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MP tells PC Pro to "get a grip" over web censorship fears

Claire Perry

By Barry Collins

Posted on 3 May 2012 at 07:47

Claire Perry MP has told PC Pro to "get a grip" after we challenged her to explain exactly what type of adult content she wanted British ISPs to block.

Perry is the chair of the Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection, which last month urged the Government to consider forcing British ISPs to block adult content by default.

oh dear, I think you are missing the point. Sigh. What would a current device level filter block? Thats the test. Get a grip chaps

Earlier this week, PC Pro contacted the MP for Devizes on Twitter, asking her to define exactly what type of content she would like to see blocked.

Our tweet read: "Challenge to Claire Perry MP (@Claire4Devizes): we'll send you 10 website links, you tell us whether ISPs should block them or not, and why."

Last night, Perry replied: "oh dear, I think you are missing the point. Sigh. What would a current device level filter block? Thats [sic] the test. Get a grip chaps."

Perry's comments were met with anger by several PC Pro followers. "Those who object to state censorship of the internet need to 'get a grip'?" wrote @DisclosureBlog.

"A current device level filter would block what individuals would deem appropriate. Not the government," commented DrW_Qass.

"Twice in last 4 mths Vodafone hv blocked access to Political Betting blog. Why shd I a 37 yr old hv to put up w this?" added @MarkReckons.

Earlier this week in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Perry claimed that the internet should be regulated in a similar manner to television and other forms of media.

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User comments


Please you you stop emphasizing that she's the 'MP for Devizes'. It's my hometown and I do not want it to be associated with her ignorant and idiotic rantings any more than necessary!

By evermore on 3 May 2012

I need to know, was that her full response or have you edited it in any way?

The reason I ask is because she is a very dangerous woman if her idea gets anywhere near to becoming law If that's what she genuinely said.

Ttrying to avoid answering a very simple question also shows that "oh dear, I think she's missing the point. Sigh".

There are far better and safer alternatives to her plan which will cause less hassle and make our children safer.

For example, say I wanted to access a site not suitable for children but otherwise fine and bloked by the filter (eg. Redvsblue a comedy web series but has swearing), I would have to Disable the whole filter to watch this (without eg. Paying for a VPN) rather than a device or router firewall level filter.

And then there's the fact that children could find ways around the filter with parents probably becoming too reliant on it.

By tech3475 on 3 May 2012

So she has just confirmed he cluelessness

The 'get a grip' comment is just ignorant waffle designed to cover up the fact that she hasn't the first idea about that upon which she is pontificating.

By qpw3141 on 3 May 2012


there is only so far her response of dismissing out of hand any opposition as irrelevant bluster, and then repeating the mantra "we must save the children and you support pedophiles if you disagree" can take her. Surely at some stage the average person comes alive to the fact that she is just trying to win votes from Daily Mail reactionaries?

By revsorg on 3 May 2012

bumpity bump bump

By qpw3141 on 3 May 2012

stating the obvious

Is getting a grip not exactly the opposite of what Claire Perry wants?

By lostonwaytoplot on 3 May 2012

"Surely at some stage the average person comes alive to the fact that she is just trying to win votes from Daily Mail reactionaries?"

Never put your trust in the average person. They don't care. The average person doesn't want to think. They want everything to be simple.

By Grunthos on 3 May 2012

Air Head Rules

A fit person to be an MP?

By JayGeEm on 3 May 2012

Surely some controls are appropriate

Ignoring, for a moment, that most MPs don't have a clue about how the internet works, some mandatory protection for children would seem appropriate. We regulate cinemas, sex-shops and strip joints so why should we not regulate porn to at least the extent of validation that access is from an adult?
I suspect most peoples fears are around the technology to implement this would imply some level of snooping or traffic management which could be misused.

By milliganp on 3 May 2012

Yes, get a grip..

PC Pro, this is not your area of expertise. Leave it with the *real* interweb experts, like Ms Perry.

By Mr_Flynn on 3 May 2012

Typical politican response

It's a standard response by someone who knows they'll lose an argument: Attack the arguer, not the argument.

By ElectricPics on 3 May 2012

UK your in my prayers!

First Pirate Bay? Now Porn? What is going on within our governments? First they put video camera's up everywhere to watch you. Now they are dictating which websites you are allowed to view. England and the US may have beaten Fascism back in 45', but it looks alive and well today. Looks like we maybe next if Washington keeps entertaining similar bills through secretive dead of night votes. Pretty soon we will no longer have to fear China...we are becoming just like it!

By PhiDelt545 on 3 May 2012

Political Censorship

I think politicians are dangerous to us and the world we (try to) live in.

Therefore, I think all ISPs should block politicians from the internet.

By Sercul on 3 May 2012


You can't compare regulating the internet to regulating other things e.g. cinemas, tv, etc.

It's not just fear of it being abused for something else but it's the practicality of such a system.

By tech3475 on 3 May 2012


Oppose some MP's wish to censor the internet with opt-in schemes.

By cheysuli on 3 May 2012

Dodged Facism in 45' Only to Self Impose it in 2012

First, Cameras everywhere, then blocking the piratebay, now blocking porn? What is going on over there? Aren't these people voted in?

I feel for ya, our government is trying to force sensorship upon us as well through SOPA done quietly in backroom deals. We are lucky enough though because our President said he will veto anything that interupts the Internet Neutralilty Laws protected by our Federal Communications Commission. You guys got Claire "Scary" Perry, and we got John "the stain" McCain who gets nuttier as the years and his alzheimer's becomes apparent.

Hope you have the power to vote your wackjobs out before they do anymore damage.

We will be thinking about you.


A Fiend From the States,

By PhiDelt545 on 3 May 2012

what a waste of space Claire Perry is.

Why do we waste our time asking any questions of politicians? We know they will always avoid answering it or blatantly lie.

By curiousclive on 3 May 2012

MP in...

...not answering a bloody simple question, shocker!

The road to hell is paved with good intentions... as it was, thus it will always be.

By fingerbob69 on 3 May 2012


I would STRONGLY recommend you look up the definition of Fascism in an encyclopedia. The British government might be applying some totalitarian mechanisms, but calling it 'fascism' is nothing short of complete ignorance.

Also, raising fists to heaven in anger and praying for nations has (so far) continuously proven to be fairly futile in the law changing department.

By Josefov on 3 May 2012

So short sighted.

@revsorg @Grunthos the sad thing is the average person IS a Daily Mail reactionary.

I am neither a consumer of pron or pirated movies so at one level I could just say, well I don't care. The trouble is, once a censorship system is in place, what comes next; political freedom? Religous freedom? Freedom of association?

A system like this, even if it is initiated with the best of intentions is a bad idea, because you never know how laws and attitudes will change over time and when you might fall foul of that, or indeed what kind of regime will be in place 20 years hence.

By SirRoderickSpode on 3 May 2012

Ignorance is bliss...

Sadly people like Perry truely see the world through rose tinted glasses. Porn is a problem.. I know let's put a filter in; that'll sort it out and all the kiddies will be porn free....
Ahem, but no they won't. I seem to remember that when I was a kid at school, long before the internet was even considered at home porn was easily accessible. Censorship didn't work then and won't work now. I'm not saying you shouldn't try and protect children, it's just that careful thought needs to go into how to do this without either a) failing spectacularly, or b) unforeseen concequences.
On the former, kids are way brighter than most parents so a device level filter will only slow them down a bit. To my second point, my phone provider has a content filter... brilliant piece of kit; I have food recipe sites blocked but adult content is still accessible...
Protecting children is like everythign else; choice. If you give your kids a smartphone with internet access, or access to a PC at home with no supervision, then guess what the little blighters will do as soon as your back is turned? Yup, abuse it; that's what they do.

By austinmain1 on 3 May 2012



A radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology.


-Authoritarian - Yes we tell what you can say and what you can watch/read/write - CHECK

-Nationalist - Its all the foreigners fault (Daily Mail, Websites are Hosted Abroad where the brilliant British law has no juristiction) - CHECK

-Political Ideology - Claire Perry and another bunch of you are either with us or you are with Terrorsits/Peadophiles/ Criminals


Please explain why he was being ignorant?

By nik_endeavour on 3 May 2012

I don't why PC Pro makes this out to be difficult

The solution is technically very straightforward. Simply print out the Internet and go through it with a black marker and some Tippex.


By Noghar on 3 May 2012


"On the former, kids are way brighter than most parents"

Get a grip!

The time is long past when the average parent went through their education without computers being involved at many stages.

And there is no evidence of a sudden increase in the 'brightness' of children.

I think what you may have meant to suggest is that children have few responsibilities and plenty of time (and a network of like minded individuals) and are thus able to worry away at any problem of restricted access.

By qpw3141 on 3 May 2012

Ignorance really is Bliss!

Whilst I agree with almost all of the comments here, I feel the role of of MPs is being forgotten. They are 'ideas' people. It is their job to come up with fresh policy whilst others advise them on that policy and others then implement it. It's analogous to what happens in the higher echelons of every international company.
There is also the view that what she is trying to achieve will stop most of the content that shouldn't reach children, from reaching children. Those that really want to access it will get it, just like those individual juniors that get an anonymous adult to buy the porn magazine for them.
Step back from the technical side of it and your personal feelings on the subject and just look at what she is trying to achieve. It's completely in line with existing law for a mass publishing medium, its just for a new medium, that like all others that have come before it will eventually be tamed and regulated to some degree or other.

By BPerry on 3 May 2012

A sad beginning..

"With the first link the chain is forged that binds us all"

By thefarhad on 3 May 2012

What's next?

I'm all for protecting children against the inherent dangers in society. But Claire Perry needs to get a grip herself and stop imposing her inability to educate parents from protecting their children to such dangers.

In 2006, 3,172 children died in the UK through car accidents. Should we ban everyone from driving cars unless they sign an opt-out clause first, then sue anyone who puts children at risk when they drive their car?

By martinws on 3 May 2012


1. You left out 'radical'. Makes a lot of difference.

2. Nationalist - I don't see any relevance to the subject of this discussion or to Claire Perry's ideas on regulating the Internet.

And if you read the second paragraph, there's the first line: "Fascism promotes political violence and war, as forms of direct action that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality."

Also, if you narrow it down any further, perhaps to a single word, like 'ideology' you'll find that a lot of things will fit the description.

So yes, I think that only a complete ignorant would shout 'Fascism!' because one MP is trying to impose particular MORAL (not political!) standards.

Oh, and BTW 'authoritarian nationalist political ideology' is something I had to live in a few years back. Guess what, in our neck of woods, incidentally, we were calling it communism.

By Josefov on 3 May 2012


"It's completely in line with existing law for a mass publishing medium"

There's the problem. The Internet is a communications medium, not a publishing medium. Yes, you can publish on a web site but then Ms Perry wants us to filter the general communications medium to limit the distribution of that published content. Essentially what she wants is a system analogous to the post office opening every plain envelope before delivering it to make sure it doesn't have porn in it.

By TBennett on 3 May 2012

Arrogant and Dismissive

I have two nephews and two nieces: Aged 9, 13, 18 and 21. If I asked them to defend a position they'd taken, I'm certain that all of them - including the 9 year old - would make a far better stab at it than Ms Perry just did.

"Get a grip. sigh." Seems to be the intellectual equivalent of a 4 year old crossing their arms and stamping their foot. I'm almost surprised she didn't throw some 'lols' and 'smiley faces' in there too.

NO-ONE wants children exposed to harmful stuff, of any variety, but she either hasn't a clue how the technology works - or she does have a clue and is the reason she refuses to engage in actual debate about it.

If she really wanted to help our children in a meaningful way she'd be better off looking at how to tackle peer-related cyber bullying: Something which has a far more damaging affect on huge numbers of them. I haven't heard of many kids being driven to suicide after seeing some t*ts, but have read of a disturbingly large number doing so after being endlessly bullied online - with apparently everyone powerless to stop it.

You want a meaningful campaign to protect our children Claire Perry MP, try tackling that one.

By Mr_John_T on 3 May 2012

Lockup the pron

Don't remember my mates dad locking up his pron stash so our innocent eyes didn't gaze upon it. Why didn't the government do something back in the 70s\80s\90s about access to pron? Oh that's right - it was the adults responsibility!

By drummerbod on 3 May 2012


Don't force... educate.

We have parental controls built into Windows. We have filter options on various routers (Should be on all of them) and we have common sense.

EDUCATE parents on how to use these features instead of forcing it via other means. We are, after all, adults and should be responsible for OUR children.

P.s. I do not have children but know where and how to use the facilities within Windows and that was after I showed a parent the options that she had. In all my years not ONE other person has asked on how to make their computer safe for their childs use.

By rhythm on 3 May 2012

Isn't the bigger question...

whether porn is in itself a bad thing? Why are MP's assuming that all porn is dangerous? How many 13-15 year old boys are really damaged by porn? maybe it's even doing a public service by allowing them to vent their frustrations? I know this is pretty controversial stuff and I don't expect everyone to agree - but I do feel the balance of the argument is lacking

By JCShiraz on 3 May 2012

Let them do it....

I don't know why other people haven't thought about the Human Rights Courts before now. As soon as the government tries to tell us that if we want porn we have to "opt in" to it, thereby having to inform a company acting on behalf of the government what some of us do in the privacy of our bedrooms, I fully expect it to be challenged with regards our right to privacy if not also our right to a family life. I'm sure some enterprising solicitor can come up with a basis for a class action suite against the government on the grounds that while being legal, most people don't want the world to know they watch porn.

By David1981 on 3 May 2012

Evidence of damage

Philip Zimbardo, a criminal psychologist has indicated, in a TED talk, that porn is causing damage to the development of young men.

By milliganp on 3 May 2012

Sigh.. not another one!

Children are exposed to crazy amounts of manipulative advertising every day and boobs on Tesco magazine shelves. They are bred to be extremely competitive.They have to pass silly exams to get into a uni to buy a degree through a loan to get a job they will probably hate. Then they are told they would have no more pensions and that they would have to work longer and harder than their parents to afford the basic necessities of life. They are told they are worse off than their parents. They are told that the country is in a recession. That the banks have been bailed out so that the debt based monetary system can continue to enslave them. That their taxes would eventually have to rise. That their access to libraries to enrich themselves with knowledge would be cut off because the state cant afford it.They are told to vote only to have their elected parties turn their backs on them. And now the only medium that makes them feel the slightest bit of freedom is being attacked left right and centre.AND THIS MP IS WORRIED ABOUT PORN!! ARE YOU DUCKING KIDDING ME? Get a grip Perry!! Focus on the real socio-economic issues. How I sometimes yearn to see all these MPs stand up to the very central issues that plague our society and not be distracted by such petty things. Porn was and will always be there. From ancient statues outside Indian temples depicting the Kamastura to Nuts magazine. Its upto the individual and society to collectively educate themselves and each other about its misuse. MPs should be bothering themselves about much much bigger issues than this.

By isaac12345 on 3 May 2012

@Milliganp Evidence of damage?

No, that's a claim not evidence. If you actually do a bit of reading about it you'll see plenty of "evidence" from both sides of the argument. Most is nothing of the sort and purely claims from entrenched positions. The only thing that can be said for certain is that there is no certainty. It may cause damage, it may not, but always question the headlines.

By daveandrews1 on 3 May 2012

mine is bigger than yours...

She's an amusing tool. Makes you wonder the sort of people she's got behind her campaign. One thing is for sure: the rest of europe will be laughing at us if this twit has her way.

By popeye91 on 3 May 2012


Adversarial politics is a filtering mechanism that roots out intelligent knowledgeable decent people in favour of ruthless charismatic con artists and frauds. Truth and rationality are casualties.

What I would like to block:

- Politicians - all of them.
- Adverts that contain the words "because you're worth it".
- The Archers. Can't we have them vaped by a meteorite?
- Radio 4 so-called 'comedy' shows.
- The Eurovision Song Contest. (Which planet broadcasts it?)
- People who force unwanted browser ballots on millions of people.
- People who are famous for being famous.
- George Galloway's mouth, sun-tan, and ego.
- People who need to consult the Pope to become a Catholic.
- People seeking to be the spiritual heir to Mary Whitehouse.
- People who want to block things.

By fogtax on 4 May 2012


If you wish to let Claire Perry have your views (reasoned and rational please. Hectoring, expletive ridden and insulting will play straight into her hands) you can contact her at the Houses of Parliament here:-

By jontym123 on 4 May 2012

Its the Far Right on the move.

Ms Perry is just another young(ish) Tory woman from the far right with an agenda.

Like several of her colleagues, they are embarking on a programmed of societal change aimed at changing many of our laws. Theyb are focusing at present on:
* the interweb \ 'porn' (censorship)
* Abortion (banning it)
* Sex education (???)

Make no mistake these ar dangerous people and they will take a lot of stopping. After today's election results Cameron will come under a LOT of pressure to move right, and this issue will be ideal for him....

By wittgenfrog on 4 May 2012

Theres an app for that

There is plenty of software that does this and some is free.
Most ISP's already offer such software, along with antivirus packages.

ISP's are just a medium to connect to the Internet. They are not police, and we don't need or want a big brother state, especially one run by self regulated global companies. Anyone wanting to have state selected media can tune into the BBC or move to China to experience a fuller restriction.
We already have the highest number of cameras in the world per capita.
Is this the Conservative vision?

Try promoting alternative sites that are more interesting to children, and if you must, create a government-recommended software package.

Passing responsibility from government to unelected, unofficial, self-regulated global corporations that will ultimately use any such responsibility for profit is not governing.
Do you want to be an MP, or pass on the responsibility?

If you want to talk to ISP's, ask them to get rid of the 'up to' deception, and guarantee reliable bandwidths, especially to business.

By skgiven on 8 May 2012

A portrayal..

...of the parenting problems Claire experienced at home before starting all this nonsense.

By FoffClairePerry on 20 May 2012

A portrayal..

...of the parenting problems Claire experienced at home before starting all this nonsense.

By FoffClairePerry on 20 May 2012

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