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Leaked Letter Shows UK ISPs and Government At War Over Default Filters

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the can't-expose-sally-to-unmitigated-truth dept.

United Kingdom 142

An anonymous reader writes, quoting the BBC: "A letter sent to the UK's four leading ISPs from the government has made them very cross indeed. The letter comes from the Department for Education but it sets out a list of demands from Downing Street, with the stated aim of allowing the prime minister to make an announcement shortly. The companies are asked, among other things, for a commitment to fund an 'awareness campaign' for parents. They're not particularly happy about promising cash for what the letter concedes is an 'unknown campaign' but it's the next item on the menu which is the source of most of their anger." That next item is making and marketing Internet censorship filters as "default-on" rather than "active choice": "'It sounds like a good idea until you think it through,' said one industry source. 'There are three reasons why it doesn't work. First it may be illegal under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers. Then there's the fact that no filter is perfect, and finally kids are smart enough to find their way around them.'" From the sound of it, it might just be newspeak vs newspeak. The entire letter is included in the article.

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142 comments

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FREEDOM! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44292693)

Sometimes when I poop, I use the shaping attachment from my old Play Doh fun set. I place it on my anus, and make poops in different shapes. There is nothing strange about it at all. I'm an American, living in America, and if I want to have poops shaped like stars, I have every right to. The founding fathers would have wanted it this way.

Re:FREEDOM! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44292817)

can i show you my butthole?

This is why we can't have nice things. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44292951)

But at least you have Slashdot to shit all over and the mods can keep this at -1 so that those with sensitive psyches don't have to see it.

BTW newbie mod, the proper response to any troll or those (like me that just fed the troll) that reply is to keep them ALL at -1.

Re:This is why we can't have nice things. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293093)

Slashdot is a pretty worthless site and has been for a few years now. If it wasn't for the trolls, I probably wouldn't visit anymore.

Asking around, I'm the only guy in my IT department that even visits this site anymore.

Re:This is why we can't have nice things. (1)

geirlk (171706) | about a year ago | (#44294281)

So, did this happen before or after the trolls?

Summed up in verse (5, Funny)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44292721)

Rude Britannia!
Britannia on the net!
Children might still find bad things yet!

Re:Summed up in verse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44292897)

Is this about the Row over Savile?

In all honesty, Gordon Brown should have had Ed Balls singing castrato, what, with the National Examination`s being send all the way to the usa to be graded by a big-mac-munching CIA analyst.......
Since the days of Gordon stroking his ginger cat, america has nosied it`s way in the Britishite Establishment, snorting all the way up the line into the offices of MI6 and the eu buildings in Brussels!

Jimmy Savile was the tip of the iceberg of the international network of paedophiles and other servants of the cocaine-boot-licking-CIA,
Including the very same jeureaucraps who allowed for the school-fee uproar and subsequent violations of students human rights in Parliament Square.

Re:Summed up in verse (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44293319)

Re Savile:
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/414677/BBC-paid-for-Jimmy-Savile-s-cash-gifts-to-children [express.co.uk]
The UK press seem to still be interested in the person but nothing around the issues going back many 10's of years seems to gain much press traction at all.
Look back at the Jillings Report
"Jillings report: Reaction to its release after 17 years"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-23223309 [bbc.co.uk]
The Waterhouse Inquiry
Layers of celebs, politicians, police officers, legal professionals and business owners where offering cover..

Re:Summed up in verse (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#44293059)

Just wait for the tech support calls where people complain they can't watch porn anymore... they're setting themselves up for the swiftest kick in the ass ever by the general public. That's the problem with filtering that runs on the connection instead of the computer. But hey, at least some ISPs will benefit: Namely the ones selling VPN accounts. Oh, and Tor looks to boost its numbers some more. Ever since the NSA took a big shit in the information super pool, Tor's seen an explosion of exit nodes and bridges... I gotta say, it's almost reasonably fast now for regular internet, with a few tweaks to your browser to pipeline requests...

Thanks Britain! You're unwittingly supporting terrorism, organized crime, software and multimedia piracy, citizens' right to privacy and managing to piss off over half the internet population by messing with their porn. Bravo! By weeks' end you'll be less popular than the Americans with their NSA surveillance program.

Re:Summed up in verse (3, Funny)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | about a year ago | (#44293151)

Thanks US, you can't even spell Arse.....

Re:Summed up in verse (3, Funny)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#44293349)

Thanks Queen's English pendant, for being more concerned with Arse vs. Ass linguistic colloquialisms, than your own legal rights.

Keep a stiff upper lip and stay calm, Richard.

Re: Summed up in verse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293425)

Lol, thanks. Lol,lol

Re:Summed up in verse (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293529)

It's pedant not pendant.

Re:Summed up in verse (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#44293621)

That's a perfect response. Thanks. (I can't stop laughing....I think I'm gonna throw up)

Re:Summed up in verse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293633)

Just me being pedantic here: Queen's English pendant? What a dangly thing?

Re:Summed up in verse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294129)

It's certainly less offensive than the Queen's Vajazzle

Re:Summed up in verse (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#44293685)

That seems to be a fairly recent thing. The 1903 edition of Websters lists two definitions for ass: a donkey and a stupid person. This is pretty much in keeping with English usage. The conflating of ass and arse is more recent.

Re:Summed up in verse (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44293187)

Depends on how they implement the filter controls. If they make the accessible through a web interface at the individual account level it may not be too bad.

Re:Summed up in verse (5, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#44293427)

"level it may not be too bad."
What would the UK gov like to memory hole https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_hole [wikipedia.org] ?
Some past stories that would be so tempting to just filter down just a bit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Gun [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stakeknife [wikipedia.org]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/30/iraq-torture-allegations-uk-military-investigations-reopened [guardian.co.uk]
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2163799/UK-soldiers-beat-innocent-Iraqi-men-black-ops-jails-new-secret-justice-law-means-torture-hidden-forever.html [dailymail.co.uk]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/24/undercover-officers-police-chief-met [guardian.co.uk]
http://www.information-age.com/technology/mobile-and-networking/123457043/ee-and-ipsos-mori-face-privacy-backlash-over-mobile-data-analysis [information-age.com]
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9750403/MI6-codebreaker-Gareth-Williams-probably-locked-himself-into-sports-bag.html [telegraph.co.uk]
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9337175/Soldiers-sacked-days-before-pension-date.html [telegraph.co.uk]
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2127453/M16-1m-bribe-silence-torture-victim-Spies-gave-dissident-Gaddafi-thugs.html [dailymail.co.uk]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/11/gchq-staff-war-crimes-drones [guardian.co.uk]
With some "filter controls" for a few days after publication and pay walls long term, an individual in the UK could have their news just reshaped a bit long term.
Ideas like the http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/jun/14/what-are-secret-courts [guardian.co.uk] will shut the press out from some UK court reporting.
This mass filter idea might be the next step.
Australia shows the mission creep eg just for a few suspected fraud sites.
http://delimiter.com.au/2013/05/16/global-eyes-are-watching-eff-condemns-australias-new-internet-filter/ [delimiter.com.au]

Re:Summed up in verse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294093)

Lets not forget the super-injunction to prevent reporting of dumping of toxic waste by Trafigura.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafigura#Super-injunction

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Ivory_Coast_toxic_waste_dump

Re:Summed up in verse (3, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year ago | (#44294097)

Your government says "If you have nothing to fear if......" Wait, they given us rather a lot to fear haven't they.

Re:Summed up in verse (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | about a year ago | (#44293925)

Thanks Britain! You're unwittingly supporting terrorism, organized crime, software and multimedia piracy, citizens' right to privacy and managing to piss off over half the internet population by messing with their porn.

It's hardly unwittingly.. how do you think the Tories get their funding? All of the above ..

Re:Summed up in verse (3, Funny)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#44293967)

I'm planning on writing to my MP and asking him for permission to watch porn, and how to go about doing so.

GCHQ doesn't want to log your porn (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#44293103)

I know why they want these filters. GCHQ is getting flooded with porn. The filters are for the good of the country boys. Dog save the Queen.

Re:Summed up in verse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293107)

7h3r3 0nc3 W@$ @ M@n fR0M N@n7UcK37
who53 DïcK w@5 50 l0ng he C0uLd suck i7.
anD h3 $@id wi7h a grin
@$ h3 WIP3D 0fF hi$ CHin,
if My e@R W3r3 @ CUn7, I W0uLD fu(K It.

Finding their way around them... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44292883)

That brings back memories. 14 or 15 years ago, when I was still living in the dial up age, my father decided to implement a 1 hour/day limit on my Internet access (AOL parental controls, I believe.) he worked until the evening so I could do whatever I wanted without supervision for the 4 or 5 hours between the end of school and him returning home. One of the very first things I did was search for a free dial up ISP that displayed ads, and I found one! All was great for a month or so until the phone bill for $900 came in... Turned out it was dialing some ISP in the Ukraine... Oops!

Re:Finding their way around them... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293153)

In the US, NetZero (and others) offered free dialup with local numbers to most metro areas and dropped that to a max of 40hrs/mo somewhere around 2001 iirc. They had high budget, national Radio/TV campaigns that were pretty hard to miss. But their service was still "local long distance" if you lived in Bumfuck, USA (outside of the Areacode of a metro area with local numbers). So even without dialing the Ukraine you could have managed an impressive bill out in hillbillyland.

Re:Finding their way around them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293201)

My parents put one of those codes on the cable box so I couldn't watch porn. But it was 0000. Later they changed it to some birthday, At some point they told me the code and I pretended I'd never known. It turned out they didn't give a shit if I watched it. They just didn't want the help watching it. My dad bought porn dvds and said I could watch them. I said no thanks. But I still watched them. They sucked.

Re:Finding their way around them... (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44293383)

Porn is a very personal thing. Another man's porn is rarely appealing.

Re:Finding their way around them... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293385)

It's true, all the good pre-internet porn was on VHS. Ahhh, Tracy Lords seemed so sexy when I was 15 and I didn't even know why...

Re: Finding their way around them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294353)

VHS? I once watched porn on Super 8 on a Bell and Howell projector.

Re:Finding their way around them... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44293781)

So here's the lesson: Parents, if you want to filter your kids, make sure you do it with some brains instead of having some company do it for you, or it might get really expensive.

Alternatively, you just might want to
1) Impose sensible rules your kids can understand provided they're smart (seriously, what's the sense of a pointless 1 hour a day limit?)
2) Inform your kids of the consequences of trespassing
3) Let your kids decide whether the consequences are worth the crime

Ya know, like they do in the real world. I'd prefer kids being prepared to the current reality rather than the wet dream of our surveillance overlords.

Give them an inch... (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44292899)

This is what you got when a nation-wide filtering system is created in the first place. Not satisfied with merely blocking the pedo-porn they went after the pirates and now they want to go after everything not whitelisted. It only gets worse from here guys, kill the national filter system dead before it grows, kill it before it grows.

Re:Give them an inch... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44292935)

I'm not sure if you've noticed but the UK is doomed. The right to free speech is so nebulous there it's getting to the point of being a kind of joke. The lack of free and open speech isn't even the scary part... the seeming total lack of concern of the public is the nail in that coffin. The next step will be when the act of turning this filter off will be used as evidence in court against a person. Look, they're a bad person, they turned their filter off!

Re:Give them an inch... (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#44292957)

Technically most of the Europe has not so much "free speech" as "privileged speech". I.e. most of the speech cannot be banned unless it meets very certain criteria (nazi propaganda for example). In some countries it works quite well. In some, not so much.

But arguing that it's a "joke", you may wish to compare UK right to free speech to one in USSR or DPRK for example. It most certainly is NOT a joke.

Re:Give them an inch... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44293049)

There is only one country on the whole planet that has freedom of speech codified into law. It is being poorly interpreted and enforced, but that's beside the point.

Re:Give them an inch... (4, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#44293175)

The point being that it's the same country that's wiretapping the rest of the planet?

Re: Give them an inch... (5, Funny)

ian_billyboy_morris (219947) | about a year ago | (#44293335)

It's because America loves free speech so much, they want to hear every word of free speech in the entire world. America F *ck Yea!

Re:Give them an inch... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44293393)

Actually a few oppressive dictatorships have some form of protection for free speech. Like North Korea. The government just ignores their own constitution to an extent the US government can only look upon with envy.

Re:Give them an inch... (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#44293411)

But that country long ago established that their constitution was a "living document" that could be "reinterpreted" to mean things fairly close to the opposite of what was written. Otherwise, rich folk there would own their own personal fission munitions, with Fighter Jets, and Tanks to deploy them.

Re:Give them an inch... (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44293791)

Oh there IS freedom of speech in all of Europe!

There may not be much freedom after the speech, though.

Re:Give them an inch... (1)

geirlk (171706) | about a year ago | (#44294375)

Wikipedia says you are perpetrating a myth.

There are a lot of countries that has freedom of speech codified into law. Now, what's interesting isn't the laws in themselves, but rather the exceptions from it.

Re:Give them an inch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294567)

/me looks into Danish constitution.

"Yep, free speech, right there".

So, you've just claimed that e.g. the USA doesn't have freedom of speech codified into law. Which I might agree with, of course, since their constitution appears to be not so much a law anymore, and more like an artifact in a museum.

Re:Give them an inch... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44292983)

White list is the great fear. If the internet, or at least encrypted traffic, operates on a white listed basis, its over. That is the only way for "them" to control the internet, its where this is heading, and when we get there, the freedom is over.

Re:Give them an inch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293063)

First they came for the pedophiles and I said nothing because I was not attracted to children. Wait, I don't think that's going to work on this one

Re:Give them an inch... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44293807)

Isn't it an odd feeling when siding with some of the most horrible criminals feels less awful than siding with the law?

Re:Give them an inch... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#44293233)

Give them an inch...

All right, what's all this then!? An "inch?"
That is quite clearly a violation of the Metrification of Public Exclamations Act, and likely the EU Common Exclamation standard as well! Give some people a centimeter and they'll take a kilometer. Right, we'll see about that!

Re:Give them an inch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293459)

I'd like to reply substantively to your comment, but unfortunately, the chilling effect of there being a filter and knowing that it will inevitably be expanded despite any promises, but not knowing where or when, prevents me from doing so.

I suppose actions will have to speak louder than words.

Re:Give them an inch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293533)

This is what you got when a nation-wide filtering system is created in the first place. Not satisfied with merely blocking the pedo-porn they went after the pirates and now they want to go after everything not whitelisted. It only gets worse from here guys, kill the national filter system dead before it grows, kill it before it grows.

Hell, they want to go after the term "active choice" and replace it with "default-on", even though they're the same thing.

Fuck censorship.

How about plugging the leak and the leakers? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#44292943)

(of course, elventy million would nuke my karma to a crisp, but doing as the topic says would end the damage to various citizens caused by these leaks)

Re:How about plugging the leak and the leakers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44292989)

the only think leaking here is your runny-nose. Have a Lemsip(TradeMark), they work better without the yankee-doodle-du-qu nanocrystalline circuitry. Go blow your nose, away with you!

Re:How about plugging the leak and the leakers? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#44293179)

but doing as the topic says would end the damage to various citizens caused by these leaks

If by "end" you mean "hide", then yes.

Not worth the risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44292961)

Like our crazy spying program here in the US, this could be used for much worse things secretly by other administrations in the future.

Having a system put in place that can do real-time packet inspection and traffic editing should simply be illegal for ISPs, not required. I'd also favor banning traffic logging and non realtime inspection.

"Default on"==protection? Who are they kidding? (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44293001)

Let me guess: all good and dandy until some parents will sue the ISP for "having their kids accidentally exposed by a hole the filter" (as in "letting the kid find a way to bypass the filter and try get some money from the ISP").
Then the idea of "default-on filter" will be busted for good (or, alternatively, the Internet as seen by UK will look like a puny list of white listed sites, all the others censored).

Re:"Default on"==protection? Who are they kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293013)

Pls don't give them any ideas.

Re:"Default on"==protection? Who are they kidding? (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44293825)

Please do.

We cannot fight that. Not enough push behind it, aside of the 0.0001% of the population who actually gets what's at stake doesn't really matter in elections at all.

But if ISPs are scared shitless that they are facing a LOT of lawsuits because they KNOW that it is virtually impossible to impose such filtering without fail, at least not at sensible cost, they will put up as much resistance against it as they could possibly muster, knowing that it's either felling that law or closing shop.

We need someone who actually can push against it. Us trying to do it alone is akin to trying to stop the tsunami with a broom.

Re:"Default on"==protection? Who are they kidding? (1)

auric_dude (610172) | about a year ago | (#44293751)

Re:"Default on"==protection? Who are they kidding? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44293939)

And why not? After all, if the politicians are dumb enough to believe "the laws offer protection"^^, why is the population to be the one to suffer? Push the issue to ISPes and let them sort out with the govt!

^^ a little bit more and the brainf****s that rule us may get the idea of repealing the law of gravitational attraction. ;)
How would you like one morning to find yourself helplessly floating into the interstellar void?
Or, more likely, face a conviction if you "refuse" to? :)

UK, welcome your newest citizen (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44293137)

The country that wants to block porn by default?

Sounds like a dream country for this guy! [slashdot.org]

Nigger Justice USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293161)

Zimmerman is acquitted. Then Obama politizes the ruling and orders Holder to act. What will happen? The Court Judge, Zimmerman, the Jury et al. put on Obama Disposition Matrix? Death by Drone? And then the black riots happened.

Snowden. Alerted the citizens of the USA, UN, Europe, Asia and South American of the NSA's espionage - blackmail bulwark schemes for terrorization.
Obama then orders his citizenship revoked with his passport, and criminalizes him as a Enemy of the State. Then hardly a whimper form 'America.'

If Snowden were a Nigger, Obama would have offered him safe passage to Kenya, and Eric Holder would have awarded him $1,000,000 from the 'residuals' of the Fast and Furious program.

Way to Go Obama and Holder.

Blacklist corruption (4, Insightful)

godel_56 (1287256) | about a year ago | (#44293181)

It'll start out banning porn, or so they'll claim, but pretty soon things like Wikileaks will be included on the blacklist with the general public never noticing.

Parents need to be the filter... (4, Insightful)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#44293185)

No automatic filter works better than actual parenting...

Re:Parents need to be the filter... (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about a year ago | (#44293495)

That somewhat depends on the parent.

Re:Parents need to be the filter... (1)

tonywestonuk (261622) | about a year ago | (#44293561)

Yes, you're absolutely right. Going to take back that laptop from my son, give him a load of books to read, and make sure he only uses the computer in our presence.

Keep him away from the wider Internet, its BAAAHHHHHDD. Monitor EVERYTHING he does, make sure he only frequents websites I have personally vetted, and woe betide should he even look at doing a google search for himself.....

I'm sure he'll grow up being a rounded individual and will thank me in years to come. Crewel to be kind.

Re:Parents need to be the filter... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44293857)

Depending on his age, you might just try putting up rules, telling him what's in store for him if he breaks them and then find out whether he's mature enough to know what to do.

You might find out that he is.

Re:Parents need to be the filter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294015)

I'd be more worried if he wasn't looking at porn

Re:Parents need to be the filter... (2)

tonywestonuk (261622) | about a year ago | (#44294421)

"Depending on his age, you might just try putting up rules"....

He is 8. We have a porn filter. I keep an eye on what in general he's looking at.....usually its just minecraft plugins, and youtube. But, really, he's free to explore the web himself, without us having to be there to be net-nanny all the time. He's learning about the internet....what to click on, and what not to click on (which results in a BLOCKED message). .exe file viruses that he happens to download, are not runnable (its a mac), but I make a point of telling him what they are, and to be wary.

I see him becoming more net-aware as time goes on. At some point, im sure he's going to want to find out what is behind the great internet filter, and will probably develop the technical skills to do so. I am there for if he wants to discuss anything he stumbles upon.

I believe that parenting is about letting your kids find out on their own... and, to be there if they fall, or need advice. Porn filters have a place in this, because, Really, I don't want him seeing that kind of stuff before at least he hits puberty. Overly protective parenting is far worse.

Re:Parents need to be the filter... (2)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44294561)

He's probably already seen it.

All it takes is one kid at school to have unfiltered access at home, to have an unfiltered mobile phone, to find a page 3 lying around and by the end of the next day every kid in school will have seen it.

When I was a kid we used to go and dick around at a building site sometimes for new homes, the builders always left a ton of porn just lying around though I'm not sure if we were more interested in that or the big fuck off tools and sharp things that you could throw like a ninja and watch them stick into the breeze block walls.

It's not like I even had a deprived childhood or anything, my parents and friends were of all wealth backgrounds and we all did that sort of thing and this was before the web was even a thing. By the time I was 14 the web was an actual thing and we had access at school, it was filtered but it didn't matter because once one of the 16 year old kids brought in some hot Sandra Bullock pictures amongst others on a floppy disk it was all around the network hidden in the depths of Windows system folders and so forth, usually alongside a copy of Doom that we played multiplayer at lunchtime when the teachers buggered off for their lunch. We all knew where to find it all even if the teachers and admins never did.

It's even easier for a kid to find and stumble across it now, have no illusions, even if they haven't already they will long before you think they will.

Parliamentary reacharound (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293277)

So, he's trying to get the ISP's on board to a law before he's state what the law is, or before Parliament has discussed it.

WTF. Seriously is that how bad its getting in the UK?

They didn't leak the letter, it never had a right to be kept secret, it's a Parliamentary reach around, he doesn't have the power to make secret laws.

Beyond obscene (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#44293313)

When the government filters only that which the government approves of is unfiltered. Intelligent and responsible parents can decide for themselves what is and what is not appropriate for their children to view.

Not exactly great politics (1)

NitWit005 (1717412) | about a year ago | (#44293339)

You need someone's cooperation, so you send a letter demanding they do a bunch of things you know they object to on short notice and then demand money at the same time? Good luck with that.

A truly evil idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293389)

Recently you had a sickening example of eugenics in the USA, where prisons in one State were sterilising women prisoners against the law. Filthy, filthy shills, like the sort that cheered the 'aquittal' of Zimmerman-the-Lyncher, said "what's the problem, the prisoners gave their 'consent'". Of course, as a prisoner in a US prison you never really consent to anything. Say 'no' and that means a beating, or refusal on your next parole hearing, or being singled out for rape in the guise of enhanced body searches, or any one of a thousand other ways the US government uses abuse against those it incarcerates.

The so-called 'optional' Internet filter proposed for the UK works in the same way. The mass murdering war-mongers known as the 'coalition' want an 'on by default' filter so that in most family households, it is 'politically' impossible for any given adult to dare to argue for switching the filter off. If there are kids, the pressure is obvious. Even if there is just a couple, the calculation is that the woman will be jealous of the 'real' reason the man wants unfiltered Internet access, causing the filter to stay on.

Indeed, the coalition already has soft campaigns planned by the BBC and tabloid newspapers in the UK saying "only dangerous perverts and extremists want the Internet filter switched off". After a few years at most, the politicians assume they can use this ploy to make the filter mandatory all the time. "Do you really want your neighbour accessing this filth?"

It is a standard 'slippery slope' play of the type we already see being rolled out in brain-dead authoritarian regimes like that of Australia. However, the UK is not Canada or Australia, and even the scum that supports/serves those that rule in this country do not like the idea of widespread state censorship. The Internet filter concept currently only enjoys the support of old women- a significant political force but almost certainly not powerful enough.

However, the UK is constantly on the verge of taking the leap, and becoming a type of police-state unlike any previously seen in earth's history. Tony Blair's Academy School movement is creating new generations of very dumbed down Britons who have been trained to accept the same conditions found within conventional prisons - the Academy Schools being modelled in significant ways on the so-called Super-Max prisons within the USA. SuperMax prisons attempt to psychologically control their prisoners at all time, and break them by doing so. The Academy Schools attempt the same process, intending to produce young sheeple that positively crave the most extreme forms of police-state policies.

In reality, most people come out of Blair's Academy system hating authority all the more. A handful of pupils, identified and recruited by Blair's Common Purpose organisation, positively revel in the authoritarian ideas, and become Blair's new enforcers in all important control positions in society. The sheeple may not be turned, but Blair continues building an ever growing thug base to control the sheeple.

An example is how Blair has just raised the 'leaving age' for schooling to 18 (17 this year, 18 2 years hence). No one, and I mean no-one wanted this change, but the sheeple simply sat on their hands and did nothing to oppose the idea. Blair initially proposed sending 17 and 18 year-olds to prison when they decided to 'drop out' but wasn't powerfully enough at the time to get this draconian measure accepted. Instead, Blair is going to fine them and their parents (a massive percentage of whom will be single parents). For a period, chaos will reign that will make Thatcher's (Blair's hero and his first official visitor when Blair became Prime Minister, even though Blair's predecessor was actually a chump called Major) Poll Tax look like a Summer picnic by comparison.

Blair is engaged in classic 'Problem, Reaction, Solution' manipulation of the sheeple, for when sheeple whose kids refuse to co-operate with Blair's post-16 'education' schemes ask "what can we do, our children are too old to coerce", Blair's people will roll out a new form of 'National Service' that is to be compulsory for all young people. This 'National Service', a 21st century version of conscription, is intended to be then introduced in EU nations, America, Canada, Australia.

Britain is a cauldron for a whole new form of living within traditional Western nations. Those that rule you have no intention to allow things to simply continue as an extension of the 20th century. Blair's Internet 'filter', his intention to introduce 'National Service' for ALL young citizens, Bill Gates' computer database tracking every detail of a child's life, and Bill Gates' NSA spy box in every home, the Xbox One, are no co-incidence or random offences against Humanity. Gates and Blair both belong to organisations that travel the globe, speaking to every person they can in a position of power, saying "the future is going to be nothing like the present, and the people must have change imposed upon them using whatever means necessary". Their puppets like Obama, or the vicious clowns that run the UK's coalition, actually count for nothing. beyond fronting for those that have the real power.

Re: A truly evil idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293463)

While you have some valid points, whaffling on and phrasing them like you're a whacked-out conspiracy nut really don't help your cause.

I mean, "sheeple"? FFS...

Re: A truly evil idea (1)

geirlk (171706) | about a year ago | (#44294461)

Indeed. And in general far more adjectives than is ever needed.

Re: A truly evil idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293503)

Tl:dr

Zimmerman the lyncher?

Best to stick with your local rag with your inane rumblings. I am sure the editor of the Podunk Journal would appreciate the filler that will help ensure more mutters continue to read his tripe and therefor patronize the advertisers' businesses who are the sole reason for his rag's existence.

Re: A truly evil idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293517)

Thanks iPod for mutilating my clever reply!

We only want perfect? (2)

jandersen (462034) | about a year ago | (#44293407)

First it may be illegal under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers. Then there's the fact that no filter is perfect, and finally kids are smart enough to find their way around them.

Of these three points only the first one is of any substance, potentially. The rest is just a re-hash of the old 'we don't want it because it isn't perfect' - ie. just empty rhetorics. Nothing is perfect, we already knew that; the real question is, does it make things better - and how much? And what do we understand by better?

As far as I can see, this scheme essentially means that there will be some filter and you teach people how to turn it off if they want to. That makes a lot of sense to me - many (probably most) people don't want to get into contact with what they see as filth, and they don't want to have to learn something they find difficult. And this scheme doesn't affect the freedom of those who want it - they just have to make a bit more of an effort. What's not to like about it?

Re:We only want perfect? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44293883)

If it is not perfect, it doesn't fulfill any of the proposed functions. The alleged idea is to "keep kids safe from the dangers of the net" (like, say, reality). That only makes sense if you can keep ALL of the things out that you do not want them to see. Else it's like defending your fort only on three of its four sides and considering yourself protected while you're obviously not. Or, for the more sports inclined people of you, it's like putting the defense of your football team on the left side of the field only and considering that a viable form of stopping the attackers.

Defense, and this is a defensive scenario, is ALWAYS only as good as its weakest link. Unless you can make that link strong enough to hold the chain, the whole chain is worthless.

Re:We only want perfect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293951)

I don't think I'd like it very much if my site was filtered. Yeah, a lot of that filtered traffic would be traffic I wouldn't want anyway, but it would also include legitimate traffic, which would affect my bottom line and possibly put me out of business.

There's also the problem of who is guarding the hen house. The less powerful the filter (e.g. by being opt-in instead of opt-out), the less likely it will be used for corrupt purposes.

Re:We only want perfect? (1)

N1AK (864906) | about a year ago | (#44294079)

And this scheme doesn't affect the freedom of those who want it - they just have to make a bit more of an effort. What's not to like about it?

The issue with your argument is that it is based on the idea that somehow it is better to force people who want an unfiltered internet to ask for it rather than let the people who want a censored version of the internet to ask for it. If the process is so easy then surely the current 'ask for censoring' model works fine?

The issue with an opt-out filter is that it forces people to register somewhere that they want access. Regardless of whether I want to access porn, shocking videos, very bad taste jokes or whatever I don't want to have to highlight my desire to do so in order to be able to.

Re:We only want perfect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294271)

Censorship isn't favourable when it presents dubious benefits. Consider that Cleanfeed (the UK's current filter designed to stop people seeing images of child abuse) has been extended to censor things beyond child abuse. Given that this is evidence already that the bounds of a filtering scheme are mutable, why should the government be trusted to roll out a wider net under the same guise?

I appreciate that people are frightened of porn on the internet, but in my experience it doesn't suddenly leap out at you and turn you into a serial masturbator. Porn is available sure, but only if you actually look for it. To avoid coming into contact with filth it's simple enough to not seek it in the first place.

The scheme does affect the freedom of those who don't want it because, as we've seen, it has potential to blacklist their websites from the wider majority (political site categorised, for example - happens with mobile providers). It'll not come free either. My concern is that one of the only places where liberty is gratuitous and freedom is almost boundless is at risk because some people are frightened by the content that can be published there.

Re:We only want perfect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294355)

What's not to like about it?

If it were opt-in, there'd be no complaints from anybody. The circular logic required to think that simply because a minority are incapable of installing a software filter the rest of us should jump through hoops is astounding.

I can route my traffic through several machines located outside the UK and that would be preferable to having myself placed on a "sometimes watches porn" list at the ISP. Lawful activity is of no business to our ISPs, government or any other creep who gets off on forcing their noses into the masturbation habits of strangers. What the wanking-fuck is wrong with these freaks that they want an opt-out filter?

Re:We only want perfect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294413)

People are often frightened by things they don't understand. A coping mechanism for technology is to use malleable analogies to meatspace to tease out a bit of understanding. Unfortunately, that means the potential of being able to get porn without any checks on the internet isn't consistent with the physical world. In the physical world, the policing of age restrictions is out of the hands of the parent; the law "protects" their children from it. Their reason is probably that this protection should extend to the internet.

However, as we've seen, the flawed analogy and insufficient understanding results in people asking for legislation they can't even understand. Given it's a "think of the children" issue the government is hard-pressed to satisfy the confused masses. There's a reason the Prime Minister spends some of his time on This Morning and talking to the people on Mumsnet - there are a lot of voters in their (view|reader)ships.

Re:We only want perfect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294523)

None of which adequately explains why any such filter could possibly be opt-out. Your "meatspace" argument cuts both ways. We never had to sign up to a database to buy a magazine from a shop. And there's a huge number of parents who'll simply opt-out, so a filter like this would be ineffective at it's stated goal.

This is nothing but the realization of a strange and creepy fetish by individuals unfortunate enough to have been depraved and corrupted by social conservatism.

Maybe a good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293473)

You know, this could actually be a good thing. With dicks like the NSA trying to spy on everyone, giving kids a reason to - and making it very normal to - learn things like TOR could be a really positive step.

Political Gain vs Will of the people - Oversight!! (1)

Tim12s (209786) | about a year ago | (#44293551)

Guys, this is going to happen - Its all about oversight now.

Just legislate and make the filtering rules public knowledge and publicly available through a request for information.

Have any sensitive information publicly accessible and have a yearly forum to challenge the shyte.

Are the oversight controls in control of the people or are they in control of the select few for political gain?

Have a xfunctional technocratic team of 8 people from law, teaching, medical, engineering and 4 artists head up the oversight committee.

Done.

Re:Political Gain vs Will of the people - Oversigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293957)

Prediction: It will all be down by private corporations and their filters will be 'protected private commercial property', so politicos and corps can bounce problems between them until complainants get tiered and go away.

I notice those three things... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293585)

I notice those three things don't include obvious problems like treating every adult like a child by default, regardless of whether there are children in the house, having to prove again you're grownup (yet you were allowed to enter into a contract for service in the first place!), the problems with that proving next to the problems with actually filtering, and, you know, the whole thing being censorship and so putting the UK even more obviously on par with China.

Even more? Yes, the UK already have an overzealous filter, "voluntarily" implemented by every ISP and blacklists provided by the "internet watch foundation". That one is only for shuffling kiddie pr0n under the carpet, which apparently is expected to make actual harm to children go away too. Likewise, here. Can't see it? Must not exist then, guv.

And the problems with that "prove their age/identity" thing? Apart from the obvious technical problems there's the "oh yes do log in to the internet under your real name please". Wider consequences left as an exercise.

As a hint, consider that the IWF filter was promised to never ever be expanded, only ever used for hiding child porn, honest honest fingers crossed, yet has been used as proof that this ought to be feasible too. No expansion ever? Right, and politicians are honest people, the lot of them.

Re:I notice those three things... (1)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year ago | (#44294179)

Even more? Yes, the UK already have an overzealous filter, "voluntarily" implemented by every ISP and blacklists provided by the "internet watch foundation".

No, not every ISP. Look around you.

AAISP is one I know that doesn't. IDNet says they 'monitor' the list but do not implement it.

No sex please, we're British! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293723)

I'm still with the concensus that the UK would make sex illegal if they could.

And everyone has to reproduce via Artificial Insemination.

Re:No sex please, we're British! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44293785)

If the suggestion is not to have sex with British women, I'll have to agree.

Re:No sex please, we're British! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44293891)

With some British politicians, I cannot help but say it's too late. Their parents would have needed it.

The tone of the letter is interesting... (3, Informative)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#44293851)

In fact, it's quite an interesting read, and an insight into 'modern' politico thinking...

Behind the politeness...
"ask for some specific"
" I would be grateful if you could consider this request as a matter of urgency

They're actually 'asking' (i.e. trying to direct) the ISPs specific actions...

"Will the other three ISPs consider making a commitment to adopting this approach [experimental browser intercept] - even before it has been trialled"

Who in their right mind would commit to that? What if it totally bombs; they're still going to implement it?

"The prime minister expects customers to be required to prove their age/identity before any changes to the filters are made"

Why? Is he an internet security expert now?

"The prime minister would like to be able to announce a collective financial commitment from industry to fund this campaign."

Yeah, I bet he would. "Look voters, I screwed some of your cash out of your ISPs in the name of the children!"

"The prime minister believes that there is much more that we can all do to improve how we communicate the current position on parental internet controls and that there is a need for a simplified message to reassure parents and the public more generally. Without changing what you will be offering (ie active-choice +), the prime minister would like to be able to refer to your solutions are "default-on" as people will have to make a choice not to have the filters (by unticking the box). "

Pure spin. The whole thing reeks of micromanagement and backroom arm-twisting.
Plus of course, if the entire thing goes wrong, the Gov gets to blame the ISPs!

So set up a TLD for kids.uk already! (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44293879)

So set up a TLD for kids.uk already!

Then set up a registrar that instead of putting domains in .uk, put them in .kids.uk, and be done with it.

Force all "kid safe" browsers to ALWAYS appeand .kids.uk, and police the subdelegation registrar.

Damn problem solved already, with dumbass legislation that mandates industry to develop technology that it's impossible to make foolproof -- and which most technologists capable of implementing it, think is a stupid idea that shouldn't be implemented in the first place (like DRM, which is why DRM is never implemented in a foolproof way).

Jewish censorship (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294071)

As usual. The Jews can't allow their 'goyim' (cattle) to find out that they are actually ruled over by Jews, and have no say about it, or they might rebel!
Your Congress is completely owned by 'precious' Israel, do you actually think you live in a democracy? Can anybody here seriously claim that Jews haven't taken over almost every white country on Earth?

It is not about porn (4, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#44294083)

To make it clear, anyone who believes this filter will stop at porn or to protect children is on cloud 7.
This push is not about that. It is to apply a filter to content that the government can not control. The filter is here the goal. And any means is just to get popular opinion to support it.

Once this filter is in place the scope will increase incrementally, with every new legislation round. Copyright holders will push to include sites like ThePirateBay, never mind TPB is listing a lot of legal torrents; it will include radio streams that somehow slipped paying the PPL;

Later of course the filter will include "terrorists sites". And more later any critics and articles on the government politics and programs, that are deemed crucial "national security", like the Snowden leaks.

The press like the Guardian have rights like freedom of the press. But the Internet does not have any rights. There is no right to Twitter or to Blog.

Govnt policies on the internet are going one way. (1)

Roffe Davidsson (2858241) | about a year ago | (#44294125)

China has definitely become the role model with regards to internet policies.

Claire Perry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44294315)

She is the one that caused this, that arrogant ignorant fuck is the one that wants everyone else to take care of her family for her so she can continue being an obnoxious moron to everyone else.

How the hell she got in to government is beyond me. Her position there is about as explanatory as Lydia Winters in Mojang.
There needs to be a minimum IQ and knowledge test before people get in to government. She would fail it hard.
Surely even conservatives are annoyed at her stupidity?

Complain, complain your ass off. Every MP, every petition site, just complain like hell.
Get her kicked out of government for being a complete moron. She is telling ISPs to straight up LIE to people now.

I remember I thought she was just being overly paranoid at things.
"oh no, that big bad internet, gotta lock it down for everyone!"
Then I saw her in an interview on TV. Holy shit.
She really is terrible. She is ignorant, argumentative, forceful and generally just seriously annoying.
Take care of your own damn family and get internet filters for your PC.
Don't like that? How about you sit the hell down and talk to your children for once and explain things?
Don't like that? How about you UNEXIST and stop bothering us with your mistakes!

Quelle Surprise (5, Informative)

Oxygen99 (634999) | about a year ago | (#44294445)

Of course they're at war. This is one of the most incompetent and scientifically illiterate governments in living memory. It's packed full of lunatic ideologues like Ian Duncan Smith and Teresa May who sideline professional academic advice time and time again in favour of their own prejudices [guardian.co.uk] stupidity [independent.co.uk] and ignorance [britisheco...ociety.org] . I just wish their misguided [guardian.co.uk] , harmful [bmj.com] and plain unworkable [huffingtonpost.co.uk] policies wouldn't wreck this countries social and political fabric for generations to come. It would be funny if the human cost wasn't so high

And you know what? In spite of this, the main opposition is still unable to differentiate itself as a better alternative than this shower of charlatans [newstatesman.com] , bigots [newstatesman.com] and liars [channel4.com] .

I despair at this country. I really do.
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