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Censorship The Internet United Kingdom Your Rights Online

UK ISPs To Begin Censorship of Porn Websites 186

Posted by timothy
from the just-wipe-this-blood-over-your-threshold dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a plan sponsored by the UK government, four major UK ISP's, Virgin, BT, TalkTalk and Sky, are set to implement blocking of porn websites, requiring subscribers to 'opt-in' if they want to visit blocked websites (or to put it another way, 'opt-out' of internet censorship)."
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UK ISPs To Begin Censorship of Porn Websites

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  • by LilBlackKittie (179799) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:53AM (#37677932) Homepage

    Good luck with that.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Actually, I'd say that blocking porn websites is the last thing any authoritarian government should do.

      People want porn, so let it through the censorship filters. Let the censorship filters block all the "bringing down the state" stuff, but let porn through.

      People get their fix, and they'd be too busy with porn to care about rights and freedoms. At least, that's how I'd run my state.

      • Personally I think it's a brilliant idea.

        My only regret is that I don't live in the UK so I can opt in to the filtering and then go looking for something they failed to block so I can sue them for damaging my delicate psyche by failing to block it.

        People really need to give of on this idea of a G-rated Internet, not that I think that having all Internet traffic running through a governments filtering/monitoring/blocking center is actually going to end up being about filtering to make the Internet G-rated.

        --

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      What do you mean? Typical ideological moderation...

      It will work for some people, it will work for others as a result there will be a drop of visits to pron sites significant or not. There won't be an increase of porn usage (beyond extrapolated growth based on growth of number of users in each demographics).

  • Moral panic panic. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The Bible, Qur'an and Torah are full of sex, weapons and violence. I hope the new net filters will remove all trace of them off the net.

    Actually this is misreported. Most the ISP's are making it opt-in. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2011/oct/11/internet-pornography

    BT is providing filtering software as part of their install package. Mcafee no less. Botnet admins are probably rubbing their hands with glee.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      I don't think written porn is illegal in the UK...just explicit images of erections, penetrations and ejaculations.

      • Oh, of course! I mean a kid seeing an erection or an ejaculation would immediately suffer such a massive brain damage as to go blind on the spot! No?

        Well, at least it would be such a traumatic shock that he or she would be a PSTD victim for the rest of his/her life! Surely?

        Or maybe, just maybe, the "parents" and the whole Western society are under an influence of some Judeo-Christian-Moslem frothing-at-the-snout mental disease that rots the parents' brains and turns them downright psychotic when it comes

        • by jhoegl (638955)
          I like where this is going.
        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Personally as long as it is opt in and up to the INDIVIDUAL parents I don't see a problem with this. I wouldn't want to tell some parent they HAVE to let their little Suzy see a cock anymore than I'd want them telling ME what kinds of games my boys are allowed to have. Every parent should have the right to decide what they think is appropriate for THEIR child and if the ISPs want to give them an easy to use option to exercise that right? As long as it isn't forced on anybody I think that's a good thing.
        • by timftbf (48204)

          I mean its not like the "innocent little angels" are equipped with their own penises (erection capable - oh the horror!) and vaginas or something...

          I'm inclined to believe that's typically an "or" rather than an "and". Although Internet porn spam might make you believe otherwise...

          • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @12:50PM (#37680696)

            I'm inclined to believe that's typically an "or" rather than an "and".

            Well, that is a matter of grammatical debate. Imagine you have a mixed set S of items A and B. In the set A has a property PA and B has a property PB. So when you refer to the set, you can say "Items in S have properties PA and PB" (without distinction of which member has which, just simple enumeration of properties) or "Items in S have property PA or property PB" (which specifically offers additional information on mutual exclusivity of PA and PB). Both are correct.

      • A common misconception. Porn is not illegal in the UK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_Internet_pornography [wikipedia.org] http://www.melonfarmers.co.uk/faqvideo.htm [melonfarmers.co.uk]
    • If this is the same "opt-in" that BT applied to their FON system then everybody will be "automatically opted in". You can opt-out of their opt-in system, but being automatically opted-in. I did query how this was different to an "opt-out" system, but I'm clearly not smart enough to understand the difference.
  • by muffen (321442)
    Internet without porn.. INTERNET without porn... INTERNET WITHOUT PORN!??!!??!?
  • Wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

    by richy freeway (623503) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:55AM (#37677954)
    Wrong wrong wrong. You have to OPT IN to the filter.
    • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

      by richy freeway (623503) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:56AM (#37677976)
    • Wrong wrong wrong. You have to OPT IN to the filter.

      That's less sensationalist and doesn't generate as many flaming posts and page hits!

    • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @10:52AM (#37679362)

      Wrong wrong wrong. You have to OPT IN to the filter.

      Of course its wrong to have to opt in to pornography, because it makes pornography seem as if it is somehow bad. And the fact that these initiatives are instigated by religious groups is also noteworthy.

      Notice also the hypocrisy here. They want to prevent children from watching pornography (according to these people, sex is an exclusive right to people 18 years of age and older), and yet there are no, ABSOLUTELY NONE, restrictions on religious content. Children can be exposed to the bigotry, hatred and irrationality of religious content but something as normal and natural as sexual pleasure is "harmful". Clearly we live in a sick society.

  • For the legions of probably around 14-to-[something] year olds that live at home leeching "free" internet from their parent's wallets.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      For the legions of probably around 14-to-[something] year olds that live at home

      You make it sound like this filter is somehow going to work?

      The Howard government in Australia offered free "parental control" software to Australians in 2006, it was hacked in 30 minutes flat.

      There is no force on earth that can keep a 14 yr old away from a bucket of Pr0n.

  • Nothing new (Score:4, Informative)

    by IrquiM (471313) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:56AM (#37677972) Homepage
    Vodaphone already have this on their 3g sticks. Had to opt-in for porn to be able to surf Norways biggest newspaper (and also the recent winner of the best ipad newspaper app.)
    • by Robadob (1800074)

      Had this with o2 3g internet for my phone however it applied to a broader range including online forums etc so it was more of an over 18 flag than a 'does want porn' one.

      • by HopefulIntern (1759406) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @09:29AM (#37678380)
        Ditto this for Orange mobile internet (on my Desire). The guy I phoned up to turn the block off was cheeky as well, convo went as follows:

        Indian guy: "So you wish to turn off Orange Security?"
        Me: "Yes"
        Indian Guy: "You don't like security?"
        Me: "No...I don't..."
        • by isorox (205688)

          Ditto this for Orange mobile internet (on my Desire). The guy I phoned up to turn the block off was cheeky as well, convo went as follows:

          Indian guy: "So you wish to turn off Orange Security?"

          Me: "Yes"

          Indian Guy: "You don't like security?"

          Me: "No...I don't..."

          The correct answer is to say
          "I want to get some hot girl-on-girl anal action with a 12" dildo, followed by a some nice anime of many-tentacled beasts using and abusing young virgins"

        • by Robadob (1800074)

          With o2 you are supposed to be able to disable it by spending £1 on a card which is refunded as £5 discount on your phone bill, this functionality wasn't working when i was using my phone out of town and wanted to get on certain forums. I went into the local o2 store stated that the online system was down and asked them to confirm me 18, the guy in the store hadn't got a clue, asked his manager played with the pc for a couple of minutes then said that their system was down as well.

          When i returne

      • by Geeky (90998)

        It's not just the adult filter - they put little messages in front of other sites too. Apparently if you go to one of the UK dating sites, you get an O2 website warning you to be careful when meeting people. You can then click through to the real site.

    • The filter they use is the same for most government run Web Access e.g. Library Internet access ...

      It is massively flawed as expected, i.e. it lets many sites through that should be blocked, and blocks sites that are totally clean ...

  • Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Barence (1228440) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:59AM (#37677994) Homepage
    This story is completely inaccurate. Consumers don't have to opt-in to receive adult content: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/broadband/370450/confusion-reigns-as-government-announces-porn-ban [pcpro.co.uk]
    • The first and only accurate news report regarding this I heard was on Radio 4 this morning. By the time I've got to work suddenly everyone has to opt in to porn!
    • by mapkinase (958129)

      In cases like this (+5 moderated comment) submitter, in this case, timothy, should update their submission as a rule.

  • I usually hate the idea of censorship, and arguably still do... but if this is designed to be an easy (or at least easier) tool for parents to use, then yes I think it's a good thing.

    Once the rugrats are of age and on their own, then they can choose their own connection's ability.

    • by nhstar (452291) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @09:01AM (#37678020)

      however (having just thought of this point once clicking "submit") it would be far easier, and less expensive to just have the parents, um... parent.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        however (having just thought of this point once clicking "submit") it would be far easier, and less expensive to just have the parents, um... parent.

        But that would require the parents to have some element of responsibility and actually take time out from party's, getting drunk, holidays, et al. to actually take care of their crotchspawns.

        No, no, much easier to have the TV do it and whinge to the government when that fails.

    • I would buy your argument if it was opt-in. Why does it need to be opt-out?
      • Replying to myself, it seems to actually be opt-in. Good thing I just answered the Slashdot reader survey with a complaint about misleading and/or outright false stories.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    All bow to our Puritan overlords! And my captcha was "unclean" haha.

  • LOL, and after few years some Anonymous will get their (opt-outers) database from ISP resources and everybody will know that every Tom, Dick and Harry watches porn. On the other hand, everybody is watching porn so it won't be that bad like hacking PSN this year, right? :)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Opt-In to visit websites which don't agree with the government?

  • by Izhido (702328)

    ... that's it for 4chan in UK, then?,

  • ...how is that "censorship"?

    Misusing words eventually makes them meaningless.

  • "As you say, we should not try and wrap children up in cotton wool or simply throw our hands up and accept the world as it is. Instead, we should look to put 'the brakes on an unthinking drift towards ever-greater commercialisation and sexualisation'."

    So in other words, the ISP's are giving parents the easiest form of parental control they can muster, and any censorship they wish to impose using this system on their children is on their hands?

    That wouldn't bother me so much, but children and teenagers

  • Let me guess, they are going to block it the same way pirate sites get blocked [slashdot.org]? Good luck with that.

    This is likely just going to be a false sense of security.

  • Oh my! How they've turned full circle. Appropriate name, mind you.

  • â5 a month on a VPN and BT don't see shit about my internet use.

    I'm fairly sure there's an over-quoted soundbite from John Gilmore to be repeated here.
  • Mother's Union. Christian charity review. Hey, and a whole new website for parents to complain about pretty damn well everything they find objectionable. The website will have no fewer than 8 oversight committees (WTF!).

    And how many of these parents are not going to 'opt-in' to being able to view a little bit of porn now and then? And teens are smarter than you think, and will figure out how to 'opt-in' anyway.

    I don't get it- parents' did this porn to get a kid, but what, are they still using the stork

    • I imagine the purpose of the website is to collect complaints which can then be used to justify further acts of censorship. It's a lot easier to ban something if you can create the impression of popular support for the ban.
    • by mjwx (966435)

      And how many of these parents are not going to 'opt-in' to being able to view a little bit of porn now and then? And teens are smarter than you think, and will figure out how to 'opt-in' anyway.

      The article got it wrong,

      The filter is opt-in, not opt-out. But your question stands, how many parents are so prudish and technologically competent enough to opt-in. Methinks that catagory already has some parental controls installed, all 4 of them.

      This seems more like arse covering for ISP's. When Whiny McPrude rings up to complain about seeing a nipple, the ISP can tell her to naff off because she didn't opt in to the filter.

  • If it's as effective as O2's 3G filtering, it won't be any use.

    O2 block access to some really tame and completely non-adult sites unless you opt out, but conveniently forget to block google image search...

    If you can't find what you need on google image search, you most likely need a therapist, not an internet filter.

    It will therefore just be an inconvenience, while lulling parents in to a a false sense of security. How long before an ISP gets sued because they promised filtering and poor little Johnny could

  • UK is suddenly flush with excess bandwidth as millions of people turn off their PCs and go back to holding up pictures of Page Three girls with one hand.
    • I realise you were joking, but funnily enough my first thought about this wasn't about yet another pseudo-censorship policy that will fail, it was that ISPs have been struggling to provide the bandwidth and they've advertised now that people actually want to use it so they can watch streamling videos a la Netflix/BBC iPlayer, video calling via Skype, etc. Getting rid of most porn downloading probably removes a convenient amount of load on those ISPs' systems and lets them provide other services to customers

      • I was joking, but you have brought up a very interesting point - thanks for commenting. Being on the other side of the pond as it were, I hadn't considered this.
  • Is it just me, but the continuous, crushing global regulation of the Internet both in what content is legal, what our allowed "bandwidths and data caps are", what behaviors or opinions can be freely expressed, and a constant barrage of advertisements are making it as boring as television?

    I don't pay for television. I won't pay for the public Internet if this trend doesn't stop.

    There's plenty of private alternatives. Grandma can enjoy her walled gardens of Facebook and have her viewing habits sold off ten

  • I want to see the list of sites that would be blocked by this program. Just to make sure they didn't block any Bonsai-tree sites by accident.
  • Submitter, why quote something so sensational and so wrong? It's like saying Google censors websites becaue it ranks them in a way that hides far away results, and I'm opting out of censorship by clicking to the next page. The pages are there, they can be viewed. By definition, that is not censorship. Just filtering. I see no harm here.
  • Where is the wonderful open market when it comes to this thing?

    I would love for my ISP to offer virus\porn blocking services to certain members of my family.

    If the ISP goes to an end user and says do you want the safe package? And they block certain sites with possible a way around it this would be acceptable.

    Why does the government have to get involved if customers are clamming to block porn? Sounds more like a small group of anti-porn people who just can't stand me seeing it so they go to the government i

    • "Sounds more like a small group of anti-porn people who just can't stand me seeing it so they go to the government in some last effort."

      Spot on. There are actually a few such groups, the chief of which is Mothers' Union... unsurprisingly, a Christian organisation. Them, and there seem to be a few people in government of similar view too.
  • Not the good porn sites. Not the ones with effective age verification, and good security. Not the ones careful about who they might lure in, who run open businesses, accept audits and pay taxes. No, those will all suffer heavily because they lose the lucrative 'Twenty years old and still lives with parents' demographic and the possibly even more lucrative 'Don't want my wife/girlfriend finding out I look' market.

    I mean the dodgy sites. The ones that operate out of Elbonia. Here today, gone tomorrow, shif
  • People in a twist about being an opt in or opt out of porn. The bigger picture is they are censoring something, and as soon as the government sees it working on porn, they they will decide to roll it on to another "objectionable" content, and slowly chip away until they get to stop you looking at political opposition websites.
  • The Guardian reports that the scheme is only applicable to *new* contracts, and is neither opt-in or opt-out: you choose the service you want when you sign up: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/11/david-cameron-porn-filter-isps [guardian.co.uk]

  • Take down your curtains, replace with pornography. Remove your tablecloth. Replace with pornography. Put it in your car wondows, storefronts, whatever.

    The sooner we expose everyone to it, the better. "No child left behind"; it will invalidate the use of censoring if there's nobody to shield. Everyone should realize that pornography isn't an evil thing that creates evil people.

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