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Censorship United Kingdom Government Networking The Internet Your Rights Online

British ISPs Respond On Filtering 163

Posted by Soulskill
from the defenders-of-the-porn dept.
An anonymous reader writes "UK ISPs have responded to culture minister Ed Vaisey's comments regarding pervasive, opt-out only porn filtering, bringing up many of the technical and civil-liberties issues also raised on Slashdot. In response to the government proposal, Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of the Ispa industry body, said: 'Ispa firmly believes that controls on children's access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down.' Trefor Davies, chief technology officer at ISP Timico, commented that 'Unfortunately, it's technically not possible to completely block this stuff. You end up with a system that's either hugely expensive and a losing battle because there are millions of these sites or it's just not effective. The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind.' Mr. Davies also feared that any wide-scale attempt to police pornographic content would soon be expanded to include pirated pop songs, films and TV shows. 'If we take this step it will not take very long to end up with an internet that's a walled garden of sites the governments is happy for you to see,' he said."
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British ISPs Respond On Filtering

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  • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:17AM (#34625632)
    Let me introduce you to Common Sense... Oh, I see you two just met...
  • Told you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:34AM (#34625706) Journal

    Allow a filter for kiddie porn and it won't be long before someone suggests since you can filter X you can also filter Y. Why do you think every sensible person who mattered was behind Larry Flynt and his smut? Because either you defend the smut you find disgusting or get censored yourself. It is only a matter of time before someone finds you in poor taste.

    Yes, this does mean you must defend the possibility of having kiddie porn on the net. If you are not willing to tolerate toddler porn being transmitted then you are saying "censor anything you want on the internet". A very difficult position to take. Either you have freedom and people abusing it or you don't. And oddly enough even if you limit your own freedom, it don't stop the abusers. Take away "legal" kiddie porn and only child rapist will have kiddie porn... eh what? But the proof is clear, having sex with children is illegal in many ways in the Catholic church, doesn't seem to stop them does it? Child porn is already highly illegal in most countries and yet children keep being abused. The filters, they do NOTHING!

    Except function as the introduction of filters for anything else the elite object to.

    Though choice. Either surrender your freedom or be a child rape defender. Because ANYONE suggesting that the internet should not be censored and controlled wants to share child porn, just as everyone who defended Larry Flint wanted smut.

    It is getting very hard to not be either a pedo or a terrorist these days. Think I will just surrender my freedom. So much easier and I can also get back to watching Idols.

  • by IAmGarethAdams (990037) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:37AM (#34625722)

    The problem isn't the porn sites which are obviously adult content, it's the sites which are closer to the line, maybe lingerie shops?

    Once you have a .sex TLD, you're introducing a binary classification to a scale which is not only analogue, but highly subjective.

  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:38AM (#34625736)

    I've got a better idea: just leave things alone.

  • Re:Screw it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:49AM (#34625780)

    I agree however the problem isn't that people need anonymity on the internet with something like Freenet. What needs to happen is that the original peer to peer structure of the internet needs to come back so that ISPs and governments can not filter and close down site's they disagree with such as wikileaks.

    Part of the problem could be solved with something like a city wide mesh networking using a protocol like OLSR. That way an ISP can never filter out a site the mesh simply routes around the damage. If eveyone's ISPs are filtered you could simply redirect censored traffic through a proxy.

    Being anonymous really isn't a factor in who controls the internet.

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:55AM (#34625806)

    You end up with a system that's either hugely expensive and a losing battle because there are millions of these sites or it's just not effective. The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind.

    Just release a public statement that you'll be happy to institute this filter but you'll have to significantly raise rates for customers to recoup the cost. Angry constituents will be flooding the politician's in-boxes to put a stop to this.

  • by Mordie (1943326) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @03:58AM (#34625814)
    its not just england. australia's goverment want one too, since politicans are the best and the brightest, not popular blowhards. seriously people, if your technology minster never worked in the industry, then problems you gonna have.
  • by Lord Bitman (95493) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:09AM (#34625860) Homepage

    Isn't anyone going to stand up and say that preventing children from accidentally coming across pornography has absolutely NO benefit? Pornography is not amoral. Pornography is normal. Accidentally stumbling across pornography is exactly as bad as accidentally stumbling across a lolcat.
    "Think of the children"? Okay, I think the children will not be warped by seeing some porn. Not wanting children to take part in pornography is one thing. Not wanting children to spend all day looking at pornography is one thing. Not wanting children to accidentally stumble on porn is ridiculous.

    Pornography itself does not cause anything bad.

  • Re:Told you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dintech (998802) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:32AM (#34625952)

    If you are not willing to tolerate toddler porn being transmitted then you are saying "censor anything you want on the internet".

    I don't think we have to prepare ourselves to tolerate child porn in such a way. Child porn is already illegal in it's own right and should be dealt with using the laws we have available for it's removal from society. Same goes for inciting terrorism and other kinds of 'distasteful' stuff including, like it or not, copyrighted material. Freedom of speech isn't a concern relating to these, legally anyway.

    I think when a politicians ask the question, "Can we have a filter?", your answer should be, "Ah, you mean like China and Iran..."

    The impact to civil liberty is more clearly understood in that context.

  • Re:Told you (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @05:27AM (#34626164) Journal

    I don't think we have to prepare ourselves to tolerate child porn in such a way. Child porn is already illegal in it's own right and should be dealt with using the laws we have available for it's removal from society.

    And as we can see, that includes cartoons. At least in some puritan countries.

    I think when a politicians ask the question, "Can we have a filter?", your answer should be, "Ah, you mean like China and Iran..."

    The impact to civil liberty is more clearly understood in that context.

    Agreed. Spread the meme.

    I apologize in advance for the behavior of my AC stalker.

  • by h00manist (800926) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @05:34AM (#34626204) Journal
    We here have a law just for cybercafes, supposedly to "reduce Internet crime". Basically it says no minors or alcohol, and recording the ID and keeping records on all users, there's a bunch of other articles but not so important.
    So we have cops shaking down establishments that don't follow the laws. We have lawsuits demanding damages on cafe's that were used for sending anonymous emails to someone. We have potential customers (rightly) angry that they just want to use a computer for five minutes, and don't want to leave a dozen pieces of information on them for that. We have the constant concern that the police is coming by to check if everything is according to the laws. We have the concern that some disgruntled client or employee will start looking for some legal clauses not followed 100% (there are always some) and call the inspectors on us. We have the labor of creating, for each and every client, username, password, recording name, date of birth, ID, address, phone. Then people forgetting passwords, and resetting it for them, dozens of times a day. All labor we earn nothing for.
    And no, this is not Iran or North Korea, it's Brazil.
    I understand people want to catch criminals and reduce crime and violence. That's fine, even commendable. What people fail to do is properly study where crime and violence originates, and how to prevent or reduce it. If you put controls and checks everywhere, all the time, you'll reduce crime, yes, and make society and life terrible. Just like the Internet, if you want to prevent crime on the streets, you can install machines that check fingerprints, license plates, records a face on video, on every bridge, subway, bus, major avenue, and street corner. It's certain to reduce some crime, even a lot of it. You can install devices to check fingerprints and ID on the phones, to record all phone calls, to record conversations on every table in society. It will reduce crime, too. You can make all financial transactions analyzed by computers and requiring a description as to a purpose, to check for corruption, and theft, and so on. You can eliminate paper money, to force people to create electronic records of all purchases and expenses. Everything can be tracked and checked. That will reduce crime, too.
    But none of that will eliminate the intention and motivation for crime. People have ignorance and violence in their heart and mind, motivated from anger from other past violence, ignorance, or bodily pain. Controlling people's actions does nothing to control what they feel, want, wish, think. That, we will only get with more, better education, education to think of others, of society, and not just oneself, which is exactly what our society does NOT encourage. It requires a a society that people don't feel they need to commit crime to advance in, that rewards intelligent and useful work, and not legalized psychological manipulation to sabotage people's brains into wanting and buying things that will do nothing they actually need. In short, if we want to reduce crime and violence, great, let's. It's built in to, and requires deep change to, the legal, financial, commerce, government, the moral values, the education system. It's not in the freaking Internet. Crime and violence does not run over wires. Crime and violence is not stored on hard drives, or transmitted over telecommunications systems. Crime and violence can be committed everywhere and with any means when someone is decided for it, just study any prison or war situations, and see if any "laws" or "enforcement" apply there, when violence has set in, when it's the order of the day. Crime and violence is born, lives and dies, grows and shrinks, every day, in the heart and mind of each and every citizen, neighbor, voter, employee and family member. If you want to reduce crime and violence you need a massive education campaign, teaching respect for all human beings, above all other principles, there is no other way. As it stands, it is taught that everything is more important than human beings. Tr
  • by Reziac (43301) * on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @09:11AM (#34627128) Homepage Journal

    Reduce crime? No. What it does is INCREASE crime, because now there are so many more things that are illegal.

    [Crime here defined as "What the state doesn't want you doing" as contrasted to the commonsense definition of "Doing harm to others".]

  • by JackOfAllGeeks (1034454) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @09:17AM (#34627154)
    If you're concerned about them blocking porn and copyrighted material, you're thinking too small. The real concern is that once this kind of a system is in place, it becomes trivial to expand it to other content you don't like, such as Wikileaks or political dissidents or anything else that goes contrary to the Government-approved worldview.

    We have always been at war with Eurasia.

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