back to article EU net neutrality could kneecap the Tories' opt-out pr0n filter plans

David Cameron’s plans to treat us all like children unless we opt out looks likely to be scuppered by new EU rules on net neutrality. Two years ago the PM vowed to stop children stumbling across online pornography by making parental filters the default standard for internet service providers (ISPs). Sky Broadband introduced …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    amazing how you forget all the crazy internet things governments put in place. I'd forgotten all about the silly block by default - saving the children from bad parents thing.

    1. PeterGriffin

      Once upon a time I would have agreed. Then I hear pornhub is the 35th most visited site by 6 to 14 year olds. That's just not right - I'd go as far as saying it's damaging.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @PeterGriffin

        Then I hear pornhub is the 35th most visited site by 6 to 14 year olds. That's just not right - I'd go as far as saying it's damaging.

        I'm not sure why you're attracting so many downvotes for this. I'm no prude, but I certainly don't want my daughter growing up thinking the site you refer to shows "normal" interactions.

        Put another way, there's a lot of videos where the starlets pretend to think safe sex means bareback as long as he whips it out at last minute and leaves their torso looking like a plasterer's radio.

        It must be more difficult to get across the safe sex message when they've been exposed to such sites for years before sex-ed. And given that you're almost 3 times more likely to contract HIV than you are to die in a road accident in this country, society can't afford for the safe sex message to go unheard.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @PeterGriffin

          I think that people are muddying the waters, there are several massive issues in the UK

          The two main ones I think are

          Sex education is pretty damn poor.

          And our general education of children to treat each other like human beings wherever they are and whoever they are is pretty much non-existent.

          It actually goes back to the issue I have around the notion of "keeping people honest" which of course means they may very well not be honest if you're keeping them honest and given the opportunity to be dishonest they will immediately do so.

          You just need to watch your average, twitter feed / twitch chat / youtube chat to realise how poorly educated the average online person is at treating other people like people, and it goes far beyond the online world if we recall the recent event where teens were chanting for a man stood on a roof top to kill himself (the man did infact jump in the end)

          There's something pretty rotten about society at the moment and I doubt we can blame it on the internet / TV / computer games.

          As to porn "there's a time and a place, and that place is college" Chef.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @PeterGriffin

            @AC "...there are several massive issues in the UK. The 2 main ones are..."

            You missed the most important: "NANNY KNOWS BEST".

            /sarcasm off.

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: @PeterGriffin

          @AC

          "I'm not sure why you're attracting so many downvotes for this. I'm no prude, but I certainly don't want my daughter growing up thinking the site you refer to shows "normal" interactions."

          Then teach your kid something instead of letting the internet do it. You sprung the kid you should have an idea of how it works and should be done so explain reality so they can see porn as fiction. I am hoping you are the authority of bringing her up right on other subjects such as explosions, guns, knives, combat, insults, fast driving and other inappropriate behaviour which is available on the internet and other media?

          If everyone sees porn then they will turn into sexual deviants! Just as watching most TV shows turns most people into blood thirsty nutters! Or we can teach the difference and so enjoy reality and fiction separately.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @PeterGriffin

            Then teach your kid something

            Oh, I see. You're one of those. Unfortunately parenting is not something you can do in isolation - childrens peers have a significant impact, and you have no control over that.

            You sprung the kid you should have an idea of how it works and should be done so explain reality so they can see porn as fiction.

            Yes, but the appropriate age to do so is not 6. Given the stated popularity (PeterGriffins post) amongst young children, for that IS what they are, the only appropriate response for a six year old is to prevent them from watching it.

            I am hoping you are the authority of bringing her up right on other subjects such as .... fast driving

            No, I thought I'd just let her watch Fast and Furious rather than give her driving lessons, that way she can be on the road by 12 rather than waiting until the state mandated age of 17 to drive. This seems to be the approach you're advocating, though I expect thinking it through enough to understand why will be beyond you.

            so enjoy reality and fiction separately

            Which can only ever work provided they can't access the fiction until they are old enough to be taught about reality. 6 years old is not old enough for sex education, and is why your entire argument disappears up its own bum.

            1. Grikath

              Re: @PeterGriffin @AC

              "6 years old is not old enough for sex education, and is why your entire argument disappears up its own bum."

              Oh boy.. are you wrong..

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: @PeterGriffin

              @AC

              "Oh, I see. You're one of those. Unfortunately parenting is not something you can do in isolation - childrens peers have a significant impact, and you have no control over that."

              Yes I am one of those. I am one of those who work on the idea that if you are having kids then you teach them to live in this world. They are your responsibility to bring up in a manner that reflects your values and preferably the values of the society they live. You dont have kids then ban people from doing what is perfectly normal and none of your business in their own homes just because your too stupid to either supervise their computer use or block inappropriate content. Feel free to have some opt-in option or an ISP dedicated to parents or something but dont force people to have to register as free people using your kids as an excuse. If you cant raise them, dont have them.

              "Yes, but the appropriate age to do so is not 6. Given the stated popularity (PeterGriffins post) amongst young children, for that IS what they are, the only appropriate response for a six year old is to prevent them from watching it."

              So prevent them from watching it. We aint stopping you from raising your kids. Go ahead. So how does this relate to an opt-out filter on a taboo subject in a prudish country? And what are you letting your 6 yr old do? Have you given it a smart phone with unlimited data? A computer in its room? How is that our fault?

              "No, I thought I'd just let her watch Fast and Furious rather than give her driving lessons, that way she can be on the road by 12 rather than waiting until the state mandated age of 17 to drive. This seems to be the approach you're advocating, though I expect thinking it through enough to understand why will be beyond you."

              While being sarcastic you seem to have hit the point. If your too lazy to explain what is real and what is not and then trying to ban everyone from seeing fantasy YOUR A BAD PARENT! Just as you wont let her watch fast and furious as teaching material you will define what is fact/acceptable/real and so she can enjoy the film. I am not advocating what you think I am advocating, I am advocating YOU RAISE YOUR CHILD without banning other people in their own homes who may be willing to take responsibility for their own children if they have any.

              "Which can only ever work provided they can't access the fiction until they are old enough to be taught about reality. 6 years old is not old enough for sex education, and is why your entire argument disappears up its own bum."

              So they cannot access reality but they can access the fiction. Hmm. They are old enough to find the fiction but not old enough for you to explain it isnt real. They are old enough to be competent enough at circumventing your parenting skills but not competent enough to listen to you. Your argument doesnt sound as good when I put it that way.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @PeterGriffin

                I am one of those who work on the idea that if you are having kids then you teach them to live in this world. They are your responsibility to bring up in a manner that reflects your values and preferably the values of the society they live

                It's a nice idea, but real life isn't like that. You'll understand when you grow up, but the best parenting vs the worst parenting is still only half the battle. Peer groups, other people they encounter in society, what they see, hear, and read - all of these things influence them as much as any parent can. It's why we have always restricted content with age ratings, which doesn't work well on the internet.

                You dont have kids then ban people from doing what is perfectly normal and none of your business in their own homes

                Strawman, unfortunately, because nobody is proposing banning anything.

                explain what is real and what is not and then trying to ban everyone

                There you go again with the tinfoil hatted nonsense. You can't explain adult movies to a 6 year old. Its way too young for sex education and without that, you can't possibly teach them fact from fiction. Again, nobody is trying to stop you watching your feline dwarf loving; nothing is being banned and nobody has proposed banning anything.

                Perhaps you need to calm yourself down a little and read what is being written rather than running around screaming that the sky is falling? Opt-in bans nothing. Nothing at all. Until you can grasp that, you have nothing constructive to add to any debate.

                There is a sensible debate to be had around levels of censorship, access to information, alternative merits of opting in or out of things, and what should and shouldn't be available. Sadly, with posters like you, that debate can't get off the ground because you keep derailing it with this idiocy, and that, that is why this bill has come about. You only have yourself to blame.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: @PeterGriffin

                  @AC

                  "It's a nice idea, but real life isn't like that. You'll understand when you grow up, but the best parenting vs the worst parenting is still only half the battle. Peer groups, other people they encounter in society, what they see, hear, and read - all of these things influence them as much as any parent can. It's why we have always restricted content with age ratings, which doesn't work well on the internet."

                  Cute you feel you can talk down to me while telling me your incapable of raising your kid. We have restricted content by age ranges, doesnt do very well though. Kids play the 18+ games full of violence at best and sometimes much worse. Kids watch the 18+ films full of the same. So an opt in filter would make sense (for your own home) but otherwise how do you know who does and doesnt have the filter on? The peer groups and other people wont just go away because your a bad parent. You need to bring your kids up to live in the society, which exists with or without your puritanical views.

                  "Strawman, unfortunately, because nobody is proposing banning anything."

                  True. Just register to be a free person. Put your name on a list and be recorded as willing to access the taboo subjects that are not illegal or wrong but puritanical nutters think should be. I have a better idea. If you want it, get off your lazy backside and sign up for it. Why dont you register your desire for puritanical filters?

                  "There you go again with the tinfoil hatted nonsense. You can't explain adult movies to a 6 year old. Its way too young for sex education and without that, you can't possibly teach them fact from fiction. Again, nobody is trying to stop you watching your feline dwarf loving; nothing is being banned and nobody has proposed banning anything."

                  So why are you letting your 6 yr old watch em? If you are not willing to explain fact and fiction in relation to relationships (I hope you do for violence and such) then why do you let them access it. This law isnt banning the friends and such from getting around the filter or having it turned off in their homes because their parents are willing to explain reality and fiction to their kids. And if you want to ban feline dwarf lovin or even the dreaded 'sex!' then you should sign up for it or apply it yourself. Not force those who dont want it to have to sign up to be free.

                  "Perhaps you need to calm yourself down a little and read what is being written rather than running around screaming that the sky is falling?"

                  I like this from someone who is ranting about 6yr olds and the evil of sex education! Oh no *gasp*. If we just need to calm down then maybe you can sign up for a filter or apply some filtering software in your own home, or stop being so afraid of the sky falling (or even the pants)!

                  "There is a sensible debate to be had around levels of censorship, access to information, alternative merits of opting in or out of things, and what should and shouldn't be available. Sadly, with posters like you, that debate can't get off the ground because you keep derailing it with this idiocy, and that, that is why this bill has come about. You only have yourself to blame."

                  I do have little patience with stupidity so I am sorry. However it is your kid, your responsibility. You have to raise it. If your kid is looking at things you dont want them to are you going to talk to them or filter what they can access? Both are acceptable and time tested methods for raising YOUR sprog. But applying a filter to the whole country and forcing people to opt out of your puritanical views because your too stupid or lazy to raise your own kids is insanity. And your stupid argument that this will somehow stop your kids 'peers' from showing this stuff is amusing but beyond misguided. Instead of people signing registering as perverts why not have you (it is your responsibility) sign up to be puritans?

                  I am beginning to wonder why you thought yourself up to the challenge of kids when you expect the world to change for you but not willing to make the effort yourself for your responsibilities. Of course the debate cant get off the ground if your too lazy to accept your responsibilities.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @PeterGriffin

                    Cute you feel you can talk down to me while telling me your incapable of raising your kid.

                    No, I feel I can talk down to you because you're not very bright. Sorry if that wasn't clear to you.

                    You'll want to watch your baseless assertions regarding my fitness as a parent. Consider this your only warning. And no, it isn't a threat, it's a precursor to obtaining your registration details pending further action.

                    You need to bring your kids up to live in the society, which exists with or without your puritanical views.

                    I don't have puritanical views. I do have strong views that adult websites shouldn't be in the most popular lists for 6 year olds per Peter Griffins post to which I responded. That you seem to advocate that is revealing.

                    True. Just register to be a free person.

                    Still with the strawman. You're struggling with basic comprehension. Nobody requires you to be register to be free. Nobody requires you to have internet access at all. If you want to drive a car, own a gun, fly a plane, then there are legal requirements that you register. You seem fine with this, and it is perhaps why you're doing a spectacularly bad job of explaining why you have your panties in a bunch over opt in for adult websites. Perhaps ticking a box exceeds your capacity?

                    the evil of sex education

                    Again, you're struggling with comprehension. Sex education is good. It is important. It is not a topic for 6 year olds. Got it? Good, now we can move on.

                    I do have little patience with stupidity

                    Then you must be awfully conflicted, genius.

                    You'll just have to accept that society thinks differently to you and that society wants you to be registered. Either sign up, or go back to low quality VHS copies from Germany. Frankly, given your bizzare ranting, making up things people never said, erecting strawmen; I'm wondering how many lists you're already on!

                    You're an empty can rattling away and hoping to appeal to the cheap seats. You have nothing useful to add, either to this debate or to this website. You can almost tell its the half term holidays.....

                    1. codejunky Silver badge

                      Re: @PeterGriffin

                      @AC

                      "You'll want to watch your baseless assertions regarding my fitness as a parent. Consider this your only warning. And no, it isn't a threat, it's a precursor to obtaining your registration details pending further action."

                      Sorry if you misunderstand me, I am asking a question not making a statement. Why must everyone have to opt out of a filter (the world change for you) instead of you opting in to a filter? If you have children they are your responsibility and brought up your way. But the debate of the acceptable age for sex education is ongoing with a wide range of ages. You have your views so you should surely be expected to apply your views within your household and not be blanket applying it to the rest of the country. An opt out filter is just that.

                      "I don't have puritanical views. I do have strong views that adult websites shouldn't be in the most popular lists for 6 year olds per Peter Griffins post to which I responded. That you seem to advocate that is revealing."

                      So if you dont want these sites in your childs popular lists, you should opt into a filtering scheme. Why should people have to opt out because you want the world to change for your world view? The acceptable age of sex education has been a massive debate with a large age range. My point is that your view is just that, and so you should opt into any filters you want, or apply filtering software, or monitor your child.

                      "Still with the strawman. You're struggling with basic comprehension. Nobody requires you to be register to be free."

                      If you cannot understand this then you cannot comprehend. Read this forum. There are various comments over why making it opt out is a bad idea. Even the EU is saying people should not be forced down the filtered route and have the easy freedom to withdraw from it when they want. It isnt illegal content, or wrong, so to filter it is reducing freedom and explicitly opting out is registering to be free.

                      "Again, you're struggling with comprehension. Sex education is good. It is important. It is not a topic for 6 year olds. Got it? Good, now we can move on."

                      Didnt you say you wanted reasonable debate? You may not think its a good idea for a 6yr old to be told what is and isnt real in sex education but what about other topics? And again it is just your view. Google sex education in primary schools. It could even end up that it gets taught in primary schools even to 6 yr olds. How many kids are being manipulated to provide inappropriate photo's or do things they cannot comprehend because they dont know any better? So just as you dont want me telling you what you should and should not be doing, would you respect the same?

                      "You'll just have to accept that society thinks differently to you and that society wants you to be registered."

                      Does it? Look through this forum. Look at the article concerning the EU rules. I have yet to see anyone arguing your kid should be forced to sit down in front of porn as much as you may dream I advocate it. But I do see comments that peoples freedoms should not be restricted unless they 'opt out' of filters. People dont want filters pushed on our houses under some naive belief that it will somehow protect your children. If you want to filter that stuff it is and should be up to you. Even if it is an opt in scheme.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @PeterGriffin

                        Why must everyone have to opt out of a filter (the world change for you) instead of you opting in to a filter?

                        The filter has to be opt in or opt out. There isn't a third state. Society has chosen that it will be opt in. It is you who is stamping your feet because you didn't get your way.

                        you have children they are your responsibility and brought up your way.

                        Yes, they are my responsibility, but unfortunately children never (yes, never) turn out exactly how parents want. Anyone with a child over the age of 3 that says they have never misbehaved is a liar.

                        Society has an equal influence upon children as do parents. Children do what you do not what you say - they copy what they see, be it from a parent, a friend, or some random in the street.

                        Why should people have to opt out because you want the world to change for your world view?

                        There you go again with the strawmen. Opt in is the right move in my view. The world agrees with me, though obviously not all of El Reg. It is you who seeks to force your change upon the rest of us because you're ashamed of what you view or because you have not the wits to tick a box.

                        It could even end up that it gets taught in primary schools even to 6 yr olds.

                        It could end up that you're the smartest guy in the room, but I'd say the odds are low. 6 year olds are not taught sex education because they are too young to understand it. I'm genuinely getting concerned at your fascination with the idea of exposing 6 year olds to this. You might want to talk to someone about it, or else revise your writing style to come across as less creepy.

                        The EU make a lot of proclamations which are then watered down and often still not applied. You're jumping the gun using that as evidence of anything, and certainly there are those on this site (you, in fact) who would view the EU as not on balance wholly beneficial to the UK.

                        People dont want filters pushed on our houses

                        And still you don't get it. You already have filters pushed on your house. You have always had them. There's an extensive list of things the government have decided you will not see and they have them removed before you are able to see them - most but certainly not all center around underage children. If you don't want your sites filtered, you just tick a box when signing up with your ISP, so nobody is proposing to push any filters on your house.

                        Nobody is proposing to further limit what you see, only that you'll have reduced scope to stumble on to it without seeking it. Opt in means that the oh-so-many non-technical parents registering for broadband fail safe, much like, well, anything else with a failsafe mechanism.

                        Look through this forum

                        I can almost not believe you think this forum is a barometer for anything. Public sector workers are massively over-represented amongst El Regs readership, and this forum tends towards their sympathies. That, as we saw earlier this month, simply is not reflective of wider society - otherwise you'd have Chancellor Balls knackering the countrys balancesheet once more.

                        1. codejunky Silver badge

                          Re: @PeterGriffin

                          @AC

                          Are you the same AC who seems to have been discussing thus far? You have started to argue for opt-in filters which seems very opposite to what the AC had been saying (I have been arguing the point of opt-in, not the governments choice of opt-out).

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: @PeterGriffin

                            Are you the same AC who seems to have been discussing thus far? You have started to argue for opt-in filters which seems very opposite to what the AC had been saying

                            Yes, I can see how I could have been clearer.

                            My last post was written from a point of opting into the po*n as opposed to opting into the filtering, if that makes sense. I accept that sort of reverses the terminology we've used so far and shal endeavour to be clearer about that going forwards.

                            1. This post has been deleted by its author

                            2. Mayhem

                              Re: @PeterGriffin

                              Much as I hate to put down the popcorn temporarily, there are a few points I want to comment on.

                              First is this wonderful comment from mr Anonymous Coward, who somehow misses the irony in tracking down someone's registration details because they take offense to what was said.

                              "You'll want to watch your baseless assertions regarding my fitness as a parent. Consider this your only warning. And no, it isn't a threat, it's a precursor to obtaining your registration details pending further action."

                              Second is the underlying idea A/C has that 6 year olds are not taught sex education because they are too young to understand it.

                              Of course 6 year olds are taught sex education. Education is a line, not a discrete lump. 6 year olds should be taught that running around in public with no trousers on or waving your willy at the rest of the class is bad. And that mummies have babies. They don't need to know details of specifics, but they do need a nice Lie to Children to answer the inevitable questions they ask. 8 year olds get more, and teens get the full boredom. I reckon they should get a proper instructional class by some jaded porn stars around the age of 15-16 - it would heavily cut the rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs, but apparently that is frowned upon.

                              At the end of the day, A/C is getting heavily worked up about a hearsay statistic that PeterGriffin has no citations for - the closest I've seen is an Alexa rating that puts Pornhub at #62 for all traffic - and then claiming that a Daily Mail style Think Of The Children means we should allow our government to compile a list of people who don't believe in protecting kids and/or have deviant tastes?

                              What, you think a Great Firewall will limit its scope? Governments always believe that people should be protected from themselves, the only difference between blue and red is the extent. And it's one heck of a slippery slope to start down, especially when Opt-In to filtering is the accepted norm in the west.

                              Opt-Out of default censorship reeks a little too strongly of China/North Korea to me, and I don't trust the government not to try and monetise it at some stage...

        3. Suricou Raven Silver badge

          Re: @PeterGriffin

          Probably because he made a sensational claim without citing a source.

      2. william 10

        Agree.

        Where I do have an issue, is when people are treated as possible terrorist if they switch these filters off or visit sites like "Linux Journal" http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/03/nsa_xkeyscore_stasi_scandal/

    2. Ragarath

      Because all parents are as understanding of technology as all us that read these pages?

      Ask a parent to set up filters and firewalls on their own so their children can't get access to anything unwanted. It's hard enough for those of us that do understand to get certain things blocked but others not blocked and having different settings for different users.

      On the other hand you might be one of these people that thinks a parent can be watching over their children's shoulders 24 hours a day. Or maybe one of them that thinks you can have children grow up in this world and not touch the Internet until they are an adult and can actually consent to what they end up seeing.

      There are things that I would like to block from my children that the set up of the Internet makes very hard without some central rating body rating all they can. Even then they cannot rate everything.

      I don't agree with the filters and do not have them active, they should be off by default but available, to spout off that it's the parents fault is disingenuous at best.

      1. PassiveSmoking

        @Ragarath

        You think filters will stop kids from getting at anything unwanted? They can't. By necessity they've got to be a blacklist because you don't want to block everything by default and only whitelist things. There'd be hell to pay if that was the case, nobody with a new website could get through to any audience regardless of what the site's content is. Because the list is a blacklist, and because any blacklist is always going to be incomplete the filtering isn't going to block everything, and as the porn sites make money from hits they'll just try to find ever more inventive ways of circumventing the blacklist.

        Filtering also can and does have chilling effects on free speech. Look up the "Scunthorpe problem" for one example, and the stories about breast-cancer support forums getting nuked/blocked by overzealous porn filters.

        You'll have to apply this thing called "parenting" instead. In this case it's fairly simple though, just remove any internet-connected devices the dears have in their room and have the only internet-enabled PC they have access to in your house be in the living room. It would take a fairly brazen kid to go looking at porno in front of you while you're watching X-factor.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ISPs have advertised child safety filters since the days of dial up - it's not our fault most parents don't care enough to look after their children.

          I even recall when I set up my latest broadband (infact all broadband accounts I've had) there has been a tick box to enable safety filters, if the morons can figure out how to set the pin code on their sky box they should be able to figure out how to tick the box on their ISP and set up the child safety system.

      2. Pez92
        Facepalm

        Missing the point

        Talk about strawman, that's not at all the part people have a problem with. No one in the world is against the option for parents to opt IN to a program that blocks malicious content. Regardless of whether it's incomplete, imperfect, whatever: if a parent wants it, they should be able to have it, and it should be no more technically complicated than answering "Yes" when your ISP asks you.

        The issue is that this program is opt OUT. That means, you have to deliberately contact your ISP to specifically put yourself on a list that says "I want porn". The fact that the list can extend beyond what you or I would consider porn, and the authority that makes the list is the government, this is a very slippery slope. This means the government has the power to censor things it doesn't like, and force people to expose themselves to petty attacks if they want to opt out and access the internet without a child-lock, whether or not they even have children.

        Whether or not you believe the current government will abuse this power is 100% irrelevant to the issue. It's creating a loophole that someone, somewhere down the line will inevitably abuse, with nothing but the age old "Think of the children!" propaganda supporting it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Missing the point

          No one in the world is against the option for parents to opt IN to a program that blocks malicious content. Regardless of whether it's incomplete, imperfect, whatever: if a parent wants it, they should be able to have it, and it should be no more technically complicated than answering "Yes" when your ISP asks you.

          Yes, and if you could guarantee that your child couldn't connect to anyone elses ISP then you'd have a point. Unfortunately, they can, so you don't.

          The issue is that this program is opt OUT. That means, you have to deliberately contact your ISP to specifically put yourself on a list that says "I want porn".

          Yes, and you do, so what is the problem? If you're ashamed of it, then that isn't something opt out can help you with.

          This means the government has the power to censor things it doesn't like, and force people to expose themselves to petty attacks if they want to opt out

          If you think for a minute that the government don't already have those powers then you're deluding only yourself. These powers, and indeed laws, already exist and extend to rather more than just the internet, and rather more than only sex in scope. Opt in or opt out doesn't change that at all.

          Whether or not you believe the current government will abuse this power is 100% irrelevant to the issue. It's creating a loophole that someone, somewhere down the line will inevitably abuse

          This bit you got right.

          with nothing but the age old "Think of the children!" propaganda supporting it.

          Before donning your tinfoil hat once more. Unfortunately, access to adult content has to be restricted to adults. That extends to movies, video games, the internet, print media.... its a wide scope. Restricting the internet is a tad more difficult than making little Timmy use the family computer in the lounge, given his phone will have access as would any tablet computer, and most of his friends devices.

          Parents literally cannot be everywhere all the time, and nor can they control all the influences to which children are exposed. You do your best, and then they go to school and mix with whoever the state sees fit. They leave the house and can the connect to any unsecured wifi in the area. you can't expect a child to make only good choices.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Missing the point

            "Yes, and if you could guarantee that your child couldn't connect to anyone elses ISP then you'd have a point. Unfortunately, they can, so you don't."

            Err I think you've gone off the rails here. Even with a the silly rule in place you still can't control what other people do with their internet. So this point is silly. You seem to have gone from silly to full blown woowoowoo silly. As everyone will have a choice as to how they use their internet (all phones by default have filters on nowadays which is a pain as you can't browse the normal internet without "proving" you're a grown up) your whole last post is just a little bit mental. Your control is simply limited to anything you buy and the parasite can buy and what the law allows (that'll be liberty btw) that's it, even with the silly new rule.

            As to yet another problem (other than things being off with human society in general) the lists will invariably end up in the hands of the sun / daily mail queue "Teachers who watch filth" headlines.

            The real question is how much should the adult world be policed in order to protect other peoples children.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Missing the point

              Even with a the silly rule in place you still can't control what other people do with their internet.

              You seem not to know how the internet works. With or without this law there is already vast state control of what you can see, do, or say on the internet. I do hope you don't think it's somehow anonymous.

              The real question is how much should the adult world be policed in order to protect other peoples children.

              Most of the policing in any walk of life is to protect you from yourself, then you from harm by others. Whether you're an adult or a child that doesn't change. What does change is whether you're old enough to make your own decisions. Those that aren't are protected from harm by the policing of others, in all walks of life.

              Todays parents were policed in their youth to keep you safe as a child. You'll be policed to keep their children safe. So it goes. Given how childlike your thinking seems, I'd suggest its just as well.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Missing the point

            "Yes, and you do, so what is the problem? If you're ashamed of it, then that isn't something opt out can help you with."

            I like porn. A lot. Pretty weird stuff too. I am not personally ashamed of it, but I still keep it a secret because I know such things are socially frowned upon, and were it to become known to certain people their disapproval may have real consequences for me. It may even endanger my job, as I work in a somewhat sensitive area in regard to such things.

            Take a few hypothetical but very much plausible situations. It's 202x, and you decide you want to look at some internet porn - as is your right. What happens?

            - I hope you're nor married or living with the girlfriend, because women seem to take a lot of offense at the idea that their partner might be so much as thinking about another woman.

            - Not living with her? The live in fear that any time she visits, she might get curious and quickly visit sex.com to find out if her partner is 'cheating' on her.

            - You have a child. You use a local filter to keep them off the porn, but one day their friend's parents visit and use your connection. They quickly check if you have the 'porn internet' on, and regard you from then on a a danger to their child. Your child's friend is no longer permitted to speak with him.

            - The parents come around to visit and use your internet. You may be a man in your thirties, but the shame-inducing power of an accusatory speech from mother works regardless of age.

            - You are in a messy divorce, and in a legal conflict regarding child custody. Your ex presents your disabling of the filter in court as evidence that you are a less fit parent because you are willing to endanger your child in order to enjoy your own sexual fantasies.

            - You invite some co-workers around socially, and one of them pries - because who can resist a scandal? The boss finds out, and you get quietly moved up the unofficial list to be let go next time redundancies are due, as he judges that men who watch porn pose an elevated legal risk from sexual harassment suits. Or perhaps he is just a puritanical religious nut.

      3. Vic

        Because all parents are as understanding of technology as all us that read these pages?

        Because parents have an obligation to find stuff out when they don't know it, if it's needed to protect their children.

        Parents aren't expected to be able to set broken bones - they consult a doctor. They're not expected to teach the kids French - they consult a teacher. They're not supposed to be able to fly through the air when going on holiday - they contract an airline and a pilot.

        But apparently when it comes to IT, the responsibility goes away, and everyone else is supposed to make life easy for them to ignore the problem. In truth, they should be consulting one of the myriad IT professionals who could fix the problem for a very small fee. Government intervention is both unwanted and unnecessary.

        Vic.

        1. h4rm0ny

          The thing is, we don't NEED the government to provide such filtering. There are plenty of cheap solutions and ISPs commonly offer it as part of the package in the first place, anyway.

          People can argue the merits of that back and forth all day, but the government isn't trying to do this for the sale of children - it's about introducing pervasive monitoring.

  2. Tromos

    Simples

    The easy solution is what should have been the case all along: OPT-IN.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simples

      Surprised you haven't got downvoted by the euro-skeptards yet.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Simples

      Opt-in is sensible but doesn't allow the government to try out its national-scale internet censorship scheme. pr0n is just the trojan horse trial system.

      Actually, if they wanted to make things easier, it would probably be better to enforce IPv6 provision and allow opt-in filtering for the little darlings' individual ip*ds.

      I suspect we'll find http/2 makes it all moot soon anyway

  3. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Oh dear

    If the EU is as keen to keep the UK in as they say, they *really* aren't doing themselves any favours with stories like this.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Oh dear

      I think the opposite, it's demonstrating what a good thing being in the EU could be. I read this as the EU at least trying to rein in various national governments' attempts at eroding our liberties. As demonstrated by this part of the article:

      “We urge the European Parliament not to yield to strong pressure from the member states and powerful industrial lobbies,”

      Good ol' Dave getting bitch slapped last year..

      It's unfortunate that the national governments seem to be winning the battle but at least someone is trying to get them under control. Who do you blame for that - the EU for being weak or national governments for being evil?

      1. David Pollard

        Re: Oh dear

        It seems to me to be a mistake to think that the EU is going to "rein in various national governments..." What is actually happening when they appear to be blocking national excesses is that the EU hegemony is preventing state authorities from wielding their own powers when they think this may curry popular support.

        As for other excesses by national governments, it is a mistake to think that the EU will "get them under control". For, ultimately, like most political bodies, the hegemony's primary aim is to increase its own powers.

        The appropriate means of control lies in the hands of the citizenry. National governments are still democratically answerable to their populace. Limited though local democracy may be, there is still greater accountability than within the narrow structure of EU control.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear

      By pointing out that the UK's "block porn by default unless you opt out" could also allow a "Newscorp owned sites only by default - you can always choose another cable provider if you want"

      Of course this is an entirely accidental side effect of the drafting of the law and wasn't intended by the party supported by a certain Australian media baron.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Oh dear @ YAAC

        I'm not sure, because I'm not a lawyer [1], but I don't think ISPs require a law to allow them to filter your content. The only thing stopping them is bad publicity. If you know different, please can I trouble you for a link?

        [1] Googling won't really assist me because much of the law seems interpretive or case based, so I'd be unlikely to arrive at a legally sound view.

    3. Afernie

      Re: Oh dear

      "If the EU is as keen to keep the UK in as they say, they *really* aren't doing themselves any favours with stories like this."

      On the contrary. The apparent ability to nip Call Me Dave's weird control fetish in the bud has left me warming to them more and more.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm hoping Vicky Ford's Website is the first thing to go behind any filter

    Text in images downloading 'surprise' PDFs

    fuck off

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I opted my Sons PC into OPENDNS

    it was really easy

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      "it was really easy"

      Was that it was really easy to get around?

      Don't believe me, just search for a certain lady parts in Google Images and see how easy it is to get around.

      I'd highly recommend K-9 protection for pc access.

      For mobiles etc, it gets more messy, although MS family filter does an OK job. Not sure if there is other stuff for Android or iPhone that you can't get around in 5 seconds

      1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

        If a filter blocks 99% of all porn, that means the average length of a search is 100 attempts to get around it - which doesn't take very long.

    2. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

      I looked on the OpenDNS web site but...

      ... I'm not sure what you are getting at. Blocking? Not blocking? Please explain...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I looked on the OpenDNS web site but...

        OpenDNS is really poor at blocking adult content.

  6. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    I might have a hint of sympathy for the porn blocker if ...

    ... it replaced naughty pictures with 'Blocked by the IWF'. As it is, we have no idea what it is blocking.

    I would prefer a system that does not require people who do not want it to fund it.

    Opt in does not seem that hard. ISPs like to send bills by e-mail in thoroughly obfuscated HTML. It would not be hard to add a 'porn filter disabled, click here to change' link.

    The threatened penalties for hosting porn make it tempting to hack a politicians web site and upload some naughty pictures.

    Finally paying people to search the whole internet for naughty pictures is a waste of money. It would be cheaper to search only domains matching '^([a-z0-9]+[.])*kids([.][a-z0-9]+)*[.]uk$'. It would simplify the filters too.

  7. John Miles 1

    What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

    As I understand it network (non-)neutrality is mainly about ISPs giving preferential or poorer treatment to certain content providers, regardless of what their subscribers want. I can't see how giving each individual subscriber the choice to restrict (or not ) access to specific classes of websites relates to an unavoidable restriction by the ISP. The two are quite different site selection paradigms.

    Incidentally, I've been running Sky's filter for a year or so with no inconvenience ( no 'false positives' as far as I can tell ), and whilst it no doubt does not block all content in the specified classes, the alternative of putting individual shields on several PCs, Tablets and phones is impractical. If one doesn't want it then its a 30 second operation to turn it off. What is the problem ?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

      "If one doesn't want it then its a 30 second operation to turn it off. What is the problem ?"

      "If one wants it then its a 30 second operation to turn it on. What is the problem ?"

      There, fixed it for you.

      Or do you really think we should all be treated like morons and/or sheep by the ISPs & gov in order to keep a few frothing idiots in Westminster or on Mumsnet happy?

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

        Or do you really think we should all be treated like morons and/or sheep

        Not related to this particular debate, but the facts seem to me that we are all already treated like morons and sheep by the government. Almost every walk of life is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator - driving, fire arms, recreational substances, pocket knives, health and safety law etc etc.

        Frankly, I'm only suprised it has taken so long for the government to notice the internet. While TOR may now be compromised, I would expect that increasing international government interest in the internet will usher forth a replacement technology that works much better.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

      you do understand that sky are now tracking every where you visit on the web.. they have to to be able to block it.

      (probably if you opt out too)

      Do you trust (I'll listen to your voice mail) Murdock?

      1. Suricou Raven Silver badge

        Re: What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

        I expect they track every site you visit regardless, at the behest of GCHQ.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

          I expect they track every site you visit regardless

          It's the only safe assumption to make. It's an assumption that I made for myself over 20 years ago, that I have yet to see any evidence to disprove.

          With big data analytics, we might be on the cusp of some serious abuse of those logs, rather than targetted abuse if you happened to become significant to the establishment. Pretty well any teenage lad accessing the internet 20 years ago would have stumbled across things like the anarchists cookbook, which may now be proscribed reading, and could certainly raise some undue questions or warning flags.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

      > If one doesn't want it then its a 30 second operation to turn it off. What is the problem ?

      Because this isn't a government porn filter - it's left upto the individual companies to choose what they want to block, even the actual "porn list" comes from a private organisation, want to know what political, environmental or religous organisations are on the block list? You can't, its commercial confidential information.

      So your ISP can block whatever it chooses, news stories that are unfavourable to it's owner, sites that are a business rival and can choose to change anything they want

      So if BA buy enough advertising on a Murdoch paper then this eu law would make it illegal for your News corp owned ISP to block or change any Ryanair page you visited.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The UK model

    The same misconceived Victorian prudery we always had.

    I have a theory, that the institutional shame of the Human body - to protect the children; presumably from being turned on - ensures that the first genitalia they do get turned on by are those of other children. The first powerful emotional experience, which imprints for life, ensures a lifelong, if unconscious, attraction to the pre-pubescent genitalia (as witnessed by the ubiquity of depilated adult pudenda in modern pr0n). So the majority of paedophilia is a consequence of hiding (e.g. such that Naturism is always a minority interest) the bits we're hard-wired to be excited by; thus British prudery would perpetuate paedophilia, in much the same way the War on Drugs magnifies the harm by ensuring the product source is of dubious quality. Because 'right-thinking' people and the politicians who manipulate them don't actually care about the victims, only about telling everyone else how to live their lives.

    1. Old Handle

      Re: The UK model

      I'm not sure I buy that theory of pedophilia, but I have had a similar hypothesis that because most people will first experience sex or porn as something illicit and forbidden (since they're underage for a few years yet after puberty) this may create a lasting association which is probably not healthy.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who is using the computer?

    In all of this block-or-not kerfuffle, I've never yet seen a satisfactory answer to the question of "how does the ISP know which member of the household is using the connection?". IE how does the ISP know whether to block or not?

    Is there a satisfactory answer? Or is it all just tokenism and hot air?

    If the block isn't at ISP level but a per-website level, how on earth is that supposed to work, other than "Click to continue if you are over 18 and in the UK" on all the websites in question?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who is using the computer?

      One would assume a half decent system would use pin numbers or two factor auth from the owner of the system.

      If you aren't shipping with such things then there's no point.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Who is using the computer?

      >how does the ISP know which member of the household is using the connection?

      Obviously we add chip'n'pin to the kids.

      A simple zigbee device implanted in the child at birth ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who is using the computer?

      So, I pose the question at around lunchtime (when there were two other posts here). It sits in the moderation queue for ages but let's ignore that.

      It is now midnight and there still isn't a useful answer to a very very simple question: how is this per-household internet blocking stuff supposed to work when there are two kinds of people in the house (porn-permitted and porn-blocked)? There are two technically possible suggestions, but I'm not sure they'd be acceptable to "the market"?

      What gives?

      How does it work for the ISPs that are allegedly offering selective blocking already?

      (One way of doing it *might* be to set up individual accounts per user, and have the browser set to use a proxy with the limited account, no proxy with the unlimited account. Not 100% secure, and has certain improbable pre-requisites such as use of locked-down browsers and accounts, but...)

  10. Arthur the cat Silver badge
    Facepalm

    ONS statistics show opt out censorship is idiocy

    According to the ONS this country has 26.7 million households but only 7.9 million of them have dependent (i.e. not grown up) children. That's 30%, so in order to nanny whatever fraction of that 30% doesn't care enough about their kids, the 70% of households that censorship is irrelevant to have to tick the box for unfiltered access to the net.

    Still that's what happens when policies are based on tabloid editorials rather than reason.

  11. Tim Jenkins

    "....The UK approach is not a common model in other European countries..."

    I vote we opt for the French model, typically to be found in a government-owned flat somewhere near the Elysee Palace wearing nothing but whisps of expensive lingerie and Chanel #5...

  12. MissingSecurity

    Think of the children...

    <sarcasm>

    Clearly, there is only one way to have sex:

    1) It must be Missionary (No Adventures)

    2) It must be pleasure-less.

    3) It's only for making more of us.

    <\sarcasm>

    Porn isn't going around trying to get 6-14 year olds clicking all over. They usually are catering to a category or multiple categories, based on your particular fetish. I would suggest most parental filters are going to do their job and pickup most porn sites and block them.

    Outside of that if your child is looking for porn, I am going to going to venture that have an interest in sex and sexuality. This about the time you need to be a parent and talk to them about sex. You don't need to admonish your child because naked bodies peaked an interest,

  13. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Nothing to get hysterical about

    There is a great deal of hysteria over kids accessing adult pornography. The reality is that children who are too young to have developed any significant sexual desires (e.g. the 6 year old) are not interested in pornography except for its "forbidden fruit" aspect, or they might feign an interest because they want to emulate an older sibling. You might just as well be worried that they will start avidly visiting religious websites and develop an unhealthy interest in a cult. They much prefer cartoons on TV and simple games on the computer, and apart from its initial novelty, pornography for them is as boring and pointless as the ten o'clock news.

    By the age that a child has started to develop a natural, hormone-induced sexual interest (which for many will start in the final years of primary school), a good parent will have ensured that they are given sufficient information to know that pornography is as fictional as a Disney film. Just as they can watch a James Bond movie for a bit of adrenaline excitement and not start believing that people behave that way in real life (or start hatching plans for World domination), they can watch porn for sexual stimulation while not thinking that anyone they meet in real life either behaves or should be treated that way. The biggest danger wrt pornography is when a teenager is exposed to it before they know enough about sex to realise that it is fantasy.

    Yes, it may be better if kids (and perhaps adults) did not see any porn, but the genie is well and truly out of the bottle. There was no Internet when I was a teen, so we got our rocks off looking at porn magazines (which we were also supposedly protected from seeing). Unless you could somehow prevent your child from learning that pornography exists at all, they will inevitably try to access it at some stage in their lives - and they will succeed no matter what the parent does, just as I did long before the Internet was conceived. Stop them from viewing it at home and they will find a way to circumvent your filters, simply watch it at a friend's house, or get it bluetoothed to their phone from classmates. In fact these days the chances are that if you were to succeed in preventing them seeing commercial porn, they would simply increase an already significant adolescent activity by making their own pornographic productions. Educate your child about porn, especially emphasising the fact that it is all fantasy and playacting, don't make a big deal about forbidding access and you are far less likely to end up with a teenager who is obsessed or addicted to the stuff.

    Yes, it is not at all comfortable for a parent to imagine their child masturbating to a sleazy porn video - any more than a child likes to think about their mother & father having sex in the bedroom next to theirs. However neither activity is usually at all harmful. So don't think about it, just accept that it will happen whatever you do, just as it did thousands of years ago when pornography consisted of crude drawings on clay tablets.

  14. depicus

    Well Tor or Hola or any proxy or vpn service already blow any of this out of the water.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Mumsnutters are going to be furious

    Given this was a combined effort between the Daily Mail and femonazi's of Mumsnet we are going to see a lot of lattes spat across starbucks in the various nappy valleys if the EU prevails.

    This was never about protecting children and was all about building lists of potential sex offenders as the people behind Mumsnet have long claimed that porn is the root of all evil and anyone watching it is a rapist waiting to pounce.

  16. Dummy00001
    Childcatcher

    Do I get this right?

    UK complains loudly about the oppression of EU regulations?

    And lobbies hard to add more of its own regulations on top?

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    How about a few other catogories they want to put on this list

    Anorexia advocacy

    "Esoterica"

    WTF does that even mean?

    This sh9t has nothing to do with "protecting the children" (Rolf Harris style)

    But plenty about building a data base.

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