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Was the blocking of a jquery CDN just a fanciful dream?
Wednesday 29 January 2014 22:59:38 by Andrew Ferguson

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.

Comments

Posted by prlzx over 3 years ago
I don't blame the ISPs being pressured to make changes that some politicians think are vote-winning, though they could be more honest about the limitation.

However, point of principle, if an ISP has never asked if I am a parent/guardian, can they justify applying "Parental Controls" by default if I fail to opt out?

I realise it is usually easy to change the setting but I would vote with my feet as a token protest.
Posted by prlzx over 3 years ago
Point of principle #2.
I use OpenDNS.

If an ISP implements filtering in a way that redirects all(*) DNS lookups (rather than just lookups that use the ISP default servers) they would be interfering with data between me and another service supplier. And services like OpenDNS have paid-for tiers as well as free.

Wouldn't it be better for governments to require ISPs to provide generic info / advice on a range of providers to customer (i.e. educational rather than technological measures) ?

* I assume they don't do this though.
Posted by jelv over 3 years ago
I think this country is more in need of politician controls than parental controls!
Posted by MrTAToad2 over 3 years ago
Its obviously the silly season with politicians talking about things they dont know about...
Posted by Firefalcon over 3 years ago
Silly Season? theyre pretty clueless all year long. This government is all about trying to do the parents job for them, as opposed raising better parents theyre just going to opt for attempting to control peoples behaviour and what theyre exposed to, sadly it means we're all still exposed to their stupidity no matter the rest of the good stuff in life they try to censor out.
Posted by tommy45 over 3 years ago
They don't have the common sense that they where born with
This filtering or web blocking won't achieve their aims, instead they waste more and more of tax payers money passing unworkable bills through Parliament,
This filtering won't stop with porn etc, it will be misused to the governments advantage nearer election time, as they also seem to think they will succeed in staying in power for another term,
Posted by mervl over 3 years ago
Sadly, I think we're all into this comic book stuff of expecting an instant solution to anything. Real people (i.e. those who don't shout their mouth off at everything) appreciate that you have to work around a less-than-perfect-world and compromise to achieve anything. But that's not news.
Posted by michaels_perry over 3 years ago
Clearly Mrs Perry, MP for Devizes, does not understand the technicalities of her home broadband service and its use. If the router is off then no emails, no banking, nocatchup TV, etc. Then consider that Ofcom are looking at what we now call Freeview delivered via digital transmissions being moved in the next few years to an entirely internet-based delivery system. So no normal TV either if your router is off!
Posted by Kaufhof over 3 years ago
Spot on, merv! Many years ago I was taught that Politics is the Art of the Possible. As others here have pointed out, the pity is that British politicians do not know what is possible and what is not.
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