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recent decision by MNHQ

(509 Posts)
NetworkGuy Wed 02-Feb-11 23:33:00

Please, MNHQ, do have a read of this thread and consult your Tech people so they can give you the answers as to whether your support for this campaign and the Minister's plans are worth going on with.

I would hope you not only reverse your position but assuming you get sufficient technical reasoning in 'Plain English', that you go public and explain how unworkable the proposal is likely to be. I feel sure journalists at Computer Weekly and Computing will be able to provide confirmation that filtering is a hiding to nothing and can be very costly because of the millions of GB of data flowing through the bigger ISP networks.

For anyone baffled, and wondering if I'm a nut case, this concerns a proposal to get ISPs to "filter out" all porn, unless a customer "opts in". For numerous technical reasons the idea is never likely to achieve filtering without blocking access to legitimate sites or not blocking access to better than say 95% reliable, thus making it a costly exercise in futility, while parental vigilance and filtering software at the home would still be essential for peace of mind.

(Incidentally the wording of the campaign page implies the parents need to ask, at the same time as someone wanting not to have censored content needs to ask - it is one or other, but not both that would need to contact ISP. )

NetworkGuy Thu 03-Feb-11 12:26:06

"But apparently we are MNHQ!"

Or is it just MNHQ ?

Are they all off ski-ing this week ?

lessnarkypuffin Thu 03-Feb-11 12:30:49

They're definitely off piste.

goldenticket Thu 03-Feb-11 12:31:44

I think the thing is for non-techy types is the sheer number of gadgets in the house that can now access the internet. I've got 3 kids, 3 computers, an iphone, ds wants an itouch, I've seen that we'll soon be able to access the internet on our TVs etc etc. If I want to keep my kids physically safe, I shut the front door - job done. But the internet, for all its many fantastic good points, can sometimes feel like this toxic smoke that seeps in under the doors without you noticing. FWIW, we had parental control filters in place then updated our computer to Windows 7. We didn't realise that doing this would wipe out all parental control settings, so when ds was told to look at a site by a friend (which he did in the 30 minutes after school before I got in from work), our computer was completely unprotected sad.

I wouldn't see a scheme like this as a replacement for anything I would try and do to protect my kids online, but rather an acknowledgement of how hard it can be to do the right thing and a helping hand in the right direction, however clunky.

Does that make sense?

KalokiMallow Thu 03-Feb-11 12:35:30

Quickly added to my original post, hopefully this isn't too full of jargon and so makes sense. Here.

Have added a little to it, and will add more if people don't mind me quoting them? I figure it's easier having it stand alone rather than everyone wading through very long threads.

KalokiMallow Thu 03-Feb-11 12:38:19

Goldenticket - the problem is with how they will decide which sites to block. If they only block "dedicated" porn sites that's one thing, but it will not hide all porn. In order to hide all porn - that would be a complex procedure. Hopefully the link in my post above explains why.

lessnarkypuffin Thu 03-Feb-11 12:39:55

I think that the real problem is that most children are a lot more tech savvy than their parents and the companies don't help. It's very easy to feel out of your depth.

Microsoft could have prevented your problem Goldenticket with one pop up warning on installation. Phones can usually be limited quite easily. It's about presenting the information clearly and readily. You shouldn't have to wade through booklets or search for it.

Motherfunster Thu 03-Feb-11 12:41:54

Golden very true, educating the parents and children, plus giving the household individually the tools to deal with this would seem the solution.

Network is right about this being something that was an issue with the last Gov as well.

goldenticket Thu 03-Feb-11 12:46:08

lessnarkypuffin, exactly - everyone just holds their hands up and says "not our problem" and parents once again have to become an expert in yet another field.

I don't know, I hear what you're saying and to a certain extent agree with it but I think you seriously underestimate the hours of research necessary for a non-techy person to get even a small handle on things. The fact that computers and phones are shipped with all the controls switched off just seems massively unhelpful to me.

KalokiMallow Thu 03-Feb-11 12:48:32

That's why I think the free CD would help, would take the research out of it for you. There could also be the option for computer manufacturers to ship machines with the CD.

lessnarkypuffin Thu 03-Feb-11 12:53:44

I know Goldenticket. I'm not underestimating- I'm not tech savvy myself.

That's exactly where the issue lies. Sell phones with content lock on and let people remove them if they wish, or give a leaflet with clear instructions for parents on how to limit access- not just to porn etc but also to pricey downloads.

How much effort would it take microsoft to add one more pop up warning?

I think that would be a really sensible campaign for MN and very achievable too. Pushing for companies to give clear parent targeted info about how to manage their controls.

KalokiMallow Thu 03-Feb-11 12:55:38

Now that I would get behind lessnarkypuffin. That would be far more useful.

Motherfunster Thu 03-Feb-11 12:57:41

Mind you it would create a hell of allot of jobs in the pubic sector to get round to classifying what out there, but given a large central government budget and massive amount of manpower it maybe possible only to succeed in classifying a tiny fraction of what’s out there.

It’s not workable.

That leaves you only with crap filtering that can be politically abused.

The solution when its comes down to it is personal responsibility and education.

NetworkGuy Thu 03-Feb-11 13:00:06

Motherfunster 'personal responsibility and education' is what BadgersPaws, Kaloki and others have been saying all along. So glad you can see that classification and so on is a massive task and prone to error.

maryz Thu 03-Feb-11 13:00:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

goldenticket Thu 03-Feb-11 13:05:19

"The solution when its comes down to it is personal responsibility and education"

I know I'm responsible and I truly try and do the right thing with issues such as this. All I'm after is some help and yes, to someone like me, what's being proposed sounds great because it is helping me and making my job as a parent easier.

There is so much information out there on every possible subject to do with parenting - vaccinations, nutrition, activities, exercise, discipline etc etc - that I could leave my children to bring themselves up and I'd just about have covered it all by the time they were leaving home grin. Sometimes it would be nice for someone in authority to say "look, we've done the research for you, this is what you need to do". That's all.

NetworkGuy Thu 03-Feb-11 13:06:11

Of course it would be automated, but as Kaloki put on her Blog page, filtering it at the ISP (the trunk, compared with the twigs, each home) means there's no way to build in exceptions on a 'house by house' basis, all traffic gets slowed down, and it is very costly - with that being passed on to customers.

I think if the 'user by user' basis which Snorbs and Kaloki have mentioned is only on Windows 7 then someone (eg Microsoft) needs to put a similar application together for all those hundreds of thousands still using XP (machines on Ebay every month at 100 quid and less) as old XP machines will find their way to homes when big firms replace all their kit and not everyone can fund a new Windows 7 PC.

BaroqueAroundTheClock Thu 03-Feb-11 13:11:42

I will will be using XP on the "old" PC (actually built new for me about 2yrs ago - so not really that old) until the thing dies......

Surely it's not without the bounds of technological possibilities to make a Windows Family Safety Live that is compatible with more versions that Vista and 7.

NetworkGuy Thu 03-Feb-11 13:13:16

Yes, can see your situation, goldenticket, and quite understand that with the plethora of gadgets (some games consoles can also browse web pages, in case you were unaware) all different, it is harder and harder to assure yourself that all of them block porn/ violence/ etc sites.

I guess it is also because the subject matter makes it a bit taboo to discuss, and at what age would you start...

As some have indicated, even having a sleepover at a friend's home can allow access where your own home is hermetically sealed against porn!

goldenticket Thu 03-Feb-11 13:15:10

Can they?


<sues Bill Gates>

NetworkGuy Thu 03-Feb-11 13:16:20

I agree Baroque, XP and other systems need an equivalent (open source) package, and one would hope it could be achieved pretty much for free to end users, the way we have Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.

Kaloki has suggested such an idea with free distribution by CD (actually a download service would be perhaps better as versions could then exist for devices such as nettops with no CD/DVD drive, and for download into mobile phones - not all have USB even.

NetworkGuy Thu 03-Feb-11 13:17:13

hey - MS has broguth out the one for Win 7 - no point suing a (for once!) "good guy"

BaroqueAroundTheClock Thu 03-Feb-11 13:17:28

I don't know - I'm not that tech savy - but I'm not sure why they can't. I mean my (old) Microsoft package (2007) worked on XP and 7.....

Not sure why their family safety filter thing couldn't be made to work on more than just Vista and 7.

I can't afford to update my OS on the PC just so that I can use the same monitoring system on all the computer access point hmm

NetworkGuy Thu 03-Feb-11 13:17:34


BaroqueAroundTheClock Thu 03-Feb-11 13:17:57

brought out what NetworkGuy confused

NetworkGuy Thu 03-Feb-11 13:19:13

understood Baroque, and it would not get onto a Windows Mobile, or Nokia, or Android phone, from Microsoft, even if Windows Phone (the v7 software) might offer it (don't have one so don't know).

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