back to article You were warned and you didn't do enough: UK preps Big Internet content laws

The UK government has started the legislative process for new online content laws that would make internet giants like Google and Facebook liable for the material that appears on their platforms and establish a new regulator to oversee them. Announcing the release of a white paper (PDF) on "Online Harms," Brit home secretary …

  1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    "They are probably all itching to have a break from Brexit and do some legislative work"

    That may be. But they won't, will they ? In 12 weeks time they'll still be obsessed with with finding out what brexiteers actually meant, and won't have done a stroke of work on this.

    It needs to be 12 weeks of debate, not 12 weeks of elapsed time.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Slight digression. UK had a referendum with a simple question.. Leave the EU, Yes/No. Some time later, 650 oxygen theives are still trying to decide if Yes meant No and vice-versa. Possibly best demonstrated in Peterborough, where 66% of it's voters voted to leave the EU, but their MP's first vote having left jail was to vote remain.

      But such is politics. A 'simple' decision has taken 2+ years to implement, and when the Commons was turned over to the MPs to come up with an alternative deal, they failed miserably.. So I don't expect too much from future legislation, and it's possibly one reason why Leave means Stay. 650 MPs may have to do more legislative work instead of simply rubber stamping EU diktats.

      So back to the story-

      How do you establish what content is "harmful"? What kind of harm, and to whom, and how do you measure it?

      Simple really. May cause death or serious injury. So ban any references to dioxygen diflouride, and Boeing. The first being obviously injurious to well, everything, and Boeing due to their 737. And add in the US State Department because they're sanctioning Cheddar & Stilton, which obviously causes harm to the UK's dairy industry. And wine industry, and Triumph motorcycles.

      But such is politics. Sajid Javid is acting tough and appeasing mumsnet, just in time for important Parliamentary business, like a general election. And industry will fund and operate the new regulator who will have the power to fine it's funders. Children's brains will be flossed and spared future corruption!

      Or it's typical gesture politics. Wooly definitions that can't really be enforced and aren't backed up by legislation defining 'harm', so any fiines could be avoided by simply pointing out the legality of the content.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        "Slight digression. UK had a referendum with a simple question.. Leave the EU, Yes/No. Some time later, 650 oxygen theives are still trying to decide if Yes meant No and vice-versa. Possibly best demonstrated in Peterborough, where 66% of it's voters voted to leave the EU, but their MP's first vote having left jail was to vote remain.

        But such is politics. A 'simple' decision has taken 2+ years to implement, and when the Commons was turned over to the MPs to come up with an alternative deal, they failed miserably.. So I don't expect too much from future legislation, and it's possibly one reason why Leave means Stay. 650 MPs may have to do more legislative work instead of simply rubber stamping EU diktats."

        Oh dear. Simple question does not necessarily mean simple answer, or simple implementation. You see, Parliament wasn't tasked with leaving the EU. Parliament was tasked with 'Could you please leave the EU, but also maintain all of the nice things we got as a result of the EU, like medicine and food.'

        If you start off outside the EU then it's not so hard to do this, but if you start off inside the EU you need to work quite hard to do this. If you are in the EU, your economy gets intertwined and entangled with all of the other EU members. Now you say 'let's just leave it', but the process of disentangling the economies might lead to some issues. Everything will be fine (although the UK will be poorer, no doubt about that) in 20 years time. But people are alive now, and want it to be fine right now as well. A few months of no food, flights or medicine wouldn't be good, so there needs to be a plan to make them continue. Because no deal and no planning means food and medicine shortages.

        The main reason that there are such arguments is that there is no easy way to disentangle the economies, and also nobody can agree on just how entangled we want to stay after Brexit. Complete separation means hard border through Ireland. The EU refuses to accept that, and won't even talk about anything else until Ireland is dealt with. And by dealt with, there are only three options:

        1) Reunification.

        2) Goods border in Irish Sea.

        3) Whole of UK stays in CU+SM.

        May's red lines/ERG cockwombles removes 3). The DUP (and the fact that the NI economy would crater) removes 2). And there isn't enough support for 1). So...what now? You think this is easy, so what's option 4?

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Complete separation means hard border through Ireland. The EU refuses to accept that, and won't even talk about anything else until Ireland is dealt with.

          This is not quite true. The EU accepts that if the UK leaves the EU with no deal then a "hard" border results and must be implemented. This is no different to any other border with the EU, just that this one would to be on land and is therefore rather different to patrol and manage compared to a sea border. There is also the case of a "hard" border with Gibraltar but this is forgotten about even more. The EU does not want such a border in Ireland because, unlike the cockwomble retards who are spouting out nonsense without even looking at the situation, they understand that a return to a border with border posts and separation will be very bad for the people of Ireland and rather fragile peace that has been brokered there. But, hey, what do the lives of millions pf people matter compared to blinkered ideology, rhetoric, lies and denials?

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            border posts and separation will be very bad for the people of Ireland

            And breaches the Good Friday agreement.. Which is the thing that bought (relative) peace to NI and people there (and in Eire) are really, really keen to maintain.

            Except for the nutters in the DUP of course - the people that make even the ERG look sane.

          2. Libertarian Voice

            Of course the simple solution to that is to give Ireland a vote on reunification; Re-unite or have a border, it is up to you. And let the Scottish have another independence vote if they want one while we are at it.

            Without the Scottish and the Irish England would never vote for membership of the rotten EU.

            I just cannot comprehend why people are so supportive of a regulatory body such as the EU; Do they actually enjoy or feel a need to be told what to do? Are they too spineless to stand up for themselves and feel the need to bully by proxy? Or are they simply brainwashed? Who Knows?

            The ironic thing is that if they EU were a regulatory body for the internet then the vast majority of proponents of remaining who read this site would be dead set against it. Why should we accept this freedom inhibiting bunch of cretins in real life but fight tooth and nail against it when somebody wants to regulate the internet in the same manner?

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          May's red lines/ERG cockwombles removes 3). The DUP (and the fact that the NI economy would crater) removes 2). And there isn't enough support for 1). So...what now? You think this is easy, so what's option 4?

          The majority voted to leave the EU. MPs have singularly failed to figure out how to do this. The opposition parties oppose everything, but don't offer workable solutions.

          So the UK faces the situation where we could do the 'No deal' thing because MPs can't draft an exit agreement that's acceptable to the Commons (let alone passing the Lords), or the 27 remaining countries in the EU + Eurocrats. Given the number of parties involved, it was pretty much doomed from the outset and reasonably inevitable that the result would be 'No deal'.

          Then once that's done, there may just be a tad more focus on serious negotiations.

          but also maintain all of the nice things we got as a result of the EU, like medicine and food.'

          The EU does not cure or feed us. Outside the EU, we can trade on WTO terms with the 169 or so nations that aren't in the EU, which may include piggybacking on existing free trade deals. And the EU's negotiated free trade agreements with non-EU nations, so under WTO rules, we can trade on equivalent terms.

          We aren't interested in a hard border with Ireland. We've said repeatedly that the UK has no desire (or need) to implement a hard border, checkpoints, fences etc. Problem is Ireland has to enforce the EU's border & customs requirements, which means they may need to create a hard border with the UK.

          So that's all relatively straightforward. In a week or so, the DTI's plaques could get taken out of storage and trade jollys resumed. Then MPs can focus on the fun stuff like this proposal, and define 'harm'. Which has the potential to be more amusing than watching them flail around over Brexit.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "The opposition parties oppose everything, but don't offer workable solutions."

            That's actually the primary problem. There are no "opposition" parties (of any real note) in this case. Brexit or remain is cross party, not a party lines thing, and should never have been appropriated by the Tories and so thoroughly opposed by Labour. You only have to look at the voting patterns to see the party lines being drawn, despite both major parties have bother leavers and remainers.

            The negotiating team should have been cross party from the start as should the Department for Leaving the EU or whatever it's called.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > "[Brexit should] never have been [..] so thoroughly opposed by Labour"

              Don't make me laugh.

              Labour's support for the Remain they'd supposedly agreed they were in favour of was piss weak.

              If one believe's Corbyn's "conversion" to Remain was sincere, then the guy's clearly a weak/incompetent leader. If- as I do- you believe that it wasn't (a belief bolstered by his clear enthusiasm to get on with Brexit once it was all over), then there's a good chance this half-arsed campaign was intentional, i.e. malicious incompetence by someone still privately in favour of Leave.

              As the biggest single political entity campaigning for it, their failure in this area probably helped tip the vote in favour of Leave.

              1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Corbyn's "conversion" to Remain was sincere

                Not a hope in hell. He was (and still is) opposed to the EU as a body because it's not rules by the proletariat.

                His apparent conversion to Remain is purely to try to make him different from the Tories (which appears to be built into his DNA).

                clearly a weak/incompetent leader

                Like most people with strong beliefs and opinions who have spent most of their lives as outsiders, he's really, really not good at consensus politics. It doesn't help that he's hated by a large portion of his own party..

            2. Teiwaz Silver badge

              The negotiating team should have been cross party

              British politics with first past the post and minority gorverments propped up by nutter parties doesn't really have the that sort of thing in it's lexicon

              We've heard of 'cross-party talks' in N.I. But it's more 'cross' than 'talk' and generally means not talking for several years...

            3. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Brexit or remain is cross party, not a party lines thing

              If you look at the recent parliament votes on options, a small percentage of tories are voting pro-europe, and a much smaller percentage of labour are voting pro-leave.

              Not really enough to declare it truly cross-party, the SNP are a largish block, but they aren't crossing lines.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                "If you look at the recent parliament votes on options, a small percentage of tories are voting pro-europe, and a much smaller percentage of labour are voting pro-leave."

                That is exactly my point. MPs are voting along party lines, not by their previously declared positions or representing their majority constituents.

            4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              The negotiating team should have been cross party from the start as should the Department for Leaving the EU or whatever it's called.

              Agreed, although there have been opposition parties, ie the breakaway Labour & Tory Remnants, SNP, DUP and of course all the MPs who ignore the electorate and just want to ignore the referendum result. Which is the big danger. So that result showed MPs being out of touch with their electorate, and that issue's only become worse and more apparent by their failure to negotiate terms.

              But the UK's problem has also been the EU's problem, ie getting 27 countries to also agree terms. Hence the 'agreement' that was presented, and repeatedly voted down by our mob. But then..

              https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47885145

              The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the "only way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the UK" was for Parliament to agree the withdrawal agreement, and any extension "has to be useful and serve a purpose".

              Shows the EU isn't really interested in negotiation either. So it's "the only way" to avoid a no-deal. And we've said their deal sucks.. Which it does.

          2. strum Silver badge

            >So that's all relatively straightforward.

            And that's the delusion that got us into this mess. Nothing about life is straightforward (except death). Nothing about politics is straightforward (except that the ignorant will imagine that they could do a better job).

            And that's just the normal processes in stable times. In unstable times, such as these, anyone who thinks our problems are 'straightforward' needs a straitjacket.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You throw around "we can trade under WTO rules" as if it's a viable solution.

            They are the "last resort" - a refuge for failed states.

            Aren't we mean to be a proud financial hub, the envy of the world? That's what brexitters say.

            WTO rules barely covers services, including financial services. No UK banks could operate in the EU under WTO rules.

            http://theconversation.com/no-deal-seven-reasons-why-a-wto-only-brexit-would-be-bad-for-britain-102009

            I suggest reading this http://ukandeu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/What-would-trading-on-WTO-terms-mean.pdf before again spouting nonsense about the WTO rules. There are no flying unicorns.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          " but also maintain all of the nice things we got as a result of the EU, like medicine and food"

          SERIOUSLY? I think you may well find.... if you look into the long history of this spinctered isle... that we had these things BEFORE we were conned into joining a trading bloc which is morphing into a federal superstate where our own Parliament will end up with as much power of self determination as your average town council.

          Rewhiners... they credit Europe with far more than is justified.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Looking on the bright side..

            Rewhiners... they credit Europe with far more than is justified.

            Come the revolution, and the passing of this legislation, the UK could declare EU propaganda as harmful/unlawful interference with the UK state, and block it. And also decide that making jokes about Junker or other Luxembourgers is not lèse-majesté and they really do smell of elderberries.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Rewhiners"

            I noticed that clever bit of wordplay! (#) You finally realised that "Remoaner" was so overused, the only people it made look bad were the people on your side still using it with kneejerk abandon, and you decided to come up with a clever new "insult".

            Unfortunately, having failed in that, you invented the word "Rewhiners" instead. Never mind... better luck next time!

            (#) And by "wordplay" I mean smashing them together until they broke, like two mismatched pieces of a jigsaw. And by "clever", I mean "fuckwitted".

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Option 4

          Let Treason May and her gang of 650 disseminate, prevaricate and obfuscate until 2022 when the Lisbon Treaty takes effect and it all becomes moot because the Fourth Reich will not let anyone leave...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Option 4

            Do you perhaps mean this Lisbon treaty (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Lisbon)? The one that's been in force since 2009? Or perhaps some other Lisbon treaty?

            And people say leavers didn't know what they were voting for...

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: Option 4

            "Let Treason May and her gang of 650"

            Of, she wishes! If there was a "gang of 650", there'd be no opposition and no more issues. Everything would be rubber stamped and approved. It's because there is no useful majority that we are in this mess in the first place.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: Option 4

              If there was a "gang of 650", there'd be no opposition and no more issues

              Shhh.. don't blind the poor dear with actual reality! Or they might discover that it's actually 2019 and not 1819..

        5. ShadowDragon8685

          There's always Option 4, which will make the DUP *very* happy, I think:

          Hard Brexit with a Belfast-sized hole in the EU customs. IE, goods may flow freely between NI and Ireland as if NI were still in the EU, and may flow freely between NI and the rest of the UK because they're the same country.

          That should bloody well stimulate the NI economy!

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            There's always Option 4, which will make the DUP *very* happy, I think:

            Nothing ever makes the DUP happy,

            Look at any photo of them, sour faced lot, the muscles having relaxed into a dour scowl out of sheer habit...

            Anyway, aren't there enough 'peace walls' in N.I without turning Belfast into post-war Berlin?

            As they say here, 'Wind yer' neck in'

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Hard Brexit with a Belfast-sized hole in the EU customs. IE, goods may flow freely between NI and Ireland as if NI were still in the EU, and may flow freely between NI and the rest of the UK because they're the same country.

            That's pretty much the plan. UK and ROI have travel and trade agreements that pre-date the EU. The EU has Frontex based in a Warsaw Tower of Power and a budget north of 300 million. And possibly some confusion about exactly what their roles and responsibilities are other than 'assisting' EU members with enforcing the EU's border policy.

            And they have elite 'Rabid Border Intervention Teams', which means Irish paramilitaries on both sides of the border might end up hunting RABITs who're chasing smugglers. From the UK pov though, smuggling has long been a money spinner for those paramilitary groups, so there's still plenty of border surveillance and intelligence.

          3. Simon B-52

            Vote 4 !

            Upvote for the excellent idea, though I presume that by "Belfast" (a City) you actually mean "Northern Ireland" (A Country / Province / Set of Six Counties according to sectarian preference)?

            Even 'Ulster' is not quite correct, as Ulster includes counties in Eire. . . .

            I hope this can be put into effect immediately, without any further plebiscite being required?

            Please. . . .

        6. Wellyboot Silver badge

          >>>isn't enough support for 1<<< - quite correct, no one wants another Irish civil war.

          option 4 - UK & IRL give EU the Agincourt salute and trade across an open border. The rest of EU can decide if they want to vet stuff arriving from IRL to see if its actually from UK.

          1. tfb Silver badge
            Alien

            option 4 - UK & IRL give EU the Agincourt salute and trade across an open border.

            Because Ireland really, really, wants to have giant fines levied on it by the EU and whatever other sanctions they will impose.

          2. ratfox Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            What made you think that IRL is on the side of UK in these negotiations?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > "option 4 - UK & IRL give EU the Agincourt salute and trade across an open border. The rest of EU can decide if they want to vet stuff arriving from IRL to see if its actually from UK."

            Astouding insight into the mind of a brexiter. No wonder we're screwed.

      2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Why do you imagine that an MP should vote in accordance with his constituents wishes ? That's clearly bollocks of the first order.

        In the first place, we don't elect MPs as a mouthpiece. If that was the intention, we could replace them with PR or a very small shellscript. We elect them in order to delegate our responsibility to someone who we hope will operate in what we deem a reasonable manner. That's we we don't have capital punishment any more : whether you like that or not, its a result of a policy of having cooler heads prevail. It doesn't work that well, so we have another chamber to try to moderate the foolish voter-friendly antics of the lower house.

        Secondly, we abuse this delegation by, instead of choosing the people we trust (admittedly in short supply) we instead choose the people sponsored, promoted and controlled by a party we feel some affiliation with. Or that the media tell us act in our interests. Or that our parents voted for. So now we're two steps removed between the voters opinions and the effects of those votes.

        It's further extended by letting some tiny minority of that party (eg the ERG or, currently, the 'former' Irish criminals that compose the DUP) control its direction in abdication of the intention of the constituency parties and the stated goals of that party.

        Where does that leave us in the stakes of 'getting back control' ?

        We never had control in the first place, nor are we ever likely to get it.

        1. Toltec

          "instead of choosing the people we trust"

          I tend to choose the person that I hope will cause the least fuckups, trust does not come into it.

          Relevant to both the original subject of the article and the thing every discussion seems to turn to at the moment.

  2. jake Silver badge
    Pint

    You lot have spent so much time ...

    ... laughing at the shit-hole us Yanks have dug for ourselves that you've completely forgotten to take care of your own trash.

    Beer. At least we still have that ...

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

      Indeed. If any one of us Brits dares mock you about Trump, just point and laugh and mention Brexit!

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "mock you about Trump, just point and laugh and mention Brexit!"

        It's not a surprise they happened more or less at the same time - with "social" networks involved in the loop.

      2. ShadowDragon8685

        Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

        To be frank...

        Both Trump and Brexit are symptoms of the same problem:

        Vladimir v. Putin's troll factories have completely pwned our social networks and destabalized the members of the populace less prone to rational thinking before the ballot box...

        Which brings this right around back to whether or not we should be censoring social media!

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

          Vladimir v. Putin's troll factories

          Aren't needed,

          Buddha says, everything we do, we do to ourselves...

          Both shameful states are not the driving force of any outside agency.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

      Sadly we haven't forgotten. We cannot be excused the nightmare.

      And it's not beer-o-clock here, though I'm still well-stuffed after last night's beer-and-curry.

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

        "And it's not beer-o-clock here..."

        It's always beer-o-clock somewhere.

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

          When you run a brewery, it's always beer-o-clock. Quality control, dontchaknow.

    3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

      Can't argue with that, it's really quite embarrassing.

    4. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

      "You lot have spent so much time laughing at the shit-hole us Yanks have dug for ourselves that you've completely forgotten to take care of your own trash."

      You know the Brexit vote happened before Trump was elected? It's like the US decided they had to be #1 at making terrible decisions, but that was the best you could come up with. You had the opportunity to elect Ben Carson as President, but that was taking things too far.

    5. The Original Steve

      Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

      "Beer. At least we still have that ..."

      But I thought you implied you were American?

      So which one is it?

      1. not.known@this.address Bronze badge
        Holmes

        Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

        "Beer. At least we still have that..."

        Why is American beer like making love in a canoe?

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

          Do you really mean 'why is'? The conventional answer is a response to 'how is'.

          That said, the question of 'why' is quite interesting. Maybe it's related to other peculiar American characteristics, such as the conflict between 'everything that's immoral should be illegal', 'everything that I don't admit to doing is immoral', and 'the pursuit of profit is never immoral'.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

          Perhaps because American climates tend to be warmer than European ones so American tastes trended towards something close to water that wasn't water (which in the past was not considered as trustworthy): wanting something that not only gave them a relaxing buzz but also slaked their thirsts more easily. When you want to enjoy plenty of it without getting as drunk, then a thinner beer is preferred (thus light beers are more popular than regular beers in America). Having said that, American beer tastes have diversified enough to allow plenty of other beer types to gain a foothold, creating a surprisingly-diverse craft brewing industry.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

            Actually, its because the "central Europeans" (wherever that is) brought lager recipes with them, and pretty much took over brewing here in the US in the 1800s. Prohibition drove brewing underground, and as often happens with unregulated industry, profit became a prime motivator, which lead to watering down the lager. Post-prohibition, the large companies saw no reason to spend money making a brew using more ingredients. Thus the insipid "American Lager", which is to all intents nothing more than preserved water.

            Thankfully, Carter signed the homebrewing bill into law in 1978, leading to Americans rediscovering real brews, so we're pretty much past that now ... There are over 2,500 micro- or craft brewers here in the US, all making real beer. Comments about US beers being crap here on ElReg do nothing more than display the ignorance of the commentard.

    6. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

      We're well aware of it.

      But the English psyche deals with lovecraftian horror by shaking its head ruefully and ignoring it. Or if it's someone else's horror, pointing and laughing.

      For a deeper understanding of this attitude, consider 'Slartibartfast enjoys the game of cricket, but he notes that most sensible citizens of the galaxy find the sport to be in rather bad taste'

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: You lot have spent so much time ...

        sensible citizens of the galaxy find the sport to be in rather bad taste

        The most amusing thing about cricket is that how it blows US sports-fans minds.. "you can play a game for *5* days and still get a draw?".

        Priceless.

  3. DJV Silver badge
    Meh

    Meh...

    Sajid Javid decided to make it a personal issue: "I'm giving tech companies a message that they cannot ignore," he said.

    I bet they're quaking in their boots... </sarcasm>

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: Meh...

      Do you think they wouldn't be worried to lose the UK market?

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Meh...

        Do you think they wouldn't be worried to lose the UK market?

        The UK is all set to make it's own market smaller in four days' time, so there'll be less for FB and Gooooogle to worry about losing.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Meh...

          Good point! I didn't think of it that way!

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Meh...

        @Jamie Jones: "Do you think they wouldn't be worried to lose the UK market?"

        I think anyone toying with the idea of censorship (because that's where this ends up, blocking sites that don't comply) puts themselves in a rather precarious position. It's also a bit daft, such laws are easily circumvented via VPNs, so will these be the next thing under scrutiny? We have challenges to https and encryption, now censorship, and potentially issues with VPNs,.... these are massive privacy issues and the tip of the iceberg. I think Javid should be concerned about losing his job.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Meh...

          I agree entirely. My point was that facebook et. al. would still consider his threat significant.

          VPN's are hardly the thing of the average facebook user, and they'd more readily jump to the new whatsnapbookspace or whatever.

      3. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Meh...

        Do you think they wouldn't be worried to lose the UK market?

        The problem, as Dicky Khan discovered to his cost, is that the balance of power does not lie with the paper shuffler. Ban Uber? No ta, said the millennials, and thus Uber found itself unbanned PDQ.

        Can you seriously imagine the proles trying to get through the day without twatter and farcebook?

        It probably shouldn't be this way, but it is, and the social media lot know it. I suspect that deep down our political troughers know it too.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Meh...

          Good point. I hadn't thought about it like that.

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Meh...

      Didn't the last politician that decided to take a commercial position personally lose his case and get booted out of office ? I'm thinking of the guy that took on Murdoch, but forgotton who he was.

  4. The_Idiot

    Here we go...

    ... again. Sigh.

    Content provider A is based in Country 1. Among other things, they make available content. Let's say, with no intention at all of offending anyone including the Sultan of Brunei, that content includes male-male an*l interpersonal activity. Said content is found to be legal under Country 1 free speech and other laws.

    Country 2 declares said content 'harmful'. Makes the provision by Content provider A illegal.

    A citizen of anywhere, but to keep things simple, lets say of Country 2, entirely of their own volition accesses the content provided by Content provider A. And gets found out.

    So, er - what? And let's ignore calling VPN providers accessories for now.

    1: Country 2 takes Content provider A to court for being Bad People(tm) and breaking their law?

    2: Country 2 says accessing any content provided from regions not under Country 2's legal jurisdiction is a Bad Thing(tm) and firewalls themselves from the world?

    3: Something else equally stupid?

    I'm not suggesting there is no content available I personally would consider a Bad Thing(tm). But to assume my own values should apply to everybody? To make access to such content the fault of content providers, who simply offer an option to access, and not consider it purely the fault of those who in _fact_ access it? Hmmm. With extra 'here we go again'. Sigh...

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Here we go...

      "male-male anti interpersonal activity"?

      That's terrorism, isn't it?

      1. The_Idiot

        Re: Here we go...

        Lord Jake

        Not entirely sure how you get 'anti' from the text posted in that position - but as you wish, sir :-).

    2. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Here we go...

      If American local news companies' responses to GDPR is to be used to judge... option 2 will be taken. The number of 403 errors I've got from 'wxxx' and 'kxxx9local.whatever' sites has surged.

      1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Here we go...

        I think you meant 451 http error, 403.

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Here we go...

          I've only seen a few of them, always on news sites.

          But I have no idea why Facebook / Twitter / Instagram wouldn't just 451 the entire of the UK. Yes, we're worth money to them, but not that much money, and the UK.gov would back down pretty quickly when everyone got upset about their lack of minions memes and cat gifs.

          1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: Here we go...

            You might think that. But in reality, how long a memory do you expect from people addicted to cat .gifs ?

            Brave it out for a few months, offer some equally vapid alternative (some TV show transplanted to a chat forum would do), and it's all over for facebook.

            If you doubt that, consider how hard facebook work, cheat and lie to keep their audience captive while milking them for all they're worth while they can. They're well aware how many geocities/aols/myspaces have gone unmourned before them.

          2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

            Re: Here we go...

            > But I have no idea why Facebook / Twitter / Instagram wouldn't just 451 the entire of the UK. Yes, we're worth money to them, but...

            It would be great to see, imagine how most of the politicians would react if they were blocked from twitter :-) Brilliant, without the oxygen of their own publicity they'd probably stop breathing.

          3. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Here we go...

            But I have no idea why Facebook / Twitter / Instagram wouldn't just 451 the entire of the UK.

            What? and risk a Weibo like competitor eventually creeping into other countries with a strong foundation in a populous country like the UK?

    3. Ogi
      Facepalm

      Re: Here we go...

      The idea that companies in foreign countries will give a tinkers what the UK government thinks is illegal is hilarious.

      The UK only has jurisdiction over land under their sovereign control, so they can only enforce it against companies who are based in the UK, or at best some assets locally. On their own they are not powerful or rich enough to force bigger countries to apply UK law to their companies.

      The only really reliable course of action is to improve the great firewall of UK until, like China, they can keep a lid on what traffic enters or leaves. That way they can block services and content they deem against the law, while not actually affecting the service/company outside of the UK. This is most likely the course of action that will be taken.

      Following that, fines on UK generated income of those companies/services, or seizure of UK assets would be possible, but very unpopular. It would not send a good signal to the international business world, especially if the UK still has an idea of being a post-Brexit multinational powerhouse.

      Third option is they make the internet user liable, so if the UK detects you engaging in some unlawful content viewing, creating or debate online, you personally will get in trouble.

      The world outside the UK however, will just carry on as normal.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Here we go...

        The Great Firewall of Blighty has the same problem as the companies themselves: it can only block what someone tells or trains it to block (and spammers continue to demonstrate the limitations of the latter).

        Of course, just occasionally we get to point and laugh.

        Meanwhile, has anyone ever encountered online contents so horrific as to rival the Bible for blood&gore, massacres&genocide?

        1. A.P. Veening

          Re: Here we go...

          Meanwhile, has anyone ever encountered online contents so horrific as to rival the Bible for blood&gore, massacres&genocide?

          I haven't, with the exception of the online versions of the Bible and the Quran.

          1. A.P. Veening

            Re: Here we go...

            For the downvoters of my previous message: Please provide some counter-examples, preferably verifiable (with a working link).

            1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

              Re: Here we go...

              I don't want to link to the content directly, it's too horrible by far, but here's a wikipedia link to it: (link)

            2. Simon B-52

              Abraham & Jeremy

              I upvoted you, so shouldn't really be answering here.

              However, it seems a reasonable place to point out that any religion giving airtime to a guy who nearly butchered his own son because "god told him to do it" is off to a flying start in the pain and suffering stakes.

              If you can get people to mutilate or murder their children, you can probably get them to do anything.

              On a lighter note: The Jeremy Kyle Show.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here we go...

        As my wife suggested last night when we were discussing this subject - "we're just the testing ground before they roll it out everywhere else."

        I'm afraid my conspiracy-ometer no longer functions within acceptable parameters.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: Here we go...

          "I'm afraid my conspiracy-ometer no longer functions within acceptable parameters."

          You should take it to a government licensed and sanctions service centre and have it recalibrated to approved standards.

          1. A.P. Veening

            Re: Here we go...

            I will have to bill you for my exploded sarcasmo-meter, that is way off-scale ;)

      3. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

        Re: Here we go...

        And possibly more to the point, the idea that people in the UK will give a tinkers what the UK government thinks is illegal is hilarious. Given that the idiots cannot even understand what "Do you want to remain in the EU? No" means, what are the odds they could draft one piece of legislation could possibly appease points of view as diverse as Mary Whitehouse and Peter Tatchell?

        Add to the mix things like the various Religions who all claim "we are the only true religion and all others must be banned!", "special interest groups" who are convinced the world is flat/global climate change can be stopped if everyone (else) stops using cars and going on holiday/heavy metal is full of satanic rituals/Dungeons and Dragons players can conjure up real dragons and demons, and whiny brats with a sense of entitlement and the belief that they alone can save the world from anyone over 23, and you should realise this is as workable as the idiots trying to legislate the rain away or 14 hours of sunshine a day.

        Not only will this fail, it SHOULD fail. Not just because it is completely unworkable in a "free" society, but I would be offended if they voted this through - and we're not allowed to offend anyone are we??

      4. Chris the bean counter

        Re: Here we go...

        We do have control by blocking payments to non compliant large firms. Or even issuing international arrest warrants.

        Blocking payments is trivially easy and currently used for sanctioned terrorist groups etc. Bank of England maintains and distributes a list of blocks to banks.

        Yes there are ways around but most of us very lazy and don't bother.

    4. veti Silver badge

      Re: Here we go...

      You've not heard of geoblocking, then?

      Happens all the time. You can quibble about how it can be circumvented, but that's not really the point: we all know the circumvention only works on suffrance, because it's not worth the providers' trouble to stop it, not because it can't be stopped. Just ask Hulu.

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: Here we go...

        > You can quibble about how it can be circumvented, but that's not really the point: we all know the circumvention only works on suffrance,

        I don't think that VPNs only work on sufferance. They are so integral to some many valid uses of the Internet, they are so easy to implement in any encrypted channel. I've got over a dozen connections from this PC currently that provide VPN functionality and none of them call themselves that, they're just the tools of my job. I'm in place A and I need secure access to place B. The only way not to have VPNs is not to have any encryption. I know that a lot of governments abhor the idea that voters should have access to encryption but they'd find it difficult to argue that your conversations with your bank should be done in plain text.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Here we go...

          You don't even need encryption, if your bandwidth requirements are modest - steganography will suffice. That's impractical for streaming video but would work just fine for Google, Facebook, etc.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Here we go...

            But stego can be mangled, and the hardier the technique against mangling, the smaller the available bandwidth.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    OK, Zuck...

    ... is it still a good idea not to have shown up at Westminster when you were asked?

    1. TDog

      Re: OK, Zuck...

      This actually partially answers the previous question.

      No - I do not think that the UK (8th largest trading country in the world) will inherently be able to enforce it's laws on the USA. Or the FRS. Or China. But I do think that if you start killing our people with nerve gases there will probably be a reciprocal sanction somewhere, at some time that is to our convenience. That doesn't mean that we will necessarily kill or otherwise use violence to "send a message".

      Messages can and have been sent in many ways. It is particularly noticeable that as the cold war grew, the casualties from direct military action between the primary actors reduced. Don't shoot down that spy plane, it is in the Baltic sea and is keeping both sides happy.

      That is for mutual convenience. At the very least the UK could certainly inconvenience Facebook, Google, et al by making individuals liable. This is what the Americans have done when they claim jurisprudence over any bankers who deal with the USA; even if they are apparently not immediately constrained by their laws. (e.g. Autonomy, Barclays etc.)

      A risk of personal sanction will make travel abroad much more difficult. Just as the USA have found that Canada is amenable to arresting Huwaiu (No idea how to spell that) CFO's the USA may well find that it is a bad idea for those of dubious intent to go anywhere we can reach.

      That should include the USA but having agreed a reciprocal extradition treaty the US decided it was unilateral. But such actions only last as long as you have sufficient power to be arrogant bastards. I can't quite recollect when we last sent a gunship to deal with "Jenkins Ear" or its last equivalent but I doubt if we do it as often as we used to do.

      Plus ca change, plus la meme chose. But the actors change

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: OK, Zuck...

        The UK does not have to enforce its laws in the USA - just to fine the company like facebook for GDPR-like amounts. Very quickly FB would have to either (1) fix the click-bating feed of shit, or (2) get out of all UK advertising business (so I guess dropping 1/8 or so in revenue).

        A win-win from where I'm standing...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OK, Zuck...

          First they came for Facebook, but as I never had an account I wasn't worried.

          Then they came for Google, but as I use DuckDuckGo I wasn't that bothered.

          Then they came for the political agitators in The Register comments section and I realised that no-one gives a shit anymore about anything.

          The only possible reason for sowing division amongst any group is to conquer them. The media sets everyone against everyone, the whole human race is being weakened for a reason.

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge
            Alien

            Re: OK, Zuck...

            the whole human race is being weakened for a reason

            Harvesting.

            1. Martin-73 Silver badge

              Re: OK, Zuck...

              At this point i am fine with that but i wonder what nutrients they seek. ?

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
                Coffee/keyboard

                Re: OK, Zuck...

                Think Foie Gras.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: OK, Zuck...

                  Don't be silly, you don't mass-produce delicacies. The GreatUnwashed is the fertilizer for whatever the actual intended harvest is. Think cover crop.

  6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    what is

    deemed 'harmful'?

    And where does it end?

    Take religion, if criticism of one religion can be contrued as 'inciting religious hatred' then all religions must have the same protection... even if its church of the flying spagetti monster. in which case , hosting clips of 'life of brian' will get the platform fined.

    in any case, this just smacks of a knee jerk reaction to events where the social media could be blamed for the event.

    Bit like Ozzy osbourne getting sued in the 1980s by parents whose children killed themselves after listening to his music.

    But we all know how this will go "protecting the children" will end in someone getting jailed for saying the tory party are a bunch of tossers

    Oh and I'd write to my MP , but she couldn't find her way out of a wet paper bag if someone gave her a map and put up signposts.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: what is

      Classic.

      "What is deemed harmful?" - the story talks about this issue, and how to resolve it, at some length. You just assume it's unanswerable. Throw in a brief non-sequitur about some unrelated nonsense from the 1980s, "Think of the children" catchphrase, invoke the slippery slope (without bothering to demonstrate that it is either slippery, or a slope), and finish with a dig at your own MP.

      Lazy, knee-jerk post that shows scant evidence of having read beyond the headline. E.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: what is

        Advertising is harmful - it's generating the money that makes online harm/hate profitable. Just ban advertising and the entire problem will subside - sure, there will be some idiots out there but it will be much easier to find them and shut them down because they are going to have to pay to post their stupidity on-line.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: what is

          What is worse is they applied "reinforcement" techniques very useful to sell stuff to information - which requires exactly the opposite and needs to be display different viewpoints to properly assess a situation.

          But as long as content platforms are ads front-ends they won't change. Probably antitrust intervention forbidding ads business to own and run content platforms would be a good starting point.

          1. A.P. Veening

            Re: what is

            Probably antitrust intervention forbidding ads business to own and run content platforms would be a good starting point.

            And how about content platforms owning ads businesses? I think that should be forbidden as well under the same antitrust intervention.

            And shares should be limited to a maximum of 10% (both ways).

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: what is

              Degrees of separation covered by foreign sovereignty. The very rich are masters of ownership chicanery.

    2. don't you hate it when you lose your account

      the tory party are a bunch of tossers

      But even I hesitate to say what I think of labour right now, but my Roger Mellie dictionary is close to hand

  7. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Rather than a new regulator

    Why not hand it to IPSO? The politicians get to pat themselves on the back for solving another problem; and if IPSO is as effective with the Internet as they are with the press nothing will change.

  8. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    What do the powerful voters want ?

    In the UK about 400 of the MPs are elected from safe seats - the votes that count for them are those of the local selection committees. These 8000 or so people (20 or so per seat) determine almost two thirds of the MPs - the remainder are chosen by ordinary voters in the non-safe seats. Almost two thirds of the voting population has no effective vote as the result in their constituency is known before the poll.

    The only voters that MPs need to listen to are the people on their selection committees.

    "Consulting the public" is almost always a smokescreen - and since in the Brexit referendum the public had the impudence to disregard the wishes of the MPs, it will be a long time before the MPs allow the general public to have another taste of power.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

      Well, if in some constituencies people blindly vote for the same party because is what parents and grandparents did - it's not a fault of the system - it's a fault of the people.

      No law can ban stupidity.

      Yet "consulting the public" not aways means you have to just to act following "vox populi" - you can end with Barabba instead of Jesus... see above.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

        "you can end with Barabba instead of Jesus"

        "Bar Abba" is Aramaic for "Son of the Father" ... which Jesus was calling himself. So which of the two "barabbas" died on the cross? Kinda puts the entire "resurrection" thing into a new light, no? (Also explains why Jesus was heading BACK to the tomb when he met up with Mary Magdalene ... They had just stashed the body, and he was returning to try to complete the illusion by taking its place, but was foiled by that busy-body Mary. A little fast talking got him through it, though ... )

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

          So, someone messed up the Prestige?

        2. LDS Silver badge

          ""Bar Abba" is Aramaic for "Son of the Father"

          Sorry but that's just a useless sophism in this context and a straw man argument. You understood what I meant - "vox populi" could be tremendously wrong, especially in difficult times.

          Just like Pilatus became the emblem of a politician who doesn't want to manage a situation and cowardly thinks it's just better to listen to the polls.

          The actual historic events could have been different, who knows for certain - but how they were describe they became paradigmatic, and as such are used.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

        And yet stupid can take the rest of us with it, meaning either we need to find some solution, or throw up our hands and recognize stupid will one day be the end of us.

    2. Kevin Johnston

      Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

      It is even worse than that and I have always said there should be a 'none of the above' option which, if it receives the highest number of votes, means that constituency does not return an MP to parliament. If that happens come back in a year and try again.

      Currently no matter how you protest the voting system or the candidates offered, at the end of the counting there will be 630 MPs (Muppet People?) collecting their substantial salary and expenses as they visit London at no cost to themselves and have a great time in subsidised restaurants and bars. As you say, most of these are selected by the safe seat committees but even those where the public have any say come from a list decided by the party faithful.

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

        Muppet People

        Please don't insult Muppets.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

          Muppet People

          Please don't insult Muppets.

          The Goodies Puppet government

          https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2sgnjs

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

        "It is even worse than that and I have always said there should be a 'none of the above' option which, if it receives the highest number of votes, means that constituency does not return an MP to parliament."

        So if something unpopular is voted in the meantime, we just throw up our hands?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What do the powerful voters want ?

      Well, you say that the only people an MP has to listen to are those on their selection committee, but there are an awful lot of Conservative MPs going quite directly against the wishes of their local Conservite associations right now on Brexit. Dominic Grieve being one that springs to mind, as well as Theresa May, as members vote for the leader of the party too. Local Conservative associations by and large do want to leave the EU, but their MPs seem to be doing their very best not to leave at all.

    4. Simon B-52

      Nicely put

      That's a crystal clear description of how things are.

      Coupled with the fantastically low bandwidth of elections and referenda, measured in fractional bits-per-year, and the wilful self-stupefaction of the majority, aided and abetted by bullshitters of every hue. . . . .

      And people accuse me of being pessimistic.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

    Call it what it is : government mandated censorship to reign in the freedom / expression afforded to ordinary people by the internet. Those in power don't like it, so now control of information is being centralised, and we're become more like China. Since 9/11 many un-free nations have jumped on the "Terrorism" bandwagon as a means for censoring opposition. Rest assured, these laws will be used to censor voices your government doesn't want you to hear. The lights are going out on freedom.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

      Actually, all democracies felt the need to keep the freedom of expression inside civility - because if the public discourse degenerates into a fight of who shouts and barks louder, usually democracy dies, as authoritarian people are the best at shouting and barking. The events of 100 years ago should have taught something, but that lesson looks now lost.

      Authoritarian state, on the other hand, have no problem with propaganda, inflammatory and harmful contents, as long as they control them, because they are very effective when unleashed against the "enemy of the people" - and lead to terrible tragedies.

      Would you like your boss at work, if you have one, being able to harass, insult and bully you, in name of his or her "freedom of speech?" Or would you demand "civility"? Would you like your neighbors inciting to harm you and your family, in the name of their "freedom of speech"? Or do you believe if that behaviour is "nameless" is more acceptable?

      A line must be drawn about what is acceptable and what is not. It's a very, very difficult thing to do, and "check and balances" to ensure that power is not abused are extremely needed - just like the power to jail people, for example.

      The difference between an authoritarian state and a democracy is exactly in those check and balances.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

        "The difference between an authoritarian state and a democracy is exactly in those check and balances."

        Oversight and a (truly) free press are major components that have been sorely lacking in recent time.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

          That's a parallel issue that needs to be addressed as well.

          Anyway those platforms became also very effective to kill free press - as it does have costs too.

          Oversight needs independent civil servants and politicians which are not obsessed with the next Tweet, Facebook post and poll.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

            But how do you ensure that? How do you keep things independent and not subject to corruption from within or without. Based on our experience with the human condition, nothing made by man really lasts long-term, and since checks and balances have to themselves be checked and balanced, eventually the bad guys find a way in spite of God, Man, or the Devil.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Would you like your boss at work, if you have one, being able to harass, insult and bully you

        No, but we have freedom to choose who we work for, so people would soon leave their job if their boss behaved in a way they did not like. OTOH some people might accept a boss who insults them if the pay is worth it.

        A line must be drawn about what is acceptable and what is not.

        We already have laws for this, so we don't need new woolly, open-to-interpretation laws which will frighten people into silence because it's not absolutely clear what their rights are. It's also clear that some people would like to ban content which others believe must remain accessible as documentary evidence, allowing the public to independently analyse past events.

        OK. You want to remain alive. The bloke over their with the gun wants to kill you.

        How do you resolve that one on your rules?

        If someone is armed and wants to kill you, freedom of speech makes no difference, but having the right to defend yourself with reasonable force does. A certain nation has free-speech and the right to bear arms in it's constitution, and the two don't generally conflict.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

      "The lights are going out on freedom."

      Freedom is not "I can say and do whatever I want whenever I want".

      1. bigtimehustler

        Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

        Well, actually it is, thst is totally the definition of freedom. Its just a lot if people don't actually want that. Personally I don't want people to be able to do what they want, but I do want them to be able to say what they want. People not being able to speak doesn't stop them holding the views anyway, may as well hear them and know who thinks what.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

          Freedom is not "I can say and do whatever I want whenever I want".

          Well, actually it is, thst is totally the definition of freedom.

          OK. You want to remain alive. The bloke over their with the gun wants to kill you.

          How do you resolve that one on your rules?

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

            shoot first of course

            /Solo

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Soft censorship laws - realigning with China

          "Personally I don't want people to be able to do what they want, but I do want them to be able to say what they want."

          So you think it's perfectly fine for someone to goad and encourage a mentally ill person on a bridge to jump?

  10. The Central Scrutinizer

    Once again, Australia sets the gold standard

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/media/2019/apr/04/australia-passes-social-media-law-penalising-platforms-for-violent-content

    I can really see this being effective - not. Rushed, ill conceived and rammed through parliament without any debate at all. I can really see the US extraditing Facebook and Google execs out here to face criminal charges over content on their platforms. Again, not.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Once again, Australia sets the gold standard

      The US don't need to extradite them. You can start the case and force them to lose sleep at night, and hire lots of lawyers. That gets the problem onto their desk, from something they're currently just ignoring.

      But this means they can't travel. Because every time they go to a country, you can put up an extradition request. North Korea can't do this, and China would struggle - because nobody trusts their judicial system - but Australia or the UK would find it quite an effective strategy. As the US do.

  11. FromTheRoot

    Ridiculous

    Fail to get out of the EU, just long enough to begin its censorship. The first step to censorshio, make the platforms responsible for what they publish.....

    We should be up in arms over this.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: Ridiculous

      The UK has a long history of censorship that predates the EU, and will continue without it. Getting morally outraged and demanding Something Must Be Done is one of our national pasttimes. We're the country of Thomas Bowdler.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ridiculous

        Thomas Bowdler, it's a good reference.

        Similarly "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" would be a good ballpark for any use of this 'can of worms' law (if passed). Who is it offending? Is it a persistent offence?

        Humans have always had the ability to ignore things they find offensive, lately, the trend seems to be to make a past time of faux outrage, while ignoring our own parental responsibilities to instil values that go some way to prevent such a dire world in the first place.

        The Internet is a mirror image of society, there is no getting around that, make society better, you make the Internet better.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Humans have always had the ability to ignore things they find offensive"

          As long as they don't start to be enslaved and killed, for that.... it's somehow difficult to ignore it.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Ridiculous

      "The first step to censorshio, make the platforms responsible for what they publish"

      Responsibility for publishing is a long established principle. What the internet platforms have done is insist that they're not publishers, they're just conduits for information like the post; postal services not being responsible for what they transmit is another long established principle.

      What's happening now is that the platforms are being called out on that stance.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Ridiculous

        "What's happening now is that the platforms are being called out on that stance."

        Exactly. For example, the Post Office doesn't claim an unlimited licence to make copies of and use everything that passes through it's system. That alone stops Facebook et al from being just a "pipeline".

    3. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: Ridiculous

      This does not particularly have to do with the EU. The UK has time and again shown itself perfectly capable of censorship, have a look at porn laws.

  12. Jemma Silver badge

    Wrong way round..

    What's the difference between Jimmy Saville and the Conservative Party?

    The Conservatives have fucked more kids.

    Ask me how I know.

    There's almost literally nothing I haven't seen online - I'm still perfectly normal. I haven't machine gunned some nuns, I'm not inclined to chop off Scandinavian tourists heads for fun, and I can't say that watching Yesterday on freeview makes me want to buy up a block of flats in Chelmsford, fill it full of Jews and rename it Auschwitz Acres and do what comes naturally (although I'd love to see their faces at the planning meeting for stage 3). And yes, I have every right to dislike the revisionist cretins since I'd be under 4 religious death sentences if I set foot in Israel, just because I exist.

    I am as far from a violent person as it is possible to be.

    This is the point that every MP, godbotherer, reverse collar merchant (ironic when they're shagging altar boys like they're going out of fashion) fails to understand.

    THE ONLY TYPE OF PERSON who might act this stuff out in meatspace - is already a psychotic (or possibly the president of Facebook) - has been a psychotic since he or she was very young - and will always be. And if we had a proper mental health service would have been identified long before they disemboweled a random teenage girl in a public park.

    And you just KNOW that it'll be sexual content next - so kids will have to learn about sexuality from school lessons - good fucking luck with that "You don't go charging for the clitoris like a bull at a gate! What's wrong with a little kiss, boy?". My "sex-ed" classes were worse - don't ask about the lilo and the tuxedos.. And then there's Captain Handjob - the SPED kid who jacked off for two hours straight, tackle out, in music class...

    This is another fecking stupid idea from fecking stupid people who shouldn't be allowed breathing privileges. Here's a thought on stopping the violence - ban religion - oh, that's right, won't win you votes will it?

    That's not including the technical issues.

    I have said it before and I'll say it again - government has no place in peoples sexuality or inclination to watch violence (christ almighty have you never seen "Battle of Britain"? Gut shots, fried pilots, Corpsey McWaaf, or countless others) it's damaging and inappropriate to try an practice sexual mind control by government order and is as bad as Brunei dropping rocks on gay guys heads. In fact it's more damaging - because repressed individuals are more likely to become dangerous than otherwise.

    Funny though isn't it - I could still go and see a slasher flick in the cinema - oh wait, that's right, profit... (and let's be brutally honest, why do women and girls watch them? It ain't the acting to be sure, it's so they can go home and fantasise about being Lil Miss Gut Stabbed - I've female friends who happily admit it!)

    Here's an idea government. DO YOUR FECKING JOB and maintain the NHS mental health and look after proper sex ed in schools and stop pandering to the religious retards that cause 90% of the problem in the first damn place. Strange isn't it, you throw a governmental wobbly about religious anti-vaxxers but you are perfectly happy to use their deranged opinions on sexuality to try and perform mind control on me...

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "is already a psychotic"

      Do you mean millions of Italians, Germans, Japanese and Russian were all psychotic? That millions of Americans, many of them of British origin, were all psychotic? That millions of French were all psychotic?

      Ask any psychiatrist - they will tell you you can bring people who would be perfectly "normal" people to the extreme feeding them with the "proper" stimuli. Or just ask any marketer, they use the same approach, maybe more subtly and just to sell stuff - there's a reason why even ads are regulated.

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        Re: "is already a psychotic"

        I know that experiment to which you refer and you kind of missed the point.

        Psychosis isn't being a soldier and killing a soldier on the other side. That's training and following orders. Not the same as being the person who is responsible for the orders in the first place.

        The dangerous ones are the self initiators. The person who, off his own bat, goes over to an island full of teens and uses them for a live fire exercise.

        It's basically scientific proof for the concept of "everyone has their price" in this case, torturing a stranger, under a psychologists suggestion.

        That is VERY different to sitting down on Lake Wannsee and deliberately and quite calmly formulating murder as government policy.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: "is already a psychotic"

          I wasn't referring to soldiers - although there were and there are soldiers who were and are brainwashed and turned into pure assassins. I was referring to the millions of civilians - who supported dictators, slavery, massacres - and often enjoyed them. People who denounced neighbors, friends, even family members - knowing what their fate would have been, without mercy, without remorse.

          True, some found that advantageous, yet many others had little or no advantages. Still, they believed it was right. Were all of them psychotic? Or they became victims of a collective hysteria properly fueled by specific kind of stimuli?

          For now, yes, we have mostly a few psychotics who would be probably dangerous anyway - but beware, the more people are subject to dangerous stimuli, the more higher the danger it becomes a collective attitude, not limited to a few weak minds.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. LDS Silver badge

              "The person who formulated Zyclon B as agrochem is Fritz Haber - a Jew."

              Another useless sophism and straw man argument. A lot of German science and technology had Jews fathers - as nobody could really foresee what would have happened. Are you trying imply they were responsible for their own massacre? That's trying do deny holocaust, using ill-designed sophisms.

              "The whole religious bashing side of Nazism comes from hating the church" - actually it looks you studied it wrong for twenty years.

              Nazism never hated the (christian) church as long as it supported its aims ("Got mit Uns", remember?) - only Jews and some others groups, even for not religion reasons, like gipies.

              Nazism (nor Fascism) wasn't at all like Communism and its Marx-induced hate of all religions. Allying with Muslims was perfectly OK for them.

              Actually in Italy Mussolini ended the Pope status issue created after Rome was captured in 1870 giving him Vatican City and establishing Catholicism as a state religion in 1929 - Germany stipulated a pact in 1933.

              Not surprisingly, the Pope never took a strong stance against Fascism and Nazism - which in many ways appealed very much to the reactionary side of many christian priests that supported them - just look at how now Putin could gain the approval of the Russian Orthodox church, or Evangelists support Trump in US. Actually, having a religious blessing is welcome by many dictatorships.

              To ensure people follow some kind of orders they would have never did before requires to create the correct climate. I'm quite sure most dictators and their close circle are usually psychotic, the issue is people can be captured by their "reality distortion field" and enter it, consciously or unconscionably

              To achieve it you have to build on their fears - real or imaginary - and instincts.

              We had plenty of examples - even recently - and I wish we could avoid more.

              1. Steve Evans

                Re: "The person who formulated Zyclon B as agrochem is Fritz Haber - a Jew."

                Strangely enough Zyclon B wasn't invented as a way of killing people, it was a insecticide.

                Before settling on that the Nazis tried car exhausts, and nobody blames Mercedes-Benz for the Holocaust.

                Many things can be abused to kill people, pencils, hammers, many medications, uncooked rice...

                I'm sure all will be banned by the nanny state soon enough, so god help you if you're ever spotted near a hand sized rock.

          2. holmegm

            Re: "is already a psychotic"

            "For now, yes, we have mostly a few psychotics who would be probably dangerous anyway - but beware, the more people are subject to dangerous stimuli, the more higher the danger it becomes a collective attitude, not limited to a few weak minds."

            I'd be worried first then about horror movies, which seem like they'd have way more impact than say, a Facebook post.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Censorship free at the point of use

    Freedom is naturally free, censorship costs money to enforce.

    Under IngSoc, freedom will be fined, while censorship will be free at the point of use.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "Under IngSoc, freedom will be fined, while censorship will be free at the point of use"

      Did you understand why they needed the "two minute of hate", and someone who "was hated and despised by everybody, although every day and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed [...]" ?

      "The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp"

      And how are the proles kept under control?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get them to pay tax first?

    Since that is going so swimmingly. If big media companies can dodge HM revenue, why would they worry about some toothless tiger which is much less likely to be funded well.

  15. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

    Re: Mate, it ain't about you.

    Au contraire. There's going to be a Tory leadership contest in the not too distant future.

  16. DropBear Silver badge
    FAIL

    "The tide is unacceptable. You shall stop it or we shall boil the sea. Hugs and kisses, ObviouslyNotKingCanute"

  17. Augie

    Mines the one with VPN, which they can have from me if they get it out of my cold dead hands.

    Anyone who cant see this for what it is needs to give themselves a good looking at.

    Be very prepared to only see what big brother lets you

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Nobody cares about your VPN.

      This bill is about making the internet companies responsible for what they publish, in the same way that newspapers and TV are.

      If you've got the technical ability, you can get round any internet legislation. But then you're probably going to be ad-blocking anyway (and certainly showing from the wrong geographical location) - so you're no/little use to those same interent companies.

      The point is to hit them with the big stick until they comply with the law of the land like everybody else has to. And all that requires is to hit their income stream, which is the normal users who they make their money off.

      If you want to use a VPN to look at beheading videos, or content designed by the Russian government to fuck with our elections, then please go ahead. It'll never go away. Just become less mainstream again.

      Obviously there's a danger that once they're responsible for their content, the big internet companies will go too far in self-censorship - as it's cheaper than making proper editorial decisions. Or they'll just give up on promoting contentious content from random peoples' posting into everyone else's news-feeds. But if they do that, then they'll lose user-engagement, and so lose money. This levels the playing field with the traditional media, who at least have some standards.

      1. Patrician

        "traditional media, who at least have some standards"

        The Daily Mail has standards?

        1. A.P. Veening

          Standards

          The Daily Mail has standards?

          Of course it does, if it isn't despicable enough, it doesn't get published.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          I did say some standards...

          I'm no fan of the Daily Mail - but they've got massively higher standards than Google or Facebook. I'm sure that's because they're forced to have, because they do have to comply with the laws of the land and take responsibility for what they publish. And of course, just like Google and Facebook, they've twisted and cheated and lied in order to avoid as much press regulation as they can get away with.

          But Google and Facebook have so far managed the feat of avoiding all regulation, by pretending not to be publishers. Something politicians let them get away with for far too long - long past when giving some judicious freedoms helped to grow the internet. And now they can collect their well-deserved kicking.

  18. Joe Harrison Silver badge

    Can't think of a catchy title

    Those of us who remember how the internet was in the beginning-ish... There was no need to figure out policing solutions for Facebook and Google and Whatsapp because there were no Facebook or Google or Whatsapp.

    How would it be if we could go back to those days of millions of leaf-node unregistered self-policed peers (AKA "normal people") just doing stuff on Usenet or whatever and talking on free inter-compatible xmpp chat. This time with the added goodness of additional layers of perfect forward secrecy and other assorted crypto.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Can't think of a catchy title

      "This time with the added goodness of additional layers of perfect forward secrecy and other assorted crypto."

      But still without advertising.

  19. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    "there are good laws and bad laws"

    there are good laws and bad laws

    Unfortunately, the track record of UK governments for many years has been to concentrate on passing the latter - at which they have become expert. Generally they (or the Daily Mail) identify a 'problem' and then try and ban it. Usually if it really IS a problem then it's actually already illegal, but that doesn't stop those knees jerking. So they write a bad law, with lots of loopholes, that criminalises perfectly reasonable behaviour or, if you're lucky, makes it a matter of opinion, so you can be dragged through the courts on the off-chance that you've been naughty.

    I have massive confidence that this law will again live up to their record.

  20. Cuddles Silver badge

    Seems a bit mixed

    "It would make online platforms, including social media sites like Facebook, online forums like Reddit, messaging services like WhatsApp and search engines like Google responsible for the content that appears on their sites and through their services."

    While the idea of regulating online content in general isn't inherently a bad one, there seems a danger here of mixing together a whole bunch of different things. Lumping together completely different services that are used in different ways for different purposes all under a single regulatory framework isn't likely to make things any more sensible. Reddit, Youtube and parts of Facebook are public forums showing user generated content. Fine, that's exactly what a lot of the fuss is about and they're similar enough in principle. Whatsapp is a private messaging service not meaningfully different from regular text messaging, email or just regular old mail. It makes no sense at all to suggest monitoring and moderating everything posted on it, that would be a massive invasion of privacy and defeat the whole point of using a messaging service over just posting everything on a public noticeboard. Google search engine is a search engine for finding things that have been published elsewhere. While it may have issues with monopolistic practice and the like, it's again a completely different animal and makes no sense at all to be included in discussions about moderating user generated publishing services.

    I have this nasty feeling this is all going to end up in a big mess with legislation created by people who have a knee-jerk reaction to "popular thing using internet" without any understanding of how the internet can be used for a variety of very different services that can't all be regulated in the same way.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Seems a bit mixed

      You may well be right. But currently we have no legislation, and it's a big fucking mess. At least with legislation causing a different mess, it's out in the open and can be publicly debated and changed. As opposed to the current situation of Google and Facebook doing virtually whatever the fuck they want, and getting handsomely rewarded for it.

      1. bartsmit

        Re: Seems a bit mixed

        We do have legislation. Google 'libel twitter uk facebook' for examples of British courts taking action against Brits for their published content on US services

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Seems a bit mixed

          We do have legislation. Google 'libel twitter uk facebook' for examples of British courts taking action against Brits for their published content on US services

          bartsmit,

          That's not the point of this legislation. The problem isn't single users choosing to libel someone for which they can be normally punished. It's when Facebook take that post from someone's feed and choose to amplify it massively by inserting it into the "news" feeds of a few million other users. Then claim that an algorithm did it and ran away, so it's not their fault. Hopefully this legislation is going to make them responsible for those editorial decisions - like any other publisher.

          If one person libels another on FB, then all FB should have to do is be responsible for taking it down on request. The same with El Reg's forums. And I don't want to see Facebook or El Reg made responsible. If, however, El Reg or Facebook take that forum post and put it on the front page, then I expect them to take editorial responsibility for that choice, and to suffer the consequences if that content is illegal or actionable. At the moment, El Reg (and other news organisations) do take responsibilty, and Facebook don't.

          Same with recommended content on Youtube. That people posted accusations that the victims of a US school shooting were "crisis actors" and not real victims at all is horrible. But that's the internet, and there's horrible people out there. That Google then chose to promote those videos on their trending lists, and had them autoplaying after other "news" content is disgusting. That Google can then claim legal immunity from the consequences of that decision (in a way a TV station wouldn't) is appalling, and something that needs to be changed.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Seems a bit mixed

          "We do have legislation."

          That's civil law. What's being proposed is criminal law which a whole different thing.

      2. NATTtrash

        Re: Seems a bit mixed

        I agree, we do have regulation currently. The UK initiative, although launched as unique and ground breaking, follows in the footsteps of the legislation already in force in Germany currently. Although the latter seems to focus more/ specifically on hate-speech, it too is legislation that requires "the internet companies" to ensure the compliance of their users (content).

    2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Seems a bit mixed

      @Cuddles

      but Google _IS_ the Internet! If you're a politician without a clue about how the Internet works. Hence the 'right to be forgotten' putting the onus on the search engines, and not the host of the content.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Seems a bit mixed

        Hence the 'right to be forgotten' putting the onus on the search engines, and not the host of the content.

        Actually the point of 'right to be forgotten' was to target news items from X years ago popping up on idle searches, contrary to many countries laws on spent convictions.

        It was not intended to expunge information from old news archives.

        1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: Seems a bit mixed

          Except the 'right to be forgotten' doesn't convey that right at all, as the content is still available, because new sources have legal protection. Overturning that would be a hard task for Govt, but demonising the large Internet companies is a breeze, so they went for the low hanging fruit.

          But then on the flipside of this coin, the Govt play the 'will nobody think of the children' card, and make all convictions, spent or otherwise, show up on Enhanced DBS checks.

          So 'the right to be forgotten' is dandy if you can afford a lawyer to force search engines to de-index you, but not so great for the regular person in the street. A law that serves the well heeled? Who'd a thunk it?

  21. mark l 2 Silver badge

    What people have not mentioned is the backdoor way of the UK trying to enforce the removal of the end to end encryption from apps by saying that the platforms are responsible for whatever is shared on there. If currently they can't block 'harmful content' that is shared by their users because it is encrypted the only way that platforms like Telegram, Whatsapp etc can comply with the law is to monitor everything sent across their network. And they can only do that my removing the end to end encryption.

  22. Chris the bean counter

    Form too long. Only lobbyists will complete

    Took me over an hour to complete. They did not ask for a name or contact email which seems a little weird so it may be crashed by robots

    My main theme was importance of large social media companies verifying identity of advertisers and users. (For sensitive users a third party could handle the identity.)

  23. NATTtrash
    Trollface

    Kieren...

    Then, further reflecting the egocentric and overly aggressive communication that has become a norm online...

    Jeez Kieren, sounds like you have been hanging out (here) with grumpy old men for too long... ☺

    (You are right though).

  24. HarryPotterHasPTSD

    Don't Stop at Facebook and Google...

    Go after Cloud and/or Hosted Service Providers that rent out services that get used for criminal behavior...

    Cough... cough... Azure, Digital Ocean, RackSpace... I'm looking at you.

    1. Chris the bean counter

      Re: Don't Stop at Facebook and Google...

      Yes there can certainly be a rule that cloud vendors have to verify identity of their users.

  25. MarthaFarqhar

    They didn't listen when RIPA was up for vote in Parliament, so this is hardly a surprise.

  26. holmegm

    "How do you stop a regulator from becoming all-powerful?"

    It's almost as though you need some sort of rider clause about free speech, within your highest level of law ...

  27. genghis_uk

    Here we go again...

    With the media promoting this as a fix for kids committing suicide or being groomed and terrorist propaganda we are back in the situation where being seen to disagree makes you a kid hating (or potentially loving in the wrong way) ISIS sympathiser. The fact that the MPs still do not get the internet is still horribly apparent - how do you enforce this?

    While I feel sorry for the guy whose daughter killed herself after spending too much time on the chatroom fringes I still have to ask myself why it got that far. The same with the 14year old girl who was groomed into sending explicit images of herself (BBC news last night) - What were the parents doing? Kids are not allowed to play in the park with their friends unsupervised because, paedos/traffickers/latest media scare but they are perfectly ok to let them go online unsupervised. When something bad happens it is the fault of the Internet not the responsibility of the adult who is supposed to teach and protect - more regulations required, more heads need to roll. The Internet contains the whole bell curve of human opinion and oddity. The last standard deviation (no pun intended) is probably already illegal in most places but what our masters want is to contain only the acceptable center ground and that can contract at any time.

    I am not blaming the victims but I do get the feeling that we are in danger of walking into a censorship minefield because it serves the powers that be and because of the ignorance of a majority of adults. The Internet has always had this stuff - probably worse on some of the alt.<random.bizarre.act> newsgroups but it was largely the domain of students at that point. Reddit is only an extension of that and Facebook/Twitter... well they are a classic example of what happens when you let idiots reproduce - don't get me started on why that is a bad idea...

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Here we go again...

      @Genghis_uk; "With the media promoting this as a fix for kids committing suicide"

      It's rather annoying when the press do that, because if you look at suicide statistics, rates are now lower than they were pre-internet. (There's been an increase in male suicide in recent years, although the demographic there bucks the previous trend, in that it's older males) Female suicide is about half the rate it was pre-internet, male despite the uptick, is still lower. So how can the press get away with such stories? Because very few people fact check.

  28. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "we'd be very surprised if the idea of finding individuals executives personally liable make it through the legislative process"

    I wouldn't. After all it's in the current DPA and GDPR on which the DPA based. In fact I could quite easily see chunks of the DPA being cut and pasted into this, or maybe the DPA being a framework onto which the domain-specific bits of this and any future legislation get pasted.

  29. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    First sentence of the pargraph 1:

    "The government wants the UK to be the safest place in the world to go online, and the best place to start and grow a digital business."

    That's the kiss of death. "The government wants the UK to be the best..." is the ritual prelude to just about every failed "initiative" that a govt. has come out with as long as I can remember.

  30. Steve Evans

    Exactly as planned..

    Exactly as Facebook planned.

    Implementing whatever the politicians come up with will be impossible for any small social networks, wiping out any risk of competition overnight.

    The only real opposition, Google plus, who could afford to implement these things has just been shuttered.

    Zuck must be crying all the way to the bank... Assuming he can cry.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Exactly as planned..

      I dunno if Zsmuck can cry, but he sure seems to whine an awful lot.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Exactly as planned..

      "Implementing whatever the politicians come up with will be impossible for any small social networks, wiping out any risk of competition overnight."

      The "small" social network will be Facebook UK. A walled garden with 8' thick granite stone walls and a matching perspex dome over the top that will let light in but naught else. Only vetted news stories sourced from the beeb will be allowed and there will be a clamp down on all naughty words and phrases. Sort of Victorian squared. All private messages will be reviewed by staff and anything remotely dodgy will be forwarded to the filth straight away.

  31. Rob Fisher

    Too reasonable

    This article credits the UK government with more good faith and good judgement than it deserves. They are talking about fundamentally changing the nature of the Internet.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Too reasonable

      No. They are talking about changing the fundamental way the British see their Intranet. The rest of us will muddle along quite nicely with our Internet.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You didn't do what we wanted voluntarily.

    So now we're going to make you. You had the choice!

    Sounds like he thinks he's talking to the peasants.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We can only be thankful to our lords and masters

    For these laws that solve all our problems.

    Just like making carrying knives illegal...

    We couldn't want for better lawmakers. And not in a good way.

  34. MachDiamond Silver badge

    The great UK firewall

    Big content providers may determine that the UK market isn't big enough/valuable enough for the risk and makes the bulk of their content unavailable. What is left will be bland, made from 100% artificial ingredients and totally safe. Anybody with a mild dose of internet savvy and a good VPN provider will carry on as usual and be using TOR for all of their browsing needs. It's the average punter and nan that are going to get walled off from the rest of the world.

    Other countries that do this sort of thing aren't known for having a free society along with a dismal history when it comes to human rights. What's next? Anything with a sharp corner has to be rounded off so one can't bump a shin? Extermination of all animals capable of biting, stinging or scratching? With all of the militant Vegans and Vegetarians telling everybody off for eating meat, you'd think they're turning into puppeteers. Where are the Outsiders to sell us a reactionless drive so we can send them away along with all of the telephone sanitizers, tired advertising executives, et al so we can try to get back to a rational society.

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