches and greedy multinationals.

    Sadly, I don't think you have long to live.

    1. Scott Broukell
      Pint

      Re: Obituary for The Internet

      Well said sir! - money and greed corrupts.

      (here, have a beer)

  51. Scott Broukell
    WTF?

    Just thinking out loud - while it's still possible.

    Dear Minister for Web Truth & Global Censorship, I inadvertently miss-typed a search for the TV show, “Robson Green's Extreme Fishing”, the letter 'T' being only some 12mm top left above the 'H' it was an honest mistake guvn'r, I promises never to let it happen again I does.

    Seriously though, is it not true that the internet is a pure and simple reflection of the human race that developed it, what else could it possibly be. Therefore pretty much everything that is nasty about we humans is going to make it's way onto said medium. Along with pretty much everything that is soft and fluffy and nice about us. So I would argue that we either make a FAR greater effort to EDUCATE folks that this is indeed the case or just don't bother please.

    Scenario: young lad on verge of adulthood with sexual awakenings – parents / society just need to talk to the lad and say “How would you feel about internet porn if you knew that some of the media content you can access involves one, or more, of the following people; Your Baby Sister, Your Older Sister, Your Mother, Your Granny”

    It's really like trying to ban guns and ammo, it's need is there already inside (some) of us and now we've invented it you can't magic it all away again with your smoke and mirrors.

    Just admit it, the internet is going to host all that is good and bad about all of us – so access it, use it, with due diligence, caution and a heavy pinch of salt. It can't be that difficult to either talk to our children and or raise awareness through campaigns, as with drug awareness, to get this message across can it, really?

    Sexual and violent deviancy has been around since our ancestors were hominids, if not longer, and it's not going to go away any time soon. Better to fess up to this reality than trying the old blinkered approach. Hate speech – look around you – mmmm.

    Young peeps are going to access the net and they are quite likely to see nasty violent and sexual material. So, as has been repeated here so many times already, click “Close Tab” and tada! it's gone away again. If however said 'nasty' stuff holds you attention for a little while longer just think about who is involved, what it might take to be involved and the moral values those contributing the material hold; do words like money, drugs and depravity spring to mind – because they should and you should know that.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pirate Bay

    Pretty much every single ISP in the UK attempts to block access to Pirate Bay.

    Pretty much every single ISP in the UK fails in their attempts.

    If they are unable to permanently block access to a single site for everybody what makes anybody think they would have any success in blocking multiple sites for some some people but not for others?

  53. Fred Dibnah Silver badge
    Happy

    The Great Firewall of London!

    My name is Fred and I claim my £10. And copyright.

  54. Jon 37
    Paris Hilton

    DNSSEC?

    How does DNS level blocking interact with DNSSEC?

    Will DNSSEC enabled clients detect this tampering and report an error?

    Will this slow down the rollout of DNSSEC further?

    1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

      Re: DNSSEC?

      DNSSEC would prevent spoofing of DNS records, but it doesn't stop a simple 'record not found' response or silently dropped request.

  55. Old P

    The Solution

    OpenDNSCrypt is your privacy friend for protecting the "last mile" of DNS traffic.

    Takes regular DNS traffic and turns it into encrypted DNS traffic that is secure

    from eavesdropping ISPs and man-in-the-middle attacks.

  56. paulc
    Mushroom

    tosspots...

    you'd think they'd stand up for their customers but no... it's all about the money honey.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mistakes happen

    what will the process be if a site is incorrectly blocked at network level and site owner loses revenue? How long will the ISP be given to reverse it's mistake and reimburse the site owner?

    The content filter on The Cloud was blocking -anything- on Vimeo a month or so ago - it took them ten days to realise that the only equitable way to assess content is to watch every single item before assigning it to a category that is filtered, and also to name the individual that categorised each site, making them personally liable for mistakes.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business decision disaster

    And after the filtering gets switched on, see how many customers drop down from the unlimited download packages to 2GB pcm...

  59. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    " filtering content using DNS lookup"

    Which means that the whole of the BBC will vanish because there's some pages that discuss boobs, the whole of Wikipedia will disappear because there are pages on sex, sexual health, sexual mechanics, sexuality and classical art. Art galleries' online presence will all disappear. NHS Direct will disappear, can't have people reading about boobs and front bottoms.

    1. The Dude
      IT Angle

      not really

      I think you will find that these ISP level dns blocks are much more selective than that. And it is not really about porn and/or violence, it is about ideology. O2 is already doing it, blocking sites that do not meet their ideological criteria. The block redirects dns queries for certain websites to a page that informs their users is blocked because it is a "hate" site. Just for fun, check out a few and you will see that there is no actual "hate", just a reasoned disagreement with a particular ideology.

      That is the way this sort of thing really works.

  60. Mike Richards

    Easy solution if the government is serious

    To promote their own free ISP offering a 'service' filtered to buggery that is untroubled by illegal torrents, mad mullahs and anything pink and wobbly (perhaps excepting blancmange).

    And let's see how many people sign up.

  61. The Dude

    protecting children???

    really? are they serious? Children is the reason???

    Somehow, I doubt there would be any harm to any children from viewing http://www.fathers.bc.ca (in fact, they might be better-prepared for the legal hazards of marriage and divorce) but O2 has dns-blocked it anyhow, as a "hate" site. Along with that site, they have dns-blocked quite a number of other websites as "hate" sites, and the only common theme appears to be an ideological position that perhaps feminism is not all that its proponents say it is, and there may be a wee anti-men bias inherent in some feminist ideology.

    If my ISP even tried to implement a dns-block, I would raise hell. Why Brits tolerate it is a mystery.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "... will be nagged to approve website blocking"

    We seem to be crossing some particularly nasty Rubicon when a large corporate telecoms provider starts behaving like a finger wagging Victorian nanny. Blairs shower of shit were bad enough, I really don't need BT or Sky telling me right from wrong in my own home thanks. Actually scratch the 'thanks'.

    Keep heading down this ordure strewn track and two governments from now another Blair or Cameron will authorise social services auto confiscation of offspring based on two refusals to heed corporate nanny's advice.

    For all the visions of dystopian futures I've read over the years, none have ever chilled my spine in quite the way current British reality is shaping up.

  63. Omega Wolf
    WTF?

    People will just use OpenDNS to bypass ISP filtering. There is very little ISPs and governments can actually do to stop people from doing what they want, unless they get OpenDNS shut down.

  64. Tom Chiverton 1
    FAIL

    http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/06/17/less-porn-for-you-uk-isps-will-enact-auto-filtering-of-adult-content-by-the-end-of-2013/?utm_source=Twimbow&utm_medium=twitter

    ". Claire Perry, a Member of Parliament, described how one might opt-out of the system: “We will have automatic put on, so if you turn the filter off at 9pm, it turns on again at 7am.”"

    Oh my.

    At least if they are just breaking DNS it's easy to side swipe.

  65. The Dude
    Thumb Down

    False (Defamatory) positives

    Things will get interesting when people like myself, whose websites are being dns blocked by the big British ISPs, sue for defamation. Apparently, according to British internet nannies, my website is a Hate site and is blocked with that warning.

    It is certainly true that I do hate internet censors and overbearing politicians etc......

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is dangerously stupid.

    Come on, you know exactly what the result of trying prohabition on porn will be. Massive rise in darknets, I2P, Tor and friends.

    The problem with that is you have just made it MUCH harder to track down the really bad sites that aren't just normal porn, but crime. Yes the clever ones running those sites will be hiding already, but you have just moved a lot more into that hard to track world, making getting signal from noise even harder.

    With all the work done to clamp down on copyright (and this will be part of, if it isn't already, the infostructure used for that), it's just going to move more and more internet traffic off raw TCP/IP.

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