back to article Smut oglers told to opt in to keep web filth flowing

Grubby smut gazers will be forced to "opt in" to view porn under government-backed restrictions to be imposed on ISPs. PM David Cameron will propose a raft of measures today at a Downing Street meeting with Christian charity group Mothers' Union. The restrictions are designed to protect children from sexualised content. A …


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  1. Lockwood


    We again reach the question of demarkation.

    At what point do naughty images become naughty images.

    All this think of the children stuff is getting old now.

    1. The BigYin

      We should censor art galleris too

      Time to take black markers to all those old masters. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      While most people would be hard pushed to say exactly where a line is crossed, the same most people will be able to tell you when a line has definitely been crossed.

      Some naked breasts, probably not going to be an issue.

      The contents of (NSFW, obviously) not ok.

      Personally I don't have kids and I do 'consume' porn, however that's not to say that I'd want my 4 year old niece to see what I see, it's just not appropriate. Think of the kids can be taken too far, but also it is fairly reasonable to think of what's appropriate for children to see, they shouldn't be exposed to everything in the adult world.

      1. Loyal Commenter


        It's your responsibility to supervise your children, not the government's. And it is certainly not the responsibility of the government to supervise everyone in case they happen to be children.

        If you don't want to expose your children to the full content of the internet, then don't. If you can't figure out how to use one of the many content filtering / parental control products out there then maybe you should just not let them access the internet at all?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "It's your responsibility to supervise your children, not the government's"

          Take your kids to work with you, do you?

          1. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)
            Thumb Up

            @Loyal Commentor

            Agreed, if you want the government to raise your kids for you, you should hand them over at birth. I don't see why it comes as a shock to parents that something they made is their responsibility.

            @Robert Long 1

            Er no, that would be silly. My Wife, their mother, looks after them when they are home, the school for the older one during the day. And before anyone says it, no, that's not the government raising my child, its the government EDUCATING my child.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Managing to avoid state schools

              Not happy with them around us

              2 in an academy

              1 in a grammar with bursary

              So government not raising nor educating!

        2. L1feless

          beat me to it

          I couldn't agree more.

      2. L1feless

        Here's a solution

        PARENT YOUR GDAMN kids. Any idiot who lets their kids wild on the net is just asking for their kids to see crap. Watch what your kids are doing and perhaps spend some quality time with them. You might find that they will end up seeing EXACTLY what they should be seeing and little to nothing of what they shouldn't be seeing.


        If you let your 4 year old niece wild on the wonky web...your one hell of a retarded Uncle.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Hows about it's a bit more shades of gray than that? Yes, parents should parent their children, but any parent will tell you that it simply isn't possible to look after your kids 24/7/365. You know all the stuff you need to do as a single person? All of that needs to be done, plus all of the things that your dependents - and they're call dependents for a reason - need to have done for them. Making an evening mean? Well, you could have them in the kitchen with you, or you could accept that you have to keep half an eye on them, while you make their food.

          And as a PS - No, I don't leave my niece alone with the Internet, I was just using a relative as an illustration of someone who doesn't need the nastier elements of the net shown to her yet. And resorting to calling people retards is hardly brilliant discussion skills, is it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @AC 22:24

            First off, let me say that I agree with you completely regarding the "retarded" comment - it didn't help the conversation, and really detracted from the poster's message. I also watch my nephew a lot - his mother has had an extended sickness recently. So while I technically don't have kids of my own, I've spent a pretty good amount of time watching a young one. I know how hard it is to keep track of him 24/7, and how much sometimes I just desperately want a break.

            Yet, with all that said, it is still not the government's job to try to raise my nephew. I know what he sees online; the only computer he gets to use is in the living room. If I'm taking care of him (or my nieces, or my own hypothetical children) at some point in the future when they're older, I'll consider other options as necessary. The one thing I will never be satisfied with is a government approved feed. It's not porn - or, at least, it's not just porn. Sexual health sites, some religious sites, alcohol sites, you name it - if it's at all associated with vice, someone will complain, and it could end up on the censorship list. I'd rather be in the living room and catch one of the young ones under my care starting to wander away from the PBS website/the netflix queue I set up for him/whatever and steer them back than accept government censorship into ANY of our lives.

    3. Anonymous Cowerd

      I'm told that

      Gary Glitter always thinks of the children...

    4. Number6
      Big Brother

      Mass opt-in

      The only answer is for a large number of people to opt-in on principle, whether they actually want to download the stuff or not. It's not the content that's important here, merely that it is necessary to sign up to something that the government decides requires it.

      Porn often leads the way and drives new ideas to completion, this time it's the concept of registering to receive certain materials. What other categories might then be added, with the list of registrants later used by a future government for other purposes?

      It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

      1. steeplejack

        Well they are out to get you. I was once a victim of O2's default restrictions and wasn't allowed to see Whisky distillers sites, or airgun sites. I know drinking and shooting probably ain't a great combination, but I am 58 and have so far managed not to kill anyone.

    5. John Robson Silver badge

      Well apparently phpbb3 logos are naughty - because the $mobile_prover filters won't let me look any anything phpbb related...

      So I'm now "unfiltered"

    6. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      naughty images

      "At what point do naughty images become naughty images."

      I heard that an "Islam charity group Fathers' Union" is also pushing for this. They have started making a list of all domains that contain obscene images that depict women where you can see more than their eyes.

      So far the list includes *.com, *, *.net, *....

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Opt In ...

      ... is obviously useful to a degree. However, there will always be sufficient stuff available for those who don't want to be recorded as opting in (sex offender on parole?), and too much stuff which is inoffensive getting blocked by dumb filters (I was blocked from some simple searches on my phone by Orange, gave up, grabbed the laptop).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Internment camps next?

    Now everyone repeat after me "Heil Cameron, Seig Heil" "Jawohl Mein Fuhrer" "I would like to report my neighbour as a 'foreigner/terrorist/paedophile/sexual deviant/homosexual/disabled scrounger"

    This shower of fascists are disturbing me far more than even new labour at the height of their fasicst BS.

    Shades of Mentel corporation arriving....

    1. The First Dave

      "The restrictions are designed to protect children from sexualised content."

      and will therefore also prevent children from watching the X-Factor, and the majority of modern pop videos... No? Didn't think so. Yet that stuff is proven to be damaging our kids.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        @The First Dave

        "and will therefore also prevent children from watching the X-Factor, and the majority of modern pop videos"

        no, the copyright mafiaa are an even bigger and more powerful lobby group than the mothers' union, therefore their videos will not be blocked .

    2. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: Internment camps next?

      What utter tosh. Cameron is talking about it, Blair/Brown would have just got on and done it without so much as a hint of consultation. Not only that they'd have set up a national database of those who opt in as they are obviously one step away from kiddiefiddling. The database would naturally turn up in a taxi/train/ebay/etc soonest.

      Get back to your (not)working mens club and stick to whining about the pits closing down.

      1. Daniel 4

        Completely uncalled for

        "Get back to your (not)working mens club and stick to whining about the pits closing down."

        I just wanted to let you know that I downvoted you for that one line alone.

        Thank you.


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why would you need to report your neighbour as a sexual deviant?

      The Sex Offenders Register will soon come with an opt-in button.

    4. Tilman Ahr

      I know it doesn't do anything for the debate at hand, but could all you "anglos" trying to use German-sounding quotes please at least try to run that shit through a spell-checker?

      This wasn't an overly bad example, and I'm by no means a fan of language-purists, but it does grate on my nerves that people who'll happily pounce on every little typo or grammatical quirk in English-language comments absolutely murder even short quotes in other languages.

      If you're so fucking sophisticated that you MUST put in quotes in languages you don't understand, at least check your references.

      No, English is not my native language. Still I am fairly confident my written English is somewhat decent. Wouldn't dream of putting in French quotes without checking at least a phrasebook. My French is definitely not up to par (essentially non-existent would be more realistic).

      What is it about somewhat educated Englishmen/Americans and faux-german quotes?

  3. Gideon 1

    Austrailia tried it

    and it didn't work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Australia... not ready to come out of the anti-democracy closet yet.

      Unlike some countries which have a People's Army, which have had better, but still not 100% success

      PS (note spelling of Australia)

  4. Not Fred31

    The perfect intro to the non-neutral Internet

    Game set and match to the big ISPs who have managed to produce a situation where government applauds and demands interferences in traffic and the introduction and use of invasive anti-net neutrality tools. Of course the government won't actually cotton on until it is too late. Idiots.

  5. Richard 81

    Where am I?

    I seem to have to woken up in Australia.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What happened to parents taking responsibility for what their children are doing? Have we become so lazy we can't be bothered to look over our kids' shoulder now and again checking they are doing what they should be. If you can't manage your families online browsing you shouldn't be online.

    1. Nuke


      Irrespective of the main issue here, you have got to have some dumb kids who cannot fool their parents. Bear in mind we are talking mainly about 12-18 yo's. I did all sorts of things without my parents finding out (before the Web, but eg making fireworks, experimenting with mains electricity), and I was not particularly irresponsible compared with some I knew.

      For starters, doesn't your kids' keyboard respond to ALT-TAB ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How about opt out then?

        As title..

      2. Ragarath

        Faulty Eyes Mr Nuke?

        Are your eyes that bad that you cannot see what is on the task bar / dock / whatever your OS uses?

        Net neutrality is needed ISP's are there to provide you a route onto the net not to police it.

      3. Cameron Colley


        Have you not heard, Windows allows you to lock it down so that only the administrator can change anything, as does Linux and probably OSX too? It's actually not all that hard to control internet access if you're willing to spend some time and/or money doing it.

        If you're suggesting that the child would go to a friend's house, whose parents don't lock down the PC

        I would like to suggest that the other child's parents may well opt in for porn under this scheme.

        As for this being "mainly about 12-18 yo's" -- anyone censoring what their 16 year old sees is likely wasting their time, unless they keep them under house arrest. To my mind they're also being prudish and pathetic in dictating what another adult can see, rather than just talking about things.

      4. Loyal Commenter

        Mainly 12-18 year olds?

        Interestingly, a third of that demographic, 16 to 18 year olds are legally allowed to have sex with each other, but not to look at pictures of other people doing the same. Do you not think that maybe this country is prudish enough already without further restricting the freedom of young people to explore and discover their own sexuality?

        I also note that you seem to imply that children under twelve are somehow not affected? is this possibly because having not yet reached the average age of puberty, such children would most likely neither understand or care much about what they might see in pornographic images?

        There seems to be a belief (which appears to be the majority view amongst the political classes) that children who have reached puberty, but who have not yet reached the legal age of consent somehow know knothing of sex, and should be kept in the dark about the changes which they are going through. I fail to see how hiding this knowledge from them is in any way productive. Instead, logically it engenders a sense of guilt and secrecy surrounding issues of sex. Maybe this is why we have such appalingly high teenage pregnancy rates in this country?

        Maybe the correct response would be to throw away your Victorian views and tell your children about the existence of sexual norms so that they can make the informed decisions that they should be making and not get knocked up by some boy in their class at the age of twelve, because neither knows nor understands what they are doing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          16 year old males

          " a third of that demographic, 16 to 18 year olds are legally allowed to have sex with each other, but not to look at pictures of other people doing the same"

          How many 16 year old males do you know ? I assure you, they do and they also know how to get round the simple blocking that routers allow. Perhaps the ones with grielfiends who say Yes don't bother but contrary to rumours this is the minority (see The Inbetweeners as a sound factual reference).

          1. Daniel 4

            AC @13:59

            "How many 16 year old males do you know ? I assure you, they do and they also know how to get round the simple blocking that routers allow. Perhaps the ones with grielfiends who say Yes don't bother but contrary to rumours this is the minority (see The Inbetweeners as a sound factual reference)."

            And it provides most of them a cheap thrill that they are scared of getting caught at, so most don't do it very much - no more than when skin mags were around in our time. For the rest, they are determined enough that if they absolutely must they will go over to a friend's house who's parents have signed up for the porn feed - you know, just like teen boys used to go over to the one house where someone had found their parent's stash of porno VHS tapes.

            Either way, trying to control this particular aspect of 16 year old behavior is somewhere between silly and obscene. That's not to say that I am going to hand out pornography to my kids, but I AM realistic about it - it is something that they will see. Better to teach them about the realities of sex and prepare them for the world than try to wrap them in wool and fail.


      5. Greg J Preece


        "I did all sorts of things without my parents finding out (before the Web, but eg making fireworks, experimenting with mains electricity), and I was not particularly irresponsible compared with some I knew."

        And how much of that melted your mind, corrupted your Christian soul and ruined your life?

        What kind of fucking state do we have to be in when the group being consulted on MASS CENSORSHIP of modern communications is a fucking Christian mothers group?

  7. JeevesMkII

    Ah yes, Christians. Always obeying the 11th commandment: thou shalt interfere with what others do in the privacy of their own homes. For the good of the children of course.

    I have a proposal. How about ISPs block all access to Christian material to kids younger than 16, on the grounds that it's obviously detrimental to their mental development. Seems like the kind of thing the Mother's Union can get behind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Totally agree

      Just think of the harm religion has done over the centuries.

      Porn, hmmm, not so much.

      1. Nextweek

        Speak for yourself

        I am now blind

        1. Jolyon


          Although on the upside your hairy palms are ideal for speed reading Braille.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Also totally agree

        Funny, I don't remember any wars with human casualties because of porn.

        Religion on the other hand...

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          @AC 12:05, there's a least one

          Didn't somebody shoot Larry Flint over his porn empire?

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: wars because of porn

          They wouldn't be wars. A war is between two societies with differing views. If you want porn casualties, what you should be looking for is conflict within a society between men and women. You'll have no trouble finding evidence for that. Whether porn causes such conflicts is another question, just as it is debatable whether religion causes wars. As ever, correlation is not causation.

          I'll now get my flame-proof coat before I'm accused of having argued any particular point of view.

          1. Boring Bob

            People who want to hate someone will always find an excuse, a way of differentiating themselves in order to turn a group of people into enemies. In the early 20th century there were problems between Catholics and Protestants in England but then with the mass immigration that occurred in the 60s those who were bent on hate found new targets instead.

            Most religions preach pacifism. Those who do not attempt to be pacifist cannot correctly claim to be aligned to such a religion. For example, Catholics and Protestants who attack each other cannot claim to be Christian. Calling themselves Catholic or Protestant is an abuse of the label. The fighting is not caused by too much religion but rather a lack of it.

            1. Daniel 4

              What is in a label?

              "For example, Catholics and Protestants who attack each other cannot claim to be Christian."

              That's a nice thought Bob, but when the bulk of the world, including the practicing Catholics and Protestants, identify them as Christian, it pretty much falls apart. I'm not trying to be trite here, but it's sort of like a "hoover" or "kleenex" or "xerox" - all of these words may have meant something very specific a long time ago, but that's well and over now.

              It really is a nice thought, though.


            2. Greg J Preece

              @Boring Bob

              "Most religions preach pacifism."


              "Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel." (Deuteronomy 17:12)

              "Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed." (Exodus 22:19)

              "Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood." (Jeremiah 48:10)

              You and I have obviously been reading different holy books...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ooh look

      Saying something anti-religion on the Register, aren't you smart and in a group where your opinions may be challenged.

      Hows about: Not all material on the Internet is good for children and not all people who practice religion are a good example of that religion. No, it's got to be black and white, hasn't it?

      1. Greg J Preece

        @AC 12:04

        "Not all material on the Internet is good for children and not all people who practice religion are a good example of that religion."

        You're absolutely right! A lot of Christians don't seem to be very good ones. They only practice the busybody interfering, and seem to have forgotten the genital mutilation, slavery, genocide, etc altogether!

    4. Cunningly Linguistic

      Strangely enough I've never heard about a suicide bomber demonstrating for more porn/different porn/extreme porn

  8. James 100


    I just read the article about how much the government has saved by closing half the pointless websites they had been squandering our cash on ... where do I sign or vote to add this ridiculous censorship thing to that list? I'm quite sure the whining types who would use that site are far too capable of whining already, without giving them a one-stop bitbucket for it!

    Bad enough I had to contact my mobile phone provider and ask them to stop censoring my Net access there, now the idiots want to extend this to the regular Internet too?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    And here I thought adults could do, you know, adult things, without the goverment on their ass. It looks like on the internet, everyone is presumed to be a child, just in case. Lovely

    Needless to say this is some bullshit and trivial to avoid. Meanwhile it's yet another censoring of content on the internet pushed through under the guise of 'protecting the children'. Who's going to protect us adults is anyone's guess.

    1. Daniel 4

      To paraphrase an old Internet quote

      It would seem that in the eyes of the government:

      "On the Internet, no one knows you aren't a child."


  10. Simbu

    That'll work...

    "Hi, BT? Yea I'd like you to give me access to lots of internet pornography."

    Conversations i see happening all over the country. Or not. Congrats DC on killing off an industry in this country in one blow (chortle).

    1. Evan Essence

      Less embarrassing to move to another ISP.

      "May I ask why you're moving away from us?" "Because... I'm dissatisfied with your service." Which would be perfectly true.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Learn to punctuate properly

        That should be "Because I'm dissatisfied, with your service".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Love how the British

      Seem to have such qualms about discussing sex and pornography, yet are the inventors of dogging. Plus give them a vodka or five and they'll jump in bed with almost anyone.

      Nearly everyone likes a bit of porn anyway, what's the big deal. Just don't ask for it in a disgusting way, but surely there's no problem is asking: Can I have access to the adult sites please, thanks"

      1. Daniel 4

        DO NOT google these terms, NSFW, NSFA, you have been warned

        "Nearly everyone likes a bit of porn anyway, what's the big deal. Just don't ask for it in a disgusting way, but surely there's no problem is asking: Can I have access to the adult sites please, thanks""

        Bah! Call them up complaining that you can no longer access goatse. Get your friend to do the same thing, but "two girls, one cup." Lather, rinse, repeat. See how many BT phone operators end up off the lines with nervous twitches on the inside of a week. ;)


    3. Graham Marsden

      @That'll work

      Back in the 1980s, when the 0898 adult phone lines were in operation, it was decided to make access to those lines "opt in" so everyone, by default, was opted out and, if they wanted to phone those numbers, they had to contact BT and ask someone to switch on that feature.

      Not surprisingly, the number of people phoning those number plummeted and the Operators of those legitimate businesses were almost driven to bankruptcy because of the censorship of their provision of perfectly legal content.

      Fortunately sanity, at last, prevailed, and the default was switched to "opt out", but it's a salutary warning of what happens when Governments try to do something "For The Good Of the Children!"

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opting in?

    I wonder if this will be a checkbox in a portal, or are people going to have to start telling someone in the call centre they're a wanker?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    USA madness without the USA safeguards

    Welcome to the worst of all worlds - USA levels of undue and inappropriate influence on politics by religious nutters without any of the protections offered by the 1st and other amendments.

    Time to immigrate to Germany I guess.

    1. Tilman Ahr

      Might help for a couple of years, but THEY(tm) are up to the same kind of bovine excrement over here. Not yet as far gone, because there's still a healthy number of people objecting, but it appears they're getting there...

      We've even had our first creationists interfering with the equivalent of school boards. Laughed out of the room this time, but it's telling they were heard at all IMHO.

  13. The BigYin

    Oh FFS!

    If you are a parent:

    1) Install your own firewall/filter and configure it yourself; and

    2) Monitor/be-with your child when they use the Internet

    If, as a parent, you are not capable of the above, I have one question: Why the bloody hell are you letting your child use a system you do not understand? It's not hard, go to a night class, speak to friends, hire someone to teach you.

    Do you want the state to filter the "News at Ten" in case wee Johnny gets upset at the dead bodies? Here's a clue:

    1) It's the news; and

    2) Wee Johnny should be in his bloody bed!

    Seriously. These filters are blunt tools. They will end up blocking sexual health, family planning and "controversial" pages. We need state-sponsored censorship like we need a hold in the head.

    YOUR child - YOUR responsibility and if you can't deal with that, don't procreate. It is that simple.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Your logical arguments don't work with the Mothers Union

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You don't seem to realise that not all parents are capable of even knowing where to start setting up web filtering, you're an IT guy and you probably don't even begin to understand how difficult this is for some people.

      1. The BigYin


        Oh, so because a parent is too lazy to go an learn something responsibility should be abdicated to the state? Get real.

        I had no issue with the state providing advice, but imposing censorship just because a few Bible-bashing, lazy parents can "save the children" is not an answer.

        They went to the other to copulate and procreate, they can go to the bother of a few classes/books.

        Hell, I don't demand that the state heat all water to a temperature I want just because my taps don't work; I either fix them myself or hire someone who can. The Internet is no different.

        YOUR child - YOUR responsibility.

      2. Andy 115

        OP @ 12:05 You clearly missed...

        "It's not hard, go to a night class, speak to friends, hire someone to teach you."

      3. Daniel 4

        @AC 12:05 - Some IT guys ARE trainers, you know

        "You don't seem to realise that not all parents are capable of even knowing where to start setting up web filtering, you're an IT guy and you probably don't even begin to understand how difficult this is for some people."

        Actually, considering that I spent an entire summer teaching basic computer literacy workshops for primary school teachers a little over a decade ago, I have a VERY good idea how hard this is for some parents to understand. Yet, by the end of 12 hours of training, all of those teachers knew, at the very least, how much they did or did not know, which meant that they knew when they needed to call for help. Most of them were comfortable using the computer, and after a couple weeks of practice, were ready for even more training.

        Computers have changed a lot since the summer of '97, but the fact remains - these are skills that can be taught, even to people who are clearly frightened of the idea of a computer and the internet. If you can't handle a class to bring you up to speed, pay someone to help you. If you can't afford either, then you can't afford the monthly ISP fees, much less the computer necessary to use one. At least around here, the classes are subsidized and available at such low cost as to be nearly free. It simply requires the dedicated effort.


  14. AndrueC Silver badge

    > even better, trying to forge a meaningful relationship

    Well it doesn't sound like it'll be with any members of the Mother's Union :)

  15. Burch

    The Internet is for Porn

    When did the Mother's Union become an arm of government?

    Yes Dave, global economic crisis and all you can do is parent for people who can't be bothered to do it themselves.

    1. Loyal Commenter

      At least they're not

      Jim 'think of the children' Gamble.

      Although they probably all go to the same dinner parties.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So is it going to be as class as the mobile solution where you couldn't use such evil sites as google translate and computer games forums?

  17. Paul Crawford Silver badge


    The internet is for adults, not children. Why can't they look after their own kids and leave the rest of the world alone? Its called parenting, look it up.

    And what is next on this religious/political moralists agenda? No work on Sundays? Nothing the gov deems to be harmful to public morals? Inconvenient for their business buddies?

    I had hoped we had seen the last of the Nanny State for a while, but sadly political 'leaders' (media whores, more like) just can't resist the temptation to meddle in people's private lives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You really seem pissed off about an opt in porn filter, is it really that bad?

      The internet is not for adults or for children, it's for everyone. It's not your personal playground, just like the rest of the world there are some places that are not for kids and some places that adults probably won't want to go.

      Do you let kids into Pubs, Strip Clubs, Bookies, etc. etc? No, it's not nanny state, it's just accepted as sensible.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        @AC 22:25 GMT

        You don't get it do you? It is not the existence of a pr0n filter should *I* choose it, it is the mentality that 'gov knows best' and once such a system is in place, there will be function creep.

        "Do you let kids into Pubs, Strip Clubs, Bookies, etc. etc?"

        No I would not, and that is acting responsibly.

        Delegating parental supervision & education about the world in general, and the Internet in particular, to a gov-mandated filter is NOT acting responsibly.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > PM David Cameron will propose a raft of measures today

    ..and I propose that PM David Cameron should shut the fuck up.

    Seriously Dave, pandering to some gobshite minority group who think Victoria is still queen is not good policy. Especially when it inevitably turns out that a large number of that group has a subscription to nipple clamper's monthly.

    ISP filters do not protect children; being a half decent parent protects children.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What this is basically saying is people dont feel they can stop themselves from looking at "snuggle movies" so can the big nanny ISP please monitor all the content and block anything that *they* (whoever they are) deem inappropriate.

    Are people incapable of deciding if they want to look at things themselves now?

    Who gets to say if something is of an "adult" nature or not - what about a gripping documentary site about female genital mutilation? How about help-sites for teenagers suffering from gender identity crisis (etc)?

    Are these of an "adult" nature or not?

    At the end of the day, horny wank-addicts will crack one out over a lingerie catalogue, so should we block that as well?

    There is a general rule of thumb that has pretty much ensured in the last 15 or so years I have been online, I have never been subjected to anything I would find inappropriate (BNP sites for example). I simply dont visit them. No need to filter, because I am fairly sure there are others who actually want to look at them...

    It seems we replaced the overpowering big-brother, excessive law-creating labour party with an equally overpowering, big-brother, excessive law-creating tory party. Wonderful.

  20. Red Bren
    Paris Hilton

    The Off Switch

    It's already fitted as standard. Learn no use it.!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Censorship here we come

    And so it continues...

    1) Child pornography

    2) Copyright infringement

    3) All pornography

    4) ....

    What next?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anti-government comments?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh joy. First stages of Internet censorship in the UK. Time to fire up the proxies/darknets/VPNs etc...

    1. Greg J Preece

      First stages? You've not been paying attention, matey!

  23. Richard Wharram

    The porno bush... unlikely to re-appear. ISPs will make it as easy as possible to get round such measures or revenue will move to other ISPs who do.

    Who would pay for a phat 50MB connection in that has no pr0n ?

    (please don't answer that)

  24. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    No need to ask. No need to know.

    Stupid idea then.

    Stupid idea now.

  25. Dward


    Someone please remind me what percentage of web traffic is porn? Get rid of that and filesharing and only gamers will need a phone line! If anything, make it so you have to opt-out. That's a much less embarrassing phone call, and easily faked in front of the wife ;-)

  26. TeeCee Gold badge

    "Christian charity group Mothers' Union."

    Great. So "Call me Dave" reckons that bigoted sky-fairy apologists are the ideal people to regulate the internet?


  27. GrumpyJoe

    So now I have to call the Indian call centre for Virgin and explicitly ASK for access to knuckle-shuffling material? That seems the wrong way to go about it.

    I manage my children's access online, and I don't feel I need permission to look at perfectly LEGAL things...

    Can we clarify, are Virgin et al blocking ALL access by default or offering some numpty desktop app that will do it?

    1. Medium Dave

      Because if we fit the tubes with an anti-jub switch...

      ...anyone stupid enough to believe in a zombie carpenter and his invisible cloud daddy is going to be too stupid to ask for it to applied to *them*.

      Tune in next week when we block websites for gay dating, evolution, and logic.

  28. Anonymous Coward 15

    How will the porn be classified?

    Will stuff that is otherwise nasty/unsuitable for children be included?

    Will mum and dad be able to enjoy porn as part of a healthy sex life, while keeping it hidden from the kids?

    Will Middlesex and Scunthorpe suddenly disappear?

    Will it block the spreading of porn through filehosts, P2P etc?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    British Standard Morality!

    So, who gets to define what is porn or not? The Mother's Union? That'll be fun.

    And obviously, a meaningful relationship is not necessarily a substitute for porn, depending on the intersection of the set of leisure actvities of the people involved.

  30. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Like that will work!

    Plan A - you want to block porn from your internet connection than simply use a filtered DNS server like OpenDNS that does the job for you - and then stop all DNS requests at your firewall to prevent easy workarounds.

    Plan B - none - this is dead in the water because people are too stupid to even implement Plan A ... although I must admit I'd like to see the list of government offices that would all have to "opt-in" under this arrangement.

  31. irish donkey

    Sexualised Content on the Web

    I am more concerned with the content coming from the TV in the corner. Lilli Kelly shoe's come with free make up to make you more attractive. These are aimed at 3 to 4 year olds. This is what is wrong not my ability to view porn on my PC after the kids have gone to bed.

    Controlling what the kids see on the computer is easy if parents could be bothered. Most parents are too stoopid or lazy to take an interest in what their kids are doing.

    Blocking Facebollox! now that would be a worthy use of a general block for society.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I got broadband in 2000 it was so could get faster better porn. It was the only decent (sorry, worthwhile) content on the net at the time. Why should I have to sign up again, I've already expressed my requirement to access it!

    1. defiler

      Nah - Counterstrike

      Though admittedly porn was up there...

  33. Dr Dan Holdsworth

    This has been done before, numerous times. Every single attempt at censoring the internet has failed miserably, especially when attempted by Governments.

    I have a better plan: set up a Government ISP, run on top of resold BT ADSL. This Government ISP would be sold at cost, and would be guaranteed fully censored, and would be a strict opt-in service. Given the marvellous efficiency and cheap cost of all Government IT (see also: NHS Plan for IT, ID Cards etc) this service would end up costing hundreds of pounds per minute, and would spend most of its time down, if it ever got working at all. It would however give us somewhere to tell the religio-morons somewhere to go.

  34. Jon Press

    Without wishing to be cast as a smut ogler...

    ... as I'd never do something so reprehensible and, indeed, bandwidth-consuming (apparently).


    There were 21.8M households in the UK in 2008, of which 15.8M had no dependent children, according to the ONS. As one of the 15.8M, I'm getting a bit tired of the constant pandering to breeders. It's a "bonfire of the quangos" and serious belt-tightening for every other part of society - isn't it about time to expect parents to make more responsibility for their lifestyle choices?

    And your average teenager is going to have no problem getting opted-in, of course, so it's transparently-empty rhetoric from Old Mother Cameron. Pass me the sick bag.

    1. defiler

      Well, as one of the other 6M households

      I agree completely.

      Of course my kids are still getting their jollies from Iggle Piggle, and drawing on daddy's monitor, but you're bang-on. We're back to the same old argument that we can show slaughter and mayhem, crime, injury, war and death to our kids, but as an adult I can't see some good old-fashioned shagging...

      And then what counts as "inappropriate content" after the mechanisms are in place? What genre guts the trigger pulled next?

  35. DrXym Silver badge

    And censorship begins

    I'm quite okay with an opt-out. I'm quite okay with governments *requiring* ISPs to prominently offer parental controls / filtering software in their routers / server side / PC for those who choose to install it. I'm not at all okay with a government which thinks there is nothing wrong with censorship which is what this is tantamount to. You'd think the conservatives would have more of a clue about that given their supposed "small government" stance.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    According to report on Today program it is an opt-out system and is done via ticking a box on an account settings page ... at least this was it seemed the BT method was and it was pointed out that this was something they'd had for several years so basically its a case of move along, nothing to see here.

  37. Daniel 31

    Well its going to work a bit differently then reported.

    First off this is for NEW customers. When you sign up you will be offered to filter adult content. Its not a default on system. Its an option that will be presented to you when you sign up.

    Existing customers will not be "opted in" automatically. But they will (at least BT saying they will, guessing the other will follow) offer a method to opt in if you wish.

    And remember Talk-Talk offer this service already. and Vermin Media have "OpenDNS" style DNS system inplace already inorder to get some ad cash from mistyped domains, so it won't take much to offer these services.

    I agree with a network level filter even if its a service like OpenDNS and a config change on your router (if its open enough to do so) to send DNS requests though its own settings not the device's choices. Some people want to keep there kids away from porn or other content they don't want there kids to see. But it shouldn't be a UK wide opt out system.

    From what I've read and watched its not the end of porn as we know it, but a method to better educate subscribers about the options they have available to them

    Its not the end of porn as we know it...

  38. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    In other news...

    All knives are now to be sold blunt (to prevent childred hurting themselves); if you want them sharp, you will have to ask extra for that.

    All cars will now be supplied with the wheels welded fixed so no children hurt themselves with them (teenagers too :)

    All children must be strapped into straight jackets and chained to the floor to stop them moving around and falling over (or perhaps the Mothers of god-botherers instead).

    I have another idea. Anybody who is not responsible enough to be a parent should not be one. If they end up one by accident, take away the children and give them to someone responsible instead.

  39. Dave Murray

    Learn to parent breeders and leave those of us who aren't adding to the over population of the planet alone!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Are you insulting parents?

      Some of these breeder terms are being waved around almost like insults.

      As a father of three children who is rather pleased I have more than the average as it improves the gene pool.

      Children are a choice, you may not want them, but some of us do - it is natural.

      As to overpopulation, why should I as an intelligent person not have children, yet some chav have many just for the money?

      And finally to internet censorship - that is my job as a parent to supervise internet usage. That said I would imagine the boys would think it funny and my daughter very yucky.

      1. Semaj

        Doesn't Apply

        You are clearly a good parent. The negative comments I'd say are aimed at those chavs and those who I prefer to call "cattle" (brainless fodder who gain their entire knowledge of the world and all of their opinions from the Daily Mirror / Daily Mail / Sun / BBC news).

        Please have more kids and tell your equally good friends to do so as well :)

        And have a pint - that's not banned to save the children (yet).

        1. MJI Silver badge

          I do like a drink occasionally!

          And I agree about the cattle as you call them.

          As to children - sorry don't want a people carrier, big saloon carries 5 people.

          And the last child was a BOGOF, identical twins.

          All are working hard at school, we are strict but not cruel, and we do insist on knowing where they are,

          No TVs#, games or computers@ in their rooms. Got 2 PCs available and they seem to like watching TV with us. Both child bedrooms though have HiFis.

          However rules can change.

          Games are easy to manage - we can't afford lots of the same.

          # Cost part of it - more money for main TV

          @ would they give up their P4 or the Q8200 for a cheap PC?

  40. dotdavid


    Slippery slope and all that.

    But seriously, any idiot can see this won't work. Why doesn't the Mother's Union (even their organisation's name makes me want to throttle someone) set up their own damn ISP with all this nasty censorship so people so-inclined can cotton-swab their own kids and leave everyone elses' alone. Opt in, you only surrender your privacy if you want to, and it might actually achieve their aims of "protecting" their kids from naughty pictures.

    Oh except their aims are actually to enforce their own opinions on everyone else. Silly me, better stick to the original plan then.

    This is the side of "Conservative" I dislike the most - the fighting against supposed "moral decay". Idiots is too kind a word.

  41. Rob Crawford


    how are they going carry out this censorship?

    I have to say I have an almost complete disinterest in porn, not due to any prudishness, it's just it's such a pail reflection of the real thing, that in reality it wouldn't make much difference to me (but I reserve the right to look without having to be on some sort of register)

    When they decide to block porn sites they will inevitably get it wrong and block other sites.

    When they are blocked, will be be notified as such or will they simply fail to load?

    If that happens is there a method of resolving this or do I have to phone my ISP and state that I would like to be on the wankers list?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A "pail reflection of the real thing"?

      Is that like the reflection you get on the top of a bucket full of water when there's a nudey lady standing behind it?

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Rob and porn

      I feel the same way - I don't want to see other mens willies.

      The blocking also does worry me.

      1. Semaj


        No one likes to be cock blocked ...

  42. CowardlyAndrew

    Do they work

    With no extra software, just a standard web browser even with these systems porn is out there, and plenty of it.

    Thus easy enough to claim they don't work, and thus more harsh systems in place in the future.

  43. Toastan Buttar

    Reg Bailey

    "Reg" is an unlikely first name for a mother.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calm down dears

    It's not as if ISPs can effectively censor content anyway, other than for those too technically ignorant to get around it. The most they are likely to be able to do is provide a restricted DNS resolver e.g. OpenDNS as standard. Opt out by their procedure and they will provide a less restricted DNS resolver by default. Anyone with the ability to find and follow a simple howto will install their own DNS resolver or change their router's default DNS settings or work around it in any of a dozen other ways I can think of, regardless of any setting the ISP provides.

    So what's the problem ? That those too ignorant to change their DNS settings or use BitTorrent and who are too embarrassed to phone their ISPs to opt out get treated for the fools they clearly are ? Or is it just annoyance that yet another politician who doesn't understand the net is allowed the illusion that he is doing something ?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS. Once again the god bothering asshats can't be bothered being proper parents (apart from instilling that wonderful christian guilt complex into their children which can cause emotional and psychological damage) and actually invest some time into making sure that they are properly filtering the web content their kids view. Any chance they will stop reading the bible to their kids due to the graphic and brutal adult content contained therein, or does skyfairy woo get a free pass again?

    1. Brezin Bardout

      It's not their kids

      they can't be bothered being proper parents to. I'm pretty sure their kids will be suitably restricted to Christian friendly, fun free activities. It's the kids of everyone else they're bothered about. They don't think you're bothering to look after your kids properly and so they want the government to do it for you.

      Seems a lot of people are missing this, what with all the 'ffs parents should take responsibility and stop relying on the government' type comments. It's not about some lazy parents wanting the government to take responsibility for their kids (although some would be more than happy for them to), it's the Mother's Union wanting the government to take responsibility for everyone else's kids, because they don't trust them to parent them responsibly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC 10:58

      Missing the point old bean.

      The God botherers aren't trying to do this because they think they are bad parents. They are doing it because they know everyone else is a bad parent. Clearly they would be bad parents as any decent parent would be part of the Mothers' Union. Obviously.

  46. Winkypop Silver badge

    Politicians and the Internet eh?

    Bring on the younger generation, those born after the www started.

    Hopefully by then we'll have some net-savy leaders*

    * even if obsessed with FaceBook, et al.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      My daughter

      Would only notice if Facebook was down.

      We had arguments about this - she was posting complete rubbish so threatened to ban her, she then get very funny about it so we got her pass word and showed her we could get in.

      She changed it so I asked her why she called me that.

      Never take on a dad who is an IT professional at computers

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    But who cares about the facts anyways?

    Does porn even do any harm?

    I suspect that the coming generations are better informed and having more fun of it then we ever did... And good on them ;)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Coming Generations?

      Did you really mean that? :)

    2. CD001

      I don't buy it ... I'm convinced each passing generation is getting tamer and more prudish.

      Try (not to) think about say, your parents, or people their age (say mid 60s) swinging in the 60s when "the pill" was invented... or your nan banging away with some American servicemen posted over here in WWII - the Victorians were overtly prudish and yet what were some of the very earliest uses they put the camera to when it was invented? Yup, porn. Apparently prostitution was rife too.

      ... and keep going back ... now try reading The Canterbury Tales.

      I'm beginning to suspect Demolition Man may prove to be strangely prophetic.

      1. MJI Silver badge


        I think you are right society is getting more prudish again

      2. Matt 4

        victorians were a moral paradox - it was quite normal for men to shag many many ladies of the night before they got married and were allowed to bang a proper lady.

        That's why syphilis was so common.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I was a kid it was finding/borrowing p0rn to look at - Age 11 onwards I had access to so much it was insane...

    Now the internet exists it's suddenly "Won't someone think of the children" - Fools....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I remember when porn magically appeared in the woods.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I seem to remember that the "hedgeporn" that I found as a child (early teens) was really rather different to the stuff that is available on the internet today. It was basically just naked women, even the stuff that you could get in sex shops - which obviously I couldn't at the time - was much, much tamer that that which is available on the Internet, free and easily today.

      1. MJI Silver badge


        I still remember another kid on school bus had a magazine and it being passed around.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's what's wrong with today's youth...

      They don't get enough fresh air and exercise exploring the local woods to see if the porn pixie has left them a present.

  49. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Before everybody becomes overly excited

    Better find out first what exactly is being proposed.

    According to BBC this morning this whole thing will be a requirement for ISPs to offer an ISP-level parental filtering to all new customers, accompanied by a disclaimer that filtering is not a precise science and may let some things through while blocking some other things unnecessarily. The customers will then be able to opt out by unticking the check box on the sign-on page.

    If that is indeed the case, then all this is just a tactical move by the Govt to shut up the moralisers while essentially preserving the status quo and there is no need for a panic.

    1. Daniel 31

      I don't think that box will even be ticked by default but more like a page displaying something like


      As a responsible ISP and in partnership with the government we are please to offer you an household wide option to filter out adult content. This filter will work on all devices in your home that connect though our service, including Ipods, Ipads, tablets and some mobile phones connecting via wi-fi. There is no software to install as we do the hardwork for you.

      If you wish to filter this content please confirm this by ticking the box below then clicking next. You will be able to opt-out anytime by using our members portal or by calling customer services."

      Something that will give the subscriber more info, makes it sound simple and gives them a clear choice.

      Either way. Its a system for new customers and existing customers will be able to opt-in (Well thats BT's idea and i'm guessing the others will follow suite). Remember that these ISP's don't want to upset or offend there customer base. When I got a new mobile contract last year in which they knew I was 18 I got a text message stating that because they knew I was 18 access to adult content had been enabled on my account and if I wished to switch the filter on all I had to do was call customer services. Mobile networks are supposed to put the filter on everyone then remove it when customers provide proof of age.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        members portal

        Ah, so that's how we will access it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You appear not to understand what "opt out" means

      It doesn't matter if the box you click to be allowed access to adult material is marked "Censor me" and already has a tick in, or if it is marked "Do not censor me" and starts out empty. You will still be censored unless you take action and click on the box.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's quite obvious to me that the Mothers Union (whoever the fuck they are) are trying to get a full opt in ban but it will fail as the ISPs are heading this off with an opt out strategy. It's no coincidence that these opt out plans are popping up all over the place the very day this meeting takes place.

    If there's an opt out solution in place and widely available for the religiously deluded then there will never be any regulation enforced on the much larger general masses.

    I do fully endorse the idea of censoring religious information from children until they are educated enough to make up their own minds. Someone should start a campaign about this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It's also quite obvious that the vast majority of commentators here have heard:






      and have had their knees jeark rather violently presuming that they are trying to get all porn banned for all people and that you're going to have to ring up your ISP to beg for the right to see nuddy wimmin, also that your ISP will probably put you on some sort of list, just for doing so.

  51. kabadisha

    Clearly the e-petitions site is working in reverse...

    Cameron must have the sorting the wrong way around when scanning the e-petitions website for new policy ideas that will elicit a positive response:

  52. Anonymous John

    This is going to hit the Daily Mail website very hard.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The cloud will do it!

    Any person who needs a filtered feed can join a "cloud" to run a filter system. All they need do is install filtering software on their PC/Mac/Linux box, there are free versions like K9, and as part of this "cloud", when ever they are on the Internet they will be "Protected" by a guaranteed 1:1 ratio of filter systems. Guaranteed 100% uptime, when you are online so is your part of the cloud.

    All I need now is to be able to filter all the [re|fcuk]tards|politicians|religians|general numpties out of my life.

    While I'm on about it, why can all these people seem to be able to manage, in pseudo order of difficulty, walking, talking, reading, driving a car|bike|cycle|truck, making a passable attempt at life, but be incapable simply of installing a bit of software in their PC???

    "I don't understand computers" is not an option, they are not going away, deal with it!!!

  54. Will 28

    How it will be classified

    A massive quango trawling all the smut they can find and building up a blacklist!

    Actually given the spirit in which this appears to be being approached, that would be intolerable as it would expose those workers to porn. Instead there'll be a whitelist of what we can access, and sites will have to pay to be on vetted in order to be allowed to be on it.

  55. Wize

    And who determines what sites are allowed?

    I had Vodafone remove the adult blocking on my phone because it was blocking non-porn sites.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Censorship by Vodaphone

      I have also found that they (Vodaphone) are blocking sites that discuss the politics of the day, especially religious politics, if the site does not agree with the politically correct views to which we should all subscribe.

      Funnily enough, I don't think that will change, and that perhaps Vodaphone have been put up as the leaders on this, to see how much they can get away with.

      I'd suggest that the Mothers Union is acting like a fake charity, and merely doing its master's (government's) bidding.

  56. gaz 7
    Big Brother

    Erm, no content which is legal should be blocked full stop. it is censorship and nothing more or else.

    We already have a line, and it is called the law. No group, Christian, Mothers or otherwise should be allowed to get a second line drawn forward of the law, no matter what it is for.

    Will stuff like Viz's Profanisourous also be deemed offensive and be banned? Or will it just be pictures of naked people enjoying themselves. Once we start sliding down this slope, then it'll be very hard to stop!

    I find a lot of the religious material to be offensive. Can we ban that too?

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just reported Mothers Union on ParentPort. BAN THIS SICK FILTH

  58. Number6

    Dear ISP

    Please take this as notice that if at any time you set up an opt-in filter that would otherwise censor the content that I can access, I wish to opt in and continue to be able to receive it, because I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions.

    Please confirm receipt of this letter and each time you set up a filter, inform me in writing that you have done so and confirm that I continue to have access to the filtered material.

    Yours sincerely....


  59. ph0b0s

    Not just porn.....

    Didn't previous systems that were implemented on mobiles have a track record of blocking stuff that was not even porn related. This would be the reason I would leave it unblocked.

    I have a big enough problem as it is, with the Internet Watch Foundation screwing up downloads from file locker sites like rapidshare, etc. And no, I am not trying to get at anything the IWF are quite rightly blocking. I just get screwed by the way their list is blocked by most ISP's so even non infringing downloads stop working....

    These systems just create too much collateral damage, and most of the time don't even get the effect it was implemented for.

  60. Mr Anonymous

    It depends on how you phrase the question

    Tick here [ x ] to OPT OUT of Government Censorship.

  61. Old n Cynical
    Black Helicopters

    I heard on the BBC news that a BT 'insider' was quoted as saying that this would mean that a Wikipedia search for Al Qaeda would fall foul of the filter.

    To quote the article, "The restrictions are designed to protect children from sexualised content?" OK, so - if the BT source I mentioned is in fact correct - can someone explain to me how an Al Qaeda shoe bomber, for example, is deemed 'sexualised content'?

    First point then: It's [apparently] not just about porn or sexualised content as some, including Dave the Dick, seem to suggest. Its about inappropriate content. This is a very important distinction to draw IMO. Who is it that is deciding what this 'inappropriate' content is? The ISPs, the government, some useless quango, or a combination of these 3?

    I am therefore a little intrigued. If the BT source is correct - surely news broadcasts showing graphic scenes of violence will be filtered? If not, then the rules are not constant and - in my mind - the system becomes suspect. If news reports depicting violence are censored, then the filter will be deeming 'real life' inappropriate :)

    Second point: The system is opt in. You have to declare your intentions to view what someone else deems as inappropriate for you. Inappropriate != illegal, if it were I would not take too much of an issue, but it is not. Why should anyone have to declare their intention to view legal matarial that some zealot deems inappropriate?

    A preliminary set of questions I would like answered includes:

    1) Who will have direct access to the list of those opted in?

    2) Will the list be shared, if so, with who and how?

    3) Will requests for blocked or filtered content be logged?

    Now consider the 4 ISPs involved: BT, TalkTalk, Virgin and Sky and put on your tin-foil hat... Remember Phorm? Recall the then Governments failure to act on the 'illegal' BT/Phorm trials? Could it be that successive Governments simply want backdoor, grass roots surveillance?

    Further consider - with your tin-foil hat - that Phorm was opt-out. This is opt in.

    In reality I do not wear a tin-fol hat, but I am a cynic and I am beginning to see a pattern.

  62. Pastey

    I spent some time developing anti-porn software (sorry) and can say full well it doesn't work. Most of the methods in place are frankly pathetic. Especially the ones where they block a domain name, simple, open another site. There's so much movement in the porn industry that blacklisting does not work. And white listing? That's a level of censorship that should never be seen in this country.

  63. Dave 15

    Will start like this, spread to include other 'undesirable things', eventually to full blown censorship... probably not even a matter of months.

    When will governments learn? They won't - they are too stupid. Even when I was a kid it was perfectly possible to get porn - and then it was printed not 'on line' - and most of my friends did manage it (as did I). These 'pressure groups' just seem to have megaphones and a soft unquestioning media to spout forth to. Prove to me that showing an adolecent boy a picture of some knockers on the screen and I will prove that letting him watch football encourages antisocial behaviour, spitting on the ground, greed, unpleasant rudeness and arrogance. I will also prove that modern pop music is worse than either and afflicts male and female kids.

  64. Loyal Commenter

    In times gone by...

    ...we'd round up these fuckwits and send them off to live on another continent. Unfortunately, those other continents are now full. How about we stuck them on an old barge and sink it in the middle of the North Sea somewhere instead?

    1. King Jack
      Thumb Up


      Antarctica is still free. Earths most southerly continent. It's big. Enough space for religious nutters to live to their god's content. Don't worry about the cold, they will all be wrapped in cotton wool.

      1. Loyal Commenter

        But... we have international treaties to prevent people from ruining Antarctica. This is almost certainly the only reason it isn't already populated by delusionists.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yeah so how do they propose to stop people making their own pornographic pictures/video and transmitting it to others via mobile phones?

    Calling the government morons is an insult to morons.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    English parents can't even look after a dog!

    Once again, useless parents don't understand the internet, yet expect it to raise their sprogs. Your sickening. And you tory wanks, are barf inducing for supporting these FREAKS!

    Why aren't these parents being dragged though social services for not looking after their children properly?

    It is THEIR responsibility to look after their kids, NOT MINE!

  67. Anonymous Coward 99

    ALL ADULT content

    The example given on the BBC content was "Go to Wikipedia and request Al-Queda" and it would be blocked". This was referred to as "Not fine grained".

    Therefore a simple list of blocked terms, not site blocking, and implying inspection of content on a per request basis.

    This is far scarier than just porn site blocking.... and totally inworkable.

  68. Tony Humphreys
    Black Helicopters

    Thin end of the wedge

    On BBC news this morning this was being discussed (along with all the 'wont someone think of the children'). An example was given to the adverse concequences 'If you type in Al Qaeda into wikipedia that would be blocked'.

    As far as I am aware, Al Qaeda is not into porn - terrorism yes, but thats not porn - its a different problem altogether.

    So is it to block other sites too, Al Qaeda today, Sinn Fein and BNP tomorrow, UKIP the weekend.

    Not acceptable in a free country.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problems and the Point

    Lots of people pointing out that the practicality of this means it will be effectively an "opt-in" system for new users rather than the headlined national opt-out system. This does make the impact of the bloody stupid idea seem slightly less onerous.

    However, I think that misses the point.

    Whatever the practical impact of this pointless government craziness, the problem is that it has created the sense that pandering to unregulated, unrepresentative pressure groups is socially acceptable.

    I dont care if the ISPs will twist the situation back into something more acceptable. I dont care if there are countless workarounds (even ones not involving TOR, so there is a half decent chance of getting a fast enough connection to make it worthwhile).

    What I DO care about is the fact that opinionated bigots can scream loudly enough to make this stupid situation even appear to exist.

  70. Adrian Challinor

    Solved problem - move along now

    This is a solved problem. Don't use the DNS resolvers provided by the ISP. Instead sign up for one of the more sophisticated DNS systems, like OpenDNS.

    Sign up, select the level of security you want, and you can block, open, log, any and all access. Want a custom message ("Thanks for accessing that gambling site, Dad has been informed") then its there for you. Want to open up access for a specific site (Its Art, not Porn FFS) then is simple with a couple of clicks.

    Make the BLOODY PARENT take some responsibility for a change. You make sure your kids are in the appropriate car seats when you go for a drive? Just take the same care when opening up the internet. Its not rocket science.

  71. CD001

    Teenagers fap - and this is news?

    If they're old enough to be interested in porn - they're old enough to be looking at it on the web without being even remotely disturbed... seriously - what's the big deal about your 13 yr old son fapping off to some random pron on the web?

    Christ, when I was 13 you had to nick the mags from the newsagent you did the paper round for ... what, you didn't think that was a perk of the job for teenage boys?

    Maybe there should be a special ISP just for the "speaking as a parent" brigade - one with the most restrictive net nanny on it ever - so they get the Internet in the form of a sanitised walled garden and they can leave the rest of us alone.

  72. mmiied

    intresting thought

    last time I cam acoss an "adult filter" on an internet contract (I think it was a mobile internet) it blocked such well knows adult sites as and I would be suprised if this is any better

  73. Nathan 13

    When the online porn is turned off

    Theres always Babestation and others on freeview which is not censored for the 10 yr olds to watch on their bedroom TVs.

    1. Liam Johnson

      I thought we were talking about porn?

  74. Semaj
    Big Brother

    This is obviously nothing to do with parenting - it's to do with trying to redemonize sex, something christians did years ago to control the population and keep women down (and now the attitude is so ingrained into society that feminists will now quite happily fight for less freedom on this issue).

    I'd love to know what these lot have over Cameron to keep making him do this stuff - it was the same when he backed down over making rape trials fair on those falsely accused.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd check

    I never look at Internet porn because it's boring and I'm not patient enough. However, I would definately check the box if it applied to an ISP which I am using (Which is isn't) out of principle against the filth of censorship.

  76. MJI Silver badge

    Who are mothers union ....

    to control web access?

    Sorry it is my job to control it in the house.

    As to MU members - they must be well too old now, I could not imagine my wife joining a group like that.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm hoping If a site was "accidentally" blocked - say a commercial site, that there would be some sort of compensation? Customers of the big ISPs being blocked from a site is a lot of potential sales lost.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since when...

    ...did looking a naked flesh or watching someone have sex become so much of a crime and so "inappropriate"? Humans spent the past 2 million years doing just that until a load of religious nutters appeared on the scene and told everyone it was "bad". How exactly is a child going to be damaged if he/she sees someone having sex? Are all the other infant animals of the world psychologically damaged because they see other members of the species getting down to it?

    Infact, the only reason it's taboo is because it's taboo.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Animal infants

      "Are all the other infant animals of the world psychologically damaged because they see other members of the species getting down to it?"

      As a matter of fact, yes - they all practically become speechless!

  79. yossarianuk

    This is another example of the malign Christian influence is exerting over this government.

    Nadine Dorries attempt to weaken abortion rights are another example.

    The sooner we have an atheist party in power the sooner this country will advance.

    I fear British politics goinjg the same way as the USA.

    What next - creationism being taught at schools ?

    I am no fan of the Nazi Nu-Labour party but at least they had some time for rock and roll (whilst at the same time re-creating 1984 on our streets..)

    1. Old n Cynical


      "I fear British politics goinjg the same way as the USA"

      That'll be us fucked then...

      Still, at least our 1st black PM wll get a Nobel for doing, well, jack shit!

  80. FlameButt
    Black Helicopters

    Or to put it another way

    Excuse the expression but you people really don't get it, do you? You've been able to get your pet peeve off your chest whether it's: useless parents, the ISP's bowing down, BT/Phorm, overzealous parenting groups, whatever.

    Yes, all good points covered, but the one that no-one seemed to mention is:

    The government doesn't actually like the World Wide Web or the underlying Internet! Why, because it can't control it! The only reason it's still there is because they've been able to monetise it...

    I'm only speaking of my understanding of here in the UK where since I've been old enough to get online (and I leave it up to you to when that might have been) government have been requesting some sort of control on the flow of information in and out of the country. As we've gone along the reasons have included piracy (music then movies), terrorism, child porn, extreme porn, hentai and now general adult material.

    It's not the reason, it's the opportunity for them to see if an effective form of control has been developed and can be applied to the whole network infrastructure ensuring no-one can sneak through.

    They love it when some 'concerned' group makes a noise and demands changes that they feel will make an improvement to the lives of all. All it does is give the government another legitimate reason to apply pressure to the ISP's.`

    I really needed to get that rant off my chest - it's been bugging me for AGES!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It doesn't matter what excuses they use, the end result has already been decided. The internet will be censored.

      More importantly, it will be monitored. PlusNet is the ISP to watch. All traffic for them already flows through DPI boxes, for traffic prioritisation. But once installed, it becomes trivially easy to isolate all the streams of data that Mr Plod, out politicised policeman, wants to know about.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Petition has been started.

    So, let's see how many of you are actually willing to stick your neck out over this, or are you just going to sit in your chair and rage a bit more? Some of you have called for a counter-petition, so here it is.

    Head over to and search for "Censor religious material on the Internet".

    It's only just been su bmitted, so is yet to pass through the vetting process to see if it qualifies as a proper petition, but if it fails then it'll be reworded and reposted until it passes. It may also not appear as signable until it passes the process, so keep checking for it.

    The body text is as follows:

    "As the government is currently considering requiring that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) filter out pornographic material at a domain level, in consultation with various public pressure groups (such as NetMums and The Mothers Union), requiring an opt-in filter in order to view such material, and, given that the reasoning for such consideration is to protect children and the vulnerable from being subject to morally questionable material that may, allegedly, cause psychological or emotional harm to those viewing, we, the undersigned, require that similar measures are taken to remove religious material from the Internet, by means of a similar filter, or legislation, as we believe, and are given cause to believe through applicable evidences, that such material may, reasonably, be considered more dangerous and damaging to the young and vulnerable than pornography. "

    Let's see your signatures then!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Gov has already stated that it has no time for e-petitions. A few petitions reached the magic number but were denied debate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        lol - e-petitions.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical media hype...

    What BT have actually said is that this will be "implemented" by providing all NEW customers with a copy of McAfee parental control software. Yes, simple as that. No proxy servers, enhanced cleanfeed, just bog standard software that you can buy in PC World. Nothing will change for existing customers.

    You can opt-out by saying you don't want a copy of the software, or simply by not installing it.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not as you thought

    Latest news ( says:

    - Only applies to new accounts

    - You are given choice of filter/no-filter.

    So this will affect only a small group of people, while looking good to Cameron's voters.

  84. Seb123

    Think of the children

    The UK has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world and is number 1 in Western Europe. Pornography did not cause this. Surely the UK government has more important social and economic issues to focus on right now?

    Oh wait, that would mean actual work. It's always easier to go after low-hanging fruit to satisfy a bunch of mother Grundies.

  85. Bruce Ordway

    Times changed

    In the fall of 1965, my friends and I found a box of discarded playboy magazines. A huge windfall for ten year old boys.

    How times have changed.

    I can't imagine what 10 year old boys can find today.

    Or what it is like for a 10 year old girl browsing the internet.

    I don't know what effect the internet and porn is having on youth.

    I never had kids but I think I still have to ask myself about this.

    I might even concede a few points to concerned parents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Bruce Ordway

      I am sorry, I can't seem to see your point. Did I miss it someplace or did you just not get round to having one?

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    inserting censorship through the backdoor.

    We are just a couple of a tweaks from a monitored Internet, get ready to have more than just your porn filtered. Oh and looky here, Phorm are members of the council (as an AC pointed out last summer)

    Are you just going to bend over and take this?

  87. Ryan Robinson

    Article is wrong

    Surprised no-one has spotted this.

    You have to opt-in if you want to block porn.

    You can browse porn by default but to get it blocked you have to opt-in.

  88. E 2


    You Brits can't even wank without government permission!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      They have to keep putting in controls because, unlike some other countries, they can't just rely on calls to patriotism to modify our behaviour - that only works when there's a fight in the offing.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No, no, no!

    It's a dangerous precedent to ban content dynamically and by default. If they really wanted to do something about the sexualisation of the young, they could do something about the industrial pushing of sex to minors. Accidentally landing on explicit porn pales into insignificance as issue next the simulated sex shown as dance and programming involving sexual imagery marketed to children. Just what age-group are bratz dolls aimed at? What about the cartoons which are basically advertising for these toys? They could cut off the advertising oxygen for these toys.

    The ratings system does not appear to be useful in enforcing a differentiation between what is appropriate for children and what is not. It seems to be obsessed with particular words and bedroom scenes rather than an overall "feel" of the programming. It's too micro-focused. This approach seems tailor-made for working-around, for gaming the system.

    We all (including Cameron) know that these proposals will go nowhere. Fix the significant problem and stop the gesture politics. Mothers' Union should know better than to expect mandatory filtering will succeed or even that handing such power to the government is desirable.

    Perhaps you could mandate that a filtering proxy is available together with an option to block all port 80 and 443 traffic not going to the ISP's own systems. Turning this on and off could be done via an ISP control panel. I'd be inclined to add in an option to selectively block port 25 too, with filters being on by default. It's a broad brush, but simple to operate and far more likely to be approved.

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By checking this opt out box...

    You acknowledge that you are a Communist Paedaphile and will added to the Sex Offenders Register and will be labelled as a dangerous Subversive that we shall be forced to keep tabs on because you don't believe that we know what is good for you and what you shouldn't be allowed to know.

  91. Peter 48

    won't work anyway

    There isn't an internet filter out there that can only filter out porn (ignoring the fact the definition of that will vary depending on level of prudishness or religious fanatism of the observer) whilst leaving perfectly innocent websites standing. I guess any website related to the counties of susSEX will have to change their names. Or what about sexual health related sires where they talk about naughty bits? What about tumblr or other such websites where perfectly child friendly content is available on one site and hardcore smut on another, all ending in. Tumblr? Maintaining a blacklist could be an idea, but then who regulates it and who decides what should go in? Utter nonsense

  92. This post has been deleted by its author

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Internet is Porn"

    The Avenue Q musical is probably not far wrong.

    The porn industry probably provides significant funding for the internet, and works on the bleeding edge of technology because there is significant demand for its product.

    These politicians are so disingenuous and boring, because they are just after votes and probably are significant consumers of porn in private.

    Anyhow, any reasonably intelligent kid will look for and find ways to circumvent any barriers put in their way because that is part of growing up, so these measures are a waste of time.

    What parents could do is provide accurate information about sex before kids see the skewed porn view of sex, and not leave this to the retarded state education system.

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