Why you shouldn't support legislation blocking internet porn

(900 Posts)
Andrewjh Mon 07-May-12 00:21:17

Ed Vaizey and Claire Perry and a number of other politicians are trying to force ISPs to block adult content under the pretence of "think of the children", however this will have the opposite effect and could lead to children being exposed to far greater problems.

- Children these days are very tech savvy, especially with regard to the internet. And they need to be - the UK is the largest internet economy in the world. To succeed in the UK in the future, you'll need to know your way around a computer and around the internet from an early age.

- What happens when ISPs block sites is something called the Streisand Effect. Basically by banning it, they generate a huge amount of publicity and support for the sites. The Pirate Bay site last week got blocked in the UK, and it received traffic increases of 12 million users downloading millions of pounds worth of software, music, films and games. Blocking something increases its internet traffic, its exposure, and suddenly 30 times more people know about it than did before.

- What also happens when you block these sites is a huge amount of internet users figure out free and easy ways around the blocks. ISP's don't have the resources to stop this, and in most cases, it is impossible for them to do so. anyway. The Pirate Bay blocks can be got around within 20 seconds, and that is just googling "how do I get around pirate bay blocks".

- Many of the methods employed by users to get around the Pirate Bay blocks so they can illegally download files will also be posted as guides to get around porn blocks. These are accessible through any search engine (google, bing, yahoo).

- The problem is that tech savvy children (it only takes one to find out how from the internet or an older brother, then tell his friends, who tell their friends etc) can easily find out how to get around it. I mean it is as easily as it is to look up something for their homework, if not easier.

- The other more dangerous issue is that whilst once they've gone through those guides, they can easily find links to far darker sites which host horrific viruses, hackers, as well as references to drugs, drink and other adult content. They can also find links to anonymous chatrooms where they could meet anyone without you knowing.

- This is the danger that opt in and blocking poses. They will give you a sense of security when there is none.

- This is also based on the assumption that the block actually blocks all porn. They rarely ever do, and sites posing as sex education sites which don't get blocked get through with adult content. So you'll be under the illusion that the internet is safely blocked when it isn't.

Think of it like this. Imagine the internet is a cliff, and we are having a picnic at the top of the cliff. It's a mostly beautiful view, but if you let your guard down, you could fall off. You wouldn't let your child play near the edge. Installing the opt in system is like putting a strong looking but flimsy fence in place. You could be fooled in to thinking it was safe but left to their own devices your child, could easily fall through. We can't put a brick wall there otherwise it spoils the natural beauty of the view (the educational benefits of the internet).

So what to do? Firstly don't support legislation calling for blocks. It doesn't work, its been shown not to work in the past as well as more recently. Children can easily find a way around it, and in doing so find a far darker side of the internet.

Secondly: If you are concerned, use censoring software on your computer, but don't be content with just that. Use Browser tracking software like this - http://www.any-activity-monitor.com/free-browser-history-recorder.html so you can accurate tell what your child has been viewing, even if they delete it off the browser. There are also many simple, free and easy tutorials written online on how to better protect your computer and your child.

Thirdly: Take some time to talk to your child about internet use. It can be an amazing tool but it can be dangerous. They need to know that right and wrong, safe and risky, they all still apply online (something easy to forget I assure you). They'll avoid things if they know its wrong. They will be curious about things if its only blocked.

Lastly, don't be fooled by people using the "think of the children" line. It's an alarmist appeal to emotion. There is very little danger so long as you use your common sense and only allow a child a sensible amount of time on the internet. As a politics student, I have to question whether this has been saved up till now to gain support for the government after an miserable turn in recent polls.

Thanks very much for reading, I hope you'll consider your position.

LittlePushka Mon 07-May-12 00:30:16

I have considered my position. It did not take very long. I will be supporting blocks.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 00:32:16

"Think of it like this. Imagine the internet is a cliff, and we are having a picnic at the top of the cliff. It's a mostly beautiful view, but if you let your guard down, you could fall off. You wouldn't let your child play near the edge. Installing the opt in system is like putting a strong looking but flimsy fence in place. You could be fooled in to thinking it was safe but left to their own devices your child, could easily fall through. We can't put a brick wall there otherwise it spoils the natural beauty of the view (the educational benefits of the internet)."

Really good way of describing it!

There are also a few threads on MN which give even more reasons not to back the legislation.

Internet Porn May Be Blocked At Source
Recent Decision By MNHQ?
Blocking Internet Porn?

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 00:32:49

"I have considered my position. It did not take very long. I will be supporting blocks."

Maybe you should try taking some time to actually think it through.

LowRegNumber Mon 07-May-12 00:33:31

As I see it your argument falls down in many places, firstly the site you mention was blocked. Full stop. But porn is supposed to he an opt in - q titally different proposition. There is unlikely to he the same proliferation of 'get round it's sites as for something that is outright banned as most people who would want to get round it sol simply not need to - being over age.

Secondly what is so wrong/difficult about doing all the things you have listed alongside a porn opt in? Surely this would decrease the chances of a well educated and protected child stumbling across something by accident?.

Thirdly your argument about the 'dark side' is poppycock, this is currently out there and at large. If a child Google's porn they get access to it instantl, there is no way this is better than the few who work their way past the opt in possibly finding it.

SkipTheLightFanjango Mon 07-May-12 00:35:09

Teaching children about the net is all very well but you can get to some awful sites by accident. I, however, would rather use my own blockers and keep my children safe by monitering their internet use.

LittlePushka Mon 07-May-12 00:39:59

Empusa,... no, really no need, it's that simple for me.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 00:41:08

Fair enough, I just tend to prefer making informed decisions. But each to their own.

pastimes101 Mon 07-May-12 00:42:29

So, Andrew, you working for Web sense and scared you will be out of a job? wink

Personally, I think porn should be blocked at ISP level, and just in case the kids could get around this block, run a good content blocker.

Not all children who view porn online access it through intent, some stumble across it due to not knowing how to spell perfectly. This would not happen if it was blocked at ISP level.

There is absolutely NO reason to not block porn. It has no value to most parts of society. There is a huge difference between trying to download a movie or song for free, as this is something most kids would be keen to do (unless they have ipods and have parents feeding them itunes vouchers like candy), and accessing pornographic material.

Blocking porn at ISP level is sending it the right messages: It is not ok for porn to be found freely accessible at no cost for neither children nor adults.

SkipTheLightFanjango Mon 07-May-12 00:42:36

Empusa does it not feel like censorship? The slippery path if you ask me!

pastimes101 Mon 07-May-12 00:45:46

It is not censorship, it is not made illegal. You can still get it elsewhere.

It is just an informed decision that ISPS in the uk will not supply porn.

Just as it has at some point been made an informed decision that Horse and Hound should not supply porn to their readers.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 00:46:51

Skip I worry about what else will get blocked alongside porn, I can't see any filter that will work without either.

a) Still allowing a shit ton of porn through
or
b) Blocking innocent sites in the process*

*Eg. block any website containing the word "sex" and you've just cut off all sex education sites (alongside sites like MN)

SkipTheLightFanjango Mon 07-May-12 00:49:23

Sorry but being made to "opt-in" is like saying "I'm a perv". What will they make us sign in for next? NEVER allow your freedoms to be eroded! I hate porn and all that goes with it BUT once they start making up rules..they extend them! Beware what you wish for.

threeleftfeet Mon 07-May-12 00:51:31

This would go way beyond porn sites.

Mumsnet would definitely be a banned site. (The Friday night bumsex chats for a start ...). Are you happy with that?

It is censorship, pure and simple.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 00:52:25

This is from one of the threads I linked to, it explains the only way you will be able to effectively filter out porn

"If the government insist that ISPs find a way then there is one way that would work. You wouldn't like it though.

You start by blocking ALL of the internet. Then you allow through those sites which have applied for the right and been vetted by some committee.

Not google or Mumsnet because neither has any real control over their content. You could have the BBC, a few shopping sites, weather sites etc. Adding more would be slow and expensive and at the first complaint a site would lose its licence and be gone.

The rest of the internet would be gone completely. No more mumsnet, no more wikileaks, no more filesharing. No more stories about MPs expenses.

Or you could let the parents of the children sort out their own controls over their kids as they mostly do now."

SkipTheLightFanjango Mon 07-May-12 00:54:38

Empusa you are so right..that is why I don't want this!!

Andrewjh Mon 07-May-12 01:08:22

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Andrewjh Mon 07-May-12 01:18:10

pasttimes101 - it isn't the porn that is the issue, it is the blocking.

A) it won't work. It never has worked. Even in China where they have an almighty amount of resources dedicated to censoring the internet, it doesn't work.
B) People who think it will work, will discover it doesn't work when it's too late.

c) Look at alcohol. The state has banned it for under eighteens to buy and drink in public. That is like blocking for under eighteens. Just like there will be some shops which will sell it to kids, some people who will buy it for them and the few kids who can get it themselves, there will be allowed sites which will offer it, people who can tell them how to access it, or they can easily find out how themselves. Thousands of young teenagers get atrociously drunk every week. Do you honestly think this is that different? The common thread with the kids which don't binge under-age are those who have had good parenting about it. They've been talked to about it.

NovackNGood Mon 07-May-12 01:36:37

Parents actually having to take responsibility for parenting when they normally turn it over to the nanny state is too much to ask for.

Poulay Mon 07-May-12 01:37:08

So the argument is that an opt-in for porn would be bad because children are so depraved that they will just circumvent it and find even worse stuff than is freely already available?

Sorry, but that's just bollocks.

And in support of your argument, you effectively say that because kids drink alcohol despite it being illegal, we shouldn't bother trying to restrict its sale.

Total crap.

As an adult if I want to opt-in to porn, I can. There is no censorship there.

So censorship is really not a ground for objection either. Would you say that the porn channels on Sky are 'censored' because you have to subscribe to them? That's just absurd.

And it's also bollocks to say that if ten thousand or so porn sites were to be blocked, they would all benefit from a 'Streisand effect'. Clearly they are not going to block just one porn site, it will be many thousands of them, and they will NOT individually or collectively benefit from that.

It's true that this can be evaded, just like bans on selling cigarettes to kids, but that doesn't mean either is a bad thing. Saying 'if porn gets blocked that will lull people into not monitoring their kids online, whereas they would otherwise' is so obviously ridiculous. These porn-watching kids are not being monitored as it is.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 01:43:14

Poulay Can you explain to me how you would block porn and only porn without some a large amount of porn getting through?

Because it just isn't possible. Which means you will either end up with
a) lots of porn still being freely and easily available
b) lots of innocent sites being blocked (including this one)

NovackNGood Mon 07-May-12 01:46:10

Unfortunately the censorship agenda is being pushed by the religious zealots who ironically have no problems telling their little the ones about gross sexual practices before the rest of us would eg. Onun was a very naughty boy for spilling his seed upon the ground or that is better to offer two virgins to be raped than a man have sex with another man.

Poulay Mon 07-May-12 01:49:04

Empusa, so it's bad to even try to stop banning porn/cigarette sales/alcohol sales for kids because it can't stop it completely?

Not a very good argument.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 01:57:05

Why waste time and money on something which is majorly flawed when there are better solutions already available?

Better solutions being computer side filtering (can be tweaked to suit individual users) and parental guidance/education.

The argument usually used at this point is, "what about the children whose parents wont or can't do these things?" But this raises whole other issues, mainly that if the parents cannot or will not take control of what their children access then they are the ones who will assume (wrongly) that an ISP side filter is flawless. Which will mean their children will still have access to porn and we will have achieved nothing.

Another point against ISP side filtering

ISP side filtering cannot distinguish between different computers in a household, let alone different users on a computer. So say you have a household with one adult, one young adult, one teen, and one child. You aren't going to want the child to be able to access all the things that the teen/young adult/adult access. And the adult/young adult/teen are likely to want to access more content than the child. In which case should the household opt in to the filter or opt out?

startail Mon 07-May-12 01:59:03

Imagine "The American Christian Right" telling the ISPs what to let through. Now tell me this is a good idea!

Poulay Mon 07-May-12 01:59:18

That would be up to that household wouldn't it.

If you want porn, you opt in. If you don't, don't.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 02:09:21

But I thought we were protecting the children Poulay?

Also, which version of the filtering would you prefer?
a) Blocking all dedicated porn sites (but allowing user content driven sites to remain, so porn is still googleable)
b) Blocking anything which contains keywords related to porn (including MN, sex ed websites, educational resources etc)
c) Blocking all porn totally (by only allowing select websites through the filter and not allowing user driven content websites like facebook, MN, youtube etc)

Which one of those solutions is worth a try?

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 02:19:18

On top of all this, while we are expecting ISP's to do the parenting block porn, surely the parents will still need to monitor what their kids are doing in case they access other inappropriate material eg. images or videos of graphic violence? Or do we get the ISP's to block that too?

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 02:20:10

Wasnt MN going to support this, and now they're not, having looked into it? I'm sure I remember a thread a few months ago where one poster explained why it actually wouldnt work (niceguy perhaps??)

I seem to remember that the only way it would realistically work without mis-identifying sites leading to filter leaks or unnecessary blocking) would be for adult sites to have a different tag (like .org) for charities (.sex or something), but that would have to be voluntary and they're not going to play.

ravenAK Mon 07-May-12 02:23:44

I've been drawn into this one a few times re: underage FB use, for example.

I've had discussions with people who sincerely believe they've 'banned' their child from FB, when of course the kid in question has registered an account at a mate's house & is merrily using it via their phone. Or they have 'the account mum knows about' & the one she doesn't.

I teach in a school that firewalls Youtube, amongst other sites. No prob, I can download any video I want to use in class within a few minutes using zamzar...or just ask any of my year 7 tutor group which proxy site they're all using this week. Bless the little monkeys - they're always one step ahead of IT support blocking them.

We were burgled last week. Dh borrowed a work laptop, which restricted him to the work network & half a dozen 'approved' sites. Five minutes later, he'd got round that nonsense, much to the satisfaction of his immediate boss, who'd been grumping for months that he didn't understand how come he kept issuing supposedly protected machines to minions who then unaccountably managed to fill them with games & porn.

Neither of us is particularly skilled in IT; I'd sincerely hope my kids will be smarter when it comes to this sort of thing! It's NOT rocket science. Often it's not much more than a spot of googling.

OP is correct: it's a laudable idea but utterly unworkable.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 02:25:06

"I seem to remember that the only way it would realistically work without mis-identifying sites leading to filter leaks or unnecessary blocking) would be for adult sites to have a different tag (like .org) for charities (.sex or something), but that would have to be voluntary and they're not going to play."

Sort of. Two problems with that though.
1 - a lot of porn is accessed via sites with user generated content, and as they aren't used solely for porn it'd be debatable whether they needed to have the porn tag or not
2 - There is a .xxx tag now, but not all porn sites are interested in signing up to it, and of the ones that do they are likely to have a non .xxx tag as well. Plus it's really easy to register a new domain name, so is easily got around. And you would need an international law to enforce porn sites only using the .xxx domain.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 02:45:42

Raven I agree, and maybe the only way is to talk to our kids about this stuff rather than trying to convince ourselves we can stop them accessing it if they're really determined to. I guess it comes down to everything being "not all good or all bad" and whilst the internet has been a positive force, it also has negative sides. The fact that it crosses international boundaries makes it more useful, but also more difficult to control.

Empusa yes, sorry, should have added that this suggestion would only work if everyone, incl porn sites agreed to it, and that would still leave the issue of hybrid sites/ user generated etc.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 02:52:03

Not convinced, sorry. I live in a country where porn is blocked. I am glad that my kids do not have access to it. If they need sex education, I will talk to them, or buy them a book.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 02:57:23

marie All your kids need to do is download a VPN. They'll figure that pretty soon I'm sure.

ravenAK Mon 07-May-12 03:07:19

You see this is the thing that gets me every time, Marie.

'My kids don't have access to __________'

Honestly, they do. They might not have any interest in <whatever you object to, be it porn or penguin club> whatsoever, but they'll have zero difficulty accessing it if they choose to do so.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 03:13:23

The issue is that rightly or wrongly, the reason there is so much porn on the internet is that there is huge demand for it, and the anonymity of the internet is preferable to when one had to walk up to the counter in WHSmiths with Penthouse hidden under one's FT and brazen it out.

The demand will not go away with censorship, so workarounds will be developed, and these workarounds will often be more sophisticated than the blockers.

There is someone on here who designs paywalls for a living- pretty straightforward you'd think, but apparently not. There are loads of ways to get round them which are very hard to prevent.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 03:15:32

marie All your kids need to do is download a VPN. They'll figure that pretty soon I'm sure.

VPNs are banned here also.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 03:28:01

They can just get someone to send them the download file via a file sharing service or post on a USB. That's how I did it anyway.

I think you're in Dubai. Believe me when i say that if you dont have a VPN in Dubai, you are in the minority.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 03:29:17

I shd add, most people in Dubai are not getting them to get around porn restrictions- when I was there they were getting them so they could get Channel 4 on demand/ BBC iplayer and Skype.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 05:09:32

I am bloody glad I don't have a VPN. And I am glad that porn is banned here. I still keep an eye on what DS is doing on the computer, but I am grateful for the restrictions.

I just don't see what the big deal is about opting-in.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 07:03:17

Marie You're missing my point. If there was an effective way for all commercial porn sites to be neatly classified as such and have an opt in option, I'd be reasonably enthusiastic. However, there is no point in this legislation, which will be expensive and time consuming to pass (thereby taking away parliamentary time from more pressing concerns), because the legislation will be ineffective. I am far from tech savvy (the average 12 yr old could probably tell me a lot) but I can find workarounds quite easily just by asking people or googling my problem.

You are saying there's no porn in Dubai. I'm saying there is, and gave you a really simple way in which anyone can get it if they want (via a VPN). I also pointed out that whilst most people have a VPN (which they downloaded onto their laptop whilst on business/ holiday in another jurisdiction), this doesnt mean they got them so they get see porn- they prob got it so they can Skype their mum without paying international call fees or because they want to watch Panorama, but an unintended consequence is that they also just got around the censor. What I was trying to demonstrate is that censoring the internet rarely works- people can always find ways to get around them, and sometimes do even if they didnt intend to.

Better to accept that this is the case and educate your children, that allow yourself to believe that an opt in package can prevent your children seeing porn.

exoticfruits Mon 07-May-12 07:40:30

I support Claire Perry and others. It is long overdue and I can't see why we have waited so long.

exoticfruits Mon 07-May-12 07:45:34

OP is assuming that all DCs have responsible, technically proficient parents. They don't. I am frankly surprised that anyone could be using MN to want us to make it easy for our DCs to access porn.
It is much easier for us as adults not to access it by accident but I have no wish to opt in, even without DCs.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 08:02:15

exotic I dont want to make it easier, but I dont see the point in wasting parliamentary time to make it maybe 10% harder (but still far far far from impossible). One thing the british have done reasonably well (with the recent exception of the hunting bill) is to avoid passing legislation that is unenforceable, because it makes everyone look like a dick and undermines the law.

It's not the lack of tech savviness of the parents you have to worry about, but the tech savviness of the kids.

The risk is that this legislation gives people a false sense of security ("oh my kids cant access porn because I havent opted in"). But not all porn will get caught in the opt out, or if it does, it will have to be such a broad censor that it will catch sites that even mention sex (eg MN)

I can see that where this legislation may help is by preventing, say, a 7 yr old accidentally stumbling on a porn site. however, where I dont think it will help at all is preventing a curious 12 yr old from finding porn should he so wish to.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 08:15:47

I can see that where this legislation may help is by preventing, say, a 7 yr old accidentally stumbling on a porn site.

Surely that is reason enough?

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 09:02:46

I dunno. depends on the frequency with which this "stumbling" still happens (now that search engines are more sophisticated). I remember my mum (primary school teacher) having issues with a search engine that kept bringing up cross dressing sites for searches about "queens" but this was 10 years ago. I have personally not noted any inappropriate content on searches for years now although it did used to happen back in the old days- "Ask Jeeves"- remember him?

The other thing is that compiling and maintaining a list of banned sites will cost the ISP's money and that cost will get passed onto the user across the board, so basically, everyone pays because some parents CBA to monitor their kid's internet use.

exoticfruits Mon 07-May-12 09:07:22

My DS fed in Whitehouse when he was 10, because of Mary Whitehouse masses of porn sites came up. It would save that sort of thing so I am all for it.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 09:07:42

The other thing is that compiling and maintaining a list of banned sites will cost the ISP's money and that cost will get passed onto the user across the board, so basically, everyone pays because some parents CBA to monitor their kid's internet use.

That's a bit unfair on the parents, don't you think? And how can you put a price on protecting young children?

exoticfruits Mon 07-May-12 09:12:13

I don't care how much it costs us- it is worth every penny and should have been done from day one. DCs are priceless- I hate the thought we can't protect them because it might cost us slightly more. I back Claire Perry every step of the way.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 09:13:33

I don't care how much it costs us- it is worth every penny and should have been done from day one. DCs are priceless- I hate the thought we can't protect them because it might cost us slightly more.

Absolutely agree.

Andrewjh Mon 07-May-12 10:48:34

Opt in is censorship for a start. Drawing parallels to tv channels isn't logically correct. Porn TV Channels are pay per view and pay a broadcasting licence, websites offer content free and don't.
Opt in is censorship like saying any website that criticises the government is opt in. It's like saying information about gay rights is opt in. It restricts the amount of information available to the general public. That is censorship. It is not like television. If porn can be legally censored then so can anything else.

Better solutions are as Empusa points out, individual software so you can tell exactly what is blocked. The government would also do a lot better if it pumped the resources towards educating Kids about porn in the same way it does about cigarettes and alcohol. I'm a politics student, but when I went through school, we were never told anything about porn.

The Censorship agenda is as NovacknGood points out, being pushed by the religious right who would also be up for banning information about gay people, other religions and anything else they don't like.

I find it interesting why anyone would want this. Porn can already be filtered by many free and effective pieces of software. Having the government forcibly block it has no effect but invite invitations for more and more increasingly valuable things to be opt in and make people feel falsely secure. There are bits of cities that you wouldn't let a child walk around alone, you wouldn't make the bits of those cities fenced off with an age restriction. You'd simply act on your own initiative and teach your child it is dangerous to go there.

Andrewjh Mon 07-May-12 10:55:00

MarieFromStMoritz and Exotic Fruits - this article explains exactly why state (Dubai in fact) sponsored blocking of the internet is a misleading term at best - http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2010/09/06/dubais-dubious-internet-censorship/

Andrewjh Mon 07-May-12 10:58:38

If you think Dubai actually blocks anything, have a read and have a look at the comments since many are from Dubai. Describes the firewall as a "a pair of ratty, old curtains that have been hastily closed"

Read more: Dubai’s dubious internet “censorship” | PC Pro blog http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2010/09/06/dubais-dubious-internet-censorship/#ixzz1uB0Hhuqn

Best, Andrew.

DonInKillerHeels Mon 07-May-12 10:58:42

The main problem with blocking at source is that content blocking is a very blunt tool indeed.

For example, my DH is a scientist working on human reproduction. It is almost impossible for him to do a Google search for research papers relating to his work without turning up porn websites. If he turns "safe search" on, he can't find the research papers he needs. And he does quite a lot of his work from home.

So even if the government made it an "opt in" for porn, we would have to "opt in" despite having a small child.

It's a relatively limited example, I know, but it is an example of a perfectly legitimate (and indeed socially productive) activity that would be negatively affected by a blunt block at source.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 11:06:48

Thanks for the link, Andrewjh. Sure, there are devious ways around it, but in 5 years here I have never accidentally stumbled upon anything dubious, whereas I did in the UK. I can feel quite confident that my 7 year old DS won't either, and that is what is important.

And as for censorship, I am all for it. I have enough faith in the [UK] government that they would never take this too far. And if they did, then I have enough faith in the [UK] populace to do something about it.

BertieBotts Mon 07-May-12 11:13:04

The harder it is to access internet porn, the more children will be put off looking for it, either because they know they're more likely to get caught, or they don't know how to, or because of fears that they are doing something bad/illegal. Not all teens are uber-rebels intent on breaking every single rule they can find. Of course, some are, but that's the only place your argument makes sense - no block is 100% and if someone is really determined, they will find their way around it. Still, it's kind of a stupid reason to oppose a block.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 11:33:29

Can someone who supports the ISP side filtering tell me which solution they prefer from the 3 below?

a) Blocking all dedicated porn sites (but allowing user content driven sites to remain, so porn is still googleable)
b) Blocking anything which contains keywords related to porn (including MN, sex ed websites, educational resources etc)
c) Blocking all porn totally (by only allowing select websites through the filter and not allowing user driven content websites like facebook, MN, youtube etc)

Because if you go with (a) then you wont be stopping children from stumbling across porn. Bearing in mind it isn't the dedicated porn sites they are likely to stumble across, and even if they did the most explicit stuff will most likely be behind a paywall. It's the user generated content which is likely to be stumbled across by accident.

On top of that how would you compile the list? Would you rely on porn sites notifying the ISP's? Or would someone have to keep track of new porn sites popping up?

Bearing in mind a quick google reveals that in 2010 about 2.4 million domains were registered per month, how would you keep track of how many of those were porn sites? If you are relying on porn sites notifying the ISP's then that is flawed too. Partly because not all of them will want to notify the ISP's, but also because there is no way of enforcing that internationally. A website registered in the US is unlikely to notify a UK ISP.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 12:17:05

I don't know Empusa, but I like the way things are out here in the UAE although I am not sure how they do it. Porn is banned, they are occasionally over-enthusiastic, for instance some lingerie sites are banned. But overall it works well.

Oh, and I have never had a problem accessing sex-education sites (research for IVF) or plastic surgery sites with images (research for my re-build after I have had the baby). So the argument that a ban will affect perfectly legitimate sites is nonsense.

NovackNGood Mon 07-May-12 13:01:39

Well that must be so nice for you Mariefromstmoritz getting your research down for your rebuild and not having to bother about supervising your son.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 13:04:07

Well that must be so nice for you Mariefromstmoritz getting your research down for your rebuild and not having to bother about supervising your son.

I'm sorry, but WTF??!?

DonInKillerHeels Mon 07-May-12 13:07:34

Sigh. Googling a few sites about IVF and plastic surgery is NOT the same as specialist academic research in the field of human reproduction. I'm not going to out myself by going into DH's research in great detail, but suffice it to say he CANNOT google without it throwing up porn sites.

MarieFromStMoritz Mon 07-May-12 13:09:43

DonInKillerHeels, I understand that. So I am assuming that he would be a person who would 'opt in'. He would have made the choice.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 07-May-12 13:12:20

Don you do now realise that everyone is going to think your husband is doing a post-doc on big black cocks? grin

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-May-12 13:14:15

Hi there,

We have moved this thread to In The News now as the Mumsnet campaigns Talk topic is for MNHQ to post about Mumsnet campaigns.

EdithWeston Mon 07-May-12 13:27:12

I've read this thread, and the three linked ones.

It's abundantly clear that the proposed "opt in/out" system does not do what it says on the tin, and at best offers false reassurance. It simply does not protect children, and offers less than a typical net nanny software package.

Filtering/blocking/education/monitoring needs to be done by the user, not the service provider.

So I cannot support this proposal.

While the OP is poorly argued, opt-in is still a crap unworkable solution to a very real problem. I can't be bothered to repeat all I said on the previous threads that have been linked to on the first page. Empusa is explaining it all very clearly.

pastimes101 Mon 07-May-12 13:43:40

I would tentatively prefer solution a)

It would not be difficult to implement.
There are numerous web-filtering solutions out there, with dedicated staff working on categorizing websites, yes, looking at all the porn websites they find, and categorize them just so they can be blocked by the numerous web-filtering solutions out there. Such web filtering solutions could be implemented by ISPS.
They could even be made optional so that parents could just "tick a box" to implement for little extra cost.

Interestingly, parents are not willing to pay for this for home use, so their children can readily access porn. (or they are not aware of the existence or need for such services)
Most employers today have implemented web filtering solutions. It would seem that parents are not as vigilant regards to what their children watch as employers are, maybe because there are no legal nor financial implications to parents if their children access porn, as there would be if an employee was doing it in the office.

Not all parents have the means, or are tech savvy enough to know about neither the dangers nor the solutions out there.

It is even harder to monitor and control this when most kids today access the internet through their phones, rather their home connection, and this is not a problem that has yet been successfully resolved by the phone providers and their apps and networks.

So maybe the whole problem is redundant, with children accessing the net through more modern means than the family pc. Pressure should maybe be applied to the telcos rather than the isps, putting it one leverl further up?

niceguy2 Mon 07-May-12 16:11:04

An opt in porn filter will only protect people (or kids) from accidentally stumbling across porn. Other than that it's a political chocolate fireguard. It looks good in the press but will melt the first time it's challenged.

I don't know about how you surf the web but here on my computers I have yet to see porn jumping out at me unless I've actively gone to dodgy sites to look for it.

My fear is that your average parent who is not technically savvy will now give their child a laptop in their bedroom, safe in the knowledge that 'porn is blocked'.

Unfortunately their child is savvy enough to type in "How do i bypass porn block UK" into Google whilst encouraging their female classmates to post nude photos of themselves on Facebook.

Worst still, dad calls up their ISP and asks for the block to be lifted but doesn't tell mum. Mum thinks the kids are safe......dad thinks "It wont happen to us...."

Technology can only do so much. People will inevitably be lulled into a false sense of security.
I am an IT professional who specialises in networking/firewalls. I can lock up my computers tighter than a ducks arse but I choose the rather low tech solution of having the kids computer in the same room as me. It's so much easier and safer. Plus i can talk to them and teach them too.

For me this is a clear case of just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

My son has accidentally stumbled across po rn. Before we set up parental control.

He typed in Disney Fairies, he thought. confused

Turns out when googling "disney ferries" it redirected to a pretty h ardcore site.

It was very graphical, proper ick in ussy with juice flowing. He was shocked. I was shocked. And felt like a really bad parent at that time.

It should not be legal to have anything disney related point to such sites. angry

niceguy2 Mon 07-May-12 16:53:32

Yes, I'm sure accidents such as this will happen and a porn block will have limited success at limiting situations like you describe Quint.

But, given the same situation an ISP block may not work for a number of reasons:

1) You or your partner have lifted the block anyway to view adult material. It doesn't even have to be porn.

2) The site mis-using Disney's name are not on the block list or change their tactics to actively avoid the porn list. Look at computer viruses. They've evolved as people update their virus checkers. To me this is no different.

Also bear in mind that whilst you may provide some protection to those who like your son accidentally visited a porn site, there is a good chance the legislation creates a whole new number of kids whom are now allowed to be let loose on the Internet whilst their parents naively think they are protected.

My point is this. ISP level blocking is the wrong tool for the wrong job. There are better ways of doing it which involves encouraging better parental control through education. Unfortunately that isn't a quick win nor does it play well in the press. So that will never happen. It's far easier to impose something like this and get the headlines than it is to launch an education campaign on Internet safety and be accused of being a nanny state.

Ryoko Mon 07-May-12 19:15:42

I am very against this new attack on our freedoms, it is first and foremost a completely unworkable pile of total shit that will end up accidentally blocking highly important data on health issues rather then stopping anyone who really wants to look at porn from doing so, but it is also completely unfit for purpose in a world where dumb parents, who know fuck all about computers. Give their children free unsupervised access to the internet, not just at home on the PCs the parents can barely use but also by buying their children completely unnecessary over priced smart phones.

These same clueless parents who steadfastly refuse to learn anything about computing and buy their children 18 rated games as well as the smart phones then normally have the audacity to throw insults at others for letting their kids eat junk food or not reading them books etc. The same applies to all. Be a damn parent take responsibility for your kids, it's not the governments job to bring them up, if you can't be arsed to understand the internet and computers or are too stupid to police them, then don't have it/don't let your kids use it.

Is that so fucking hard? seriously it's hardly rocket science.

Empusa Mon 07-May-12 21:13:20

"An opt in porn filter will only protect people (or kids) from accidentally stumbling across porn."

I doubt it'll even do that.

"There are numerous web-filtering solutions out there, with dedicated staff working on categorizing websites, yes, looking at all the porn websites they find, and categorize them just so they can be blocked by the numerous web-filtering solutions out there. Such web filtering solutions could be implemented by ISPS. "

Here's the issue, those people are employed by companies that deal solely in web filtering, these companies recoup the cost of all that manpower through the cost of their product. They will not share their data freely with ISP's - why would they? So ISP's will have to staff their own web filtering teams, and the cost will be passed on to the consumer. You may be happy with that, but I can't see why someone who isn't planning on using the web filtering technology would be happy to pay extra for it.

If individual ISP's want to offer the service then that's fine, we can choose not to use them. But if the govt force all ISP's to filter then (although you will be allowed to opt out of the filtering) you wont be able to opt out of paying for the filtering. Unless ISP's offer two pricing plans (higher price for filtered, lower price for unfiltered).

Problem with that is then the most vulnerable children (those who this legislation seek to protect) will still not be protected as their parents will be more likely to go for the cheaper offer. I find it hard to believe that parents who cannot be bothered to install their own filtering software or who cannot be bothered to supervise their own children will be bothered to pay the higher price.

exoticfruits Tue 08-May-12 06:59:03

It is quite simple, you would pay lower for the filtering and those who wanted unfiltered would be charged higher and subsidise it. They would be getting an extra service and would be paying for it. Even if I didn't have DCs I have no wish to be able to view porn so am quite happy to be filtered.

NiceViper Tue 08-May-12 07:06:52

Surely that should be the other way round, exoticfruits? Current (unfiltered) service, ordinary price; additional filter, higher price?

Especially as in the light of niceguy2's and empusa's posts, it seems the current proposal is a technical nonsense which offers no real protection. Those who want The Emperor's New Clothes shouldn't expect others to pay.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 07:09:27

NiceViper, viewing explicit images should not be a God-given right. And why should the needs of our children be cast aside to indulge you internet pervs for free?

exoticfruits Tue 08-May-12 07:11:46

Not at all. Those who want porn would subsidise the rest- why not. They would then be the one with the additional service. There must be many people like me who don't want to access it at all.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 07:13:00

Sorry NiceViper, my last comment was not directed personally at you grin

NiceViper Tue 08-May-12 07:22:18

Have you read the posts from the technical experts above which show at the current proposals do not block porn ?

Why should those who can see that it is useless be forced to pay for something that will not protect children?

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 07:44:53

Can I ask if those who are in favour of opt-in porn access are using one of the broadband services that already offer it? And if not, why not?

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 08:45:07

NiceViper, it is possible to block porn. Do not believe the porn apologists who tell you that you can't.

NiceViper Tue 08-May-12 08:51:13

I believe the techies who demonstrate the imperfections in the system as proposed and possible.

Perhaps you could describe to Empusa and Niceguy2, in light of their recent posts, exactly where they are wrong?

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 09:00:17

I don't profess to have any more technical knowledge than them, but I can tell you that I live in a country where porn is banned. I have not stumbled upon any whilst I have lived here, and if you put in a search request for something suspect, you will get a warning screen come up.

The only way to view porn here is to go overseas with a laptop, download a VPN, come back and download it [illegally] to your computer. I dare say I would notice if my 7 year-old did this.

Notthefullshilling Tue 08-May-12 09:14:51

Marie you really are living in your own little world are you not.
You can and very obviously do control what your 7 year old views when he is within your view. However any time he is not in your direct line of sight he could have access to a computer or a smart phone (They are hackable too) and then you have no control what so ever. So you are at the whim of others to some extent. In that case and as others have pointed out you need a system that works, not just slows the access down a little bit.

In 6 years time Marie if your child decided he felt as if they were gay and wanted to find out information or how to deal with his feelings, you are saying he would be banned from doing that. Same with HIV,stdi, pregnancy. All of which you hope he would ask you about, but you cannot be 100% sure he can or would want to.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 09:18:28

Notthefullshilling, you are rather rude and ill informed. I don't live in the UK, and my point is that if they can ban porn here, then they can do it anywhere.

As for information on being gay, STI's, etc... it is just indecent images that are banned here, not information.

Notthefullshilling Tue 08-May-12 09:34:47

I may be all you say but I live in a free country that boys and girls who have not got the gift of language can use the internet to find what they want. Your 7 yea old will have to learn some pretty long and embarrising words to get his information.

How do you think images appear, you enter text to find them. If you cannot enter text because the filter does not know or in fact care if what you are looking for has images or not then that ids a information problem.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 09:38:19

There are books, you know. Not all sex education needs to come from the internet.

littleducks Tue 08-May-12 09:40:46

This thread doen't make much sense to me. I think that there was one originally that explained why MN shouldn't back the legislation and that was argued more clearly.

For me personally, I would like porn banned and inaccesible from my computer. Nobody in our house wants to see it so i have no problems with it being banned at ISP level.

I think it would be better using exotics method where people who want to access extra stuff, or need to for work reasons, pay extra.

Notthefullshilling Tue 08-May-12 09:44:51

Littleducks: The point is not about porn per say. It is about censorship. If this turns in to a thread about the value of porn then we have missed the point. This is about freedom of thought and expression, might sound fancy full but as others have said upthread when MN is banned you will be too late to object.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 09:54:19

The thing is, a lot of the porn out there is vile. Much of the so-called 'regular' porn features very, very young girls. I am sorry, but when it comes down to it, I have far more concern for 14 year-olds being raped to provide pictures for the internet than I do for your "freedom of thought and expression".

'something must be done!'

'here is "something" - we must do it!'

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 09:58:00

littleducks, as you're happy to have porn blocked at your ISP I'm assuming you are using an ISP that already offers that service, yes? Can I ask which one?

flatpackhamster Tue 08-May-12 10:05:38

MarieFromStMoritz

Just because you don't know how to access adult content in the UAE it doesn't mean it can't be done.

Once the government can ban one element of the internet, it can ban dissent. That way lies dictatorship, as you ought to know because you live in one. I don't want to live in a dictatorship.

littleducks Tue 08-May-12 10:05:55

Our internet is supplied by SKY at the moment. I don't know if it blocks anything, as I haven't tested it and didn't set up the subscription, as my dh works in IT so he dealt with it when we moved. I suspect not as the TV channels are opt out??? (which i complained about)

I agree that the measure seem to have big flaws, which is why I would like exotic's method more.

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 10:17:50

Hmm. So on the one hand you're so terribly keen that porn should be blocked by default to protect your children that you support the introduction of legislation to enforce it for all ISPs despite the many issues surrounding the proposed system.

On the other hand you can't even be bothered to find out if porn is already being blocked on your Internet connection, nor can you be bothered to move your Internet connection to an ISP that offers such blocking.

That's an incredibly hypocritical interesting combination of viewpoints.

niceguy2 Tue 08-May-12 10:22:40

MarieFromStMoritz I don't mean to pick on you personally but it's attitude like yours which is the most scary.

Firstly you live in a country where "porn is banned". Who defines what porn is? Just what is it? A man having sex with a woman? What about soft porn where the sex is simulated? What about explicit movies such as 9.5 weeks? Is that porn? Once you allow the government to dictate what you can/cannot watch on the Internet, the fear is that it's a slippery slope. I know for example on my phone that my provider block all 'adult sites' which includes dating sites. I've been to Internet cafes which also block 'adult sites' such as single parent forums.

Secondly and more importantly as I said before there's nothing worse than living with a false sense of security. Your 7 year old may not be technically literate enough to bypass filters using a VPN but I bet if he was 15 years old, he could if he spent a few hours using Google/YouTube and were so inclined to do so. Then you'd be sat there thinking "Oh he's safe" whilst he's hidden away watching god knows what.

You admit you don't have a deep understanding of technical knowledge. Let me tell you as an IT professional that it is possible to have a block on porn for the technically illiterate and it will have a limited effect on younger less savvy children whom may otherwise be misdirected. BUT at the greater risk of older children accessing porn whilst their parents naively think they're protected.

It's all about balancing benefit versus cost. And for me the balance is wrong. There's very little benefit and a great cost. It will slow your internet down, create another point of failure, add cost to your subscription and protect very little. It'll have more holes in it than swiss cheese.

The filter is on or off. Most homes now will have more than one device which can surf the Internet. Phones, tablets, PC's, Laptops, even TV's now. How many parents will turn their restrictions off? How many will understand the implications?

Like I said earlier, this is nothing more than a media soundbite so the government can show they care. It's in reality a chocolate fireguard. How many of you would support a government mandated chocolate fireguard? The arguments for this at the moment seem to be along the lines of "But if it saves one child or ah but it must be possible....." Yes it IS possible. But it doesn't mean the proposed idea is a good one.

NiceViper Tue 08-May-12 10:34:12

There are explanations higher up the thread which show that the "ban" on porn in some countries is no such thing; and I liked the phrase 'chocolate fireguard' to describe what is actually in place. There is no place known to have an effective ban on porn - or indeed any other content which a Government wishes to restrict.

The previous threads about this are linked on the first page of this thread in Empusa's post of Mon 07-May-12 00:32:16.

ealir Tue 08-May-12 10:42:11

I think this is a terrible idea, it is the responsibility of the parent to police their childrens activities on the internet. For the Government to enforce the ISPs to do this is wrong and is infringing on the rights of citizens to do what is ultimately a legal activity and so is a removal of liberty of the citizen by the State. That is before we have even considered the practicalities which seem to suggest it won't work particulary well anyway.

littleducks Tue 08-May-12 10:54:23

Snorbs- I think that you are misunderstanding me, I don't support the current legislation. I don't want to 'protect the children' actually either, it is just something I don't want or need for the children or adults in my home. The majority of my internet surfing has shifted to my iphone and we use the broadband to stream programmes through iplayer etc. to the tv.

I think that there should be packages like exotic suggested, restricted sites x- price and y-price full access, clearly marketed like exotic suggested. I don't know what my internet provider offers anymore, there was talk of porn being blocked in 2010/2011......I don't know what the actual outcome was and the law would presumerably change that if it was passed?

littleducks Tue 08-May-12 10:59:51

This is the thread i was thinking of, it explained the issues more clearly than this thread which i found a bit confusing.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 11:02:40

niceguy2, I keep a very close eye on what my DS is doing on the internet. I always have. And probably always will whilst he is young enough to need policing. We don't have a VPN, by the way.

And yes, probably all of those things that you listed are banned here.

lucyellensmumnamechange Tue 08-May-12 11:07:59

Regula te note block

niceguy2 Tue 08-May-12 11:49:24

Marie. I'm sure you do keep an eye out on your kids. Very much like myself since we're responsible parents.

But those who have parents who don't care. They won't be protected anyway. And if you have parents who really don't give a toss, I don't think a block on Internet porn is really the top of the list of things to worry about.

And that's the issue here isn't it. It's my job as a parent to protect my kids. The fear here is that by implementing a piss poor policy, it protects noone in reality and just creates the illusion of protection.

I understand that to the layman it all sounds very good and the temptation is to think that doing something is better than nothing. But in actual fact sometimes doing the wrong thing is worse than doing nothing.

Poulay Tue 08-May-12 13:04:09

How patronising you are. 'To the layman it all sounds very good' And who are you to presume people's technical knowledge?

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 13:22:36

"I know for example on my phone that my provider block all 'adult sites' which includes dating sites. I've been to Internet cafes which also block 'adult sites' such as single parent forums."

Oh yes. I know I tried to access a website with support for eating disorders/sexual assault on my mobile and it was blocked by the "adult content" filter, so I had to call up my provider for access. Sound like the kind of site that should be made harder to access? Or that people should have to pay extra to access?

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 13:25:09

I agree with you, Poulay. It is very patronising. Still, I guess an air of superiority makes people feel better about their nasty little porn habits and the damage that the internet porn industry does, both to those looking at it and those [unwillingly] taking part in it.

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 13:30:04

Ah, wondered how long that would take. So those of us against the porn block, despite having given you a whole host of valid technical reasons, are actually just dirty little porn users? And you thought niceguy was patronising. hmm

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 13:33:12

That's the thing, Empusa. I do not think that all the technical reasons put forward are valid. If I didn't think it was possible to block porn, I wouldn't be on this thread.

I would presume that anybody who supports this plan doesn't have that much technical knowledge in this area. I don't think that's anything to be ashamed of, it's quite a specialist area. There are lots of areas of IT that I don't really understand - I don't feel patronised if somebody points out why what I'm trying to do won't work.

I'm anti-porn btw, but thanks for the slur.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 13:36:51

I would presume that anybody who supports this plan doesn't have that much technical knowledge in this area.

Why on earth would you presume that?

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 13:39:01

The lack of technical reasons why it would work is a start.

Because there are very valid technical reasons why it won't work. Which of the technical reasons given on this thread and the others do you not think are valid?

Why on earth would you presume I have a 'nasty little porn habit' just because I can see the flaws in this idea?

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 13:50:14

Because it works here. If you want to view porn, you have to go to an awful lot of trouble to do so, ie 'opt in'. If it works here, it can work anywhere.

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 13:51:23

And we are pointing out that it probably blocks a whole load of other (non-porn) stuff.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 13:54:51

Only explicit images. It does not block information. As I said earlier, I had no problems when researching reproduction or plastic surgery.

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 13:55:59

Oh really.. have a read of this

niceguy2 Tue 08-May-12 13:57:58

Poulay, I'm not presuming anything. It was Marie herself who said she doesn't have the technical knowledge and I was accepting what she said was true. The fact that she even knows what a VPN is puts her above your average parent in this country.

That said without meaning to blow my own trumpet, networking, firewalls and security is my area of expertise and I've been working in this area for well over a decade now. So I consider myself an expert in this area as do my friends and my employer.

And I'm not arguing about whether or not I want to surf porn. It's irrelevent. I can if so minded call my ISP up and ask them to lift it. I can if needed bypass any block imposed on me. Trust me, I do it many times when on customer sites and hotels etc. It's just a matter of how much time I want to devote to it.

I'm not even arguing whether porn is a good/bad thing.

What I am saying is this. The current proposals are not a good idea and has big downsides which your average parent will not understand.

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 14:01:39

Things blocked in Dubai include
"Some of these classification errors are particularly egregious, including categorization of the site of a small-town newspaper in Kentucky and the sites of several local churches as pornographic or sex-related."

Yep, that filter is accurate..

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 14:07:46

Empusa grin. Who bloody cares about a newspaper in Kentucky? Anyway, you always get things like this. When I worked in construction (In the UK), we had a problem with the word 'erection' in that we couldn't search for anything with that word in it. We had to have the word removed from the 'banned' list.

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 14:09:10

The point is that if it can block a newspaper in Kentucky because it wrongly believes it is pornography then what else can it block?

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 14:12:56

No, you are right, it also blocks sites about gambling, etc. but that wouldn't be the case in the UK, would it? Interesting link, though. For anybody wondering how they do it, this is how:

"The UAE has a wide-ranging filtering system that prevents its citizens from accessing an unusually high percentage of Internet content. UAE blocked more than 15% of the hand-chosen sites that we tested. The most extensive blocking occurs on topics such as pornography, gambling, religious conversion, English-language dating sites, and URLs in the Israeli top-level domain (.il). Much of this filtering is accomplished through fairly simple processes, such as using the SmartFilter blocking software to exclude certain topics or using a single method to block all content from the Israeli top-level domain.

Like its neighbor Saudi Arabia, UAE uses US-based Secure Computing's SmartFilter as a source of "black lists" and method of blocking access. SmartFilter classifies Web sites into different categories. Users of the software, such as UAE, can select which categories to block; this prevents Internet users from accessing any site in a blocked category. We determined that UAE blocks sites in the following SmartFilter categories: Cults / Occult, Drugs, Gambling, Obscene / Extreme, Nudity, Sex, Dating, Criminal Skills, and Anonymizer / Translator".

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 14:15:18

The point is that if it can block a newspaper in Kentucky because it wrongly believes it is pornography then what else can it block?

Who gives a shit? Seriously... Anyway, if you believe that a site has been banned in error, then it is very easy to have it unbanned (for everybody) by contacting the Ministry. Quite a few sites have been unbanned since I've lived here. It is a very simple process.

GossipWitch Tue 08-May-12 14:24:37

Not being funny but if your child is on the internet, they should be monitored, parental responsibility should come into play here, yes a child may get around said blocks if they were that desperate to look for it, but tbh most kids don't go on the internet looking for porn, they go on to play games, or for music, even then their parents should be in the same room and checking on them every now and then, surely its common sense to keep your kids protected from these sites by actively keeping an eye on them?

EdithWeston Tue 08-May-12 14:26:01

The obvious snag with that quotation about UAE (where is it from, BTW?) is that what it described isn't an effective block. There are tens of thousands of porn site, and not all will have obvious porny names, and they are agile.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 14:30:30

Of course they should, GossipWitch. However, I imagine as they get older you need to be able to back off a bit. Which is why an 'Opt In' (or not) facility would be helpful. Sure, any bright teenager could eventually find something inappropriate, but at least it wouldn't be instantly available.

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 14:45:57

"Who gives a shit" about the ease with which a repressive regime such as UAE can arbitrarily block access to any website they wish is that it's censorship. That you can request - note, not insist - that a particular website is unblocked indicates the seriousness of the issue.

Let's say UAE decides to block mumsnet for its pornographic content (it does, after all, have thousands of posts that contain very explicit descriptions of sexual acts). A UAE serf resident hears that mumsnet is a good place to go for advice but discovers that it's been blocked. She doesn't know why it's been blocked. She doesn't know if the block is for a valid reason or because someone's cocked it up. She will be extremely reticent about requesting access to mumsnet because, for all she knows, it could have a hundred child-porn movies on every page and she'll end up on some kind of register.

niceguy2 Tue 08-May-12 14:54:41

Marie.

It sounds to me that you don't care if it works or not. As long as something is done then it's better than nothing. Correct?

Mumsnet was actually blacklisted last year. Everytime we went on it, my browser kept warning me it was listed as an attack site. Do you still not give a shit?

What about when Wikipedia was incorrectly blacklisted as distributing child porn by the WWF (not the panda charity).

Centralised blocking is a blunt tool which is ineffective and simply NOT the best way to protect children. If the government was indeed serious about it then they'd work with schools, companies and charities to promote blocking software which is free on home computers. Educate parents to sit with their child like I and many of us naturally do. That would be WAY more effective.

This is simply lazy policy making by politicians keen to score a quick media win regardless of its effectiveness or impact on the masses.

Like I said earlier. A chocolate fireguard would stop a child from instantly getting hurt. Doesn't mean it's a good idea though does it?

NarkedPuffin Tue 08-May-12 14:55:05

Empusa, who would decide what was blocked? Would it be something that blocked images or words or both?

(As you have obviously read up on it a lot more than me.)

Instinctively I'd go with the block, but if the American christian right are behind it, it would worry me that they'll use it to block sex education sites and contraceptive advice etc

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 14:57:07

And, just to clarify, I'm against these proposals because:
a) ISP-level blocking for home broadband is the wrong place to do it
b) It will be very unreliable...
c) ...therefore you will still need local-level filtering and blocking
d) It is being pushed by organisations with very dubious agendas
e) If you really want ISP-level blocking then you can have it today by moving to an ISP that offers it (eg, TalkTalk) so no legislation required
f) It will be the thin end of the wedge to more wide-scale Internet censorship

And, if you don't believe me on the "thin end of the wedge" argument, I suggest you look at how the courts have recently forced the technology that's already in place to block child porn (and that's hardly been a rip-roaring success, has it?) to also block access to The Pirate Bay because of breach of copyright. So technology that was put in to "protect the children" is now being used to protect the revenue streams of American film studios. If that's not a classic example of how filtering technology ends up being misused I don't know what is.

NarkedPuffin Tue 08-May-12 14:57:57

Could it just be used to block video? Todays teens would be deeply unimpressed at having to revert to still images.

crazygracieuk Tue 08-May-12 15:00:47

Can I ask what internet blocker everyone uses?

My Sky router can block specific sites and keywords but I bet I could find porn regardless.

NarkedPuffin Tue 08-May-12 15:01:31

I had mobile broadband with Tmobile - dongle. It blocked all kinds of sites - anything sexual, but also stopped me bra shopping and looking up a steam train day trip thing for my parents hmm. If you entered a credit card number it removed the blocking.

EdithWeston Tue 08-May-12 15:02:15

If an ISP block actually worked, wouldn't everyone know about it and be with a provider that offered it?

Perhaps they're not, because it doesn't actually work? The place for vigilance (and filters) is with the user, not the provider.

niceguy2 Tue 08-May-12 15:05:14

Good post Snorbs. And it's also worth noting that traffic to Piratebay actually increased by 12 million after it was blocked. That's effective then eh? source

ISP level blocking is the wrong place to do it. The most effective block is on the PC itself and nothing is a replacement for proper parental supervision. But then neither of those are easy wins for the government.

bibbitybobbitybunny Tue 08-May-12 15:08:13

I have carefully read and considered all the arguments including all the previous threads on Mumsnet and have no problem whatsoever with the idea of making pornography an opt-in option. Nothing has been banned, nothing has been censored, people who want it can still get it. Fail to see the problem.

We already make rudimentary efforts to keep children away from pornography (the top shelf) and the 18 certification. I absolutely fail to be convinced by any of the arguments against the proposal, except perhaps that it may make parents a little too relaxed and complacent. That is all.

lemonaid Tue 08-May-12 15:10:12

If we use Browser tracking software DH will be able to see how much time I've spent online idly looking up pictures of Jeremy Renner, yes?

<scuttles off to local Internet cafe instead>

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 15:12:01

Narked That's a good question, I'm not sure of the answer but have heard dubious things about the most vocal backers of the filter.

As for blocking images, the only way you could block images is if the filename or meta data contains blocked words. If the image was named something like 45788.jpg and had no meta data then it would get through.

This explains some of it

NarkedPuffin Tue 08-May-12 15:12:01

Surely you can't expect parental supervision to be enough when hard core porn has reached this level of saturation? It's free, it's accessible from phones, ipads and laptops, and most blocking software can be bypassed.

NarkedPuffin Tue 08-May-12 15:16:59

So it only looks at the 'label' on the image file? Well then that's pointless. And if you can only block words then the volume of non-porn stuff covered would be huge - surely it would block eg feminist criticisms of porn too?

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 15:17:03

Bibbity, let's say mumsnet was included as a site that needed to be opted-in to. This is not a ridiculous leap as it's already happened on at least one mobile network.

What would you do? Stop using mumsnet? Expect mumsnet to block all the rude words and descriptions of sex acts? Or opt-in to porn'n'mumsnet'n'everythingelse?

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 15:18:09

Narked, the way most of these filters work is that if the image is hosted on a website that is deemed unacceptable then it will be blocked.

NarkedPuffin Tue 08-May-12 15:25:43

So the filters look at the source of the image and block it based on that?

So wouldn't that just result in a lot of euphemisms and very 'polite' porn sites that stop using 'blocked' words? And would you not be able to get around that by having the images held (tech illiterate) separately ie off site?

picnicbasketcase Tue 08-May-12 15:29:25

I would much rather use strong parental controls, which so far have worked fine. Any sites DC try to access with anything remotely dodgy (including FB etc which aren't even porny anyway) come up with a box for me to enter the adminstrator password. I decide which sites to put in the p/w for. Again so far they haven't tried to bypass the controls. I really don't like the idea of some organisation out there deciding what is and isn't suitable for me to see. I make my own decisions, I don't need my ISP to do it for me.

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 15:49:26

How they work is like this:

A company (eg, Bluecoat) manufacturers the filtering boxes that get installed into the ISP's network. Bluecoat will also maintain lists of all the websites they've found so far and put each site into a category such as porn, gambling, discussion, social networking etc. The ISP will program the filtering box to say which of those categories should be allowed and which ones shouldn't.

The ISP can also add exceptions to those lists, eg to say which users should have the filtering applied and which shouldn't, and if any particular website should be blocked even if Bluecoat says its ok or, conversely, to allow access to a website that Bluecoat says is dodgy. But these only apply to the filtering boxes installed at that particular ISP.

When your computer requests a website - eg, www.dodgysite.com - your computer will send that request to your ISP's network. Your ISP will then send that request to its local filtering box. The box compares that website to the categories that Bluecoat says are appropriate and then decide whether to allow your computer to get to that website.

Bluecoat maintains the list of sites and categories mainly by using reports from its users plus having its own team of people who check which category a particular site should appear in. Bear in mind that Bluecoat is a US company with users around the world. What an American fundamentalist Christian, or a hardline Emirates muslim might think of as porn may be very different to what you consider porn yet Bluecoat's categorisation system isn't fine enough to really make that distinction. Eg, Cosmopolitan magazine may well be considered unacceptably pornographic by some.

This reporting and checking process takes time so it is indeed possible for a porn site to pop up and start being used for a while before Bluecoat gets around to checking it and categorising it as porn. It also complicates matters where you have a big site where some bits of it may be hosting porn but other bits aren't, eg reddit, 4chan etc. Bluecoat can filter more selectively but the slow speed of response is always going to be a problem.

You can also get around this by hiding which websites you're really accessing. This is what VPNs and TOR do.

MarieFromStMoritz Tue 08-May-12 16:06:27

So it only looks at the 'label' on the image file?

No, I think it's a bit more sophisticated than that. I was told by one of our specialist IT guys at work (I used to work for the government) that one of the filters they have in place measures the amount of flesh in the image, compared to non-flesh.

NarkedPuffin Tue 08-May-12 16:20:02

I thought that Marie but Empusa said not - or I misunderstood.

Does anyone else think maybe the problem is that our DCs grasp of technology makes us look like cavemen trying to work out what the wavy hot stuff is by comparison?

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 16:27:50

No serious porn filtering is based on fleshtones as it's so stunningly unreliable it's pointless. You might as well just flip a coin.

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 16:43:04

"one of the filters they have in place measures the amount of flesh in the image, compared to non-flesh."

So b&w porn would get through? And this wouldn't? Sounds like a great system hmm

niceguy2 Tue 08-May-12 19:41:58

Fleshtones? Seriously? Just how does it work with a video then? What about black & white photos? What about pregnant bump photography? Websites selling bikinis?

If someone wants to use such an unreliable and fatally flawed system in their own network then that's their own prerogative. But please don't for a second think this is a sensible way of filtering porn for 60 million people.

niceguy2 Tue 08-May-12 19:43:38

Oh, and I suppose such a system would probably end up allowing a photo of a woman's face giving a man a blowjob given the amount of flesh is minimal. Or allowing a video which is 20 mins long but the hardcore anal section is only 2 minutes.

Terrific.

JohnBellingham Tue 08-May-12 19:49:01

As many people on many threads have pointed out, it won't work, it will cost us a fortune, it enables authorities to decide what we can access - oh and it won't work.

It just sounds like a nice easy solution to solve a complicated problem and gives people with other agendas a platform.

I think we should block stupidity at the source and you must have to opt in to a vetted list of informed people before you can leap on ridiculous bandwagons.

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 20:50:38

Also, what do we mean by fleshtones? Because that's a huge damn range. Not only would you have to take into account the full range of human skintones you'd also have to take into account the way different lighting changes skintones (eg. tungsten lighting makes things appear more yellow)

NovackNGood Tue 08-May-12 20:59:56

So MAriefromstmoritz thinks knowledege of sex is bad for people to look for on the internet but feeling the need to alter your body with cosmetic surgery to fit in with a patriarchal societies image is a perfectly commendable activity?

banditqueen Tue 08-May-12 21:48:06

I totally support the ban and don't know why something similar hasn't been introduced before. I think there are likely a lot of mumsnetters lurking on this thread (and previous ones on the same topic) who agree but aren't willing to go head to head with the people claiming techie superiority who are dominating this conversation.

NovackNGood Tue 08-May-12 21:53:28

Banditqueen do you agree with a police nanny state and censorship is better so parents can abrogate their responsibilities.

exoticfruits Tue 08-May-12 22:15:51

Since parents are not being responsible, many parents wouldn't let their DC go to the local shop on their own and yet let them have their own laptop in their bedroom, I think it is a great initiative and I am astounded that any parent wouldn't back an MP who is trying to protect DCs. I am all for a police, nanny state and censorship if it keeps DCs away from porn.
I don't see the difficulty, I don't want to access porn, those that do are not censored, they just opt in and pay extra to subsidise the filters. Porn is the extra and they should pay for it.

exoticfruits Tue 08-May-12 22:17:37

Ask most parents the simple question Do you want your DC to access porn? and they would say 'no'.

Snorbs Tue 08-May-12 22:20:39

exoticfruits, if you are so keen on ISPs filtering porn, can I ask if you have moved your broadband connection to an ISP that already offers such filtering?

By the way, filtering is an extra - it requires expensive kit if an ISP is going to do it - so it would make more sense for those wanting filtering to pay for it.

stargirl1701 Tue 08-May-12 22:21:45

So why do the school filters work then? It is very difficult to access educational websites from school computers - multiple forms, etc. far less anything dodgy. It can be done and no child has managed to work round it yet.

NovackNGood Tue 08-May-12 22:25:15

So now everyone in the country has to subsides the irresponsible parents who don't control what their children access on the internet. Wow what an entitlement those parents want.

exoticfruits Tue 08-May-12 22:34:48

I don't have the problem, snorbs. Mine are beyond the age of censorship. When they were younger I kept a close check.

Empusa Tue 08-May-12 23:09:06

"but aren't willing to go head to head with the people claiming techie superiority"

So we are wrong to use our technical knowledge?

"Since parents are not being responsible, many parents wouldn't let their DC go to the local shop on their own and yet let them have their own laptop in their bedroom, I think it is a great initiative and I am astounded that any parent wouldn't back an MP who is trying to protect DCs. I am all for a police, nanny state and censorship if it keeps DCs away from porn. "

So this is a good thing because it will protect the children of irresponsible parents right? Except irresponsible parents are
a) more likely to have the filter lifted
b) still not going to protect their children from the other unsavoury content on the net

"Porn is the extra and they should pay for it."

Except as we keep pointing out, it isn't just porn that's being blocked. Why should people have to pay extra to view innocent sites, just so some parents don't have to bother monitoring their kids internet use?

wannaBe Tue 08-May-12 23:32:55

I am baffled. genuinely.

I have been using the internet for, oh, about twelve years now. And I have never accidentally happened upon porn, hardcore or otherwise, ever. I'm sure I could find it if I went looking, but isn't this talk of how easy it is to access porn awfully hysterical anyway? I'm sure there are instances where one might accidentally stumble across a porn site, but I simply don't believe that it is that common an occurrence. Why are your children not supervised when surfing the internet? Why do you not have google set to safe mode? Etc etc.

If you don't want your children accessing porn fine, don't let them access it.

Ryoko Wed 09-May-12 02:08:55

irresponsible parents........hands up who here is one?.

No didn't expect anyone to say yes, it's just another buzz word so politicians can grab more power with the excuse of protecting the stupid and innocent, another vague group of people who's numbers are unknown and who's qualities and traits can't be quantified as it's all just a buzz word to help get laws passed
just like the Americans obsession with commies hiding under every bed, just like the constant belittling of those on benefits and protecting us from terrorists etc.

If a parent is irresponsible those kids are going to have far more things to worry about then seeing a few bits of porn.

piprabbit Wed 09-May-12 02:28:02

My parental controls block mumsnet, due to the explicit language and content of some of the threads.

I have set up separate accounts for my children (which blocks mumsnet et al) and myself (doesn't block much at all). I would hate to be forced to opt-in to porn, when in reality I'm just trying to access perfectly normal sites like MN. I'll still need to set up my own controls too.

And if the ISPs were clever enough to be able to exclude mumsnet from the porn-block, well I'd still need to set up controls because I'd hate for my DD to stumble across a Friday night thread.

I don't see how opting in or out would make my DCs any safer than they are today.

piprabbit Wed 09-May-12 02:34:15

Sorry the first line should read "My default parental controls block mumsnet".

Love that 4chan are laughing at this thread right now.

For all those who are jumping on the Internet censorship bandwagon, you really need to get educated on how the Internet actually works.

Not necessarily your current usage, or your Child's current usage- but the potential out there is terrifying.

Look at anonymous! ( if you don't know about anonymous you can't deign to know anything about what happens online! ) do you honestly think that any of their parents or families know what theyre getting upto? ( Until the FBI show up at your door.)

Knowledge is power and we can influence positive behaviours, but there's always going to be horrible things online.

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 03:34:44

So MAriefromstmoritz thinks knowledege of sex is bad for people to look for on the internet but feeling the need to alter your body with cosmetic surgery to fit in with a patriarchal societies image is a perfectly commendable activity?

What a stupid post. Obviously I do not think knowledge of sex is bad, but I would rather it came from a responsible source, not vile, abusive images from the internet.

And how do you know what plastic surgery I am referring to? It is a reconstruction procedure, not that it is any business of yours.

TheCatInTheHairnet Wed 09-May-12 03:48:14

"The UK is the largest Internet economy in the world"

Riiiiiight, that's why Some of the biggest Internet companies are based in places like San Jose, California, as opposed to Swindon then.....

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 03:56:00

I don't know how the fleshtones filters work, but I can see the pic that Empusa posted of the man and child. It is just one of a whole range of measures put in place here.

I don't like the way this has become a bit of a UAE-bashing thread. I brought it up only to show that it is possible to ban porn, as people were saying that it wasn't.

exoticfruits Wed 09-May-12 07:04:39

I don't think it fair for people to say they are responsible parents and they don't care what the DCs of irresponsible parents can access. I am pleased that Claire Perry and others are thinking of protecting all DCs.

EdithWeston Wed 09-May-12 07:16:17

If why was being proposed actually offered protection, then I would have no hesitation in supporting it.

But it doesn't (see techie bits), so I don't.

It doesn't actually work in UAE either - yes there are many banned sites; but no, that does not make an effective "porn ban".

Snorbs Wed 09-May-12 07:20:57

You brought up the UAE as an example. Unfortunately for you it is an excellent example of the issues with this kind of proposal.

But yes, we do need to be careful not to criticise the UAE too much as otherwise they'll block access to mumsnet. It wouldn't be the first time they've blocked sites that are critical of their regime.

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 07:30:41

No, it is an excellent example of how things can work. Sure, it's not perfect, but things are changing and evolving all the time in the IT world. We should focus on solutions rather than saying "it can't be done" and giving up.

EdithWeston Wed 09-May-12 07:39:06

"sure it's not perfect" - spot on!

It isn't a porn ban in any meaningful sense. It blocks some websites, yes. But that is not the same as offering worthwhile protection.

The solution to this is unlikely ever to be technical (because of the moving nature of technology, and the agility of dubious sites, and/or dubious content on other sites). Not because of defeatism, but because of the nature of the wish list.

This is an area where it would be naive to think anything can absolve the parent of user-side responsibility. And energy should go into that, not chocolate fireguards.

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 07:41:03

How do you know, EdithWeston? Do you actually live here? I said it's not perfect, not that it doesn't offer worthwhile protection, because it does.

ragged Wed 09-May-12 07:42:18

I don't see the problem with both: the proposed regulations AND the home-computer censors too (K9). The more layers of filters & hurdles the better, ime. (Yes that's imE not just imO).

Snorbs Wed 09-May-12 07:47:01

Of course we can, and should, work to protect or children from the nastier side of the Internet. And that's not just porn but grotesque images of bodies etc.

The question is where to do that. The ISP is the wrong place and the way that the UAE erroneously blocks innocent sites is not unimportant.

The PC is the right place for filtering/blocking as it allows much more control and monitoring. And that should be augmented by parental supervision.

EdithWeston Wed 09-May-12 07:47:03

It is difficult to see how blocking a (smallish) proportion of porn sites can constitute an effective ban. If you're happy with such a flawed and permeable system, then that is of course your prerogative.

But from what you've posted about it, what the techies have said about it, and what is readily available via Mr Google, it is important to realise there is a huge difference between "most of what this system blocks is porn" and "this system blocks most porn". And that doesn't even begin to cover content which is not obviously porn. The system offers false reassurance on the back of a poor level of protection.

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 08:28:30

So what is the big deal about having to opt-in? I just don't understand why you're all making such a fuss about it. If it was up to me, I would have a system whereby you had to opt-in using a credit/debit card. Maybe with a nominal charge of $1 so you could see if someone has borrowed your card to do this. I would then have something in place that made it obvious if a computer had been 'porn-enabled' in this way.

It is fine for parents to sit beside their children everytime they use the computer when they are 8 years old, but less practical when they get to their early teens.

exoticfruits Wed 09-May-12 08:29:43

I don't think the fact that it is difficult should just mean that people abdicate all responsibility and don't even try.

exoticfruits Wed 09-May-12 08:30:12

Great idea Marie.

Snorbs Wed 09-May-12 08:50:46

exoticfruits, I think "I don't think the fact that it is difficult should just mean that people abdicate all responsibility and don't even try" could just as well be, if not even better, applied to the parents who can't be arsed to keep an eye on what their children are doing on the Internet.

The issue here is that even if this proposed block were introduced it would not turn the Internet into a safe place for children to roam otherwise unhindered. There are websites out there that show graphic pictures of the aftermath of road accidents and bombs.

The point here is that this proposal has a lot less to do with protecting children from porn and a lot more to do with a combination of three things:

1) Certain religion-backed pressure groups pushing for anything that their religion doesn't agree with to be blocked. Porn is just the start (and Claire Perry herself has revealed this isn't just about porn but all "adult" websites. Mumsnet is a website aimed at adults.)

2) Pressure from US-based copyright holders to ensure that ISPs in the UK are forced to install the technology required to make it easy to block access to anything that they claim is infringing their copyrights. And don't forget that this is already happening.

3) Pressure from within the government and security services to easily block access to anything they want to claim as giving aid to terrorists or being a risk to state security. Eg wikileaks.

A cry of "protect the chiiilllldrrrruunnn!!!!" has become a very powerful smokescreen for governments to introduce laws that are actually about restricting freedoms.

niceguy2 Wed 09-May-12 09:07:57

I totally support the ban and don't know why something similar hasn't been introduced before. I think there are likely a lot of mumsnetters lurking on this thread (and previous ones on the same topic) who agree but aren't willing to go head to head with the people claiming techie superiority who are dominating this conversation.

Banditqueen. Sorry if it sounds like we're dominating this conversation. I hope people do not feel daunted by us and don't reply. Debate is good.

But I fear the fact that the word 'porn' is distracting enough MN's such as your good self into thinking this is a good idea because doing something is better than nothing. Using the same logic, having sex with a used condom with a couple of holes in it is better than nothing. But it doesn't make it a good idea! My fear is that parents are fooled into thinking it's good protection when in fact it's not.

As another poster remarked earlier. If you are a caring parent who wants to protect their children then you will still need parental controls, still need to watch and teach. The ISP block is therefore rather irrelevant. And if it is such an important feature then why are more parents not flocking to ISP's like TalkTalk who offer this already.

This is the equivalent of forcing BT & Virgin to install swear filters by default so children are protected from hearing swearwords. You can call up and have the swear filter removed.

A reasonable person would ask how much such an infrastructure would cost.

A reasonable person would realise that if I call up have the block lifted, the next time my child used the phone, the protection is no longer there.

A reasonable person would realise a teenager would quickly find a way around this by changing the swearwords. Blocking is no different. The browser is only one of many ways of looking at porn. People were downloading porn way before the Internet browser was invented.

A reasonable person would say it's a parents job to teach a child the rights/wrongs of swearing, mandating the use of a swear filter is unneccessary, over the top and nanny state.

A reasonable person would wonder if it would work in reality.

I'm not arguing for or against porn. That's a stupid argument here. It's about whether or not these proposals are effective. And in my professional opinion it is not.

niceguy2 Wed 09-May-12 09:14:34

Marie. I don't object to the idea of having to opt-in. I object the way it's portrayed. That it's an effective tool to protect children from the dangers of pornography.

The credit/debit card thing is also far from effective. Many people don't have such cards. Cunning children can also borrow their parents card. Given it costs about $10 for 100 credit card numbers on the Internet, i doubt that's effective either.

Lastly and this is the important point and why I keep saying that I fear parents will be lulled into a false sense of security. It's not the computer which is 'porn enabled', it's the CONNECTION. You authorise the entire circuit, not the computer. So your child can now surf porn from any computer, phone or tablet.

piprabbit Wed 09-May-12 09:26:40

Every parent already has the tools available to them to control their child's access to porn. These tools are free, or relatively cheap and are at least as effective as asking ISPs to block porn. I say "at least as effective" as neither solution will offer 100% protection from a tech-savvy child bypassing filters.

The question is, should parents be encouraged and educated to make best use of the tools already available or should the Government legislate (at great cost and complexity) to force the ISPs to carry out this task instead so that uninterested parents can continue in blissful ignorance of the very real risks their children are exposed to online even with a block in place.

I am also saddened to see that some posters feel that anyone who thinks that the block would be an ineffective, misleading use of resources must be some sort of porn apologist or perv. This assumption is exactly why I do not want to have to declare my desire to 'opt-in' to access to adult sites just so I can see mumsnet and similar sites.

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 09:32:11

I object the way it's portrayed. That it's an effective tool to protect children from the dangers of pornography.

Niceguy2, it will help. Obviously it is up to us as parents to supervise our children at the computer when they are young, and to check up on them once they are older. However, some in-built protection (looked after by clever technical folk in the government) would be very welcome.

I don't live in the UK, but if I did, I would be very concerned that my DS would be just a few seconds away from viewing unregulated pornography. I have been unfortunate enough to see some of the stuff on the internet, and I must admit I am probably scarred for life. I want to protect my kids from this.

piprabbit Wed 09-May-12 09:36:14

Marie - so you spend 10 minutes setting up some parental controls. Job done to at least as high a standard as an ISP porn filter. No need to rely on the lovely government tech people or wait around for legislation.

NovackNGood Wed 09-May-12 09:44:36

Having been to the the UAE many times I can say without a shadow of the doubt that the vast majority of expats living their and their children get around internet and alcohol restrictions quiet easily and whilst some parents have their heads in the sand about it the reality is drinking parties and plenty of sex.

EdithWeston Wed 09-May-12 09:48:50

Wherever you are, you are only a few clicks away from seeing porn. Yes, in UAE too, so your level of concern would be the same in any location (except perhaps North Korea).

The only way to avoid the "holey condom" scenario is to provide effective protection and sound education at home.

niceguy2 Wed 09-May-12 10:11:19

Yes Marie, I actually agree. It will help. But at what cost? And how effective is that 'help'.

Like I said, having sex with a used condom with a hole also 'helps' prevent unwanted pregnancy. It doesn't make it a good idea does it?

wannaBe Wed 09-May-12 10:21:36

I find it interesting that the countries who "ban porn" are the countries that have the most appalling human rights records in the world.

Let's not kid ourselves that Dubai bans porn for the protection of children - it has more to do with power and control and sensorship of that which it believes Islam would not approve of. This is the same country where cohabiting is illegal, where homosexuality is illegal, where it is illegal to kiss or hold hands in public, where adultery is illegal and if a woman commits adultery she is sent to prison (not the man though) and where upon divorce custody of the children is automatically awarded to the father. Oh yes, I think Britain should be just like that. hmm

About 30 years ago my dad worked in Saudi. Alcohol there is illegal. Everybody drank though! You just ensured you didn't get caught.

I am genuinely confused as to why people who already look out for their children's internet safety think this will do anything.

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 11:05:58

I agree, wannaBe. It is done here for religious reasons. My argument isn't that the UK should be like the UAE and ban everything, it was merely to illustrate that the technology works. I cannot see porn on my computer.

Snorbs Wed 09-May-12 11:47:13

a) You could if you wanted to

b) How much else of the web are you being blocked from seeing under the pretence that it's porn?

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 11:58:42

Snorbs,

a) Yeah, I could, if I left the country, downloaded a VPN to a laptop, brought it back, illegally downloaded it to my PC... how many kids are capable of that? Without their parents noticing?

b) I don't know. I have never had a problem viewing reproductive sites or plastic surgery sites, so I am not sure. Is there anything in particular you had in mind?

niceguy2 Wed 09-May-12 12:16:24

Marie. Does the UAE block torrent/magnet sites? Gnutella? What about newsgroup servers? What about FTP servers? I bet they don't block FTP servers.

This is the point. You think a block will work because when you click on http://www.bigsexsite.xxx is blocked but in reality there are many many ways to download porn. Using the browser (http) is only one of them.

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 12:25:05

niceguy2, I honestly don't know, as I don't know what those things are. I shall try to find out. The only way that I know that you can view porn, is to download a VPN.

They are very strict out here, but it isn't just about porn. They ban lots of stuff. There is also a very real concern about terrorism. They keep an eye on what we are doing on our computers, and if it is suspicious, they will arrest you.

I am not saying that the UAE is the perfect model for internet censorship, far from it. I just think it gives food for thought when looking at ways to do things in the UK.

wannaBe Wed 09-May-12 13:55:41

but still no-one who is in favour of this is able to give a valid reason for it.

What the government is proposing is something that each and every one of us is able to do from our own homes anyway, and would have to continue to do regardless of an opt-in feature due to the fact we should still ourselves be responsible for our own children's safety online.

The reasoning that people who don't do this for their children/don't have the knowledge etc is invalid. Many of those people will themselves be in the habit of viewing porn (I'm not judging that, that's just a statement of fact) and so will in fact opt into the feature anyway, so their children won't be protected. All of our children will have friends whose internet safety is not on a par with our own, whether this feature exists or not, so even if we protect our children at home there will be times when they go to others' houses where those protections are not in place. And if an opt in feature exists then our children will have friends who will have opted in, and so the same lack of safety will apply.

The fact is that it's not possible to fully protect our children against seeing this stuff, and so we have to educate them.

I don't want my child viewing porn online either, and so I have parental controls on the computer. But he will need to be educated to know that there are certain things that are not for appropriate viewing, just as he needs to learn that you don't give out personal details on club penguin and the like.

The problem is that technology like this holds no fear for our children. They have grown up with it, whereas with us it's come along in our lifetime - there is a difference.

niceguy2 Wed 09-May-12 14:48:07

Marie. Actually I can answer the question for you. UAE does not block torrent sites. Nor does it block proxies and VPN sites.

I know because i've just had a chat with an old friend who also lives in the UAE. He laughed and just said that he uses Piratebay, other torrent sites to download his porn. And if he wants to watch Youporn then he just bounces off a proxy. He can also use a VPN to the USA too but he doesn't need to.

Still think the UAE is a good example of how to filter & block? Because from where I'm standing it's more akin to my chocolate fireguard example earlier.

And if you take into account the rest of the blocking the UAE is doing which is non porn related then I actually think it's a very very poor model of internet censorship and a model I don't think any of us want to have.

exoticfruits Wed 09-May-12 16:01:03

Each and everyone of us may be able to, but quite clearly it isn't happening.

MarieFromStMoritz Wed 09-May-12 16:10:42

OK, fair enough niceguy2, but most of that is outside the capabilities of smaller children. Sure, older kids could work it out, which is why you need to keep an eye on them. But I think the harder it is, the less likely they are to access it. It is not instantly available within a few seconds like it is in the UK at the moment.

I see Opting In as one of a series of measures designed to protect our kids. Sure, parents need to do their bit. I also wish the clever folks could find a way of preventing the very worst porn, but I suspect they have no interest in doing so.

frankie4 Wed 09-May-12 16:25:58

I haven't read this whole thread but I can see that a man has come on mn as he knows that it is a very influential site and wants to get all the mums on his side!

Within a few clicks children can access hardcore porn which could be very damaging for them. Eg. sites called teen and abused.

Parental control filters are not the answer as so many children now have smartphones which access the internet. Many parents are not aware that their children can access such sites on their phones.

I know that education is important, but that does not mean it should be freely available. If alcohol or drugs were freely available to children, no amount of education would compensate.

niceguy2 Wed 09-May-12 16:33:44

The 'clever folk' can. But you just won't like the solution. It's very simple. You ban every Internet site then allow selected government 'approved' sites through the firewall. And anyone who uploads dirty/nude photos onto 'approved' sites such as Facebook is arrested and thrown in prison for a long time.

I agree that as part of a SERIES of measures then it could be effective. But the problem is that the government are not proposing a series of measures. Nor are they even up front with the limited benefits of this system.

And we return straight back to what us techies are saying in the first place. The current proposals are ineffective and that ISP level blocking is the wrong place to do it. Nothing replaces proper parental supervision and with that in place you don't need the block in the first place.

Putting your faith in a chocolate fireguard ISP block and then allowing your young/older child loose on the Internet because you can't be bothered to supervise properly is simply lazy parenting and abdicating your responsibilities. And I don't think its fair the rest of us have to be inconvenienced or sound like a pervert ringing up our ISP's to unblock our lines because some parents are too lazy.

Snorbs Wed 09-May-12 16:34:23

What? There are men here? Good lord!

Empusa Wed 09-May-12 16:36:48

"What? There are men here? Good lord!"

<runs around screaming>

Ryoko Wed 09-May-12 16:44:24

I'd like to vote on some legislation to split the country up, all the stupid and lazy people who can't be arsed looking after their own kids, saying no when they moan for a smart phone or otherwise treating kids like kids instead of spoiled brats, then blaming everyone else for their behaviour can all be put in one area of the country controlled by the nanny state.

The rest of us sensible people who don't allow the kids to vanish off to the bedroom with the family PC, don't give them smart phones because they bitched they wanted one etc, all the people who want to live life on their terms and bring kids up in their way without interference can have another part of the country with minimal rule where the emphasis is on common sense.

In 20 years time we can all compile our data to see which part is capable of looking after themselves perfectly well and which half is full of stupid morons barely able to wipe their own arses.

frankie4 Wed 09-May-12 17:50:54

The thing is, the children that are not supervised on the Internet will end up affecting those children that are. They may be our children's future boyfriend or girlfriend. And if the majority of children are accessing hardcore porn then this will filter down into attitudes of society as a whole over the years.

NovackNGood Wed 09-May-12 18:34:01

franke4 your right cause those kloggie Dutchies are the scourge of the western world with their hardcore porn etc. for the last 40 years.

ravenAK Wed 09-May-12 21:49:41

'So why do the school filters work then? It is very difficult to access educational websites from school computers - multiple forms, etc. far less anything dodgy. It can be done and no child has managed to work round it yet.'

I'm sorry, but I've just spaffed wine down my nose at THAT one.

I can walk into any classroom at work & call out 'OK, who knows how to get on to <insert name of popular banned site>.'

Ten hands will go up & another ten won't, because they do know but are slightly more cunning & don't want to drop themselves in it.

Not to mention the 'dodgy' content I've seen them inadvertently turn up by googling innocuous phrases...

School filters DON'T work.

niceguy2 Wed 09-May-12 22:17:11

Coincidentally I was talking to my 15yr old DD today about something and I suggested she stayed at school and use the school computers to do some research. Her response was "Yeah right, I can't get on half the normal sites even the ones we need. Why would I do that?"

School filters are a blunt tool which at least are under the control of the school's IT dept. It's then a matter for them to decide what is accessible and what is not. How big a hole to punch in their firewall/whitelisting system.

If my DD's experience is anything to go by, it's blocking a lot more sites than they intend in a school of 1000 kids. I'd hate to see what happens if you apply this on a national level.

And parental control filters which are the equivalent of the school filters are what I'm saying is a better idea. Still not perfect but a far better idea than a ill thought out hammer to crack a nut solution of a national block.

chandellina Thu 10-May-12 12:00:27

Just because something isn't perfect doesn't mean it shouldn't be done and the technology to block will only improve.
Any effort to quell the pervasiveness of porn is a good thing

Snorbs Thu 10-May-12 12:23:51

Yes, the technology to block porn will improve. At the same time, the technologies to circumvent censorship in all its forms will also continue to improve.

You may not see the proposals for porn blocking in the UK as censorship and, as the proposals stand right now, I'd agree with you. But censorship and lack of free speech is an issue on the Internet as a whole in repressive regimes such as China, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran etc. So people working on technologies which circumvent such censorship (eg, Onion Routing) see that their work is important for fundamental human rights.

And then there's the people who are working on other technologies that can be used to distribute large amounts of data in a very efficient way (eg, BitTorrent) who are doing it either as an interesting technical exercise, or to solve a particular file distribution problem (BBC iPlayer's Download Manager uses a BitTorrent-like protocol), or because they want to be able to pirate games and DVDs.

It's an escalating arms race between the blocking/filtering technologies and the anti-censorship/file-distribution technologies. Pervasiveness of porn and its effects on children is a social issue. It's difficult to solve social issues with technology.

niceguy2 Thu 10-May-12 12:35:14

Any effort to quell the pervasiveness of porn is a good thing

Like I said earlier. Based on that line of thinking, condoms with holes in them are not perfect either but you consider them to be a good way to prevent pregnancy/STD's yes?

For me the censorship argument is secondary. My primary concern is that it's an unworkable policy which prays on the public's fear of their child viewing pornography just to score a few cheap political points, inconvenience the masses and do nothing to really protect children at all.

If the proposed ISP block formed part of a comprehensive government strategy then I'd be more in favour of it. But there's no strategy.

To me this proposal is as stupid as the previously proposed ID card system under Labour. Ah yes, we'd pay for a very expensive biometric ID card which would be unbreakable. Anyone who opposed this was a terrorist sympathiser or must have something to hide. Bugger the fact that the government weren't planning on buying the flipping biometric readers! So your biometrics were stored....but go into a bank/post office/whereever and they can't use the damn thing and have to use the photo! Was that also a good idea? Or again...is any effort, even a piss poor idea better than no effort?

Xenia Thu 10-May-12 15:19:36

Many many women who are mothers are very much aganist the proposed block. It is yet anoth chipping away at our rights and freedoms. I have been going on about it in various places.

It also is effectively saying - we the nanny state are in charge of your family; we know best; we decide how to bring up your children. It in effect saying mothers are useless. If you support the change you are effectively agreeing with this that mother does not know best, but the sate knows best.

The state usually gets most things wrong and is the last person you want in charge of things.

exoticfruits Thu 10-May-12 16:31:20

I thought that you went to great lengths on other threads Xenia to say that most mothers are useless! I actually think that a lot are and therefore I think that it is something to support.

NetworkGuy Thu 10-May-12 21:18:19

"Surely that should be the other way round, exoticfruits? Current (unfiltered) service, ordinary price; additional filter, higher price?"

I'd agree. The extra work involved is why such a so-called "clean feed" does cost more. However, even a firm with 5m turnover and 100 employees admits that such filtering cannot guarantee a complete block, and I posted a link just a day or two ago when I saw it (on one of the earlier-mentioned threads).

Those who want to could switch to > So Internet < but may not like the costs.

Blocking of "pirate" websites was looked at some months ago by Ofcom and the report they gave the Govt said it was impractical to attempt filtering. The two things are similar in nature, so I don't understand why the Minister hasn't got the message it is technically challenging, always going to have new websites pop up that aren't blocked, and a massive waste of time, money and effort, if parents themselves cannot be bothered to also take steps to educate and discourage sites which have porn, violence, racism, etc.

There's also the question over whether smart phones should be in the hands of those youngsters, when they are tempting as targets for theft, bullying, and so on, and can cost hundreds of pounds...

For me, it's the fact that once some "black box" blocking system is in place that could allow a future government to "adjust" the list, that this gets so worrying.

It's a small step to go from saying "this is to block porn sites" to "block porn and violence sites" to "block porn and violence and other bad sites" (where the definition of "bad" gets to include anything the people in power 'decide' is not in the public interest).

niceguy2 Thu 10-May-12 22:21:12

Because ministers are not technically minded and don't really care enough to arm themselves of the facts. Just like your average voter.

They weigh up the message they will send to the press and what the parents will hear and to hell with reality. I suspect their thought process goes something like this:

Pro ban makes me sound like I'm on the side of parents.
Anti-ban makes me sound like I like to watch porn.

As for the thin end of the edge argument I do understand that and there are many instances of that happening. We're now using technology designed to block child porn to block piratebay and Newzbin. The latter is case in point at how futile it is because they just set themselves up as Newzbin2 and carried on.

The government have also used laws designed for anti-terror purposes to track parents who they suspect have lied to get their child into a school. The police have threatened to arrest photographers for taking photos also using anti-terror laws.

How long after we've blocked porn will it take before it's proposed that the block is extended to sites glorifying violence? Then maybe gambling....that's not good for kids.....then what about dating sites? They're inappropriate for kids surely. The list goes on.

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 06:47:26

I thought that Claire Perry, the MP behind it actually has about 4 children herself and her general belief (probably she has only spoken to parents and not read MN)is that parents welcome it and think it long overdue.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 07:27:54

I'm ALL in favour of the government intervening and putting blocks in place.

Absolutely in favour!

It might not work for all kids but what kind of argument is it then to do NOTHING. Hopefully as time goes on such a system will be refined and improved upon.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 07:36:43

And if you're a kid who is determined to find porn - no doubt they will.

But most kids have a look because it's SO damnedy easy to do so.

Just type "PORN" and you're in!!!!

Snorbs Fri 11-May-12 07:40:18

No, the alternative to an ISP-based filter is not "do nothing".

The alternative is "install a PC-based filter because that will block a lot more than porn while being a lot more flexible plus monitor what your DCs are doing online because that will have the biggest benefit".

Snorbs Fri 11-May-12 07:50:01

Claire Perry's "independent" review onto this topic was funded by one Christian pressure group and written by another (Safer Media). Both have stated aims that they want to see the Internet purged of anything they regard as unnecessary, and that includes bad language. Thin end of the wedge.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 07:52:18

Snorbs - yes we can do that as well.

I LIKE the fact the government are concerned enough to want to do something more to ensure kids don't see this stuff... I find it reassuring that they care about this problem on the internet. And it's a BIG problem!

Xenia Fri 11-May-12 08:49:34

It is state control. The English do not ilke a nanny state. We bring up our own children as we choose. Many mothers are against this plan. It should be assumed we support the idea there shoudl be this interference in fundamental rights and freedoms. It is not the vote winner Cameron thinks it is. They were voted in to rid us of all the restrictrions on our freedoms labour had brought in and are not doing well at getting rid of them.

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 08:55:09

How do we know it isn't a vote winner? It sounds on here as if most people are against it, but it is a minute sample. I am all for it, I am not bothered about the DC s who have responsible parents, I am glad that someone cares about the rest. As Animation says, it is simply too easy at the moment.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 09:06:13

I think this is something that SHOULD be state controlled - I want the govrnment to interfere as much as possible to ensure kids can't log on to porn even if it means restricting the adults viewing. And I don't much care if adults fundemental rights to view porn is restricted at all - whilst the situation is made safer for kids.

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 09:08:08

Here, here, Animation.

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 09:16:07

Animation. I suspect the vast majority of parents such as yourself will draw the same conclusion as you have. And I can totally understand why. You read the newspaper, it says government is planning to block porn to make kids safer and on the surface who can be against it.

How the Internet works isn't your area of expertise. Just in the same way as you probably (like me) don't have a clue how your car works. You just use it. Fair enough. But if I have a problem with my car, I take it to an expert and listen to what he says.

And yes, what a nice government. Caring enough to make our kids safer. That's exactly what they want you to think. Unfortunately the plans don't work. But your average parent won't understand that.

If the government REALLY cared about children's online safety they'd not only ask for ISP blocks (which is what is proposed) but they'd be talking to computer firms about ensuring computers arrive with parental filters pre-installed. They'd be mounting an education campaign like we do for smoking, crossing the road, drink driving about the dangers of not supervising your kids. They'd be heavily promoting the free parental filters already available. Perhaps asking schools to distribute them and/or organising lessons for parents on how to install & configure them.

Where are all those actions? Are they even proposed? No. Nothing, nada, zip. Just a quick win to grab a headline.

All this is, is a cynical ploy to pull the wool over the minds of parents. Fool them into thinking the government cares whilst taking advantage of the fact you don't really understand. Bugger the fact that virtually all IT people are united in saying it won't work and is a bad idea. Naturally we're all just nerds who want our porn fix.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 09:20:35

God forbid that there should be any sort of restriction on porn.

What is the world coming to!

Our freedom to have filmed sexualised and racist violence against women all over the internet is under threat. It is the thin end of the wedge I tell you...

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 09:20:36

Oh and just to add, let's take an earlier poster's example where she lives in a country which does have state controlled blocks. They not only block porn but a wide range of topics which the government have deemed 'inappropriate'.

Surely the kids are safe yes? Well even in that country, all kids need to do is go to http://thepiratebay.se/ and type in what they want. xxx? porn? Just type it, click on what you want and wait for it to appear.

Yes....that was hard wasn't it?

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 09:22:54

The internet will probably break and the world ground to a halt if porn isn't all over the shop.

Nobody will be able to access sex education or look at nudes by Picasso on the internet dontcha know.

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 09:23:54

I don't care how they do it but it should be possible in 21st century to have a system where a DC can't access porn with the greatest of ease and in complete secrecy.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 09:27:16

Niceguy - wow, how have you got so cynical about the governments motives here!

flatpackhamster Fri 11-May-12 09:41:13

Could those in favour of state control of the internet explain to me how you're going to block porn, please? ISTM that several of those arguing against the blocking are doing so from a technical standpoint. As a full-time geek I agree with them. Blocking porn is technologically impossible without disconnecting the UK from the rest of the internet.

But those in favour of state control need to outline to those of us what technology they think can be used to achieve this, because everyone in favour of state control has used the morality argument and hasn't explained how it could be done.

piprabbit Fri 11-May-12 09:44:29

exoticfruits - it is possible to have system where DCs are somewhat more protected from porn, although it would need to be a package of measures and would not be 100% effective. Unfortunately, the government's proposals aren't the system you are looking for.

Does anyone else remember the raging success known as the Dangerous Dogs Act - a piece of legislation rushed through as a knee-jerk response to several widely publicised attacks on children. With hindsight it is clear that children and adults are still suffering horrific attacks, many dogs have been put down (without having attacked anybody) and the general feeling is that the Act has been a bit of a disaster and was a wrongly thought out sop to public opinion. So no, I don't think niceguy2 is being overly cynical.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 09:54:34

Niceguy and piprabbit - are you both saying then that the government is too currupt and just doesn't really care about children at all, and that's the reason we shouldn't support their legislation blocking kids viewing porn?

piprabbit Fri 11-May-12 09:58:49

Where did I say they were corrupt and don't care about children at all, what a ridiculous inference.

Just because they are the Government doesn't meant they are immune from making ill-judged, hasty decisions.

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 09:59:58

I will concede that it is difficult but I still don't think people should wash their hands of it and say it can't be done so no point in trying. I bet if there was a lot of money involved someone would get a solution.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 10:01:53

Ok, here is a really radical idea.

Porn producers are legally obliged to sign up to a xxx register. Only users who have opted in can access material on this register.

Any porn that is published on the internet in the normal fashion (ie not on the opt in register) will be considered illegal and deleted from the open access public domain.

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 10:03:26

It is possible exotic. It's possible right this second. Go to K9 Internet protection, download the software and install it on your own PC. Inside of 10 minutes your PC will be pretty well protected and you can filter categories to your hearts content. And it's FREE!

Or like me just put the computer in a communal area of the house. Job done! This helps not just with porn but ensuring my DD doesn't spend too long on Facebook or gets cyberbullied etc.

Beachcomber, my opinion is nothing to do with my freedom to use porn and implying as such is just a very ignorant statement based upon your own personal prejudices. It's merely pointing out that the current proposals won't work and worse still will actually put children at risk because their parents will naively assume they are protected.

I'm not even arguing we need something 100% effective. Few things in life are. But surely if we are serious about protecting children from porn then there needs to be a range of measures and the first & foremost thing is parental supervision. Without that, no amount of government legislation will help.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 10:06:10

Piprabbit - because you said Niceguy wasn't being overly cynical about the governments motives...I was assuming you agreed with his opinion.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 10:11:24

But why should I have to supervise my children to make sure they don't stumble across violent sexualised images in a public space? (I do of course do this, as I have no other choice currently, as few people seem to think that graphic representations of racism and misogyny are an issue worth bothering about).

It should be the porn hounds responsibility to refrain from exposing my children to such material.

They wouldn't be allowed to show their films in the street or have images from them up on billboards, so why are these people being allowed to run free all over the internet?

What is that about?

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 10:11:47

I'm not saying the govt are corrupt. Just their motives are not as altruistic and certainly not based on sound technical advice. It's a quick headline grabber to win votes which no voter should be overly surprised about.

Beachcomber. And how do we legally oblige a porn company in the US setting up? And given the might of the governments in the world havent managed to stop Piratebay since 2003 despite changes to Swedish law (where the site is) I don't think it's really as simple as that.

In fact, Harriet Harman famously in 2009 declared war on a website which reviews prostitutes. She declared to thunderous applause that she'd get the site closed. The result? Well firstly Arnie (governor of California) told her to sod off. Something to do with freedom of speech.......and then the website in question found themselves more popular than ever thanks to the free publicity boost.

piprabbit Fri 11-May-12 10:13:50

I do broadly agree - that governments rarely act from pure and shining motives, the picture is always more complex and muddy than they would like us to think. That doesn't make them corrupt or uncaring - just that they are politically motivated.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 10:14:16

This notion that There Is Nothing To Be Done and we must all put up with porn all over the internet is ridiculous.

Do people have the same attitude to porn that involves children or images of racial violence?

Create a register for the porn hounds (professionals and amateurs), either you respect the rules and sign up or you get kicked off the net.

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 10:16:51

But why should I have to supervise my children to make sure they don't stumble across violent sexualised images in a public space?

Well for the same reason as I watch my young kids when they cross the road despite the fact that running my child over should be illegal. Because shit happens and you can pass all the laws you like but it will continue to happen.

The correct response is to supervise our kids when they are too young whilst teaching them how to deal with it when they are old enough.

The wrong response is to relax your guard because there's a law which says it's illegal. Especially when it doesn't work!

Animation Fri 11-May-12 10:18:01

"I'm not saying the govt are corrupt. Just their motives are not as altruistic and certainly not based on sound technical advice. It's a quick headline grabber to win votes which no voter should be overly surprised about."

Sure there might be some secondary gain or extra vote or two - but so what.

If they get the job done and tackle this problem, (however they chose to do it) - I'm happy, and I support them.

Xenia Fri 11-May-12 10:19:23

Nothing trumps internet freedom and freedom of expression. It is at the core of how we want England to be. They start these restrictions with some populist reason such as "mothers against porn" (although in fact many are very much in favour of porn anyway).

Then they use the law to bring in other limitations and soon we get to a position as in Iran or China where all kinds of issues are blockedon-line. It is a thin end of a wedge.

Look at what freedoms we have lost under the pretext of prevention of terrorism... extradition of businesspeople to the US under laws supposedly to stop terrorists.

This issue is not about parents who choose not to control their chidlren or are too lazy to do so having the nanny state do it for them.

It is a thin end of a wedge which I hope most mumsnetters would oppose.

" First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
"

threeleftfeet Fri 11-May-12 10:20:11

No one is saying There Is Nothing To Be Done.

Please don't think that opposition to this ill-thought out proposal means people think nothing should be done.

I'm all in favour of restricting access to porn for DCs, of course.

However this proposal isn't effective, and will harm society overall.

Yes let's do something to restrict DCs access to porn, but not this! It won't work!

Let's try to find a way that actually will work, without restricting access to legitimate sites and the free flow of knowledge. It won't be straightforward, because this isn't a simple problem. Part of the appeal of this proposal I think is that they are describing it in simple terms - they say they'll just switch off access to it. But that's a lie, it's not a simple problem at all!

I have no interest in porn but I am wholly against this proposal!

piprabbit Fri 11-May-12 10:22:40

So you don't care what they do, or if their actions are effective, so long as they are seen to be doing something (anything)?

Would it not be better if they amended their proposals to include some of the other actions which would also help protect children? Or should we just accept that their plans are flawed and not bother to ask them to come up with a better approach?

threeleftfeet Fri 11-May-12 10:22:52

Xenia I'm pleasantly surprised. Our politics are usually poles apart!

But that was post was spot on, I agree absolutely!!

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 10:24:00

What has road safety got to do with this?

Do you think hardcore sex films should be available in standard cinemas with billboards advertising the films and it should then be up to me to make sure my kids don't walk down the streets such cinemas are on?

Animation Fri 11-May-12 10:29:13

"So you don't care what they do, or if their actions are effective, so long as they are seen to be doing something (anything)?"

I want them to do their job - do what they're paid to do, and get the experts in to help them sort out this ridiculous situation whereby children can so very easily view porn.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 10:29:19

This notion that we live in a free world which will suddenly become an oppressive 1984 style regime if we try to restrict internet porn is also ridiculous.

Let's fight for the right for the porn hounds to continue their multi billion dollar business of sexually exploiting women - that way lies true freedom for all. Right on!

(Larry Flint would be loving this.)

Animation Fri 11-May-12 10:32:19

Beachcomber - well said!

Xenia Fri 11-May-12 10:34:11

I do not agre it is ridiculous. Why shoudl we have our internet access capped by the state? If people choose to have children (and plenty do not) they should control their own chidlren,. We do not want this nanny state interfering. It is a huge curtailment of personal freedom and would be an appalling precedent to be established. Loads of mothers are against it. It will not buy Cameron more votes.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 10:40:27

"Loads of mothers are against it"

I don't believe that.

FrothyOM Fri 11-May-12 10:43:40

I'm no fan of porn.

I totally agree with Xenia. I also think it's not only an appalling precedent but a dangerous one. I don't want to live in a big brother society.

Also agree with the OP that it's a desperate attempt to win back voters, women and mothers in particular.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 10:51:31

Um folks your internet access is already controlled, why are you protesting against this particular type of control?

Would you protest against controls on the diffusion of racist hate speech and violence, or do you think Orwellian oppression lies that way too hmm?

How about films containing homophobic language and violence? Would the free world come to an end if they were considered not cricket?

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 10:58:54

First they came for the porn hounds....
Then they applied controls on images such as ass to mouth and double anal...
Then they went after bukake...
Then they made me opt in in order to wank to them...

It just doesn't have quite the same ring to it does it?

EdithWeston Fri 11-May-12 11:10:22

Beachcomber: have you actually read the thread about why this step doesn't offer good protection ? Would you be happy with the government handing out condoms known to be defective because "some protection is better than none"? Or would you insist on getting your own, vastly higher quality ones for you and your DCs and, even more importantly, educating them about the risks and keeping good communication with them so you know what they're up to and have some idea of when/how to step in?

And the porn billboard example is an interesting one. For the currently proposed measure is akin to banning only the billboard ads registered to known porn purveyors (regardless of whether the ad is pornographic) but leaving up pornographic images because the advertiser isn't a registered porn purveyor.

Parents who want an ISP filter can have one (available on Talk Talk, and possibly others). Parents who actually want protection for their children can use filters (such as the one Niceguy2 linked), keep computers in 'public' parts of their house, educate themselves and their children on the risks.

And also educate their children about porn, of course.

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 11:18:16

get the experts in to help them sort out this ridiculous situation

That's one of my points. Virtually all IT people, the 'experts' you say will be united in saying this plan won't work unless it's part of a wider strategy of which there is none.

The only ones who are saying this is a good idea will be the very people whom will be making millions selling the technology. They'll naturally have all sorts of caveats insulating them from the fact the technology won't work.

It sounds more to me like you don't like the answer, don't want to hear the answer so you'll just keep your head in the sand until someone gives you the answer you want to hear. You have every right to do that but it makes for very poor government policy.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 11:19:35

Yes I have read the the thread. Yes I understand that the system proposed is flawed.

I don't think it is impossible to find a solution - where there is a will there is a way. I don't see what is the problem with creating a system where pornographic material has to be declared as such by those (professional or otherwise) who wish to publish it in the public domain. It would then be perfectly easy to keep such material on an opt in register.

I suspect it is the will that is lacking though especially when I read nonsense about the world becoming a dark and oppressive place because pornographic film access is restricted.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 11:25:45

Niceguy - I'm not convinced that nothing can be done. Not sure why you're so negative on this.

I would have thought they'd need more more than IT experts.

How is my head in the sand?

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 11:28:51

Beachcomber, you are arguing for a different thing and if there was such a proposed system which worked then yes, it should be considered.

As a parent of three kids I obviously am keen to protect them too. And I'm glad you realise the current proposals are deeply flawed to the point it's unworkable.

If/when the government come back with a workable solution then I'd wholeheartedly support it. Until then I will continue to oppose it and explain to anyone whom will listen why.

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 11:35:36

Animation, I'm not saying nothing can be done. I'm saying that the current plans are rubbish and the wrong solution because they won't work. There's a big difference.

I've suggested ways which I believe are better, easily done now using common sense, tools which are readily available now and without the need for a massively expensive, arbitary and controlling filtering system which ultimately won't work.

I'm not demanding 100% accuracy, nor that I have some inherent right to view porn. I'm just saying ISP level blocking is a BAD solution.

EdithWeston Fri 11-May-12 11:42:02

I'd be quite interested to know how a porn register would work, as it would have to be global to be effective and would rely on self-identification for compliance.

Also, because the sheer size and agility of the Internet means the received opinion is that policing content is impossible, I be interested to know how it can be done (and by whom), as I have never heard a convincing account of a workable scenario.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 11:43:31

"If/when the government come back with a workable solution then I'd wholeheartedly support it. Until then I will continue to oppose it and explain to anyone whom will listen why."

Maybe the workable solution - will in fact take some time through trial and error - until they crack it. The internet is a relatively new phenomenon and maybe the government don't have all the solutions at hand yet - how to block porn from kids, - but I like the fact they're they're giving it a damned good go.

Xenia Fri 11-May-12 11:47:24

BC, we will just have to agree to differ. I think people whose interests are that way inclined are perfectly entitled to look at images of that kind. Just as someone can look at pro hunting or anti hunting or even information about chidlren (which might be repellant to those who hate children). It is freedom we are after and this measure woudl be the antithesis of that. You are assuming we are all like you. I delight in living on a planet where people differ and we can happily co-exist with others who have different views from our own.

This notion that There Is Nothing To Be Done and we must all put up with porn all over the internet is ridiculous.

Of course it is, it's a complete straw man!

Nobody is arguing that There Is Nothing To Be Done.

Here is What Can Be Done:

1) install one of the free, effective, properly configurable net filters which are already available. K9 has already been linked to. There are others.

2) supervise your DC.

3) educate your DC

4) bring in a proper education programme for children AND parents. Do it through schools, do it regularly. Help parents install and maintain the necessary filters.

5) If you really want a ISP level filter, sign up with Talk Talk. Nobody who is posting in favour of this proposal seems to have done that.

I hate porn. I'd love there to be a big shiny effective Porn-Be-Gone button. This isn't it.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 12:00:38

To be honest I don't even want to see porn images - just like that - if I google "PORN" - how come I can??

Animation Fri 11-May-12 12:03:08

....surely there should be some censureship process to go through before you see this shit!

Animation Fri 11-May-12 12:07:02

"censorship"

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 12:08:35

I can easily sort out my own computers- it is the DCs where parents don't supervise that bother me.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 12:16:03

I do supervise my children and I do have a filter.

My children are too young to have porn explained to them. They are also too young to use a computer unsupervised - we only realy use it with them for looking up school project stuff and listening to music.

But they to go other people's houses and they will do so more and more as they get older plus they have friends who have internet access on mobile phones.

Don't worry Xenia - I'm not suggesting that porn should be taken away from its consumers, I'm just suggesting that they consume responsibly (radical notion I know!).

Starwisher Fri 11-May-12 13:09:09

The one thing I definitly want banned is these "tube" sites. I wont mention any by name as last time I did that a poster went balastic at me, but Im sure most of us know what I am referring too.

All porn websites should be sign-up and prove your over 18 only, like in the old days. Its shocking how easy it is to see porn within seconds by anyone, of any age. Sign up to individual sites only, I say.

Starwisher Fri 11-May-12 13:13:39

By the way it seems ridiculous people keep saying parents must always supervise internet access all the time, its only themselves they have to blame etc

Its impossible. For a start they could see things at friends houses, they could use their mobile phones or ipads.

Im sure plently would work out ways around parental controls anyway.

Unless you plan to spend your life looking over your kids shoulder everytime they go near the internet, its just a ridiculous notion.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 13:34:35

"Its shocking how easy it is to see porn within seconds by anyone, of any age. Sign up to individual sites only, I say."

Exactly - that's what I think!

Xenia Fri 11-May-12 13:36:30

Most women do not want more censorship. It is a slippery slope. We should be lobbying to remove what we already have which is far too much as it is.

Snorbs Fri 11-May-12 13:41:52

Your child could be watching porn on a DVD at a friend's house. Should we start a campaign demanding that, by law, all DVD players should be barred from playing 18 certificate DVDs unless you write a letter to the government saying that you want to watch them?

Are you saying that you would happily give an iPad to a child and let them use it to connect to the Internet unsupervised but neglect to install any kind of net filtering software on it? Wow. Top-quality parenting there.

Unless you plan to spend your life looking over your kids shoulder everytime they go near the internet, its just a ridiculous notion.

And there we have the core of it. "I know there's all kinds of stuff on the Internet that is not suitable for children but I can't be arsed to monitor them."

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 11-May-12 13:43:31

How well does ISP filtering work?

I have a suggestion for an experiment for this. Download K9 on to your computer. It is free for one computer, and regarded as one of the best filters available.

It has extensive easy to follow instructions on how to set it up. I suggest you set it at the highest protection levels to emulate what the ISPs would do. Now off you go and surf the internet for a week or so(overiding and blocks K9 may put in place is cheating!) Report back.

Experiment aside, those of you who are responsible parents and not internet pervs really should have something similar in place already.

If you have any problems setting up your home filter there are plenty of tech types here who can help you. Why wait for the government?

Starwisher Fri 11-May-12 13:55:06

You see you have contradicted yourself there Snorbs

On one hand you admit there is a chance your kid could see a dvd at a friends house, the next snide comments about ipads and parenting.

So what is it to be? Are you going to supervise your kid everytime they leave the house too in order to be a top quality parent? What if your kid looks at mates ipad? The possibilites are endless.

Or as the first part of your admits we cant supervise our kids every waking moment.

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 14:01:23

Am I being too naive but why can't all computers come with a built in filter and then you simply take it off if you don't want it? There must be lots of adults like me anyway who never view porn and have no wish to- it would be available for those who want it. That isn't censoring anything or even asking people to pay anything.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 11-May-12 14:18:47

They do. AFAIK all microsoft computers come with parental controls built in. You do need to turn it on though.

That's an interesting idea though, would it not be a good idea to legislate that all computers sold with Microsoft Windows should be sold with parental controls already turned on and set to high?

NetworkGuy Fri 11-May-12 14:34:43

Animation wrote "It might not work for all kids but what kind of argument is it then to do NOTHING."

When this came up a while back (refer to the 'MN Campaigns' thread linked to early on) the suggestion wasn't to "do nothing" but to emphasise education for parents about the perils of the internet and safeguards they could easily implement.

"education" has been stressed from early on as a realistic alternative to the blunt instrument of an ISP-based filter [aka "block"] (which just won't work well for a family that has a range of ages and the elder members need access to more sites than their younger siblings).

There's > Netintelligence < software installed on a laptop I bought (second hand on Ebay) which I cannot remove. It's not so much the block on websites ('adult' 'gambling' etc get reported for sites it blocks though not all descriptions are correct) but that it stops me using the Chrome browser at all, that annoys me.

Seems that all the machines offered under the "Home Access" scheme to get IT services to some families with low incomes had this software installed as standard and I hit on one of the machines (perhaps 3rd or 4th sale down the line). Netintelligence does "belt and braces" filtering and without the activation key I cannot even login to disable or uninstall it. Netintelligence won't help.

Anyway, what's important is that there are solutions such as this [and other] software or > So Internet < mentioned yesterday, for those parents who wish to lock down their machines and protect their children, but the ISP-based solution is (a) not going to work reliably, (b) might only affect the 4 or 5 major ISPs (and may lead to a reduction in market share for them, from those households without children finding blocks on sites and deciding to switch away), and (c) is going to be massively expensive, while still being ineffective.

The cost will always end up with end users (either through taxation, going from more important budget sectors, if the Government do this as an IT project [let's see... overdue, over budget, and fails in 80% of areas, like most IT projects], or forced on ISPs who have then to pass on costs to end users so that's US again, isn't it

NetworkGuy Fri 11-May-12 14:45:04

Beachcomber wrote "here is a really radical idea. Porn producers are legally obliged to sign up to a xxx register."

Unfortunately what might be "legally obliged" in one country cannot be forced on others, and porn site owners would simply move to get out of jurisdictions which imposed any such rules.

The internet "works" because someone with an idea, anywhere in the world, can (generally) have users worldwide for their site/ service (excluding restrictions such that might mean they cannot legally operate - eg the gambling rules seem to treat NI differently, since the late night TV roulette games say they cannot have users from NI).

NetworkGuy Fri 11-May-12 14:54:49

Beachcomber 10:51 wrote "Um folks your internet access is already controlled, why are you protesting against this particular type of control?"

Oh please, dear IT expert, Beachcomber, enlighten me on how my internet access is already controlled? Serious question.

I think the only pages/sites deliberately blocked would be those relating to child porn (which I would have no interest in anyway) flagged up by the IWF (though their history shows they can sometimes get it wrong!).

Hint: I have more than one internet connection here.

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 14:58:07

AFAIK all microsoft computers come with parental controls built in

No they do not. Microsoft offer this as an optional download but most parents will not have heard of it.

Starwisher. I'm not saying we have to supervise them at ALL times. God knows I'm not always in the same room as my kids when they are on the Internet. But the fact it's in a communal space should be sufficient deterrent for them.

You are absolutely correct we cannot supervise our kids at all time. It simply doesn't work. That's why the missing ingredient in all this is education. ISP level blocking is a form of state sanctioned supervision and as you already point out, we can't do it.

As for your sign up idea, it just goes to show how little you understand how the Internet works.

You cannot legislate your way out of this problem. Criminalising it in the UK will do sweet FA. If you want to tackle it, you can do it now.

Here you go:

K9 Internet security

Microsoft Live Essentials

Two free programs. Why wait for the government to take years to block something you can do in minutes today??

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 14:58:42

Seems simple to me then-let the default position be parental controls on.

NetworkGuy Fri 11-May-12 15:08:55

niceguy2 - just noticed on the Netintelligence page that Comet seems to be advocating (if not supplying) the Netintelligence software on PCs they sell.

Seems a good idea, but it's only a partial solution while some parents will get an iPhone for young Jimmy... and internet access of course...

So we have a mobile contract that Jimmy himself could not get because of a lack of credit rating, so it is automatically less one restriction (network details may indicate an adult user) ... All it needs then is a small fee charged to a credit card owned by the parent if the network needs further proof... and probably automated so no need to speak to customer services at all...

Snorbs Fri 11-May-12 15:25:07

I'm going to accept that if my child sees porn or other unsuitable media at a friend's house then that represents a social issue not a technological one.

When my child is at a friend's house then the parents of that friend have a duty of care towards my child. If it transpires that they have had access to something clearly unsuitable then the way I would address that is education and, if necessary, banning my child from going there again. Note how I would not call for laws to force all DVD players to have mandatory content filters on them.

While my child (or the child of another parent) is under my roof then I am the one with the duty of care. So I would be failing in that duty of care to simply hand my child a fresh-out-of-the-box iPad and let them wander off with it to do with as they wish.

Similarly I would be failing in my duty of care if I left my 10yo DD and her friend with in a room on their own with a copy of Trainspotting in the DVD player and then couldn't be arsed to make sure they weren't watching it. And if they did watch it without me realising then I'd consider it a personal failure on my part to parent appropriately. I would not throw my hands up, claim that it's impossible to keep an eye on what they're doing and hence absolve myself of all responsibility.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 15:55:26

A big yawn to this well-worn argument that parents can't be arsed to supervise their kids.

The problem of PORN on the internet is much BIGGER than that. It's like saying that if there's 10 people shagging outside your front door - supervise your kids and keep them indoors.

I don't want all this porn automatically assessable on my computer anyway - it's intrusive and offensive. Individuals who want to look at it should SIGN IN to a relevent club. It should be more controlled, and I would like the government to legislate to start cleaning up the internet, because I don't want it - there's too much of it!
porn automatically available like it is.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 16:12:27

"Animation wrote "It might not work for all kids but what kind of argument is it then to do NOTHING."

When this came up a while back (refer to the 'MN Campaigns' thread linked to early on) the suggestion wasn't to "do nothing" but to emphasise education for parents about the perils of the internet and safeguards they could easily implement. "

And how about we encourage and educate the porn makers and consumers to steady on a bit and put some controls in place on accessability, like setting up controlled internet clubs where there's protocols and a process to follow when assessing their porn.

Beachcomber Fri 11-May-12 16:19:13

I agree with you Animation.

And not because I can't be arsed to supervise my children and neither can my friends.

I also don't want porn all over the shop for me.

Porn DVD's aren't allowed to be sold to minors yet internet porn can be - why are we putting up with this double standard?

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 16:20:51

Animation. If YOU don't want all this porn accessible on your computer then the best thing to do is use the parental controls listed above. The solution is better than ISP blocks. That doesn't work!

The government cannot simply legislate it's way out of the problem anymore than they can legislate for sunshine. What they can do though is put in place a well thought out package of measures. But that's not what is being proposed. Not at all.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 16:39:56

Niceguy - my problem with porn is why is it so EASILY accessible and not censored as an 18 DVD would be.

My family are all good and safe, and well educated thank you ;) but I don't want all this massive uncensored 18 material automatically available. There should be a process - for those who want to view it. I suggest a club which you log on to!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 11-May-12 16:47:10

Animation :to answer your own question, put K9 or similar on your computer, set to high protection and see how it impacts your families browsing...

Animation Fri 11-May-12 16:58:16

My computer and TV are protected thank you all!

But what I'm wanting to get to is dealing with the ROOT of the problem. PORN PORN PORN PORN PORN EVERYWHERE!!! And kids who are not protected will be able to see it at the click of the 'enter' key - because it's not 18 censored.

I would like the government to ensure all porn gets an 18 censureship and puts measures in place to prevent it's automatic accessibility - like for instance, promoting internet porn clubs.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 16:59:01

"censorship"

niceguy2 Fri 11-May-12 17:00:37

I don't object to your goal Animation. It is worrying how easily accessible porn is on the Internet.

But as I keep saying, the current proposal's are not the solution.

Perhaps you could have a word with the Person In Charge of the Internet, Animation?

Starwisher Fri 11-May-12 17:22:05

"As for your sign up idea, it just goes to show how little you understand how the Internet works."

Sorry, but what are you talking about?

In the good 'ol days tube sites didnt exist. If you wanted to look at porn you had to sign up and and pay to that website.

I want it to be the same, though the sites could remain free the credit card is a tool to prove you are over 18. I dont want tube sites (i.e the pornographic answer to Youtube). I want people to have to sign up to pornographic sites.

Its shocking how easy it is to access with one keyword. I want it to be members only.

NetworkGuy Fri 11-May-12 17:26:02

Animation - re Govt "I like the fact they're they're giving it a damned good go."

Oh dear. They're not giving it a damned good go ... they're politicians saying what they think the public want to hear. It appeals to the "think of the children" brigade and it is a sop. There's no substantive information, just a woolly proposal without any real thinking behind it.

Not that long ago a different Minister, under Labour, proposed that every web page should have it's own "certificate" (like the film rating system, PG, 12, 15, etc, whatever they are now).

Unworkable, of course,
a) because a page isn't a static object, on many sites, as new content could move it from PG to XXX and then if site owner deleted some content, back to PG
b) because of the number of web pages
c) because there would never be enough processing power to routinely monitor to see whether a certificate was still valid, as that would need to be done on a regular (hourly? daily? weekly?) basis for every individual page on the net.
d) where would the 'rating' be stored? Would there be a massive index of all the world's web pages (including those hidden behind membership by payment websites?)

That one was seen as a dead end quite quickly by observers. As someone else said, however many technical people point out the flaws, those in favour of this method seem to think it will just take longer and cost more (when in fact it would be doomed to never succeed) and give it the nod as the other options don't get an airing.

I'd hope someone from MNHQ could give us some input about whether the Minister took on board any of the (technical) challenges when he invited discussion back in February? Everything went quiet until just recently of course, when Mrs Perry, and then the government suggested this idea again.

Xenia Fri 11-May-12 17:27:43

Hopefully it will not happen for the sake of the children and their rights and liberties. Mothers will fight censorship to the death...

Starwisher Fri 11-May-12 17:31:55

The thing its all very well doing what you can for your own family in your own household, but thats where the power stops.

I care about ALL children access to porn underage and I dont want any of them exposed to it.

If a child really wanted to see porn, where there is a will there is a way. They will find a way around parental controls. If we make it as hard as possible to access this by making sites 18+ members only this goes a long way to helping our kids at least not being exposed to images harmful for them as it at least one barrier is put up.

NetworkGuy Fri 11-May-12 17:39:55

Animation "if I google "PORN" - how come I can??"

If you see any results, then you don't seem to have used the 'safe search' option - see > here < and set it to strict.

If you have it on the strict setting, it shows no entries at all. You can even lock it that way, if you wish...

Animation Fri 11-May-12 18:06:28

Animation "if I google "PORN" - how come I can??"

If you see any results, then you don't seem to have used the 'safe search' option - see > here < and set it to strict.

NetworkGuy - you've caught me out there! My laptop has no strict settings.
My issue is WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY is it so easy without implementing strict settings.

The responsibility lies 3 ways - there needs to be an 18 censorship, the porn sites need a code of ethics, and computers need settings to block this stuff out unless the consumer wants it.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 18:15:35

"I want it to be members only."

I want it to be members only too!

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 18:38:04

I agree with Starwisher.

NovackNGood Fri 11-May-12 18:56:29

The Christian right in this country are becoming far too pervasive with their so called 'independent' studies about sexualisation and porn etc.etc. They claim there is a war against them and they believe they are in some kind fo spiritual battle.

Well no one is burning down your churches in fact we all are subsidising them with your tax free giving. You are responsible for your children. If you do not want them to see porn set up your computer simply and easily. By a Mac. If you have a problem with children running on the beach without clothes on, look away and avert your eyes so you don't have your sinful thoughts. If you dont want sinful thoughts from a naked person on the net then avert your eyes look away and for goodness sake take responsibility for you and you alone. And stop foisting your beliefs onto the general public. We do not live in a theocracy.

NicholasTeakozy Fri 11-May-12 19:02:19

"I want it to be members only."

gringringringringringringrin

bibbitybobbitybunny Fri 11-May-12 19:19:04

Oooooh what a strange post from Novack.

exoticfruits Fri 11-May-12 19:21:27

Very strange- I didn't understand it.

Animation Fri 11-May-12 20:57:05

Hmm, very strange.

Jux Fri 11-May-12 21:17:58

I do not support blocks. They give a false sense of security.

Empusa Sat 12-May-12 00:51:15

Beachcomber
"^God forbid that there should be any sort of restriction on porn.^"

The objection aren't about restricting porn, they are about what else will be restricted by accident (or on purpose).

"^Porn producers are legally obliged to sign up to a xxx register. Only users who have opted in can access material on this register.

Any porn that is published on the internet in the normal fashion (ie not on the opt in register) will be considered illegal and deleted from the open access public domain.^"

I already covered this, you couldn't enforce it. Not unless you made it international law, and even then it'd be almost impossible to police the sites posting porn on non .xxx domains. Bearing in mind about 2.4 million domains are registered per month, a lot would slip through the net.

ExoticFruits
"^I don't care how they do it but it should be possible in 21st century to have a system where a DC can't access porn with the greatest of ease and in complete secrecy.^"

There are plenty of filtering programs that can be installed on computers.

"^Am I being too naive but why can't all computers come with a built in filter and then you simply take it off if you don't want it?^"

That makes much more sense, it'd be easier to make adjustments to what people needed access to. I'd totally support that!

FlatPackHamster
"^But those in favour of state control need to outline to those of us what technology they think can be used to achieve this, because everyone in favour of state control has used the morality argument and hasn't explained how it could be done.^"

Exactly!

Animation
"^And how about we encourage and educate the porn makers and consumers to steady on a bit^"

The thing with this it that all the dedicated porn sites have no interest in making porn to easily accessible, they normally have the majority of it behind a paywall. How else would they profit from it? Consumers are a different matter, and probably more to blame for the easily accessible stuff. It's them who are most likely to put porn on user generated content sites.

Starwisher
"^I want it to be the same, though the sites could remain free the credit card is a tool to prove you are over 18. I dont want tube sites (i.e the pornographic answer to Youtube). I want people to have to sign up to pornographic sites.^"

I imagine most porn producers agree with you, they are hardly going to be keen on free porn!

NetworkGuy
"^Not that long ago a different Minister, under Labour, proposed that every web page should have it's own "certificate" (like the film rating system, PG, 12, 15, etc, whatever they are now). ^"

Wow! I hadn't heard that! How daft! confused You've got to wonder if these people ever try thinking about things?

Empusa Sat 12-May-12 00:51:34

Arse, italics failure. Hope that's not too hard to read!

NetworkGuy Sat 12-May-12 01:36:22

Empusa "Italics might have worked" if the ^ was outside the quotes!

Think Beachcomber's comment "God forbid that there ..." was tongue in cheek, as a tiny criticism of anyone who doesn't want a block by default.

Would agree with you, E, that the porn sites have no wish for there to be lots of free porn - it means their profits are hit - but it would seem some of the "tube" sites are showing "teaser" clips to advertise the full, uncut versions, and probably then get a commission from anyone clicking the links to those other paid-membership sites. So there's some of the content out on display for free.

However, there's no way to force any of these sites to comply with what UK law makers want, even if the bulk of "membership" sites already have warning front pages needing someone to lie about being old enough. I criticise those who are willing to let under-13s onto Facebook by letting them lie about their age, because if it's "OK" to do it for one site, why not another ?

Empusa Sat 12-May-12 01:42:24

NetworkGuy Oh sssh! blush And to think I can write CSS in my sleep..

"I criticise those who are willing to let under-13s onto Facebook by letting them lie about their age, because if it's "OK" to do it for one site, why not another ?"

That's a fair point.

NetworkGuy Sat 12-May-12 02:36:49

CSS is something I should spend some time on, though PHP and MySQL are higher up my list right now.

NetworkGuy Sat 12-May-12 02:42:52

Animation wrote "NetworkGuy - you've caught me out there! My laptop has no strict settings.
My issue is WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY is it so easy without implementing strict settings."

If you went to the link I posted, you'd see the setting is done on the Google search engine itself. It presumably stores a cookie to indicate the user has requested 'strict' on that PC with that browser (so if you have Internet Explorer and Firefox, for example, then you'd need to make 'strict' the setting on both browsers else one would show different results).

Seems like your criticisms could be directed to those who have set up the search engines, that they should implement "safe searching" by default.

However, bear in mind that (like ISPs) they are offering a general service. The Internet grew in an unregulated and somewhat chaotic way, and different search engines will often display different results for the same search terms. The fact some have adapted the search tools to include a "safe search" is recognition that many families may want that option.

Anyway, I see the Guardian has now linked to this thread from their article about the issue...

Good point made there by Jules Hillier of Brook Advisory (site was blocked on mobile phones) when she asked who makes the decision on what is acceptable and what is blocked, because (in her words) "not what telephone companies or internet service providers are for"

NovackNGood Sat 12-May-12 06:10:27

Surely the only reason children have mobiles that can access porn is because their parents signed the contract in the first place and didn't point out if was for an under 18 year old. I think all mobiles have filtered data to under 18 year olds if they are told that when you purchase them? Of course that does not stop the children making and sharing happy slapping or sexting videos does it which is the parents responsibility to ensure does not happen

Alternatively if people want a filtered ISP then with the free market, if a company actually offers that service it will either prove popular or of insufficient demand to be profitable.

You wouldn't walk into the British museum and expect them to have everything hidden or the musee, Conde de Chantilly and not expect to see the 3 Graces but you can decide not to take your children there and stick to disneyland.

People need to exercise their responsibilities much more.

exoticfruits Sat 12-May-12 07:12:54

If they have a phone they only need a very basic pay as you go anyway.

NovackNGood Sat 12-May-12 07:20:48

The people who complain about the net now seem to never have been on it when it was all alt. or talk. usenet groups and finding anything that wasn't bizarre was a real problem.

flatpackhamster Sat 12-May-12 07:41:58

pasttimes1

It just doesn't work that way. The ISPs aren't "supplying porn". Even if you got a worldwide agreement that all porn sites went on the .xxx domain and all ISPs banned the .xxx domain unless users chose the opt-in, the naked people will leak out.

Let me give you an example. There are sites which allow you to store your files online. A popular course of action is to pirate a heap-o-porn, place it in to an archive with a different name (which means it doesn't appear to be porn) and then link to it through a discussion forum with some thumbnail pictures.

How does the system block that? Do you block all discussion fora? Do you block thumbnail pictures? If you do, you'll close down MN and Ralph's Morris Minor Discussion Group and so on.

I am still waiting for the pro-blockers to outline to me a technical argument which shows how this can be done, because all I'm seeing is people saying "but it must be possible". Sorry, it isn't.

MarieFromStMoritz Sat 12-May-12 08:17:25

flatpackhamster, that would be outside the capabilities of most younger children.

The way I look at it is this as an analogy... I am arguing for the 'adults' mags to be kept behind the counter in the newsagents, out of the reach of children. You (those who are against Opting-in) are arguing that the adults mags should be on the middle shelf, in full view of kids, and it is up to us as parents to ensure our kids don't look at them. If we don't supervise them every second we are in the newsagents, we are negligent. Your argument is effectively that keeping the mags behind the counter does not protect children, because they can get around that, for example by asking another, older, child to buy them, or stealing them, for example.

I hope that makes sense.

niceguy2 Sat 12-May-12 08:23:11

Good article NetworkGuy.

Worse, they argue, it could lull parents into a false sense of security and make them believe they need to take no further action.

This is exactly what I've been trying to say.

"Opt-in", they believe, is the best there is.

No it's NOT! Computer-side parental controls is a much more effective tool not just against porn but all other questionable material out there.

The problem is that most parents have no clue such things even exist let alone that it's free. So instead of imposing big brother blocking, let's educate people. We don't ban smoking or drinking even though our children smoke & drink sometimes. Instead we seek to educate people on the dangers. This is no different. Tell people they do have a choice and let them decide for themselves.

MarieFromStMoritz Sat 12-May-12 08:27:10

So instead of imposing big brother blocking, let's educate people.

That would be like disbanding the police force and teaching us all self-defence instead. You seem to forget that technology changes all the time, and people find ways around things. Most parents would simply be unable to effectively keep up with all the changes. Not everyone is technologically-minded.

Animation Sat 12-May-12 08:48:10

"The way I look at it is this as an analogy... I am arguing for the 'adults' mags to be kept behind the counter in the newsagents, out of the reach of children. You (those who are against Opting-in) are arguing that the adults mags should be on the middle shelf, in full view of kids, and it is up to us as parents to ensure our kids don't look at them. If we don't supervise them every second we are in the newsagents, we are negligent. Your argument is effectively that keeping the mags behind the counter does not protect children, because they can get around that, for example by asking another, older, child to buy them, or stealing them, for example"

Marie - great analogy. Exactly!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 08:55:01

mariefromstmoritz but what happens when you leave your laptop opewn one day and your 7 (?) yr old clicks on an explicit bumsex thread on MN which you left open.

Or another example I used to play Neopets (hangs head in shame). (a v popular kids site). The message boards constantly had links put up to porn sites as described above (ie an image pinched from somwhere, innocuously named on seemingly innocent site). Ofthen kids were sucked in by promises of free neopoints etc.

Obviously these links were removed within seconds by the mods, but how many could click through in those seconds.

The adults mags analogy: it's more like everybody agreeing that the mags should be out of reach and sight of children while at the same time anybody in the world can publish their own mag and place it wherever they want on the racks. The mags might get moved or removed altogether if they are reported but there is nothing to stop the perpetrator simply publishing another mag, perhaps with a different name, and again, placing it wherever the hell they want on the rack.

flatpackhamster Sat 12-May-12 09:54:15

MarieFromStMoritz

Your analogy doesn't work because the internet isn't like a newsagents where you can hide stuff.

My argument is that there are two issues here. The first is one around Liberty. Governmental control of the internet is dangerous to Liberty and giving government the power to censor the internet, even in an apparently good cause, is wrong.
The second is technical. The people drafting the law and the people supporting it have no actual understanding of the way the internet works. What you're trying to do won't work.

MarieFromStMoritz Sat 12-May-12 11:08:46

Governmental control of the internet is dangerous to Liberty and giving government the power to censor the internet, even in an apparently good cause, is wrong.

So, flatpackhamster, you don't believe in censorship at all? What about child pornography? What about right-wing neo-nazi sites promoting the killing of blacks/Jews/gays? What about terrorist sites publishing bomb making information? Do these not deserve to be censored?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 11:18:15

What we think about censorship is irrelevant. The point is that it is teechnically impossible to effectively censor the internet.

MarieFromStMoritz Sat 12-May-12 11:30:32

ItsAllGoingToBeFine, you are wrong, it is possible to effectively censor the internet. To a point. I live in a country where the internet is censored. Sure, there are ways to see banned stuff if you wish, but it is not easy and it outside of the capabilities of most children.

evilgiraffe Sat 12-May-12 11:42:53

Attempting to censor the internet is just one more step along the road to waiving your civil liberties. Parents can and should protect their children themselves - it is the parents' duty to decide what is or is not appropriate for their child, not the role of the state or the ISPs. I think the technical difficulties have been pretty well discussed further up thread. I am absolutely against this sort of Big Brother legislation.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 11:49:58

If a child actively wants to find porn then they will censorship or no censorship.

It is very rare to accidentally stumble across porn. I have been using the internet since invented and have NEVER accidentally come across porn.

Also you live in UAE, is that correct. TBH, that is great for you, you live in a country with restricted access to information and that is fine.

Some of us absolutely would not want to live somewhere that presumes to decide what information its citizens can access and the humans rights abuses that often occur in such countries.

Free access to porn may have some disadvantages, but the implications of state controlled access to information are far worse.

So in summary

1) you technically can't filter porn.
2) even if the government could put in a system (of questionable efficacy) like UAE, I wouldn't want it. Freedom of information in the UK is one of the things that helps stop us becoming like e.g UAE.

Animation Sat 12-May-12 12:03:34

"What we think about censorship is irrelevant. The point is that it is teechnically impossible to effectively censor the internet."

Porn on the internet should be censored, - therefore technology will have to catch up. Technology on the internet and on i phones is improving daily - and will continue to advance.

Snorbs Sat 12-May-12 12:09:07

...and the technology to circumvent any and all censorship will also advance. It's a technological arms race that's been going on for so long that John Gilmore said "The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" damn near 20 years ago.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 12:22:29

Technology cannot catch up. It is impossible. None of the people who keep saying this have come up with any suggestions on how it could be done.

Posters who have technical knowledge have said that it CANNOT be done. Is that so hard to understand?

Animation Sat 12-May-12 12:24:01

PORN HAS TO BE CENSORED.

Somehow they're going to have to find a way.

That's my focus - and I'm sticking to it!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 12:28:18

Thats as rational as saying "I don't like the dark, make the sun stay up"

IT CAN'T BE DONE!

If you want to restrict you and your family's access to the Internet install filtering software on your computers. It genuinely is the only way. Sorry.

Animation Sat 12-May-12 12:34:33

The filtering argument quite frankly seems to be a convenient distraction from the fact that PORN MOVIES SHOULD STILL BE CENSORED !!!

Images of adults having intercourse HAVE TO BE CENSORED like any other 18 movie.

If they can't do it - then take porn OFF the internet!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 12:41:27

Not possible.

Tell me how you think it should be done, and someone will explain why it can't.

I'm not being defeatist. It genuinely isn't possible. The horse bolted a long long time ago and it isn't coming back.

NetworkGuy Sat 12-May-12 13:36:24

Animation - I am sorry, but you're clearly sticking your head in the sand when you suggest making some policy that would affect everyone worldwide, from the standpoint of "this is what I think is right".

The filtering argument is not a distraction, and almost anywhere you look (read that Guardian article) you will time and time again see comments that it isn't possible or practical to do the type of filtering which has been proposed.

Exactly what UAE does, I don't know, but for the UK, with strong ties to both Europe and North America, where many of the "freedom of speech" arguments are taken further than here and therefore include the filming of porn, then without the UK effectively cutting ourself off from the rest of the world's internet connections (not sensible economically, at the very least) there'd be no means to do the level of restriction you seem to wish for. Frankly, I'd expect to see Hell freeze over before someone changes the internet such that porn, drugs, violence, gambling, and so many other categories of site are blocked by the ISP.

When I took a further look at the filtering offered by Netintelligence for schools, the number of tick boxes (for blocking Social Networking, etc, etc, categories of sites) was massive. OK, I don't gamble, as it happens, nor use Facebook or Twitter or many other 'social media' sites, and I can see why, in a school environment, restrictions such as those would be in place, but in the home, it is just part of parenting to explain the "DOs and DON'Ts" of social etiquette, pass on moral values so a youngster knows right from wrong, and that extends further into being a balanced individual.

In parallel with relationships and sex, porn surely gets some bit of the discussion (so many issues to consider, whole new website to discuss that one!) and if not, then IMHO, it should, along with many more aspects of an "Online presence" such as e-bullying, and how it could be detrimental to fill a Facebook account with photos of someone out with their friends, getting drunk, running wild on holiday, etc, etc, because it might be seen in future by an employer (or university even).

Let's face it, even the term pornography is barbed, because how can someone judge (yes, even a judge or magistrate) what is likely to "deprave or corrupt" someone else. I think that so long as material doesn't include children, animals, torture/death, then HM Customs and Excise are quite relaxed about what is now allowed into the UK, in most part because European countries don't have the prudish sensibilities that some Brits do (and I suspect that it was a result of the Victorian gentry having a very two-faced attitude - the rich did what they wanted behind closed doors, with each other, and perhaps some of the servants, while at the same time passing draconian laws which would impact on the lower classes far more).

We've moved on, for better or worse, and have Ann Summers and Private shops in many towns and cities, and slowly there have been adjustments in what is accepted by the BBFC, and importantly, by HMC+E.

I don't buy or sell porn, I'm on the sidelines like many other people, but am as far against censorship as you seem to be in favour of it.

Animation Sat 12-May-12 13:50:57

NetworkGuy

Don't want to talk to you about flltering anymore. We've done all that.

Tell me this, why should Porn Movies and Porn Images on the internet get away with NOT being censored?

Should it be above the law because it's too difficult to enforce?

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 13:51:05

The internet is already censored to a certain extent, so claiming it cant be is simply not true.

Thank goodness really.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 14:07:39

Animation: above who's law? Most of "the internet" won't fall under uk jurisdiction.

Also lots of porn isn't illegal.

Also, again, it's not too difficult to enforce, it is impossible to enforce.

Again, can you suggest how you think this might be done?

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 14:13:32

Am I right in thinking, that in the event of a national disaster, or somesuch, that the Government can turn off the entire computer network?

Animation Sat 12-May-12 14:27:27

"Also, again, it's not too difficult to enforce, it is impossible to enforce."

Or we could safeguard all children and uphold censorship by pulling porn off the internet - until someone comes up with something.

That would mean adults going without viewing porn on the internet until a solution was found.

WidowWadman Sat 12-May-12 14:43:12

animation - How would you do that? Where would you draw the line of what is porn and what isn't? What about resources on sex education, advice on homosexuality, transsexuality, well pretty much anything to do with sex. Would you want to see that go too?

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 14:49:31

I see sex education has been mentioned.

See this is partly what fuel my POV.

I want my dc's sex education to be a good one, and a proper one teaching them sex is wonderful and natural.

I dont want their first "education" to accidently be some horrific porn movie either found by themselves (accidently or not) or shown by a friend.

I have heard quite a few MN say their first experience of anything sexual was a horrific porn movie and they felt quite disturbed by it.

Xenia Sat 12-May-12 14:52:55

I don't think it would be sensible to change the thread, as asked, to a defence of porn althoughI I swould be perfectly happy to debate that. Sex is one of the b iggest reasons many many people use the internet. It is the force which drives us to life and keeps our species going. It is why we are here.

I want to live in a world where someone can do an internet search on pro hunting or anti hunting, where there is material on topics I find abhorrent (like sexist housewives talking about cooking and washing powder - ugh one recoils but I will not censor them or views I hate). I love that maltestrom of difference. It is part of our national character as the English to tolerate the difference and not ban things. If Cameron is not careful he will be doing worse than the Labour lot in terms of reduction of our rights and liberties.

Animation Sat 12-May-12 14:57:45

Widow - we could start by focusing on getting rid of all 18 material; - hard porn; - intercourse, blow jobs, anal sex, group sex, homosexual sex, masturbation....and work through gradually. Yes, retain sex education material.

...just on a temporary basis, for the purpose of safeguarding children, until a better solution could be found.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 14:58:06

smile At washing powder being "abhorrent"!

WidowWadman Sat 12-May-12 15:00:43

starwisher - I wouldn't want my children's first sex education to "accidentally be some horrific porn movie" either - it's my duty as a parent to ensure that - both by not just let them trundle off on the interwebs on their own without having tought them some online-saviness, and by ensuring that they've received some sex-education from us parents well before the age where they go online without any supervision.

It's a fact that it is impossible to censor the internet in a way that only porn becomes unavailable, but matters related to sex which aren't porn remaining unaffected.

People asking for filters are trying to pass on responsibility to an outside agent for something they should bloody well do themselves.

WidowWadman Sat 12-May-12 15:02:41

Animation - how would you do it? You can't have sex education material which doesn't reference sex.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 15:04:01

Oh a serious note some censorship is always a good thing.

MN for instance. Although we all self moderate I am glad for instance deeply offensive comments can be censored and removed.

There is a difference between simply not liking something (i.e washing powder talk) and something being offensive or damaging or even dangerous. (Im talking on wide spectrum here not just porn)

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 15:10:54

You wont get reported on this thread whatever you say.Because they believe in complete freedom of speech.

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 15:12:53

I think that is the point.The people who believe in complete freedom of speech dont mind it being offensive,damaging and dangerous.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 15:13:29

widowman I think this has already been discussed to death on the thread why parental responsibilty cannot be the only barrier to accessing material- kids finding way around it controls, seeing it at friends houses etc.

I simply want "tube" sites to become members only as they are far to easy to see the material within seconds.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 15:15:51

amillion but people are reported and deleted on here every day. Whole threads get deleted.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 15:16:31

Animation: you misunderstand me. I was saying that it was impossible to remove porn from the internet.

Amillionyears: the government would struggle to turn of the internet tbh. They would need to shut down every mobile network/phoneline/cable and satellite.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 15:18:14

Starwisher, but for e.g. You need to be a member of facebook to view most material on it. You need to be over 13 to be a member.

That works well...

WidowWadman Sat 12-May-12 15:21:01

what are these tube sites you're referring to? Youtube? I'm actually not fond of the idea to have to give up my personal details everytime I click on any link to any video.

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 15:21:20

starwisher, im not talking about MN.Im talking about the people on this thread who believe in complete freedom of speech.
ItsAllGoing ToBeFine.I may be wrong but I thought there was some switch somewhere that can turn off the internet.Maybe I am just thinking of the internet in this country, not worldwide?

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 15:25:44

Itsallgoing- yes so over 18 for all porn sites, that would work very well too imo!

Widowwadman- Im not sure if Im allowed to give the site name on here, but replace the word "you" with "red" followed by tube into google. Dont do it your kids are nearby though!

amillion- sorry, I understand what you mean know

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 15:28:05

The internet was designed by the military in order that it couldn't be destroyed, turned off etc. As long as there is a way for computers to "talk" to each other there is an internet. Hence the need to kill all communications to shut down the internet. There are some major nodes and constrictions and undersea data cables etc, and they could probably be shut down, but that a tiny part of the internet as a whole.

WidowWadman Sat 12-May-12 15:28:52

So you think making redtube members only would stop porn from being pretty easily accessible on the interweb?

You come across as scarily naive here.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 15:29:32

Imagine if there really was a big "turn off t'inet" button and someone accidently leaned on it.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 15:30:34

Starwisher: my point was that there are millions of under thirteens on facebook. (I always forget sarcasm doesn't work online)

Most organised porn sites make you click a disclaimer saying you are over 18 already.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 15:31:24

It would be a fantastic barrier and a great start would it not? Seeing as its easy as pie to get on them.

Not just on that site but all the similar ones.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 15:32:07

Yes, but you would need a credit card. I have already explained this above.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 15:35:25

Starwisher:

Firstly very easy to "borrow" a credit card number

Secondly: how do you intend to make every site offering porn put these restrictions in place? (and thats without even going into what is porn?)

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 15:42:44

Its possible you could steal someone credit details, but not easy (especially if need it verified) and very easily traceable to it's a pretty big barrier first of all. Yes there are ways around but at least some effort has been put in place to stop this site being so readily available.

You would have to make it compulsory under law to restrict material to over 18s only with sign up sites

Xenia Sat 12-May-12 15:44:29

It is very wrong for people to impose their views on others. A parent is responsible for their own children. It's up to them. There is nothing to stop anyione on here not even letting their children have a television if they choose and plenty do not. Ban the internet, nintendos the works. Be Amish if you like.

However imposing your views on others and essentially introducing even more of a nanny state which probably will not work anyway is very wrong and plenty of mothers are against this measure.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 15:47:38

Starwisher:

Under whose laws? I don't think any porn sites are owned or hosted in uk.

Even if there was some international agreement, it would still be impossible to police. See all the arguments on why filtering content doesn't work.

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 15:54:04

But what is law then?It is imposing a lot more than views on others.

MarieFromStMoritz Sat 12-May-12 16:02:09

I am sick of this attitude that it is the parents' problem. I always supervise my DS whilst he is on the computer, but, for instance, he was playing Friv on the computer next to me whilst I whilst doing some paperwork earlier. I needed to use the bathroom a couple of times, so what am I supposed to do? Take him with me? Take the whole computer with me? Turn the electricity off?

It is impossible to supervise every single second of a child's internet access, especially as they get older. Older kids often use the internet for their homework. How are parents meant to, say, cook dinner if they are supervising every second of their older child's homework? If they turn their backs for 5 seconds the child could be looking at porn with a few simple clicks of the mouse.

Also, how do parents know that what they are doing is effective? No, we need internet content to be filtered before it gets to the home. Sure, we can impose our own controls, but I don't believe that is enough.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:03:50

I'm sure Xenia (and I) would argue that some laws are wrong.

However laws are generally imposed when the majority think it would be for the greater good.

This thread shows that the majority do not think that filtering is for the greater good, so it should not become law.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:06:56

Marie:

If your child wants to look at porn they will ISP filter or no ISP filter.

If they don't they are very unlikely to stumble across accidentally.

MarieFromStMoritz Sat 12-May-12 16:07:21

ItsAllGoingToBeFine, that is arrant nonsense.

MarieFromStMoritz Sat 12-May-12 16:09:50

... and wrt your last post, internet porn is banned here. It would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) for my DS to view porn on my computer. The more safeguards you put in place, the harder it is. That is what we need to aim for.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:10:00

In what way?

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 16:10:47

MarieFromStMoritz I couldn't agree with you more! My dc's are only little so I do not to worry too much yet, but I know full what teenagers get up to. Funny that, having been one myself.

The naivety on this thread is amazing. If only we use some special software and sit on guard with them the whole time everything will be ok.

How long ago was it some of you were young? Surely you cannot have forgotten already what older kids/ teenagers get up to. Trust me, if you think you atcually know and can control everything your kids do then that is truly naive.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:11:28

Marie: and that moves towards Xenias argument again. The other reason trying to filter the internet is a bad idea is that I do not want to live in a regime like the UEA.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:13:05

Starwisher: and what on earth makes you think the government can put into place something that is more secure than your own filtering software?! In reality, your own software is likely to be far more effective.

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 16:16:37

ItsAll, this thread shows..the majority on this thread..
There will be many in the country who disagree, probably the majority of this country disagree,though obviously they wont have posted on here. so it should become law.
MN says that they get 30,000 posts a day.That means, if say everyone posts 5 times a day, there are about 6,000 posters on MN.Hardly a majority of the country!!!

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 16:17:09

Software doesnt solve all the problems. I fully expect our children will grwo become just as, if not more internet savvy then a majority of us anyway.I cant stop my dc been shown graphic things on other children mobiles/ latops. tablets etc either

How about children who live in households with no software?

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 16:19:57

amillion you are right.

I find MN rarely represents popular view, more likely the alternative or extreme views.

You really cannot go by what a handful of Mumnetters post!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:23:54

No software doesn't solve all the problems. You are completely correct. This is why ISPs using filtering software wouldn't solve any problems.

NovackNGood Sat 12-May-12 16:26:24

I am surprised that someone is pro censoring the internet supposedly t protect the children and yet upholds and supports the human rights abuses of the UAE, lives and works there furthering their economy. Life is wonderful inside the gated communities and the grand malls. It kind of reminds me of the Film Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 16:29:07

Novack your posts are very odd.

Are you talking to me or someone else? Your creeping me out about because your obviously referring to someone specific on here

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:31:38

She talking to Mariefromstmoritz who lives in UAE.

Xenia Sat 12-May-12 16:34:02

We hvae a duty as mothers to ensure our children grow up in a free society. The last thing we should be supporting is internet censorship.

exoticfruits Sat 12-May-12 16:35:20

I want mine to grow up in a free society without access to porn.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:36:02

Exoticfruits: that's never going to happen. Sorry.

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 16:36:34

free from the state?
you write law books upholding the laws of the state.
free from danger?
porn can corrupt the mind.Presumably your are ok about your kids viewing porn.

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 16:37:56

my last post was to Xenia
she wont answer me.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 16:39:47

No Xenia my duty as a mother is to protect my child and my wish is to protect other peoples children.

exoticfruits Sat 12-May-12 16:40:04

I haven't read quite up to date but I seemed to establish some time ago that if all computers were sold with child filters on as the default position it would help.

exoticfruits Sat 12-May-12 16:40:55

I agree with starwisher,I want to protect all DCs not just my own.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 16:41:36

"Presumably your are ok about your kids viewing porn."

Im wondering the same. Maybe the truth is, some of these posters dont see it as big deal if they do see it underage.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 16:48:45

I have never seen porn accidentally.

If someone wants to see porn they will easily bypass any filters put in place.

NovackNGood Sat 12-May-12 16:56:41

There is no need to give children smart mobile phones or televisions in the bedroom or unsupervised internet access unless you ware happy to do your parenting by proxy.

Xenia Sat 12-May-12 17:07:51

The people supporting the block are effectively abdicating their responsibilities as parents. It is up to the parent to determine what the child sees. If you think womens houdl be covered up or women don't work or whatever your views, anti hunting etc and you want to bring up children in a particular way you ensure that. you do not expect the state to block things for other people.

There are a huge range of views on topics in the UK and one of the nice things about this country is that we tolerate each other and do not impose our views on others. The French ban burkas. We are not like that. We want to be one of the most free nations on earth.

exoticfruits Sat 12-May-12 17:17:35

I think that you do impose your views on others Xenia! I want to impose mine on others. All DCs should be protected from porn- end of.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 17:25:02

"There is no need to give children smart mobile phones or televisions in the bedroom or unsupervised internet access unless you ware happy to do your parenting by proxy."

So lets give children the right to live in a free country!

Oh wait.

Except dont let them have a mobile, TV or any privacy on the internet.

But its very important they can live in such a free country of course.

Who really is arguing for our children's freedom here?

Ryoko Sat 12-May-12 17:26:37

Exactly NovackNGood

I find it utterly ridicules all these kids walking around with mini computers with continues internet access.

if we called them what they are rather then Smart Phones (the word phone seems rather redundant) perhaps these parents would think twice before buying them for their kids especially with them sighted as the number 1 cause of classroom disruption and the amount of cyber bullying going on.

Years ago people used to insult my fave hobby gaming (well some still do) saying it's an addiction that their kids are playing these things all day yet not a single person complains about the scourge of smart phones being addictive, they are taking over peoples lives, you see them everywhere endlessly poking at the little screen reporting every aspect of their lives on FB "hay look at me I'm driving to work" etc.

You want a phone for your child to call you in an emergency buy them a phone you can still get normal phones, they don't need Smart Phones.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 17:37:15

If your worrying about smart phones been addictive, then you should worry about the effects of seeing porn underage far more.

NovackNGood Sat 12-May-12 17:37:26

Starwisher that is a straw man argument you are making.

If a child wishes to be as free as you imply they could take action to be emancipated from their parents. If they go to that trouble they can have all the freedoms they want. Otherwise they have to live under the parental responsibility. If you don't want to take on board that parental responsibility that is your choice.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 17:39:37

Wrong.If you dont want to take on board that parental responsibility to try our best to protect kids at the source that is your choice.

Its not me who needs to question my parenting by any means Im afraid.

Xenia Sat 12-May-12 17:50:18

Proper libertarians want parents to be free to protect their children as they wish. The default position should be state freedom, not censorship,

Any parent supporting this ban is in effect saying I am a bad parent and I want the state to do my job for me and I want everyone to be clones, forced into the norm the state decides, like good little Communists.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 17:57:32

This is not about a "ban".

Ryoko Sat 12-May-12 18:06:18

Parental responsibility is to understand the buck stops here, that a parent not the state is responsible for the conduct of the child and all that they see and do.

If your child swallowed all the medicine in your cupboard who is to blame?. The medicine makers for creating such dangerous things?. or the parent for not locking the cupboard?.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 18:11:22

"the conduct of the child and all that they see and do."

All they see and do? How unrealistic.

Animation Sat 12-May-12 18:49:38

" The default position should be state freedom, not censorship,"

i want PORN to have an 18 censor.

Why don't you?

Is it cos you a bad parents - innit?

grin

Good Grief!

bibbitybobbitybunny Sat 12-May-12 18:51:36

"Any parent supporting this ban is in effect saying I am a bad parent and I want the state to do my job for me and I want everyone to be clones, forced into the norm the state decides, like good little Communists."

What a load of absolute fucking twaddle fgs Xenia.

bibbitybobbitybunny Sat 12-May-12 18:52:04

IT IS NOT A BAN!!!

I thought you were an intelligent person?

Jux Sat 12-May-12 19:36:53

Think about books. When I was pg I was given a bag with some books for babies. This was to help me start off dd in the way sanctioned by the state, which had deemed it important that all children/babies have access to books. I believe every pg woman got a bag like this (does this still happen?). My house is filled to bursting with books, many from my, and dh's, childhoods. The books we were given were actually pretty crap and I wouldn't have bought one of them myself, but hey, they were mine whether I liked it or not and I was quite happy to read them to dd.

I'm sure that there were/are lots of people who never opened one of those books, some may have sold them, some chucked them, etc. There is a family near me. Both parents are so dyslexic that they can barely read a sign between them. Did they read their books to their children? I doubt it. In fact, it would have been amazing, a miracle, if they had. Where was the point in giving them books? None at all.

The answer to this government intervention is to actually spend the money on educating the parents. Making adult literacy/numeracy courses far more available and accessible. If you educate the parents then you have half a chance of educating the children.

So my point is, instead of making blanket, nannying gestures (you may not access porn on the Internet/you must read to your children) your energies and resources would be better spent in educating adults.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 20:08:50

A parent could have a doctorate in "how not to let your kids see anything bad ever, ever and if they do your a crap parent" but that doesn't mean your child (who is a seperate human being from you) will not go off and find porn.

I wonder:

If your child does access porn,at say a friends house,will you in all reality blame yourself and come back on here and admit your a crap parent? I bet you wouldn't.

WidowWadman Sat 12-May-12 21:01:25

What is porn for the purposes of your block? Are you ok with nudity as long as it doesn't contain erect genitals or penetration?

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 21:16:58

You see I think most posters on this thread would vastly prefer their dc not see hardcore online pornography.

I certainly don't want mine to - which is why I'm against this measure. It won't work, as numerous techy types have explained, over & over again.

What might work is educating my dc as to why porn is a (IMO) a Bad Thing, & installing the free, effective filters that I as a parent can already download.

Yes, they may well then see unsuitable material at a friend's house where the parents aren't so bothered or so aware. That's unavoidable, & less of a risk than that presented in a world where we all rely on some crappy government filter that everyone over 8 knows exactly how to circumvent.

Being against this filter isn't a pro porn position, it's an anti unfounded complacency position.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 21:44:10

Im not all about the "block"; Im all for tube sites becoming sign up only.
"Are you ok with nudity as long as it doesn't contain erect genitals or penetration?"

Why would I want my dc to see that underage? No thanks. That's grim.

"What might work is educating my dc as to why porn is a (IMO) a Bad Thing, & installing the free, effective filters that I as a parent can already download."

Yes, because teenagers always go along with what mum and dad tell them not to do!

Im not saying lets block and ban all the porn, but Im saying what we have now is far too open and far too easily accesiable.

It reminds me of leaving a child near an open-log fire with no firescreen.

All Im asking is the guard is somehow put there to stop children getting burnt.

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 21:51:56

Well, you're asking for a chocolate fireguard tbh!

Of course teenagers won't do what we tell them to, all the time; but there's more value than you might think in saying 'Obviously you will be able to access porn if you really want to. Here's why I think it's exploitative & why I don't think you should have anything to do with it.'

You probably won't stop them altogether. A more thoughtful attitude, though is no bad thing.

Putting an ineffectual filter in place is likely to be counter-productive - at the school where I teach, the geeky kids swap firewall work-arounds more for the fun of beating the system than to access dodgy stuff (they have smart phones for that...)

Actually, if this legislation is passed, it'll probably boost a generation's IT skills no end, as every bright teenager in the country focuses their attention on busting it. There's that in its favour.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 21:58:40

Why do you people not get it!

You can say make redtube and similar sign up only...

You can say remove porn from the internet...

You can say censor porn to 18+...

... But it isn't fecking doable (head. Desk)

Freedom of speech, nanny state etc aside IT IS SIMPLY NOT TECHNICALLY POSSIBLE TO DO ANY OF THESE THINGS.

Yes, they have a firewall in china, uae etc but they are easily bypassed and we know uae at least allows mumsnet which has v v unsuitable content.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:03:22

Dont be daft of course it do able, tube sites havent always existed.When I was a teenager looking for porn I couldnt see any because you had to pay. It should be the same. You should need a credit card to sign up. Its not that hard, it easy peasy.

If mumsnet wanted to make this forum to able to read to signed up members only it would be very easy.

Im making my own website right now. I can make some pages memebers only by clicking a button.

Xenia Sat 12-May-12 22:05:03

How could you force people to charge? Are you going to impose english law across the globe? Very very few people want this new censorship and as it appears technically very difficult if not impossible to implement thankfully it will fail but we all have to be very very alert to these constant threats to our freedom and for the sake of our chidlren resist them vigorously.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:07:06

Xenia you think your protecting your children by leaving them easily vunreable to porn, I think quite the opposite.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 22:11:27

Starwisher:

Tube sites haven't always existed becuae the technology to stream video is reasonably recent.

Ok, so you want all porn sites to charge/require credit card. How do you propose to make them do that?

If mumsnet wanted to make this forum available to certain members it would be very easy. I agree. But it would not be so easy if for example Uzbekistan wanted mumsnet to do this.

Ditto your website. It is very easy for YOU to make YOUR pages members only. If you didn't want your pages to be members only and the government of Uzbekistan did, what then?

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:14:46

If Uzbekistan wanted me to make my website members only I would be surprised.

Jux Sat 12-May-12 22:16:11

Starwisher, do you really believe that no teenager could get hold of someone's credit card and get whatever they want that way? There are plenty of adults who don't go through their bills with a fine-toothed comb, and plenty of young people who have credit cards - maybe older sibling of one of your dc's friends - who won't mind using their card.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:18:56

Of course they could but its a preventaive measure not fool proof!
Better than typing a word into google and hey presto, porn galore, no?

exoticfruits Sat 12-May-12 22:20:48

I support the ban. I am a good parent who is also bothered about the DCs of bad parents - rather than to say 'I'm alright Jack'. If the parent won't protect them the state needs to.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:22:17

Im shocked people have such a problem with this.

Is really that outrageous to suggest you need a credit card to see porn?

You need ID to get into a nightclub or buy alcohol do you not? Its no different.

Jux Sat 12-May-12 22:22:52

That's why you use any of the free filters that are available to you already, Starwisher. Then having a credit card won't help.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:25:16

Exotics it is very "Im alright Jack"

If we go down Xenia's line of thinking the goverment should no longer enforce any child to get educated as frankly its eroding the child's freedom and liberal rights.

Well some poor kids, well end up with no education at all then, won't they?

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:26:09

Yeah, except free filters only work in your own house.

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 22:30:29

But you still aren't getting it.

If every porn provider out there, globally, was happy to sit round a table with you & agree to make their sites pay-per-view, credit card only, then that would stymie all the teenagers out there with no access to a credit card number to feed in, yes.

They aren't going to do that. You can't make them. The Government of the UK can't make them.

If you want your dc to be as protected from unsuitable content as they can be a) download suitable filtering software, yourself, as a parent b) talk to them about how they might see unsuitable content outside of your house & how they might react c) don't provide them with a mobile that can get online.

The Government cannot sort this one out for you.

Jux Sat 12-May-12 22:34:30

<head, let me introduce you to desk>

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 22:36:01

Xenia
"Proper libertarians want parents to be free to protect their children as they wish.The default position should be state freedom not censorship"
She may protect her own children, who knows.But she does not care about other peoples children.She does not care if other parents do not "protect" their children.She just does not care.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 12-May-12 22:36:10

What ravenAK said.

I chose Uzbekistan at random. The point is governments cannot control the owners of websites taht are not physically located in that country.

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 22:37:50

starwisher, just the words i have been thinking.Xenia is a case of "Im alright Jack".

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:38:18

Its attitudes like this which make society stagnate. How many people in history have said things are impossible, yet proved everyone wrong and changed the world for the better.

Your attitude of: You currently cannot do this, which means you never do this is such a defeatist attuide, and it means things will never improve for society.

I want to provide my dc with mobiles when they are old enough. Why should they miss out on all the wonderful things of the internet just because nobody can be arsed to sort this out?

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 22:40:19

And no food, abused, homeless,etc etc etc

Im actually feeling quite sick.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:43:20

By the way if it so impossible for govement to control websites then why are child porn sites taken down?

Why are webites promoting terroisim banned?

Why is websites such as how to make bombs banned?

Why has the goverment made it illegal to download free movies and music?

Its ridiculous to say the goverment has its hands tied and it "can't help you".If it wants to control aspects of the internet it obviously can.

TiggyD Sat 12-May-12 22:43:54

Pirate Bay is totally blocked. Except you can get into it in seconds with a google search.
Blocking access to 5 million porn sites should be a doddle.

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 22:47:44

'You currently cannot do this, which means you never do this' isn't quite how it is.

It's more that: organisation A comes up with a method of blocking web traffic. <Lots of random geeks> B find a way round it.

& repeat, & repeat...

At what point do you imagine all of B will go: 'Yeah, OK, we can't find a way round that one. Bugger. Best switch off our computers & head off out for some healthy fresh air & exercise.'

The smart phones thing is a bit irrelevant tbh. I can sit here now saying 'Well I wouldn't give my dc one & frankly I think it's careless parenting' - but by the time my eldest is in secondary school they'll probably be giving 'em away at petrol stations.

The internet evolves. That's the point.

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 22:48:30

Ive had an even worse thought

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 22:50:39

Taking down websites is easy.

What you can't control is the individual or organisation concerned setting a new site up - with near identical cached content.

So it's a bit fallacious to talk of 'banning' sites.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:54:53

raven

We are talking about CHILDREN not looking at porn.

Not adults.If an adult needs to spend their time breaking into xhamster then that's very sad, but up to them.

Its unlikely a 10 year old boy wanting to know what sex means is will be breaking down firewalls and hacking into redtube

All I want is that if he gets curious about sex he is not met with some graphic image that could be distrubing

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:55:27

amillion

What was your thought

amillionyears Sat 12-May-12 22:56:23

pm me if you want to

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 22:56:57

Have done smile

chandellina Sat 12-May-12 23:03:20

I don't see how anyone can argue against making it tougher for children to access porn. Adults will still be able to freely access it if they please. There is no erosion of anyone's rights.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 23:04:48

YES Chandellina!

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 23:13:37

But why would he, if you've got sensible & effective filters in place?

If we're talking 10 year olds rather than teens now, honestly, the solution is available to you now - download a filter which, unlike the one we'll get if this goes through, works.

My ds is nearly 8. He's quite capable of googling 'UK filter bypass' if there was such a filter in place, & following instructions from there. In the highly unlikely event of such a silly law being passed, I suspect in a few years' time he'd be one of the geeky kids telling everyone else how to circumvent it.

For now, I just make sure I monitor his internet use. Carefully.

Honestly, I'm no keener than you are to expose our dc to pornograpy.

Starwisher Sat 12-May-12 23:17:02

If your no keener then why just make it that little bit harder to access it? That really is all I am saying.

I do not want to have monitor my dd internet use when she is older, as I believe she should be entitled to privacy.

exoticfruits Sat 12-May-12 23:18:14

He wouldn't be able to follow instructions- he would need a password. I also can't see why he wouldn't need a credit card. If a lot of money was offered to solve the problem someone would find an effective way of blocking it for under 18yr olds.

chandellina Sat 12-May-12 23:20:49

Raven, most kids are just not going to bother. Particularly if restrictions mean they are exposed to less porn than at the present and it becomes less normalised.

It's not going away but I'd far rather return it to a bit of a risqué status for children rather than having them view hardcore images as a standard part if their daily or weekly media.

And it's ludicrous to say parents are only responsible for their own children and no one else's. It is my business as a parent if my child is being harmed by others.

chandellina Sat 12-May-12 23:21:50

My last comment referred to something Xenia said

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 23:36:43

Most kids aren't going to bother spending hours looking for a work-around, true, Chandellina.

The point is - they don't need to. Someone will come up with one & it will be quickly disseminated, just as is done in schools with net filtering now. Most kids can, & will, follow a web link & a few simple instructions.

Starwisher - because I don't believe it will make it harder to access. I believe it'll make it easier, because parents (not you or me, hopefully) will complacently trust in an unworkable 'filter' rather than effectively teaching their dc about t'internet & monitoring their use thereof.

It can't work. The nature of the internet is such that it's about as workable as deciding you don't want your dc to be affected by the dustcloud from a volcano on the other side of the world, & so it'd be a great idea to put a giant piece of clingfilm over the whole of the UK.

It can't be done, for technical reasons, & anyone who tells you it can is either woefully misinformed or has their own agenda for misleading you.

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 23:41:51

exoticfruits: 'He wouldn't be able to follow instructions- he would need a password. I also can't see why he wouldn't need a credit card.'

Because you'd have to get every single porn provider in the world to agree to make their sites password/credit card only.

You don't have any jurisdiction to do that & nor does the UK government.

claig Sat 12-May-12 23:42:00

If a filter is unworkable, then how come a home filter on the PC works?
If kids can get round ISP filters etc. then surely they can also get round home filters too? So ISP filters etc must be at least as good if not better than home filters.

MorrisZapp Sat 12-May-12 23:48:08

I support blocking at ISP level.

ravenAK Sat 12-May-12 23:54:13

Because a home filter filters what you, as the person i/c of your family's internet access, want it to filter. You can set it to various levels or customise it if there's particular sites you want to allow or disallow.

I could quite happily decide that no-one in my family wants or needs to look at <whatever>, or just allow half a dozen educational sites, say, or set it up to text me if anyone is up to anything I disapprove of. It'll also log every keystroke made, if I want it to, record chat conversations & email, & video everything which takes place on the monitor.

(Actually I agree with Starwisher that privacy then can become an issue).

Try doing that for 60 million people.

Pickgo Sun 13-May-12 00:00:00

Having porn on the internet as an opt-in will communicate that it is not suitable for young people to see. That will reassert its status as an adult minority interest hopefully.

I hope this will help to halt the sexualisation of children that has been stealthily evolving over the last decade. I hope it will help to re-establish a perception that pornography is not normal and healthy but see it for what it is - a multi-million exploitation of (mostly women) who are vulnerable, and which dehumanises and desensitises people generally.

I hope it will help children to grow up with their attitudes to sex formed by personal positive experiences rather than the warped perceptions of porn sex.

claig Sun 13-May-12 00:00:30

But browsers have default security settings. Why can't the default security settings be what would be the settings of a home filter?

NetworkGuy Sun 13-May-12 00:06:19

Starwisher - 15:42 - "You would have to make it compulsory under law to restrict material to over 18s only with sign up sites."

Come on, who are you going to get to force websites to have "members only" sites ?

The internet is GLOBAL and under no single authority to control (even if the USA gets its fingers into a lot of sites because of US firms either owning many hosting services or being involved in administering domain names). Creating a law here will only force conformity among UK-based businesses (and possibly those using .co.uk for the domain name), but it's unworkable, and has as much chance as Animation's wish to ban all porn on the web...

ICANN only recently approved .xxx domain names after about 10 years since it was first proposed as an option. Why didn't it come into existence before? It was the US Government with the Republicans in control who were objecting, I think (if memory serves about the .xxx being rejected again and again).

Unfortunately, like it or not, porn was intertwined with the internet as we now know it. Which group pushed for online credit/debit card processing? Which pushed (and were willing to pay) for higher speed links, big data centres, etc.

You can find articles explaining how (just like VHS VCRs in the 70s/80s) porn led demand for certain developments, such as compression of graphics, video streaming, online charging, and so on. Also, detrimentally, spam, pop-up ads, etc, before you even argue any moral case.

ravenAK Sun 13-May-12 00:08:10

Well, apart from the practicalities, because your home filter & mine might be different things.

I might decide not to expose my innocent babes to the Daily Mail f'rinstancewink.

NovackNGood Sun 13-May-12 00:09:26

Starwisher you wrote this...I do not want to have monitor my dd internet use when she is older, as I believe she should be entitled to privacy.

But you actually want the government to do the monitoring for you and more so because you seem to think you know what is best for all children.

Could you ask the question earlier of what part of nudity you are against. Ar you against your children seeing other kids (4-) ) running naked on the beach or topless woman etc etc.

i would quite like to have a fuller understanding of your position so i do not have a mis-conception.

claig Sun 13-May-12 00:10:06

Well the Daily Mail is campaigning against porn being so easily accessible.

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:10:49

If certain countries can ban the entire internet networkguy then regulating porn sites is small fry.

If the goverment can already pull down sites about making home made bombs, the power is there.

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:16:15

Yes I want the goverment to have policies that mean porn is not accessable to CHILDREN

Yes, I am 100% sure that is best for all children, oddly enough.

What naked children have got to do with porn I dont know, very strange. Nudity and porn are not the same.

Why are you bringing naked infants into this? confused

NovackNGood Sun 13-May-12 00:16:32

They can easily ban the internet because you just don't allow an isp to connect in country.Doesn't stop anyone with a modem direct dialling another country for net access. Which is how When I was 12 with a CBM 64 and 9600 baud modem I was calling the USA for the 3 months of summer to look at Bulletin Boards before the parents got the bill and cut of the line. if my parents had not given me the phone line or left me alone I'd not have been able to do anything.

ravenAK Sun 13-May-12 00:22:41

How does the government go about 'pulling down' a site based in Holland or Indonesia?

If you want a site removed, you contact the hosting provider, who will generally be co-operative if they're reputable & can see that the site is likely to get them into bother for hosting it.

It doesn't mean they have to comply, or that the content hasn't been cached & won't be made available again via another host.

Mainstream porn wouldn't be removed unless the host was in a country that had also decided it didn't want porn to be freely available. Otherwise, why on earth would they remove profitable content that was perfectly legal in their own country?

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:23:11

So your parents must have been really crap for you to have got away with that. Why didnt they constantly monitor you? What on earth where they doing when you were up to this for three whole months?

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:24:12

Sites are pulled down all the time.

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:25:39

people are also arrested for accessing illegal material online

Your not nearly as free as you think in the first place

NetworkGuy Sun 13-May-12 00:26:13

claig - I posted a link the other day concerning the >* Daily Mail <*

claig Sun 13-May-12 00:29:46

Yes, but the Daily Mail is not porn

ravenAK Sun 13-May-12 00:31:52

Yes, sites are pulled down all the time, & material which is illegal is illegal & quite right too.

None of this reduces the availability of pornography on the internet one iota, or makes an 'ISP filter' any more effective. It just isn't.

The government cannot protect you from the internet for the exact same reasons that they can't protect you from the weather.

NovackNGood Sun 13-May-12 00:34:23

No one knew of or was there an internet then and helicopter parenting hadn't been invented. BBM were a tiny part of the scene back then and very very few people had modems that connected to a computer At the time it cost about 300 pounds extra. I think they were happy I was not trying to emulate Mandy Smith.

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:37:04

http://open.youyuxi.com/

This is a good link that demonstrates how you are already have your internet censored, you probably are not even aware of it.

So you see all this hysteria about some censorship leading to our inevitable loss of freedom is nothing but alarmist behaviour, and even quite paranoid.

You are already censored online- and even offline, yet inspite of this for a majority of the time you have freedom.

Freedom,as lovely as the connotations of the word are, can come at a cost to others.

In this case, you may say freedom for porn users, but the cost is the rights of children.

I would say the later is far more important.

chandellina Sun 13-May-12 00:38:05

Come on, controls are possible if imperfect. Online gambling sites are offshore but they still can't tap the world's biggest markets because those countries don't allow their citizens to participate. How do Facebook and You Tube control their content, it is clearly possible to a high degree.

NovackNGood Sun 13-May-12 00:44:45

Shutting down a UK jihadi or kiddy fiddler ring or fraudster criminal site is not the same as censorship. It's takes a legal act from the Home Office and/or judiciary to do so.

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:45:23

I agree Chandellina.

Novack Im still interested to know why you asked about naked children under 4?

ravenAK Sun 13-May-12 00:45:29

I don't think anyone's said anything hysterical about loss of freedom, though.

This measure would be highly unlikely to impact on anyone's abilty to access the internet freely. What with it NOT BEING WORKABLE.

It'd just be a bit inconvenient, slow everything down quite a bit, cost us all lots of money & instill misplaced complacency.

NetworkGuy Sun 13-May-12 00:45:59

amillionyears - 14:13 "turn off the entire computer network?"

I doubt there's a simple switch but there are relatively few connecting points in each country, without which the internet could become "national" only rather than international, or even more restricted.

There are a few data centres around London without which the bulk of UK citizens could not get online (as BT and others route most traffic there, and even if your ISP is based in Exeter or Sheffield, they will (generally) have equipment in London.

A US computing lecturer was banned from discussing some of his research because he identified the major switches across N America which are "key" to the internet working for the US and Canada. 7 bombs would be enough to not just 'break' the net for the USA, but many other countries too, because the majority of links are to/from USA (as most web hosting is located there and demands for traffic are higher to/from USA than most other countries (at least for the English-speaking world).

It's easy to see the links with a trace command:

Quick traces to a couple of USA web sites

C:\Users\webman>tracert www.imdb.com

Tracing route to us.dd.imdb.com [207.171.162.180]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 192.168.1.191
2 172.30.132.74
3 te-4-2.car1. Manchester1 .Level3.net [195.50.119.9]
4 ae-4-4.ebr1. London1 .Level3.net [4.69.133.102]
5 vlan104.ebr2. London1 .Level3.net [4.69.143.98]
6 ae-43-43.ebr1. NewYork1 .Level3.net [4.69.137.74]
7 ae-10-10.ebr2. Washington12 .Level3.net [4.69.148.50]
8 ae-5-5.ebr2. Washington1 .Level3.net [4.69.143.221]
9 ae-62-62.csw1. Washington1 .Level3.net [4.69.134.146]
...

Trace complete.

...
4 ae-4-4.ebr1.London1.Level3.net [4.69.133.102]
5 vlan104.ebr2. London1 .Level3.net [4.69.143.98]
8 ae-1-100.ebr2. NewYork2 .Level3.net [4.69.135.254]
10 ae-6-6.ebr1. Chicago2 .Level3.net [4.69.140.190]
11 ae-3-3.ebr2. Denver1 .Level3.net [4.69.132.61]
12 ae-2-2.ebr2. Seattle1 .Level3.net [4.69.132.53]

Now to AUSTRALIA ABC radio/TV service

(goes across USA)

C:\Users\webman>tracert www.abc.com.au

3 te-4-2.car1. Manchester1 .Level3.net [195.50.119.9]
...
8 ae-72-72.ebr2. NewYork1 .Level3.net [4.69.148.37]
9 4.69.135.185
10 ae-71-71.csw2. SanJose1 .Level3.net [4.69.153.6]
11 ae-12-70.car2. SanJose2 .Level3.net [4.69.152.76]
12 TELECOM-NEW.car2. SanJose2 .Level3.net [4.59.4.94]

links next to New Zealand...

13 ae0.sjbr2. global-gateway.net.nz [203.96.120.73]
14 ae1-3.labr5.global-gateway.net.nz [203.96.120.93]
...
18 aapt-int.sebr2.global-gateway.net.nz [202.50.238.214]

Then to Australia

19 te2-4.sglebdist01. aapt.net.au [202.10.14.6]
20 te2-1-110.sglebdist02. aapt.net.au [202.10.12.131]

ends up at ABC gateway

24 DABC12345-1.gw.connect.com.au [210.8.2.253]

and another, this time to Singapore
(again, goes across USA)

C:\Users\webman>
C:\Users\webman>tracert www.singaporeedu.gov.sg

Tracing route to www.singaporeedu.gov.sg [160.96.1.185]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 192.168.1.191
2 172.30.132.113
3 te-4-2.car1.Manchester1.Level3.net [195.50.119.9]
4 ae-4-4.ebr1.London1.Level3.net [4.69.133.102]
8 ae-92-92.ebr2.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.148.45]
...
12 STARHUB-LTD.edge5. SanJose1 .Level3.net [4.53.28.6]

California direct to Singapore, or so it seems...

13 vlan905-an-cat6k-ts2-r1. starhub.net.sg [203.118.3.153]
14 gi8-1-0-an-ats-loc04.starhub.net.sg [203.118.7.11]
...

So you can see that Australia/NZ would continue to see websites locally, but if San Jose link went down, might be "cut off" as far as the internet, not just from USA but perhaps bulk of the world, too.

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:46:11

"It's takes a legal act from the Home Office and/or judiciary to do so."

Which means... the goverment have power!

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 00:47:39

"I don't think anyone's said anything hysterical about loss of freedom, though."

Maybe you missed Xenia's posts

NovackNGood Sun 13-May-12 00:50:46

Online gambling is shut down in the US markets by threats of lawsuits if the credit card processing companies process funds leading to these companies.

It is closed as a protectionist measure to allow the the legalised gamling areas in Nevada/Atlanta etc. to have no competition whist they still also benefit from 0% corporation tax in Nevada. Makes you wonder how big the politicians donations are to vote against online gambling which would provide tax revenue in favour of a bricks and mortar industry that does not pay corporation tax at all If they were trying to save people from gambling they could simply close down McCarron airport

NetworkGuy Sun 13-May-12 00:52:31

http://open.youyuxi.com/

"This is a good link that demonstrates how you are already have your internet censored,"

No, it explains that some body says the internet is censored even in the UK, without being specific. AFAIK, the only sites currently blocked (perhaps now adding Pirate Bay depending on your ISP) are on the IWF "child porn" block list.

If there's more actual information, such as a list of web sites we cannot access (apart from ones on IWF list), then I'd like to see that, to know if there is anything further being blocked.

I have no qualms about IWF blocking child porn (but they put their foot in it when they blocked Wikipedia some time ago, and it damaged their credibility).

If there's any proof of other "blocking" then I'd love to see it.

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 01:00:16
NetworkGuy Sun 13-May-12 01:00:34

"If certain countries can ban the entire internet networkguy then regulating porn sites is small fry."

Regulating within one country may be attempted, Starwisher, but the blocks that even China has put in place are not watertight.

You wrote "You would have to make it compulsory under law to restrict material to over 18s only with sign up sites."

How will you do that with a site like redtube ? They're outside the control of the UK, and are going to ignore any UK legislation, aren't they ?

You seem to be thinking on similar lines to Animation wanting to make policy for the world that is unworkable (unless I've misunderstood you!)

ravenAK Sun 13-May-12 01:03:26

I skimmed them!

Look, it's two separate arguments:

'Should we censor the internet in this country so that porn is opt-in only?' - maybe. I'd say no, but I can see persuasive arguments in favour.

'Do we have the means to censor the internet in this country so that porn is opt-in only?' - definitely not. Can't be done. Ask any IT person you like.

Starwisher: *"It's takes a legal act from the Home Office and/or judiciary to do so."

Which means... the goverment have power!'*

Yes, they can shut down a site hosted in the UK. Now extrapolate from that to: a)most, if not all, porn sites aren't hosted in the UK - they're elsewhere where the UK govt. has no say whatsoever & b) how many porn sites do you think there are, worldwide?

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 01:12:08

UK legislation is not frozen though Networkguy, things can be done to evolve the way porn is accessed.

Before the Children and Young persons act in 1933 was passed Im sure there were people arguing just along the same lines as you are now.

ravenAK Sun 13-May-12 01:18:33

Butyou seem to be expecting UK legislation to somehow magically exercise some sort of control over the way the entire planet uses/publishes/accesses porn.

Starwisher Sun 13-May-12 01:25:06

Nobody mentioned the entire planet.

Simply putting one more barrier in the way of CHILDREN, (not adults) accessing porn is not hardly a major ask. I genuinely am baffaled why people dont support this one simple move, in theory at least- even if our current legislation or technology cannot support in practice right now