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PM to consider porn blocking plans

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By Nicole Kobie

Posted on 4 May 2012 at 09:10

The Prime Minister is expected to announce formal plans to look into network-level filtering of pornography from the web, as the MP leading the charge said blocking sites wasn't censorship.

A Downing Street source told The Times that David Cameron will announce a consultation into existing laws regarding internet porn, including whether consumers should be forced to "opt in" with their ISPs to receive adult content.

"Nothing is ruled in or out at the moment," the source told the paper. "We will look at all the options."

There is a 'hands off our internet' movement that sees any change in how access is delivered as censorship

The campaign to block adult content from the web and require customers to "opt in" to receive it has been led by MP Claire Perry - and backed by The Daily Mail. It initially met with little support from the Prime Minister, and has been criticised by digital rights groups and industry bodies.

"I'm not zealous about this - I just want the facts," Perry told the newspaper. "If we can see that the idea of an 'opt-in' system is technologically difficult or bad for the economy, then fine. But the problem with the debate is we need to know the facts." Perry last month released a report from an inquiry she led into the issue, calling Sun columnist Dear Deidre as the first expert witness.

She suggested that blocking websites didn't amount to censorship. "There is a 'hands off our internet' movement that sees any change in how access is delivered as censorship," she said. "We are not being prudish, but we just think the current method of blocking that material is broken."

Perry previously told PC Pro and its readers to "get a grip" over web censorship fears.

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User comments

No wonder the country is a mess

Anyone with any sense - which wouldn't include Claire Perry - knows the vast majority of Dear Deidre letters (if not all) are made up. Yet her "expertise" is going to influence a vital piece of legislation???
Alarming doesn't begin to cover it

By taffia77 on 4 May 2012

"We are not being prudish, but we just think the current method of blocking that material is broken."

Just like their idea.

Seriously, I have used filters like their proposal before and they have their problems.

If they do implement it the first thing I'll do is disable it to save me future hassle.

Also, I wonder how long before its used for something else (maybe something that can't be disabled)?

By tech3475 on 4 May 2012

Publish your list

You should put your list of ten sites out in public, to allow people to work out how they would handle them. Once the newspapers get included, the problems will be clearer.

By MJ2010 on 4 May 2012

Why is it all porn, porn, porn?

Why is the emphasis always on porn and not on tackling organised crime and malware? This should be the government's focus.

Windows 8 contains an excellent web-filtering tool which, oddly, I'm writing about today in my "Windows 8: Out of the Box" book.

By Mike_Halsey on 4 May 2012

Why is it all porn, porn, porn?

Why is the emphasis always on porn and not on tackling organised crime and malware? This should be the government's focus.

Windows 8 contains an excellent web-filtering tool which, oddly, I'm writing about today in my "Windows 8: Out of the Box" book.

By Mike_Halsey on 4 May 2012

Every...

PC, Windows, OS X or Linux has built in parental controls, which allows for this sort of filtering. It just needs a couple of clicks.

Why do they need to put in an ISP level filter to do what every parent can already do themselves? Nanny State!

I'm glad that I'm an expat!

By big_D on 4 May 2012

Whether it is censorship or not, it is totally pointless. Any block can be bypassed for free very easily.

Plus anyone who relies of low lives such as the Daily Mail for support is obviously wrong by definition.

By omnisvalidus on 4 May 2012

Isn't it time she 'got the facts' before she started any of this big brother stuff.
It is the parents responsibility to monitor what their children see and watch. And the majority should not be penalized for the minority that don't do their controls.

By curiousclive on 4 May 2012

As for 'Opt In' that is already ther as some one has to actually click to go to these sites thus 'opting in'. Also there are many parental control filters and programs to limit what sites children can visit. If parents choose not to use these they are 'opting out' so have choice already. We don't need a nanny state to do this for us as we can do it ourselves if we wish.

By curiousclive on 4 May 2012

So TPB blockage was just a test

The real extent of this will be felt in months to come. I do not care about porn at all but I bet the filter system will be in place for many more website. We cannot call it the big firewall of china but is starting to be very similar.

By sayl1000 on 4 May 2012

Pathetic but funny mountain out of a mole hill

@Mike_Halsey - As to why she is on a mission, I reckon she caught hubby 'getting a grip' and saw red.
_______________

TalkTalk already have a system in place called Homesafe. You have to opt in to that and it supposedly filters out such content. This is the way to go, not opting in to view porn which is quite honestly laughable. Can imagine it now: Read the terms and conditions, then click here to carry on 'getting a grip'

By mr_chips on 4 May 2012

First they take away your right to work, then they take away your right to wank.

By goodguysinc on 4 May 2012

"blocking websites didn't amount to censorship"

From http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/censor

"censor

Pronunciation: /ˈsɛnsə/
noun

1an official who examines books, films, news, etc. that are about to be published and suppresses any parts that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security: the report was approved by the military censors the movie has been given an adults-only rating by film censors
Psychoanalysis an aspect of the superego which is said to prevent certain ideas and memories from emerging into consciousness.
[from a mistranslation of German Zensur 'censorship', coined by Freud]

2(in ancient Rome) either of two magistrates who held censuses and supervised public morals.

verb
[with object]

examine (a book, film, etc.) officially and suppress unacceptable parts of it: the report had been censored ‘in the national interest’ the letters she received were censored"

Clear she doesn't understand how the internet works - seems she doesn't understand how a dictionary works, either

By greemble on 4 May 2012

This won't save him...

Cameron is merely looking for a lifeline as his party got whacked in the Local Elections.

The right whinge nutter elements of the party want ACTION and, let's face it 'blocking' 'porn' is sure to go down well in Daily Mail land.

What is required (politically) is lots of sound and fury. As they say in all the best skin creme[sic] adverts the 'appearance' of doing something constructive.....

By wittgenfrog on 4 May 2012

Most mobile phones block adult content unless you choose to 'opt in', so why is there such an outraged reaction to doing the same via broadband?

Perhaps people could stop shouting "censorship!" just long enough for some common sense to prevail. Do we really want children watching porn? Are we not going to put the same sensible safeguards in place that currently stand for magazines, movies, DVDs and games? Just because these other safeguards can be circumvented doesn't mean we just stop using them altogether.

By Stiggy on 4 May 2012

Stiggy: In general, to find porn online (or anywhere really) you have to be looking for it. Since the average small child has likely never even heard of porn, they will almost certainly not come across it (unless a parent left it up on the screen, but thats just bad parenting). Generally the only people likely to have heard of porn (and thus search for it) would be at least in their teens, and at some point most teens will see porn at least a few times, and its not a big deal normally. So really this isn't "protecting" anyone from pornography that isn't already old enough to be seeing it.

By brickmack on 5 May 2012

Parental Control...

If you are looking for full parental control that monitors & controls everything kids do online (including Facebook) , as well as blocks inappropriate websites, and does linguistic analysis to watch out for dangerous behavior -
such as internet predators or cyberbullys -
check out McGruff SafeGuard's Parental Control system:
http://www.GoMcgruff.com

McGruff "Take A Bite Out of Crime" is known in the USA for family safety since 1979.

For FREE iPad/iPhone parental control, check out http://www.GoMcGruff.com/browser

By marty9999 on 5 May 2012

Information

about the crack squad of politicians (and for whom they work):
http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/05/05/the-religi
ous-fanatics-behind-tory-plans-to-block-porn/

By dubiou on 5 May 2012

@dubiou

There are documented links between self-styled 'religious' people (whom I would call zealots) of all persuasions.

For example, LIFE the extremist anti-abortion charity has shared a platform with sponsors of Hisb ut Tahria in Tower Hamlets trying to stir up parents about Sex Education.

The fact is that far-right authoritarian politics goes hand in glove with extremist 'fundamentist' views in all the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam). Iran is perhaps the best exemplar, but there are powerful forces at work in many societies, like USA and Israel, and now the UK.

By wittgenfrog on 7 May 2012

So, you're more concerned that right wing Christian fundamentalists may be conspiring with the government than the fact that young children have access to pornography?

What interesting values we have in 2012...

By Stiggy on 7 May 2012

@Stiggy

"Young children" only have access to pornography if you let them. That's part of parental responsibility, not government policy.

I'd be more concerned with children being given camera phones, and where encouraged by the wrong person, will make their own porn. No internet required.

Knee jerk blanket censorship of the internet won't solve anything, just perpetuate the misdirection and moral outrage that certain MP's wish to milk for votes.

By cheysuli on 7 May 2012

More Sinister ISP's

I have just learned from my ISP that part of the contract they hold me to allows then to track me for surveillance purposes to aid their services to me and see what they can entice me with.

If they are checking up on children's tendencies in this same way.... surely that is horrific...?

By lenmontieth on 8 May 2012

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