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UK unveils plan to block online porn by default

By Scorpus
Jul 22, 2013
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  1. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed a plan that will effectively block all online pornography from being accessed in the nation, with the government attempting to crack down on the "corroding" influence of adult content on children. Under the...

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  2. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 968   +99

    Give them few weeks and they will do a quick U-Turn. Australia did this, did not work out so well for them. Look at how blocking TPB worked out, you can still use mirrored proxy URLs to get on it.

    GL Flameron
  3. Agreed oh too easy to bypass massive waste of resources when will they learn to go after the root cause to a problem if they know offending websites track trace arrest just ask the c.I.a for any information im sure they know of every offender at every location.
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,067   +704

    I'm generally not a fan of the government protecting us from ourselves, but this is one place where it doesn't bother me. Historically porn was something you had to go and find... subscribe to a premium cable channel, buy a magazine, visit an adult 'book' store etc. Now with the internet it's at your fingertips... and at every 12 year old's fingertips. Sure the internet community will voice some opposition, but for every upset voice there are 10 happy parents because they have children who are more computer savvy than they are. Not every parent knows how to setup a filter on a network.

    If this were the USA though there'd be a ton of vocal complainers screaming about big brother and oppression and that this is just the start of what they'll block on the internet.
  5. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Enthusiast Posts: 566   +81

    They would be better off spending this money to educate the parents, its pretty obvious that most of the children know more about the internet than the parents which can make things difficult when you are actually trying to raise children.

    The problem is in the households not on the internet as usual these days tho let the government do the parenting.
  6. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,496   +304

    This will fail, no doubt about it, the ISP's already warned this won't do much but of course the govourment are not listening, massive waste of resource and its not going to stop rape, hell I've never heard of a rape case were the guy pleaded innocent under the guise he saw it on the Internet and he thought it was "ok"...

    How about mr Cameron, you use that resource to actually stop the rape in the first place?! All you've done is try and put a blind fold and ear muffs on everyone but the rape is still happening and it's still a very real problem, god I hate living in this country sometimes.

    Also, parents should have to turn the filter on, It should not be on by default, reason being? Education for parents, they should have to turn it on, this way the parent is doing at least a little bit of parenting and would also serve as a nice statistic since I'm pretty sure only about 13% of this country's parents actually think this is a problem, for the rest, porn is normal for a young teen who is "experimenting" I guess is a way to put it.
  7. BabyFaceLee

    BabyFaceLee TS Rookie Posts: 60   +11

    Cameron is playing to the gallery and jumping on the 'Let's bash those nasty tax-dodging parasites at Google' bandwagon. He's courting favour with middle England but it just shows how little he understands the issues. His stated aim is that he wants to help prevent child pornography. This is an absurd approach as these disgusting perverts share their dirty little secrets via peer-to-peer networks. Who, with more than one brain cell to rub together, would search for this stuff via Google and expect to find anything...Google already remove it from their search engine.

    I don't have a problem with having Safe Filters on by default, that's no bad thing - I think of it as putting the 'dirty' magazines back on the top shelf rather than next to the Teen magazines. It wont do much but it'll reenforce the message that porn is for adults...but for Cameron to make out he's really addressing the issue of child pornography? Really?
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,067   +704

    Agreed, but remember he's a politician, and it's more important for them to look like they're doing something important and effective than it is to actually do something important and effective. Things like this internet blocking are very attractive to politicians because they can look like they're protecting children while only getting pushback from people defending pornography. That means he's going to market this like he's saving your kids' soul.
  9. So the choice is either no porn for the entire household or porn for the entire household. How does this help? Isn't the aim to stop CHILDREN accessing porn? Because this doesn't do that at all.

    All it does is force parents to make a compromise. It's not hard to restrict access to specific content, you can do it with Open DNS, so wouldn't it be more productive to educate parents instead?

    Also I'm pretty sure rape and child porn existed long before the internet.
  10. Railman

    Railman TS Enthusiast Posts: 610   +81

    The photo of Cameron does illustrate just what a **** head he is. The guy seems to employ a load of his old college friends and has very little imagination. Clearly he has no real understanding of the Internet but more worrying he has no real understanding about economics.

    The Conservatives used to have great leaders like Churchill. Now they have pratts like Cameron.
  11. BabyFaceLee

    BabyFaceLee TS Rookie Posts: 60   +11

    Thinking about it further, I wonder if someone in the porn industry within the UK will file a 'restraint of trade' suit against the Tories for this policy or maybe even a class action suit? That'd be interesting (!) and I reckon they might have a fair case. Pornography isn't illegal (not the 'normal' stuff anyway) and requiring users to contact their ISP to lift the filter may be seen as hobbling the porn site providers' right to trade freely.
     
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,979   +1,487

    I don't see a problem.

    This was done with cable TV 30 years ago, by scrambling video feeds. If you didn't opt-in, you didn't have a clear video signal. The reasons for such scrambling/blocking still exist. The fact that every kid with a smart phone more than likely has Internet access, makes it a bigger issue now more than ever.
  13. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,496   +304

    Well yeah but that's also the easiest one to work around, I had a friend who's parents had this setup and I (quite literally if I remember rightly) got round it within twenty seconds blind folded! But your right, Educating parents would be way more beneficial.

    This is actually a fair point and I genuinely hope it happens!

    I thought the reason for the scrambling was because they are (and still are) paid for channels? they unscramble the channel once you pay for it? I know on Sky it makes you put in a PIN that is setup on your account if you try and access rated content?

    Either way it does worry me you don't see a problem, apart from the fact people will find a way round the filter almost immediately making it an absolute waste of money and the fact it doesn't solve the route cause itself, It would be much better spent attempting to teach parents how to filter content and how to track what they're children are doing online, it is extremely poor in this country how little people know about networking and how the internet works, in fact the only family I know that does any kind of filtering (the example I used above) was an American family!
  14. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 903   +99

    This problem will solve itself in the next 10 years, all the people who had children during the internet boom where completely oblivious to its power, my generation, born during the era, who are going to start having children know whats what and will take action into our own hands, or home networks at least. I can honestly say I know all the tricks and ways of hiding my online activity, my son, he wont be so lucky. The government has no place in the home, that's the job of the parents. Mine did nothing, or very little and holy crap I turned out just fine. Old people and the internet don't mix, they never did, why is it they believe they can fix what they don't fully understand is still beyond me. What the UK is trying to do just proves it.
  15. Xtreme gamer

    Xtreme gamer TS Rookie Posts: 24

    If this came to be. Imagine the arguments in millions of households between Husband and wife.
    Man: "Well screw this, I'm going to opt in ASAP."
    Woman: "And why on earth would you want to do that! "
    Man: "Well because....Ummm.... I need it."
    Etc. lol
  16. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,285   +232

    My conspiracy theorist friends see this as a political slip & slide... I mean, if you have to "opt in" for adult content, your name goes down somewhere with a little check next to it. Somebody gets that info and compiles a list, then that list becomes a method for "profiling" potential deviants. It's not that much of a stretch (see the McCarthy era) for a simple list to become fuel for a witch hunt... I hate when their wild paranoid theories make me stop and think!

    Realistically, though, I'm with the crowd that thinks this is well-meaning, but will be ineffective and/or impossible to enforce. All it takes is a few public wi-fi hotspots to have "opted in" and your good intentions for censoring what children can see is out the window. The only way to control specific access for every individual, is to have every individual categorized and assigned a singular online identity for accessing the web, with no other method available beyond that one assigned portal. But, hey, these are politicians we are talking about - we're lucky if they even know what the internet IS, let alone have the first clue how any of it really works.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,979   +1,487

    Thats just plain BS, and doesn't give parents any options at all. Adult content should be defaulted as an opt-in not an opt-out scenario.

    Put it this way either remove the adult content label, so everything is available freely to everyone regardless of age. Or ban underage from Internet access, because we adults can't remove adult content from their view. It is not a personal view that adult content should not be seen by anyone underage, it is a law of which has yet to make its way to Internet regulations. I could agree with you if it was a personal view, but its not.
  18. Now all we need is effective image recognition so the networks can block all the kiddies 'sexting' each other. No, I'm not joking. It's a sick and depraved form of communication that is funny for about 5 seconds, then potentially forever damaging. No wonder youth suicide is such a problem when you incorporate 'likes' and 'peer pressure'.

    Another good investment would be to educate today's 'dumb-smart' kids what the words "permanent record", "indelible" "reputation", "regret" and "future" really mean.

    How about some independent thought kids? Nah, just do what your idi0t mates are doing.
  19. dikbozo

    dikbozo TS Enthusiast Posts: 106

    Merely defining what was acceptable as 'adult' was a very daunting task the US courts had spent far, far too many hours deliberating. They failed and ultimately gave up, leaving it up to local communities to sort things out for themselves. This was the beginning of modern pornography back in the early 1970's.

    Fast forward to today.

    Instantaneous communications proliferate. The web is every where. Everything seems to be linked to it. The nature of this adhoc network is to go around stumbling blocks and gaps. The nature of people's prurience is to seek out visual, textual and graphical elements of that which is forbidden. We are all of us curious. We seek things out. The net enables us.

    For every thing that is put in place to limit the net, there is at least 1 work around, usually more. The kiddie diddlers are reprehensible scum as those who cater to them. An out right filter would merely force them a bit more deeply underground again. The forces of law and order do indeed catch these people and they do it through the time honored methods of infiltration and surveillance, just like catching 'terrists' to borrow from 'W'. To institute another bit of 'security theatre' (to borrow from Bruce Schneier a phrase that he applied to borders and airports) would have the same effect, wasting billions if not trillions in money, hundreds of thousands of hours of time, an insane number of CPU cycles, an equally ridiculous amount of bandwidth and who knows how much rage for an infinitesimally small if measurable at all effect on this. Cameron and his ill advising advisers may as well mandate search filtering at the device level as well as the search engine level as you never know when little Johnny might get hold of uncle Bob's handheld thing and go looking through it for elephant pr0n. OMG!!!
  20. swapnil sood

    swapnil sood TS Rookie

    First of all they should completely disrupt internet I mean completely end it.
    Then they should a new network which will contain what they like
    isnt it simple
  21. Sunny87

    Sunny87 TS Enthusiast Posts: 120   +11

    This just says to me "Yes the UK has it's own little corrupted NSA program" This is going to cause other companies to go bust, reduce businesses to the underground scene and not pay tax and reduces the safe content to possibly risky content, and where does it stop? Let's block slightly funny but rude youtube content while we're at it to, because we all know that the tories definition of pornography is not the same as everyone else's definition of pornography, I think the nazies would have had these ideas too.

    Tory scum I'd rather shoot myself, than ever agree to ones policies.
  22. Railman

    Railman TS Enthusiast Posts: 610   +81

    Ironically Cameron's attack on porn is actually promoting it. Years ago there was an anti porn campaigner Mary Whitehouse who wanted several films banned including an art house movie called Last Tango in Paris. No one would have gone to see that film but in the event there were queues round the block.
  23. Divvet

    Divvet TS Rookie Posts: 57   +19


    Move to China, they got what you want there.

    This problem has already been highlighted in many libraries. Try accessing a news article that tells you about the "porn" filter. All you will get is an error saying the content is blocked, and someone on the other side of things gets a nice notification saying you attempted to look at porn.

    The government will have to make a U-Turn on this. They are so technically inept its ridiculous. A bunch of old farts running our country, we need a change.
  24. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 3,030   +738

    Blocking porn is all good & well and I'm for it but not by the govt or ISP's, but by the parents. I really can't see this working out too well. If people want porn, they'll get it.
  25. avoidz

    avoidz TS Maniac Posts: 454   +54

    And where does this "opt-in" Internet end? Porn is only the beginning.


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