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UK Gov. Wants IWF List To Cover 100% of UK Broadband 281

wild_quinine writes "The UK government stated in 2006 that they wished to see 100% of UK consumer broadband ISPs' connections covered by blocking, which includes images of child abuse. 95% of ISPs have complied, but children's charities are calling for firmer action by the government as the last 5% cite costs and concerns over the effectiveness of the system. According to Home Office Minister Alan Campbell, 'The government is currently looking at ways to progress the final 5%.' With a lack of transparency in the IWF list, firm government involvement, and blocking that only 'includes' (but may not be limited to) images of child abuse, it looks like the writing is on the wall for unfiltered, uncensored Internet connections in the UK."
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UK Gov. Wants IWF List To Cover 100% of UK Broadband

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  • Absurd! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:34AM (#26966695)
    I am all for enforcement of laws, when they are reasonable. But things like this stink of nanny state. Child abuse is horrible, we can all agree, but pretending like it doesn't exist is sad, and ineffective.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lokinator ( 181216 )

      Absurd is kind. But rather than heaping scathing abuse...

      Proxies, anyone? And for those as enjoy freedom, might I suggest the SouthWest corner of the U.S. (always excluding California, of course).

      • Re:Absurd! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by WiiVault ( 1039946 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:56AM (#26967099)
        Depends on how you define freedom. Freedom from taxation perhaps, but freedom of body (abortion, contraception), or of mind (evolution) are certainly not so doing well, and I say this as a Coloradoan.
        • Re:Absurd! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @09:25AM (#26968479) Journal

          Ahhhh, ye are too pessimistic. Everybody knows that when the government monitors all we do on the internet, things will become doubleplusgood to crimsestop those filled with badthought regarding the children. Once we eradicate the need, or even desire, porn will no longer be needed. We will have artsem do the job of creating our progeny.

          The next stop, beyond monitoring the internet, will be to install cameras so we can root out facecrime. We must not allow dangerous thoughts to continue. We can thank Eurosoc for their visionary proposal, and Eurojust for their vigorous enforcement against these sexcrime addicts. Praise the Europres, the Eurocommission, and the Europax.


          Wow. What a scary message that was to write. Also a little sad.

      • Actually, it can be seen that the list is viewed at least one ISP directly but can in any case be avoided primarily by use of OpenDNS. Details here. []
        • Re:Absurd! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:07AM (#26967421) Homepage

          It's a shame nobody has put the IWF list on Wikileaks by now...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Nursie ( 632944 )

          If Daemon only hijack dns requests then they're doing it differently to everyone else. The 'normal' way to use IWF is to route the actual http requests via a logging/blocking proxy.

    • by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:39AM (#26967017) Journal
      Are they really serious about cutting out access to sites promoting or depicting child abuse? If so, I look forward to them blocking all sites which aid or abet or encourage the religious indoctrination of children. They're all malevolent, and far more prevalent than any other form of abuse.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The whole "child abuse" thing is a lie. They pretend all those sites contain child porn, but they don't prosecute the owners or hosts of sites that are on the list, even if they are hosted in EU countries. They say it's about child abuse, but not overtly sexual forms of abuse are not even covered (see parent), while sexual abuse seems to include any image that can be construed as representing a minor in a eroticizable way, regardless of if they depict real people or are related to actual abuse. Censoring pe

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:38AM (#26967579)

          people need to raise HOLY HELL to stop this

          the STATE getting its claws onto censoring information and more importantly, *controlling information access* is a nightmare waiting to happen.

          first it is some bogus threat to the children, 5 years later, then it is to "stop the insurgents", then a few years later, it is to "quell dissent", and then to "keep the peace" and so on and so on

          slippery slope indeed

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            >>>people need to raise HOLY HELL to stop this

            Or just aim a gun at your nearest politician's head. (knock) (knock) (knock). Uh oh. Apparently they're already monitoring the internet.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) *

            Nobody's going to raise hell about this, because then that person will be accused of supporting child porn and/or terrorism.

        • Biased BBC article (Score:3, Informative)

          by mdwh2 ( 535323 )

          Indeed - the recent Wikipedia / Virgin Killer example shows that their definition is not just about abuse. Another example would be to note that the law now covers images up to 18, even though the age of consent is 16, so anything above that is entirely legal to do.

          The IWF like to talk about "child abuse images", but their actual list covers anything which is potentially an "indecent" image of somebody under 18.

          I'm particularly displeased at the BBC's bias on this article - they reproduce the spin that this

      • by Handpaper ( 566373 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:10AM (#26967441)
        I honestly can't see that the ISPs/IWF are actually serious about blocking anything.
        The block is implemented via DNS - avoiding it is trivial. It's a sop to the Government, rather than an effective censor.
        In fact, as things stand, we may have the best of it. The Government have their 'block', ISPs are 'doing something' and we have our Internet. All of it.
        • What about Google? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mangu ( 126918 )

          The Government have their 'block', ISPs are 'doing something' and we have our Internet. All of it.

          If you depend on Google [] for your searches, you don't have access to the whole internet []

        • please share - how can we avoid this block?

          from reading at wikipedia (so must be true!) the block happens at the routing level, so simply using a different DNS server like open dns doesn't help.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by makomk ( 752139 )

          The block is implemented via DNS - avoiding it is trivial. It's a sop to the Government, rather than an effective censor.

          Wrong. What they do is send all requests to the servers in question via a special transparent proxy. This is done at the IP level, so you can't avoid it just by using your own DNS server (well, I suppose some of the ISPs may have cheaped out and used DNS, but in general they didn't). If you visit a blocked page, you see a fake 404 message. I think, in some cases, they even used to go to the trouble of sending the correct 404 page for the site you were trying to visit.

          It's always been done this way, ever

    • This doesn't stink of nanny state, just mean old totalitarianism.
    • Re:Absurd! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DangerFace ( 1315417 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:03AM (#26967407) Journal
      I agree wholeheartedly. I know a guy in Manchester who ran a website - just one of those collections of offensive jokes, pictures of mutilated corpses, all that crap. Needless to say, they didn't take it very seriously and neither did anyone else - I mean, these guys trolled on their own forum. Well, one day dawn broke to the sound of their door, which was also broken thanks to the police battering ram. No, they weren't hosting pictures of child abuse - they had some hentai on their site and had neglected to state clearly that the individuals portrayed as being chopped in half while being tentacle raped were 18. Eventually the case was dropped when the police realised they had no case, and to this day those guys use stolen police evidence bags as baggies for weed - possibly the most ironic thing I have ever encountered first hand. Last I heard it was a year after the police had dropped the case and they still didn't have the domain, or even their PCs, back.
    • Child abuse is horrible, we can all agree...

      Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop what you are doing. You and others.

      Every time you or anyone else adds pandering disclaimers like this you are undermining your own argument and are undeniably contributing to the problem of censorship in our society.

      Why do you think the "Think of the Children" brigade have gotten so far? How do you think that these people have been so successful at slowly introducing censorship to the Internet, and into society in general? It is because they rely on fear and intimidation to produce capitulations such as your disclaimer. Without fear, they are powerless in the face of common sense.

      No reasonable person need declare their revulsion. Yet everyone does so, because they are afraid of a pointing finger. Our society has been intimidated into censorship, and no one dares speak against it.

      Your statement even went so far as to seek greater consensus "we can all agree", adding to the cycle of intimidation and fear. This is where giving in has gotten us, and there is no end in sight to the injustices that will be heaped on us all "In The Name Of The Children". No end. These people will not stop, ever.

      Please do not capitulate in this way. There is no need to, despite how fearful you may be.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by smoker2 ( 750216 )
        I have a box of matches in my hand, and on the back it says "DANGER ! FIRE KILLS CHILDREN"

        Nuff said.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Firethorn ( 177587 )

      Now, this might seem oddball, but wouldn't this be ineffective and worse than nothing for preventing child abuse, the whole reason child porn is bad?

      My reasoning: If the pervs are unable to get it from non-domestic sources, they are more likely to look domestically for it; even producing it themselves instead of downloading it.

      1 child abused to produce X images of CP downloaded 10k times is 'better' than 2 children abused to produce 2X images of CP, each downloaded 5k times because of blocking resulting in

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @03:50AM (#26966789)

    Sadly this is another knee jerk reaction to a serious problem in society. Just by making access to the images difficult, child abuse will not go away. The British government should look at the roots of anti-social behaviour in society and put in place programmes of education to ensure that the next generation are not abusers.

    This kind of popluist resonse fomented by the gutter press has never been effective and never will.

    • by onedotzero ( 926558 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:15AM (#26966915) Homepage

      I honestly see this as less of a reaction, and more of an excuse to control the Internet in the country.

      Next chance I get, I'm off.

      • by radio4fan ( 304271 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @09:15AM (#26968417)

        Next chance I get, I'm off.

        Shamefully reposted from the last time we had a story like this:

        I left in 2007.

        There wasn't one single thing that made me go, but the accumulative weight of paranoia and illiberalism.

        Shamelessly ripped off from here []:

                * The government can ban any groups it labels 'terrorist' (Terrorism Act 2000)
                * The government can monitor any and all private communication (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000)
                * Armed forces can be deployed on UK soil in peacetime (Civil Contingencies Act 2004)
                * Property and assets can be seized without warning or compensation (Civil Contingencies Act 2004)
                * Spontaneous protest is now illegal around Parliament (Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005)
                * Without trial, any British citizen can be tagged, put under house arrest and banned from using the telephone or internet (Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005)
                * Any citizen can be imprisoned without charge for 28 days (42 days has passed the house of commons) (Terrorism Act 2006)
                * The executive can change any current legislation without consulting Parliament, with very few exceptions (Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006)
                * Arbitrary punishments with no legal precedents can be issued with little legal recourse, based on hearsay evidence (Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003)
                * British citizens can be extradicted to the United States with no evidence presented (Extradition Act 2003)
                * Compulsory identification for all British citizens, with an unlimited amount of details stored in a central database, which the private sector will have access to (Identity Cards Act 2006)
                * Upon arrest the police have claim to your DNA, even if you are released without charge (Criminal Justice Act 2003)

        Note that some of this predates 9/11.

        The government is not-so-gradually putting in place all the mechanisms that a totalitarian police state needs.

        What's sickening is that this is largely supported by or ignored by the public.

        Every letter I wrote to my MP was replied to by a "we need it to keep people safe, and the public support this measure" fob-off.

        In theory I should stick around to try and change things, but it's like staying in a pool that other people are shitting in.

        I first left for France, now I'm living in Spain. These countries are not Utopias, but they are a hell of a lot better than the UK. There are no moral panics about predatory paedophiles, and the 'content industries' are not so powerful. And it doesn't rain so much.

    • by umghhh ( 965931 )

      So yes - this method in combating child pornography is probably not very good but hey we can use it also to block access to certain information to the sheeple (or to majority of them) and in a process you may also get some means to black mail the disobedient (who would like to be associated with civil right activists that are also child pornography users?).
      This give them more control over their herd so not all is lost and affords of ISPs are not all wasted - rejoice!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sobrique ( 543255 )
      The thing is, making the images difficult to access might actually be counterproductive - I mean, making them in the first place is already illegal.
      But think of the person who acquires that sort of thing? The person who does, for whatever reason, find 'underage' to be sexually attractive. This person is ... well, is faced with having to repress their desire, because society deems it wrong, and it's illegal too.
      (I could perhaps draw the parallels with homosexuality, although granted that this is more one
    • Sadly this is another knee jerk reaction to a serious problem in society. Just by making access to the images difficult, child abuse will not go away.

      In fact, it's likely to make the problem worse, since we're now blocking decent people from seeing what's really going on, and figuring out why.

  • The situation is bad, but it isn't quite as bad as this:

    it looks like the writing is on the wall for unfiltered, uncensored Internet connections in the UK

    They're only talking about broadband solutions marketed to consumers. Most ISPs offer "home office" broadband for just a few pounds per month more that isn't marketed to consumers, and hence would probably not fall under any legislation they may impose.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by u38cg ( 607297 )
      More to the point, the legislation just states that ISPs must have a filtering system in place. My ISP does exactly that, and builds their own filters based on user reports. So far, no problems accessing Wikipedia (or indeed anything else).
    • I'd be surprised if that was the case. Technically, "office" broadband and "home" broadband is usually identical, to the ISP. It all happens lower down the chain, at BT.

  • Hold your horses (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:10AM (#26966889)

    I agree the call for 100% is idiotic but I don't see it being a government forced initiative only that they'd like to see it.

    The only people demanding 100% right now are the childrens charities, but I already knew they were the pinnacle of the "think of the children" croud hence why I'd never donate to them. In cases like this they ultimately do more harm than good because they simply just cover up the fact a problem still exists.

    It's currently only the childrnes charities that are the problem here, the government, despite me hating them dearly for their repeated idiocy have not yet demanded 100% coverage, only said they'd like to see that. I'd like to see the existence of god disproved once and for all but that doesn't mean it's going to happen does it?

    • by SwedishPenguin ( 1035756 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:23AM (#26966961)

      Just the fact that the government wants 100% is enough. They may not force ISP's yet, but when they find out that those 5% won't do it (I assume out of principle, there are a few of those ISP's left) they will probably turn to forcing them to comply.

      We have our own filter here in Sweden, also supposedly for "child porn" (it's been proven to block other things too, and the filter is just as non-transparent). It doesn't have quite the same coverage (yet) but judging by our current government's previous actions, I wouldn't be surprised by them forcing ISP's to comply within a few years.

      • Sadly this is often an effect of democracy- tyranny of the majority. Don't get me wrong, I don't like dictators, but this problem is still important.
      • by bentcd ( 690786 )

        Just the fact that the government wants 100% is enough. They may not force ISP's yet, but when they find out that those 5% won't do it (I assume out of principle, there are a few of those ISP's left) they will probably turn to forcing them to comply.

        The upside to having it mandated by law is that it can then by challenged on constitutional(*) and human rights grounds. How well this would fare in the UK I do not know but the fact that the govt hasn't already enacted a law along these lines gives hope - they may be in doubt as to whether they could actually get away with it. Much easier to just bully private organizations into doing their dirty work for them.

        * - Yes, there is such a thing for the UK. []

    • by N1AK ( 864906 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:37AM (#26967009) Homepage

      I agree the call for 100% is idiotic but I don't see it being a government forced initiative only that they'd like to see it.

      This is the same government that is bringing in voluntary ID cards. The definition of voluntary appears to be you are free not to get a card, but then you can't work at Manchester airport... how long until you won't be able to get CRB check without having an ID card? There definition of voluntary is swiftly shifting from free choice, to ability to choose to starve on the streets (as long as you don't get arrested) if you don't get one.

      Internet filtering will go the same way. The government must love the work the IWF is doing here, as it gets to claim credit for any improvements and say it is taking in action, but when the IWF cocks up the government can wash it hands and point out it is an independent body. I find it incredible that people find the idea of this organisation covertly removing content acceptable.

      • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:58AM (#26967105)

        I find it incredible that people find the idea of this organisation covertly removing content acceptable.

        Firstly, until the recent Wikipedia issue blew up, the IWF was practically unheard of in the UK.

        Secondly, while we'd all love to believe that something like "oh, by the way - there's a 95% chance that everything you do online is being monitored and censored" would have people taking to the streets with pitchforks and torches, the fact of the matter is it doesn't. I hate to say it, but a large percentage of the population fully subscribe to the idea that if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear.

        Thirdly, this is one of those hot potatoes that it's very difficult to argue against - anyone who does is likely to find themselves tarred as someone who's "sympathetic to paedophiles". This doesn't just apply to politicians - our mass media is just as capable of demonising people as anyone else's and I don't know many people who would have the stomach for being plastered all over the front page of the papers with headlines like "Sick pervert wants to allow photos of child abuse!!11oneone"

    • Re:Hold your horses (Score:5, Interesting)

      by h4rm0ny ( 722443 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:42AM (#26967029) Journal

      I'm a regular and long-term supporter of Barnardos who do a lot of great work. I'm sorry to see them on the list of signees for this charity and I shall write to them about it in due course. NSPCC I am not at all surprised to see on the list as they are an organization primarily focused on fear and shock tactics. They do little more than terrify adults from the very idea of having contact with children for fear of being suspected a child abuser.
      • Re:Hold your horses (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:04AM (#26967141) Homepage

        Same here. I would never give money to the NSPCC but I'm happy to support Barnados. I hope we can get them to change their mind on the subject - or at least, recognize that political lobbying is not one of the functions of a children's charity.

        I was pleased to see that my ISP, Zen Internet, is one of those refusing to bow to the IWF. I will continue to recommend them to friends and family as a sensible, human-run provider.

        • I'd not heard of Zen before. Given that I'm shopping for a new ISP, guess who's now at the top of the list? I very much doubt I'm alone, either.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by nmg196 ( 184961 )

            Zen are about the highest rated ISP on [] but they're not particularly cheap. You get what you pay for though, and the service and support are the best I've ever seen from an ISP. Beware though, of fairly low download allowances unless you spend a lot of money. I was with them for a few years and only switched away to get better value through a local unbundled ISP.

            • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

              You get what you pay for though, and the service and support are the best I've ever seen from an ISP. Beware though, of fairly low download allowances unless you spend a lot of money.

              You don't really get what you pay for with Zen anymore. They became bad value for money in my opinion when they introduced stupid, onerous monthly download caps. They lost me as a customer for that.

  • by gallwapa ( 909389 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:20AM (#26966945) Homepage

    I wish they wouldn't refer to it as child abuse. While sexually/mentally abusing children is child abuse, child abuse often times focuses on the physical abuse (at leaset in my area of the country in the US). That said, this law is probably targeted at filtering pornographic images of children who were abused. There (is?) should be a better term to describe what they're trying to filter.

    That said, I don't think the governments of individual countries should censor the internet. By all means, censor public access, but as far as I am concerned, my connection to "the internet" is (or should be) a "private tunnel" that means no interference (from anyone, including the ISP!)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by badfish99 ( 826052 )

      But they have to refer to it as chld abuse, in order to justify blocking it. If they said "this is harmless but we want to block it anyway", then who would take any notice of them?

      Of course it must be harmless: otherwise Cambridge (which is where the IWF offices are situated, according to their web site) would be a hotbed of child abuse, due to the number of people working for the IWF who look at this stuff for a living.

    • I wish they wouldn't refer to it as child abuse.

      How about "Would-be-pirate abuse"? ;)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      child abuse

      UK statistics generally include "use rude words or making offensive statements" under the heading of abuse, and thus calling a child "ignorant" is lumped in the same category as raping them. While this strategy makes the problem seem worse to some, it makes the statistics completely worthless.

      I think we should ban pencils and paper, because people might draw their own porn.

  • This "voluntary" and "recommended system" doesn't seem to be very voluntary all of a sudden. Why doesn't this surprise me?

  • ...The ability to explore the garbage dumpster bazaar that is teh interpipes is a birth right!
  • Sadly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SwampChicken ( 1383905 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:33AM (#26966989)
    Australia isn't too far behind...
  • Why block? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PatDev ( 1344467 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:34AM (#26966999)

    Maybe I'm missing something here. I've always wondered why there was a rush to block images of child abuse like this. As long as these sites are up, there is still a possibility for authorities to identify the guilty parties through the websites.

    If every ISP blocks 100%, then not even cops can get an unfiltered connection. That means that they have stopped trying to catch the child pornographers, they just want to pretend they don't exist.

    These are real children being abused. Their abusers are handing the police evidence. Why the rush to ignore it? Why not just monitor them? Keep track of who visits or whatever.

    • Re:Why block? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fastest fascist ( 1086001 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:06AM (#26967151)
      Stop looking for logic here. This is how it works: Children are abused, child porn is available on-line. People, understandably, are angry about this. Someone, somewhere suggests that no-one should be able to see such material, the government takes action to block access to it. Any argument against blocking is seen as an argument for neglecting children. Any call for rational discussion is seen as a sign of emotional coldness.

      If someone suggested the cops should be given the right to monitor internet-connections in real-time and immediately arrest and castrate everyone seen attempting to access child porn, I think they would get significant support for their idea.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by HungryHobo ( 1314109 )

        You forgot the last bit.
        If the ISP's make it so that child porn isn't accesible then the people who bitch and whine can pretend that it isn't happening.
        If there's no proof that it happens then they can pretend that that kind of thing doesn't actually happen.

        And some people need a wakeup call now and then to remind them that if you're a teacher there is a decent chance that one or more of your students is being abused at home and to fucking watch for the signs.
        But if everything looks alright on the surface t

    • Re:Why block? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by badfish99 ( 826052 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:13AM (#26967193)
      We know the sort of stuff they are blocking, from the recent Wikipedia case, and it's plainly got nothing to do with child abuse. My guess would be that the people behind this are just prudes on a power trip.
    • Re:Why block? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:36AM (#26967571)

      If every ISP blocks 100%, then not even cops can get an unfiltered connection.

      They don't want every day cops to have an unfiltered connection. They want a special organisation, very likely an unelected one, to sit in judgement. It's a lovely idea really.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )

      If every ISP blocks 100%, then not even cops can get an unfiltered connection.

      If you'd read TFA you would see it's all about consumer broadband and UK households, in my world that excludes the enterprise grade accounts from this mandate to filtering.

  • Who is the 5%? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ActionJesus ( 803475 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:42AM (#26967027)

    Can let me know who the 5% that arent signed up are so I can transfer over to them? If i wanted censored internet, Id move to China.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) [] is one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ciarang ( 967337 )

      Try [] - they use Entanet as their upstream provider (no filtering, as another commenter pointed out). Additionally, you are supporting free software by using them, and unlike pretty much every other they are customer friendly - e.g. if you want a MAC code, you can get one instantly from their web site, without them making you go through multiple phone calls where they try and persuade you not to leave.

      Check out their statement of policy:

      Statement of policy regarding censorship, Phorm/Web

    • by u38cg ( 607297 )
      My ISP, Net Central, don't subscribe to the IWF list. They do have the legally mandated filter on there, but as far as I can tell nothing much is blocked. They're not the cheapest, but they have superb support with no queues or premium rate numbers (and when you say you've checked your router responds to ping, they believe you). Happily recommend them.
    • A&A have categorically stated that they will *never* filter (unless it's made compulsory, and even then they'd try to find a way around it eg. by selling their lines as business broadband instead of consumer). []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @04:49AM (#26967051)

    Child pornography? That's a shit reason censor.
    It also happens to be the one reason people aren't able to argue with.

    Where did all these child abusers come from?
    1. They were already there, the internet changed nothing.
    2. They were created by the internet. They spawned from caves just like a MMORPG.
    3. The internet magically turns people into child abusers just like that ActiveX control you didn't want.
    4. The whole thing was blown out of proportion by the media creating a moral panic.

    I've lived in several countries that have extensive censorship of all media, and that is the most scary thing on earth. It breeds a level of ignorance and double-think that just blows your mind. Censorship has the power to destroy your nation, however powerful it is today.

    Watch this space. As America and the UK among others become enemies of the internet, strangled by copyright laws run amok, and kids banned from playing with their chemistry sets, other countries will usurp us all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      ---Child pornography? That's a shit reason censor.
      ---It also happens to be the one reason people aren't able to argue with.

      Oh, it's VERY arguable. You just need to move the definition of "Child". Children, prior to the 1900's applied to the age group of 10 and under. Over that and you were an adult. And this word adolescent.. made up word in the 50's. I'll provide a framework that might work in your country.


      "The 'Age of Majority' is defined to be the minimum age of a person who has been tried, but may no

  • A slippery slope (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ommerson ( 1485487 )

    When they came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a Jew.
    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

    The crucial difference here is that nobody will admit to viewing kiddy pr0n, but the government has already set its sights on extreme and violent

  • Am I being naÃve? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by severn2j ( 209810 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:11AM (#26967185)
    IANA trained psychologist but, it seems to me that the whole idea of making the viewing/downloading of CP illegal, will only have the opposite effect of whats intended (assuming whats intended is a reduction of child sex abuse), because pedophiles dont decide what they are attracted to anymore than anyone else.. Considering the stigma attached to even the suggestion of being a pedophile, I think its quite reasonable to assume that given the choice, a pedophile wouldnt be one if they could help it. Given that, I would much rather they got their kicks jerking off to CP, than taking it out on a child because they have no other avenue.

    Sex is a very powerful motivator for anyone (just look at the advertising industry for proof of that) and to assume that someone will just control their urges for the rest of their lives without any way to 'release' (for want of a better word) them seems very dangerous and ignorant of human (and animal) behaviour. I dont know what the solution is to child sex abuse, except maybe compulsory therapy for abusers as well as the abused (although, by then the damage is already done), but Im pretty sure this isnt it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shinier ( 949631 )
      I would much rather they got their kicks jerking off to CP, than taking it out on a child... This just delegates your child abuse to the person producing the videos. You'd have to be pretty utilitarian to suggest that forcing a small number of children to be abused on camera is better than a larger number being abused in private.
      • I think the implication was to keep production and possibly distribution illegal, but not possession or viewing. Then we go after the producers, which will actually reduce the net child abuse being performed. Going after possession doesn't reduce production, unfortunately.
    • yes

      Its not about the children, its about justifying interception and censorship. See how the anti-terrorist laws were used against people insulting Tony Blair - expect a law that insulting Gordon Brown is child abuse some time shortly before the next election.

  • Does this mean that Tor hidden nodes and I2P will finally gain some traction?

  • Not So (Score:3, Informative)

    by shin0r ( 208259 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:21AM (#26967227) Homepage

    Some ISPs will never comply. Super Awesome for the win! []

    I'll get me coat

  • It's more nuanced (Score:4, Interesting)

    by igb ( 28052 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @05:25AM (#26967239)
    I was at the meeting at Portcullis House at which this was announced yesterday (the media coverage was the usual pre-event trailing). John Carr was there but didn't speak, but the minister made a decent speech. The basic position seems to be that industry agreed to use the Cleanfeed system on residential links in exchange for there not being legislation, but some of the industry is saying no on the grounds of cost and effectiveness (not, notably, on any cyber-libertarian position, although that may be their underlying motive). Those parts of the industry which have followed the Cleanfeed line voluntarily are annoyed about cost and complexity that they are shouldering which their competitors aren't.

    My position is that, given that we're not going to be able to avoid the basic problem, legislation is actually not necessarily a bad thing. It would plave the IWF on a legislative footing, which would alter the governance and the contestability in potentially a good way. But people I have immense respect who know a lot more about this stuff disagree, and think the upside (judicial oversight) would not be worth the downside (ministers making positions).

    Sadly, it seems that a huge part of the e-crime agenda is being devoted to child porn, which is only one past of the issue and one where the end users aren't the victims. Fraud and other issues are being subsumed.

    • How does the cleanfeed system handle peer to peer? Because usenet, email, gnutella are all peer to peer. All it would take is for someone to implement a peer to peer static caching system for web sites and build it into an add-on or module for firefox.

      • by igb ( 28052 )
        It doesn't. It's purely aimed at static web content. Just because you can't attack the whole problem isn't of itself a reason to not attack parts of the problem. Cleanfeed removes the ``I just stumbled on it while browsing'' argument.
  • I would support the measure for blocking "child porn" (although I wouldn't ever call it porn), we all know that governments would NOT stop at just one thing, they will find something else objectionable, as the UK government already has []. And so it will go on and on, until eventually, they will get to ban something that the rest of the idiots that use the internet ARE bothered about. Then it will be too late, and all the population will have is the state broadcaster pushing out government propaganda and lies
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Sobrique ( 543255 )
      What's the point though? The act of making the "child porn" in the first place is already illegal. Hunting down porn sites to block is basically an exercise in futility, and kinda assumes that it's impossible for people to use 'covert channels' for such things.
  • by Brian Ribbon ( 986353 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2009 @06:37AM (#26967573) Journal

    As soon as you use those words, you have lost your argument in the eyes of the general public. Studies [] have shown that most illegal images of children do not involve sexual abuse. Data from Garda (linked above) shows that the most serious image possessed in 44% of "child pornography" cases in Ireland (whose child pornography laws mirror those of the UK) decpited no sexual activity whatsoever.

    Pictures of naked children, which presumably comprise the majority of blocked images, should not be called "child abuse images". That term is just newspeak designed to justify the vast powers of censorship and funding which are handed to the IWF.

  • I take my hat off to the UK Gov. for completely missing the point by several thousand miles.

    Yes, images of child abuse (and a hell of a lot of other images on the net) are nasty.

    But hiding them from public view is pointless ... did they learn nothing from 1930's prohibition in terms of the effectiveness of "banning something". All they will succeed in doing is pushing the problem underground, while at the same time telling the general populace "look at what a good job we are doing".

    In the mean time, a new c

    • It's a list of URLs. Not a particularly good one either, from what I've heard.

      All a site has to do to unblock themselves is change the URL. Or put the website on another port (it only filters port 80) or use https/irc/ftp/email. IWF appear to know nothing of how the internet actually works, which is somewhat lucky, because their attempts at censorship will completely fail.

      Calling for legislation though is very worrying. The gov. want to give a group of unelected people the ability to control what the po

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by horza ( 87255 )

      I think you are missing the point, daveime. I don't think the intent is to stop those that actually want to watch child pornography. That simply isn't going to happen. There are a zillion ways to bypass any filters the government could force on ISPs. I think the idea is to stop kids surfing around the net late at night and casually browsing onto really disturbing images. Look on youtube at the reaction videos to 2girls1cup, something even I refuse to watch, most of them are teenage kids.

      Where the UK govt. m

  • IWF are the same group of self appointed censors whos system is so badly flawed that they included Wikipedia and threatened Amazon [] with black listing and were forced to back down after they it was discovered the image was an Album cover sold legal in the UK for years.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry