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EU publishes strategy for a better Internet for Children
Saturday 05 May 2012 11:59:48 by Andrew Ferguson

A strategy report for the EU has outlined several ideas and a plan that it believes will provide a safer internet for children.

The EU report clearly states that children in respect to the report are all those under 18, and it does assert that cultural differences will exist between member states. A key point made in the report is that parental controls should not just be an on/off system, but rather something that parents can tailor to suit the age of the children in their household. An example can be drawn from the level of blocking some parental controls offer, where a child safe setting generally blocks all news websites, search engines and the HTTPS protocol, thus almost ensuring no inappropriate content can be accidentally accessed.

If the UK were to implement a filter to this extent at the network level, which if trying to protect five to ten year olds is what you should ideally use, then parents will have to be turning the filter off and back on again every time they want to access their online banking, read news or buy anything online.

One aspect of the EU report that is going to draw attention is a proposal for electronic indentification and authentication, to control access to age appropriate material. This is featured in relation of age-appropriate privacy settings, and we presume would result in many more sites using credit card details to verify someone is an adult, before allowing them to move away from child-safe settings. The question really is will people be willing to share credit card details with a site when they have no intention of spending money on it.

Industry is expected to

  • implement43 transparent default age-appropriate privacy settings, with clear information and warnings to minors of the potential consequences of any changes they make in their default privacy settings and contextual information on the privacy level of every piece of information required or suggested to set up an online profile.
  • implement technical means for electronic identification and authentication.
The Commission
  • proposed a new data protection regulation that takes specific account of children's privacy and introduces the "right to be forgotten".
  • intends to propose in 2012 a pan-European framework for electronic authentication that will enable the use of personal attributes (age in particular) to ensure compliance with the age provisions of the proposed data protection regulation.
  • will support R&D to develop technical means for electronic identification and authentication on relevant services across the EU and their deployment.
Member States should
  • ensure the implementation of EU legislation in this field at national level.
  • encourage the adoption of self-regulatory measures by industry and follow their implementation at national level.
  • support awareness raising activities at national level.
Report extract: 2.3.1. Age-appropriate privacy settings

The reference to R&D suggests that the EU is looking at something more than credit card controls, and to our mind sounds more like an EU wide online identity scheme. These carries concerns over tracking what people view online, and a single identity presents a security risk as if it were hijacked you could easily impersonate a third party. For services operating outside the EU, requirements like this would still apply if the service was aimed at people in the EU. Which raises a question, would sites outside the EU that refuse to comply be blocked at EU borders?

A common joke in the UK has been that the Internet will require a license to access it at some point, reports like this make this outlandish idea seem credible.


Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
What a joke, Any blocking/filtering system at a network level should always have an option of it being switched on or off, or have the idiots in Brussels gone completely doolally ?

Next they will want to rename the internet to childnet

Any blocking system at a network level(controlled by the isp) should also be an optional extra, where customers could purchase this alongside any bbb products, not be forced to implement it across all customers,porn should we choose to , i would sooner just boycott all the isp's that implement this bs
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
cont:some of us have offspring that are now grown adults,or just don't have them,

we DO NOT need no poxy filter, nor are we going to be providing credit card details just access This could well be the tipping point, government busybodies that know zero about the internet, need to shut their gobs more, and actually start working for the people instead of thinking of only themselves
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
Oh i nearly forgot any such system should be solely paid for by those who use it,NOT the rest of us
Posted by otester over 5 years ago
Looks like VPN's might have to relocate outside of the EU.

Also don't get the misguided impression that governments give a rats ass about the children, it's about control over the internet.
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
It's not needed or welcome and is complete nonsence, in the uk, to get broadband you i'm sure have to be at least 18yrs old (adult) if that is not the case then it should be made to be the case, that person(bill payer, account holder)is responsible, not isp's not anyone else,
And of course the question of how many sites will be blocked that should not be blocked as a result of this,if it allowed to come to fruition?
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
My take on is why should the customer have to pay for a vpn as well as an internet service, in order to view/browse download legal content? have they not already paid for that once to the isp?
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
@otester: or find an isp that won't be participating in this bs as it will only apply to the big 6 isp's ,the likes of AAISP look better all the time ,shame no unlimited options
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

Let us hope it only affects the big 6.

Just seems that once the majority is affected, it won't be difficult for them to just blanket enforce it for all providers.
Posted by tommy45 over 5 years ago
@otester: Maybe, maybe not, But if it does,Isp's are likely to suffer as i'm sure most people expect to be able to use the internet without a large percentage of it being blocked censored on the say so of some muppet's in government who think they know best, or just seek to use the censorship for porn to block another web sites that they don't want us to see,because like many i believe this if it is allowed to go ahead will only be a start of the great firewall of Europe ,well they can stick it where the sun don't shine for me,
Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
So how does network level filtering work in a multi-device household? Customisable per device? What happens when you connect a new device? What happens when parents leave filtering turned off because they can't be bothered to keep fiddling with it. Filtering doesn't seem to do much to stop kids in schools sharing their porns on mobiles.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Network level is the same for all devices , which is the attraction and the disadvantage.

It also means you cannot customise it for ages of children when you have several of them.

Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
So a sledge hammer to crack a walnut then. Perhaps the EU would make children of us all. For I can hardly envisage a teen being happily restricted to sites suitable to a six or seven year old. Nor can I suspend reality to suppose they will accept scheduled internet access. More to the point parents will soon tire of the whole farce and you will end up with unfiltered connections.
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:

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

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