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UK Government Changes Tack and Demands Default Porn Block

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the but-predictably-so dept.

Censorship 163

judgecorp writes "British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to reverse a policy announced last week, and demand that ISPs filter adult content by default. This system would require users to actively opt out of a filter designed to block adult content and material about self-harm. Last week, after consultation with parents, the Department for Education had said that an opt-in system would be sufficient and no default porn block would be required, but the Daily Mail has announced triumphantly that Cameron will be presenting the policy in the paper. MP Claire Perry, who has argued for the block, will be in charge — and freedom of speech campaigners have branded the sudden change of mind as 'chaotic.'"

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163 comments

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And (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346829)

Nothing of value was lost

Re:And (4, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346909)

Okay, define pornography then.

Bearing in mind that there are particularly lurid and erotic oil paintings hanging in Britain's museums, voluptuous topless women in many British mass-distribution daily newspapers, and fine art photography of nudes, not to mention album cover art, statues, anatomy and medical journals, encyclopedias, etc...

Re:And (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346979)

Okay, define pornography then.

Pornography: Noun; That which becomes uninteresting after mastrubation.

Re:And (2)

bigtomrodney (993427) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347029)

Staying awake?

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347207)

Pornography: Noun; That which becomes uninteresting after mastrubation.

Pictures of your kids?

Re:And (3, Funny)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347609)

therefore, nothing?

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42348191)

Pictures of my sister?

Re:And (1)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347075)

Porn is for jerking off. Nudity in art like Michelangeo's David or The Thinker came from times where the human body was the sculpture of God incarnate. These days, religion takes a backseat while parents who are more prudish than even the Amish try and stop every little thing from harming their children's delicate psyches.

Re:And (1)

hazah (807503) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347673)

Why are you bringing religion into this?

Re:And (4, Insightful)

rockout (1039072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348271)

Maybe because there's a strong correlation, when speaking in terms of population, between how religious one is and how likely one is to be offended by the sight of a nipple. Or in some cultures, an ankle.

Now remember, correlation causation! But in this case, I'd put my money on "sure it does", if I were a betting man.

Re:And (1)

rockout (1039072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348289)

oops, slashdot removed my != between "correlation" and "causation". Silly me, thinking I could get away with Unicode 2260.

Re:And (2, Insightful)

boristdog (133725) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348917)

Man, I WISH I could default block all religious content.

THAT stuff is offensive.

Re:And (3, Funny)

Bazman (4849) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347191)

The Supreme Court says "any act that has no artistic merit and causes sexual thought". So that's the Daily Mail blocked...

[Source: Bill Hicks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcefX9TPlkY]

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347265)

Rupert Murdoch is going to be PISSED!

Re:And (2)

Zemran (3101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347539)

The Sun will have to shut down its web site, that will be a great loss to society...

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347763)

Rupert Murdoch will have the necessary funds to challenge and overturn this law, or at least grant his websites an exception.

Re:And (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348267)

Okay, then we need a definition of artistic merit. Leaving out sexuality entirely for the example, my wife was rather unimpressed when she visited the Tate Modern Museum in London several years back, so we didn't go see it when we visited a couple years ago. She did not feel that the works in the Tate Modern held artistic merit. After the fact, I saw something on the Internet that was at the Tate Modern that I probably wouldn't have minded seeing, but she still did not care for.

My point is that it's difficult to define pornography because it always comes down to one's own perspective. Someone might find some fetish work to be art because of some characteristic of the fetish that requires skill to wear or display or carry out, while others will simply see it as pornography without any consideration for the craftsmanship. Even basic nude photography without any hypersexualized intent can fall into this, where some see an image of a naked person as pornography, while others look at the composition of the photograph for focus, lighting, lens selection, background content or props, the work put into the model in hair and makeup, posing, even the particular selection of the model as being able to have artistic merit. It's also possible for those same characteristics to apply to an image or a work that is of something sexual.

Do I believe that parents should have both the right and the responsibility to control their children's exposure to content? Absolutely. Do I believe that it's the State's job to do that? No, I don't.

Re:And (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347283)

And there in lies the problem... by having to "opt out"; the majority of people will (by default) be accepting a filtered view of the Internet, *not* a "porn-free" view of the internet (because there is no singularly accepted definition of the term), as they wouldn't want to identify themselves as wanting to include "porn" for fear of being added to a list; even if they really just want to have an unfiltered view of the internet (and perhaps genuinely aren't interested in *their* definition of porn.)

Having to "opt in" to filtering is much better, because by default you have no filter and can determine what you do and do not want to be exposed to without having to categorize yourself and asking to have the filter applied doesn't brand you a "perv", etc..

Re:And (5, Interesting)

Canazza (1428553) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347417)

This has been a standard for Mobile internet for a long time.
I remember getting a Pay-as-you-go 3G dongle that was opt-out filtering, but it filtered a hell of a lot more than just pornography.

It filtered Reddit, it filtered 4chan, it filtered b3ta, it filtered a fair few web comics too. And they wouldn't unlock it over the phone unless you had a credit card (I only had a debit card and they wouldn't accept it, go figure), so you had to take the dongle into the store and ask them to unlock it, and take proof of age with you.

If the proposed filter is in any way similer to the current mobile one - and it's opt out - expect there to be a right shitstorm regardless of the ethics of the filter in the first place.

Re:And (1)

TWX (665546) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348149)

Generally credit cards generally are not issued to minors, while debit cards come with the checking account. That would explain why a debit card was unacceptable as a method to verify age.

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42348803)

That is bullshit. Debit cards accounts are linked to your age and identity, so it could still be used to verify that you are an adult.
And what if you dont want to own a credit card??

Re:And (2)

Zemran (3101) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347509)

Anything that the government does not like. If it is anti government, it is obviously offensive and therefore pornography. Look at the things the US gov has done under the anti terrorist legislation to get an idea of how this will go. You accessed a web site that had once been used by someone that is now in the army, you are a terrorist... You looked accessed a photo of someone with a naked shoulder, you downloaded pornography!

Re:And (2)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347621)

Okay, define pornography then.

'Pornography' means 'anything the government does not wish you to see'. Surely you knew that?

Re:And (1)

chthon (580889) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348237)

Indeed, one painter that needs to be blocked entirely is probably Rubens. All that naked flesh!

Re:And (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347577)

Darn right. He apparently just realized British porn sucks, lol.

Re:And (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347779)

Actually, there's a good argument that porn responsible for basically all of human progress. You know it's true, everything we do, we do it for porn.

Re:And (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348349)

Except your privacy. Unless you feel that is of no value.

Jolly good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346833)

Did you hear the Americans were discussing the Duchess' Downtown Abbey over the weekend on the telly?

FP Block (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346851)

Your favorite anal stretcher link has been blocked by your government.

Wow! The UK is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346865)

becoming more and more like a totalitarian state every year. No wonder my family moved the hell out when they did. It's a beautiful place, but things have become untenable.

I far prefer to being a US citizen than a British subject. Despite the US being far from perfect, at least I have the freedom to do pretty much whatever I want as long as life and property are respected.

UK...I hardly knew ye...

Re:Wow! The UK is... (2)

Evtim (1022085) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346901)

Orwell was a brit. Stands to reason....

Re:Wow! The UK is... (5, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346937)

Orwell was a brit. Stands to reason....

Orwell was a bloody optimist.

Re:Wow! The UK is... (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346941)

things have become untenable.

Oh gods, I have to tell that that I want to be able to view adult content! This position is untenable!

Despite the US being far from perfect, at least I have the freedom to do pretty much whatever I want as long as life and property are respected.

I live in the UK, and I also have that freedom. I also had a few freedoms a lot earlier than I would have had them in the US:

UK public drinking age: 18
US: 21

UK public smoking age: 16
US: 18

UK age of consent/adulthood: 16
US: 18

Tell me, which is closer to being a "totalitarian state".. the country with an opt-out porn filter, or the one where the government can do whatever the fuck it wants, whenever it wants - without telling anyone - via the PATRIOT act? How can you be so hypocritical?

Re:Wow! The UK is... (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347023)

The UK smoking age has been 18 for some time [bbc.co.uk] ....

Re:Wow! The UK is... (3, Informative)

shilly (142940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347101)

No, he's right. Age of purchase moved to 18, age of possession is still 16.

Re:Wow! The UK is... (0)

shilly (142940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347053)

How this kind of crap gets marked insightful, I do not know.
Age of consent is not the same as age of adulthood. Legally, you become an adult at 18 in the UK but the age of consent is 16. In the US, you become an adult at 18 as well, but the age of consent varies from state to state.

None of this has anything to do with totalitarianism.

Re:Wow! The UK is... (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347145)

Well, you can live away from your parents/guardians and get married at 16 in the UK. I always considered that the point adulthood, but obviously there will be a lot of differing opinions on the term.

After looking it up just now I see you still need permission from your parents though, so I guess you're right about 18.

Yep, it doesn't have anything to do with totalitarianism, but it does have to do with freedom. An optional web filter doesn't have much to do with either.

Re:Wow! The UK is... (1)

mountaineer76 (941902) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347217)

Actually, I believe that you only need parental permission in England and Wales - in Scotland you can get married at 16 without any parental consent whatsoever!

Re:Wow! The UK is... (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347277)

Ah, well I'm Scottish so that explains it. Thanks for clearing that up :)

Re:Wow! The UK is... (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347651)

Legally, you become an adult at 18 in the UK but the age of consent is 16.

The UK is not England. The age of majority is not 18 in Scotland and never has been. Do keep up at the back.

Re:Wow! The UK is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347081)

So you can get drunk, smoke, and be held accountable for contracts 2 years sooner in the UK. How does these "freedoms" or lack of be used to judge a society as totalitarian? And the Patriot act is the big bad boogie monster that supposedly strips everyone of their constitutional rights even when nobody can actually give an example of what constitutional rights have supposedly been nullified. Has there been even one case of a US citizen being convicted of a crime because of evidence collected using any Patriot Act provision?

Re:Wow! The UK is... (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347525)

And the Patriot act is the big bad boogie monster that supposedly strips everyone of their constitutional rights even when nobody can actually give an example of what constitutional rights have supposedly been nullified.

Privacy. And examples or not, such legislation must be eliminated.

You have more freedom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347771)

Having more freedom means you're freeer. It means if you have less freedom you're less free.

The USA has less freedom because it stops you doing things you want to do for longer than the UK.

That means that under these criteria, the USA is less free than the UK.

Are you unable to do maths or something?

Now you could claim "We are free to have guns, the UK you're not", but that is being hypocritical unless you accord the GPP accuracy which you deny in your post. Because how could that freedome be used to judge a society as totalitarian?

Re:Wow! The UK is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347111)

The smoking age was raised to 18 a few years ago.

Re:Wow! The UK is... (3, Informative)

DrgnDancer (137700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347517)

This is somewhat misleading. States actually determine the age at which all of these things are legal. While it's true that all states fall into line with federal policy on drinking and tobacco ages, this hasn't always been the case. The legal drinking age in Louisiana was 18 well into the 1990's. It didn't change until 1996 or 1997 (I remember becasue I'd just graduated college, and my girlfriend at the time was only 20. She was "grandfathered" in and could drink, as could anyone who at least 18 the day the new law went into effect). Age of consent varies wildly state by state and can be as low as 14. In theory any state can change any of these ages independently (though in practice funding rules from the feds make it unlikely that they will for drinking or tobacco)

LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346871)

LOL your-a-pee-ins. Bunch of fucking fascists.

"Will announce later today..." (5, Informative)

Vanders (110092) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346885)

Perhaps we could, I don't know, wait until David Cameron actually announces this policy, rather than just believing everything you read in the Daily Mail, particularly as the Daily Mail are so hilariously biased on this subject in the place. Not to mention it's the Daily Mail.

This is like this news stories you see where they tell you what someone is going to "announce" later. If we already know what they're going to say, why are you telling me before they've said it?

Re:"Will announce later today..." (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346919)

Why does the Daily Mail get so much press on the internet?

You never see slashdot quoting the Weekly World News about the latest exploits of Batboy.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346939)

Because most Americans are too dumb to realize it's a tabloid.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (3, Funny)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347043)

It's a tabloid? There was me thinking it was some sort of hilarous paradoy of 'to death do us part'.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347121)

Because the Daily Mail are clueless, but fluked a format that works with the unwashed (intellectually very mediocre) masses of the Internet.

Their web design is absolutely terrible, but works very well when you're finding content through Google and sharing it over social media.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (2)

Jiro (131519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347859)

The fact that the Weekly World News ceased publication in 2007 could also have something to do with it.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347961)

I don't know why but that really made me laugh. Thanks, I needed one

Re:"Will announce later today..." (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348097)

You will be glad to know their website is still in operation. It appears to be update regularly.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (1)

Spottywot (1910658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348531)

Why does the Daily Mail get so much press on the internet?

You never see slashdot quoting the Weekly World News about the latest exploits of Batboy.

Not quite sure, probably because they're batshit crazy right wing hypocrites who love to make up sensational headlines. They also like to pretend they're 'for the people', they are in fact are made up of the same set of Tory toffs that would take away every-ones rights and freedoms as long as it didn't affect them too much, as long as they get to make a little profit along the way.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (2)

shilly (142940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347085)

This is a truly dipshitted comment. Cameron wrote the fucking article in the fucking Mail announcing the policy change. He's a twat.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2250809/Victory-Mail-Children-WILL-protected-online-porn-Cameron-orders-sites-blocked-automatically.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:"Will announce later today..." (2)

dintech (998802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347243)

Interestingly, the Daily Mail is a paper aimed predominantly at women and is the only newspaper in the UK with a majority female readership. Just look at the right hand row of images for proof. Women in general are more 'think of the children' than 'think of your rights' (or porn).

Re:"Will announce later today..." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347501)

" Daily Mail is a paper aimed predominantly at women"

Maybe that is why Paul Dacre is so fond of calling people who work under him, cunts.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (1)

Vanders (110092) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347291)

An article for the Daily Mail is not the same thing as a public declaration of Government policy.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348459)

Apropos, as government policy now appears to be driven entirely by Mumsnet.

A more shallow, spineless, hypocritical self serving bunch it would be hard to imagine... apart from every other politician, everywhere.

Re:"Will announce later today..." (2)

FBeans (2201802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347459)

Further to this, the article hints at Cameron making a mandatory, default filter, however in the original article this is never stated. So arguing about the source is kind of a moot point as the original source never mentions any mandatory filtering. Waiting is a great idea here, this should not have made it to submission.

Chaotic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346897)

Since freedom of speech is the center piece of a functioning democratic society (which we consider good) anything that opposes that has to be evil.

We have thus logically concluded that MP Claire Perry's alignment is Chaotic Evil.

Me, I'm voting for the paladin candidate.

Re:Chaotic (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346955)

Lawful Evil, else he would not be trying to get it instituted in a legal manner.

Another U-Turn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346903)

Would this be U-Turn 38 or 39? I've lost count.

How about we just admit their stuck on a round-a-bout with no clue where the exit is.

The Pretend Democracy Continues... (2)

tomxor (2379126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346927)

As in, the government will ask about what the people think and then prettend to listen... Of course then they will do whatever the hell they want anyway.

I'd rather not be asked in the fucking first place, it's like teasing a child with a cookie it can never have, all they do is piss people off AND ignore the majority view.

Re:The Pretend Democracy Continues... (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347107)

As in, the government will ask about what the people think and then prettend to listen...

Uhm..., don't the Brits elect their "government"? So, just like here in the U.S., they keep electing the same lousy people to represent them. Imagine that.

Re:The Pretend Democracy Continues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347305)

ConDem is an unelected mess. The first thing they did when they formed the coalition was bring in a law to stop us kicking them out early -.-

Re:The Pretend Democracy Continues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347391)

Uhm..., don't the Brits elect their "government"? So, just like here in the U.S., they keep electing the same lousy people to represent them. Imagine that.

Britons voted 'none of the above' at the last election, but they got a government anyway. No party won a majority of seats in Parliament, I believe only a minority of eligible voters even voted, and I believe the last time a party even managed to get a majority of the votes cast was in the 60s.

Typically a British government is elected by about 20-25% of the electorate, on around 40% of the votes cast.

So, no, they don't keep 'electing the same lousy people'. They just don't have any alternative.

Re:The Pretend Democracy Continues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347513)

I disagree, we do keep "electing the same lousy people", simply because whoever we elect is a politician...

Re:The Pretend Democracy Continues... (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347485)

It's almost exactly like the US yes, ie basically nothing important really changes no matter who's in power. Even when you vote for the "other side" (or in our case a coalition of 2 parties), "democratic" government is "democratic".

Re:The Pretend Democracy Continues... (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347725)

Not very much is democratic about a party or coalition being voted into power with less than 30% of the total electorate wanting it...

Re:The Pretend Democracy Continues... (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347845)

Hence the quotation marks.

We shouldn't be surprised (1)

GrunthosThePoet (2658483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42346929)

We have had one minor dose of common sense this week with the revised social media legal guidelines. It was far to much to hope that it would continue

RTFA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42346959)

none of this is true....

Re:RTFA (2)

digitig (1056110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347097)

The only RAs in the story were to the previous announcement that has allegedly been overturned. The Daily Mail article that the story is about is here [dailymail.co.uk] , though as it's the Daily Mail I take it with an emetic-scale pinch of salt.

Give option by default (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347051)

If parents want to protect their children for things that they consider objectionable they could use a government proxy to block what the government think that is objectionable or ask their isp for filtering (to avoid messing with i.e. browser configuration), but must be the parents option.

Re:Give option by default (1)

ProbablyJoe (1914672) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347163)

Or they could just use one of the many commercial products available that do this sort of filtering for you. But no, of course we need the government to do it for everyone.

how about (4, Interesting)

rufty_tufty (888596) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347055)

Can I get a default block on things I find offensive to children please?
* Violence
* Religion
* Telephone Scams
* Adverts to tacky products
* politicians
* The Daily Mail

Seriously why the focus on this one thing that some people think is bad for some other people? If you have a problem with receiving something, you fix it, the tools are out there and free! Don't make your problem my problem because of your ignorance and laziness.

Re:how about (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347153)

Most of all, it goes this way: 1. I don't want to be marked as "the guy who requested switching the adult filter on" by the government or ISP. 2. It's better to have it this way by default, and not have to resort to proxies. 3. YMMV highly about what is or isn't offensive.

Re:how about (3, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347209)

Seriously why the focus on this one thing that some people think is bad for some other people?

Agreed, but didn't they already do this once? Think about it. If you ask everyone then eventually you'll find that everything on the Internet is offensive in some way to someone. They group all of this "offensive" content under one umbrella and opt you out of the Internet by default. If you want access to the Internet you have to opt in, and even pay for it!

The whole cycle is starting again. IMHO, it's just another way to increase the price of Internet access. Once everyone's paying the additional "opt it to everything" fee the process will start again.

That's the whole point (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347267)

Once you define one filter and have a functioning censorship system,
adding another filter is trivial and *NOBODY WILL NOTICE* until it's too late.

Religion is a form of control of the people.
Now that it's going away, they need something new and quick!

I despair (3)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347093)

This country is being run by moron Daily Mail readers.

The only reason why these clueless wrecking cockheads are running the show, is because New Labour screwed up so badly.

Re:I despair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42348615)

This country is being run by moron Daily Mail readers.

The only reason why these clueless wrecking cockheads are running the show, is because New Labour screwed up so badly.

Were you asleep in the run-up to the 2010 election ? If Labour were still in power they'd be as bad as the Tories in this respect. Not that this makes any of it better, but while the term "nanny state" if often used as a right-wing strawman to smear the left, Labour *were* quite clearly contemptious of personal liberties and privacy to the point that in some areas it wasn't misplaced- quite the opposite. Ironically, the one thing I hoped that the Tories *might* do was to reverse the trend away from personal freedom- online and otherwise- especially given some things said by the likes of David Davies (an odious right-winger in other respects). I'm not naive enough to be disappointed that they haven't done this now they're in power, though.

Re:I despair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42349037)

I'd have said this country and its people are being fucked-over by the sociopathic cunts that own everything. The moron Daily Mail readers just keep voting for them because they're clueless cockheads.

Morons (5, Insightful)

Archibald Buttle (536586) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347171)

Speaking as a British citizen, one with two small children (aged 7 and 8), my take is that my government is acting like a bunch of morons. They're allowing themselves to be led by the Daily Mail - a newspaper that has a long track record of spouting an ultra-conservative line that includes rabid xenophobia and plain and simple hatred of a significant proportion of the UK population. This move is not about making a rational choice, it's simply all about securing votes - the Daily Mail's readership are exclusively Conservative party voters, David Cameron's party.

I'm strongly against net filtering. Implementing mandatory filtering is the thin end of the wedge. It will not be long before there's complaints and campaigns by the likes of the Daily Mail complaining about inappropriate material that is not being filtered. How long will it be before Wikipedia gets banned? That site is packed full of very adult material that some will find objectionable. And what about the BBC News covering stories about pedophilia? And all the swearing in YouTube videos? Google searches can link through to objectionable material, complete with previews, so shouldn't that be banned too? Even without such encroachment into areas that rational people can see as being innocuous, filtering still ends up being a blunt weapon, filtering out sites that deal with issues such as contraception and abortion since they fall under the label of "sex". If kids can't do research into such things then the problems we have in this country of teenage pregnancy can only get worse.

As an example of such blunt filtering, I recently used a wifi network at a local church that had filtering enabled on their connection. They wanted to prevent childrens groups that met there from accessing things they deemed as being objectionable material. The end result was that almost every single link off of the church's own website was blocked. They saw the light after a few weeks and disabled the filtering.

If this move happens I will be opting out of the filtering. That in itself makes me nervous - some people will assume that because I've done that I must be a bad parent. That sadly is exactly the kind of false conclusion that an average Daily Mail reader will reach.

Re:Morons (2)

Walterk (124748) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347957)

If only we could use this against the Daily Mail website.
It's filled [dailymail.co.uk] with [dailymail.co.uk] things [dailymail.co.uk] that [dailymail.co.uk] could be deemed porn [google.co.uk] .

Re:Morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42348233)

THIS. The Daily Mail website clearly has pornographic content and should be blocked by default.

Re:Morons (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348597)

Well, quite. This "policy" is being driven by the most shrill of Mail Mums. But Daily Dad does like to drink of the beer and look at teh boobies, so - like all pulpit pounders, ever - the rag and its site is rank with hypocrisy.

Similarly, I recall the Sun running its usual "Find the paedos, spill their blood" stuff in the same issue where they ran a "Phwoar, Charlotte Church wins rear of the rear" wankpiece, using a photo taken when she was 15.

Re:Morons (3, Insightful)

wildstoo (835450) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348945)

Nail. Head.

The very MINUTE a celebrity turns 18 (sometimes even earlier), they're hung on the Daily Mail's wall of shame, often with a headline in the vein of: "Ooh! Look! Celebrity X is all grown up! Here's some hawt pix!!!".

You can practically hear the heavy breathing in articles like this [dailymail.co.uk] where the young age of the actress is the focus of the article. Seems odd for a newspaper that claims to campaign against the sexualization and commercialization of childhood, right?

Then there's the straight up porn stories. I mean.. wtf? [dailymail.co.uk]

Just have a scroll down the "FEMAIL" column on the right of any page. The "articles" listed there really say it all.

They're hypocritical bastards of the worst kind.

Re:Morons (1)

gutnor (872759) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348443)

And what about the BBC News covering stories about pedophilia? And all the swearing in YouTube videos? Google searches can link through to objectionable material, complete with previews, so shouldn't that be banned too?

It does not work that way. It is much worse - big player are not filtered because of the outcry they produce. Instead random small website that have pissed either connected people or an obsessed joe calling customer service 10 times an hour, get filtered. Most of them would never even realise that they are filtered because, if this filter is implemented as all the others, the list of blocked website is considered confidential.

That is the danger. And yes, even Google could get along and filtering its search results. Google do loads of customization already to comply with various requirements in different countries, so it is possible (but not guaranteed, hopefully) they would get along with it.

Title is WRONG (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347223)

So there are two issues here:
1) As others have mentioned, using the Daily Mail as the definitive source for anything ridiculous
2) No matter the source, it would be nice if the submitter/editor actually read the content of the article and not just link blindly to it.

The article quite clearly states:

The Prime Minister says the Mothers’ Union, which has advised the Government on how to shield children from adult and violent internet content, is backing alternative proposals to allow parents to tailor exactly what they can and cannot see.

Ministers are understood to have imposed a timetable on internet providers, who will be required to raise their game and produce detailed plans by February on ensuring that all parents are giving the option of imposing filters.

Mr Cameron says that when people switch on a new computer, they will be asked if there are children in the house – and if they answer yes, they will be automatically prompted to tailor internet filters.

.

To say that the government is changing tack and demanding a default porn block is a downright lie.

Either overbearing or ineffectual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42347413)

I understand the sentiment of trying to block addictive material that might harm a child's future relationships, but anti-porn legislation faces the difficulty of deciding what is or isn't considered porn. As others have posted, questionable material exists in many of Britain's tabloids and the difference between what is inspiring and artful and what is titillating is based more on the viewer than the content. If legislators wanted to block anything that might be used as a sexual stimulant, then they would have to block everything down to retail clothing vendors, an Orwellian move. On the other hand, anything less would not accomplish the desired goals because porn producers would find a way to get their content passed off as an acceptable pseudo-category. Legislators are faced with the choice of invasive overbearing laws that limit personal freedoms, ineffectual gestures in the sentiment that something is better than nothing, or letting the masses figure it out for themselves.

Ha-Ha! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347705)

If you guys were a bit more sensible about free speech and stuff, you might still own India and North America! Oh! Ok, that was a little mean... I'm sure it was just because running the ENTIRE PLANET was just too much of a bother...

Aah seriously though, setting up Tor isn't that hard and might be an option for those countries in which "Freedom" comes with dickish air quotes. At least until such time as your government decides to ban it. It should be good for another decade or so, though, until someone realizes that the entire internet-using population of the country is browsing through an encrypted network.

Say one thing, do the opposite... (1)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347775)

... what can we learn from this political flip flop?

Can I Have an Automatic (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42347789)

Opt Out David Cameron Filter?

Daily Fail strikes again (2)

NGRhodes (2742089) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348277)

If you read the Daily Mail article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2250809/Victory-Mail-Children-WILL-protected-online-porn-Cameron-orders-sites-blocked-automatically.html [dailymail.co.uk] you will find that the truth is that David Cameron "is backing alternative proposals to allow parents to tailor exactly what they can and cannot see". Sadly due to the continuing illiterate editing by the Daily Mail this was somehow equated to "Victory for the Mail! Children WILL be protected from online porn after Cameron orders automatic block on sites"

Ban the Daily Mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42348541)

but the Daily Mail has announced triumphantly...

The time has come to silence the bilious tabloids that decide practically all government policy, or we will each end up being silenced ourselves.

After consultation with parents? (2)

Ifthir (1446587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348543)

"Last week after consultation with parents" Which parents? How many? What was their political makeup? This whole story screams censorship.

So, who will do this in RL? (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about a year and a half ago | (#42348599)

I mean, I walk past an adult shop on my way to work every day (nice bondage display in the show windows btw). Is there also a plan to put up black walls around that so the poor children don't see it when they walk by?
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