Images, not searches should be illegal

July 23rd, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

British Prime Minister challenged the Internet search engine providers Google, Yahoo and Bing on Sunday to block images of , calling for more action against online pornography.

In a television interview, Cameron said search engines must block results for searches using blacklisted keywords to stop Internet users accessing illegal images.

Cameron’s demands should be resisted. Search engines should not blacklist keywords. Where does that stop?

If people deliberately access child abuse images on the Internet, then they are breaking the law and can be charged – as they should be.

But having a blacklist of search terms (as China does) will end up also blocking searches for educational resources that fight child abuse.

The hard core traders in child abuse images tend to not use the web much anyway. They do file sharing in chat rooms etc.

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36 Responses to “Images, not searches should be illegal”

  1. tas (625 comments) says:

    Cameron’s blocking proposals are both worrying and laughable. It includes blocking legal pornography. The govt should not block legal content just because it wants to be the moral police. There is an opt out, but who wants to phone their ISP and request access to porn? Ultimately people will just use a proxy to circumvent the blocking.

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  2. Manolo (13,767 comments) says:

    Today’s Tories, led by the spineless Cameron, are a party of weaklings and appeasers.

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  3. tas (625 comments) says:

    And Cameron is harping on about how ISPs have a “moral duty” to filter content. What utter crap! Does the postal service have a moral duty to inspect mail and confiscate non family friendly material? Cameron is a moron if he believes that ISPs are responsible for the content of the Internet. They are just a medium.

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  4. Harriet (4,970 comments) says:

    But he’s still pro child sex education….pro teen abortion…..still the same prog shit!

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  5. James Stephenson (2,177 comments) says:

    Today’s Tories, led by the spineless Cameron, are a party of weaklings and appeasers

    Which is true enough, but this is really showing that for all that, Cameron retains a classic Conservative authoritarian streak.

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  6. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    To take an actual case in point I expect Mr Cameron’s proposal might have a deleterous affect on the ongoing business of a man who wrote a letter to my employer yesterday. He is a Mr John Butt, of the firm Butt Drilling – Water Well Engineers of Blenheim. Stop laughing. I kid you not. It looks to be a prosperous enterprise.

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  7. flipper (4,060 comments) says:

    Let’s face it: Cameron is responding to focus group (et al) direction, and the advice of his spin doctors.

    DPF is correct. What Cameron is proposing is a sort of delegation of law enforcement. He may call it responsibility. But it is also state-promoted censorship, is it not?

    While many have stomach churns over the GCSB/SIS imbroglio, the actions (almost under the radar) of Internal Affairs on this matter may be far more intrusive of individual freedoms … and possibly illegal??????? Is that the REAL elephant in the room?

    Personally, I have no concerns (other than wanting assurance that their actions are legal) over Internal affairs.. But I would if Cameron’s wide ranging proposals were copied in NZ, and world wide.

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  8. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @Harriet

    The reason that our state educates children about sexual matters is because people like you refuse to do so.

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  9. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    Yup, ALL pornography is going to be blocked for new and existing users unless they request it.

    Most households in the UK will have pornography blocked by their internet provider unless they choose to receive it, David Cameron has announced.

    In addition, the prime minister said possessing online pornography depicting rape would become illegal in England and Wales – in line with Scotland.

    Mr Cameron warned in a speech that access to online pornography was “corroding childhood”.

    The new measures will apply to both existing and new customers.

    Mr Cameron also called for some “horrific” internet search terms to be “blacklisted”, meaning they would automatically bring up no results on websites such as Google or Bing.

    He told the BBC he expected a “row” with service providers who, he said in his speech, were “not doing enough to take responsibility” despite having a “moral duty” to do so.

    He also warned he could have to “force action” by changing the law and that, if there were “technical obstacles”, firms should use their “greatest brains” to overcome them.

    ‘Innocence’
    In his speech, Mr Cameron said family-friendly filters would be automatically selected for all new customers by the end of the year – although they could choose to switch them off.

    And millions of existing computer users would be contacted by their internet providers and told they must decide whether to use or not use “family-friendly filters” to restrict adult material.

    The filters would apply to all devices linked to the affected home Wi-Fi network and across the public Wi-Fi network “wherever children are likely to be present”.

    Customers who do not click on either option – accepting or declining – will have filters activated by default, Tory MP Claire Perry, Mr Cameron’s adviser on the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, told the BBC.

    The UK’s biggest internet service providers have agreed to the filters scheme meaning it should cover 95% of homes.

    Other measures announced by the prime minister included:

    * New laws so videos streamed online in the UK will be subject to the same restrictions as those sold in shops

    * Search engines having until October to introduce further measures to block illegal content

    * Experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre being given more powers to examine secretive file-sharing networks

    * A secure database of banned child pornography images gathered by police across the country will be used to trace illegal content and the paedophiles viewing it

    More – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23401076

    It can only be a good thing.

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  10. Ryan Sproull (7,144 comments) says:

    Some kind of standardised process and infrastructure for blanket censorship of internet content is a very good thing.

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  11. Ryan Sproull (7,144 comments) says:

    Weird. My last comment was supposed to read “process and infrastructure in place for blanket censorship of internet content will inevitably be abused for political purposes”, but it came out all wrong.

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  12. Griff (7,700 comments) says:

    Yes totally agree
    Censor the net to stop filth being promulgated to our youth.

    The first thing we should stop is religion being allowed to pollute the minds of our young people.
    In particular the offensive book of Christianity with its passages on infanticide, violence, genocidal maniac gods and porn.

    The sooner we ban religion from the net the sooner society can move forward into the future free of stone age superstition.

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  13. wreck1080 (3,912 comments) says:

    Admittedly I haven’t read in detail what the UK PM would like to do but on the surface it seems to be a good thing as long as they pick the low hanging fruit , obvious and easy to block stuff.

    So you don’t think google should block “kiddy porn” as a search request? I think the most blatant search terms should be blocked and display a scary don’t do this again message .

    Also, it should be an ‘opt’ in process to enable adult material .

    Friends kids (in the past) have searched for ‘pussy’ looking for cats and it is obvious what is returned. I don’t think my children have found anythign as I installed family safety software but who knows what the school computers have in the way of filters.

    Helpfully, google now defaults to filter out adult material .

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  14. Fletch (6,387 comments) says:

    The first thing we should stop is religion being allowed to pollute the minds of our young people.
    In particular the offensive book of Christianity with its passages on infanticide, violence, genocidal maniac gods and porn.

    Griff, funny though, how the majority of those that seriously follow the laws and dictates of that book are lawful, moral, upstanding citizens. Their children have less trouble in school, less trouble with the law, less trouble with substance abuse, depression, gangs, etc.

    Perhaps you got it wrong ey?

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  15. GPT1 (2,121 comments) says:

    I think I agree with you in principal but does a search engine really need to return a search for PTHC etc? Although the answer is probably in the practicality – ban one child abuse term and no doubt a new one will take it’s place before the GG has finished signing the ban into law.

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  16. Redbaiter (8,823 comments) says:

    “Which is true enough, but this is really showing that for all that, Cameron retains a classic Conservative authoritarian streak.”

    You’re apparently a simple minded uncomprehending and ignorant idiot who thinks morality is just a matter of government passing enough laws.

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  17. Griff (7,700 comments) says:

    My point was reddy that curtailing the nets freedom is a slippery slope. My anti Christian rant was purely to illustrate to those Christians in favor of any censorship are opening the door for further censorship of the net .

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  18. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Having had some experience tracking some very dodgy net users, I can assure people that there are enough “euphemistic” terms out there for all sorts of illegal items, and that any bans on search terms is an exercise in futility. Could you ban, for example, all searches involving the name “Sven” ?

    This is quite simply yet another exercise in pretending to care so that someone can wear their moral heart on their sleeve to show that they care and agonize more than you and thus are morally superior. Actually “protecting” anyone is not the intention, pretending that it will do so is the cover for the ability to censor and track at will. Kiddy fiddling is simply the latest cause du jour to justify this.

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  19. Andrew Pirie (2 comments) says:

    Given that most NZ ISPs already voluntarily support the Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System run by the Internal Affairs Department, Cameron’s proposals would seem extreme and unnecessary in the local context.

    http://www.dia.govt.nz/Services-Censorship-Compliance-Internet-and-website-filter-%28known-as-the-Digital-Child-Exploitation-Filtering-System%29

    [DPF: The DIA system, while not perfect, has two very good features about it. The first is that it is of course voluntary. The second is that only sites or pages that have been determined to have child abuse images on them are blocked. It does not filter on search terms or the like, which would produce a huge number of "false positives]“

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  20. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    Any sort of filtering should be opt in not opt out. Parents are responsible for their children and adults are responsible for themselves. Cameron is a Conservative in name only and this is just another attempt at trying to exert control over the internet.

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  21. Harriet (4,970 comments) says:

    “….The reason that our state educates children about sexual matters is because people like you refuse to do so….”

    No griff…..the state teaches sex education poorly…….’here’s the dangers 14lds, now go to it if you choose’….so they do and they then get sexual diseases and pregnant……then the state says “look we need to teach them younger as kids who are just 13&14 are getting sexual diseases and pregnant”…. so they then teach the 12ylds poorly……..

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  22. Kea (12,838 comments) says:

    This is nothing more than a move towards government censorship of the internet. They use “child pornography” as the excuse because no one want to be seen defending “child pornography”. But no one is defending that. They are defending freedom of expression. Like most laws based on “think of the children” this one is bad.

    How many of you have found kiddy porn on the internet ? Have you even checked if it can be found with a simple google search ? It can not be found so simply and the people who view this filth have work-arounds. The law would give rise to government censorship and do nothing to stop the abuse of kids. Wake up !

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  23. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @Harriet

    Please stop peddling the myth that sex education causes kids to get sexual diseases and/or pregnant.

    Teenage pregnancy rates in New Zealand peaked in 1972 and are now under half of that level.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/births/~/media/Statistics/browse-categories/population/births/teenage-fertility-in-nz/live-births.gif

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  24. wreck1080 (3,912 comments) says:

    @Ashley Schaeffer : do you have kids? And smart phones tablets?

    Apparently not.

    Otherwise you’d have an appreciation about how difficult it is to block porn.

    It is amazing the number of people here who do not want the term ‘kiddy porn’ blocked.

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  25. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @wreck1080

    It’s a term that’s in common usage. Why would you want to block search engines from indexing news articles and media reports?

    For example:

    https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=kiddy+porn+site%3Anzherald.co.nz

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  26. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    @wreck1080

    I have all those things and guess what, we manage to avoid porn quite easily. We must be using our brains or something.

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  27. infused (654 comments) says:

    What a douche bag.

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  28. Kea (12,838 comments) says:

    wreck1080 , bullshit. Most of us do not feel the burning need to announce to the world our opposition to “kiddy porn” and I am suspicious of those who do feel that need.

    Type “kiddy porn” into your search engine and see what you get. Posturing idiot. Sort yourself out and stop this mindless think-of-the-children crap. No intelligent person is buying it.

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  29. Griff (7,700 comments) says:

    Harriet (2,178) Says: ……

    harry it I know that’s my position on sex edd all good except is was not me who posted that it was.

    gump (725) Says:
    July 23rd, 2013 at 10:12 am

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  30. Scott (1,800 comments) says:

    Really good idea to filter the Internet. This is a conservative idea. Conservatism recognises the existence of evil and the need for moral restraint and protection of the people from harm. It is an example of the Prime minister of Great Britain actually putting forward a conservative policy. Which makes a change from his progressive stance on gay marriage.

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  31. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @Scott

    Your post demonstrates why conservatism can’t be taken seriously.

    “Conservatism recognises the existence of evil and the need for moral restraint and protection of the people from harm.”

    This is wholly inconsistent with conservative ideals such as freedom of moral choice, freedom from government interference, and a rejection of the nanny state.

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  32. Ryan Sproull (7,144 comments) says:

    Gump,

    It’s not inconsistent if you think about it correctly. For example, you have a freedom of moral choice, if you choose to be moral; you are free from government interference, if you give the government no reason to interfere with you; you reject the nanny state as long as you also only take tobacco or alcohol, but no other drugs.

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  33. nasska (11,503 comments) says:

    In other words, your freedom has no limits other than those imposed by God’s little helpers.

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  34. Kea (12,838 comments) says:

    Scott, do you think it will be conservatives who will decide what we are allowed to see ? Provide reasons.

    Ryan Sproull, who decides what is moral ? Provide reasons.

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  35. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    Ryan: Nice work on your first post above – a bit too subtle for some though.

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  36. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull, who decides what is moral ?

    Trick question. Morality isn’t a human construct because humans do not define what fundamental truth is.

    mo·ral·i·ty
    /məˈralətē/
    Noun
    Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

    prin·ci·ple
    /ˈprinsəpəl/
    Noun
    A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

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