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UK Wants ISPs To Be Responsible For Third Party Content Online 158

Posted by samzenpus
from the damned-by-association dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A key UK government minister, Ed Vaizey (Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), has ominously proposed that internet service providers should introduce a new Mediation Service that would allow them the freedom to censor third party content on the Internet, without court intervention, in response to little more than a public complaint. Vaizey anticipates that Internet users could use the 'service' to request that any material deemed to be 'inaccurate' (good luck with that) or privacy infringing is removed. No doubt any genuine complaints would probably get lost in a sea of abuse by commercial firms trying to attack freedom of speech and expression."
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UK Wants ISPs To Be Responsible For Third Party Content Online

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  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @09:55PM (#34084726)
    You need to think of this from the child's point of view! We are doing this to protect THEM!
    • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann,slashdot&gmail,com> on Monday November 01, 2010 @01:45AM (#34085980) Homepage Journal

      You need to think of this from the child's point of view! We are doing this to protect THEM!

      Scrap that. We need to protect the internet FROM them!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mistlefoot (636417)
      I agree. Protect the kids.

      And they will enjoy the no more "Santa Claus" or "Easter Bunny" or any other "inaccurate" societal figures like God. Or is that Mohammed? Or Jehovah? Fox News will be banned in the UK?

      Who decides what is an inacurrate fact?
  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @10:00PM (#34084762) Journal

    Why would we worry about this facilitating attacks on free speech? It is one in itself. Allowing random third parties to censor speech is not free speech. Better is to allow the ISPs at their option to pull content they believe their customers posted in bad faith, which responsible ISPs did with regularity in the US before doing so made them responsible when they missed a case of it. ISPs don't want to be known for hosting BS sites, but several governments have made it easier to take all hands off user content than to enforce reasonable terms of service with meaningful thought and constraint. The US is among those, and I'd bet the UK is as well.

    • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @10:53PM (#34085088)

      Better is to allow the ISPs at their option to pull content they believe their customers posted in bad faith, which responsible ISPs did with regularity in the US before doing so made them responsible when they missed a case of it.

      I'm not sure that is better at all. Either an ISP has an editorial function, or it does not. If you want to claim that you are not responsible for any content you carry, then act as a common carrier (or whatever your jurisdiction calls it) and don't actively read, alter, moderate or otherwise influence the data you carry. If you want to have the rights to scan or edit data passing through your network on an individual basis, based on the decisions of your own staff or the commercial agreements you choose to make to promote some content over other content, then you are no longer a mere conduit, and you must expect to be held accountable for the content you provide and any privacy violations that occur when you read data you shouldn't. I don't see how any middle ground in the legal position is not wide open to abuse, even if some responsible staff at some ISPs would not in fact abuse it.

      • by JWW (79176) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:32PM (#34085380)

        Personally I'm still waiting for the ISP to begin to strongly respond that this is not in their best interests.

        At the minimum they will need to monitor all their customers. At the maximum the copyright barons want the ISPs to kick "infringers" off of the Internet.

        When will the ISPs realize that for every person they kick off the Internet thats another person not paying them a monthly fee. If they have to dump 10% of their customers, they'll lose 10% of their revenue. This is not a good idea for the ISPs, its suicide.

        • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Monday November 01, 2010 @02:20AM (#34086118)

          You forget the ISP business model; promise the moon on a stick, expect to only have to deliver a small balloon.

          Kicking off the 10% that actually use their 'unlimited - fair use limit applies' account means they can delay that upgrade for another couple of years, as hey, grandma using email and facebook doesn't exactly strain the uplinks the way the rapidshare and bittorrent guys do.

          And being told to do so by the government because that customer was accused of copyright infringement by an upstanding and honest company like ACS:Law, means they don't get sued by their customers for breach of contract! Marvellous, eh.

          No, what the ISP objects to with the 3 strikes-style laws is it means they have to do more paperwork and hire more people to deal with it. If the copyright industry was bearing the costs, not the ISP, they'd kick heavy users off first chance they got.

          • by Nemyst (1383049)
            That, and the fact that many ISPs also are copyright owners and content makers. Then they're just defending their own interests in a different subsection of the company.
        • those who raise the sword will end by it.

          I see this in connection with net-neutrality.

          Every carrier interested in privileging traffic depending on content has to look into content - and is therefore not unaware of the content.

          Therefore the responsibility for blocking transport of illegal content may rest on his shoulders.

        • by shentino (1139071)

          Depends on if that 10 percent loss is made up for in being spared from lawsuits.

          "nice revenue you have...shame if anything happened to it."

          followed by

          "Tell youse what...you take care of our problem, and we'll let you do your business."

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cgenman (325138)

        I'm not sure that is better at all. Either an ISP has an editorial function, or it does not.

        This is a bit black-and-white. ISP's host lots of data and services for customers, and there are many valid reasons to pull data or services.

        1. Malware. If the service is causing problems for other ISP's and services, yours will be blacklisted. Get the malware off.
        2. Overuse of limited resources. A script that is monopolizing the resources of a server will need to be dealt with.
        3. Spam. ISP's hate spammers as m

        • I think the big difference in most of the cases you mentioned is that there is some sort of objective test, potentially an automatic one, that could be applied. Things get more difficult when you get into subjective issues, which is why we have courts in the first place. Courts can be expensive and time-consuming, which is why we have less formal but still independent and binding alternatives available in some cases.

      • by Artifakt (700173) on Monday November 01, 2010 @01:51AM (#34086008)

        Why?
        Take a private citizen. There are, in some places, specific requirements for specific private citizens to report certain felonies, (i.e. a schoolteacher being required to report suspected child abuse) but they don't translate to those same entities having to report all misdemeanors, traffic violations and torts. So why should the standard for ISPs be so much all or nothing.
                There are also other cases where specific knowledge limits are observed by law. Somewhat to my shame, I once participated in a program where local law enforcement dogs were trained to sniff out drugs. I personally planted drugs in various containers (i.e wrap the brick of dope in three layers of oil soaked plastic, and stick it in the middle of a half full coffee container, seal it, put it on the highest kitchen shelf, wipe down the area, then see if the dog can alert on it when the handler didn't know where I hid it either and couldn't give the dog subconsious cues.). This included attending a controlled burn and such, so if I were to testify that I smelled Cannabis, it would count as expert testimony, and that testimony could not be impeached with questions about how I happened to know for sure that what I smelled was pot, say from an opposing lawyer. Most citizens can't make that claim - they either have to admit they know what pot smells like from illegal use, or all they can say is they thought whatever they smelled might be pot. I could theoretically be compelled to testify if subpoenaed, but most people can't. That pesky 'truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth' bit means, in the US at least, you don't generally have a legal obligation to say what you don't know to be true, but only suspect.
                  In addition, most ISPs don't employ someone who could make a determination, say, whether a person in an erotic photo was of legal age or a year or two under, or whether those nuclear bomb diagrams have anything classified in them (or would even work) or not. Most ISPs don't employ anyone who is a recognized specialist in copyright law either. Yes, it can be argued that common knowledge should cause employees to suspect a current piece of popular music or TV show is copyrighted and a violation is likely taking place, but expecting that to translate to knowing the status of 30 year old TV shows or music is another story. There's also the normal limits of age and obscurity - a typical 20 year old may have no reason to know whether Woody Herman recorded that file in the 1990's or the 1930's, and a typical 50 year old may have no idea who A Flock of Seagulls or Front 242 was, let alone whatever's popular now. If a person has no idea if the music comes from a commercial source and not a garage band sharing its own files, how can the law demand that person follow up on suspicions they may simply not have?

        • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday November 01, 2010 @08:48AM (#34087698)

          Why?
          Take a private citizen

          Kidnapping. Good start.

          • by robot256 (1635039)

            Why? Take a private citizen

            Kidnapping. Good start.

            Epic tl;dr.

            • I especially liked the part where the guy now has a legitimate reason to say to the cops "Yeah, there is a reason why I know what weed smells like."
        • If a person has no idea if the music comes from a commercial source and not a garage band sharing its own files, how can the law demand that person follow up on suspicions they may simply not have?

          The RIAA's dream answer to this would be: "Any music online that we haven't approved for posting is illegal. Any garage bands that want to record music and put it online should first sign with one of our labels and *then* put their music online (if their contact allows it*)."

          * The contract won't allow it.**
          ** The

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Chowderbags (847952)

          Most citizens can't make that claim - they either have to admit they know what pot smells like from illegal use, or all they can say is they thought whatever they smelled might be pot.

          Or they've been to a Phish concert.

    • by cgenman (325138) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:06AM (#34085620) Homepage

      I would like to complain about Ed Vaizey's opinion about public forums. Where do I go to censor him?

    • Cool. Let's start with complaints about the minster's blog, website, parliment website, especially campaign advertisement pages and links. Pretty soon he will get the message. Nothing can change a law faster than allowing a politician to feel the full effects of it.
  • Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 31, 2010 @10:07PM (#34084808)

    All sites promoting religion are inaccurate, many government sites are inaccurate and Mr Vaizey himself makes assertions which would be widely deemed as inaccurate.

    Didcot's Got Talent

    On Saturday, I was one of four judges judging Didcot talent at the Civic Hall. Two dance groups, two guitar soloists and three bands, and the winner was the Mojo Pins, who already have a demo tape out there. I judged with whispering Bob Harris of Old Grey Whistle Test fame, and he was brilliant. All the acts were outstanding, and even more impressive was the organisation by Didcot sixth formers, as part of their Young Enterprise project. Well done to all involved.

    This is inaccurate, nobody with any "talent" is going to perform for a moron like Mr Vaizey. I demand this inaccurate blog posting [vaizey.com] be removed at once!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We're sorry, but this comment contained inaccurate information which suggested that Ed Vaizey's new plan for the Internet was flawed. It has been removed for your safety. Have a nice day.

  • Whatever happened to

    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it

    ???

    Oh that's right, Voltaire was french - the UK government has never really liked any ideas that came from across the channel.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Whatever happened to "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

      It was a cute sound bite but a dumb idea then, and it's still a cute sound bite but a dumb idea now.

      Protecting political speech is one thing, but I have no intention of defending to the death your "right" to tell vicious lies about someone that destroy their life just because you have time/money/media control/influence that they do not and you happen not to like them.

      This is why absolute free speech is a dumb idea, which in turn is why no country actually guarantees it in law.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by niftydude (1745144)
        I don't mind if people get to spew out their hate speech - in fact I prefer it - it makes it easier for me to judge them correctly compared to if they were hiding their true beliefs behind a thin veneer of polite conversation.

        If people want to blast their lies and propaganda out in all directions - I say let them - there are two sides to any story, and the other party will always have the ability to respond. In this sense, the internet is a great leveler - you don't have to be wealthy or have media influ
        • If people want to blast their lies and propaganda out in all directions - I say let them - there are two sides to any story, and the other party will always have the ability to respond.

          The trouble is, that theoretical ability to have your own say might not be sufficient to undo the damage.

          A topical example is abuse of teachers by pupils. It has been the case for some years that a mere allegation made by a child of inappropriate behaviour on the part of a teacher has been sufficient to dramatically disrupt that teacher's career, not to mention causing them considerable distress. Suspension has been almost automatic for many employers, the teacher can find their name and photograph all over

    • by WitnessForTheOffense (1669778) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:28AM (#34085730)
      I may disagree with the veracity of your attribution, but I will defend to mild inconvenience your right to repeat a famous misquotation.

      Voltaire didn't actually say that.

      "The most oft-cited Voltaire quotation is apocryphal. He is incorrectly credited with writing, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” These were not his words, but rather those of Evelyn Beatrice Hall, written under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre in her 1906 biographical book The Friends of Voltaire."

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire#cite_ref-18 [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by niftydude (1745144)
        Oh No! I posted something containing inaccurate content!
        Quick! Where's the legislation to force slashdot to remove it????
  • by EdIII (1114411) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @10:20PM (#34084924)

    I am reminded of the world of Farenheit 451 and the plethora of Sci-Fi books and movies in which the Nazis won World War II. The free world is shackled with fascism on every level, censorship is enforced with capital punishment, and the secret police are in your head.

    If truth really is stranger than fiction I can see Germany invading England again in the future to free the world of a great threat against freedom. In the end it will be like D-Day, but in reverse with a coalition of forces eating buttery croissants before leaving Normandy for the shores of England.

    • by zmollusc (763634) on Monday November 01, 2010 @03:46AM (#34086482)

      Pfft! I would like to see them TRY to invade England. Our mighty fleet of a handful of obsolescent fighting ships will easily fend off the invaders for the 60 years or so necessary for us to build up our power generating capacity to allow us to make steel (once we have rebuilt the steelworks) and buy back the industrial machinery we sold off abroad that we need to build that steel into tanks and ships (once we retrain all the brighter media studies graduates so they can add up and use a lathe). And it will be simple to flatten the flimsy chipboard houses (that replaced the factories) to make space for factories (and the rail network that got torn up and thrown away).

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Heh, reminds me of exactly what they say about the military in Norway. The US has threatened to withdraw advanced stockpiles because we would be overrun so fast they'd be free supplies for the enemy. Everybody is either pointing to NATO - which is pointing in circles because everyone else relies on NATO too - or they claim we can rebuild, which is highly unlikely if the enemy is a bit subtle in their buildup.

        On the other hand, with the free flow of everything with the EU does it seem likely? Yes, still diff

      • They do still have nuclear weapons.

        I think they'll be fine.
  • I can see it now:

    Caller:
    "...and yes what they are doing to that kitty cat is cruel! I mean the mean people don't even let the kitty know its a laser pointer dot and I just about cried after it ran into the wall!"

    Support:
    "Ma'am I know exactly how you feel as we get 'some' of these terrible reports every day. Unfortunately, however, we have already sent the data down the tubes and it could be any number of sub-tubes. I'll put a work order to have the tubes checked out but I cannot make any promises as they

  • Bad title (Score:3, Insightful)

    by santax (1541065) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @10:31PM (#34084976)
    Ok, despite the fact that the UK like the USA is being run and held captive by complete morons with only self-enrichment at all costs in mind, this is 1 guy. One guy does not equal the whole of the UK.
    • by zmollusc (763634)

      Well, it depends if it is the one guy who gets to make a decision. We plebs don't get a say in the decisions or laws made, you know.

  • Impressive Spin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cappp (1822388) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @10:35PM (#34085002)
    I love the hyperbole online. The actual quote states that he was interested in

    setting up a mediation service for consumers who have legitimate concerns that their privacy has been breached or that online information about them is inaccurate or constitutes a gross invasion of their privacy to discuss whether there is any way to remove access to that information.

    . It's all there. A means by which a LEGITIMATE concern over SPECIFIC kinds of information is removed after a REGULATED PROCESS between parties. He's talking about asking the Daily Mail to remove that story where they accidentally labelled you a paedophile. Or that other one where your address is listed as the local supermarket. Or that other one where someone has posted a sample of the text messages you sent your wife. Or maybe even those pictures you forwarded to your entire address book accidentally.

    This is a good thing. Aren't we always harping on about Facebook/Google deliberatly violating our privacy? This guy is suggesting a mechanism whereby that kind of privacy violation can be limited, and everyone immediatly leaps to censorship hysteria.

    • You mean like a cease and desist letter, or a lawsuit? I thought those existed already.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cappp (1822388)
        I get the impression it was supposed to be a step below those options, a cheaper alternative that allows Joe sixpack the opportunity to gain the same protections online that major corporations with their huge legal departments benefit from.
        • by hedwards (940851)
          You mean sort of like binding arbitration? That's one step below the court system as well, that never gets abused.
          • by cappp (1822388)
            Yeah because we're completely overwhlemed by all those historic examples of the general public abusing industry via binding arbitration. Anyway this was proposed as mediation, not arbitration. The idea of the thing is to allow your average person to benefit from the legal protections that the rich and/or corporations already have mechanisms to exploit.
            • woosh.

            • The underlying problem is that the courts are too expensive, especially for things like libel, so why not deal directly with that?

              Also, when you set up a mechanism like this, it will probably be used more by the rich than the general public.

              The Magna Charta says "To no one will we deny justice". That means we should all have access to the same justice, not a cheap system anyone can use, with the rich getting the option of a luxury version.

          • by julesh (229690)

            You mean sort of like binding arbitration?

            As I understand it, binding arbitration is not legally permissible in the UK. It is considered a fundamental right to have any legal dispute settled by a court of law. If you go through an arbitration process and disagree with the result, you can still take it to court.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by julesh (229690)

          I get the impression it was supposed to be a step below those options, a cheaper alternative

          So, something like a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office [ico.gov.uk], then?

          • by cappp (1822388)
            I dont think so, solely because their mission statement [ico.gov.uk] (pdf) reads

            "we are primarily concerned with regulating the processing of personal data by the state, by businesses and by other organisations."

            I could be wrong, but I get the impression that the ICO deals with issues of personal data abuse by organizations that personally gathered it - like the government and tax info, or survey takers and demographics. The idea that was being discussed seems broader than that - permitting people to challenge the spr

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Sure they do, and they're just fine if you have more money than sense and your lawyer on speed dial. Here in the UK, however, we tend to consider formal court action a last resort, and to try to resolve things via less formal (and expensive and time-consuming) means first. Full legal actions are a significant hassle, the cost of which in time and/or money may be disproportionate to the damage caused even if the damage is real.

        • A notice letter is neither very expensive nor very much hassle. If they ignore a notice from a private person, have a lawyer send a notice. If they ignore the lawyer, file an action and have the court send a notice. There's a definite stepwise course that already can be used and makes plenty of sense.

          If they ignore you and go all the way to court now, why would they pay any more attention if there was an official process to accept notices and ignore them?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by digitig (1056110)
            Because firing off legal threats is always so much more effective than actually talking to each other, isn't it?
            • I think the point is that the powers requested to do something like get a news site to take an inaccurate story down (or correct it) already exist. You don't need a law saying "Anyone can tell an ISP to take down content based on an unproven claim that the content is inaccurate, illegal, etc." You can first call and talk with the ISP or content provider. If they're not reasonable, you can write a cease and desist letter (either assisted by a lawyer or not assisted by one). If that still doesn't work, yo

            • An informal C&D then a formal C&D then a threat of actual action then an actual filing of a civil lawsuit is an appropriate escalation of action. You don't get a fair shake out of this type of thing by forcing the host of the data to take action without prior notice that there's a problem.

              If the data host that's not part of posting the data finds a problem themselves after you send a friendly letter, they can take it down themselves. If they need a formal C&C from your lawyer, then they're alrea

              • by digitig (1056110)
                I don't think you understand the word "mediation".
                • I didn't see anything about actual mediation, so I thought the definition of the mentioned word was moot. Forcing someone to do something is not mediation. Having binding arbitration is mediation, but that doesn't involve questions of law so much as questions of equity.

                  The best mediation anyway is between the complainant and the poster, not the complainant and the host. If you make one host take it down, you'll just end up playing whack-a-mole with the hosting companies, wiki editors, etc. If you get the po

                  • by digitig (1056110)

                    Try reading the RA, and what the minister actually said, rather than the spin /. and ISPreview have tried to put on it: "It is certainly worth the Government brokering a conversation with the internet industry about setting up a mediation service for consumers who have legitimate concerns that their privacy has been breached or that online information about them is inaccurate or constitutes a gross invasion of their privacy to discuss whether there is any way to remove access to that information."

                    There is n

                    • The lower cost less adversarial option is to call them or write them a letter. If they ignore that, they'll ignore any government-brokered ombudsman, too.

                    • by digitig (1056110)

                      Write a letter to whom? You don't necessarily know who put the offending content up, but whoever is hosting it should. At the moment if you ask the host then they're likely to hide behind the data protection act and refuse to tell you without a court order. Wouldn't it be nice if they passed your complaint on to whoever put up the offending content and tried to resolve the issue without the need for a court order -- that is, if they provided a mediation service?

                      All this becomes moot if the host is not in th

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        no, this is more like skipping c&d and just going after the transmitted data. you know, to remove inaccurate information.

        problem is, nobody is never quite sure what is what. some people think that gays couldn't have fun or that mentioning abortions is blasphemy or that just explaining how gunpowder works is inappropriate to have on the net.

        archives of such things would naturally need to be censored too, otherwise it's still available. of course this proposition doesn't sound like it was thought up by an

        • I know what's mentioned in the article is skipping the C&D. That's why I pointed out that there's already a working mechanism to take care of this sort of thing without a new mechanism.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 0123456 (636235)

      He's talking about asking the Daily Mail to remove that story where they accidentally labelled you a paedophile. Or that other one where your address is listed as the local supermarket. Or that other one where someone has posted a sample of the text messages you sent your wife. Or maybe even those pictures you forwarded to your entire address book accidentally.

      And how is your ISP going to do that? At best they could remove it if it's on a server on their network, otherwise you're SOL.

      And in the case of the Daily Mail, what do you plan to do about all those evil people who have copies of the print version of the newspaper?

      • Re:Impressive Spin (Score:4, Interesting)

        by cappp (1822388) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:59PM (#34085580)
        Thats the great thing about TFA - the minister never mentions ISPs. He uses the Internet Domain Name charity as an example of a funtioning mediation service, thats it. From then on it's all about the internet industry, which includes every single online business out there. TFA claims this is about ISPs but frankly he's going off the exact same lack of info' that I am, only I'm using a little basic common sense and not surrendering to the hysteria. It appears simply that TFA is trying to drum up a little drama.
    • So why not do the same with all online media? Phone conversations: Real-time filtering of copyrighted material, trade marks and naughty words, and while we are at it, do the same with Radio, Television, Books and Newspapers... Yeah, that will work very well indeed.
    • by devent (1627873)

      This is a good thing. Aren't we always harping on about Facebook/Google deliberatly violating our privacy? This guy is suggesting a mechanism whereby that kind of privacy violation can be limited, and everyone immediatly leaps to censorship hysteria.

      Why can't we take then Facebook/Google to the court why we need to involve the ISPs? You can take any other company to the court what makes Google or Facebook so special that we need to have the ISPs involved?

      You can already sue your Daily Mail or your local super market for slander and demand that they pay and remove the offensive content. What makes companies on the internet so special?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Schools like this Singapore school which claims that its "genuine" parents are "distressed" by the internet and they needed to do something about it. So they have engaged lawyers, of course paid for by the parents themselves without their consent (or manufactured consent).

    Read at Techdirt: Indian School in Singapore sues parent for anonymous comments on his blog [techdirt.com]

    I have been following this for a while. The most recent censorship attempt takes the form of a request to the CERT of India government to ban blogs

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:25PM (#34085344)
    It seems to be lawmakers do not know what the Internet is. They need to understand that Internet does not actually exist, at least in the way they think.

    It's one big dumb unified end-to-end communication network. What people think of as "Internet" such things like search engines, web sites and other forms content, are services provided by machines and real people who manage them on the other end of some tenous abstract link through a math address space. The internet itself is a pipe with no walls. It has no spacial volume - no memory, anything that falters in the tubes, after a while vanishes, never reaching it's destination.

    Lawmakersm, please by all means make laws to go after those who do wrong, go after the actual criminals and their equipment.

    But do not attack infrastructure, it's absurd.
  • Please extend this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Sunday October 31, 2010 @11:37PM (#34085434)

    Please extend this to the phone companies and the postal service.

    And yes, that was sarcasm.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:15AM (#34085678)

    Wow. 10 years or so into the 21st century, and the Earth is still covered in a uniform 100 foot layer of bullshit. It's never going to end, is it?

  • a sea of abuse by commercial firms trying to attack freedom of speech and expression.

    Given what goes on in other spheres, it's more likely NGOs trying to attack freedom of speech and expression

  • any material deemed to be 'inaccurate' (good luck with that) or privacy infringing is removed.

    I guess that means they'll have to block everything from News Limited then. No loss.

  • by sosaited (1925622) on Monday November 01, 2010 @12:34AM (#34085768)

    From TFA

    .....at least to attempt to give consumers some opportunity to have a dialogue with internet companies, as they would be able to do if a newspaper had inadvertently published that information.

    Another minister blabbing BS about stuff he doesn't know. You Lord of morons, ISPs don't publish anything on Internet, they just provide access to what is already out there. What you are suggesting is comparable, to a micro level, to asking the postman give you each and every newspaper printed in the world that day, while first opening and reading all of them to see if they don't have anything printed in them that you deem wrong.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spad (470073)

      Internet Companies != ISPs

      Internet Companies, in this context, are companies that operate in part or in whole on the internet.

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Monday November 01, 2010 @01:21AM (#34085932)

    The people want freedom, and the government wants control of the people. Nothing new here. Its the same old struggle.

    They fear what you may reveal about them and others.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Monday November 01, 2010 @01:29AM (#34085944)

    Didn't these guys get elected on the promise of LESS censorship and LESS civil liberties violations?
    The only thing they have done so far on that score is to cancel the planned national ID card (and they only did that because it was costing so much money, not because they cared about civil liberties)

    Is there ANYONE we can vote for in western countries like Australia, New Zealand, EU countries, US etc that will actually do something about giving people back the civil liberties they lost in the 10 years or so since some idiots crashed a couple of planes into some skyscrapers?
    Is there ANYONE we can vote for that will do something GOOD when it comes to IP law and not just listen to the big end of town

  • So the first websites British ISP's will be asked to censor are:

    www.direct.gov.uk

    www.parliament.uk

    www.fco.gov.uk

    www.number10.gov.uk

    Did I miss any important British websites responsible for spreading bullshit?
  • Britain is already the country to go to for libel suits; they want to cement this position by getting a monopoly on on-demand censorship. China may have a more powerful censorship system, but it's centrally run and not available to international customers.

    Given the nature of the internet, this will not be an issue as long as it is counterbalanced by another country establishing itself as a forerunner on online freedom.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Monday November 01, 2010 @03:41AM (#34086460) Journal
    It's a debate. They're discussing the nature of internet privacy. Here's why this is a good idea; here's why it's a bad idea.

    By talking openly and by being willing to say something stupid, they can avoid putting the stupid stuff in the actual legislation.
    • "By talking openly and by being willing to say something stupid, they can avoid putting the stupid stuff in the actual legislation"

      But we all know that paid politicians want the stupid stuff in the actual legislation.

  • Screw the legislation, just build a big red button into Firefox that means "I never want to see this site again" and it blocks it permanently on the user's profile. This does the exact same thing except it protects everyone else from the stupidity of that individual and also stupid legislation. Not only that, but suddenly, Firefox becomes the UK's dominant browser.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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