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keeping our children safe online

(2 Posts)
PlentyOfParsnips Sat 12-Feb-11 10:05:30

I am very grateful that MNHQ have listened to the techy people here and withdrawn their support for Ed Vaizey and Claire Perry's ill-thought-out proposals for ISP-level porn filters. However, if ISP filtering is not the answer, what is?

For those coming late to the discussion, this thread covers the reasons why MNHQ are no longer backing Vaizey and Perry's proposals and Kaloki's blog provides a clear overview of the technical difficulties of ISP filtering.

We're getting some press about this -

The Register's article is the most accurate. The telegraph has picked up on the story with a Technology News piece yesterday and an opinion piece by Rose Prince this morning. There's also The Daily Mash article if you fancy a laugh.


My personal view is that we need to provide parents with much better education about the dangers their children may encounter online and what they can do about it. I'd like to see regular internet safety sessions for parents in all schools, focussing not only on porn but on the whole range of risks - violent material, disclosure of personal info, bullying, grooming, pro-suicide and pro-ana sites, illegal downloads, ID theft ... I'd also like to see effective, easy to use, configurable, free client-side software made widely available, perhaps installed by default on new machines and/or installed as part of internet connection.

I also really like NetworkGuy's idea:

'As all (both ADSL and cable) routers will need software changes to work with IP v6 (like a worldwide phone number change) instead of IP v4 that we use now, I think it would make sense for the ISPs and router manufacturers to work together, so filtering could be put in place, at the home end of the connection.

'That's not an immediate solution - but a point where software filtering for linux, Mac, Win XP, Win 7, Windows 2015 and so on would all be covered as well as iPhone v9 using wi-fi from that home internet connection.

'That filtering would be under USER control, the ISP might offer a database for download of "known adult websites" to block, but there would need to be options for customers to use any blocking or disable it if they wished.

'It would need the router to be more powerful than now and to perhaps have a memory card/ memory stick inside, so there would be adequate storage for 30 million (and growing) porn sites, plus any others which exist over the next few years.'

What other ideas do people have?

KaliLoki Mon 14-Feb-11 12:12:27

I think that if the govt want to get involved then the most effective solution is for them to make software free to all households (either in the form of a CD or a program to be downloaded from a website), making sure the program is really simplified so even the most technophobic people can understand it. Then have a centralised database if people choose to use it, with program based settings for allowing/disallowing websites.

Solves all the problems with the ISP filtering that I can see.
- Varying settings for different users in a house (rather than on/off)
- No slowing down of connections
- No extra cost passed onto all users
- No innocent sites blocked by accident, or if they were they could be unblocked easily.
- Certain crazy groups who endorse the ISP filter can block all the safe sex (rather than abstinence) sites to their hearts content without inflicting it on the rest of us.

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