back to article 'Happy slapping' vids prompt Brown to push net filters

The availability of gore and violence on the internet has prompted the UK Government to consider backing a campaign to encourage wider awareness and use of net-filtering software. Gordon Brown has ordered ministers to work with ISPs and media watchdog Ofcom to devise a strategy to regulate access to smut and violence online. …


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  1. Andy


    Everyone loves censorship.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stalin era Russia

    There was something called the Cold War where people made sure we didn't become part of the USSR.

    We though the Cold War was won - it was, and not by us. Gordon Brown and others are moving us into the sort of the society that we used to be so critical of.

    Net Filters, neighbourhood snoops tipping off the authorities, cameras at every corner.

    Welcome brothers and sisters to Comrade Browns glorious Socialist Republic.

    The Thought Police will soon be visiting to ensure your thoughts are pure.

    Of course parents could just not give camera phones to their children.....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    internet savy kids

    I thought the idea was to get more children in this country online and computer literate (if not actually literate), as hollywood has taught us the draw of violence and sex is a great way to get people interested, and its worked, where is the problem?

    I really wish politicians would stop with their meddling in this country. Either fix the deeper issues of discipline, education and decent values in youngsters (and give them something to do when not in school) and we might not have such a problem with them happy slapping each other and the rest of us.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Always a good idea

    I mean, if you cannot see it, it might as well not have happened at all. Slick move.

  5. Craig

    Ministry for the bleedin obvious...

    Could it be that they are speaking of some kind of "parental control" software? Hmmm it's a tough one, where would kids get parental control from?

    Hang on a minute, maybe the parents could ask as some kind of moral guardian (crazy, radical, I know) and restrict what their children see and do until adulthood.

    And for anybody who says "yes, but the kids are out of control!", I regularly see parents buying 18+ ultra violent computer games for their kids, even after being warned that it is extremely graphic and disturbing.

  6. daniel

    How about getting coppers...

    Off their ar$e and out on the beat - for me it would seem better that the government is telling the yobs that "you will now have a chance of getting caught" rather than "you have a chance to appear in black and white on candid camera", but this will not get much media coverage for Gordon "Babysham" Brown.

    OK, so people will get happy slapped, and they will send their video by mms to their friends, and not upload it to youtube. Build a better moustrap, and better mice find their way through it...

  7. Robert Ramsay

    and as if by magic...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adult Net filter

    dear Mr Brown,

    Can I get a filter that allows all the smut and violence through and censors all the crap e-commerce & work type stuff please.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Stalin era Russia

    At least in the cold war you had a clear idea of who and where your "enemy" was. These days, it just becomes just a little too evident that the "enemy" is whithin. See, the problem with Socialism is not the concept itself, but the way it is implemented. It is not per se a repressive regime with Orwellian ambitions. As evident, you can have that – and call it a democracy.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The mainstream news is sanitized to such a banal level that we need sites like youtube to act as a reality check.

    Yes much of it's content is disturbing, sickening, obscene and terrifying but there are disturbing, sickening, obscene and terrifying things happening every day and hiding our heads in the sand will not stop that.

    We need MORE gore, violence and horror - not on youtube but on the 6 o'clock news so that we can see the unvarnished truth about how badly those 'in charge' of our world are fucking it (and us) up.

  11. Dave

    The Lure of the Forbidden

    If half of all children look at pornography and violence on-line, putting in filters to stop them will just attract the other half to also want to look at it all.

    Whatever happened to parental responsibility?

  12. Steve


    The solution to the availability of 'unsuitable' material is extremely simple and widely known, don't allow your children unsupervised access to the internet.

    No piece of software can compensate for the absence of parental attention. If you aren't prepared to spend time supervising your children, you have no right to complain about them being exposed to things you'd rather they didn't know about.

    Seems pretty straightforward to me. No need for any technological solution.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    why are these retards so intent on pissing our money up the wall on things that wont ever work and intelligent people don't want (and decent parents don't need becouse they actually raise their children themselves instead of letting the TV and Internet do it for them.)

    Only a few days ago I was lolling at the Australians, but I knew this day would come, I just wasn't expecting it so soon.

    Useless, technotard politicians living in magical fairy land where the magical techno fairy makes everything happy.

    So how much cash do you think's gonna go on this one, million quid consultation, 10 million quid speccing, 150 million quid initial porjection, 500 million quid over budget and a 50 million quid winfall when the project is finally announced to be a retarded pipe dream 10 years later?

  14. James Cleveland


    Andy - I know where you're coming from, but this is not about ISP side filtering and is in a completely different direction - this is about informing parents that they can block their kids from seeing a small amount of the violence on the net. (ha ha)

    jeremy - I personally found that once a censoring software (or any piece of software) was put in my way in any shape of form, my number one priority was to get around and destroy it. This meant I learned a lot more about computers than if I was just handed my free internet on a plate ;] If it wasn't for censoring proxies, I wouldn't know half what I know about CGIproxies etcetera.

  15. Adam

    About time...

    It is a joke - you are 13 but

    -you can't watch a 18 film from blockbusters as it might damage you

    -you must be shielded from ads that could be sexy, racist , etc as it might shape your thoughts

    -you can't play Manhunt 9 or Doom 56 as it might cause you to go nuts with a knife

    but you can simply go online and view hardcore smut or anything else - pretty pointless having the above then isn't it - we as a nation agree that censorship is requried as people are to young to recongise the difference between fact and fiction and often the lines get blurred but then we don't enforce at an ISP level - anything else is pointless as it can be broken easily

    The internet is a media just like the above and requries central control just like the above - websites are a start but then you have p2p, etc

  16. Ralph B

    Will no one think of the police?

    How are the police supposed to catch the perpetrators if they (the perpetrators) are not able to upload the video evidence against them?

    Surely no one is suggesting that they (the police) should go out in the cold and wet and try and catch the bad people like they did in the last milleneum?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blame the parents

    Presumably these 'focus groups' are packed with middle class parents who don't want to believe that their children actually view this sort of thing and that 'something must be done' [tm]

    Here's the solution: put the computer in the living room. No kitemark, no pointless legislation, no more meddling in our private lives...

    It'll never work.

  18. Sam


    Yeah, because the state's sponsored filter s/ware Down Under turned out SO well...

  19. Andrew Barratt

    Government covering its arse thats all

    Oh look, another example of the government being able to say... "Well, we did show you how to stop your kids accessing <insert recent blame of someones death/de-humanisation/corruption here>...."

  20. Dave Murray

    Perfect solution...

    This could work out as the perfect solution to all those annoying blame the Internet scare stories. Install filtering software on the PCs of all Daily Mail readers and the makers of Panorama. Then they won't be able to see the sex and violence so they will stop making their supposed moral majority complaints. Of course their kids will be able to circumvent it in 5 minutes when left alone but who cares as long as middle England stops shouting for their nanny and leaves the rest of us to get on with life.

  21. Iain Cartledge

    Re: Stalin era Russia

    While I appreciate and agree with the sentiment in general, I think it's an unfair comment in this context. Educating parents on how to protect their kids from online violence and helping them has nothing to do with government censorship. Every parent has the right to be able to protect their kids, and even though I'm not a parent I'm not naive enough to believe that it's possible to watch your kids every minute of the day, or even the time they spend online. Anything that helps parents is good, and no doubt if the parents got charged with neglect for letting their kids look at violence because they didn't understand what their kids were doing critics like you would be quick to suggest that the parents should 'educate themselves'. Of course they should, but then criticising a government initiative to help them educate themselves is a little bit hypocritical.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another fool

    Oh great!

    I thought Cameron's stupid assertion about the evils of video, game and music had made him look like a fool and would be a warning to other politicos who were looking for an easy target to blame various ills on. Now it looks like Brown wants a bit of that too. Well I am happy to call him a fool as well, but it does leave me with a problem of who to support. A bit like 1930s Germany where the only avenues left open to alternative options were the extremists.

    Am I the only one wondering who has a chance at the big job and has some common sense? (The LibDems are no hope when it comes to common sense.)

    Somebody give these idiots a clue. "Censorship doesn't work."

    I wonder what underground data networks are running in China about now.

  23. Magnus Egilsson

    Striking similarities

    Ive just finished reading 1984 by Orvell and The Penultimate Truth by PKD again. It is chilling to find so many elements of recent day politics in fictional books of cold war era and general paranoia. Politicians constantly babble about securing society and protect public interests, I wonder, who is going to protect us from them?

    Perhaps Ill reach for The Futurological Congress by Lem tonight and forget about it all.

  24. Will Curtis

    I am the law!

    It seems that Gordon Brown-nose has taken the whole becoming Prime minister thing a bit too far, do you think that he and our tony sat down together one day to chat about the role of prime minister and tony thought he would wind gordon up and tell him that he had "the power of grey skull" or something leading him to believe he could control the internet? thank the lord for techies!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Gordon should look at the country's police force. If they did their jobs, no one would have to worry about "happy slapping" or the like. The problem does not lie with the internet — it is taking place on the street, where it should be policed. Using sites like YouTube as scapegoats is absolutely ridiculous. Do your job.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "-you can't watch a 18 film from blockbusters as it might damage you

    -you must be shielded from ads that could be sexy, racist , etc as it might shape your thoughts

    -you can't play Manhunt 9 or Doom 56 as it might cause you to go nuts with a knife"

    I'm afraid mr Technotard with your magical fairy wand you are proving a point.

    All of the above forms of censorship only work aslong as the parent abides by the rules and does not purchase games they arn't allowed to play or get them movies they can't rent.

    The same applies for the internet, if a parent can't be bothered to supervise their child it's their fault.

    Join the real world mr woolly thinker, and take responsibility for your kids don't expect the rest of the world too.

  27. Will Curtis

    Almost as silly as........

    hug a hoody........ i reckon cameron and brown-nose went to the same school for the bloody ridiculous....

  28. Robert Harrison

    Put the damned PC in the lounge/living room!

    It's that easy. Yes you can't watch your kids 24/7, no one can. My 2 kids won't be getting TVs/PCs/phones etc in their bedrooms, when asked why I will answer with "I don't have a TV so you don't have a TV". Your bedroom has always classically been a place to chill out, read or sleep. Keep the technology in the central living area. Definitely the department of the bleedin' obvious here, you don't need any filter software, you can just look over your shoulder for the dodgy flesh pics ;o0

    Of course what doesn't help is that Hollywood and its like push the violence/horror/etc films because after all they sell well and of course kids just want to be adults and do and see all the things that adults do. Perhaps all of us adults could become better role models for our and other peoples kids and lead by example?* </daydream>

    * I say this with the full knowledge that I, like most people, will never live up to my own standards which I suppose is exactly why the problem is here in the first place.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    God forbid parents find out what theyre kids are up to.

    The problems isnt really in sites like youtube that host vids like this - its the fact that the kids are doing it in the first place.

    Try sorting that out before slapping censorship all over the internet.

    With videos of this kinda crap popping up all over the net parents actually find out what theyre kids are up to - is that really a bad thing.

    I guess we can always stick our fingers back in our ears and hope all our kids grow up to be ikkle angels.


  30. Adam

    @ the @Adam guy

    Don't worry I'm sure you will see be able to see your favourites like Cum Hungry Grannies etc

  31. Rob

    I don't see the problem...

    ... if the kids want to see violence, then let them. Bring back national conscription and show them real violence, up close and personal so much so that they can smell the blood and then throw up.

    In the meantime though, I blame the bloody parents, lazy gits who have no idea why they had a kid in the first place (oh yeah, cause everyone expects you to, flippin sheeple).

  32. Peter

    Why the obsession with one medium?

    Surely reason would have to follow that the same 'filtering' would have to take place for other media - books, paintings, sculpture, radio etc.

    First of all you could destroy any artistic works containing violence or nudity (Romeo and Juliet amongst other 'smut' perhaps? Most Disney cartoons?). Of course you'd then need to police new works - perhaps a state body to authorise any book publications, and to publish itself a list of 'authorised forms' to portray in other artistic forms.

    I think the germans had something similar in the late 1930's, & their economy was pretty strong at the time so it must have been a good plan.

  33. Julian Cook

    It really is time to censor the web

    Like it of loath it, the time has come to place safe guards around the internet. There is content out there that should not be seen by anyone and as such should be filtered. Everyone likes to jump on the big brother idea but there really is a need to protect us from some of this content. Newsgroups is where the internet started and is now almost a no go area, try going to a binary newsgroup and download something, most of the time you get what you want other times you end up with child porn or bestiality and no one can defend that content. YouTube is also a good example, why should criminals film themselves doing crime and then publish it to all to see, only to then go and make more content. For those of you who disagree you only enable an environment that allows for paedophiles to commit crime

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not quite Will..

    Brown went to the school for the Bloody (Kirkcaldy High) and Cameron went to the school for the Ridiculous (Eton).

  35. Dan


    Whilst we need more Police, and especially need more of them on the beat.....what we need are the parents of these kids to actually educate their children on morals and ethics.

    My brother looks and sounds like a chav most of the time, (despite being brought up middle class,) but he is not a chav. Why ? Because my parents instilled morals and ethics in to him. He knows right from wrong. Ok, so he won't get out of chair when a woman enters the room, but he'll give up his seat for a pregnant or elderly woman.

    Too many parents just don't care. They let their children run around and do what they want. And they either don't discipline them or their idea of disciplining them is beating them senseless. A smack or clip round the ear was a bloody good deterrent for me. It taught me about consequences. Something the chav masses seem to have forgotten about.

    Its also something that the Politicians have forgotten about, and the Political Correctness Brigade. All the nice normal people that I know watched 18 movies, and played violent games under-age. And we all turned out fine. No happy slappers, or murderers amongst us. But our parents taught us right from wrong, and disciplined us when necessary. THAT is what Brown and the PC 'tards need to focus on. Getting parents to be parents, and not slacking off on parenting !!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Don't worry I'm sure you will see be able to see your favourites like Cum Hungry Grannies etc"

    ahhh groundless aqusations, the stronghold of the small minded. Just keep proving the point for us buddy.

  37. Steven

    @Julian Cook

    "For those of you who disagree you only enable an environment that allows for paedophiles to commit crime"

    Excellent way to stifle the debate, thanks for that.

    The problem as I see it is that the internet is a global phenomenon. Countries, as we can see, have different laws to one another (whether they be duly elected democracies, i.e. UK vs US gambling laws, OR unelecected dictatorships) and surely those countries have the right to choose what content the subjects that they represent* should see. Filtering at the national level seems to be the only workable solution to the "big" problems. As for what your children are able to see, well as the argument has always gone with the television - there's always the off switch, little Johnny will have to actually use a pen *gasp* to do his homework at the *gasp* library.

    *deliberately didn't say "elected" here as democracy isn't the be-all-end-all of solutions imho.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re Julian Cook

    "For those of you who disagree you only enable an environment that allows for paedophiles to commit crime"

    O look, sensationalism and lies "IF YOU DON'T SUPPORT FILTERING YOU SUPPORT PEDOPHILES" man, people like you make me sick. You have no real argument, you just use baseless propaganda to prop up your non-sensical arguments.

    Dan is indeed correct, much like him me and my band of marry lads were tought the difference between right and wrong, truth and fiction. reality and fantasy. Something it seems long lost on modern parents and youths.

    The notion that filtering would stop illegal activity is so mind numbingly stupid that it passes any level of common sense, and is a fine example of going lalalalalalallalalal I can't see it, it's not happening.

    The internet infact provides an increadible way in its current unfiltered form to track down criminals.

    And despite what the lies and sensationalism people like Julian try and spread the internet is not full of Peadophiles. It is just a space full of hundreds of millions of people. Treat it like you would any other giant space, with intelligence and caution.

  39. Keith Turner

    Pots, kettles and short-term memory loss

    "Ofcom has been asked to develop a kite-mark scheme to certify net-filtering products, The Sun reports."

    and where does the Sun get revenue from?

    Adverts for chat lines, video messaging and other rather sleazy quick-buck ventures. Nothing new under the Sun then.

    As for us now in a Stalinist state, it doesn't seem so long that we were in a fascist dictatorship.

    If people are going to bleat about governmental control will they please settle on one side or the other, it's not as if the issues have changed much. Thank you.

  40. Smallbrainfield


    ...just don't buy them phones with video capability. That would work.

    Internet is not for children!

  41. Sam Machin

    Teaching the Kids some tech skills

    About time the government did something to get some decent IT skills among our children. At least this way installing filters on their web browsing will force the kids to learn useful skills such as SSH tunneling and anonymous proxies ;-)

    Censoring the net using technology will never work!

  42. Peter Mc Aulay

    Ye ghods

    Net filters to combat street violence. What has the UK come to!

  43. Glenn Amspaugh

    Smack your kids up!

    Well, hell, why don't they just license people to be parents? Only let those who are obviously responsible enough to raise kids to have 'em?

    Just last night, I turned the channel from a kid's show, where they played Candid Camera style pranks on kids. Wife and I had a discussion with 6 year old daughter on why we were turning off show. We've done this before and will continue to do this.

    Daughter knows there's stuff out there we don't approve of but she also knows why we don't approve of it. I think too many folks don't take the time to try and make their kids know why some things are not suitable for them to view, until they are better able to understand them and put them in context. Doesn't mean you just outright ban things; we have classic violent cartoons that are hilarious but we also explain about cartoon violence, why it's funny and how to segment some things away from 'teh real world'. Just takes a hell of a lot of time and energy.

  44. Igor Mozolevsky

    One would have thought that...

    if someone was stupid enough to do something illegal and film themselves in the process the law enforcements would be able to do something about that certain someone... Clearly it is not the case!..

  45. Igor Mozolevsky

    @ Julian Cook

    Ah, of course, it's the 'net that started the whole pedophilia thing right?..

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the UK?

    The real question is why are there so many of these yobbish, loutish, feral kids running around in the UK in the first place? It's not something you find in any other West European country. What is it about the UK that produces this type of person?

  47. preethi

    Height of Irony

    THE SUN championing the cernsorware issues on page and acceptable smut on page 3. Don't get me started about casino's and bingo websites

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @One would have thought that...

    Only if a victim comes forward, else the CPS don't want to know. There's been a big discussion about this on PistonHeads and SELOC due to some retards trampling all over someones Lotus Elise and filming themselves.

    As for filtering - dear god, what is it coming to, that the solution to violence is to deny the existance of it, instead of actually tackle the root causes. I saw the Krays film when I was 12, it didn't turn me in to a Gangland Boss or make me violent, because I'd been brought up properly by my parents.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Didn't Blair...

    obliquely threaten some kind of Net censorship just before he jacked it in, a few weeks back? I can vaguely recall a rant of his against the Press (and the Independent in particular) and the threat of 'measures' to prevent criticism & conspiracy theories on the Net against those in positions of authority.

    Maybe Murdoch had already told him what he intended getting Brown to do..

  50. Luther Blissett

    Beware Greeks bearing silly gifts

    This is another political Trojan horse. Are we so busy reading 1984 we forgot Animal Farm, and the donkey that was disappeared?

    Here is how the old Moroccan rope trick is worked. Step One. Show audience Apple Pie. Step Two. Show audience Apple Pie in danger. Step Three. Show audience State Security Apparatus for saving Apple Pie. Ignore catcalls of "silly" (if your stagecraft is top notch, you may optionally encourage these for dramatic effect). Step Four. Wait for audience to cheer for Apple Pie saved. Step Five. Withdraw to the Dining Room for dinner, port, cigars, and self-congratulation for extending scope of State Security Apparatus. Your ass is now feeling better.

  51. Steve Browne

    Yet another load of brown bollox

    One item that seems to have escaped is the recent phenomena of politicians attempting to control lives by way of important topics.

    So, Osama bin Laden arranges for a large plane to fly into a tall building or two, therefore everyone has to have their photograph and fingerprints taken when visiting the US. Thing is, they know who it was, so why do they need my fingerprints or picture?

    Paedophiles exist, have existed for many years, doubtless they existed when the bible/torah/koran were being written. These books contain some fairly graphic violence, sex and lost of unsavoury practises, perhaps they ought to be banned too.

    Blaming the internet is like blaming the tooth fairy. Just plain ridiculous. One way or another badly behaved kids will be just that, badly behaved. Censoring my enjoyment of cum hungry grannies (Oh Adam, do you really go there too) will not change that, they will still be badly behaved.

    The point being that censoring internet content to avoid kids showing their home made videos of themselves committing criminal offences is not going to stop the criminal offences. The offences will still take place, just that fewer people will get to know about it.

    Then there is the BBC (amongst others) who are actively seeking out "user generated content" to enthrall us with, while they spend the license money in the pub.

    There were ills in society long before the internet was invented. Censorship is not the way to go, in fact, all censorship should be removed, now.

    If parents have a problem, let me just point out they are YOUR kids and they are not MY responsibility. If you cant look after your kids 24/7, that is not MY problem either, it is still YOURS.

    If governments have a problem over parents and their offspring, then just withdraw child benefit, child tax credit etc, until their children behave. Perhaps they might spend what is left on worthwhile things, like food instead of camera phones and computers.

    How about ..... Ban football, get rid of football related violence. Or will some people miss out on their Saturday afternoon sport. I could care less about our national sport, but it does attract a violent following. Therefore, banning all football will have a wondrously fortifying societal impact and all the Saturday afternoon thugs will take up something else, basket weaving I expect. They would have been able to take up knitting in the 60s, but trusting thugs with sharp objects does not seem such a good idea.

    Oh well, cum hungry grannies is off line tonight, I shall just ave an early night instead.

  52. Graham Marsden

    Re: Didn't Blair...

    > obliquely threaten some kind of Net censorship just before he jacked it in, a few weeks back?

    You mean like his Government's plans in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill 2007 to lock people up for three years for possessing at "Dangerous Pictures" on the grounds that if we look at "extreme porn" we're all going to go out and commit murders.

    Of course most people are likely to say "well, I don't want to see extreme porn, so I don't have a problem with banning it", but they don't realise that once the door of censorship has been opened, it's *very* easy for the Government to widen it a bit more through a creeping process of "well if *that* is unacceptable, then so must *this* be..."

    Brown's "Citizen's Juries" are likely to just rubber stamp this because I doubt many of the people on them would have the courage to stand up and say "No, I don't think that extreme porn should be banned" making themselves look bad in the eyes of the other members, even though what it actually represents is a gross infringement (even the Government admits this!) on the right of adults to make up their own minds what they view and not a decision for the Nanny State.

    This Bill is going to have its second reading on the 8th of October, so *NOW* is the time to write to your MP see for details.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    why companies such as websense are not punting home versions to a higher level i do not know. or are they? but i am not seeing them due to not being in the right demographic?

    many a drunk chat amongst fellow childless IT people has helped design a home to guide in the lunishment of children. how many of us had had our hi-fi's and or TV's taken away as punishment when we were kids? (Apart from ye oldies who remember rationining, or the first wave of Punk) now it would be less back breaking just to remove a fuse to the bedroom, and only issue laptop at homework time and just before school.

    We reckon, Home network with AD and a special punshment group set up with restrictive access levels basicly you can have access to Office and Adobe Photoshop, employ websense with same type of group i.e you only get education websites, have the wall sockets in thier room on a different ring to the other wall sockets on same floor, and remove fuse.

    more ideas welcome,

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    extreme porn

    (yeah okay this extreme porn bit has sent me off onto a completly different discussion, which is linked by a causality kind of thang, links between media and actions)

    Also they're trying from the lolicon angle too (drawn pictures) trying to bracket it in the same class as child porn (with the same kind of sentance no less - lol. The reason of course looking at and possesing real child porn is illegal is two fold number one the person is taking part in, assisting and withholding information in relattion to a criminal act, and number two there is an obvious relation to a real illness.

    Drawings of course don't have the first issue (they're drawings so the only crime is imagination) and the second a link to a desire for real children is also tosh as well... the day you see a pink haired 10 year old with eyes the size of saucers it's probably the day you should be check your self into a mental institute for being delusional anyway.

    But yes censorship creep, once you have accepted there is a link between violent porn and murder and rape of woman or drawings of lolicon lead to raping children (both increadibly rare extremes of human behaviour.) It's pretty easy to make a link between violent films and violence, softcore porn and immoral behaviour, homosexuals on tv turning people gay, rappers making people smoke crack, ect, ect, ect... of course it's the kind of wooly thinking some people believe in, probably the same kind of people who think you can "fix" being homo or transexualilty. They're generally also the kind of people who happily cast about sensationalist statements.

    Personally i'm not into violent porn, but do I think it's wrong to ban it? Yes, especailly if the rational you're using is that it leads to a person commiting crime. *sigh* it's all fine and dandy till they're knocking at your door in the dead of night becouse you forgot to go to church.

    But anyway it's all just more bad law made to make it easier to criminalise people who wont fight back becouse they're actually concerned about living thieir lives with the minimum of fuss so that the court conviction rates for sex offenses will look better as most of these things go into that batch of crimes.

    Actually it's interesting reading the QC report on the crime bill (I only read the proposal on lolicon and vaguely paid attention to extreme porn) and it seems once more they have no evidence their either lol.

    to quote

    "First, a prosecution or the threat of a prosecution, with the potential penalty of three years imprisonment, for looking at adult pornography in private is a very serious interference in an individual's right to respect for an intimate aspect of their private life under Article 8 and their freedom of expression under Article 10. "


    "As the Government admits, there is no proof that the use of such images by individuals causes or induces violence. The enormous amount of research to which the Government refers has yielded no clear results.21 It is difficult therefore to see why there is any need to prosecute individuals for looking at this material in the privacy of their own homes. "

    Anyway bored now.

  55. Chris Cheale

    The Internet is for Pr0n


    It is a joke - you are 13 but ... blah blah blah


    Not to mention of course, that that same age-restriction stuff is already on the Internet "You must be 18 to view the content on this site - if you are 18 click here" - the simple responsibility lies with the adult to do the clicky, or not - exactly the same with games/films/cigs/booze/lottery/gambling, anything with an age restriction. Just like the real world, the Internet is not really for kids - still, at least when they shoot each other online there's no harm done.

    My personal favourite is that, at the age of 16 you're legally allowed to have sex (not that that seems to be much of a preventative for the 13-15 crowd) and yet you can't buy a dvd about it? All any 16 year old has to do (well for softcore pr0n) is to stay up past about 11pm and channel surf.

    As for net-filtering software, woe betide anyone who happens to be trying to find out about Scunthorpe or the "Golden Shower" tree (Cassia fistula) - I was very careful with my google search for the latin name there, but at least I was able to search for it, no NetNanny here.

  56. D Stewart

    Filtering kids' access is not censoring yours


    Why is everyone complaining that this is a planned censorship system?

    No-one mentioned censorship in the original article. Why not go and complain about the real attempts and successes in censoring adult lives?

    "Early ideas include plans to educate parents about the use of net-filtering software"

    Filtering is not censorship. The content is not being removed: you highly responsible adults will still have free access, and if a child really needs to access a site which has been filtered, they need only ask their parents.

    Chris Cheale wrote:

    "The internet is not really for kids"

    Is that your personal censorship policy? Will you tell Disney, Nickelodeon et al. or shall I?

    The word "Kids" doesn't just refer to 15 year olds with some level of judgement and computer savvy. An important problem which really needs to be addressed is not forbidding access but avoiding accidental exposure for younger kids. There are online resources for much younger people - why should they not be allowed to visit the sweet shop just because there's an adult store three shops down? The adult store is very rightly blacked out and they are forbidden entry - is that censorship?

    I use the built in OSX email and web filtering which restricts access to domains/email addresses which I have approved. When a non-approved site is accessed it asks for an admin password to approve it. So if a kid really needs that site on sex education it's no problem to grant access when they ask. This works wonderfully for my under tens (and yes, the computer is also in a public space in my house). Unfortunately, this feature is not well publicised and I've had to point it out to several friends who had no idea it is built in.

    I know of at least one parent who was horrified to find their kid's email was being spammed with pornographic images advertising Viagra. Receiving this stuff is a joke to the rest of us, but could be fairly horrific for an eight year old who just wants to email their pen-pal/granny etc. Filtering incoming email, including notifying parents of denied mail which they can then choose to admit is a great solution.

    "There will also be a review on whether new rules are needed about the marketing of some products to youngsters."

    This would be very welcome. Despite being able to limit my kid's access to sites I deem appropriate, there is no way to filter the ads these sites choose to include. Remember, in the UK you can let your kids watch TV before the watershed pretty safe in the knowledge that the adult ads and news have been FILTERED from their view. Or is it CENSORED? No-one complaining about that?

    Other media (films, games) are CENSORED already (look for the little red logo with "18" for those of you who missed this nefarious form of censorship). Why shouldn't parents be able to access a trustworthy list of age-ratings for the internet? They can always choose to ignore them as with games and films.

    Several angry commenters want to blame parents. So please, let's give parents the knowledge and power to give their kids access to something that I expect most of you would agree is pretty essential in a modern society whilst retaining "parental control". Then, if you want, you can get cross with the ones who don't do it. (Even if that somehow contradicts your hardline "never censor" attitude...)

    Steve Brown wrote:

    "If parents have a problem, let me just point out they are YOUR kids and they are not MY responsibility. If you cant look after your kids 24/7, that is not MY problem either, it is still YOURS...all censorship should be removed, now."

    But I'm supposed to protect your right to keep up with your GILF? (Well I do, lucky you) Maybe your addiction is not my problem...

    Moreover I guess you should be allowed to do whatever you want in public (e.g. pornographic adverts on billboards, masturbating on a park bench) on the basis that it's not your problem and I should magically be able to protect my kids from it if I see the need.

    You live in a society and accept the benefits of doing so, yet you forget that every person in it was once a kid and that their behaviour as adults is directly related to the things they experience as kids. Your parents must have been God-like in their ability to police you. Or is that why you have a problem with providing for any kind of parental control?


  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with censorship

    Is who decides what is to be censored.

    The bigger problem here is that they're doing this under the guise of "Won't somebody please think of the children", however in a society without proper parenting, and parents who pay attention to their kids how can the problem be solved?

    A REAL solution

    A) Increase the parenting responsibility of women, refuse them work before/after hours of school when their children are below the age of 16, make sure they actually look after their damn kids instead of latchkeying them.

    Outcome: Kids have someone who is hopefully grown up enough for them to talk to, and they don't become reliant on their immature peers for validation and support

    B) Pay husbands more to ensure a reasonable income.

    Outcome: Single parent families cease to be after 15-20 years

    C) If people who aren't ready or aren't capable of parenting happen to be parents, bleed their income dry (I'm looking at the teenage mums here, who get up the duff at 15), do not allow them a cushy ride on my taxes.

    Outcome: Getting pregnant when young becomes a severely unattractive possibility, abortion rates go up, moral responsibility for actions amongst teenagers goes up, over the course of 15-20 years, teenage pregnancy ceases to be an issue. Quality of parenting improves.

    Sure, non of this is something that people would agree with, however, if we keep focusing on the problems rather than the solutions then the issue will become more apparent and more problematic. This can be solved without further brainwashing of kids, after all its the lack of mature reasoning, and adult confidant that makes kids become more and more unruly, there are no strict boundaries for them any more. The innocence of youth is dead and the only way to bring it back, and increase the quality of parenting along the way is to do things which are ever more unpopular than censorship. Censorship doesn't make a problem go away, it just hides it, it goes underground and becomes more extreme.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ D Stewert


    I was starting to think the world had gone nuts... how everybody commenting seemed to think that the article was talking about censoring the entire Internet for everybody is beyond me.

    I hate censorship and the lack of censorship on the Internet is what makes it great. It also creates a fair few problems. A lot of parents are unaware of the technical ways that they can protect their kids from being inadvertantly exposed to graphic porn or violence. An informational campaign to tell them about Net Nanny or other software is not a bad thing.

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