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British Prime Minister To Announce Porn Blocking Plans

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  • First they came.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bongoots (795869) * on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:02PM (#39896607)

    What next? The Internet and web should be free. There should never be any large-scale blocking of this sort, otherwise they'll add more categories in the future until we're left with a heavily restricted Internet/web, or worse: whitelisted categories.

    • by kheldan (1460303) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:32PM (#39896961) Journal
      It's been proven time and time again that filtering isn't effective, and often it's abused by people with access and the power to affect what is and is not filtered!
      • by avajcovec (717275) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:50PM (#39897185)
        When you put it that way, it sure sounds an awful lot like prohibition.
        • by EdIII (1114411)

          Maybe it's not even prohibition?

          What if they are creating a separate opt-in Naughty-Net where all the porn is collected and categorized into one place by who it might offend the most? That's sounds service oriented to me.....

          • by robot256 (1635039) on Friday May 04, 2012 @10:15PM (#39898535)
            It would be a service if the "inoffensive net" was opt-in, which I understand they already have. Put the other way around, it definitely is a restriction and/or a ridiculous political gimmick. Even if you can "opt-in" to the "unfiltered" net, who's to stop them from filtering that version too? Once the filter is up, the difference between "on" and "off" becomes a really blurry line. With an "optional" filter, you can still abuse it to shape public opinion if the majority of households have the filter enabled.
        • They're not breaking into your houses trying to confiscate your porn, or breaking into ISPs taking theirs away. They're just censoring it in between.

          But they're being dishonest idiots about it. The reason the "hands off the Internet" people are calling this proposed "change" "censorship" is that it's rather precisely meeting the definition of censorship. She wants to block material based on its content. If BT were to move everything onto wireless and tell you not to download big files because it'd int

      • It's been proven time and time again that filtering isn't effective,

        Nonsense. Filtering has been proven effective in many countries, including China and Iran. I daresay it's been proven cost effective in such countries as well. In fact, you will find that all this software was originally developed, tested, improved and optimised in such regimes, by western companies, and is now being sold back to the home country.

        and often it's abused by people with access and the power to affect what is and is not filtered!

        You are assuming that this is a side effect, and not the entire purpose of the system from the start. Filtering is designed to block things which those in power dislike.

        In this regard, there is no difference between porn, the pirate bay, islamist websites, or even the likes of zerohedge.com when it comes to the running of a successful filtering system. Once the system is in place, those in charge will block what they please.

        There will be no oversight or appeal to the courts, as a successful censorship/filtering system requires these options to be removed. This is the single biggest problem with such filters: they are above the rule of law.

    • How would imagine it working?

      First they came for porn, but I do not watch porn, so I was silent, when people who watched porn were too shy to declare that.
      Then they came for people who read Inspire magazine (wait, they came for them first, with drones), so I was silent, when people who read Jihadi websites opted-in without shame.

      How do you expect this beaten to the death quote to work in this case?

    • now no one else can (Score:5, Interesting)

      by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:50PM (#39897183)
      Clearly the thing to do would be to start a porn site where the talent make political speeches against David Cameron. Then he'll be repressing political speech.
      • by jeremymiles (725644) on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:24PM (#39897471) Homepage Journal
        This is the UK we're talking about, there's no constitutional amendment that says you can't repress political speech and people can be sent to prison for what they write on twitter: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-17515992 [bbc.co.uk]
        • A proposal need not break a constitutional amendment to become a big story (due to how juicy this would be) and attract unwanted attention from voters.

          I'd hazard a guess that he's trying to pass this for his base or some other group he's trying to retain the support of, this doesn't sound like something the majority of voters would approve of. Thus, I'd guess he's trying to keep this a little quiet. My proposal would blow the story up in a bad light if it's not already front-page news, and he'd probabl
        • by rHBa (976986)
          Please excuse me for my ignorance of US law/history but I'm confused! Are you saying that they had to amend your constitution before it was illegal to repress political speech? The original constitution must have been a serious alpha version!!!
          • Well, it's not mine, 'cos I'm British, but my understanding is that that's about right. The constitution was followed pretty swiftly by the bill of rights, which was some number of amendments. The first amendment is the one about freedom of speech. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution [wikipedia.org] Whereas we Brits never even bothered to write down our constitution, and we don't have freedom of speech.
          • It was more a matter of making implicit understandings explicit. The government didn't start suppressing speech in earnest until seven years after the bill of rights was ratified.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:04PM (#39896631)
    I would not be surprised if the use of Tor, and proxies/VPNs in other countries spiked as a result of this law.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What will happen is there will be a list compiled of the "weirdos" who choose to opt in. That list will be used to deny employment, raise insurance rates, and all manner of discrimination.

      Salem witch trials/Spanish Inquisition all over again except this time it's digital.

      • by firex726 (1188453)

        Considering the government track record on security, that Opt-In list will probably be leaked in a couple years of going into effect.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:06PM (#39896657) Homepage Journal

    The idea has support from MP Claire Perry, who said, 'There is a "hands off our internet" movement that sees any change in how access is delivered as censorship.'

    Yes. And?

    • Well you see, it is not "censorship," it is just "sanitized content" for the purposes of "protecting the children." Clearly different things, right?
      • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:17PM (#39896801) Homepage Journal

        Ah, yes. Clearly.

        A couple of days ago, I told an English friend of mine, who was claiming that the UK would never tolerate anything like America's level of right-wing crazy, that I strongly suspected their Tories would be just as bad as our Republicans given the chance. I think this is all the proof I need that it's already happened. Not just the proposal itself, but the smug, smarmy, iron-fist-in-the-velvet-glove way Perry is defending it.

        • The right wing in the U.S. these days mostly wants to reduce the power of federal government and leave you the hell alone.

          On any point where they do not seem to want to do this, they are no different than Democrats (gay marriage for example).

          But basically overall any political group in the EU or UK is far to the left, hence the desire to control what the populace does or sees. A true nanny state comes about as the result of a left-wing "we know what is best for you" kind of mindset that few on the right ha

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by cpu6502 (1960974)

            >>>"we know what is best for you" kind of mindset that few on the right have now (and the Tea Party is getting rid of the ones that remain)

            Oh really? The Tea Party Caucus in the House voted 71% in favor of CISPA. They've been co-opted by the Republican Party (which acts like Democrats). By the way I agree the left/right paradigm is pointless.

            It was originally a reference to the French Assembly of the 1790s, and has little relevance to the U.S. or modern politics. You are either for government co

          • by Hatta (162192) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:32PM (#39896971) Journal

            The right wing in the U.S. these days mostly wants to reduce the power of federal government and leave you the hell alone.

            What a bald face lie. They want to reduce the power of federal government to enable corporations to rampage freely across the country, extracting profits and leaving negative externalities for everyone else to deal with.

            Personal liberty doesn't enter into it with the right wing. You won't find John Boener advocating for marijuana legalization any time soon.

            • by cpu6502 (1960974)

              Vice-versa the corproations use Democrat politicians to write regulations that FAVOR the corporations by blocking new competitors from entering the market. Or getting bailouts for their Chevy Volts, which they then ship-off to China. IMHO we'd actually be better-off without the regulations (except basic worker and customer rights), so corporations could not block the growth of new competitors like Ubuntu, Hulu, Netflix, megaupload, Solectria, and so on.

              The bottom line: Both Republicans and Democrats prett

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by rmstar (114746)

                The bottom line: Both Republicans and Democrats pretty much suck. To favor one party over the other is pretty foolish.

                That is imbecile drivel. Obama is pretty much an enlightened saint next to all the crap the Republicans had as possible candidates. Claiming there is no difference is just utter idiocy.

              • I think it's foolish to conclude "they both suck" and use that as an excuse to ignore politics entirely. For one thing, it's simplistic to view everything in terms of parties. Vote for the representative, not the party. I default to voting democrat, but both my senators came out in favor of sopa/pipa, so I probably won't be this time. For another, the parties themselves are semi-democratic. You can vote in the primaries: you can change either party.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:34PM (#39896993)

            unless you own a vagina. In which case they know whats best for you.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Unless you want an abortion. Or a gay marriage. Or freedom to practice your non-Christian religion. Moron.

          • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:59PM (#39897265)

            "The right wing in the U.S. these days mostly wants to reduce the power of federal government and leave you the hell alone."

            Haha. Get real. You are confusing "right wing" with Libertarians.

            The "small government" policies that the political Right have tried to pretend they believe in have NEVER materialized in the real world.

            When the Republicans have been in power they have NEVER reduced the power of the Federal government, NEVER reduced the actual size of government, NEVER reduced overall spending (except to reduce military spending after wars were over, and not even that, most of the time). Not once, at least since the year 1900, have they EVER actually made the government smaller.

            And they have NEVER left us alone. For the most part, and until very recently, they have a far worse record when it comes to Constitutional rights than the Democrats.

            So you can talk about what the Right pretends its platform to be all you want, but history very clearly shows it to be nothing but rhetoric. Actually that's too polite. Bullshit is the more accurate term.

            If they wanted anybody to actually believe them, they should have started putting their money where their mouths were over 50 years ago.

            • The "small government" policies that the political Right have tried to pretend they believe in have NEVER materialized in the real world.

              It is really funny how the Republicans in the US can't shut up about small government and then in the next breath they rage on about how the "liberals" want to make defense cuts when in reality the USA should be aiming for a 1000 aircraft F-22 fleet, set up a few air mobile armored brigades go back to a 600 ship navy and invade Iran. As if the armed forces aren't a part of the big, bloated and evil government whose operations they want to carve up and outsource to private enterprise. The same goes for right

    • It's infuriating when politicians just don't get it.

      It's more infuriating when politicians DO get it, and do what they're going to do anyway.
  • Excellent! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:07PM (#39896669)

    British porn is terrible.

  • WTF UK? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Stick a camera up everyone’s ass, outlaw solitary men walking through parks on the off chance they're pedos, confiscate almost all the guns, now you erect a government run firewall ah la china to 'save' someone from porn or something.

    This desire to make your island a pink and blue romper room will not work. Stop doing it.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:08PM (#39896689)

    Do I have to "opt in" if I want to read Huckleberry Finn or Anne Frank's uncensored diary? No. Free speech/press/expression means exactly that..... no censorship by the government of any book, paper, or website.

    Dumbass PM.

    • No, but you should have to! What if someone innocent (unlike you, you murderer) accidentally reads those books and gets offended? People have a right to not be offended, you know.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        Yeah I was highly offended by the girl-on-girl touching in Anne Frank. I'm scarred forever and think the government should ban that book from all libraries/bookstores everywhere. No it's not censorship..... it's "content filtering".

        Woah.
        I channeled the British PM for a second there.
        Sorry.

  • Please no... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BootysnapChristAlive (2629837) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:11PM (#39896737)

    Please don't make it a hassle for people who want to view the content. Not for the children, and not for anyone else. This isn't necessary. We've lived without this, and somehow the world hasn't collapsed due to it yet.

    This anti-sexuality nonsense has got to go. Even if a child does see the content, it will most likely not hurt them, anyway. I'd say ignorance is far more damaging.

  • I see no problem with isp level filtering as long as it is opt-in. I'd image many parents would gladly pay extra to have the isp filter out some of the naughtiness from the internet connection their children uses. If some parents want to minimize the chances their children will be exposed to goatse and other even more deranged porn fetishes that is their right. It could also be much more efficient than client-side filtering at the end point which is only effective if the parent is more technically savvy tha
    • by Spad (470073)

      I'm all for providing parents with the tools to filter their local internet connection for their children, but centralised blocking will never work effectively.

      How do you decide what's appropriate for 5 year olds? 10 year olds? 15 year olds? Sure, you could just block everything that you think might be inappropriate for under-18s but then you're going to be blocking a massive amount of stuff that most parents would probably be happy for their teenage children to view, even if they wouldn't want their 8 year

    • by zlives (2009072)

      STOP making sense.
      thank you

    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:36PM (#39897013)

      You do realize that the parents ALREADY can filter out the naughtiness from the internet connection? It's called putting the computer in the living room, and using a password on it. By the time the kids are old enough to defeat those security measures, they're old enough to browse for boobies. By the time they can defeat anything more serious, as well as the threat of "I'm logging everything at the router", they're old enough to have sex.

      In other words, this is a solution to a non-existent problem.

    • by Githaron (2462596)

      I always wondered why I have never seen a business/organization that offers consumers a verified whitelist and filters accordingly. They could sell routers with their filtering software loaded. If the administrator of the home network wants access to a site that is not whitelisted for the chosen categories, they type in their credentials to open up the site for their home and the system automatically sends an anonymous review request to the company. Eventually, an employee pulls the request off the queue an

      • by Dan1701 (1563427)

        Actually the now happily defunct ISP Supanet had just such an offering, called "Supananny" and indeed they did get quite a few takers for it. In this respect they were ahead of the game, though as a company they were horrific slave-drivers to work for, and eventually got taken over just before they went bust.

        However, there is one salient point to remember about offering a 'net censorship service: if you filter content for users, you lose Common Carrier Immunity.

        Common Carrier Immunity over here works thusly

        • by Githaron (2462596)

          However, there is one salient point to remember about offering a 'net censorship service: if you filter content for users, you lose Common Carrier Immunity.

          I was talking about home network level filtering. The business would sell its users a router loaded with the software and subscription to the whitelist database. The ISP would still be a common carrier. It might be wise for a ISP to simply partner with a separate company for the filtering options in order to avoid losing Common Carrier Immunity.

    • In the United States that is called "Prior Restraint" of speech and it is unconstitutional.
  • by dittbub (2425592) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:15PM (#39896785)
    Everything on the internet is "opt in" access!!!
    • "Everything on the internet is "opt in" access!!!"

      That is, until you click on a malicious link and are taken to a site full of kiddie porn or something even worse (if there is such a thing) without your prior consent.

      Note, however, that I still do not believe even that is an excuse for prior censorship. Catch the people who break those laws, but leave everybody else the hell alone. I don't need the government to tell me what I can see and what I cannot.

  • This is stupid. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tei (520358) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:20PM (#39896835) Journal

    Porn is not illegal, so what is the base to discriminate it over other stuff? Its much less damaging to everyone than religion, and religion is not bloqued. Is less damaging than sport, and sport is not blockqued. WHY THE HELL.

  • And finish reading Fahrenheit 451. All this censorship all in a row...madness.
  • by wealthychef (584778) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:28PM (#39896927)
    when the government is the one that manages "how access is delivered." What does it even mean to "deliver access?" How orwellian. He makes it sound like access is something you need the government to provide for you.
  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:30PM (#39896943) Journal
    Fuck You.
  • by PPH (736903) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:44PM (#39897109)

    .... missed that news. I was busy looking at the page three girl.

  • That slope got slippery because I accidentally spilled some lube. Sorry about that.
  • An ISP who didn't want to comply could just add this one line to the account application:

    Mark only one:
    _X_ I am a legal adult and am okay with _ISP_ not blocking porn
    ___ I am not not a legal adult and agree to have porn blocked. Note: Non-adult customers must have an adult agree to pay the bill. :)

  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday May 04, 2012 @06:52PM (#39897197) Journal

    Why doesn't the british government just have an option at sign up for child protection and use a simple DNS blocking service like NortonDNS? That would not disrupte free speech nor would it require expensive procedures and upgrades for ISPs.

    I am an advocate of OpenDNS, and NortonDNS for phishing and crossite protection in case my anti virus package misses something. NortonDNS has porn filtering as well if you enter the IP addresses here. Basically the last subnet .50 filters unfamily friendly sites, .40 just porn and malware, and .20 for the rest of us with just security protection.

    I have my router with .20 filter at home. If I had a child I would put his/her own computer with a subnet of .40 for the DNS IP Address. Problem solved. No expensive tax dollars or expensive hardware or software.

    If you run Windows you can turn on family safety too for a childs account. I imagine most users are not this savy or smart to know this or set this up and you can do custom filtering as well. However DNS filtering is the best and an easy way.

    I am for free speech and this is outragous! I think an option with those who pick family safety just run a script which configures their new shiny routers to the NortonDNS that protects agaisnt porn and viola! Easy

  • MP Claire Perry, who said, 'There is a "hands off our internet" movement that sees any change in how access is delivered as censorship.'" -> Because it is?

    Censor (courtesy of MW):
    2censor verb
    censoredcensoring

    Definition of CENSOR

    transitive verb
    : to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable ; also : to suppress or delete as objectionable
      See censor defined for English-language learners

  • by shop S Mart (755311) on Friday May 04, 2012 @07:05PM (#39897313)
    Start by blocking the internet porn, for the kids of course. A few years pass. Then block anything that could be deemed hate speech or offensive. Again for the kids. Govt bonus: have FBI/CIA/NSA secretly setup proxies and track people who use them to bypass the block. A few years pass. Next block anything from countries that might be unfriendly towards us, national security, nothing to see here move along. Govt bonus: have FBI/CIA/NSA secretly setup proxies and track people who use them to bypass the block. A few years pass. Start making it harder to opt in for porn, maybe even make users pay for access or a data plan that allows porn. Govt bonus: big list of people who want porn.
  • FFS, RTFA! "The Prime Minister is expected to announce formal plans to look into...Cameron will announce a consultation". No plans to do anything at all have been announced, which is what the summary says
  • "...fuck the children; they are getting entirely too much attention"

  • What is going to be considered porn? If I write something sexy in an email - does it get blocked? Does this happen in every language? If someone sends a sexy photo to someone who hasn't opted-in are they breaking the law?

    Who is responsible for that, the ISP/government/sender?

    If you "opt-in" who gets to see the list of people who have done so? How will this be audited and by whom?

    Can this be the basis of a search warrant? If you bypass the filter are you breaking a law? If you help someone bypass a f

  • There is no wonder why the Tory are going to loose the next elections big time in few years time. I guess the people in the UK are not going to stand for this type of thinking in the government of the UK.

    This also has nothing to do with children. That is just a cover up to get this censorship past the UK parliament.

  • Weird (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bryan1945 (301828) on Friday May 04, 2012 @11:31PM (#39898901) Journal

    The British can show boobs on TV, but they want to actively block porn. In the US, you can't show boobs on TV, but everyone says porn in fine. And don't get me started on Japan.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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