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UK Government Seeks New Web Censorship Powers

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the well-that's-not-good dept.

Censorship 187

oldandcold writes "Given the recent coverage and controversy over Australia's forthcoming web censorship system, it is somewhat surprising (and worrying) that Clause 11 of the UK's proposed Digital Economy Bill seems to have gone by largely unnoticed. It amends the Communications Act 2003 to insert a new section 124H that could give the Secretary of State powers to order ISPs to block pretty much any website for pretty much any reason. Such orders would not require the scrutiny of parliament, or anyone else for that matter, because the Secretary of State would not be required to publish them."

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Bastards. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30460370)

Fucking bastards.

Re:Bastards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461356)

Fucking bastards.

No, they went to the other side of the pond.

Re:Another Brick in the Wall (2, Insightful)

gink1 (1654993) | more than 3 years ago | (#30462138)

I'm really concerned about Britain. News seems to come in on a weekly or bi-weekly basis of new policing, security and other contractions of freedom.

At this rate it will only take 5 years or so before the British people are all housed in Barracks "for their own good" and working on prison factories! And we all know what comes next!

Well I'm exaggerating here, but for a point. I really hope everyone in Britain notices this trend and starts making some changes in their government now while they still can!

Web sites on Double Secret Probation (2, Insightful)

dyfet (154716) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460378)

Hmm...so you may not even know you have been banned....the great Internet wall of Britain?

Re:Web sites on Double Secret Probation (4, Informative)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461126)

The man who will make the decisions is

1) Has been forced to resign twice
2) Does not hold any elected office
3) Popularly known as "the Prince of Darkness"

No, the last is not a joke - google for "mandelson prince".

Re:Web sites on Double Secret Probation (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461224)

You might at least have tried to reference Hadrian's wall

Re:Web sites on Double Secret Probation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461764)

To seek, you have to ask permission.

The UK isn't seeking anything, they're proclaiming what powers they're giving themselves.

It's an important distinction, the UK citizenry aren't giving them this power at their request, they're being made subject to this power without permission.

Re:Web sites on Double Secret Probation (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 3 years ago | (#30462082)

... (and worrying) ...

what? me worry?

i don't see the problem. to me, it's like the privacy argument: 'if you have nothing to hide, you don't need privacy." that's what all those guilt-free people say, right? i think the same idea applies here.

What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (0, Flamebait)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460392)

They could at least give the semblance of rights to their citizens by putting up monitoring software and only catching the offenders. Like they do with the traffic cameras.

The list probably won't include porn, so that's a good thing. However, it will probably include hate sites. This makes it a serious crackdown on the freedom of speech. It's exactly this kind of thoughtcrime persecution that our American founders fled from those 250 years ago.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30460414)

Os gusta mi polla? [imageshack.us]

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (0, Troll)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460444)

The UK used to be cool?

When was this, when it was occupied by the Romans?

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (4, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460670)

The UK used to be cool?
When was this, when it was occupied by the Romans?

Much more recently than that. During the Little Ice Age, when the Thames froze over. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/The_Frozen_Thames_1677.jpg [wikimedia.org] Since then, it's been a progressive loss of cool and loss of reason, reaching to today's hideous macchiavelian antics.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (2, Funny)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460748)

Non-man-made climate change is a myth by the oil industry. London was only cold because mankind didn't burn much coal back then and it was great. Let's spend some trillions to go return to that.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461040)

You mean except for the fact that humans had a hand in the Little Ice Age as well?

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460692)

Apparently it was cool in the 60s. That's what everyone says, but I missed it.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461086)

Apparently it was cool in the 60s. That's what everyone says, but I missed it.

Yeah, baby!

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (0)

kenj0418 (230916) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460872)

The UK used to be cool?

When was this, when it was occupied by the Romans?

Maybe it was sometime after the 17th, and 18th centuries when they sent all of the religious nuts and criminals to the US and Australia, respectively. At least Australia eventually recovered -- the US, not so much.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461576)

lol...well done.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461752)

Dear Foreigner,

Suck my balls.

Sincerely,

An American

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (2, Insightful)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 3 years ago | (#30462488)

Australia? [wikipedia.org]

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (2, Funny)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460932)

It was pretty cool until Lemmy moved to Hollywood.

Huh? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460528)

Your statement is contradictory..

The list probably won't include porn, so that's a good thing. However, it will probably include hate sites. This makes it a serious crackdown on the freedom of speech. It's exactly this kind of thoughtcrime persecution that our American founders fled from those 250 years ago.

if americans had to flee from (and then rebel against) this persecution, how were they "cool" before? Are we going back to the days of stone henge?

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460880)

Americans fled from Europe in general, not just England.

Also, UK != England != Great Britain != British Isles.

Re:Huh? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461626)

There's no such thing as the British Isles.
There's just one island that is called Britain and another island called Ireland and a collection of some small islands in the channel and Irish sea that each have their own names. People who use the offensive term 'British Isles' are the same people that seem to think Britain == UK. The name Britain ONLY refers to the island of Britain.

Re:Huh? (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461818)

The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include Great Britain, Ireland and over six-thousand smaller islands. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Ireland. The British Isles also include the Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man and, by tradition, the Channel Islands, although the latter are not physically a part of the island group.

Though a lot of people get upset about including Ireland (ROI, not Northern Ireland) as part of the British Isles for obvious reasons.

Re:Huh? (1)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 3 years ago | (#30462342)

There's just one island that is called Britain and another island called Ireland and a collection of some small islands in the channel and Irish sea

There's no such thing as the Irish Sea. There's one island called Ireland and another island called Great Britain separated by a lot of water with the Isle of Man in the middle of it. People who use the offensive term 'Irish Sea' are the same people who post moronic nationalistic crap like the post above.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30460816)

It might also include things the govt doesn't like. Maybe you've heard of Richard Tomlinson and Peter Wright? If not, look them up sometime and see how they were treated, and how the govt of the day banned their books in knee-jerk reactions and started character assassination jobs on them. I was there at the time, the TV "news", including the BBC, was complete propaganda at the behest of each govt. The books themselves didn't even contain anything particularly sensitive.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460936)

Of course how do you define "Hate Site"?

A site that denounces Global Warming could be described as being a hate site.

Who decides what is hate and what isn't.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461142)

What happened? We voted Labour thinking they could not possibly be worse than the conservatives, and they were determined to prove us wrong.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461498)

If it's mandelson that's backing this then it will primarily include whatever the music/film industry tells him to put on it. This guy has zero accountability to the public and his only concern is doing absolutely anything to satisfy big industry. He would try to ban the internet outright if he could to satisfy BPI. I gurantee that every single torrent tracker or website discussing torrents would end up on that list. In addition to any indie artists(Artists that don't send most of their income to the big labels stealing money that belongs to the labels of course).

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461546)

They could at least give the semblance of rights to their citizens by putting up monitoring software and only catching the offenders.

or they could actually give rights to their citizens by doing nothing at all in regard to censorship.

Re:What happened to you, UK? You used to be cool (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461760)

or they could actually give rights to their citizens by doing nothing at all in regard to censorship.

Maybe they could give them back their guns and right to remain silent while they are at it.

Don't worry, I've got a plan... (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460420)

Move to CHINA.

At least there you'll have access to Socialist Propaganda!

Re:Don't worry, I've got a plan... (1)

bothemeson (1416261) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461140)

Or the US... Fox!

You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (5, Informative)

Kyrene (624175) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460442)

Ireland passed laws recently against uttering "blasphemy" and no one batted an eye...except on Twitter. A lot of this is getting swept under the rug, and it both shocks and appalls me.

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460678)

Ireland passed laws recently against uttering "blasphemy" and no one batted an eye...except on Twitter.

A lot of this is getting swept under the rug, and it both shocks and appalls me.

Nobody batted an eye? It was all over the news!

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (1)

Kyrene (624175) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460942)

I never saw it over here. By "over here", I hail from Boston. If it weren't for my Irish friends, I never would've known.

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30462408)

The reason you never saw it over there is because most people can't even find Ireland on a map hence anything that happens there will almost never make the world news.

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (1)

Kyrene (624175) | more than 3 years ago | (#30462426)

Sad but I agree.

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (3, Informative)

jocabergs (1688456) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461634)

A law against blasphemy... Blasphemy I say, this will not stand!!!

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (1)

Kyrene (624175) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461706)

*snerk* Awesome. Where's my mod points so I can rightfully mark this as funny?

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (3, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461676)

It's ok - the US is screwed up in lots of places too. In the state of SC you cannot legally hold public office if you don't believe in a supreme being. It doesn't state any specific one (so whether you're Muslim/Christian/Hindu/etc you're covered), but if you're an admitted atheist you can't legally hold office.

It's one of those old laws, but still. Heck though nobody observed the law anymore, interracial marriage in South Carolina was technically illegal until 1998. And the vote to repeal it (again, in 1998)? Yeah, it did pass, but 38% voted AGAINST repealing the law.

I'm convinced that the world as a whole may just be too messed up to recover from.

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (1)

Kyrene (624175) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461716)

Oh, I believe it. We're extraordinarily screwed up, and giving away our freedoms right, left and center while proclaiming here to still be better than "in the rest of the world". T'ain't so....

Re:You mean like Ireland's blasphemy laws? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461804)

In the state of SC you cannot legally hold public office if you don't believe in a supreme being. It doesn't state any specific one (so whether you're Muslim/Christian/Hindu/etc you're covered), but if you're an admitted atheist you can't legally hold office.

In the State of New York it's technically a misdemeanor to commit adultery.

Democracy ? (4, Insightful)

bibekpaudel (1113383) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460474)

And is that called a democracy? I think Britain is a very poor model of democracy, especially when compared to the rest of European countries. Do we still sound credible when we criticize China for internet censorship?

Re:Democracy ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30460514)

And is that called a democracy? I think Britain is a very poor model of democracy, especially when compared to the rest of European countries. Do we still sound credible when we criticize China for internet censorship?

Why? Where's your comparison with these other European countries?

Re:Democracy ? (4, Interesting)

bibekpaudel (1113383) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460700)

Why? Where's your comparison with these other European countries?

Well, for one, here's one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index [wikipedia.org] UK ranks 21st overall, and there are 13 European countries above it. The rankings are from a UK based organization.

Re:Democracy ? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461228)

I like how we're listed as a full democracy in the UK on that list.

How can a first past the post system like ours possibly be a full democracy, it's barely a democracy at all, realistically we're a dictatorship with the difference between our dictatorship and others being that the minority that installs ours elects him in rather than installs him through violence.

To put into context what I mean, from the electoral reform society 19 million votes by UK voters had absolutely no effect on being able to drive British policy because they were cast in a safe seat area against the safe seat, this in a population of 60 million.

This is coupled with the whip system where the party elite can push the party members to vote a certain way on a certain issue or kick them out the party lowering their chances of election and possibly destroying their career as a politician unless they're one of the few that manage to make it as an independent, or unless an opposing party takes them.

So last election, Labour gained effective 100% of power with the party line being dictated by those in cabinet and pushed using the whip system. They were elected with only 35% of vote, whilst the two opposition parties gained 32% and 22% of the popular vote, this means Labour will have had 100% of control of the UK despite only 35% of the UK supporting them and a clear 55% voting against them.

Really, the only things that differentiate us from the likes of China and Cuba etc. is that:
- The dictatorship can be changed every 5 years if a new minority becomes the largest minority, but rarely ever a majority
- The dictatorship is not installed violently
- Our country is relatively modern and peaceful and the human rights record hasn't deteriorated to their level, yet

But however you cut it, to those of us in the majority who do not support the government in power at the time, the effect is the same, we have laws dictated to us by people we neither like nor support. We're told this system is okay though because we get a local elected representative that we wouldn't get under proportional representation. Quite what use a local represenative that you didn't vote for and doesn't share your views is I've yet to understand however.

Britain has a thin veil that allows it to pretend to be a democracy, but it's democratic in so far as you get to tick a box and stick it in the ballot box, the chance of you being one of the people whose tick actually counts for anything though is, well, going by the last election, only 35%. To me, if my vote is consistently meaningless because I do not support the dominant party in my area, then I absolutely do not live in a democracy, I live in a dictatorship.

Re:Democracy ? (1)

Blappo (976408) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461424)

Nice burn, with facts no less.

And of course, we'll see no Mea Culpa from the peanut gallery, who only minutes ago was hellbent on ejaculating his opinion everywhere.

Re:Democracy ? (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460600)

What are you talking about? Britain is totally still a Monarchy. The news won't shut up about Queen Elizabeth this and Prince Henry that.

I mean they don't even have a constitution, just a handful of scattered laws and judgements that would take ages to find if the need arises. How can you possibly be expected to fight for your democratic rights if you can't use the internet to look up which document it's even filed under?

In the infaliable United States Democracy (in which I do not reside) - those people have their democratic rights MEMORIZED, printed off, laminated, and FRAMED above their mantlepiece.

Re:Democracy ? (0, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460904)

In the infaliable United States Democracy (in which I do not reside) - those people have their democratic rights MEMORIZED, printed off, laminated, and FRAMED above their mantlepiece.

The United States Democracy certainly is infaliable, by which I mean it is not infallible and is in fact a total failure.

The United States Republic was much better. Though I have no idea where it went.

Re:Democracy ? (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461292)

|| The United States Republic was much better. Though I have no idea where it went. ||

The last remnants of the United States Republic were vaporized by global warming -- er -- climate change.

Re:Democracy ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461346)

The United States Democracy certainly is infaliable, by which I mean it is not infallible and is in fact a total failure.

The United States Republic was much better. Though I have no idea where it went.

The Republic is still there. Unfortunately it has, for many decades, been stripped of its democratic ideals.

Re:Democracy ? (1)

onedotzero (926558) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460908)

Thanks to the EU and its various treaties, the word 'queen' doesn't mean anything anymore. She may still be referred to as such, but she is now a citizen just like the rest of us: http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2008/06/royal-assent-of-treaty-of-lisbon.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Democracy ? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460984)

Oh I know, it's just annoying how she still manages to make the front page being nothing more than a Celebrity that doesn't make movies or music.

Re:Democracy ? (1)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461122)

Oh I know, it's just annoying how she still manages to make the front page being nothing more than a Celebrity that doesn't make movies or music.

Like Paris Hilton?

Re:Democracy ? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461222)

Like Paris Hilton?

Sadly, Paris Hilton has been in many movies.

I've met both Paris Hilton and the Queen and I can safely say that I'd much rather be trapped in an elevator with the latter than the former.

Re:Democracy ? (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461354)

I'm pretty sure she made at least one movie.

Re:Democracy ? (4, Informative)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460978)

" In the infaliable United States Democracy (in which I do not reside) - those people have their democratic rights MEMORIZED, printed off, laminated, and FRAMED above their mantlepiece. "

If only every citizen in the United States did this then the United States would be a somewhat decent country.

Re:Democracy ? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30462486)

What are you talking about? Britain is totally still a Monarchy. The news won't shut up about Queen Elizabeth this and Prince Henry that.

I mean they don't even have a constitution, just a handful of scattered laws and judgements that would take ages to find if the need arises. How can you possibly be expected to fight for your democratic rights if you can't use the internet to look up which document it's even filed under?

In the infaliable United States Democracy (in which I do not reside) - those people have their democratic rights MEMORIZED, printed off, laminated, and FRAMED above their mantlepiece.

You clearly don't know british history or political system. The UK is a constitutional monarchy which means that parliament is required for any laws to be put into place. It has been this way since the English civil war in which the monarch was overthrown, but eventually brought back but with reduced powers, hence why during the queens speech on the opening of parliament, ceremonies such as closing the house of commons door on black rod (the queens messenger) takes place to symbolise that the power really resides with parliament and more specifically house of commons. Not the house of lords or the queen. Mandleson is trying to bypass parliament by passing a law through parliament that will effectively give it less power and more to the secretary of state. Im just hoping some of the labour back benchers will not listen to the part whips and rebel against this act.

Re:Democracy ? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460604)

You expect too much from Democracy.
The UK, America and Australia, seem to be dead set on burying themselves under censorship and screwed up IP laws.

If China decides one day, that it can have social stability without the censorship, I fear we (Western civilization) are going to get pwned.

Re:Democracy ? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460842)

Labour were elected by 22% of eligible voters. Worse than that, in England the Tories got more votes than Labour, but the English still got a Labour government because of votes from Scotland and Wales, which now have their own Parliaments.

No party in the UK can get a majority of the votes because they're all useless. And, in any case, most of the laws now come from Brussels, not London.

A preview of "net neutrality" (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460944)

Just think, there are people who want to hand over regulation of internet traffic to the government under the name of "net neutrality," yet here we have a government proving that it would happily censor content. Imagine what would happen once lobbyists convinced bribed politicians to regulate things like torrent traffic in order to prevent "economic terrorism."

Stop mischaracterizing net neutrality. (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461064)

Just think, there are people who want to hand over regulation of internet traffic to the government under the name of "net neutrality," yet here we have a government proving that it would happily censor content. Imagine what would happen once lobbyists convinced bribed politicians to regulate things like torrent traffic in order to prevent "economic terrorism."

the concept of net neutrality is to legislate specifically to PREVENT abuses like the one this politician is trying to perpetrate.

Note: he still has to go through the legislature, but ISP's already do this unilaterally whenever they think they can get away with it, and in the US Comcast is suing agains the FCC to keep them from preventing Comcast from butchering traffic.

Hard-right libertarians don't seem to understand: This is not the pre-industrial era anymore! Royalty no longer controls the economy. Corporations are now SEPARATE from but EQUAL in power to the government, and the only way to keep the little guy from being crushed is to use each to put the other in check. (part of this is intelligent regulation)

Re:Stop mischaracterizing net neutrality. (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461566)

the concept of net neutrality is to legislate specifically to PREVENT abuses like the one this politician is trying to perpetrate.

I know what the intent is supposed to be. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Giving the government control of the internet would lead to censorship abuses like those in this article. An ISP is a private entity and is free to filter its own traffic however it wants.

Re:Stop mischaracterizing net neutrality. (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461852)

An ISP is a private entity and is free to filter its own traffic however it wants.

Why? The telephone companies aren't allowed to. Has the regulation of the telephone network led to censorship abuses?

So much for being anti-censorship anyway. Apparently it's only evil if it's the government doing it.

Re:A preview of "net neutrality" (1)

gink1 (1654993) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461822)

Better get together, raise money and buy some politicians.

Since they are almost all for sale, citizens might as well buy some too!

Re:Democracy ? (0, Flamebait)

asdfghjklqwertyuiop (649296) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461494)

Democracy and freedom of speech don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. Just ask your nearest conservative religious idiot.

What technical obligation to ISPs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30460478)

Have they never heard of tunneling or proxies, are ISP's going to be liable for failing to prevent that? Pointless article about a pointless clause in a pointless bill by the pointless government of an increasingly pointless country.

Re:What technical obligation to ISPs? (5, Insightful)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460622)

We are running out of countries to route our traffic through, quickly.

Well, lets adapt Niemoller for a second:

When they came for China, I chose a proxy in Australia to route around.
When they came for Australia, I chose a proxy in the UK to route around.
When they came for the UK, I chose a proxy in the USA to route around.
When they came for the USA, there was no country left to route through and all my complaints were met with 404s.

Re:What technical obligation to ISPs? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461324)

Japan. Duh.

Re:What technical obligation to ISPs? (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461916)

The best thing is, Japanese routers have lots of tentacles to connect to other routers.

Re:What technical obligation to ISPs? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461900)

What about Canada, eh?

Re:What technical obligation to ISPs? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 3 years ago | (#30462450)

I think we will be looking at a proxy that detects blocks and has a variety of proxies in different countries to go through. Visiting an alqueda website? It detects the block then redirects through Iran. Visiting an Israel has a right to exist, then it redirects you through Israel.

These types of bans will hardly hurt us, only slow us down. NOW, if they make encryption illegal and check at the packet level we are fucked. But I think that won't happen with the political climate. However I do think if big engines like Google get sued enough we will see the internet shrink, even if they are accessible I imagine sites won't really surface if they aren't indexed. Perhaps if Google is forced to index things locally and users are restricted to their version then it would end up the same.

At the current rate all that will come from the firewalls are nice automated proxy tools. Or something like TOR will actually become popular.

Not required to publish (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460546)

Not required to publish? That's nothing. In the next planned amend the Secretary of State won't even have to know.

Re:Not required to publish (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461746)

I thought complete ignorance of their own actions was a mandatory part of the MP specification anyway.

I love transparency! (3, Insightful)

Blappo (976408) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460572)

I love it. I really do.

And despite the fact that many would argue that any censorship is wrong, the distasteful part of these initiatives, the part that really cannot tolerate debate, is the lack of transparency.

I don't care for censorship, but I'm willing to listen if you say it's necessary. I'll probably tell you to screw, but I'll at least listen.

However, if you don't even bother to solicit opinion, or make yourself accountable to scrutiny, that's unacceptable, in a way that any normal, well adjusted individual would immediately recognize.

So all you get is screw, and no, I really won't listen, thanks, get out.

Re:I love transparency! (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461930)

I love transparency! I love it. I really do.

I bet you like PNGs a lot.

So What are they REALLY after? ACTA? (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460642)

We all know this kind of outrageous proposal won't fly, so what's the next "iteration" this will be compared to to make it look "reasonable"? The question is what are these people actually after?

  It seems like this is yet another maneuver to "Frame" the debate around the upcoming ACTA clauses.

If enough of these outrageous ideas are being proposed, a simple removal of service for "egregious offenders" will look tame.

Remember, you have to boil the frog SLOWLY, and part of that involves acclimating the frog to heat before it goes in the pot!

Very different situation than Australia (1)

ysth (1368415) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460654)

There, they want to censor everyone; the UK proposal would only be used against bad guys. :)

Re:Very different situation than Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30460786)

But they won't tell you who the bad guys are so in effect it is no different than Oz.

1st item on their list. Any site that dare criticize NuLab. By by ./ its been nice knowing you all these years.

Anon for obvious reasons. I want to keep my front door intact for a while longer.

Re:Very different situation than Australia (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460930)

Well, that's a difference that makes no difference. A nation made up entirely of transported convicts and ne'er-do-wells is, by definition, all bad guys.

Re:Very different situation than Australia (1)

gink1 (1654993) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461892)

Once you get something like this started, it is a simple matter to expand the scope to "everyone".

They are just getting their foot in the door now.

This isn't even the worst part of the proposal (4, Informative)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460758)

See http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldbills/001/10001.13-19.html#j164 [parliament.uk] . The proposal also gives the Secretary of State the rights to a) decide the punishment for copyright infringement, and b) redefine what a copyright infringement is. Therefore, he can effectively jail, or worse, anyone he likes for no reason. Also, the law gives him the power to rewrite the law itself; there are some restrictions, but he can just rewrite it to remove them. In short, passing this proposal would give Lord Mandelson a complete dictatorship over the UK. (If you don't believe me, read it yourself; the only meaningful restriction is to have a draft of the changes approved by parliament, and it would be easy enough to slip in a removal of that restriction at the same time as another change.)

Re:This isn't even the worst part of the proposal (2, Informative)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461082)

Read a bit more closely, he can't create or modify criminal offences, so throwing people in jail is out of the question, and any SI under that section has to be put to public consultation (which will probably be ignored as a matter of routine of course) and voted on by both houses of Parliament. It is a worrying power, since it allows a controversial area of law to be changed with a lot less scrutiny, but don't overstate the matter.

Re:This isn't even the worst part of the proposal (2, Interesting)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461212)

There's only a requirement to put a draft to the vote; I'm not entirely convinced it wouldn't be possible to slip in changes between an approved draft and the actual change. Also, even if the criminal offence requirement turns out to be unavoidable, (5) is dynamite:

(5) The power may be exercised so as to—
(a) confer a power or right or impose a duty on any person;
(b) modify or remove a power, right or duty of any person;
(c) require a person to pay fees.

The ability to impose arbitrary duties on anyone?

Re:This isn't even the worst part of the proposal (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461466)

In short, passing this proposal would give Lord Mandelson a complete dictatorship over the UK.

"Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I know of no reason,
The Gunpowder Treason,
Should ever be forgot."

Re:This isn't even the worst part of the proposal (3, Interesting)

deepershade (994429) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461838)

It wouldn't give Mandelson any power, as he's not an elected member of parliament, he cannot enact or enforce any law.
He's been forced to resign once and fired for fraud. After that he was effectively banned from standing as a member of parliament. As such, he was given a job in europe. But Brown being a corrupt douche wanted him back, and so gave him the lordship and hence a seat in the House of Lords. That enabled brown to hire him as business secretary, but he still has no power, merely taking an advisery role.
He still has influence and as such is still a danger and a threat to the peoples of this nation, but legally, he has no power.

As for the bill. I wouldn't worry too much. Parliament is out for xmas and will be back late jan early feb, after which the conservatives and lib dems are going to use every opportunity to show up labour. This bill would be a nice bit of ammo, thats if it even gets read. Rumour is that the gov is going to call an early election, march, april time. The moment the election is called, parliament is dissolved and the nation goes into a state of purdah, meaning nothing happens. No laws get passed, changed, everything stays as is til the election is won.
And because this proposal is a labour one, when the cons win (and they will), they're never going to be seen stealing a labour policy, because thats exactly what labour have been doing to the cons since Blair was first elected.

The offending piece: (4, Informative)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460766)

I'm usually sceptical about /. summaries and their accuracy, so I looked a little deeper into this one before commenting.

From the parliamentary document:

124H Obligations to limit internet access

20 (1) The Secretary of State may at any time by order impose a technical obligation on internet service providers if the Secretary of State considers it appropriate in view of—

(a) an assessment carried out or steps taken by OFCOM under section 124G; or

25 (b) any other consideration.

The "any other consideration" part is what would concern me. Yup, this looks like the real deal. Gives the SoS a lot of power with little oversight.

Re:The offending piece: (1)

tomtomtom (580791) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461506)

Overall this is truly an evil piece of legislation and I sincerely hope it doesn't pass (though I don't hold out much hope). It is full of these so-called "Henry VIII clauses" (a favourite device of Labour's) which grant huge lawmaking powers to the Secretary of State. Even where it is explicit, there is nothing good in it at all.

If you look into the definition of "technical obligation", it includes the ability for the Secretary of State to not only block particular sites but to ban an individual from the internet altogether just because he feels like it (see the new section 124G(3)(c) the bill would insert into the Communications Act 2003).

Then there are the provisions for allowing the government to take over DNS, the extension of the ability of the government to censor games, the block grant of rights to orphan works to our local equivalent of ASCAP, and the grant of an explicit subsidy for local news noone wants.

Not to mention of course the digital radio switchover (which is pretty much a direct sop to the BBC - there really is noone who wants this, noone particularly wants DAB radios and the rest of the world is abandoning DAB for digital radio anyway).

They're Jealeous of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30460806)

Australia !!!

ObHistoricalQuote (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460896)

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.

--Frederick Douglass

This means... (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | more than 3 years ago | (#30460946)

They will need a bureaucracy to maintain the list of banned sites, and to insure all the various ISPs are informed of it. Then it only takes one to leak the list (or maybe two, if they try to track which list is leaked by inserting a tracking entry), and we can then all freely explore what problems it has and how ineffective it really is, and enjoy the Streisand effect on it all. And of course, they'll ultimately try to block WikiLeaks and that'll go over like a lead balloon, as it's a popular enough site that they won't be able to keep that under wraps in any event.

A couple of days ago NPR had an interview with some government security guy who was arguing for banning the Islamic terrorist's sites. As if that would do any good-- don't these guys have any idea how the internet works? Even if you can ban some specific DNS names or IP addresses, it'll get proxied all over hell and/or the very worst that would happen is they would translate the sites into something apparently benign but with coded content, so it won't really have much effect on their ability to communicate...

Seems to me, that if you translate your content into something that appears to support a wedge issue that the powers that be are overly fond of, say, anti-abortion or pro-life (or one of each), they can't block it with out a lot of stink about censorship and will find a bunch of rabid conservatives or liberals all ready to rise up and fight for the cause. And how hard would it be to produce a custom browser that can assemble the uncoded content from a couple of such sites, and perhaps using redundant sites and a ready ability to update the sitelist info? It may not be necessary to go anywhere near that far, but it shows that there is no way that content can be blocked on the internet-- just get over it already...

Stifling dissent against the NWO of OWG (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30460950)

Should come in handy if any of the proles try to compare notes across the ponds.

The lessons the Commonwealth learned in WW2 were not equality, democracy and freedom but rather facism, oppression and tyranny.

Object lesson: brush your teeth kiddies, because tooth-rot begets brain-rot. You don't want to grow up to be like the British sheeple, do you?

Would the last Anglo-Saxon to leave Britain please turn out the lights?

Hopefully... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30461004)

Hopefully they won't censor those pictures I snapped of CmdrTaco's micropenis when he was at the glory hole last night.

We need a distributed fragmented encrypted layer (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461080)

To maintain some semblance of freedom of communication,
we will probably have to try to standardize on a thin layer over current
net protocols which provides:
1. Encryption of transmitted data routinely
2. Encryption on disk of data
3. Distribution of any particular "page" of data into many
redundant encrypted fragments around the world that know how
to coalesce on demand.
4. Automatic mobility of such data fragments, such that they
migrate, and seek newer and more reliable storage for themselves.
5. DHTs for finding stuff
6. Onion routing (at least a few hops standard)

That ought to do for starters.

Make it available as a trivially easy install on multiple platforms
which can use standard web protocols as a base transport
layer.

Re:We need a distributed fragmented encrypted laye (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461880)

6. Onion routing (at least a few hops standard)

I'm not so sure about that one. I mean, they keep getting the news all wrong, do you really want them to route your information?

Might as well just rename it (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461336)

the Interlink ala V for Vendetta. It still amazes me that the people of Great Britain allow their government to use the works of George Orwell as instruction manuals.

Re:Might as well just rename it (2, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#30462090)

It's not like we're "allowing" it. We've got an unelected Prime Minister who appointed an unelected (and twice resigned) megalomaniac as Secretary of State (amongst other things) and a population who are largely technically illiterate and apathetic about everything that doesn't involve the X-Factor.

In short, we're buggered until at least May (when the next lot will at least have to pretend to do what they promised during the elections for 6 months or so).

I am shocked (2, Interesting)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 3 years ago | (#30461846)

I am shocked, shocked I say, to learn that the United Kingdom is going to continue it's policy of invading the privacy of every single person inside their border. From cameras used to trace every car's position, to arresting men for being too violent when capturing the thug that kidnapped their wife & children.
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