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Lazy parenting could result in mandatory porn blocks
Friday 04 May 2012 10:13:43 by Andrew Ferguson

The coverage of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection two weeks ago has as yet not died away, and it would seem the Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped into the fray, after a breakfast meeting with creative-industry figures, as reported in The Times.

It appears the Prime Minister is keen to get laws changed requiring broadband providers to block graphic images by default, with adults having to opt-in to viewing this graphic content. Press coverage of internet issues is always difficult to judge, and there was back pedaling earlier this year when lots of coverage ran with similar ideas, so either mis-information has resurfaced, or mandatory filtering has always been what those in power want. BBC coverage features more on this simply being a consultation phase.

The current situation is that broadband subscribers later in 2012 will be offered a choice to block or unblock at the point of sale, known as Active Choice. The latest proposals go much further, and with providers needing to verify the person requesting any unblocking as they do with mobile services, parents who enjoy perfectly legal content when the children are in bed, may have to jump through various hoops to turn the filters off and back on again. Of course these parents could always opt-in to the content viewing, and filter the content locally, but there is likely to be lots of pressure for parents to use the network level system.

Another problem with network level filtering, is that a household can often have children of varying ages, and the blunt level of blocking that network filtering offers means that a 17 year old might be able to watch a film like Black Swan at the cinema, but web sites about the film could be blocked as it has a 15 certificate and features sexual content. Another question is what constitutes an internet porn site, some filter systems are keyword based, and thus many sites may get blocked inadvertently due to to occasional use of the word sex.

The Active Choice system proposed by the internet industry is not perfect, but with adequate promotion and support from Government, via schools, health practitioners and local libraries could result in those parents concerned about their children viewing content inappropriate for their age finding out how to control access within their household.

Comments

Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
More stupid regulation by the government, this just isn't the way to do it. As you've stated how will it be filtered and if the filters are not 100% (obviously they won't be) Joe & Josephine Bloggs will be suing ISP's left right and centre for letting stuff through that they shouldn't

There is no perfect solution to this, controlling it on the home router probably won't be flexible enough, controlling it on your PC won't stop kids smartphones.

Its almost as stupid as the EU cookie law
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
I don't understand what they are looking to achieve either. Is this aimed at stopping kids under 18 accessing porn? If it is and the kid is savvy enough (most know more than their parents) they'll get around it.

Or is it to stop a child Googling something and getting explicit results? If its the latter surely Google has a filter for this already?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
The search and 'shocking' results for the under 12's features in the report, as did an admission that teens will work around.

Personally for the younger child, a whitelist is best, or properly supervised use.

Kinda interested to see how all the Cloud drive systems will fair, as with user generated content some is bound to be adult content. Are these 18+ so blocked?
Posted by jrawle over 5 years ago
My concern is that all traffic will have to be processed by the ISP. We have content filtering at work, and as a result all web access is s..l..o..w... Plus I doubt it will be just porn that's filtered. Mobiles don't allow access to mainstream dating sites for example - despite them being no more explicit and if anything safer than Facebook - without enabling "adult content" including porn and everything else.

I want my connection to connect to other computers around the world without any interference so I get the best possible service.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
So if it is accepted that those kids that want to get around it will and its to protect those who see results they shouldn't by accident why doesn't someone provide a proxied service for kids?

Instead of saying every ISP in the UK should filter why not just have one service that is clean that parents can sign up to for their kids to use?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
TalkTalk has its homesafe network level filter, and 1/3rd of new signups use it. Violent and self harm is blocked more then porn.

OpenDNS is a simple one too.

The systems are there, either

1. Parents dont know
2. Can't work them
3. Don't want them
4. There is another agenda

Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
So its 4 then :)

It starts with blocking for copyright protection, next is porn after that it will probably be anything that conflicts with the governments own views/beliefs

The condems probably just want to score some points and deflect attention from other more serious issues, not saying its not serious I won't want my kids looking at anything unsavory either come the day they are left alone to browse the Internet, I'll install my own filter in house before then!
Posted by AndyS over 5 years ago
"Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped into the fray, after a breakfast meeting with creative-industry figures"

Oh great, so it's another scheme to prop-up "the war on copyright infringement". :o(
Posted by driz over 5 years ago
Won't somebody think of the children?

Let's have some more censorship please. Would the people who don't want to be censored and might resist the government please add themselves to the 'people to watch' registry (aka opt-in).

The IWF filter is bad enough (and its original purpose has already been subverted) :/

Also, don't forget terrorists!
Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
Ooo nice... So we all pay for the virtual babysitter.

Meanwhile geeky kid A or neglected child B with the feckless parents, downloads 'Daddy does the babysitter' and passes it to all his mates on msn or the like. Maybe even shares via usb key. The baby eating paedo terrorist on facebook is still free to seek out the low self-esteemers and Virginal Jonny six pack is still sending pictures of his junk to rando fakes with page 3 model pics on their profiles.

But rest assured, nanny state knows best. 0.o
Posted by Scubaholic over 5 years ago
Norton DNS has 3 levels of filtering. Just click tthe radio button of your choice.
My Thomson router has parental controls & I know with the BT homehub you can set wireless access to be available only at certain times.
And the list goes on for what parents can do to protect their children, if they want to.

4. There is another agenda. As sure a God made little green apples there is!
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
The problem is the state is using poor parenting as an excuse to expand control over our lives.
Posted by marty9999 over 5 years ago
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
Posted by davet966 over 5 years ago
Agree with Andrew (TB Staff) re OpenDNS.

I've had my router configured for a month or so to use OpenDNS and have been surprised just what's been blocked. If you use the paid-for service rather than the free version of OpenDNS you're able to choose which categories to block, and also white-list and black-list where necessary. As it's on the router it applies to all devices that get a DHCP lease from it (PC's that manually assigned DNS servers can bypass this of course).
Posted by davet966 over 5 years ago
... continued

I'm keen to block unsavoury things from the eyes of my kids, but also want to maintain freedom of choice - OpenDNS currently allows me to do both.

Agree with the other posters re: sharing data via USB stick - there's little you can do about anything that doesn't ingress/egress through your network, other than install products to block access to USB ports / DVD drives perhaps.
Posted by pigfister over 5 years ago
we have to give up all our freedoms to protect us, well protect corporate profits, & censor their crimes, using the scare tactic of paedophiles, terrorists & pirates...

this will simply be used to cover up western war crimes, funding brutal dictators, their fully supported genocides as in Palestine & stop whistle-blowers:

http://collateralmurder.com/

this is the end game, total control over the truth, nothing more............
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