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United Kingdom Censorship Government The Internet Your Rights Online

UK ISP Filter Will Censor More Than Porn 329

Posted by timothy
from the knows-it-when-it-sees-it dept.
The UK's on-by-default censorship, as you might expect, presses with a heavy thumb: coolnumbr12 writes "The Open Rights Group spoke with several ISPs and found that in addition to pornography, users will also be required to opt in for any content tagged as violent material, extremist and terrorist related content, anorexia and eating disorder websites, suicide related websites, alcohol, smoking, web forums, esoteric material and web blocking circumvention tools. These will all be filtered by default, and the majority of users never change default settings with online services."
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UK ISP Filter Will Censor More Than Porn

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  • Esoteric material? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:24AM (#44397971)

    So will it also block cult sects like scientology and other major religions like cristianity? How about homeopathy?

  • by Goose In Orbit (199293) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:26AM (#44397977)

    Though most people are still too busy cooing over the royal baby to notice...

  • Opt in?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:26AM (#44397981)

    I don't know how you do it, but I "opt in" by sending a page request in the form of a URL.

  • What a surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <{elmuerte} {at} {drunksnipers.com}> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:28AM (#44397991) Homepage

    And in the future years it will also include sites critical of the government, large corporations, etc.

  • Just like 1984. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bejiitas_wrath (825021) <johncartwright302@gmail.com> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:29AM (#44397995) Homepage Journal

    The ministry of truth will define what is allowable content and which is not. This using the Royal baby as a distraction to implement totalitarian control of the Internet. Just waint until they start blocking all "unwanted" content.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:35AM (#44398009)

    I want to opt in to block all ads, spam and popups!

    What do you mean no?

    I find them offensive!

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:51AM (#44398073)

    It'll only block cults that are too small to sue in retaliation.

  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:52AM (#44398087)

    The USA doesn't have universal health care. What you have at the moment is a system where everyone (almost) will have some level of health insurance coverage - but they still have to get their healthcare paid for by companies that continue to profit by doing everything they can to avoid paying for it.

  • Re:"Web forums" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:53AM (#44398093)

    I'd argue that Facebook is many times more dangerous to children than pornography.

  • by Zemran (3101) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @06:01AM (#44398121) Homepage Journal

    Not letting poor people die of preventable illnesses vs. censorship?

    Point one, America is no where near getting the health care options that the UK has. A good free system as well as excellent private options. Or to simplify that, the US does not have any health care options that are not available in the UK but the UK does have health care options that are not available in the US.

    Second point, the UK is going to filter it, bad, the US spies on its people and will arrest you for accessing it, worse.

    Point two has a lot of scope for discussion but do not start propaganda from Fox News.

  • by peragrin (659227) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @06:08AM (#44398151)

    How can the people of the USA stand idly by while the NSA snoops through their personal files by the minute?

    How can the people of the USA stand idly by while the TSA has the authority to search your car while your not there.(see Rochester NY about a month ago)

    How can the people of the USA stand idly by while the Border Patrol are allowed to randomly inspect and any within 150 miles of the border at any time without a warrant?(again in NY)

    All those things have been done in the USA in the last two years.

  • Re: "Web forums" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @06:44AM (#44398241) Homepage Journal

    No, no, no. Go RTFA. In fact just go look at the picture in the article. Violence, et al, is in the same group of settings as porn and the others but it is not one opt-in for all the categories listed in the summary. Each category has its own opt-in.

    that's actually much worse. profiling.

  • by blackest_k (761565) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @06:58AM (#44398291) Homepage Journal

    Opting out of filtering isn't easy,
    I use 3 mobile and after several years of unfiltered content began hitting the blocks fairly regularly and not because of porn.

    With the rather extended winter in Ireland the traditional start of spring and the gardening calender is 17th of March but this year the cold miserable weather continued through to May. One area I looked into was grow lights and thats where I started to run into blocks, as the greatest source of information on grow lights are cannabis growers. The filter provider, who ever that is, obviously thinks its impossible for an adult to want to investigate grow lights for anything else.

    In my youth i might have been interested but as an older adult with little interest in fecking up my life any further not really. I just wanted to have a nice garden.

    So then I went to the phone shop for 3 and asked about getting these blocks removed, having to deal with 20 something women and being the typical neck beard geek wanting the porn filter removed it was pretty obvious what they thought of me and what I wanted the filter removing for. Being the type not to give a crap what anyone thinks of me I jumped through the hoops, I had to provide Id they had to get in touch with the area managers office for his/her personal approval and it was something nobody had asked them for before apparently. Eventually the middle aged pervert got the filters lifted on his internet access.

    The real problem with internet filtering is the blocking of any and all sites deemed to be unsuitable. I'm an adult I can make my own choices. Is my aged mother going to jump through hoops so she can get an unfiltered connection? I don't think so and who else who cares about their reputation will stand up to these tactics.

    The wholesale blocking and censoring of objectionable material is fundamentally wrong because what is objectionable for the censors will never match up with what people being censored want and need to know. Even if 95% of what is blocked we have no interest in its the other 5% which matters.

    I would be surprised to think that many people on this site wouldn't have long been aware that we are monitored and censored already, just mostly unobtrusively. It doesn't make a big difference if your not interested in becoming a terrorist or criminal.

    Unfortunately the public outing of Prism seems to be not causing a retreat on the states attempt to control our access to information but instead a more overt approach. To be honest there is little we can do about it, we change our political leaders of one shade to another and you'd have to be an idiot to think that the surveillance and censorship ever recedes with a change of office.

    Maybe a fringe party might change something if they ever got any power but that will never happen while the majority of people are apathetic to whats going on. Doesn't help that most fringe parties are usually complete loons over some core value which right minded people will never accept.

    There is a chance that the "Porn" filters will not hold, there is a more liberal society, we don't twitch behind the net curtains like our parents generation who are long retired. May be enough people will opt out of filtering if they realise that its necessary to resist the decay of our freedoms to think and make our own informed choices. The wisdom of age, tends to be to keep your head down, work hard and don't get noticed but with popular public support from the younger generations the older generations may quietly revolt too.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @07:31AM (#44398373)

    Hey! What happened?!?

    I ticked the "block intolerance" checkbox, and now I can't reach the web filter configuration page any more!

  • Re:What a surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @07:35AM (#44398393)

    And in the future years it will also include sites critical of the government, large corporations, etc.

    The UK introduced the European Convention and it's freedom of expression guarantees into it's Human Rights Act. Then they added a whole legion of exceptions to freedom of expression such as:

    • - Threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior.
    • - Causing alarm or distress or causing a breach of the peace.
    • - Sending somebody an object deemed indecent or offensive with the intention to cause distress.
    • - Inciting racial or religious hatred.
    • - Inciting and encouraging terrorism.
    • - Possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist.
    • - Imagining the death of the monarc.
    • - Advocating the abolition of the monarchy.
    • - Sedition.
    • - Obscenity and Indecency.

    So with all these exceptions the conservatives do not seem to be stepping outside of any legal framework here. Many other European countries have at least some of these exceptions on the books as well as ones on trade secrets, copyrighted material etc. but It is pretty rare to see a government in a democratic western country actually implement across the board opt-out censorship of most or all of the things listed above. They usually content themselves with a subset. Regulation of many cases of things like indecency and obscenity usually happens on a case for case basis through the courts when somebody feels the line has been crossed. Other things on that list seem unenforceable, such as 'imagining the death of the monarch' (seriously?) and 'advocating the abolition of the monarchy'. I know a whole bunch of Britons who'd love to abolish the monarchy and are not afraid to advocate it. Basically the conservatives are testing the limits of the exceptions in the Human Rights act and are using porn as an excuse to get censorship in place. It will be interesting to see what happens if this gets dragged into the UK supreme court. It's also interesting to see the conservatives, who usually can't shut up about how they represent liberty and the free market and how the political left represents the nanny state, turn around and do something like this. I can't imagine many things that you can do that stink more strongly of the nanny-state than this which makes the tories guilty of a massive hypocrisy. Even more interesting is that TFA points out that the HomeSafe system singled out by Cameron is actually operated by Huawei, I take it that I don't have to explain to people here why this is also a massive hypocrisy. The only thing that remains is what to call this thing? Cameron's firewall? Limes Ignis Britannicus?

  • by lightknight (213164) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @07:45AM (#44398431) Homepage

    It may look like incumbent interests, right or, as usual, wrong, are working to carve up the public's attention so that they can remain in power...because they are.

    If you tell them that normal people don't need 'their protection'...well, they manufacture circumstances where a public outcry occurs to prove you wrong. In short, they are people who need to feel needed...by taking care of someone else, preferably seen as less capable / intelligent than themselves, so that their selfless nature (need for attention) may be more publicly seen. Lol, I remember when they taught Christians to do good acts, and tell no one, so that God would have something nice to inform others of when they came to lampoon you...I suppose that went out of style at some point, or perhaps the culture has become so political that not walking around proclaiming that you have done something 'selfless' that day for someone else is grounds for others gathering stones.

    It's almost as if these types do not see any inherent worth in themselves...nor do they understand the damaging effects of their actions, the false prison they've placed themselves in, or that they must, at some point, let the children make their own decisions and abide by those consequences...much like how their parents, and their parents before them, sat them on the proverbial throne (or behind the steering wheel of dad's priceless Mustang), guided their hand as needed, but let them understand that this is what it's like to be in charge (it's going to be scary, you're going to have to grow up, and you will, in time, have to make a lot of decisions which, love it or hate it, you will remember and wonder for the rest of your life if there wasn't a better way). The first time you get into a car accident, no one is Mr. Cool...not your parents, not your grand-parents, etc. The fifth time you get into one it will still be nerve-wracking ("Am I cursed?"), but you will at least be able to get the appropriate information out of the glove box, and move your car out of the way of oncoming vehicles...before accessing the realistic damage to the car (sheet metal looks bad, but cleans up strangely well with a rubber hammer....things look worse than they are...usually).

  • by gweihir (88907) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @07:56AM (#44398481)

    Most people are stupid. That is what budging totalitarian regimes usually ride in on. The Nazis, for example, promised jobs (and did create them) and everybody besides the few that were actually looking at what these guys stood for was happy. The British government now promises a "clean" Internet and everybody is happy, besides those that actually understand what censorship is and how hugely dangerous it is. But people remain stupid, despite ample examples from history. And the enemies of freedom use that and move in slowly.

This is a good time to punt work.

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