UK to start Internet filtering

December 23rd, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Joe Mullin at Arstechnica writes:

Save the children! UK Prime Minister David Cameron wants porn filters to come on, by default, in any British houses that have children in them.

“A silent attack on innocence is underway in our country today, and I am determined that we fight it with all we’ve got,” wrote Cameron in today’s Daily Mail.

The system Cameron promises will be in the works by February, when British ISPs will have to present plans for how they will present the filter options. Every owner of a new computer will be asked when they log in through their Internet service provider if they have children in the house. If they answer yes, it will immediately prompt them to set up filters blocking content, individual sites, or restricting access at particular times of day, according to the Mail.

If those options just get clicked through rapidly, filters that keep out porn and “self-harm” sites will be “on” by default.

The kids will probably be the ones setting up the Internet accounts!

I’m all for parents protecting kids from nasty stuff on the Internet – but it should be parents – not the Government.

It could be worse though:

Cameron’s promise to filter Internet traffic by default replaces an earlier suggestion in which, rather than prompt parents to set up filters, the filters were simply already turned on. “All the evidence suggests that wouldn’t work very well in practice,” said Cameron. He gave the example of one parent who tried to access things like TV stations on demand, but found they were blocked as well. These “blanket filters” will just get turned off, he said.

That automatic block was rejected by Cameron’s ministers earlier this week. Opposition politicians accused the government of “bow[ing] to pressure from the Internet industry, which is opposed to restrictions on the lucrative porn sector,” as reported in the Daily Mail. “The fight MUST go on: Furious charities hit out after ministers refuse to order an automatic block on Internet filth,” read the headline.

But it sounds like it will be a bureaucratic montrosity:

Conservative Member of Parliament Claire Perry will take charge of making sure the system gets implemented. She said the age checks would probably involve using credit card numbers and electoral rolls to make sure kids can’t get around the new system.

It’s so silly. The kids will probably also all have prepaid mobiles probably that will have full Internet access on them.

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20 Responses to “UK to start Internet filtering”

  1. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    Cameron – the best campaign manager Labour has ever had and he’s free!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Viking2 (10,688 comments) says:

    PEB, Keys his best mate remember. Coming to NZ via our free enterprise National Party.

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  3. kowtow (6,684 comments) says:

    Filter the internet to protect children?

    TV is more pernicious,not to mention the ideological agenda of Labour and the newly “progressive” Conservatives under Camoron.

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  4. bmk (1 comment) says:

    And the parents who enjoy watching porn together when their children are asleep? Will this now be forbidden?

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  5. Manolo (12,607 comments) says:

    UK’s Labour lite in action.
    So much promise, so little delivered. Does it sound familiar?

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  6. Lucia Maria (1,983 comments) says:

    Short of making porn illegal, this is a good idea.

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  7. Pauleastbay (5,030 comments) says:

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron wants religious fundelmentalist filters to come on by default

    Spiffing plan David ,spiffing

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  8. Left Right and Centre (2,388 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria says:

    Short of making porn illegal, this is a good idea.

    It sounds good for getting rid of the ‘porn meets child’ scenario. It’s probably impractical to actually implement, maintain and police etc.

    The point about TV as well… are you going to have the cops at the door? “We got a call that your child is alone watching an AO programme and we’re here to remove the child from you”. That’s a bit over the top… I’m going with it anyway, stuff it. I’m going to be one of *those* people.

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  9. Rightandleft (574 comments) says:

    Once again the UK takes the nanny state to a new level. When the conservatives are pushing this stuff and the labourites want even harsher measures it must be very demoralising for any libertarians left in that country. The UK is one of the last places in the developed world I’d ever want to live.

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  10. Viking2 (10,688 comments) says:

    Ask yourselves;
    Has Cameron become a Muslim?

    Looks like it from here. Arsewipe.

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  11. Flyingkiwi9 (54 comments) says:

    Back when I was under 18, (currently early 20s) I would’ve absolutely taken screwed this filter over. The filter will give parents the false impression that their children didn’t use the computer for such things, when the kids will continue too.

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  12. Flyingkiwi9 (54 comments) says:

    And not to mention that this assumes Porn is actually damaging and evil. And I can only speak of myself and mates – if anything it cured curiosity and probably kept us in our shells a lot longer.

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  13. MD (60 comments) says:

    It would be nice if ISP’s offered some form of optional blocking solution. Very few ISP’s offer anything in this regard.
    I can install filtering software on the family computers, however the kids all have smartphones and they all connect to the Wi-Fi, so the filtering software is rendered irrelevant.
    There are also dns services that provide filtering. The free ones aren’t very good. In this country the ISP’s make extensive use of proxy servers to cache international content in order to manage bandwidth, the non-ISP based dns services crawl to a halt as they don’t use the ISP’s proxy, so the only viable approach is an ISP based DNS or filtering solution.
    Right now there are no reasonable tools available to parents to manage this.

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  14. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    Opposition politicians accused the government of “bow[ing] to pressure from the Internet industry, which is opposed to restrictions on the lucrative porn sector

    That makes as much sense as saying “we’re opposed to the free flow of ftraffic on roads, because people may use them to drive past gaudily advertised brothels and lap dancing bars while they have children in the car. And since we can’t successfully build 12-foot high walls round the premises, we’re now going to have your GPS shut down your vehicle when you’re on a route past one of these places, just in case you have your kids with you”.

    The “internet industry” doesn’t profit from porn any more than porn producers profit from people ordering their groceries online. Unless what they actually mean is ISPs, which could only be said to be profiting if they charge per Mb, and if a huge number of theose Mbs were porn. But with capped plans offered by most, an ISP couldn’t care less whether you’re spotting celebrity boobage or spotting trains, and nore do they make more money from one than the other.

    Either the MPs who advance this sort of thing are incredibly stupid about a whole range of things – the business models of ISPs, how tech-savvy the average kid is nowadays, how the internet even works – or they’re being deliberately disingenuous and using “we must protect the children” as a smokescreen under which to cynically introduce a puritanical agenda.

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  15. lazza (296 comments) says:

    In a week when thoughts are focussed upon the protection of our children you can see where this is heading. Camerson may have the wrong techniques planned for kiddy-internet porn-protection but the “protection” objective and the need for it are undeniable.

    If Obama is, as he says, not going to accept all the usual excuses of the gun slingers-peddlars over the right to bear arms, should we not, by the same token keep looking for solutions to problems associated with the mind-numbing ease with which our youngsters may encounter porn on the net?.

    At present children can stumble upon porn, it is that uncontrolled and ubiquitous

    Putting sanctions at the porn purveyors end of this horrible profit-driven supply chain might slow them down and hit them in the pocket, worst case lock-em-up..

    That is, THEY … the porn-peddlars must be made responsible to see that their filth is not accessible, except to qualifing perverts, (Oops … to adult-persons). After all, other laws apply to offences involving the corruption of a minor do they not?. Why should porn be any different?

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  16. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    We use the Procon Latte firefox add-on, which is a really good keyword list based based filter to protect our kids from internet nasties.

    So any time she tries to got to Miniclip, Pandanda, Friv, 2dPlay or any of the other mind-numbingly shit online computer game sites where kids can spend all day painting a pony’s eyelashes, she gets rick rolled instead.

    Bwuahahahahahahahahaaa… :evil:

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  17. Left Right and Centre (2,388 comments) says:

    Flyingkiwi9 says: *And not to mention that this assumes Porn is actually damaging and evil.*

    When you’re a child? 10 years old for eg? Did you like a good bit of hardcore mofo porn with twelve people fucking each other 150 different ways when you were 10? Shit, times sure have changed I tell ya. It says children dude.

    Lots of people say weed isn’t too bad. You wanna start letting the kids have a puff? They’re both more of an adult thing… even though horny teen fellas get right into it.

    Bottomline: kids will just have to wait until they’re old enough to decide for themselves what constitutes ‘damaging and evil’.

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  18. Flyingkiwi9 (54 comments) says:

    Left Right and Centre Says:

    Actually the way the filter is set up implies it will hit anyone below the age of owning an internet account. Hence it does not only effect “children”…

    Which the law in relation to pornography deems as below 18 years anyway.

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  19. Left Right and Centre (2,388 comments) says:

    To Flyingkiwi9

    It reads ‘Left Right and Centre Says:’ Yeah… says what? There’s nothing there.

    It could be the end of porn for under 18s as well then…. hahahaha!! I can’t wait to see the protest march. I could lend you a hand… and one hand only… the other one is busy… hahahaha

    The main point is that they’re trying to stop the kiddie-winkies seeing people who get their rocks off by shitting in each other’s mouths. Who gives a fuck how teens get their porn? If they’re horny enough… they’ll work it out… hahahahaha

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  20. markmiller77e (1 comment) says:

    Kids should be monitored for it’s not just about porn but cyberbullying as well. For those who say that kids also need privacy or they are going to watch porn anyway, there is the case of the unfortunate Amanda Todd. I watch who my son is talking to on Facebook using an app called Qustodio that allows me to view the profile pictures of accounts that he engages with. Such monitoring is for their own good. Qustodio is a nice app. Just Google for it. So it goes beyond just the hardcore stuff. It’s also about the fact that some stranger might be blackmailing your kids and filtering does help in keeping kids safe.

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