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Censorship The Internet United Kingdom

The UK's Internet Porn Filter and Fighting Censorship Creep 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the won't-somebody-think-of-the-children dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Guardian takes the UK government's internet porn filter to task by pointing out how absurd the opt-out process is: 'Picture the scene. You're pottering about on the internet, perhaps idly looking up cake recipes, or videos of puppies learning to howl. Then the phone rings. It's your internet service provider. Actually, it's a nice lady in a telesales warehouse somewhere, employed on behalf of your service provider; let's call her Linda. Linda is calling because, thanks to David Cameron's "porn filter", you now have an "unavoidable choice", as one of 20 million British households with a broadband connection, over whether to opt in to view certain content. Linda wants to know – do you want to be able to see hardcore pornography? How about information on illegal drugs? Or gay sex, or abortion? Your call may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes. How about obscene and tasteless material? Would you like to see that? Speak up, Linda can't hear you.' The article also points out how the filter is being used as a tool for private industry to protect their profits. 'The category of "obscene content", for instance, which is blocked even on the lowest setting of BT's opt-in filtering system, covers "sites with information about illegal manipulation of electronic devices [and] distribution of software" – in other words, filesharing and music downloads, debate over which has been going on in parliament for years.'"
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The UK's Internet Porn Filter and Fighting Censorship Creep

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  • Re:Please ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 03, 2014 @01:41PM (#45858247)

    Even if you're not interested in ever taking drugs, the experience reports on Erowid make for some damn interesting reads!

  • Re:Please ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday January 03, 2014 @01:42PM (#45858259)

    Personally, I'd respond "give me all of it" even though I have no desire to visit gay sex or drugs websites. First of all, should I decide to visit such sites in the future, I don't want to ask for permission to see them. Secondly, I don't want the government deciding what constitutes "gay sex" or "drugs" websites.

    Who is determining this and who is preventing them from abusing their position? (i.e. "You oppose me so your site is suddenly an 'undesirable' site and blocked by default.") Government shouldn't be in the business of blocking websites. If the government feels the need to do anything, they can recommend a few of the many free or pay web blocking programs and provide information on how to install/configure them on your local computers. This should appease the "think of the children" crowd without forcing the rest of us to abide by their definition of "right and wrong."

  • Re:Please ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Krneki (1192201) on Friday January 03, 2014 @01:52PM (#45858373)

    I guess Game of Thrones is on your block list.

  • Re:The Nanny State (Score:4, Interesting)

    by vikingpower (768921) <exercitussolus&gmail,com> on Friday January 03, 2014 @04:38PM (#45860113) Homepage Journal
    Do agree. I am originally from the Netherlands, and my father once told me a story about police being respected, in the 1930s. In a pub, there was a brawl, and some knives were being drawn. Someone still sober called the police from the nearby police station. A constable arrived, opened the door, stepped inside, looked around and said: "Well, it's about time to stop this nonsense, I guess." The rest of the evening was quiet.

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