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British MPs Propose Censoring Internet By Default 255

judgecorp writes "An all-party inquiry by British MPs has proposed the Internet should be censored to prevent children seeing 'adult' content. Users would have to opt in to see adult content. The proposal is similar to that already used by mobile operators." From the article: "The move, first suggested in 2010, has been firmed up , after a cross-party Parliamentary inquiry examined the state of online child protection. The current proposal is a 'network-level "Opt-In" system,' going beyond the 'active choice' model launched by ISPs ... last October. ... They also want the Government to 'consider a new regulatory structure for online content, with one regulator given a lead role in the oversight and monitoring of Internet content distribution and the promotion of Internet safety initiatives.'"
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British MPs Propose Censoring Internet By Default

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  • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:27AM (#39723193)

    When the parent opts in, how does that prevent a child from using his PC or iPod Touch from using the same connection?

    Finally, a good reason for ipv6 NAT :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:28AM (#39723205)

    America has dibs on taking away liberties in the name of child safety, sorry UK, find your own thing.

  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:28AM (#39723211)

    This would be a better world if we just shot all politicians who used the instinct to protect children to push agendas.

  • Hmmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:30AM (#39723217)

    I thought the Internet already had an opt-in. It's called getting on the Internet. There's already plenty of solutions for parents to limit what children can see on the Internet (including technological solutions and good parenting). Why fuck it up for the rest of us by adding yet another layer of complexity that can go wrong and block everything?

    "Teacher, I couldn't do my homework because the government required an opt-in for Wikipedia because there could be a link to a link to an article with citations that might contain a penis."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:31AM (#39723229)

    "Opt-in by default" makes no sense. I believe they mean "Opt-out"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:32AM (#39723239)

    I'm 15 and I still can't figure how not allowing me to watch pron is protecting me.

  • by forkfail ( 228161 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:34AM (#39723259)

    ... hasn't been paying attention.

    They won't quit until all 'net speech is controlled, censored and regulated.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:37AM (#39723283)

    How will the system distinguish between children and adults? At a guess, I'm thinking you would need some sort of login system, where known adults would have a login they could use to access "uncensored" Internet (oh and yeah I'm guessing torrents would be censored by default too, since of course you can use that for porn also), which means they will be able to track anyone accessing "undesirable" content. Oh but of course the government would never do such a thing... right? Only people who access illegal things need to worry about the government watching you! Just think of the children!

    And anyways it'll never work, new sites spring up way to fast for a censor to keep track of them all, unless you use a white-list for approved content, so again, if you browse "unapproved" content, you will need to log-in to the system, which allows for tracking. Paranoid? Maybe. You can bet many governments would absolutely love such a system, though.

    And of course, if you decry the system as restrictive, you must be a pedophile who hates children and wants them to see porn. Obviously.

  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:41AM (#39723341)

    Or people could just stop voting the alpha sociopaths into positions of power and- pbbbbbbtttt BAH HA HA HA... yeah, couldn't keep a straight face there.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:43AM (#39723379)

    Think of the children in 10-15 years when they're grown up. As young adults will they want to live in a world where they have a censored internet? Of course not. By protecting children, you are actually HARMING them by limiting their freedom as free, adult citizens.

  • Re:Great Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rhapsody Scarlet ( 1139063 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:44AM (#39723397) Homepage

    Really, it is about time we protect our children and others who don't want to see this kind of stuff. Objectionable material should not be seen by minors and there are many others who prefer not to be subjected to this stuff.

    Fine by me too, but here's an idea: Why don't they opt-in?

    People who don't want to see 'objectionable material' or who don't want their children to see the same can opt-in to a filtering system, that ISPs are required to provide at no charge and notify all their customers of, and anyone who doesn't gets the same internet they always have, warts and all.

    Because you see, the internet is what it is. It has pornography, hate speech, and even illegal materials. Those are facts of life. But when I ask to get 'the internet', I want the internet, not some filtered subset of it. So the default should be an unfiltered connection, and those who want filtering should have to ask for it. I'm perfectly willing to make it easier for those who want filtering to have access to it, that is their choice. But it should be their responsibility to ask for such things, not my responsibility to ask for them to be removed.

    Also, should this 'opt-in' filtering come into effect on my ISP (Sky Broadband, I believe they haven't started yet, please inform me now if I'm mistaken because they haven't told me anything) then I am taking my 'opt-in' rights, and if someone should say "So you're opting-in to pornography then?" I tell them "No, I'm opting-out of your stupid, unnecessary filter that I did not ask for and do not need".

  • Re:Great Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:47AM (#39723427)

    it is about time we protect our children and others who don't want to see this kind of stuff.

    I don't want to read your ideas ever again.

    What do you think it's the correct behaviour:
    A - I stop reading you.
    B - I ask slashdot to block all your posts for everyone unless they opt-in.

  • Re:Great Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:48AM (#39723433)

    This is not something the Slashdot crowd wants to hear, but i like this idea. Really, it is about time we protect our children and others who don't want to see this kind of stuff. Objectionable material should not be seen by minors and there are many others who prefer not to be subjected to this stuff. Like cigarettes or alcohol, basic protections need to be put in place. Like it or not, this is the way the internet will go.

    You are missing the point because you are taking the politicals at their word.

    This isn't about blocking porn to protect children, it's about the government having a system to block anything they don't like the look of. Such things might include evidence of their own misdeeds or alternative political views. The UK government has been blocking newspapers from printing things they consider inconvenient for many years and they want the same power over the web.

  • Re:Backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:53AM (#39723507)

    this is the UK. the UK is NOT EUROPE.

    even europeans don't want to be mixed in with the UK riffraff.

    sorry brits, but you truly have fallen. a once great culture, you have fallen so fully and completely.

    so sad.

  • by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:54AM (#39723517)

    Simple solution, parents should never ever opt-in and any who do are obviously unfit since, as you said, their children may sue their computers. So if they do then the parent will simply be brought up for child endangerment charges and have their children taken away. Problem solved.

    Given the UK's famous bureaucracy, I give it two years before their version of the CPC starts using that line of argument.

  • by biek ( 1946790 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @11:59AM (#39723573)
    Instead of placing the blame firmly on the parents for not regulating/monitoring their child's internet use?
  • Ban Bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kawabago ( 551139 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @12:11PM (#39723731)
    to silence all politicians!
  • by joocemann ( 1273720 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @12:35PM (#39724029)

    How about we leave the internet alone, as is, and then hold parents responsible for their kids! Yay for responsibility!

  • by Dan1701 ( 1563427 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @12:39PM (#39724095)

    You can tell that most of the comments on this posting are from outside the UK, because they all assume that the net filter will be effective. It will not. The UK has a long track record of egregious and laughable failure wherever any form of computing device is involved in government. The previous government spend twelve billion pounds (roughly $18 000 000 000 US) on a healthcare computer system which to date has not delivered ANY working product. Indeed this NHS computer system was so dire, so doomed to failure that one of the participant companies recently bought their way out of the original contract.

    UK ministers are computer-illiterate morons almost to a man. They are also utterly incapable of running a project successfully, and the companies which prey upon these dullards know this, expect it and exploit it. Any normal project will run via one of the many project management organisational systems, going from initiation through problem capture, solution design, build and implementation phases. Once out of problem capture phases, any good project manager will tell any interfering PHB that amendments to the project will be added to the wishlist for Project 2.0 and will not be acted upon at that time.

    This does not happen with most UK Government IT projects; ministerial interference is expected (and indeed hoped for) since it gives the outsourcing companies a very good excuse for why the project is not functioning and producing the expected deliverable. Interference also allows them to push up costs and milk the boondoggle for all it is worth before it gets canned. To summarise, there are companies in the UK which make a point of getting paid for not producing working results.

    To date in this parliament we have already had a proposal to build a vast Internet spying system to try to incriminate as many UK citizens as possible, whilst conspicuously ignoring such minor and unimportant inventions as Tor Onion routing and VPNs to neutral countries. Now we're getting another similar internet control scheme, once again conceived by utter morons and to be implemented by exploitative outsourcers. All this in the current economic climate, too.

    At present the UK has a structural deficit. It is spending more money per year than it can find in taxes, and is borrowing the remainder by selling bonds and by magicking more money into existence with quantitative easing. The main bank interest rate is being held at 0.5% to try to force people to spend rather than save, and none of these supposed remedies are working. The government is also deeply wedded to the EU project, despite this entity's slow and inevitable fiscal collapse, and seems to want to carry on feeding this beast too. The aforementioned spying projects can therefore be viewed as the actions of scared fools trying to do something, because they don't know how to solve the looming crisis that is about to hit them.

  • by rhyder128k ( 1051042 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @12:40PM (#39724111) Homepage

    Quite right.

    Since the beginning of the 70s, feminists have used the pornography "issue" as a stick to hit men with. They don't need pornography because practically every woman has an unlimited supply of the real thing.

    Unless you are viewing illegal material, pornography is sexual activity between consenting adults. Looking at or participating in pornography should be treated with the same respect as any other form of consensual sexual activity. Just once, I'd love for a left wing feminist journalist/MP to take a look at some pornography featuring homosexual people and start dishing out terms like "disgusting", "degrading" or "unnatural".

    The same feminists know perfectly well that many a man who has to share a house with a woman won't feel empowered to ask to have the pornography switched on. This is in a society where any man trying to limit the sexual freedoms of women would be criticized. And that's what this is about - hurting, punishing and humiliating men.

  • Re:Great Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @12:49PM (#39724219) Homepage

    I don't want anyone else to read your ideas ever again.

    What do you think it's the correct behaviour:
    A - I stop reading you.
    B - I ask slashdot to block all your posts for everyone unless they opt-in.

    FTFY. This is really the issue at hand. It's not that the people proposing the law don't want to see porn, it's that they don't want anyone else seeing it. Err, I mean, they don't want the children to see it. Adults should have the right to, of course. Just opt-in by putting your name on this list titled "Probable Sex Offenders" and you can look at your porn again. You perv.

  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee ( 123989 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:15PM (#39725417)

    Ahh Catch 22 all over again. This prudish anti-natural anti-sensual puritan ethic is what causes so much trouble in the world, not the least is the troubles from fights to wars caused by sexual repression exploding out in other area's of peoples lives. The assumptions of what is bad here (love as opposed to say war) should be what is being questioned. We are regressing to older times where old ladies with umbrellas would take after children who were holding hands in public. Lets not go there shall we?

  • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @05:09PM (#39727893) Homepage
    How about we stop hurting people altogether and see how that works out instead. Just so you know, women are not the only victims of oppression in the world. Do you think no men have ever been punished, humilated or enslaved either?

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.