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Censorship United Kingdom Your Rights Online

UK Considering Automatic Web Filtering For Adult Content 170

Dupple writes with news that the British government is considering restrictions for ISPs that would block by default anything considered "adult content." From the article: "Ministers are suggesting that people should automatically be barred from accessing unsuitable adult material unless they actually choose to view it. It is one of several suggestions being put out for a consultation on how to shield children from pornography. Websites promoting suicide, anorexia and self-harm are also being targeted. The discussion paper asks for views on three broad options for the best approach to keeping children safe online, in a rapidly changing digital industry. ... The latest system, called 'active choice-plus,' is aimed at reaching a compromise. It would automatically block adult content, but would set users a question, along the lines of whether they want to change this to gain access to sites promoting pornography, violence and other adult-only themes. This is partly based on 'Nudge' theory, a U.S. concept which states that persuasion, rather than enforcement, can be an effective way of changing behavior."
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UK Considering Automatic Web Filtering For Adult Content

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:02PM (#40480493)

    And also fuck the establishment!
    (Punk is not dead!)

  • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:02PM (#40480495)
    Ban the Bible it is full of porn.
  • by Walterk ( 124748 ) <dublet&acm,org> on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:02PM (#40480501) Homepage Journal

    The blocking is so easy to circumvent, it's ridiculous. More legislation from politicians who don't have a clue how the Internet works.

    How can we show people how stupid this whole "won't someone think of the children!?" argument is?

  • by saibot834 ( 1061528 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:05PM (#40480571)

    Me still thinks this is doubleplusungood. If you want to protect your kids, don't let them unsupervised on the Internet when they are still young. You don't let them play on a dangerous road either, do you?

  • by davecb ( 6526 ) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:05PM (#40480585) Homepage Journal

    ... as one can chose "safe search" or not. It seem like a good option for search engines, a possible-but-onerous one for browsers (ask Google if a page is safe?) and a huge expensive kludge for ISPs.


  • Re:That's fine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson ( 1873388 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:07PM (#40480619)

    I wouldn't say that's fine. They're suggesting that things they don't like should be automatically blocked. What if I said that we should automatically block republican/democrat/religious/atheist websites, for instance? I'm sure there are some people that would like at least a few of those blocked, yet if it was proposed, I believe there would be far more outrage.

    If the schools don't want that happening, they can implement a meaningless block themselves.

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:13PM (#40480811)

    Ministers are suggesting that people should automatically be barred from accessing unsuitable adult material unless they actually choose to view it.

    So, leave it exactly the way it is, then?

    No really, I am trying to think of the last time I saw anything pornographic that I wasn't looking for, and I can't name a single example. Maybe it's because I took two minutes to read Google's tips on how to get good search results? At any rate, this is the very first time in recent memory that I sincerely felt pro-status quo.

    The Internet is a really great thing. Can't we have just one nice thing that the Puritannical busybodies don't fuck up for us? Is it really everyone else's problem if this tiny minority gets offended? Can we just decide to trust the parents to be parents, and accept that if we can't do that, the children have much bigger problems than any censorship is going to fix?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:15PM (#40480871) Journal
    The point isn't to be hard to circumvent(in a technical sense), the point is to appease the moralists by bringing back some of the good, old-fashioned, inconvenience of getting your hands on the good stuff.

    Sure, kids these days will reflexively click through anything that stands between them and their porn/warez/facebook/etc; but a reactionary's cold, bitter, circulatory core warms just a little bit at the thought that you will have to click the "Yes, I, an internet subscriber who knows that my ISP knows my name and where I live, do affirm that I wish to be recorded in the Database as desiring access to the vilest smut on the internet." button...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:18PM (#40480945)
    Active choice-plus is double-plus good. My god, it has really happened...
  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:19PM (#40480983) Homepage

    That's always the problem with censorship systems.

    For instance, is a picture that is clearly a depiction of Nick Clegg and David Cameron going at it while not showing any private parts qualify as adult content or political speech? How about if they aren't even engaged in sexual activity, but just depicted wearing drag? How about classic artwork, like "Liberty Leading the People", where a breast is clearly visible? How about smutty literature, like Harry Potter lemons, the Song of Soloman, or D.H. Lawrence?

    The line isn't clear, and the answer is usually that the government hires some prude to decide for the rest of us what's ok and what's not.

  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:20PM (#40480997)

    No problem, they'll just block the proxy sites as 'adult content' too then. And the download sites. And torrents and other P2P protocols. And direct browsing by IP address. And chat rooms, email, IM software, and photo sharing sites (including Facebook). And any page with the words "circumvent" and "filter" appearing anywhere on them. And search engines. See, it's easy!

    And all that ignores the kid who goes to Google to search for "I think my friend might hurt themselves, what should I do?" or "breast cancer" or "how to use a condom" or "anorexia support group". The whole thing is ridiculous.

  • Promoting Fear (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:23PM (#40481071)

    >This is partly based on 'Nudge' theory, a U.S. concept which states that persuasion, rather than enforcement, can be an effective way of changing behavior."

    This "Nudge theory" has proven only to be the bullshit of "we're okay with letting private entities to automatically enroll and then subsequently allow customers to opt-out instead of an opt-in".. regarding a system of what is essentially censorship.

    That being said I don't think any major U.S. telcos do this, yet. What the FUCK do you care if I'm looking at legal porn? What the fuck do I care that you know? It's not like you don't know all the data I'm sending anyways. What's next, want to post a public list with my name and address on it as a 'peruser of adult content'?

    Thank god we grew out of this shit 40 years ago.. better watch out! The communists, oops, terrorists, will get you next!

    Fuck you too, terrorists.. I don't want or need your fear in my life, and I'm not interested in invoking fear on others. I reject it.

    Fuck you fear, in all of your myriad of forms in this world. Realizing that, as you collapse down the categories of all things human, it is all due to the motivating force between you and love. And I choose love.

    I love you, fear, for driving me to this understanding.

    I love you, web filter, for hopefully driving others to understand the very same concept. That you are a piece of fear and should be rejected by all those who seek to free themselves from such.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:27PM (#40481181)

    Of course those of us who call our ISPs and say "Give me unfiltered internet," will be placed on a separate list, which the government will be able to view on demand & then label us "potential child molesters, rapists, sex offenders". Not immediately of course... some bright politician will pass this "anticrime" measure 2-3 years down the road. (In the U.S. it's already in the works; it's called CISPA.)

  • by Moheeheeko ( 1682914 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:30PM (#40481239)
    Porn AND Violence.

    And they give that thing to KIDS

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:42PM (#40481523)

    If porn were produced as literal re-enactments of specific Biblical (and Quranic!) texts, on what grounds could it be censored?

    Lot turning out his daughters comes to mind as does Mohammed's marriage to Aisha.

  • by Roogna ( 9643 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @01:53PM (#40481857)

    But ISP's aren't the equivalent of the Brick and Mortar store. That's the Porn sites themselves.
    This is more like asking the road construction crews to prevent people under 18 from going to the Porn Shops.

  • circumvention (Score:5, Insightful)

    by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:24PM (#40482707)

    The point isn't to be hard to circumvent(in a technical sense),

    it doesn't need to be hard to circumvent the filters to prevent people from doing it. It just needs to be illegal.

    it's the same as hacking into a site. The law doesn't stop you from being prosecuted if the site had lousy security - the "But M'Lud, it wasn't burglary the door had an easy lock" defence is a myth. If the law is drafted so that intent to circumvent is illegal then the strength of the lock-out doesn't matter.

    And if ISPs know which sites are banned for the opt-in's it will know which of it's opt-in'd users are trying to access them. If there is then some traffic flow from that banned site the only question is whether the ISP has a duty to report it. Until the law is written we will have no idea just how draconian it will be.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:31PM (#40482901) Journal
    You are aware, of course, that knowingly disabling the filter in a household that contains under-18's is almost certainly neglect of a minor. Maybe even 'grooming' them for paedophile activities, if you have the correct mustache...
  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:56PM (#40483533)

    Genesis 38:9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother.

    Which has less to do with sex and more to do with inheritance laws of the time.

    The brother had died sans children, so the law required Onan to impregnate his sister-in-law so as to produce an heir for the brother.

    On the other hand, if the brother never comes up with an heir, then Onan gets the brother's stuff....

  • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @03:18PM (#40483961)
    Fine but it this segment of the story was ever put in a film illustrating this act of support for his wife/sister-in-law it would be considered pornography.
  • by ghostdoc ( 1235612 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @04:10PM (#40484977)

    You are aware, of course, that knowingly disabling the filter in a household that contains under-18's is almost certainly neglect of a minor.


    But to be honest, they don't even need to enact this legislation. Just allow the rumour to spread that Social Services will take into account whether you've disabled the child safety features provided by your ISP should they ever consider your children's care situation. Risk of having kids taken into care vs internet porn. Easy decision.

    And from here to the next step, websites containing 'terrorist' material, such as that promoting student protests or non-violent demonstrations.

    And from there to the next step, denialist blogs, anti-EU blogs, sites talking about true regional independence...

    Can we go back and have the Child Pornography discussion again, please? If we'd known it would have ended up here we might not have been so quick to agree to blocking that.

  • by ghostdoc ( 1235612 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @04:26PM (#40485235)

    having played a few online games recently, I'd be more concerned about the other kids out there than the 'inappropriate content' sites. I learned some new words and I'm over 40.

    Also, while I utterly respect your right to bring up your kids in a manner that seems right to you, you may want to consider just allowing them to view porn and deal with the questions. There are several countries that have no (or very lax) restrictions on children's access to porn (Denmark and Sweden for example) compared to the UK, and their kids seem to be much less messed up about sex than British kids as a result.
    The other thing to consider here is that your kids will spend the rest of their lives with open access to any information they want, at the touch of a screen. Their attitudes to information are going to be different. Screening them from the bad things is obviously only a short-term solution. Sooner or later they're going to get access to everything, and you may want to teach them some suitable strategies for dealing with that, rather than just pretending it doesn't exist.

  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Thursday June 28, 2012 @05:06PM (#40485837)

    Ya know the internet is almost like the real world in that if they ignore your instructions and go into that bad neighborhood they might see things you don't want them to see. So maybe you should treat the internet just like the real world, in that your only solution is to TALK to them about it, educate them on the dangers and then let them learn from your guidance. As long as you don't lie to them they should learn pretty quickly to trust your advice and live mostly within the bounds you set (though just like the real world they are bound to test those limits and discover their own tolerances).

    Yes I understand this is something that evolves over time as the children age, but the key to this whole scenario is that you can't lie to your kids because that will betray the trust and cause them to no believe you. You also have to accept that they might not share you views or morals later in life. People want to protect their kids but they often end up doing much more than protection and actually try to shelter their children. That's harmful IMO, kids need to be aware of the world, its dangers, risks and rewards or your attempts to instruct moral lessons will be lost.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.