Claire Perry MP has been calling for stricter parental controls and it would appear at a Westminster eForum she has said that over blocking is fanciful. One assumes that means she does not believe that for around eleven hours on Sunday night through to Monday morning that Sky categorised a highly popular CDN site code.jquery.com as a malware site.
Now while this did not break the Internet, it may have meant wasted time as smaller web site owners (who may have no idea what jquery is) tried to discover why certain features of their website did not work. It also reveals a possible attack vector for hackers and commercial espionage, i.e. taint a major category list like the one Sky uses and get a competitor taken off line for a good few hours. In a world of meetings and long debates 11 hours sounds like very little time and the question will be why so much fuss, but on the Internet news travels fast and reputations can be made and broken within hours, well before the traditional news outlets have caught up.
The Internet is such an integral part of daily life that another idea Claire Perry mentioned for parents to stop children accessing material is to turn off their router is ludicrous. The parents would suddenly not be able to watch catch-up TV, do their online banking, file tax returns and all those other things that are easier for parents to do once the children are in bed.
The Internet industry has had lots to say on the issue of parental controls, but when it is so easy for those in charge at the political level to describe this discussion and evidence as fanciful one cannot but help wonder if legislation on parental controls is a foregone conclusion. Earlier reports into parental controls called for greater education and help for parents, but to many this seems to have been skipped and the major providers told to implement what they can now and fix the problems later with little regard for any effect this might have on the UK Digital Economy and the image of the UK as a good place to do business online.