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Censorship Government Privacy The Internet United Kingdom Your Rights Online

UK Gov't Wants To Block Internet Porn By Default 642

Posted by timothy
from the get-naked-for-the-cctv-instead dept.
airfoobar writes "Yet another country wants to 'protect the children' by blocking all internet porn — not just child porn, all porn. The British gov will talk with ISPs next month to ask them to make porn blocking mandatory (and they appear more than happy to comply). As an effect, adults who want to access pornography through their internet connections will have to 'opt in.' Their rationale is that if ISPs have managed to block all child porn, they'll also be able to block all other porn as well."
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UK Gov't Wants To Block Internet Porn By Default

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  • Oh wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by contra_mundi (1362297) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:29AM (#34607256)
    Is there a better example of the slippery slope associated with any censorship?
  • Opting in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:31AM (#34607270) Homepage

    "Opting in" will likely place customers on a permanent record that will be "accidentally" leaked to a "citizens for decency" movement to publish.

  • Re:Oh wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm ... UTom minus punct> on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:39AM (#34607324) Journal

    Hey now. Personally I think we should thank Britain. Thank you, o British people, for no matter how big of a bunch of douchebags our government in the USA becomes, you will ALWAYS end up so much worse we here in America will always have something to feel good about. You are to us what Mississippi is to the south. At least we can point at you, with your fifty bazillion cameras and nanny state BS and go "Well at least we aren't them!". So thank you Britain, for always stepping up to the plate.

    Seriously, I thought the religious ninnies in the USA were bad. When did the British become more uptight about sex than the USA? I thought being a giant bunch of prudes was OUR gig! And wouldn't you just looooove to snatch the PCs of the ones pushing this? You know they probably need TB sized drives just to hold all the kink.

  • Re:Oh wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jonbryce (703250) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:42AM (#34607352) Homepage

    and if they do want to block porn, then why not start with the photos on page 3 of our biggest selling newspaper?

  • Poor Assumption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crow_t_robot (528562) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:43AM (#34607364)

    Their rationale is that if ISPs have managed to block all child porn, they'll also be able to block all other porn as well.

    Except, they haven't...not even close.

  • So lets start. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:44AM (#34607366)

    1. How are you going to block porn? Would you like me to register a new domain in 2 minutes and bypass your blacklist?

    2. What about porn which comes from filesharing - such as torrents or upload-services? Oh right, they're the next step. *Marks*

    3. This is going to backfire horribly. 18 year old kiddy living with his mom can't get her to opt in. Married Man with very controlling wife can't get to opt in. So lets visit the bowels of the internet to get porn - and get a virus collection while we're there.

    4. If you want to think of the children, you could like - give away free child-control software or something? Yes? No? Maybe?

  • by PinkyGigglebrain (730753) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:49AM (#34607410)

    ... Banning all torrents, usernet access, or file shareing sites such as Rapidshare, Uploading, DepositFiles, etc??? How would they do this without killing almost all of the internet??

    I think that is their plan, both in method and intent.

  • by Bloodwine77 (913355) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @11:51AM (#34607438)
    I'm sure ISPs will be happy to remove the porn block ... for a fee. Basically turning porn on the internet into a premium service.
  • by Eil (82413) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @12:03PM (#34607544) Homepage Journal

    In order to block pornography by default, what they'll have to do is put the entire country on its own network and erect some kind of great firewall between citizens and the world-wide Internet. At the firewall level, filters would then be easily implemented to block any content that the government might find objectionable.

    The good news is that there several other countries who have successfully deployed such technology to their citizenship, so the U.K. should be able to seek technical and political advice from them:

    • China
    • Cuba
    • Iran
    • North Korea
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Syria
  • What is porn? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @12:13PM (#34607610)

    Please tell me what porn is. Then once you are done I will come up with two things.
    1) Something that you explain is porn and clearly is not.
    2) Something that you explain is not porn and clearly is.

    And what again is so bad about porn and what again is not bad about violence?

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @12:16PM (#34607626) Homepage

    This is likely to have the opposite of the intended effect.

    They claim that they've succeeded in preventing people from inadvertently viewing child porn. This doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. I live in the US, where there is no such law in place, and I've never inadvertently viewed child porn. Presumably this is because child porn is illegal, so nobody just puts it up on a publicly accessible web site. I'm sure people who want to get child porn can get it, and presumably they do it using various workarounds, such as encryption, anonymization, and file-sharing on darknets, so that they don't end up in jail. However, most people who arent chil-porn users aren't going to bother learning how to use the complicated workarounds, because it would be a lot of work and they don't need it.

    Now let's imagine what happens with this new setup they're proposing to protect boys from seeing naked ladies. Adolescent boys are generally extremely interested in seeing naked ladies. So now you've taken a large chunk of the population and given them a strong motivation to route around censorship. Every adolescent boy in Britain now wants to know how to use workarounds in order to evade the controls put in place by their parents and their parents' ISP. Learning to use these workarounds will be some work, but these fine young British boys are highly motivated to do that work because they've got Big Ben in their pants aching like a bad tooth.

    So the net result is to take anti-censorship workarounds that are currently used by a tiny population of child-porn users and ensure their widespread adoption by every horny kid in England, Scotland, and Wales. Congratulations.

  • Re:Oh wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lambent (234167) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @12:22PM (#34607668)

    How is it not opt-in the way it is already? Nobody forces you to look at porn when you open a web browser. They very act of going to specific sites to look at pornography is opt-in by itself.

  • Re:cp (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @12:47PM (#34607864) Homepage Journal

    This is not about porn.

    It is about using porn to get people to roll back the advances and advantages that they acquired with the advent of wide-spread Internet communications access.

    "Back in your cage, you!"

  • Re:Oh wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bursch-X (458146) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @12:51PM (#34607904)
    Going to a porn site is also pretty opt-in. It's not like porn sites are randomly set as your default page in your browser.
  • Re:cp (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2010 @01:05PM (#34608042)
    Seriously...

    Their rationale is that if ISPs have managed to block all child porn, they'll also be able to block all other porn as well

    You've got to be kidding! There are still tons of free CP out there! Good thing the government doesn't know that the ISPs have only managed to hide it from plain sight.

  • Re:Opting in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thiez (1281866) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @01:12PM (#34608096)

    > If your ashamed of what you are doing you should not be doing it.

    There are plenty of things people do that they are not ashamed of, but that other people who have the power to make other peoples lives miserable/difficult/whatever might find objectionable.

  • by Andy Smith (55346) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @01:30PM (#34608258)

    Most pornography is legal.

    The blocking of material should be decided on a legal / illegal basis. Blocking a subset of legal material will, you would hope, violate some trade regulation. The law-abiding producers of legal pornography have as much right to do business, without government interference, as the charity shop selling home-made cakes.

  • Re:Oh wow. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jurily (900488) <jurily AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 19, 2010 @01:42PM (#34608354)

    My kids will have access to all the porn they want. As long as they don't try to hide their download folders.

  • Why is porn bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mangu (126918) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @01:46PM (#34608392)

    Devizes Tory MP Claire Perry raised the issue at a special Commons debate, because as a mother-of-three she knew how difficult it was to keep youngsters from seeing inappropriate material.

    I was raised in a small village with several farms around. By the age of ten I had seen all sorts of animals having sex, cattle, horses, dogs, birds, snakes, the rule is: if it moves it fucks.

    Why should children be "protected" from seeing sex?

  • Re:Oh wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @02:12PM (#34608580)

    Hell, if pictures of nude women with their breasts on show but genitals covered are considered pornography, then perhaps we should be keeping children out of art galleries.

    The well-proportioned human form is a thing of beauty. The sight of it is not something that corrupts anyone.

  • Re:cp (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mista2 (1093071) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @02:52PM (#34608852)

    After porn, it will be other harmful content, then wikileaks, then anyother site the government doesnt want you to get to. And as they have to sniff you traffic to see if it's porn, they may as well keep all those logs on you, and get to them without any need for a pesky warrant, or due process.

  • Re:cp (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kasperd (592156) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @05:03PM (#34609784) Homepage Journal

    There are still tons of free CP out there!

    Have you got any evidence to back up that statement? More likely there wasn't tons of it to begin with, and most of the blocked sites are legitimate. Recently there was news about a group that audited the sites in the Danish and Norwegian lists, and of the hundreds of sites they audited only three were found to have illegal content. They managed to get those three sites taken down in a couple of days. They were not just filtered, they were completely taken down. (Which would then leave the filter in a state where everything filtered was legitimate content).

    the ISPs have only managed to hide it from plain sight.

    That is true. Instead of filtering, they could work on getting every one of those sites taken down, that would bring them one step closer to the source. Even better would be to prosecute the site operators. The best would be to go after the people who produce it in the first place.

    Sometimes you have to stop and wonder why they are fighting it to begin with. Are they fighting it because they think it is distasteful? If that is the only reason to fight it, then it is nothing but censorship. But that of course isn't the reason we should fight against it, the reason we should fight against it is to stop the abuse of children which is happening to produce it.

    If you accept that the real crime we want to prevent is child abuse, then distribution of child pornography is really not a major crime. The child porn however is evidence of a major crime. Seen in that light, fighting distribution of child porn is really just hiding the problem. Even if they succeed in stopping all distribution of child porn on the internet, it still means they have done nothing to stop the real problem, they have just hidden it very well.

    Now go back and think about some of the moves that have been done in the fight against child pornography. How many of the moves suggest the fight is because people find it distasteful? How many of the moves suggest the fight is to stop child abuse?

  • by CosmeticLobotamy (155360) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @05:45PM (#34610126)

    Murder in real life makes 99.9% people want to vomit. If you watch a horror movie and start fantasizing about being the killer, there's something incredibly wrong with you.

    Squirting DNA at other people in real life is virtually irresistible and damn near the meaning of life. If you watch porn and DON'T want to have sex, you either recently had sex (with zero or more partners) or there's something incredibly wrong with you.

    I don't understand why people even compare the two. They're nothing alike, except that they can both be seen on TV if you film them and put them on TV.

    But my usual disclaimer when I say that: I don't support censorship of it. Kids will learn to screw. I watched a bunch of porn as a kid, and it was only a minor contributor to why I'm a miserable piece of crap adult. Just teach kids how condoms work so it doesn't destroy them when they figure out how to con their classmates into scratching their itches.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Sunday December 19, 2010 @09:13PM (#34611544) Journal
    Don't send your thankyou note just yet. This is just another beat up from the Murdoch crowd. If you read between the lines it is not the government but rather one MP with no power to do anything except rant...

    Claire Perry, the Tory MP for Devizes and a keen lobbyist for more restrictions, said: "Unless we show leadership, the internet industry is not going to self-regulate. The minister has said he will get the ISPs together and say, 'Either you clean out your stables or we are going to do it for you'."

    Equating that to "the government" is like saying the US government is going to assasinate Assange because of the rantings of one hypre-ventilating congressman. This proposal will get even less traction than Australia's "great firewall" which (as I predicted several years ago) has gone nowhere, and never will.

    TFA is dishonest and written in a way that feeds the parinoia of many slashdotters, which I suspect is the main reason that tripe like this makes it to the front page..
  • Re:cp (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2010 @10:20PM (#34612006)

    "Have you got any evidence to back up that statement?"

    There is lots of free CP. I think you've just forgotten how broad they've made the definition of CP.

  • Re:cp (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday December 19, 2010 @10:40PM (#34612120) Homepage

    Please define porn first. A two adults sharing a dirty voip (internet call) porn, how about when it is a video call.

    So will companies that sell porn have to identify themselves as such in and then why would they. Porn has an international supply so how are foreign companies targeted.

    The reality of this is 24/7 monitoring and censorship of all internet communications, including phone calls, otherwise how can you block porn.

    The same old lie spread again and again, to protect children. So is the government saying that content suitable for a 16 year old is suitable for a 6 year old how about a 5 year old and a seventeen teen year old. The reality is if you want an internet suitable for children is has to be a children only internet, one that has been censored of all unhealthy commercial content, one where content is approved, so no commercial, no junk food, no raunch targeted at minors. Everything other than this for children is a lie.

  • Re:cp (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 19, 2010 @10:43PM (#34612142)

    Back in the real world anything that makes a noise is in danger of being shunted into a reputation described camp. People don't get re-elected after periods like this - when neighbors and family-members are botted right and left.

    Do you understand what it is like to read primary source material and then try to have a conversation with a loved one that consumes major media. There is no need to explain the younger generation's fascination with zombies if you live in the U.S. The undead are everywhere.

    Re-election should be the least concern of any Pol that loves this country. This slippery slope goes all the way down - go to any college campus and judge the level of discourse in the political sciences departments. I visited several major campuses including an Ivy League for conferences while trying to find like minds.

    Every discussion I found was put forth as if by a child that was afraid of pissing off the mother. There is no courage except where the participant is cleared, and they each seek approval from their delegations prior to engagement. That is a description of an aborted fetus, not preparation for anything other than becoming a slave to the machine.

    You are not looking at conspiracy theories about neo-fascism - you are looking at sudden, widespread recognition of a pattern. We have seen this before.

  • Re:cp (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2010 @05:08AM (#34613780)

    When the child porn filter was introduced in Denmark, people were using the same arguments.

    "It's a slippery slope. Soon it will be expanded to include sites like allofmp3.com and TPB".

    Other people were using arguments like yours, calling the first group tinfoil hats, etc.

    Then allofmp3.com was added to the list.

    "It's a slippery slope. Soon it will be expanded to include sites like TPB".

    "Of course not, take off your tinfoil hat. allofmp3 was included because it's outside the civilized world, TPB is in Sweden".

    Then they blocked TPB.

    So far, the people with the tinfoil hats and slippery slope arguments have been correct every time.

    At least we haven't yet gone as far as filtering regular porn.

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