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Britain's Broadband Censors: a Bunch of Students

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the bribe-with-pizza dept.

Censorship 143

nk497 writes "British ISPs have been told by the government to offer their customers parental control systems to block content like gambling sites and pornography, but the McAfee system used by BT and Sky leaves the tough censoring decisions to a small group of barely-trained students. While much of the categorization work is done using an automated system, decisions on whether porn is 'hardcore' or merely 'erotica,' or whether a page contains hate speech, is left to a team of five to ten people with a day of training — and the job is apparently popular with students. McAfee doesn't publish the list of sites it hands to ISPs to block, making it difficult to see if your own site has been misclassified."

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Alright (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745496)

Classify these:
4chan.org
e621.net
chan.sankakucomplex.com
g.e-hentai.org

Needless to say, all of these are NSFW, even if you work for Playboy or Penthouse.

Re:Alright (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745994)

What about sfw.chanarchive.org? (claims to be SFW)

Re:Alright (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746814)

"A sfw chanarchive? Sounds like a challenge!"

Of course it doesn't hand the list out (3, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745502)

Would you want work done by a bunch of students with a single day of training to be up for review?

Re:Of course it doesn't hand the list out (5, Funny)

sir_eccles (1235902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745914)

Knowing how lazy students are, they probably just copied the list off someone else.

Re:Of course it doesn't hand the list out (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746694)

Knowing corporations this sounds like the perfect set up for, "it's the new guy's fault". A system purposefully built to allow 'er' censorship of anti-BT web sites, of non-corporate politics web sites, of competing web-sites. All contract positions easy to blame and terminate and pretend many web sites were not taken out on purpose.

Re:Of course it doesn't hand the list out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747304)

Yes, but only if they are heavily biased against Justin Bieber. Imagine a web without mention of the hellspawn. Mmmm...feels good doesn't it?

Re:Of course it doesn't hand the list out (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747656)

Would you want work done by a bunch of students with a single day of training to be up for review?

It's not a question of "want". Censorship means you do not get that choice. Guess what this is.

And sod it, what do you want? Domain experts? On watching pr0n? That's students, innit? Well then.

Well (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745526)

Well, Crowdsourcing Captchas are about to get a lot more interesting...

Of course (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745536)

Shifting through and categorizing thousands of pages a day requires cheap untrained workforce.

Re:Of course (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745770)

Except that many of the steps are automated-
"The overall process is mostly automated, with McAfee's system looking for keywords on a site to classify it. We have crawlers that try to classify websites automatically."
Well, isn't that nice. Shouldn't have any problems there.

For the real people-
"The team also looks at more sensitive subjects, such as pornography. “In those cases, it takes a human to take a look at it, to figure out if it’s more hardcore or if it’s more of an erotic website – that’s really something that automation couldn’t do reliably.”
Think about it, students looking at porn.

And,
"The training is basically going through a number of websites and the various ratings so they get a basic idea. I’m not quite sure how exactly they work... You could probably start rating websites after one day of seeing various categories"

Isn't that great, a bunch of kids doing whatever after looking at porn for a day. Of course, we are talking about McAfee here. No way this can't go wrong.

Re:Of course (2)

nomel (244635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746052)

So, the kids that had all of the content blocked previously are employed to scour the alleys of the internet to make up for all they missed. It's great how innocence is protected, to a sometimes bizarre degree, until the clock strikes 12 on your 18th birthday....

Re:Of course (1)

black6host (469985) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746202)

All I can say is that I wished I I had a job when I was in college where I looked at porn all day :)

Re:Of course (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746256)

You'd be taking your work home with you...

Re:Of course (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746832)

Think again. You wouldn't get to see the interesting pages, they'd easily be classified. You'd only get the lame, barely interesting crap on par with a 1950s Playboy.

Be honest, you have had the internet all your life, do you think a few boobies would be in any way interesting?

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747426)

Dome sexually deprived and ignorant teen is probably going to "ban" old copies of National Geographic now !
Just what you want, naive kids dictating what is and isn't "porn" for a database that "may" potentially be used to determine future net filters so 60 year old men can't watch "Buffy" get naked.

Re:Of course (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747498)

Your post would make sense if all of this was a mandatory block in every category for everybody under 18. They'll be categorizing a lot that maybe parents don't want kids under 12 to see, but they wouldn't dream of blocking for a late teen. The alleged "now you've turned 18, so we're throwing you from a padded room to a cesspool of filth" doesn't really reflect reality.

Re:Of course (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745862)

And ideally, water resistant office equipment in a well ventilated basement.

Re:Of course (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745928)

When you put it that way it doesn't sound so ripe for abuse.

Re:Of course (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745942)

And a heap of mod points.

Re:Of course (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746046)

Sifting through PORN many students have plenty of experience... Hopefully they're filtering out the bad stuff... From the GOOD porn.

They are threatening the sales of eye wash and unicorn chasers... Darn socialists.

Re:Of course (3, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746132)

Yeah. Stop a minute to consider the sheer level of evil genius here. They have a government mandate to pay college students to look at porn. It's like Lex Luthor paid Machiavelli to come up with a business plan.

Re:Of course (2)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746542)

Machiavelli actually wrote The Prince as a parody/criticism of everything he found wrong with the nobles of his day. Of course they completely missed the point and decided to use it as a How-To Guide...

Re:Of course (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746852)

Not the last time that happened. I'm pretty sure Orwell knows his pains.

In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745538)

It is my duty to point out that "Taliban" is Persian for "Students".

Re:In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746004)

It is also Pashtun for "students" and "two male students" in Arabic. More than 2 students in Arabic would be "tullaab".

Re:In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746680)

What is Persian for "1 cup?" I think you may be on to something here....

Re:In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747196)

In Arabic the word means those who request......the full name for student in Arabic is talib 3ilm...he who requests knowledge....context is normally sufficient to tell what is meant so the word Talib is used on its own to mean student.......the Taliban are requesting something else entirely

Re:In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746160)

It is my duty to point out that "Taliban" is Persian for "Students".

Yes. And of course it will be "unintentional" and "an isolated case" when the government sponsors a system that will censor schools, universities, schoolbooks, pedagogical discussions, students and teachers. I can only imagine the mess this will make of words, images and concepts conjured by terms like "girls", "resistance", "conflict", "white", "black", "blood", "explode", etc.

Re:In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746794)

Why, oh why do we keep letting the terrorists win??

Re:In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747140)

Because the government has convinced us its the only way to beat them.

Re:In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747822)

If you can't beat them, join them. -- Queen

Re:In the interests of inflammatory discourse.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747674)

It's also arabic for "Students".

At least... (5, Insightful)

justin12345 (846440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745564)

Well, at least no one saw that one coming. No one could ever have predicted that a government mandate issued to private company would wind up being sourced to the cheapest possible labor.

Re:At least... (1)

happyhamster (134378) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746196)

These same private companies have been sourcing to the cheapest possible labor for years: technical support, customer support, quality assurance, and increasingly developers. None of these have been mandated by the government. Anti-government fanatics are funny. They see âoegubermuntâ even where there is none. They cannot possibly comprehend that in the face of gigantic, immoral, ruthless international corporations, national government is pretty much the only force that can protect average citizens.

Re:At least... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746460)

Check your reading comprehension skills--your parent was bemoaning the issuance of the task to a private corporation.

Re:At least... (1)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746496)

Better question -- why should a government be doing this in the first place? If people want their internet censored, then a company could make a product, sell it, and make money. No government involvement necessary.

Re:At least... (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746554)

Because people don't actually want their internet censored--government wants it censored, or, rather, government wants censorship infrastructure in place, and 'think of the children and the pr0ns' is a good make believe reason to justify it.

There's a very good reason for government involvement here--a reason that is only good for government.

If you can't see that, there's no hope.

Re:At least... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746860)

So corporations serve themselves, governments serves themselves... why do we need either then?

Re:At least... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747632)

Anarchy ahoy!

Re:At least... (1, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747764)

Because there is no difference between the government and the mafia. Both rob you with taxes, both use force when you fail to pay or obey their rules, both provide some services[1], both aggressively, fiercely try to stamp out any competition. And both seek to expand their influence.

If there is some money and power that can be taken by force, you can count someone will want to take it.

[1]. Depends on mafia in question. Where they're just gangs mostly suppressed by the government, they provide almost nothing. When in a place where the population at large is oppressed -- like Sicily in the 19th century, they provide organization and self-defense. During the Prohibition in the US, they provided a single service people were denied. Elsewhere they're purely or nearly purely negative.

Re:At least... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747872)

Because sometimes they serve us by accident.

Cheapest possible?! (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746602)

You mean... there are no monkeys anymore in Gibraltar? But that's terrible!

Sensationalist. (1)

ComplexSimplicity (993041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745592)

Inflammatory summary, why is being a student a bad thing? Also if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Inflammatory Comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745636)

Inflammatory summary, why is being a student a bad thing? Also if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

As a monkey, I find the equating of our noble species to students inflammatory. Monkeys have far more class.

I have just flung virtual poop at you as my sig.

Re:Sensationalist. (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746466)

...Elephants. Elephants work for peanuts. Monkeys work for bananas. Saying monkeys work for peanuts is like saying cars run on milk.

Does it matter? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745656)

Does it matter if it's a group of students or a group of politicians? or a group of little old ladies? or a group of aliens from Betelgeuse?

In all seriousness, it doesn't matter *who* does the censoring, they'll always get it wrong. Only the end viewer requesting the page can decide if something is "hardcore" or merely "erotica". Nobody can decide what standards are acceptable to anyone else.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745970)

Does it matter if it's a group of students or a group of politicians? or a group of little old ladies? or a group of aliens from Betelgeuse?

In all seriousness, it doesn't matter *who* does the censoring, they'll always get it wrong. Only the end viewer requesting the page can decide if something is "hardcore" or merely "erotica". Nobody can decide what standards are acceptable to anyone else.

The Group isn't doing the censoring, the Parents are. The group just categorizes websites, they don't choose to block anything. Even if they put everything in to "Hardcore" it wouldn't be blocked unless the parents choose to block it.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747640)

Easy..

Man on Man Anal: Hardcore
Man on Woman Anal: Erotica

It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745710)

Is there a fist in an ass?
Yes=Hardcore
No=Erotica

Does reading it make you want to commit genocide?
Yes=Hate Speech

Re:It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745814)

Does reading it make you want to commit genocide?
Yes=Hate Speech

Wow. Like 80% of the comments on the internet are hate speech -- I had no idea. (Yes, genocide -- I wouldn't want to miss the actual poster by slaughtering their twin instead or anything like that. Genocide is much harder to miss with.)

Re:It's simple (2)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745964)

Does reading it make you want to commit genocide?
Yes=Hate Speech

Wow. Like 80% of the comments on the internet are hate speech -- I had no idea. (Yes, genocide -- I wouldn't want to miss the actual poster by slaughtering their twin instead or anything like that. Genocide is much harder to miss with.)

The reason why I swear so much is fuck you.
Censor this, bitches. :)

Re:It's simple (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745930)

If they're using a feather, its erotica. If they're using a chicken, its porn.

Re:It's simple (1)

rapidreload (2476516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746162)

If they're using a feather, its erotica. If they're using a chicken, its porn.

And if they're using a cephalopod?

Re:It's simple (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746228)

They're probably trying to predict football results.

url lookups (3, Informative)

modestgeek (1449921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745716)

I could care less who is doing the categorization. There are going to be mistakes. The important thing is being able to challenge the rating. Most of these content filtering products have URL category lookup and you can report sites that need further review.

McAfee http://www.trustedsource.org/en/feedback/url [trustedsource.org]
BlueCoat http://sitereview.bluecoat.com/sitereview.jsp [bluecoat.com]

The rest are easily found via google or from their respective support sites.

Re:url lookups (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745890)

If you could care less then why don't you!

Re:url lookups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746214)

Because he still cares just a bit. Me, we'll I couldn't care less.

Re:url lookups (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746486)

Me, we will I couldn't care less.

Whatchu talkin bout Willis?

paying students to look at porn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745718)

I am envious

SUE THEM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745720)

They are not qualified to do what is wrong in the first place. Sue the shit out of them.

Application? (2)

Nugoo (1794744) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745744)

[...] decisions on whether porn is 'hardcore' or merely 'erotica' [...]

Where do I apply?

Political sites misclassified (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37745818)

I've seen far too many political sites and blogs ranging the entire political spectrum being labeled as "hate speech". While true, the opinions are very strong. But I would hardly call that HS.

Outsource it to the Chinese (2)

DBCubix (1027232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745866)

I'm sure they could do it cheaper anyways. :D

Re:Outsource it to the Chinese (1)

satuon (1822492) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746920)

And at least when it comes to Censorship Chinese quality isn't a bad thing.

Goatse for work (3, Insightful)

Meeni (1815694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745874)

I understand we want to protect the pure eyes of the public from disgusting content. Well, actually I don't, if nobody gets harmed in the making of the images, to each one is fantasy. Furthermore, it is not like bestiality is around every click, and seeing a nipple is not going to traumatize anybody, we all have two, don't we ? For the sake of the argument, say we buy the idea that internet 'needs' to be filtered to protect the public from seeing "things". Doesn't it defeats the purpose, when little Johny is protected from porn from 1 to 18, then gets to watch objectively offensive and disgusting porn, the kind of things that makes you despair about humanity, but for 20 hours a week, as a student job to pay tuition ? Am I the only one to think that the work-watchers are going to increase by a wide margin the exposure to insanely offensive material, that otherwise nobody encounters without actually looking for it ?

Re:Goatse for work (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746878)

So I wasn't the only one who thought it's kinda odd to protect a person 18 years of his life from porn, and a year later you pay him to do it?

Re:Goatse for work (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747648)

According to some supporters, it looks like you're breeding serial killers at that point... do we execute anyone who works as a censor for X days too many?

Whats the point? (1)

RandomAvatar (2487198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745940)

I don't see the point. I was able to get around content blockers when I was a child. I am sure kids today can do the same with a little effort.

Re:Whats the point? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745980)

Won't someone think of the parents?

Re:Whats the point? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747412)

I work in IT support at a school, and... yes, they can.

Students rarely try to look at porn in school. No privacy. They are constantly trying to get around the filter to play games.

Maximum voluntary blocking is a good move. (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37745956)

Those who want blocking on THEIR OWN PCs should have it. The more the better. :)

Re:Maximum voluntary blocking is a good move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746002)

Opt-In blocking. Great idea.

Opt-In spam is another great idea. Opt-In if you want it.

Re:Maximum voluntary blocking is a good move. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746884)

If it stopped there, I'd have no problem with it. But I've been too long on this planet to believe that it's going to stop there for long. Far too often we went from "you may" to "you should" and finally "you must".

So this is why!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746070)

So this is why my website was blocked forever ago at my high school for "hate speech". It was actually nothing more than a little programming blog with some flash games on it. I actually felt popular when I discovered it was blocked lol.

How is this censorship? (2)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746086)

TFS and TFA make it clear that this is a service being offered to customers as an opt-in system. What the heck is wrong with offering customers that choice, especially given that they can presumably change their mind at some point in the future (when their kids are old enough to view porn).

Customers will be asked to make a choice over whether they want filtering on their connection or not. Adult content blocks will not be implemented by default.

Re:How is this censorship? (2)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746154)

TFS and TFA make it clear that this is a service being offered to customers as an opt-in system for now. What the heck is wrong with offering customers that choice, especially given that they can presumably change their mind at some point in the future (when their kids are old enough to view porn), altough we don't actually know that this will be the case.

Customers will be asked to make a choice over whether they want filtering on their connection or not. Adult content blocks will not be implemented by default for the time being.

There. Fixed those for ya.

Re:How is this censorship? (4, Insightful)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746300)

Exactly. I forget who said it, and I don't remember the exact wording, but I once read a very wise quote: "Evaluate any government proposal based not on the supposed benefit that will be imparted if administered properly, but by the harm inflicted if administered improperly."

And besides that, we're talking about a system where one group of people are making decisions about "appropriateness" for a huge mass of people. The notion of what is "adult" or "inappropriate" content varies from individual to individual, as does the notion of "mental preparedness". As with any system of censorship or ratings, those who disagree are left by the wayside (see: "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" [imdb.com] for an excellent example using the MPAA).

Re:How is this censorship? (1)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746180)

Well, what about the probability that the system is being subsidized? Or, even if it is not (haven't checked), the salaries of the politicos who sat around thinking this up is being subsidized? Or the opportunity costs of ISPs wasting time and resources implementing this? Or the fact that such systems are already readily available for those who wish to purchase and utilize them, courtesy of market participants who saw a demand for this tech over a decade ago, and undertook all the initiative and risk of their own accord? Or the fact that those who had the prescience to identify and respond to that demand are now facing competition from a market participant who has been granted a distinct unfair advantage from a non-market-participant (the UK government), in the form of an official sanction requiring them to offer this? Or the fact that people will see this as an implicit endorsement from both their ISP and the government that this tech is 100% solid and foolproof? Or the fact that the vast majority of the users will never be aware that their web browsing is being censored by a bunch of kids in a basement?

That's the difference between a company "offering" a product or service, and the government "mandating" that they offer the product or service. In the first case, if you don't want it, don't use it, or even stop doing business with the company entirely. In the second case, walk away and you still pay for the "service". Use a competitor, and you still see the same impact. This is just taking a statist approach to an issue the market solved years ago.

Government service (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746418)

It is a government problem, industry can't solve it cheaply or likely any better.

A cheap solution would be for sites to publish their rating (meta tag) or setup something like the cert authorities for it but allow self rating. Maybe have some laws for badly rated websites so porn can't label itself for elementary children without a fine. Verification authorities would merely allow a backdoor to non profits, businesses, or peer to peer to go above the self-rating system.

Schools, parents can then BAN all sites who are not rated. To optionally go further they could require the verification of the rating by a trusted party or peer 2 peer system. The base system would work MOST the time as any legit site would put ratings on itself as huge numbers of people blocked them if they did not - it would be cheap and easy to self rate. As long as the rules for rating are not too crazy to solve everything it would be ok... until idiot lawyers try to make laws to do everything...but that is another problem: legal "feature creep".

The peer 2 peer system could be like wikipedia for verifying ratings of sites or to services with paid reviewers-- or governments like China (where the system could be abused and there is no point in trying to make it not work for their purposes - they'll do what they want anyhow, it likely wouldn't do enough for their needs.)

I've said it before, we need a global standard rating scheme created by scientists not industry monkeys.

Re:Government service (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746898)

You want to find a scientific standard that holds all over the planet when it comes to "sexual decency"?

Good luck.

Re:Government service (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#37748038)

That should be a grading.
  1. Every woman is in a burka. No flesh exposed
  2. Hair (and knees) is covered, arms may be visible
  3. Bikini's are allowed
  4. Naked tits are allowed
  5. Full nudity is allowed, no suggestion of sex
  6. Suggestion of sex
  7. sex is visible, no anal
  8. Anal sex
  9. Bondage/mutiliation/rape
  10. Snuff

In that way the filter can be set at a limit that's correct for the country.
There are some issues like certain parts of Africa where showing tits is allowed, but knees are not allowed. These issues must be solvable with the combined intellect of /..

Re:Government service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747910)

How is a UK law going to enforce fines on sites hosted elsewhere?

Re:How is this censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747692)

The politicking around it has repeatedly seen people call for opt-out or worse, so if people are a bit leery about the honourable intentions of this scheme that's perhaps understandable.

The simplest solution would've been for the activists that've been petitioning the government, to instead start their own (virtual) ISP with blocking in place and offering the service to the public at large. If enough people want it, they get it, and the activists get to make a living with their world-improving idea. But apparently they didn't like the odds of their idea not catching on too much. How surprising. This is, after all, a country where nation-wide website blocking is already in place and enabled for every consumer, no excuses, on a protecting the childrun ticket, busily shuffling child pr0n under the carpet, apparently to prevent people from accidentally becoming paedophiles or something.

Wholesale fashion and discount Women shoes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746152)

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A bit sensational (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37746174)

I don't particularly like the idea but common, how is an educated student views in categorization any worst then a so called expert. It's just categorization which requires only minimal common sense. This is perfectly valid and expected. There will always be mistakes in any large listing, the important thing is being able to quickly resolves improper categorization. The biggest news/issue is the fact that they don't publish the list as it can effect website owners without them ever knowing it (other then reduced traffic which can be attributed to many things).

It never works. (1)

FyberOptic (813904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746326)

I always find it funny when governments think they can actually censor the internet. If it doesn't work despite the great cyberwall of China, what makes you think it'll work anywhere else?

America is trying as well, like with the whole recent domain name shutdowns thing. Yet people have already come up with very simple ways to get around it, from browser extensions, to their own DNS servers, to simply editing your hosts file.

Governments, like corporations, don't understand technology; they simply screw it up for all the average people by trying to.

Re:It never works. (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746916)

The law of the big number works in their favor. Yes, you, me, and a few more will easily get around those filters. And we might also be interested enough in politics and the world in general to actively go out of our way to do so.

How many others do? For the masses who don't give half a shit and would only see this if they get sent there, and promptly see a "blocked content" sign (which will certainly soon be conflated with blocks for malware and the like, considering the company that produces the blocker), this will work quite well.

For reference, see China.

Re:It never works. (1)

cowtamer (311087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747190)

But what if it does? What you're seeing is the tip of the iceberg. When you get sent to some sort of prison or get fined thousands of dollars per "infraction" I think bypassing filters will be like rolling back your odometer in your car. Technically trivial, but few will dare...

And no, the people will NOT rebel. They will swallow the "we're protecting you from child pornographers and terrorists" line whole -- if not right away, 5-10 years from now.

Free to Chose, Filtered OR Unfiltered (2)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 2 years ago | (#37746906)

I would say that so long as the system is both opt-in and voluntary, it shouldn't be a problem. As long as the censorship system isn't mandated by government AND people are free to choose filtered or unfiltered access, where's the harm?

Re:Free to Chose, Filtered OR Unfiltered (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747436)

The problem is that it starts off as opt-in. The slippery slope is a fallacy because A doesn't always lead to B - but A can still greatly increase the probability of B in the future.

Re:Free to Chose, Filtered OR Unfiltered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747606)

Except the government is actively and openly pushing for an opt out system. This is just the first step until they have the popular backing to go ahead and force ISPs to gather a list of people who are filthy porn addicts. This list can then be used to taint politically inconvienent individuals, act as dubious evidence against people accused of other crimes and otherwise ruins lives as they or their pet journalists see fit.

Re:Free to Chose, Filtered OR Unfiltered (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747662)

And when they came for me... there was nobody left to stand up.

Could be a useful sop. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747472)

So what if the implementation sucks?

The goal of offering parental control will be met, and then can be pointed to as giving customer choice. Make it as restrictive as practical. When in doubt, block.

Far less disturbing and harmful than (1)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747480)

This is far less disturbing and harmful than the fact that the majority of the security in airports is handled by armies of uneducated gorillas as opposed to a smaller more intelligent and more motivated group of individuals. Of course, I have yet to meet an intelligent, educated and motivated person that would be willing to work in such a position.

At least in this case, we're talking about students and not day labor. At least students are people who should in theory be bright. As for training... well let's be frank... they'll surf and find these sights and when there's a question regarding site which are so gray you're not sure which side of the line they sit on, they'll discuss it or seek guidance from a trained nanny.

Names & Addresses, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747518)

Can we please get the names and addresses of these students?

Will the porn tourism to Sweden return? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747852)

Until the early 1980s, there was a lot of pornography tourism (not really sex tourism, they only came for the "dirty" magazines and films, getting hookers or hook up with someone for casual sex have always been easier in UK then in Sweden, not even weighting in the language barriers, which was considerable for English speaking tourists in Sweden during the 1960s) from United Kingdom to Sweden. British men coming to Sweden only to buy a suitcase full of porn. There was even some Swedish cinemas, catering pornographic films chiefly to British porn tourists. When the pornography tourism from UK diminished, most of the then existing sex shops and cinemas in Stockholm and Gothenburg was closed down.

Until the early 70s, there was also lot of British women who visited Sweden to buy sex toys, and even condoms and lubricants. Nowadays only a small trickle of women from Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and similar Catholic countries do that.

The related sex tourism to Denmark (where prostitution is legal, but with some restrictions) from UK have never diminished, but in this tourism the UK men is not alone, there are plenty of sex tourists from other countries visiting Denmark too, ironically, even some Swedish sex tourists (Sweden have some of Europes hardest laws against prostitution, and the Swedish police uphold them meticulously).

Possible business opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37747952)

Being as students seem to be in the majority when it comes to sperm donation, ISPs could - not literally - clean up here...

Dont' tell Australian politicians (1)

king_grumpy (1685560) | more than 2 years ago | (#37747962)

Dear God, Please make sure that Senator Stephen Conroy doesn't hear about this. He'll have the asylum seekers reviewing porn sites for $1 a day. Thank you, hail mary, and all that jazz
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