The future's bright...
Considering the number of ISP call centres outsourced to countries where prudery is the social norm (and indeed frequently written into the law), this promises to be a barrel of laughs guaranteed to make people other than the intended targets deeply uncomfortable.
I changed my mobile provider last year, and on logging on to their seriously dysfunctional portal found that access to adult websites was blocked without proof of age (a legal requirement already for mobile providers I think), but that premium rate text were allowed - surprise, surprise. I a no interest in premium texts, and so wanted those off, but on principal wanted adult websites enabled (I say "principal" because I really can't be arsed with pr0n on a 3 inch screen). I should have been able to do both from the portal, but after half a dozen attempts and making the requisite "proof you have a credit card" payment, it just wouldn't do the simple thing I was asking.
So after a long tedious wait in the IVR netherworld, I'm put through to a woman who sounds like she has a distinctly middle eastern accent. As I explain the basic problem, I can hear her starting to blush fairly heavily.
"I'm sorry, I don't understand which service you want to change"
Calmly; "I would like a bar placed on premium rate calls and SMS, and the bar removed on adult websites."
"One moment...", slightly redder and a little more tight lipped. "OK, I've put a bar on premium calls and SMS, and the system says you have access to websites"
"Thank you. I do have access to websites, but not adult websites"
"Yes, adult websites", 'adult' whispered very reluctantly, "the system says you have that"
"I don't. I've just refreshed the portal and it says I dont"
"My screen says you do"
Check phone browser "It may well do, but I'm afraid I dont"
"Are you sure? The portal display may be inaccurate"
"I am sure. I'm trying a site on my phone now and getting a 'blocked' page"
"Which site?" Mild exasperation.
"amateurlesbopr0n.com". Oh well, you asked.
"And its not loading?" slightly choked, the vocal equivalent of bright crimson.
"No, I'm getting an 'adult site blocked' screen".
"Perhaps the site is down?" Hopeful.
"No, I have your company's 'site blocked' screen. I have amateurlesbopr0n.com open on my laptop monitor and its loading fine"
"Oh..." from crimson to pale in the blink of an eye. Distinctly brittle; "Can I put you on hold sir?"
After which I was quickly shuffled off to tech support (in Holland I think) and it was all fixed in minutes.
The decision to go all Daily Mail on pr0n web access may yet come home to haunt British foreign policy as a new generation of jihadi's are spurred on to self-detonation by the dishonouring of their sisters through exposure to smutty URLs whilst working in UK ISPs call centres. Or if the call centre's in India, company bosses might find their visits taking a bad turn if some local RSS zealot decides to press that old stalwart of the Indian Penal code, "outraging the modesty of a woman", into service after local women are apprised of the depraved phone habits of British punters.