back to article MP wants age verification for net smut

A Tory MP has proposed that all UK-based ISPs should implement an opt-in age verification system to gain access to internet porn. Claire Perry, Tory MP for the Devizes Constituency, put the proposal to the House of Commons during an adjournment debate last night. It will undoubtedly be music to the ears of newly-formed charity …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Already ....

    we can see how they are moving ....

    SHE is talking about restricting access to LEGAL content

    HE is wibbling on about ILLEGAL content ...

    we'll end up with a dogs breakfast[1] which manages to blur the boundaries in a miasma of FUD

    [1]athough this will be the whole idea.

    VPN to a foreign ISP, anyone ?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Think of the children?

    That is, like, so last government.

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge


    On her website Ms. Perry proudly announces that "My online avatar is proudly marching today..."

    Elected representative of the six-fingered people of Devizes. NFT

    1. Dave Bell


      She's an Avatar, and somebody has a new recruit?

      All together now...

      In the Na'vi...

      Video at

  4. Greg J Preece

    Bloody hellfire...

    "We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, high street hoardings and newsagent shelves to stop children seeing inappropriate images and mobile phone companies are able to restrict access to adult material so why should the internet be any different?"

    If you have to ask that question, you do not know enough about how the Internet works to be passing legislation on it. Leave the debate, go directly to home, do not pass Go, etc.

  5. adnim

    Not the responsibility of ISP

    It's the responsibility of the parents.

    An ISP account user is the person who pays the bill. An Internet connection is assigned to an address. The only way an ISP would know that the user was under 18 would be to have a login account for every user of that connection. The level of access/filtering would have to be setup by the person who pays the bill. Possible yes, easy yes, added cost yes. The need to be responsible for your child's online behaviour and knowing what they are upto, other than stating they are under 18, zero. The parent still doesn't know what their child is doing online, there are objectionable sites that are not pornographic.

    It is quicker and easier to lock down the child's machine, give them a user account and blacklist every site. Sites then could be white listed on request of the child, after the parent has checked out the content.

    The state should be encouraging parents to parent and not assigning the responsibility to third parties.

    Parents shouldn't be using the Internet as a babysitter either.

    1. Circadian

      some ISPs even provide filtering software as part of their package

      What is it with these control freaks? Big hint: THE INTERNET IS R18 RATED! No need to nanny people to try to pretend it is safer. There are already products out there that allow parents to restrict the sites that are available to their pc. (Admittedly, as others have pointed out, these software products are pretty inadequate - but will passing a law make something technologically possible? Ah - for the politicians who may end up reading this, I'd better make the answer clear - NO, it will not, you stupid expenses-abusing twat.)

      The internet is for adults. For those who want to try to legislate their way out of responsibility for bringing up their children may I please suggest birth control? You are clearly not fit to be parents. And if you are already parents and bringing up children with your values, then I feel retrospective brith control would also be suitable - for your children, or even better, yourselves.

  6. Peter Galbavy

    another nutter

    Another MP who simply doesn't understand the 'net and also appears to see parenting as a job for anyone except a parent. I thought we got rid of these people when we dumped that lot who provided a platform for nutters like Ruth Kelly ?

  7. There's a bee in my bot net

    Won't somebody think of the children!

    Here we go again...

  8. Anonymous Coward

    How do they propose to keep track of the smutpeddlers?

    Yes age verification, very good, but how? You can't use blacklists, as that would always be out of date. You can't only let through certain sites, otherwise all site owners would have to apply for their site to be on a whitelist. So just how does he propose this thing works? Does he work for WebSense? I'm cynical me.

  9. John G Imrie

    Lies, dam lies and Government Statistics

    "heard compelling evidence of (this) damage, including the explosion in the number of children in this country being referred to addiction clinics with a 'pornography problem'"

    Is this the same compelling evidence that was "Just figures" from this article

    The problem here is that the kids are far more technically savvy than the legislators, who still confuse the Web with the internet.

  10. Marky W

    How about a national firewall?

    That'll sort the problem, surely.

    And as the ISPs will have to pay for implementation, it wouldn't affect the government budget (i.e. my taxes!!).

    1. Iainn


      I am hoping this post was tongue-firmly-in-cheek, but if the ISP's had to pay for a national firewall, you would be looking at adding a ridiculous sum of money to the cost of your connection.

      So yes, your gross is unaffected but your Net will take the hit. Pun very much intended.

      1. Goat Jam

        "I am hoping this post was tongue-firmly-in-cheek"

        <--- See Troll icon

  11. PJ H

    As a mother...

    "As a mother with three children I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material on the internet"

    As a mother, you should know better than to let your children on the internet unsupervised.

    "British Internet Service Providers should share the responsibility to keep our children safe..."

    Perhaps the parents could be 'persuaded' to do their bit *instead*.

    It'd certainly be cheaper. And less of a burden on those of us who don't have crotch-fruit.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      In addition...

      ...if the parents actually pay attention to their children rather than just ignore them, then there is more chance of them growing up normal and not turning into asbo collectors.

      That's all

    2. Anonymous Coward


      "As a mother, you should know better than to let your children on the internet unsupervised."

      This kind of comment invariably comes from non-parents. Of course children do things unsupervised - parenthood is not a mandate to police a child full-time, and parents also have to do things like cook, clean, iron, etc. Unsupervised activity is kind of good for children, too.

      I have this thing with my young daughter that we call "trust" whereby I trust her to only access websites she is approved to, and she asks before she accesses the internet at all.

      I don't have teenagers but apparently they value this thing called "privacy" too. I don't know, maybe I should educate my kid about the dangers instead of just sitting next to her watching her every move, but I'm not an expert on these things.

      "And less of a burden on those of us who don't have crotch-fruit."

      And, as a general principle, non-parents really need to STFU about parenting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        On The Other Hand

        "...And, as a general principle, non-parents really need to STFU about parenting."

        And parents ought to stop legislating away the freedoms of non-parents. That would be a good start.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: On The Other Hand


          1. Scott 19


            Touche Turtle?

            Sorry on my way home and wanted to troll before I left and yes what I do at home without any kids should not be affected by what parents can't be bothered to do. Its called resposibility its what happens when you grow up and have kids.

            1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: Touche.

              If it's what you really think then I'm not sure it's active 'trolling'.

              But you've gone now, yes? Righto then.

      2. Argh!

        mind bendingly badly put there.

        I get the feeling the sarcasm didn't translate well - at least I *hope* it was sarcasm. Let me summarise how i re-read it the 3rd time after almost ranting back:

        Don't talk about parents controlling what their children do you dummy - that's no better than trying to control the internet. It's about building trust and understanding with children and educating them about reality before the internet or their freinds ake care of it for you.

        Am I close?

      3. DiViDeD

        I'll happily STFU about parenting

        .. as soon as parents STFU about how it's *my* responsibility to bring up *their* sprogs.

        It's always this way. "It takes a village to rear a child", but doG help the villager who tries to criticise *my* child. Parents want me to simultaneously disrupt my entire life for the sake of 'duh childrynn', and also never even dream about commenting on the kid's behaviour, manners or inappropriate presence at the expensive restaurant/pub/betting office/whatever.

        The Intertubes were built by adults FOR adults. Brittneagh and Snotleigh don't belong there. you can keep your playgroups and coffee mornings, we'll take back our pubs, restaurants, betting offices and webs, thanks very much

  12. Shonko Kid

    How about this...

    If you're old enough to have a contract with an ISP, you're old enough to see pr0n? Too simple?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Opt In to being a responsible parent

    Dear MP, I cant be bothered looking after my child.

    I know I can safely ignore it when I sit it infront of the TV. But now it wants to use a console or computer. That will let it shoot people in the face, or look at anything it wants on the internet.

    Please make it so that that I can ignore my child when it uses a console or computer.

  14. Chris Beach

    Lets see the 'How?'

    Then we can talk...oh wait there is no How.

    Internet Browsers already have a content system in place, and all the government could do is rule that all web hosts *in the UK* have this set correctly. Which would limit probably less that 1% of net smut.

    Wait, I thought of a how, parents could do their damn job properly!

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: less than 1% of net smut

      You could raise that 1% to 100% if you and your fellow governments can persuade ICANN to re-align IP address ranges with legal jurisdictions.

      Implementing this tomorrow would upset anyone with a static IP address hard-coded in their firmware. (Given the very low cost of a DNS query, that's a pretty lame piece of coding, so it has probably been done more times than I care to think.) For the rest of us, it would just require a carefully chosen roll-out of routing changes and advertising the results through DNS.

      Once implemented, responsible parents and fascist politicians alike (and they are!) would be able to choose the range of content available to their children and grateful public. They'd also be able to block more spam, since very few people use email internationally and even those that do would have a reliable indicator of origin to feed into their filters.

      1. Argh!

        You could raise that 1% to 100%

        And you think that'll stop ANYTHING? How would you police what goes on each of the 4billion + IP addesses (trillions more when the core goes IP V6)? going to check each one personally? And how does that work when you can simply use a server in whatever suuposedly "safe" zone is allowed as a relay? heard of VPN tunnels? https proxy? Billions and billions of pounds worth of change to accomplish nothing? sounds like a plan

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: And you think that'll stop ANYTHING?

          Do calm down. Perhaps you'd like to re-read my proposal. You seem to have totally missed the point.

          I wouldn't need to police 4 IP addresses, let alone 4 billion. The change would allow people to restrict their view to servers that lay within their own country. They could then let their own country's police sort out any violations of the local laws. This contrasts with the present system whereby there's next to no chance of you having any redress against stuff you find offensive because it almost certainly originates from some other country.

          Yes, I've heard of VPNs and relays. They all require a point of presence at my end, so either you are worried that *I* might try to undermine my own filtering regime (!?) or you are concerned that someone in my own country might be re-broadcasting illegal content from abroad, in which case I'd be able to refer the matter to the local police again.

          Billions of pounds? For changes in border routers? You need a new network admin.

          1. Argh!


            So... let's see if I read that right:

            You propose that if you seperate IP addresses according to national (legal) boundaries you can then police the boundaries and within the range?

            Ok. How do you intend to allocate how many IP addresses each country gets? What happens when they grow outside the allocated bounds? Possibly with IPv6 you cold manage this.

            Once you've accomplished that, why would you *want* to restrict yourself to UK only content? That defeats the whole point of the internet as a *GLOBAL* communication tool. Skype anyone? MSN? Google?

   : IP: - United States - Cary

   IP: - United States - Somers

   IP: - Germany

            The internet cannot be split into geographic regions because the flexibility to host your data wherever in the world is most cost effective is the whole point as far as companies are concerned and if you are a multi-country company it makes no sense to keep a data centre in every country.

            Even if you did want to restict yourself to UK only content, that's still an enourmous job checking that every site within the UK is legitimate.

            As for proxy:


            Pick one.... any one. Your children can connect to a UK address, which is unlikely to have been blocked (unless you're using a white list, which kinda defeats the object of your idea in the first place) and it will magically tunnel everything from anywhere else on teh planet through the address they're connected to. https is all it needs.

            And yes, if you "re-align" all the IP addresses in IPv4 then each company currently using that IP address has to do work to change it's externally presented adddresses. Work costs money. Multiply by the number of affected companies globally and ... well perhaps I was being too optimistic.

            Alternatively you could:

            Just accept that even every such countermeasure has a work around and will never ever be 100% effective and most likely won't break 10% effective (Take DRM for example)

            Realise that even if you managed it porn will *still* be available to children like it always has been

            Spend the time effort and money you were going to put into pursuing such changes instead educating children better so the root of the problem goes away rather than being afraid of something that's been around since the beginnings of human civilisation.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Yes, really

              There's no "possibly" about it, this would be trivial with IPv6. It wouldn't even require international agreement, since a single government could acquire a range of a google or so addresses and pass a law making it illegal (in their country) to put a system on the internet with an IPv6 address outside that range. It wouldn't affect end-users at all, since they all get their addresses dynamically from ISPs, and the ISPs would comply, joyfully, since this is *much* easier than anything else that governments have threatened to make them do.

              As for why, read the article. Politicians and Joe Public alike are constantly bemused by why something can't be done about <whatever> on the web, so perhaps it is time the IT people took that as a serious and legitimate feature request. Then read the innumerable articles about malware, which all end up talking to controller in countries that I and most others (including probably your good self) could quite easily live without a direct net connection to. Lastly consider email spam. 99% of all legimate email to me comes from my own country. I know *my* spam filter would love to use that fact, but under the present chaos I have no way of telling it.

              As for proxies, VPN tunnels and similar, if they result in IP packets with a source address that I'm blocking (not my ISP, unless I've told them to, because this is my decision) my kids still won't be able to connect. Conversely, if they claim to be sourced in this country, this would count as re-publishing the material in the UK and that would open up whoever ran the proxy to whatever laws apply here. (Of course, a multi-national company that simply wanted a point of presence, rather than a data centre, in every country might very well decide that this was what they wanted.)

              Wait until that suggestion is run past the politicians. They'll have the necessary law on the statute books by tomorrow. It is just what they've been looking for: a way of forcing IP packets to advertise electronically whether they agree to be bound by local law. On top of that, people can build whatever filtering rules they want and politicians can claim the credit for cleaning up the internet.

              Yes, there will still be porn on the web, but next time the children find it there, it will be for one of three reasons:

              i) negligent parent failed to block foreign sites (so you can't blame the politicians),

              ii) negligent parent failed to implement filtering based on parental controls (that are now mandatory for all local sites, so you can't blame the politicians),

              iii) someone broke local laws (so send in the local police and don't blame the politicians)

              Yes, too, the system could be abused by governments that want to dictate filtering at a national level, but that's a problem with such governments, not my proposal. This is just a filtering tool that could, with modest legal support, be made reliable. It's up to you what you let your government do with it.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Inconsistency again

    Either ISPs are the web traffic police or they are connection providers - somebody make their mind up which. If the former then I fully expect a similar set of rules for other 'channels' of content; namely

    1. BT are responsible for implementing an opt-in for 'verified over 18s' to telephone sex/chat lines.

    2. The royal mail are responsible for implementing a postal opt-in for any books/videos, etc that could be pornographic (or certified over 18).

    Once you look at it in those terms (especially the latter) then is seems a bit inconsistent to pick solely on ISPs.

    I accept that it may be 'easier' to block IP traffic to certain sites than either of the above, and that the opt-in may be a good idea, but the insinuation is that the ISPs will be to blame if the block doesn't happen. Another get-out-of-jail for parents (of which I am one, with a young child who accesses the internet). I know that I am responsible for protecting my child from this stuff, and nobody else.

    I can see the law suits now when somebody's little johnny managed to access pr0n even though the parents had not opted-in. But nobody would sue BT if little johnny rang a chat line.

    1. Graham Marsden


      "BT are responsible for implementing an opt-in for 'verified over 18s' to telephone sex/chat lines."

      This was tried back in the days of 0898 numbers whereby, in order to be able to call these numbers, you had to opt-in by contacting BT and asking them to enable this service on your phone line.

      Of course what this meant is that revenue for companies providing these completely legal services suddenly plummeted because few people were actually willing to admit to wanting to access these numbers, but simply resulted in providers of these services moving overseas or shifting to a direct credit card payment model.

      You can guarantee that similar things will happen if this new opt-in is introduced, providers will always find a way of by-passing this sort of nonsense.

  16. Tron


    They do not have a clue how the internet works and yet they want to legislate on every aspect of it.

    It's embarrassing, depressing and bodes ill for the future.

    Shouldn't these people be forced to pass some sort of general competency test before they can run for election?

  17. Anonymous Coward


    When I was younger, if the site didn't have a 'You must be 21 to enter' banner page, I skipped to the next entry in my google search.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    While the intention here is laudable, I do wonder how the average ISP would implement it. Bearing in mind that the police etc seem to have a hell of a time keeping on top of kiddie porn and on-line terrorist stuff (and indeed, many may argue that they are NOT managing to keep on top of it), then how is an ISP to know whether a random URL "" is a porn site instead of a site about baking bread? If they could do that effectively then I'm sure the aforementioned police would be very keen to know how they're doing it. Short of visiting each and every URL in existence and manually checking, it is, quite literally, an impossible task.

    As I say, a laudable idea, but I just can't see how it will work.

    1. Circadian

      Laudable? Hardly!

      This is NOT a laudable idea. Just because someone says "think of the children" does NOT make it a laudable idea in the least. This is just another attempt to control what people are able to look at. As ever, the excuse is "it's for the children, and if you disagree then you must be a sick bastard" is a card to remove freedoms from individuals. Once all these filters are in place, do you *really* think that it will only be applied to porn, and not to anything else that the politician in power at the time considers a subject that the public does not really need to worry their fluffy little head about? Such as that incident not that long ago with a certain Royal that could not be mentioned in the UK newspapers or news channel - but could be found on the internet (on pretty much every major news organisation in the world apart from the UKs).

    2. Graham Marsden


      I think you mean "Laughable"!

      It's just the Mary Whitehouse types trying to find any excuse they can to stop people from looking at stuff they don't like saying "We don't like this, so *you* shouldn't be allowed to see it".

  19. WonkoTheSane

    Won't somebody think of the children?

    Who WANT to view smut!

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @Wonk The Sane

      You mean there are children who might *want* to look at p()rn?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same old excuse

    "Ms Perry told us: As a mother with three children I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material on the internet."

    Well I suggest she tries harder, they're your kids so you take responsibility for them.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Mobile networks do this

    When I last got a new phone on Orange they had a similar approach in that a lot of the internet was blocked unless you opted-in.

    I'm not sure I like the idea and I suspect that it may give people a false feeling of safety.

    Sadly the UK doesn't actually manage to regulate every advertising board in the world which is what you would need to do if you want a fair comparison with the proposed internet regulation.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Greg J Preece

      They applied that to our company phones

      Without telling us, I might add. Various field teams in the company suddenly unable to access the websites of half our clients. Within 30 minutes I'd phoned them up, given them a verbal kicking in the nuts, and lo and behold, no more filtering.

      Nice system...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Mobile networks do this

      I recently bought a 3g dongle from T Mobile and was suprised to find that all sorts of websites were blocked unless you went down to the shop and showed ID to prove being over 18. (Facebook, the Lottery site amongst many others).

      I am over 18 but don't like having my ID demanded to use something I have paid for, (I wasn't told about this by the sales person in the shop otherwise I wouldn't have bought it).

      It is however relatively easy to get around, just do a search for how to install Opera Mini for mobile on a PC and you're up and running in about 15 minutes with no block.


      1. Rasczak

        Opera Mini ?


        It is however relatively easy to get around, just do a search for how to install Opera Mini for mobile on a PC and you're up and running in about 15 minutes with no block.


        Or just enable turbo mode in the desktop Opera.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I think I tried that but got nowhere, (I wasn't using Opera as a main browser IIRC). I'll give it another go.

          1. Rasczak


            Enabling Turbo in desktop, or mobile, Opera tells it to use the same proxy system as Mini uses. On testing through my fixed connection, an IP Address check shows the Opera Proxy address rather than my connection's IP address, as would be expected for a proxied connection.

            I haven't been able to test using a dongle just now as there is not enough signal where I am to get a connection, though I do remember it working before.

            That said I run my own VPN server to my home connection so would usually use this to get to anything that is blocked by any third party service, dongle wifi etc., I am using.

  22. JohnG

    Age verification

    There is already age verification in that you have to be 18 or over to sign up for an ISP because they are offering services on credit. The responsibility for how those services are then used by minors should remain with the adult(s) who procured the services. PAYG phones may be different but perhaps the purchase of these services should also be subject to adult approval.

    The Internet is not and will never be, a safe place for children and I for one do not want my rights further eroded by more government sanctioned snooping. ISPs should not have to police our communications and any law which promotes this will probably be in conflict with the ECHR.

    Then there is the slight difficulty that ISPs would face in accurately predicting what sites are actually hosting porn - particularly given that the UK's legal definition of porn is so vague and flexible. ISPs have the reasonable objection that they could never hope to fully comply with any age control legislation. After this comes the problem that porn is readily available on P2P and Usenet, neither of which would be affected by any web filter. Do none of these politicians actually bother to find out the facts before they start dreaming up new legislation?

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Do these people not understand?

    It is *your* responsibility to filter your own internet feed to your own satisfaction, it is not the responsibility of anyone else to do this for you.

    If you can't cope with this simple fact, then don't have children, they only exist because you wanted them!


    No, its a parental responsibility

    Monitoring your child's use of a communication system (post, telephone, mobile, or the internet) is entirely a parental responsibility.

    Censorship of telecommunications is dangerous, ineffective, and futile unless it is exclusive by default. Which then requires parental interventional to allow access to unknown sources of content.

    Which comes back to.... parental responsibility.

  25. yoinkster

    Is part of her quote missing?

    "As a mother with three children I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material on the internet."

    "Since I am inept, I am unable to control my children or set up my home PC correctly with already available porn-blocking software. Not only am I incapable of doing this myself, I am also incapable of asking any IT professionals for assistance. Furthermore, I do not understand in any way what an ISP is, I am of the opinion that they are the police whereas in reality - I'm informed but have ignored - they are just a means to an end, paid to simply provide neutral access to everything."

    Reading the news is now officially bad for your (well, my) health as I just sit here spitting blood at the stupidity and audacity of people. I don't know anything about financial planning and the economy so I stay out of it, but these clowns think they can just wade in to anything IT related even though they have a grasp on a par with a fingerless monkey...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Claire Perry

    If Claire Perry can't find time to regulate her childrens use of the internet, maybe she should spend more time being a responsible parent and less time trying to make a name for herself in politics.

  27. Volker Hett

    Somebody tell her ...

    about routers which can limit access to the internet. Or browser add ons and operating systems with built in firewalls etc.pp.

    There are enough ways to limit your children's access to the internet without a government controlled firewall spying on everybody.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    humm... it is a good idea?!

    any way, I was a late comer to the discussion for yesterday's article. So here is a repost of my entry for those who do not revisit the old forums (AKA "have a life"):


    so we have 2 options, either wait for some charity or politician to come with *their* solution, or we (as IT people) could come with our own solution.

    here is my proposal to the problem,

    many of us already know about OpenDNS and how it works, we could ask all ISPs to host 2 type of DNS servers, an open server that will resolve all site and a restricted one that block many sites by default (while providing an OpenDNS type panel to each connection).

    At the time of signing up, you can select which type of DNS you would like your connection to use. Those with no worries can opt for the (default) open DNS, those who are worried can opt for the restricted DNS. The ISP can even charge the parent an extra few pounds to allow the parent to use a proxy server that allow the parent to do what they want with the connection, while to kids have to use the connection without the proxy.

    Yes, the problem with this idea is that the kids can change the default DNS on their connection to use some other DNS. But there is *accident* about that.

    this is my idea of how to give the politicians what they want while leaving the internet alone.

    anyone have any other idea?


    the opt-in idea that the MP is proposing will address the pr0n, but will welcome everything else. With the DNS idea (above), the parent can (by default) block bittorrent sites as well as virus/malware/hacking/proxy sites. More importantly, with the MP's idea, every connection will be effected, with the DNS idea, only those who opt-in will be effected.

    1. Gordon861


      There is no reason to make things more difficult for every ISP out there, also they would never all be the same or be updated as often.

      Why does the charity not just start up it's own DNS and allow any parents that wish to use just connect to that one?

      Just setup the Mary Whitehouse DNS and let the Daily Mail readers etc point out what sites should be added to "here be boobs" list and blocked.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: is it a good idea?

      "Yes, the problem with this idea is that the kids can change the default DNS on their connection to use some other DNS."

      Er, no. The problem is that kids can type in their web browser, bypass DNS altogether, and access all the worst of the web.

  29. Argh!

    Wow that was well thought through!

    I think it's fantastic when MPs with clearly no clue of what "the internet" is or how it works pipe up on this stuff. No matter how draconian you get you can't stop it.

    A/ How the hell do you determine what's allowed and what's not? Have you ever seen how many false positives a tight filtering proxy server comes up with? Have you ever seen how many "dodgy" things you can still get to with a "loose" proxy filter?

    B/ How the hell do you determine of the person on the other end is who they say they are? Are we to present a passport to access the internet now? And what happens when little Jonny get's daddy's password because he's smarter with computers than daddy? What comes next? Retina scanners compulsory on every PC?

    C/ What else would you have to block to get this to even slightly work? https for example? Otherwise what's to stop little Jonny using one of the many encrypted free anonymous proxies out there?

    Now if the government said they wanted to *help* parents instead of trying to regulate them that might be better. How about a government funded filtering proxy provided for free where parents can point their computers at? Stop "little Jonny" getting admin access to change the proxy and that would be at least as effective as laws. OK it still woudln't work for all the same reasons and more, but at least it wouldn't be draconian and invasive while still having the same net effect.

    1. Argh!

      slightly better thought through

      Oh.. and for a "real" solution I guess as many suggest you could try education:

      How about "Yes little Jonny that's called pornography. You should probably know that no matter how real it looks it's just like a film - remember when we talked about Harry Potter flying? It can be fun, but it's mostly pretty silly and some of it is really distateful and icky - let's talk about that some more as to why you might make those distinctions"

      What percentage of "campaigns" using the "Porn bad", "just say no" model or other such idiocy without context have *ever* worked in any way?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Ian Stephenson
    Big Brother

    "As a mother ... I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material...

    Here's a novel thought: why not be a parent and supervise your own damn children?

  31. Richard Barnes

    Open DNS

    I find that Open DNS does a pretty good job of keeping my kids away from the smut. That is, at least until they get old enough to learn how to change the browser's proxy server configuration.

  32. Cunningly Linguistic

    If a kid is old enough to use the 'net unsupervised...

    ...then they are very unlikely to be harmed by viewing pornography (even the graphic stuff).

  33. Dave Murray


    So if I tell my ISP I'm over 18 (which I have to be to buy their services anyway) then everyone in my household will be able to look at porn. Maybe she thinks if you have kids you don't / shouldn't ever look at porn?

    Or does she suppose ISPs will have some way of knowing if it's an adult sat at the computer or their kids? Perhaps the government could provide everyone in the country with some sort of universally accepted document that proves, among other things, your age and ISPs could give their customers a reader for it. Now what to call it... how about a National ID Card? Oh wait.

    Leave IT to the professionals Claire, you clearly don't have a clue.

  34. Tim Jenkins

    Good idea

    but only if extended to include verification of gender, BMI, marital status and 'hotness', as assessed on the official Widdecombe - Watson scale, thus making online chat much less traumatic when Sylvie from Sidcup turns out to be Dave from Dagenham (or vice-versa, depending on your inclination)

  35. Basic

    I think I've heard this tune before

    "We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, high street hoardings and newsagent shelves to stop children seeing inappropriate images and mobile phone companies are able to restrict access to adult material so why should the internet be any different?"

    If you don't know the answer to that, you're a moron - seriously. there's a really quick and simple answer - EVERYONE is a content publisher not just certain companies and although you may control the TV Aerial in this analogy, you've got billions of stations broadcasting signals - some legit, some not. Good luck working out how to leave the good stuff and exclude the bad stuff

    For the record, the average 12 year old could've explained it to you.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ISP's will love it

    Like with my 3g dongle, where i had to let them charge a fee on my credit card to prove I was over 18 to get to some random sites... I'm sure that was the only reason!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has anybody notified the authorities?

    Why is Ms.Perry letting her children use the internet unsupervised? Especially if she has managed to produce children so weak minded that they can't handle pron.

  38. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Another day...

    ... another brainless and unimplementable personal flag waving exercise from another piece of "I was voted in so I know stuff" lobby fodder. Is there now anyone in parliament who doesn't claim some special knowledge of how the internet works?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    please pwn me because I know NOTHING about the internet

    "an opt-in age verification system to gain access to internet porn."

    Oh that's priceless. As if anyone (regardless of age) is going to say "yes please, I would like someone to keep my details on file for the purpose of carrying out a completely optional and ultimately pointless check every time I (or anyone using my computer with or without my permission) views 'adult' content"

    "so why should the internet be any different?"

    Because the internet isn't shit?

    "British Internet Service Providers should share the responsibility to keep our children safe"

    No they shouldn't. At what point when you were getting plumbed did you say "oh I'm so glad I'm going to have a baby now because our ISP will look after it"?

    If you're so very sure that your child will not be safe in this world then WHY did you have a child? Maybe you should get a dog instead, they can't even use the internet. There, problem solved.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Dogs on the internet

      Really? Are you SURE that's not a dog you're talking to in the chat room?

  41. Jan Hargreaves


    you need a license to drive a car but not to have a child (and bring it up responsibly)....

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Women out of office please

    Can all women MP, particularly with children and in IT related roles please stand down from office.

    Nicola Roxon & Claire Perry, we'll start with you!

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Women out of office please

      You are kidding, obviously.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Women out of office please

        It's still OK for us to have the vote, right?


        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: You can vote

            Ha! Good one.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not for me to say, but

          before 1914 England owned most of the world and was a major power.

          Nowadays England owns very little (and even less worth owning - I'm looking at you, Wales) and cannot be described as a power of any type.

          The only thing that has changed in that time is universal suffrage. I am not saying anything, just pointing out the facts.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Marcus, Marcus, Marcus..

              Yuo need to really take a chill pill - and then maybe the irony of your post will become clear and you will realis just how silly you look - and by extension are.

            2. Anonymous Coward


              What is it with the Welsh? You really can't take a joke can you? Your post sounds like a Yorkshire terrier.

        3. Cunningly Linguistic

          It's okay for you to vote if...

          ...your father or husband gives their permission!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Women out of office please

      The amusing implication here is that male MPs are somehow doing a good job.


      1. Argh!

        Re: Women out of office please

        Indeed to suggest that male MPs and those without children aren't equally capable of a ludicrious "Think of the children" clothing rending wail without any basis in fact or understanding is a little hard to swallow.

        In fact.. hang on:

        "Will all MPs please step down out of office"

        There... FTFY

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Identify it first

    Anybody who has to administer web filtering knows how hard this sort of thing can be. Not only are new sites popping up all the time, which have to be identified. Unfortunately for this idiot MP porn sites don't identify themselves to ISPs as such. Then there's the small matter of anonymous proxies and other such obfuscation tactics.

    The only way ISPs could even begin to address this would be to spend a fortune on web filtering technology, which would have to be customized to do age verification in some way. Has this stupid MP seen the cost of web filtering tech, especially when it's licensed per user or by traffic volume? Who'd pay for all that then? The end user of course.

    The trouble with politicians is that they don't even begin to understand the web, but think they should be in a position to regulate it.

  44. Winkypop Silver badge

    Australian Government claims IP abuse

    We Aussies (and some other more oppressive countries) thought of it first !!!

    1. Cunningly Linguistic

      I still can't get used to ...

      ... Australia being referred to as an oppressed country.

      The land of Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson and his gorgeous daughter Jenny Talia, the Bondi Beach bikini clad, Sydney's Gay Quarter, the aboriginals, oh yeah, right, carry on as you were...

  45. David Lawrence

    Bless her she doesn't understand.....

    How the interwebs work. She thinks it's like TV channels carrying programmes. Well it comes up on a screen, a bit like TV programmes so the ISPs must be able to control it, right?


    How about a traffic analogy? If we found that silver cars cause more fatalities than any other car, let's ask the Highways Agency to stop silver cars from using Britian's roads....

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Thumb Up

      Hold on...

      A better analogy these MPs might understand would be.

      Silver cars are a menace, so....

      Let's get all silver car drivers to only eat chips on a Wednesday and Biryani on a Friday lunchtime, when it's raining. They must wear green underpants on a Monday morning and change into red ones in the afternoon. Finally they will need to make sure that they buy 3 chocolate bars between 11am and 1 pm on the 2nd Sunday in any month with a D in the name!

      Believe me it would be easier to enforce the above stupidity than clamping down on bongo-flick and bishop-bashing websites!

  46. Christoph

    And the definition of 'porn' is?

    This would imply an official classification of exactly what is and is not 'porn'. That's possible for limited cases like films, but is ludicrous for the Internet.

    Whatever line they draw, someone is going to think it doesn't go far enough and will scream about the government letting their child see obscenities (because once this is in place, every failure of it is the fault of the authorities and Something Must Be Done!). "You let my child see pictures of unveiled women!".

    So you get mission creep. You include more and more things because someone somewhere found them objectionable and complained that their children were being harmed.

    How far do you go? Do you include everything that anyone ever found sexually stimulating? "Some people are into sheep, and you let my children see pictures of a farm!"

    At which point you run headlong into Rule 34.

    1. Captain TickTock

      New Careers

      "This would imply an official classification of exactly what is and is not 'porn'. That's possible for limited cases like films, but is ludicrous for the Internet."

      The BBFC are going to need to expand like crazy. There's a lot of stuff out there to review.

      Where do we apply?

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      The words Frankie Boyle, Saddam Husseins hanging and cracking one off come to mind

      I've always suspected that *whatever* someone is watching



      Is spanking their monkey to it*

      *Or gusset typing for the ladies of the audience.

  47. TeeCee Gold badge


    In order to do this they're going to need some sort of standard, verifiable ID.

    Previous government: "Everyone will want ID".

    Current government: "Only wankers will want ID".

    I prefer the new version, it's perilously close to what we said all along.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Have I understood this correctly

    "many studies demonstrate that watching internet pornography contributes to ___people___ seeing women as sex objects"

    So this means she claims heterosexual women and gay men aren't people, right? Or perhaps that women do not watch online pornography? Or that if they do they start treating themselves as sex objects?

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge


      I'll bet you treat yourself as a sex object when watching internet porn, don't you?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Assuming we can find a usable definition of the material the kids shouldn't see, how can anyone keep up with the speed with which things can change on the net? And how will the system handle "mixed" sites, such as an online encyclopedias?

    There are sites which have individual user-accounts, and allow less-restrained access to those who can verify their age and identity. But that can blow rather large holes in data protection and attempts to keep some privacy. At least I can set up a unique email-address whenever I'm expected to register with a company, which will work for email, but which will identify just where the next spamming git got my name from.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Not this again.....

    Studies show that internet porn leads to risky unprotected anal sex? Is she seriously claiming a little self-pollution over a bongo vid causes cottaging? Really?

    The way to protect kids on-line is by using proper supervision. You know, that 'parental responsibility' malarkey. Technological blocks don't work; kids are devious little fuckers who *will* find a way around them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Homophobic MP?

      "increases sexual risk-taking such as having unprotected OR anal sex, "

      OK, I can understand unprotected sex can being classed as risky. But by mentioning anal sex separately Ms Perry seems to be saying all forms of this including protected are risky. Which seems a bit homophobic for an MP. Not something I have ever done myself, but not because I consider it risky....

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Homophobic MP?

        Anal sex isn't any more prevalent among gay couples than straight ones. Not a lot of people know that.

        It's not homophobic so much as it's just a bit retarded, I'd say. If you're that freaked out about the corrupting power of anything sexual then anal sex is probably up there with the most depraved and perverted acts you can think of.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, you got me there...

          @Sarah Bee. I just wondered why she had to pick on that act in particular. I know that it is not only a homsexual activity but thought maybe she did not. You are right though, she may not be a homophobe just an idiot who knows as much about technolgoy as she does about risky sexual activity. Just waiting for her to start listing risky positions....

    2. Argh!

      Close but no cigar (Clinton pun intended)

      "Studies show that internet porn leads to risky unprotected anal sex?"

      Intelligence shows that kids watching unprotected anal sex on the internet while MPs wail and try to deny porn is basically entertainment and parents duck their responsibility to explain porn and sex to their children in a sensible way may lead to children trying it without a proper educated understanding of the potential risks so we should probably get on that education thing rather than bleating about it.

      There... Fixed That For Her

  51. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Brilliant idea....

    One quesiton though..are you paying attention?


    F**king nob-end politicians who seem to think the internet is a static thing that just arrived and will stay as it is until the end of time! It's changing by the nano-second you prats! A website that was there for donkey's can go in an instant. Let's not even consider those determined to get around the check system using spoofed IPs and proxies, which would be way above your head Mr MP Pillock!

    1. Argh!

      A littel care please...

      "A website that was there for donkey's "

      You might want to be a *little* careful about phraseology given the subject matter. Have you seen what's out there? Ick! (Or even seen "Bachelor Party")


      1. Cunningly Linguistic


        That's mainstream now thanks to Kevin Smith!

  52. a_c_g_t


    As a parent if a teenage thing myself. Ermmmmmmmmm WTF It's so easy to stop little fred/freda viewing inapropriate material.

    This is what I said to my kids

    Me: "Sorry no Internet in your room and when your on it I will be around whatching what your up to"

    Kid: "Haww that's not fair"

    Me: "it's that or nothing"

    Kid: "Waaaaaaaa :( OK"

    End of as a parent I own the air they breath.

    No I don't stand over it every minute and I do know it has IM software but I do check on and off.

    And they know the punishment if they step over the line

    Bloody take responsibility for your kids I wouldn't allow my kid to roam the streets without parental supervision so I won't let my kids wander the net either.

    When all these stop bleeting about security of their kids and start to invest time? Or is she just too busy doing this to sort out that!!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Power is _always_ misused to extremity. No exceptions.

      "Bloody take responsibility for your kids I wouldn't allow my kid to roam the streets without parental supervision so I won't let my kids wander the net either."

      Kudos for you. :)

      I'm afraid that this kind of MP's would plop somewhere even if all parents were like you, because really it's about control and power, not kids at all. Nor internet, really.

      Perverted power games these bastard MPs are playing all the time. Anyone suggesting something like this should be shot for treason. At the next morning.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ JohnG

    "There is already age verification in that you have to be 18 or over to sign up..."

    I think the erstwhile MP for Hicksville is intending that everyone verifies their age whenever they access what she would have as an age restricted website. Still unworkable though.

    "The Internet is not and will never be, a safe place for children"

    And that is the crux, I think - there are no such thing as "child friendly" cigarettes --> there used to be sugar ones but they aren't PC. Even if they were still PC they are not cigarettes.

    And likewise with many other age restricted things (pubs, driving, joining the army etc.)

    In every other situation where it is not possible to eliminate the child-unfriendly aspect (and even this MP seems to agree it is not possible - else she would be calling for removal of nastiness from the net rather than just restricting it) the approach is to ban the under-aged from doing whatever it is.

    "Then there is the slight difficulty that ISPs would face in accurately predicting what sites are actually hosting porn"

    They would be forced to age verify everything - which is not necessarily a bad thing - were I running an ISP and should there be legislation that holds me liable and accountable under-18s see stuff they shouldn't I would simply enforce age verification at first access - and deny any access to anyone who couldn't verify they were over 18.

    I would force the government to provide their age verification requirements (how to verify, how often and what warnings / instructions are necessary) and then I would stick to them to the letter.

    Every other ISP would do the same - just look at booze buying - although you can buy booze at 18 you have to prove you are over 18 if you look under 25. This used to be 21, which used to be 18, which used to be "you are over 18 if you can afford to buy". The government legislated and shops overreacted. With the age-discrimination legislation you will probably soon find you have to prove your age even if you walk with a stick, constantly complain about everything and look like Yoda in a badly fitting pair of trousers.

    1. Argh!

      Almost the crux

      "And that is the crux, I think - there are no such thing as "child friendly" cigarettes [snip]

      And likewise with many other age restricted things (pubs, driving, joining the army etc.)"

      Except I went into pubs from a young age and drank alchohol from a young age (and no I'm not now an alchoholic or "binge drinker"). Is that unusual in England? Maybe.. in france I would probably have been considered a late starter.

      Driving ages vary and in fact in outher countries I've seen "children" driving with more apparant skill than most british drivers.

      I think "Child friendly" is a rather movable feast - I get nervous any time I see an absolute limit that's age based. It must de-facto be almost entirely arbitary.

      EDUCATION and understanding is always the key not an arbitary law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My point is

        relative to being declared "under age" for something. Your country and mileage may vary as to what counts as "under age" for the activity in question - but the point is that if someone has a problem with people under a certain age / maturity level or however you want to classify it the best approach is restriction of access for the group you are trying to protect - not removal of whatever it is you accept adults can have access to but see the need to protect a minority.

        1. Argh!

          restriction of access?

          That's what I get nervous about. Restriction of access for the "young" or indeed anyone rarely works and often has the opposite effect to the one intended - people in general and younger people in particular tend to become more interested rather than less in something "banned" for them.

          Telling a child not to do something is often a sure-fire way of guaranteeing they'll give it a try. On the other hand de-mystifying things and explaining *why* it's nto good will tend to get the opposite result.

          And how do you set the age limit anyway? People are different - I've met children who are under 16 who could probably if it were explained to them (or would admit to knowing anything about it) could probably have a fairly mature and abstract discussion about sex. On the other hand I've met adults that you'd think might become an axe murderer if they watched the wrong disney film.

  54. Znort666

    Surely the easier option...

    is to just restrict access via software installed on a PC or by blocking sites at router level. I have 2 young kids and am well aware of the amount of porn on the internet (many hours of research to ensure I was able to fully restrict access), and have installed on all other laptops/PCs in the house the K9 web protection software, and also with my router I am able to block sites by keyword or URL.

    A good example of a site that managed to get past my filter was when my 6 yr old daughter typed wwwkindermagiccom into google looking for the Kinder Magic site to enter the code she got from her delicious chocolate egg, however the top link was far from kinder magic but was definitely a surprise!!!

    Maybe this politician should write to all UK parents with a letter along these lines.

    Dear Parent,

    They are your children, take some responsibility and stop thinking that everyone else should be doing your job for you. You chose to have children and it is your responsibility to ensure that they are kept as safe as possible whether outside playing or on the internet. Won't you think of your children???


  55. Velv

    Already regulate TV etc.

    Errr, NO

    TV is barely regulated, and the only thing stopping children watching inappropriate material is parents who send them to bed before 9PM. (and I'm excluding the likes of Eastenders from being inappropriate)

    OK, so there are some restrictions on content that don't exist on the Internet, however the control of access still lies with positive action from the parent, not the broadcaster.

    The onlything stopping children buying porn mags is vigilant shop keepers - but are they all good shop keepers ??? No doubt there are some who will sell inappropriate material to minors (through perversion, or to boost business).

    MPs clearly don't even understand the existing media, never mind the Internet. So go away and find someone who does.

  56. Jimmy 1

    Dear Claire

    If you are concerned about your children's moral welfare perhaps you should be spending more time with them instead of sucking on the public teat at Westminster. Alternatively you may want to consider emigrating with your family to Australia where your fellow pols are well advanced in their ignorant attempt to stuff a million years of human sexual development back in the box.

    Probably better to just sit down with the kids and let them explain the intricacies of proxy servers and virtual private networks to you so that in future you are spared from making such a twat of yourself. The kids will also be able explaiin the meaning of the following acronym - FOAD.

  57. Grease Monkey Silver badge


    One local authority spent a fortune on web filtering software for their public access PCs, but found the people still tried to and sometimes succeeded in accessing porn. They moved the PCs from their nice private little cubicles and put them in the open area with the screens facing towards the counter. The number of people trying to access porn dropped drastically.

    The answer when it comes to kids accessing porn at home is to make sure they can only use their PC where their parents can see it. It doesn't take legislation, it's just a little thing called parental responsibility. If you must make somebody legally responsible make the bill payer responsible not the ISP. Tell mummy and daddy that they are legally responsible for what their little darlings do on the internet and the attitude to PCs in the bedroom will change overnight.

    Claire, what the hell do you think teenage boys do in the privacy of their own bedrooms? They don't need the internet or a magazine to do it, but it helps. The sort of idiot who is going to see all women as sex objects will do it whether they have access to porn or not.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By the way, what is actually wrong

    in seeing women, or men, as sex(ual) objects? Especially when they are posing in a sexual way or indeed acting in the same way?

    Seriously, I don't see the problem, as long as no-one treats anyone in a way they don't want to be treated I don't see anything wrong.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: By the way, what is actually wrong

      I think the point is that objectification reduces people to *things* with only one purpose or use. A sexual being is not the same thing as a sex object. So there is an issue there.

      Doesn't mean porn is necessarily this terrible fearful thing to be stamped out. You just don't want society to consider women as compliant spunk-receptacles, which you can achieve by raising well-adjusted human beings who can tell the difference between porn and reality. A difficult job, undoubtedly, but running screaming in fear of sexy stuff is never constructive to that end.

      1. Cunningly Linguistic
        Paris Hilton

        So what is wrong with...

        ...sexual objectification, in a sexual context?

        In an everyday context it's less than optimal, but hardly earth-shattering.

        Any person who complains about a "phwoar" being directed towards themself is enjoying both the first and secondary attention.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        With all due respect

        I quantified this with the bit about treating people how they want to be treated. Which you seem to have missed out. I am pretty sure a porn actress is happy to be a "compliant spunk-receptacle" within the context of making a film / mag shoot - if she is not then there are deeper issues at stake which are more to do with the reason she is in porn and the behaviour of the industry - however assuming she is doing a job she is happy to do then surely she is happy with the spunk parts and happy for the viewers to objectify her in that context at that time.

        I am pretty sure all men view pretty much all women in a sex object way to some degree - as I am also sure the same is true for women and men, gay men and men, lesbian women and women and so on. It probably has something to do with 6 million years or so of evolutionary pressure - however as long as a bloke you are talking to treats you in a decent and reasonable manner what does it matter if deep down he is thinking "there would be a good, compliant receptacle for my spunk?"


        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: With all due respect ("None taken" - G. House)

          >>as long as a bloke you are talking to treats you in a decent and reasonable manner what does it matter if deep down he is thinking "there would be a good, compliant receptacle for my spunk?"

          I don't even know where to start with that. So I won't.

    2. Steve Roper
      Big Brother

      It's called sexcrime

      and a gentleman by the name of Goerge Orwell explained it about 60 years ago. In a nutshell, the idea is to lock down some primal human instinct (sex is the most common) because it deliberately builds up rage and fanaticism in the populace. By social engineering, this fanaticism can then be channeled into hatred of the enemy, love of Big Brother (the government), or whatever else is needed to maintain power for the elite. The guiding principle being that:

      "Obedience is not enough. Power is inflicting pain and humiliation otherwise you cannot be sure. Power is tearing human minds apart and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Power is not a means, it is an end... In our world, there will be only triumph and self-abasement. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty to the Party. There will be no love, except love of Big Brother. All competing pleasures, we will destroy."

  59. Tigra 07

    What a muppet

    "increases sexual risk-taking such as having unprotected or anal sex"

    Yeah, because thats how everyone learns about anal sex, clearly the internet invented it.

    This woman is an idiot

    Maybe she could start by actually getting parents to supervise their kids and do their role as a parent?

    While we're at it, ban cars so paedophiles can't offer kids sweets to get in the back.

    Ban houses so paedophiles have nowhere to take their victims.

    Ban books because kids could see a naughty word.

    Ban games because kids could get hurt.

    Ban planes and boats so kids can't get kidnapped and taken abroad.

    Just ban everything and this woman will still be complaining about something

    1. Sooty

      i have a funny feeling

      That all the 14 year olds having loads of unprotected sex, getting std's, etc. Aren't the same ones spending all day on the internet looking at porn.

    2. Cunningly Linguistic

      Ban kids

      and the parents will be smiling

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why? No one is harmed by pornography.

    If you want to prevent kids from being harmed, stop them from inhaling second hand tobacco smoke, introduce penalties for kids who bully other kids, and put parents in prison from giving their kids junk food.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Lousy parents

    "As a mother with three children I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material on the internet"

    What she's really saying.

    I'm a lousy parent and I'm an MP. If I'm incapable of looking after my children then the children of those thickies that elected me must be in mortal danger.

    Have I jumped up and down, screaming "somebody please think of the children" for me to be on telly yet?

  62. Ted Treen

    My biggest concern

    is that so many porn sites (or even would be porn sites) are portals for the ungodly malware producers.

    Whilst you & I would (probably) be suspicious of the "New super-duper codec" that needs installing, 13yr-old Billy would be thinking with his 'nads not hs grey matter, so would be very likely to hit the download button. Sure, you could threaten him with amputation if he dares to add anything on, and he SHOULD be using a non-admin account.

    But with Joe Public, "Should" is very rarely "is".

  63. ttuk
    Paris Hilton

    not just mps

    I remember seeing a "documentary" on this on channel 4 (or maybe 3) a few months ago..

    Most of it was sensationalism about how much porn teenagers watched and highlighting some of the ridiculous assumptions and ideas about sex that they (mostly the boys) held..

    Final segment was a mockup of a newsagents as the internet i.e every shelf lined with porn..

    The presenter then had an interview with the head of BTs ISP branch whereupon she blathered on about how unacceptable that under 18s had access to it and as the provider of the information they had a responsibility to block it. He tried to make the point about it being impossible to enforce but just got met with the you "you're not doing anything, you should do something" argument.

    It's lazyness, at the end of the day parents can't be bothered to think about how to restrict what their kids see (other than watching them themselves which takes up far too much time and is unacceptable)

    Maybe ISPs should be encouraged to provide information in their welcome packs about how to setup domain filtering or something but thats the most they can be expected to do..

    As a commenter mentioned earlier the MP making the analogy of regulating cinema / TV is wrong, "regulating" the internet is more like regulating the postal service.

    I bet she is the new hero of the Dail Mail though

  64. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The old porn definition

    No problem now that we have a (mostly) tory government again - so they would get to decide what is porn

    In this site it's just men and women having intercourse - thats obviously not sex, there are no oranges or suspenders visible

  65. Tom 35


    If you want a filtered internet you should be the one to opt-in.

    Install your own filter, or sign up for an ISP that offers a filtered feed as a service. If people actually wanted such a service you would think all the ISPs would offer it and compete on who had the most smut free feed? I would think (of the children) such a service would be very popular if this MP is right.

  66. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    "heard compelling evidence of (this) damage, including the explosion in the number of children in this country being referred to addiction clinics with a 'pornography problem', and that fact that many studies demonstrate that watching internet pornography contributes to people seeing women as sex objects, increases sexual risk-taking such as having unprotected or anal sex, and relaxes the boundaries of sexual violence in a completely unacceptable way"

    Every statement in the above abstract is a patent lie, starting with there being a compelling evidence. There is none. For any of it.

    And I really don't get this "women as sex objects" argument - why are you wearing make up then? Why are you not wearing a black burka all the time? And if you don't want to be seen as a sex object then how do you want to be seen - as a baby making machine? Or a sexless hermafrodite, perhaps?

    My wife (as most healthy women) will be extremely upset if I tell her one day that I will no longer see her as a sex object (among other things). I suspect that this will also be a legally recognisable grounds for divorce.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Disgusting

      What is it with people here suddenly deciding that being a 'sex object' is a good thing? There's a whole world of healthy sexuality outside of that narrow and disparaging bracket. That definition implies that there is *nothing else about a person* than their sexuality - is that what you want? Is that what anyone's wife wants? It's the 'among other things' bit that is crucial. No person is an 'object'. Stop clinging to the word. You can get rid of it and not give anything up.

      Grey areas, for chrissakes. The world does not reduce down to 'Nuts cover or niqab', however strenuously you boil it. You can't give people some sort of ultimatum - "well, either you're seen as a sex object, or we take that option away and you're left as some kind of procreating indeterminate blob".

      If this is how you think women see themselves - as one of only three possible things - then I'm baffled, frankly. Personally I see myself as quite a lot of things, only a few of which pertain to my gender.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Perhaps I can help

        First, let's define our terms.

        A sex object is 'a person regarded chiefly in terms of their sexual attractiveness or availability'.

        By comparison, a sexpot is 'a sexy person' and a sex kitten is 'a young woman who asserts or exploits her sexual attractiveness'.

        (Source: Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Eleventh Edition)

        I think the trouble is, there's a risk that, in the perception of a testosterone-fuelled male, a glimpse of satin suspenders will immediately turn the wearer into a sex object. Normally, this is a transient perception, lasting only until the wearer has been successfully inseminated (or until the observer has spilled his seed, whichever comes first).

        For those who advocate the burka, a glimpse of ankle or the outline of a hip would have the same effect.

        The trouble is when a male chauvinist can't see any other reason for women existing, other than to put up with the pain of childbirth and do the menial chores -- or when he's daft enough to suppose that all attractive women are gagging for it all the time.

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Grey areas

        "Personally I see myself as quite a lot of things, only a few of which pertain to my gender."

        Well, yes, balance, sure. And part of the balance is that women (like men) are sexual beings (and therefore objects) and that is no bad thing. The word "object" does not imply "inanimate" or "soulless" or "lacking free will", at least as far as I understand that word.

        But what people using the "sex object" argument imply is that men would normally prefer sex with a blow-up doll (which happened to have the right skin temperature) to one it with a real person and that the only thing that (barely) stops them is lack of exposure to porn. Oh, and that sex is bad and should only be used for procreation.

        I've heard this so many times:

        "If you watch porn you will see women as sex toys"

        "If you watch anal porn you will become obsessed with anal sex"

        "If you watch gay porn you will become gay"

        "If you watch any porn you will become addicted (but the Priory Clinics will cure you in no time for a small fee and a conversion to Scientology)"

        If that were true all birdwatchers would have long since become magpies. And I fear to think of what could happen to trainspotters...

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the educational value?

    I was attending an all-boy grammar school when Penguin Books won the right to publish Lady Chatterley's Lover unexpurgated. Meanwhile, my girlfriend-to-be had already read the unexpurgated version in a French convent school.

    She taught me everything I know about sex. I taught her the meaning of "unexpurgated".

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meet the "New Politics"

    Same as the old politics

  69. Argh!


    I've noticed that after 3 pages of comments on this, at the time of writing not one seems to support the idea that trying to censor the internet in any way is a good idea.

    Do you think that's because:

    A/ We scared off all the people who disagree?

    B/ The Reg editors removed all the conflicting opinions they didn't like?

    C/ Reg readers are all perverts?

    D/ Reg readers can pick a computer out of a lineup and recognise a network best out of 3 and know it's a really stupid idea?

    E/ All of the above?

    F/ None of the above?

    Answers on a postcard please.

    1. Josh 15

      F/ None of the above

      I think most Reg readers are intelligent enough to detect another shamelessly opportunistic MP spouting utter bullsh*t at fifty paces. Frankly, most adults are completely fed up with successive governments fiddling about with their sex lives.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Postcard to Argh!

      I think it's because, as others have already pointed out, the likes of Claire Perry know eff-all about the Internet and wouldn't be able to find The Reg, much less know what to do with it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Tories would like to get rid of democracy too (like previous Labour did)

      "I've noticed that after 3 pages of comments on this, at the time of writing not one seems to support the idea that trying to censor the internet in any way is a good idea."

      Because it is not a good idea. It's like trying to censor a _fu**ng world!_

      For everyone, all the time, forever.

      No-one suggesting the idea has no idea how it should be done nor how it even could be done, it's always: Make a law about this and it's handled then, it doesn't exist anymore.

      Pure and concentrated stupidity.

      Parents can watch what their kids are doing, at least to some extent, but controlling every citizen in UK, all the time?

      Good luck for that unless you want to imitate Stasi all over again. There's no room for democracy in that kind of state anymore and I'd say Tories would like that. Nu-Labour built it half-way and now Tories are to finish the job?

      While selling the results of the surveillance to Google and Facebook, starting with NHS health details (which they already did).

      1. Argh!

        Re:Tories would like to get rid of democracy too (like previous Labour did)

        Ummm I'll put you down for a "D" or something like it then shall I?

        Perhaps my sarcasm missed - if you've read my other posts in the comments you'll see I'm fairly firmly in the "D" category. I was just wondering where everyone was on "the other side" to argue their corner given that it "must be the will of the people" if our elected representatives are pushing such drivel so frantically.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clueless MPs again.

    It's a parent's responsibility to supervise their child. I do so with mine. I route DNS through OpenDNS and have it set appropriately. Works well enough and for the rest I trust him.

    But, at the end of the day, he's a 13 year old boy and will look for stuff. Am I worried? No.

    Ultimately, the connection is paid for by me. If I choose to give access to my child or not then I also assume responsibility. I could just as easily allow him to drive the car down the road, am I demanding that all cars check the legal age of the driver before allowing the fuel through?

  71. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Looks like she's got that whole "I'm just a worried wife and mother" demographic

    completely sown up.

    I find people conquer their fears (and their ignorance) through knowledge.

    Perhaps some Reg readers would like to write to her and help her improve her knowledge of this subject.

    It could not be much lower as it stands.

  72. LaeMing

    I can't see how...

    ...this would stop access to any porn except the more reputable sites that already have over-18-only doorways on their front pages anyway. The 'underground' sites and their users will just take (rather simple) steps to bypass anything a government or ISP could put in place anyway.

  73. pAnoNymous

    Not Quite The Same

    "We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, high street hoardings and newsagent shelves"

    I wouldn't say that it's quite the same. Regulating the internet is more like regulating British TV channels, cinema screens, high street hoardings, newsagent shelves, all international TV channels, international newspapers, junk mail flyers, church news rounds, company brochures, news agent noticeboards, shop windows, personal journals, political manifestos, letter correspondence, pub discussions......

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one thing

    One thing that always baffles me is the way all the anti-porn in all its various forms now days is so certain that in the past the world wasn't like this.

    However at least for all of humans written history it has been. There has always been pornography and graphic writings, there has always been prostitution and rape and casual flings and love, there has always been sex for power and sex for pleasure.

    There has always been abuse and compassion.

    When I was a lad you got most of your porn out of the bin outside the swimming pool or in the fields or woods.

    The priests and care home managers that we've been hearing about over the past few decades didn't have the internet. So why did they do the things they did? Probably genetics or past abuse or something to do with abstinence.

    The various occupying armies over human history have raped and they didn't have internet porn, I'm pretty sure those guys running the rape operations in the DR Congo don't have a broadband connection.

    It is in my opinion completely possible to see a porn star as purely an object for sexual gratification and the woman that you work with as a colleague you have a laugh with and ask to cover your back now and then. It's also possible to see someone as a great friend but also someone you'd love to have your end away with (and this works both ways I know lasses who want to jump their male mates bones and vice a versa, though normally not paired mate a wants mate b who wants mate c who'd rather that random guy over there.)

    And lets not forget that wonderful scene in London Burning where the blokes are all watching porn and the female comes in and they're all "oooooooooooooo" "want us to turn it off love?"

    and she responds with "nah, I've scene it, she bites his nob off in the end."

    There was this one time when I came down the stares and my parents were getting it on too a local home made piece of porn, and the time a deep breather phoned the house and my old dear answered, he does his deep breathing bit and he goes

    "what are you wearing?"

    "My tracksuit"

    "What do you think I'm doing?"

    "Probably sat in a chair with your pants down playing with your little willy"


    Great woman my mother.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe her proposed measures would make things worse...

    I spent a few of my younger years in Mainland Europe. It was TV there where I first saw softcore and hardcore porn, a long time before the internet was able to serve this stuff up. In fact it came as a suprise when moving back to the UK, seeing how many restrictions their were. Yes, you could argue my parents were not doing their jobs properly, but then again I have never gotten anyone pregnant, given anyone an STD and always wear protection.

    So the big difference is that access to pornography has always been a lot easier in mainland Europe with mainstream TV stations broadcasting softcore and hardcore pornography even before the internet came along. It is not broadcast intentionally to young people, but if they stay up late enough they can watch this stuff.

    So they have had easier access to this stuff for many more years than youngsters in the UK. So using Ms Perry's argument that access to porn by youngsters causes problems, you would think that youngers in mainland Europe would be in all sorts of trouble. But in fact it is the opposite is true, with the UK having the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and STD's in Europe.

    So I really don't see the argument for more controls being justified. In fact it maybe that the opposite is needed. Crazy I know, but look at the evidence.....

  76. Anonymous Coward

    "Think about the kids!!"-fascism.

    "A Tory MP has proposed that all UK-based ISPs should implement an opt-in age verification system to gain access to internet porn."

    Instead of parents watching what _their kids are surfing_ this maniac wants to restrict everyone else?

    "Think about the kids!!"-fascism, modern control freaks.

  77. Anonymous Coward

    Stupidity squared.

    "We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, high street hoardings and newsagent shelves"

    British TV may send almost whatever they want and newsagents print whatever they want so I wouldn't call it "successful regulation". But on the other hand I'm an honest man and not a MP.

    I've also a satellite dish and about 520 channels on it and none of those is regulated by this idiot, who thinks regulating BBC is the same thing as regulating things people can watch from their tellies. Stupidity squared.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    My worry is ...

    while we have been debating this obvious piece of lunacy, what have the government tried to slip by us ?

  79. Scorchio!!


    I think someone needs Internet 101x lessons. Then she needs to go out and find a net nanny package, or to use free Open DNS.

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