back to article Ministers consult public on 'opt in for smut' plans

Imagine a future where you are demanded to declare to your ISP that you wish to view pornography online? If ministers get their way, broadband customers could soon be required to opt-in to being, er, serviced by X-rated content on the internet. A 10-week public consultation document on parental controls was released by the …


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  1. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Another reason

    to buy shares in VPN providers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who decides

      What sites to block? The ISP? The Government?

      Have you ever seen the filters at work, they block sites that have no connection with smut, anything with the slightest hintnof it. Check out school filters and you will see what I mean.

      WTF should I have to opt in if I can just as easily opt out, are they trying to shame people or embarrass them?

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: Who decides

        lol the content filter at work is now blocking the comments thread... presumably because someone mentioned pr0n.

        However, I put the filter on the network. I can tweak it and bypass it if it is being stupid, I don't need to ask any ones permission.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Go nanny someone else

      I have children, I supervise them on the Internet, I discuss with them what should or shouldn't be done, I use filters on their accounts.

      That's how it should be done

      Am I in the minority here?

      Let the State nanny the feckless twits but stay away from me, I'm old enough not to need a nappy changed.

      1. Gordon 11

        Re: Go nanny someone else

        That's how it should be done

        That's your view.

        Mine is to trust them to use common sense, come to me (or anyone else with whom they feel comfortable) with any issues and otherwise let them do what they want.

        Thta's how I was brought up, and I thank my parents for it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Go nanny someone else

        1. You are the majority on this site, but this is not the Daily Mail forum.

        2. You cannot do anything about the Conservative part of the coalition openly behaving as if the government will fall tomorrow so they need the support of a kingmaker. As gagging on a wrinkly antipodean anatomy bits is no longer on the menu, they now have the urge to ask the Mirror group if they would like to have it with ice-cubes or with hot coffee.

        3. The email address of the consultation is:

        I suggest you emphasize that the biggest _DANGER_ to the children from Internet is that they will spend 12 hours a day in front of the screen devolving into obese jelly blobs and doing none of their homework too.

        It does not matter what level of smut do you ban - this does not solve this problem. This is the "education" department conducting the inquiry so theoretically they have a duty of care with regards to both of these. A good, blunt, "sledgehammer style" emphasis that they will fail it in any case _EXCEPT_ giving the controls to the parent may be one way to deal with this particular bout of "Sir, do you like it with ice-cubes".

        Unfortunately, you have to be prepared for a long fight here - if this idiocy fails, there will be other parts of the Conservative government portion to continue in acting as if elections are tomorrow. Our "friend" Ed "the Culture Secretary", comes to mind, there are other.

  2. John A Blackley

    Just the latest

    in a long tradition of those who rule us assuming that they know, better than we do, what is good for us.

    If I am the parent of a child and I have access to the internet it is my responsibility - not my ISP's and certainly not the government's - to make sure my child's internet habits are both safe and sane. Can they access the internet outside of my control? Certainly - in exactly the same way as they can choose to wander across a six-lane motorway outside of my control. I would, however, have made some effort to help them understand why that would be a bad idea.

    I do not support any effort on the part of the government to make me opt-in to a freedom. I do not have to opt-in to anything to be allowed to read any book I choose. I do not wish to opt-in to anything to view any internet content that I choose.

    1. JP19

      Re: Just the latest - know, better than we do

      It isn't just knowing better.

      Politicians are are useless dishonest scumbags who we increasingly hate and worse (in their eyes) ignore. They are mostly a waste of space and we know it.

      They continue to try to make the state responsible for every aspect of our lives because it makes the state and them as its masters feel important and needed.

      I can't look at a politician without feeling the urge to whack them round the head with a bit of 2 by 4.

      Do you have to be human to run for parliament? Given the choice I would vote for a broom handle because it would do less damage than your average politician and especially Claire (won't you think of the children) Perry.

    2. Can't think of anything witty...

      Re: Just the latest


      I absolutely agree. this sort of measure only generates a sense of security... surely it is better to educate people on this.

      And i know that many people on here have a healthy dislike for MPs (e.g. "JP19"), but some MPs (possibly even most?) do try to do what they think is the right thing.

      if you don't think that they are representing your views or you feel that their definition of "right thing" is not aligned with yours, then write to them ( You might even get a reply.

      of course, it is a lot easier to sit on the side and whine as opposed to doing something. just like it is easier for the parents who don't know or care about making sure their child is safe online to let the state give them a false sense of security as opposed to learning about it.

      just don't criticise someone for doing one of those things while you do the other...

      1. Enrico Vanni

        Re: Just the latest

        "Surely it is better to educate people on this". Damn right it is, but the education system of this nation (all sections of it) is broken because it itself has become a politicised target-driven tool to "measure" teachers and educators by and not actually a channel for enlightening the populous.

        Just like other creeping nanny measures such as speed cameras, minimum alcohol pricing, smoking bans and labelling of 'unhealthy' foods this is a reaction by government to a minority of the population who they perceive as too stupid to look after themselves (the government's own fault because of their crap education system) so a broad brush approach is used to be seen to deal with them.

      2. JP19

        Re: Just the latest

        "And i know that many people on here have a healthy dislike for MPs (e.g. "JP19"), but some MPs (possibly even most?) do try to do what they think is the right thing."

        "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

        I don't want them to do what they think is the right thing. I want them to do what is the right thing and when they don't know what the right thing is I want them to do nothing.

        That doesn't happen because they can't justify their existence by doing nothing and appearing not to care by doing nothing is a much bigger sin than doing something which makes matters worse. That earns them a pat on the head for caring and at least trying. A root problem with our political system and media that drives them.

        In any case I don't believe many do what they think is right They do what they think voters think is right or, what they think they can convince voters to think is right with spin and lies. They are so out of touch with voters (and especially with those that might vote if they didn't think all politicians were useless wankers so choosing one or the other is pointless) that they have little idea of what voters really think is right.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just the latest

      Saw this...

      "She argued that a "worrying" pattern had emerged."

      and thought this...

      "that trend being grown adults being pandered to by the nanny state and not being held responsible for the upbringing of their own f*cking children"

      Jesus, this can't be held responsible, think of the children bullshit is seriously getting on my tits.

    4. Graham Marsden

      Re: Just the latest

      Exactly, and what next? Requiring Government permission to buy my business' catalogue of bondage gear? Maybe I'll have to register with HM Inspector of Porn and get a licence?

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        Re: Just the latest

        Yeah but just think, the exams could be fun to take!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to block Wikipedia...

    Some of what's on there is just disgusting...

    1. JeevesMkII

      Re: Time to block Wikipedia...

      I know, but kids have to learn about David Cameron some time.

    2. Fibbles

      Re: Time to block Wikipedia...

      I realise you're joking but they're probably not going to block Wikipedia. What a lot of people seem to have missed is that they will be blocking most torrent sites as they host at least a few porn torrents/magnet links. All switched on by default of course.

      "Honestly love, I've not been doing the five finger shuffle whilst you picked the kids up from school. I only disabled the Official UK Home Broadband Expert Certified Pervert Filter so I could download the new Avengers movie... What do you mean you're going to go stay with your sister for a few days?"

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        Re: Time to block Wikipedia...

        "No love, I was shopping for ideas about your birthday present and the Selfridges site was down! Alright I'll get the sleeping bag from the spare room..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's a certain inevitablity about all this

    It's as if it's already been decided what is going to happen and this exercise is a bit of whitewash. If they get the result they want it will be ovely publicised, if they don't they'll quietly spin it to make it look like they did. If I were living in the UK it'd be getting close to the point where I'd go lay down in the street and shoot myself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's a certain inevitablity about all this

      It is inevitable. To some extent we will live to regret the News of the Screws scandal.

      As a result of this, the government has done a volte-face and is taking political strategy advice from the Mirror group. Just shows how weak do they feel so they need a support of a "kingmaker" not just in the run-up to an election but on a day-to-day basis.

      Given this as a choice (and its consequences) I would much rather have the "hacks" in News of The Screws continue hacking the phones of muppets who do not know how to set a voicemail PIN or turn off divert to voicemail altogether.

  5. Tom 15

    Really though?

    Does Google really make money from porn? I don't think porn companies can advertise with Google or receive adverts on their sites...

    1. This Side Up

      Re: Really though?

      "Does Google really make money from porn? I don't think porn companies can advertise with Google or receive adverts on their sites..."

      The porn companies don't have to advertise with Google. Google owns YouTube. Porn companies post very soft core videos on YouTube, hoping to attract customers to their own sites, and Google serves up ads for all and sundry, including its own browser. Google may also get paid if punters click through to the porn sites just as they would from sponsored results on the search engine..

    2. illiad

      Re: Really though?

      doesn't Google make money from searches??? a simple image search finds thousands of websites I would never have found other wise...

      and yes, the old adage...

      Only 50% of people look at porn.... the other 50%? ........................ they are lying of course....

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There will be trouble

    Various behaviours are in us, as children. We can't turn them off.

    For me, it was bondage.

    If I could have had access to information which would have explained those feelings and helped put my mind at rest, then a whole load of emotional and mental turmoil could have been nipped in the bud.

    As it was, it wasn't. I was swinging in between a rock and a hard place. Either beating myself up for having these feelings I couldn't control, or else getting myself in to some stupifyingly dangerous self bondage positions. I could have died.

    Whomever has their finger on the filth button, needs to be aware of these things. If the schools aren't teaching it, or have open doors where children can talk through, in confidence, these kinds of emotionals that are inside them, then fair enough; but the Internet has opened a life saving resource in some aspects and the baby just might go out with the bath water.

    Next time someone says, "Won't someone PLEASE think of the children," I'll give them a black eye and a loud leacture on what effect biggoted, unrealistic expectations actually has on our children.

    1. ukgnome

      Re: There will be trouble

      "Various behaviours are in us, as children. We can't turn them off.

      For me, it was bondage."

      New keyboard please!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There will be trouble

        I fail to see why that caused you to require a replacement of your primary digitisation device.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There will be trouble

          I think it was unintentional hilarity. But if it wasn't, top marks for writing style!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There will be trouble

        You got trouble my friend.

        With a capital T

        and that rhymes with P

        and that stands for Porn.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There will be trouble

          I quote from "Avenue Q" who did a show in London not long ago...

          "The Internet is for Porn.

          The Internet is for Porn.

          Grab your d**k and double click.

          Porn, Porn, Porn."

          Look it up - I think it's on You Tube somewhere.

      3. illiad

        Re: There will be trouble

        the 'special' thing about bondage is... It mostly does NOT involve nudity!!! that is why so many, many places, net and RL, have no problems with it all... :)

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There will be trouble

        With all due respect, it's not a new keyboard but a new brain that you need. Actually, a second-hand maggot-infested brain from some rotting corpse would be a considerable improvement on your current state.

        Not the same AC as above, btw, just passing through.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There will be trouble

      AC I feel your pain.

      I lost a very good friend as he did not know how to deal with issue he had as a young teen who was Transgenderd, he ended up over dossing when he was 16. I was aware of his issue and tried to help him but he came from a very Religious home and could not talk to the people who he needed to talk to his parents, or access information online.

      It was a very sad day when he killed himself.

      1. Thomas 4

        Re: There will be trouble

        The problem is, when people "think of the children", they don't [i]actually[/i] think of the children, they just think about how they can avoid awkward conversations with them. And then bad shit like this happens.

        ACs - I have a lot of LGBT friends I speak to online in a very close community and I think I can say that if it hadn't been for that community and the access they have to it, a lot of them would have followed a similar path.

        *proudly ticks "I am a disgusting pervert rather than a morally conflicted prude" box*

        1. LinkOfHyrule

          You don't need a new keyboard at all

          The "OP" is talking sense. Often things of that nature do start early in one's life in the emotional sense.

          It's stupid goventards confusing porn with sexuality once more in the same way they often confuse porn with nudity. It's pretty hypocrital consider the fucked up shit a lot of them get up to.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There will be trouble

          When people say think of the Children you are right by saying the want to avoid difficult conversations with them, part of being a parent is the difficult moments having hard conversations with your child and helping them come to terms with how the world works and the child's place in that world. If you avoid it your child can make the wrong choice (not for you for them) and possibly end up Like my friend who in the end felt so isolated he chose to kill himself.

          I was lucky as a teen and my parents where open, if I needed to talk to them I could and they helped me become who I am today. Sure they might have felt uncomfortable about talking about some issues (sex, drinking, etc) but they did and I am now a adult who is comfortable with himself and others who is happy and productive. You can't give your children a better start in life than being there for them, and talking with them when they need to.

        3. kissingthecarpet

          Re: There will be trouble

          " they don't actually think of the children, they just think about how they can avoid awkward conversations with them"

          Exactly - its never been about protecting children. It would seem that some seem to believe that children are totally asexual until they're say 16 or 18, when they are then suddenly interested in ("normal") sex.

          3 cheers for pervs everwhere :-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There will be trouble

            Sadly, Mortality is defined by old values.

            When my friend kill himself, he left a note that I was sadly one of the few to read once (it would have been beneficial to many people to read), what he said without quoiting verbatim out of respect and out of his parents wish for anonymity, And he wrote-

            "I am now dead, I am not a person but a persons, I am both K*****, and K****, I can not live with sin and I can no longer live a lie so i am forced to die at my choosing"

            I as I have said attempted to help him with the issues he had, so did a select few others he trusted. But his lack of information and lack of support from people outside his own age and wisdom ended up with his death, and I know this might sound like I am paying undue homage to the dead, he would have changed the world as he was a brilliant person. He could apply himself to any field in school and was the top of the class (oddly not in RE or French but he excelled in Spanish.).

            The last I will say of him (on the reg) is this, I miss him dearly as a friend and I still at the summer BBQ cook a Burger for him, not out of respect but true sorrow that he can not be there with me to munch down on it and share a beer. And I hope one day his parents can and will talk about what happened (I keep in contact with them, out of respect) and help others.

            I miss you my Friend and I still hold you close to my heart.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There will be trouble

        That's a heartbreaking shame as there is plenty of resource out there, including this - - which is a now defunkt group because in the late 90's, society had changed to the point where they weren't needed any more. However, the political arm, "Press For Change," continues on.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There will be trouble

      I'm sorry, but I had to read your post twice to digest it after seeing your confession about bondage and then stating you were "between a rock and a hard place" - it got me all tied up in knots.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There will be trouble

      I feel that.

      I too developed an unusual fetish as a young child due being a late developer in the bathroom dept. It was something I could never dicuss with anyone, I knew it was not what was considered "normal". The shame and humilation of carrying guilty secret around of years, you hide it but the monster that sleeps at the back of your mind is always there an never goes away. There was no real internet as such until I got to around the age of 19, I spent my teenage years trying to repress my interests in wearing certain garments.

      I got on with my life, got married and settled down. One day my wife caught me looking up information about my particular proclivity and years of emotional turmoil were unleashed in a few hours, I was lucky that she knew I was a good person and this was just an unusual side to my character. With the aid of information available online from those who practice it to those who've studied it, I was able to show her exactly what the interest was, how it started and how I felt the same a thousands of other people. It's now something very special we share together, I don't have much need to go online these days about it.

      It's not about pornography, it's about sexuality. The moral guardians that rule over us think that unless you have sex once a week in the missionary position, then you're a pervert. Well I hate to break it to you but the mind is a serious complex bit of kit and I'm afraid some of us cannot simply stare at a naked person and instantly get turned on, some of us need a different fuel mix for our engines to fire them up.

      My daughter is coming up to age of 10 so we've had to sit her down and explain the facts of life, the very fact that my wife and I share an unusual interest allowed us to be very open with our daughter about sexuality and puberty. We didn't discuss anything outside the accepted "norms" but we did say that sex is fun, nothing to be ashamed of but it should ideally be performed with someone you respect. We briefly explained that people of the same sex can enjoy a loving relationship, people like dressing up and acting out little plays while having sex to make it more interesting, left it at that. More than anything we wanted to make sure that she felt comfortable with talking about sex and relationships as she heads towards becoming an adult, if she needs to discuss anything then she can be open about it, whether that's us, a doctor or any trusted authority figure.

      Not many people feel comfortable with their sexuality, especially if they think that they have what could be seen as an unusual interest. Most people would prefer to find out on their own how different they think they are before they decide to follow a particular path through life. UK Gov simply sees sex = porn = filth = corrupt society.

      It's not until you have spent years hiding feelings you know don't seem right that you fully understand the need for open information and understanding, the last thing you need is to be made to feel like a freak about something you can't change and never asked to be "given" in the first place.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "beating myself up for having these feelings"

      So, a bit of S&M to add to that bondage?

  7. Tom_

    No kids

    No children live in my house. Would I still have to tell my ISP whether or not I'm a wanker?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No kids

      You've just reminded my, even though I'm a tea-totaller I'll have to by an alcohol meter for my drive through France next week.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: No kids

        Two, actually.

        1. The First Dave

          Re: No kids

          Only one kid for me, but a confirmed wanker so will certainly tick the box. How then, will the ISP work out when it is me online and when it is my daughter?

          Not that I care if she sees some nudity online, much safer there than in person...

          Which reminds me, why do people keep saying that the Internet is a dangerous place, when it is the real, physical world where almost all of the danger lies?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No kids

      No, children outside are quite happy to help you out with this service. They have the necessary verbal skills.

  8. horsham_sparky
    Black Helicopters

    yet another well intentioned but misguided law in the making

    Anyone remember anti-terrorism laws being used to stop photographers snapping the police, train stations, public places?

    anyone care to speculate exactly what is meant by "harmful content"? I can see this being mis-used and abused as yet another form of censorship, that is ineffective at stopping the thing its meant to stop (i.e. stopping kids watching porn)

    Any kind of controls the ISP's/Government put in is likely be easily bypassed by the kids who probably know more about the interwebs than these ministers!

    An earlier poster had it right.. it's down to the parents to ensure they're in control of what their kids see, and to decide what is best for them.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: yet another well intentioned but misguided law in the making

      It's hard to say, but, based on recent government trends and dropped hints... I'd say that the first thing they'll class as harmful will be sites promoting anorexia or suicide. The stuff that isn't going to raise much objection. Then they'll gradually widen it to include 'hate speech,' which is vague enough that a lot of more extreme political and religious (Or anti-religious) sites will be blocked. Then they'll just extend it finally to 'promotion of criminal activity' and start blocking all manner of things relating to hacking (As defined by politicians, so this includes things like how to jailbreak your iPad), piracy, etc.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: yet another well intentioned but misguided law in the making

        Or just any site which criticises the government.

        Or any site which has the *potential* to criticise the government

        Or any site which doesn't have a banner telling us how wonderful the government is.

        When things like this are discussed, people really need to remember that illegal and legal are simply words that apply to what the government of the day wants them to. It's not the government of today we need to worry about with these powers. It's the government of tomorrow.

  9. Mike Bell
    Thumb Down

    Fucking Ridiculous

    Most kids know how the internet works a lot better than do their parents. They will be hitting the On switch way before their parents see the option.

  10. hplasm

    If I don't opt in for smut-

    Will I only have to pay 1/1000 of the normal price for the full internet connection?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If I don't opt in for smut-

      Nope; you have to help subsidise the filtering system. Everybody gets screwed, though in this particular situation there is a list of people who won't be quite so grumpy about it.

      1. hplasm

        Re: If I don't opt in for smut-

        Well, at least it will put a stop to advertising it as 'Unlimited'...

        Yes, of course it will......

  11. Richard Rae

    At the same time lets

    Put the pill in water to stop teenage pregnancy

    Put Valium in the water to stop dangerous behaviour

    Put slimming tablets into fat food to counteract the fat effect

    Put insuling into all foods / pop to stop diabetese

    put chemo everywhere to stop cancer

    etc.... etc... etc....

    Seriously, parents and co need to take control here, not the government or the schools.

    You shagged without a contraception, you have a kid you TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS EDUCATION!

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: At the same time lets

      Richard Rae: "You shagged without a contraception, you have a kid you TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS EDUCATION!"

      More than happy to. If the government will let me.

    2. Smallbrainfield

      Re: At the same time lets

      "Insulin" "diabetes".

      Thinking of mentioning education in a post?

      Check your spelling, kids. ;)

    3. kissingthecarpet

      Re: At the same time lets

      You ever taken Valium?

      It doesn't "stop dangerous behaviour" - quite the opposite in my experience.

      Like the "speed in fattening food" idea though. Meth pizza - they'll sell a billion!

  12. ukgnome


    They want us to opt in!!!!

    WTF how about opt out?

    And for that matter, just what are the numb parents doing?

    Also is this going to stop kids (teens more than kiddies0 swapping porn DVDs at school?

    Torrents! don't get me started, or are they going to sample every single video and picture file ever received ?

    Maybe they will even unencrypt all those zip files full of whatever I keep receiving

    Never mind thinking of the children, Won't someone think of the practicalities?

    Bunch of Ass Hats

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: Sooo.....

      In, out... I don't know any more! Half the time when a politician opens their mouth and says 'opt-in' they mean opt-in to the filtering, and the other half they mean the filtering will be on by default and people will have to opt-in to the pornography. I'm sure this confusion is deliberate.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the government want to assume responsibility

    can we sue them if it goes wrong ?

    1. BorkedAgain

      Re: If the government want to assume responsibility

      Silly Anon! Confusing your "Responsible" with your "Accountable".

      Review the following. There may be a test:

  14. Pete 2 Silver badge

    An equal and opposite reaction

    It's hard to see how this will, in the long term, be anything other than a smokescreen. Assume for the sake of argument that the bill-payer in your household says "yes, filter me". How long will it take for workarounds to be developed, promoted and sold? Will there then be another law to make the circumvention of "active choice" illegal? [ This initiative sounds like it's capable of knocking "unlimited" off the top spot as the most abused word or phrase in internet parlance ]

    Who will decide which sites become subject to censorship "choice". If you only want to block nasty smut, but let "good" smut through, will there be a half-choice, or the possibility of choosing "choice" only after certain times?

    The biggest question though, is who will get to see what you've chosen. Will the information be made available to a police check? Will the register of choosers, or non-choosers be published for all to see? Can people who've chosen not to choose "choice" be employed to look after children? Will your employer, or prospective employer, get wind of your choices?

    It seems to me that until the details have been bedded-in and a few test cases run through the courts, the only sensible solution is to fall in line with the sheep, choose choice and quietly explore the chinks in the choices.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: An equal and opposite reaction

      I know who'll see: Your girlfriend when she comes round to visit and can't resist quickly testing. Your parents, when they do the same. Visiting friends. Actually, anyone who ever uses your internet connection. They need only try to visit to find out if you are a dirty perv worth gossiping about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The answer

        put restrictions in your router on all but one IP address. Like what I have done.

  15. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down

    Three reasons to say 'No'

    1. False positives - a website (or domain?) could disappear by accdeitn ro because of a grudge.

    2. Privacy - think about the significance of what you would be forced to shere with your ISP.

    3. Easy to bypass. I wondered how hard it would be to access Piret Bay, took me less than 60 seconds.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

      Re: Three reasons to say 'No'


      Now everyone please send a resounding 'no' to by filling in

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: Three reasons to say 'No'

        In some questions in that questionnaire it is difficult to say no, because there is no answer that allows it.

        Clearly the establishment is not keen on the idea that people will say no to more nannying.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Three reasons to say 'No'

      I agree. I had to authorise 'adult' services on my Virgin account in order to get to on-line clothing retailers selling 4XL Y-fronts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Three reasons to say 'No'

        Well, whatever floats your boat ;)

  16. Tom Chiverton 1 Silver badge

    Optional fail

    When I visit I see someone else's name and email address already filled in...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Optional fail

      Yep. Same thing. Visited and the page said "You are logged in as [redacted]"

      So, Data Protection breach in action from the people who want to run our internets - way to go!

      I assume most Reg readers are against this. However, even if 100% of them fill out the consultation, I imagine that some evangelical groups will mount a concerted campaign to skew the results

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Optional fail

      I have just responded:

      The first big fail was they email the password I had just created back to me. you know, in plaintext, good to see they understand security there!

      Second fail was the site would not work in Opera properly for form submision, so obviously is not W3C compliant, not such a surprise after (1).

      Then I do the web submission with FireFox it worked, but I find most of the questions are worded on the presumption that internet censorship is wanted, so how exactly do you like your gag?

      Maybe worth writing a separate email submission to point out the other fails that no question boxes exist for :(

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Optional fail

        I have sent some feedback about this to the DfE, when I get a few minutes I am going to write to my MP about both the policy and the consultation, but somehow given that he is a) a government minister and b) a self-confessed Christian I can't see it doing much good.

  17. BlueGreen

    Instead of moaning at stupidity, do something

    like going to the given link, clicking next at the bottom of the page and giving some feedback. Like 'No'.

    Bleating here won't change anything and you won't have to put yourselves literally at risk of death like they're doing in syria and so many other places. You've got democracy (or an approximation better exists in so many other places), use it or bloody well lose it.

    I'll do that this evening. I hope some of you join me.

    1. horsham_sparky

      Re: Instead of moaning at stupidity, do something

      Done.. no wonder people don't like consultation questions.. same question phrased 30 different ways!

    2. JP19

      Re: Instead of moaning at stupidity, do something

      Does it really take nine pages to put yourself on a new 'potential sex offender register' ?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the money...

    I wonder if the truth is that the online-smut providers are loosing money due to influx of "free" porn available?

    Those who are paying are most likely to don't give a damn about the opt-in but freetards will have to decide if it's time to start paying for it.

    Just cover it up with "protect-the-children" theme and who would object?

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: Follow the money...

      Worse than that. I actually work at a school, and I'm in a constant battle with the game sites - they make a lot of their money from students, so they are perpetually moving around to try to evade filters. You'll find identical sites under a hundred names, changing slightly - adding a number, adding a dash, moving from .com to .biz to obscure ones like .eu. Do you think it'd be any different with blocked porn? There'd be a tremendous market for still-living-at-home teenagers and men-who-don't-want-the-wife-to-know, and the same domain-hopping strategy that game sites use would work there too. The legitimate, trustworthy porn sites would all be blocked. The ones with decent security, paywall filters and nothing more than titilation on the front page. But the fly-by-nights, the ones with no limits to how low they will sink, will just move into their place. The ones full of spyware and exploits, that lure the stupid into giving credit card information to use in fraud.

  19. Jemma

    The joys of pseudo-science...

    Isnt it wonderful how the people in charge always seem to be the ultimate prudes?

    Isnt it great how in 1945 our government causes the death of a genius because he's gay, and in 2005 destroys a career because a 15 year old girl STRAIGHT OUT admits she seduced her teacher - the teacher is still punished.

    Its interesting the choice of words used to describe those who find children sexual objects - paedophile, from paedo & philos. The meaning of the first is a blanket term for a child of either gender or referring to such, for example paidomenos, a Spartan term. Which is all well and good - except its utterly wrong and incorrect. The meaning of 'philos' is marital, familial love and the bonds of friendship in the sense of relationships, NOT sexuality of any description. That comes under the auspices of 'Eros' from where we get the term erotica. This is the same sort of pseudo science that was brought into play with eugenics in Germany (for which you can actually blame an American), and the non religious side of the argument about the legality & rights of LGBT people. But hey, a traditions a tradition, lets go put a 14 year old on the sex offenders register for consensual acts between himself and someone of the same age (yes its usually the male getting the kicking here) - while its perfectly ok under British Law to commit incest provided that the two people concerned haven't been brought up together in the same family (look it up, its true!).

    Isnt it wonderful that my 8 year old niece, were she to be terminally ill, could, under Gillett Competency, point blank refuse treatment - yet shes proscribed and controlled about her own sexuality - until 00:00 on her 16th birthday... and even then - information that she needs to know is not given to her, the lack of which that on more than one occasion has been behind teenage suicides.

    I have dated some odd people in my life. I know some that are even weirder. I dont mind what anyone does so long as its consensual. If you are like me, you would find it strange that I can sit in a hospital with a terminal disease and refuse treatment, which is fine. But should I wish, like some people, to end their lives during a loving and consensual act - the government and police and all the rest of them throw a fit! The result is precisely the same (admittedly probably with a bit more splatter in the one case), yet I have the right to control my own body in one situation, and not in the other.

    What century are we in with the world governments?

    More to the point why do they think they have the right to do any of this, when we have at no point voted on whether we want to have 'Mad Maxine' Widdecombe peering over our shoulders? The image of William Hague peering in at my window *shudder* its enough to turn me celibate!

    Sexuality is not and should never be the business of government. It hasnt been since somewhere in the 14th century. Its called human rights people.

    Governments, the best you can manage with megaupload has been a fiasco that rivals all the great fubars of history. It ranks right up there with the First Afghan War, Custer, Arnhem. Misguided, mis aimed poorly planned and the execution was horrendous (in both senses of the phrase).

    How is that Governments cannot control banks, finance, the maintenance of peace, energy policy - they cannot even manage to have the backbone to blame the people concerned for terrorist events, instead they have to go look for someone else to blame - you know the ones, the ones they spent the last 30 years selling arms to...

    And you actually want to trust governments monitoring your sexuality and telling you when and where and how, because they still think its the 1350's and they're starring in a re-run of the Spanish Inquisition?

    1. Tom 38

      Re: The joys of pseudo-science...

      I'm sorry, but a teacher should have had the moral will and intelligence to not abuse his position and allow himself to be seduced by a 15 yr old girl. It's about the only golden rule in teaching - don't fuck the kids.

      1. Jemma

        Re: The joys of pseudo-science...

        To clarify a few points.

        1. The teacher concerned was female.

        2. The girl concerned, who cannot be named for legal reasons and so on, flat out stated to the court that she was the one who pushed for the situation to happen - and the court was perfectly happy with her turning around and saying that she would go and live with the other party whatever happened as lesbian partners - and this remember was a girl of 15... who amazingly enough through the whole palaver got nothing more than a minor telling off by the judge on the basis of the wonderful legal assumption that - since people under 16 arent sexual, and therefore cannot, by their nature seduce another person whatsoever, she could not have done it and therefore there was no provision for it in the law for her having done it, therefore perforce she wasnt guilty.

        Dont make the assumption either that kids dont know what precisely is going on well before 15. My ex-s 4 year old girl sat perfectly calmly, in church, and when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up waited until everyone in the place was on tenterhooks and then stated loudly, succinctly and with perfect diction "I wanna be a lesbian when I grow up" at which point all Christianity broke loose and those who werent professional Godbotherers fell about in hysterical laughter. I had a classic Humber when she was born, and within 18 months she could identify it by sight, and could recognize other cars enough to discern cars of the same period - she also gave a very dirty look when I inherited a Renault 5 and sold the Humber, at which point she was under 2 years old. Then we wonder why kids are so apathetic and disconnected and twisted up? how do we fix it... I will let Mel Brooks answer that...

        We confiscated their X-Boxes

        We've curfewed their ass

        Bring in the Lithium...

        Lets dose the whole class...

        3. This was the kicker for me and alot of other people however. summing up the case the courtdrone concerned was perfectly happy with the evidence the girl had given, and with the fact that she had indeed been the one who overstepped her mark. He was perfectly happy with the fact that she fully intended to continue a lesbian relationship with the other person concerned... but he was still going to punish the teacher, on the basis that he DIDN'T HAVE ANY OTHER CHOICE.

        I don't know about you - but that last sentence makes me more than a little bit uncomfortable. You killed a guy in self defense, witnesses say it was in self defense, but its murder so I am going to have to hang you anyway because I don't have any other options - hard luck mate. Is *that* how you want our already laughable legal system to work? If we give those who dispense the law no room for maneuver and come up with the stupidest laws imaginable and try and enforce them - then we might as well in this case shoot every British Citizen (except minorities because that would be racial stereotyping) between the ages of 5 & 16 and let God (or pitchforks and pointy ears) sort it out. Seriously do some of you people listen to yourselves or think things through before you post rabid support on Twatter?

        You have to remember, that this is a 'foot in the door' gambit. Cool, everyone agrees that its fine to pour the Justice Departments record into SQL while robed civil servants intone 'We are Paedogeddon, the destroyer of lives'. I very much doubt they'll be so keen on the same bunch of numpties in 5 years time doing the same thing but invoking 'parking-ticket-geddon' - notwithstanding the fact that they'd probably have to drag Steve Jobs back to face court on that... thats the fanbois in an incandescent fury for a start.

        Do we stop people reading All Quiet on the Western Front because people get a facefull of .303? Are we going to ban War and Peace because some french berk who should have known better gets a couple of pounds of Canister Shot in the nads?

        Do we turn into weebling masses of offended fury when some twi'lek brunette gets chewed up by a Conservative Party throwback? or when a preteen gets into a vomit yellow hotrod fighter and wipes out a whole fleet single handed (notwithstanding the fact that our credulity by this point has so many kinks in it it could probably qualify for disability payments)? People die, Jar Jar Binks exists - life is not fair...

        Although I have to admit - banning the Pandorica episodes on Dr Who should be instigated immediately - on the basis that its traumatised to the point of PTSD a whole population of fans that they thought they'd got rid of the Floppy Faggot and Amy 'Telescopes make stars big, who knew' Pond. Seriously, that girls a biological weapon in her own right - stupidity personified.

        When I was a kid, I starred in a play, called if I remember, The Painters..

        adapted for the current conversation the basis of it was this (taken from works about the Nazi era of Germany)...

        They came for the Paedophiles and lo I worried not and was unconcerned

        They came too for the necrophiles and the zoophiles, and still I sat and watched reruns of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet on Freeview

        They came for the aculophiles and I carried on regardless

        Finally, after all the freaks and weirdos, they knocked down my door,

        And lo, I scrabbled for my car keys and said 'bugger'

        wherein the big copper, who looked a little like Ray Doyle said

        "where you're going mate, thats not a swearword, its a forecast"

        and I was no longer unconcerned...

        1. Tom 38

          Re: The joys of pseudo-science...

          Male, female, its irrelevant. You teacher. No spanky spanky pupil. No exceptions.

          Please do again compare being punished for statutory rape with the holocaust.

          1. Jemma

            Re: The joys of pseudo-science...

            *veep* *veep* *veep*

            We've a priority one point missed alert down here, give us a few seconds to lock it down, really highly dangerous.


            I despair of some people. The whole point of that was that when the Nazi's came for the Jews - most people did sweet sod all (including I might add, most foreign governments including the UK, even when they knew about the camps). The worst of it is, that there is some evidence, that the general consensus before it *all* came out that the Germans had got there first thats all... some historians say that the reason the Nuremberg trials were held where they were and were so high and mighty and to some extent legally dubious was the fact that the other western governments didnt want their citizenship to start thinking too hard about that particular subject.

            Why, because they were, for whatever spurious reason, the easiest target and the most reviled, through I have to be blunt some fault of their own (you think the 'peoples front of Judea, crack suicide squad' was a joke... think again - it has a basis in fact, albeit a grisly one which happened both in the Bible & in York, England of all places). There is turning the other cheek, and there is turning the other self inflicted massacre but I digress.

            The point I was trying to make that you will get very little whingeing on the part of the mindless minority, aka News Corp readers, if you start going after paedos and terrorists. That is what is termed, in the mind of the lesser spotted room temperature, a good thing.

            The problem is once a law is in place it makes it much easier to massage it to include other 'undesirables'. Dont like LGBT, massage the law. Dont like how all the Poles are coming over here and nicking our jobs, massage the law. Have a strange unaccountable liking for blond hair blue eyes and a fetish for black uniforms and machinengewehr 42s? join the Berlin Historical Re-enactment society.

            Is my point coming across yet.

            This idea of default censorship is dangerous for that reason, and for other reasons, at least one that has been brought up regarding information about transgender and intersex conditions, Bondage Is Your Friend (Just Dont Tell Your Boss), And 1000 Other Things A Boy Should Know.

            With things like bondage, as with nuclear physics, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Witness Windscale & the numerous cases of autoerotic strangulation in young people (they call it suicide, after all you would wouldnt you...) but even doctors in court have testified to various young people in flagrante delecto with a telephone cord or some baler twine round their necks (DONT try that at home kids).

            I have an ex who freely admits she spent her time between the ages of 11 & 15 experimenting with the family dog between modelling assignments. So what, shes open minded (admittedly shes so open minded that if kinks were air she could provide enough CFM to run a Wright Cyclone), so long as its harming no one, wheres the issue. And trust me as a farmers daughter whos been around dogs (in the normal human sense) her entire life - if a dog dont wanna do it, it wont, and if you force the issue pain will result.

            Paedos and terrorists are todays foot in the door. Jews, LGBT, gypsys/diddakoi were the flavour du jour 70 years ago. The connection the have is clear and simple, even for a News Corp drone. They are the easy target to go for, to make the harder target (i.e. Mr & Mrs Average & more importantly their kids) that much easier in the fullness of time.

            If you like space, think of the terrorists as the Gemini missions and Mr & Mrs average as the moon landing - you cant censor one without the other. Ironic too, since Werner Von Braun, a member of the SS ran NASA...

            I go, I come back..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The joys of pseudo-science...

        15 yo is illegal in the UK, true, but legal elsewhere in Europe (France or Greece 15, Italy, Hungry 14, etc).

        This is not paedophilia (in the strict sense, i.e. not pre-pubescent) so why not rule based on any evidence of exploitation by the teacher, and less on the letter of the law on statute rape?

      3. kissingthecarpet

        Re: The joys of pseudo-science...

        What are you sorry about?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Bunch of Wa.....

    Is there any modern Browser that doesn't already provide this filtering?

    It's all down to parents who are too damn lazey or stupid to RTFM!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My phone's had unfiltered net access (Vodaphone) since I discovered that I couldn't use the location search on a pub chain's website. I'd imagine that they'll be surprised how many people want 'porn'.

    1. Suricou Raven

      I had mine unblocked so I could access my own artwork. The gallery site I use also hosts adult artwork on the same server.

      1. Sooty

        Mine was unblocked so that I could buy a bottle of scotch from a distillery. If its definition of an adult site is anything like the teleco's, every connection in the country is going to end up unblocked.

  22. Tom 35

    Once they can filter everyone

    and not just the few that sign up for a filtered service, they can add filtering for "stuff we don't like" with no opt-out option.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tick here, here, here, and here

    if you want to access torrents click on the link provided by our media watchguard partners.

    if you want to download certain books listed under "terrorism" tick here and enter your postcode. Please stay online and do not refresh this screen, further information is being downloaded / uploaded.

    if you want to upload / download / view / listen to video and audio materials listed under the above (see above), tick all the boxed available, and provide a DNA sample through this 1-2-3 easy steps website

    if you want to commit any other act of terrorism (see terms and conditions, p 112043 - 782099 , please tick all the boxes, save your work, kiss your wife / husband / children goodbye and unlock the door. Alternatively, go outside and wait patiently, help is already on the way.

    1. mitch 4

      Session ID


      Might want to remove the session ID from the link, since the Govt do a terrible job of closing sessions out, I can go in and have a peek at your existing reply and fill it in "posing" as the last person who clicked the link.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you fill in the consultation, may I suggest...

    ... include a comment along the lines of -

    At the next election, I will be voting against any candidates on record as favouring this or any similar initiative.

  25. That Steve Guy

    What is wrong with opting in to censorship if you want it?

    Don't want to recieve all the internet has to offer to protect your little ones? Fine YOU go and opt out then! If you want to opt in to a censored internet thats your choice.

    Let the rest of us carry on without being put on a "perv list" that could be used against you in employment applications and other aspects of your life.

    1. Not Fred31

      Re: What is wrong with opting in to censorship if you want it?

      This is wrong, for starters -

  26. yossarianuk


    Tor will still access the 'entire' internet' no matter what they do.

    Its fucking crazy that the government is happy to make families (including children) homeless and starve to death but goes spastically mental at the thought of children looking at porn ......

    I wonder if they will also block the Tor website due to it being 'dangerous' - Oh and wikileaks, etc

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a farce anyway

    Q10a Would you like a system which automatically blocks harmful content

    Q10b Would you like a system which determined what content to block based on your responses to some questions

    and then

    Q11 Do you think systems like this should be in place for all internet connections and households, or just for those with children?

    -All households

    -Just households with children

    Notice this PRESUPPOSES you have chosen Yes to either 10a or 10b

    Things a farce.

    1. auburnman
      Thumb Down

      Re: It's a farce anyway

      I particularly liked

      "10 A) A system in which some internet content (for example, pornography) is automatically blocked for you by your internet service provider or by the smartphone or other device you use to access the internet and you can later ask them to remove the filters if you want to access the blocked websites. Yes / No"


      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: It's a farce anyway

        there were a few of the 'statement as a question' things in there.

        As well as the skewed questions that only allow an answer in favour of one or other of the things you don't want.

        I suggest downloading the doc version and editing (as I did) the questions to make sense and to include answers that are sensible and then explaining in the comments how you had to add options to make the question balanced otherwise it is no better than a Dianetics questionnaire.

        All consultations are like this and are horrible things to try and respond to. They are designed to get the results the proposer desires.

  28. Steve the Cynic


    So it already works well for mobiles, eh?


    This particular shipload of FAIL happened over here in France... I moved in, and got a pay as you go type SIM from SFR (Vodafone's French brother). That one was OK, so when my wife arrived, we got her one, and me (for various reasons too complicated to discuss here) another. These two, however, came with a serious limitation: parental access controls for the Internet, turned on by default... Even then I might not have noticed, except that they blocked access to the server used by the Google Maps app on the Winmob-based Samsung i900s we were using...

    OK, said I, I'll get it unblocked. That, apparently, involved scribbles on pieces of mashed-up dead tree, and seemed entirely too much trouble. A change of provider followed, and FT/Orange, when asked, said that yes they have such a filter available, but no they wouldn't activate it for us as we are both grown-ups (and have no children...).

  29. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I like the idea!

    Why stop at porn? I'd love to opt out of all party political sites too.

    LOL - like this plan will ever work!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "like this plan will ever work!"

      It doesn't have to work for everyone to suffer from it. Who is going to pay for a massive filtering and perv registration mechanism? Hint: either your ISP will charge you more to cover their costs, or your taxes will subsidise it.

      You don't have to care about filtering or porn; you're still going to get stuffed.

    2. hplasm

      Re: I like the idea!

      Party political sites should be banned anyway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like the idea!

        As should all political parties!

  30. leon clarke

    That is an apalling consultation

    Even by the usual standards of our beloved civil service.

    It makes no attempt to listen to people who aren't parents or ISPs (e.g. ordinary people who want a reliable cheap internet connection and fear this might break that).

    It obviously never mentions either false positives or false negatives, but I wouldn't expect it to.

    There's some stuff about self regulation at the back, which makes me think that they're hoping they can'solve the problem through self regulation'. This has the advantage that not all ISPs will sign up, but the disadvantage that the entire scheme will be designed to be cheap rather than effective or reliable, and it'd be harder to blame the government when it fails.

  31. Not Fred31

    Kelly, you can do better than this!

    "Google, which undoubtedly makes plenty of cash from porn sites, has previously warned against such a heavy-handed approach to filtering content over ISP networks in the UK."

    How about Google, who has vast experience of Internet restrictions in China?

  32. Alex Walsh

    Bad news for sites like B3ta that definitely aren't porn but still got caught by O2's adult content filter. Who wants to bet that there will be an "admin" fee to remove a "porn" block?

  33. ACx

    So, if I as a parent no longer have responsibility for my kids on the web, who then can I sue when one of them sees a picture I decide is porn?

    Presumably almost every parent will assume that the net is suddenly safe. IMHO is is so much worse assuming safety and getting stung than assuming no safety and acting accordingly. These idiots in government bang on about responsibility, but when it suits them they say we are not competent enough.

    Anyway, I suspect that once enough MP's, particularly Tory MP's, realise they will have to be registered as a pervert to access their porn, the legislation will drop or be reversed.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orwell's 1984 comes to life

    •"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed--would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper--the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."

    - George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1


    If there was ever a time when the right to vote or hold elected office needed to be changed, this is it.

    We need Worldwide voting requirements that include an IQ test, reading comprehension and vocabulary testing as well as an "Oath of Personal Responsibility" that limits the ability of any and all governments and their agencies to create "Nanny" legislation of any kind.

    This may be the only way to avoid the undue and adverse influence of the stupid and religiously handicapped.

    1. Jemma

      Re: Orwell's 1984 comes to life

      Its been alive for years - ever since iOS and Android, not to mention Facebook started stealing and spaffing peoples private information all over the web...

      I said it before and I will say it again now...

      The really amazing thing is that we did it to ourselves - not 'democracy' - not dictators - we did it to ourselves*

      * with the not inconsequential help of a self confessed drug addict, control freak and tightass; two chinless wonders; and a self aggrandised greedy amoral ASD gimp** who is so disconnected that he cant even manage an ATM machine without a tantrum and an office training course..

      **Be aware before you howl, I am on the autism spectrum myself, and can say things like that, and can also say that the individual concerned and what he has done in the world makes him somewhat akin to the Reinhard Heydrich (look him up) of Autistic people everywhere.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For every "measure" technical people will find a way around it...

    When will the "powers that be who aren't technically literate" consider that most people will just use VPN's and that their use is getting easier and easier. We have several as my work involves connecting to USA and Canada. Even my youngest child has worked out that you can use these to get around geolocation rules setup by certain sites. He's not even 10.

    I supervise my children online. I don't have proxies or anything like that but disallow them installing ActiveX or applications and keep an eye on which sites they are going to and educating them on the darker sides of the Internet.

    I certainly wouldn't block them from sexual fetish sites, forums, chat rooms, sources if information as teenage-hood is a very difficult time and certainly by being open and accepting of anything from my children I can be as supportive too.

    The "think of the children" adults are simply prudes who don't want to talk to their children about their sexuality and that is more dangerous than the porn that is being blocked.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is great

    Can there be categories? There's prob heaps of Tory occasional novelists that can help ;)

  37. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    So basically grab all the smut you need and store it in TrueCrypt containers for a, ahem, prosperity's sake you understand!

  38. This post has been deleted by its author

  39. EdiC

    It's an even worse consultation...

    I registered, clicked to fill out the form, and was shown someone else's answers. If they can't even keep their consultation site secure and reliable, how can they be trusted to enforce any sort of system like this?

    On the flip side, as the answers they helpfully provided were broadly in line with my own, maybe it saves me the bother of filling the form out myself...

  40. 4.1.3_U1*

    Surely one could just filter out a few bits of Usenet that were deemed inappropriate...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blocking harmful sites?

    OK, so will they block these sites, known to cause irreparable harm:

    I can go on.

    Sorry, thumpers: you have what YOU consider "harmful", and I have what *I* consider "harmful".

  42. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother


    reading through a few of the comments, you all seem to have missed the important point of this whole porn/smut/blocking/censoring bollocks.

    The cost of it will fall on the ISPs(and us) and it lets certain politicians appear in the media saying that they are going to do something about an issue only certain classes of voter care about.

    Sadly those voters are the floating voters in the 50 or so seats that actually decide a general election.

    Plus it makes for very newsworthy headlines in the media to hide what a f*** up they've made of running the rest of the country.

    And then the media get hold of the case of a 15 yr old boy with a lump on his testicles, and is too ashamed to goto his doc/speak to his parents and uses a web search to find out more informat oh he cant

  43. Hilibnist

    There's lots to worry about but... thing which springs to mind is what the press will make of the list of unrestricted accounts when it inevitably slips into the public domain. "Look... this MP has children, but still checked the box to view porn. What a filthy pervert/irresponsible parent/disgusting excuse for a person..."

    I'm sure somebody previously referred to Alan Partridge calling reception at the Travel Tavern and asking "can you make porn come on my TV..." It's exactly the same thing. Obviously.

  44. Christoph

    Excellent idea

    Can we also have a public register of everyone who buys red-top newspapers with pictures of topless women? Obviously the government must act against the filthy pornographers who publish and sell those. Register every customer of every newsagent.

    When is Murdoch going to start a campaign to have this done? Oh, wait ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Excellent idea

      @Christoph. Agree, I personally find those topless images offensive and stereotyping - keeping a register of those with such poor taste in representations of the female form is indeed fully consistent with the ill thought out reasoning about a need for nline censorship at the ISP. Not the most harmful influence on children out there but not something I'd like mine to be exposed to.

      Which leads into the problem that if the rationale for ISP filtering is to make the internet safe, the implication is that material that is not censored is suitable for children, e.g. for the viewing pleasure of a five year old. Violence, nudity, gambling, crude use of language: taken to its conclusion the register (bad language and suggestive smut), sun online, full wikipedia etc. etc. all will need adult opt-in. Who makes these choices in some centralized ISP managed system, who or what are they accountable to. I'm sure most parents are responsible enough to not want 'fuck off David Cameron' messages being flashed at the eyes of their children, however much they may agree with the sentiment.

      Even if we limit attention to visual sexual 'porn', where do we start. Do we say all partial nudity, nudity, implied or see through nudity is a no no. In some cultures and world views that would be no brainer. Or does someone in BT, Whitehall or the high court make the call that one nipple not two is ok for everybody? What kind of world is that? Or is porn defined as explicity genitals or bonking. Questions like is it art or porn, the old obscenity laws? A state that attempts to define and enforce an opinion has gone way beyond any notion of individual freedom. Leaving it to the whim of big business ISPs without accountabilty goes even further.

      Its not difficult to apply parental controls on PCs on a user specific, device specific basis. Far better for government to encourage technical and usablity improvements in these parental control options and do more to educate, e.g. in the home school relationship.

      Bullying is never pleasant whether by twisted individuals or government and combined with the lies, ignorance and incompetance manifest in this consultation, makes for an iconic example of bad government using 'the big lie'.

  45. Piloti

    I now know this will happen......

    This is a very loaded consultation.

    At one point the question reads "should access to restricted sites be bloack... A in all house holds, or B, in houses with childred."

    THere is no option to say "why the fuck should the rest of us suffer, having to fill in all sorts of opt in forms etc, just becuase a bunch of thick arse parents can't keep control of their children".

    Now, I know somebody reading this may say @where is the connection between kids seeing porn and 'thick parents' but, it is my belief that it is, 100% the responsibility of parents to look after their kids, make sure they do not go to sites where there is porn.

    HOw: well, make sure the kids don't have a pc in their bedroom for example, don't buy them a damned pricey smartphone, and make them do their bloody home work, wash the car and get out at the weekends, not sitting in front of a screen looking at Juicey Jugs.

    1. M Gale

      Re: I now know this will happen......

      THere is no option to say "why the fuck should the rest of us suffer, having to fill in all sorts of opt in forms etc, just becuase a bunch of thick arse parents can't keep control of their children".

      There is, under the "Other (please specify)" options.

      In the handy text boxes, my answers were all variations on "if I wanted a firewall wrapping around the entire country, I'd move to China. Or maybe Iran."

      Those worried about the consultation being used to put difficult people on a watchlist, I have this to say:

      If you're not on a watchlist, you're not doing it right.

      1. kissingthecarpet

        Re:Re: I now know this will happen......

        @M Gale "If you're not on a watchlist, you're not doing it right."

        Fucking right.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I now know this will happen......

      @Piloti. Good point about the tv in bedroom deal. Its adopting simple rules like keep the family computers in open areas of the house does a lot more to avoid unsuitable encounters and behaviour than any bossy legislation could. Thats the kind of message MPs should be trying to get out via the gutter press.

  46. Anonymous Coward

    The form is addled

    Half way through filling in the nine pages of the form, I started getting pages where the boxes were pre-filled. And from the tone of the comments, I'm pretty sure they weren't pre-filled by the DfE. Going back to the start, I found that I was now logged in as someone else - and could see their email address.

    Even worse, it 'submitted' and locked my submission against my name against my will. I will be filing a DPA request to dissociate my name from the things I didn't even write.

    Can't manage cookies... not much chance of managing a filter very well. [Ok; that's a cheap jibe, given that they want ISPs to do the latter.. but still ...]

    1. mangobrain
      Black Helicopters

      Re: The form is addled

      The form is addled because you are logged in as someone else. Is your Twitter account @apmapmapm? If so, I logged in as you at one point. Might want to change your password.

      I am deadly serious.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The form is addled

        Hm. Ok. Good point on twitter. Done. But the DfE form is definitely screwed up all by itself.

  47. mangobrain

    Security farce

    If you don't have an account with the DfE already, DO NOT MAKE ONE. I have clicked through to the consultation link TWICE now, and ended up logged in as TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE (hint: neither of them was me). It is possible to view people's account details.

    Get in touch with them NOW and demand an explanation. This is appalling.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Security farce

      What with El Reg being tech-related, and a red-top, I'm sure it would be in their interest to highlight this incompetence in their own particular style.

      Oh go on, Team Reg. Kick up a stink.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm actually thinking about going round my town and replacing the flags of the Union Jack with those of North Korea or China.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I don't have kids, I pay for every other cnuts little runts and now by default they want to block all porn on the basis of pretecting children who aint fraggin here.

    Seriously don't come between a man and his porn - I may be foreced to use prostutes now becasue of this.

    Usless bunch of .

  50. Gordon 11

    Can we trust the results at all?

    I started to comlete the form.

    After about page 3 I noticed that some answers seemed to have been pre-selected, or comments added, that were nothing to do with me.

    By page 9 I realized that this was because I was no longer logged in as me!. I was completing someone else's form!

    So, if you are J... Railton you might like to check that what you submitted was what you typed.

    The D-for E have had a comment sent to them...

    1. Gordon 11

      Re: Can we trust the results at all?

      Ah - seems the other party has been seeing the same in reverse...

      According to the website I have submitted a response (which I have not) but it does start with:

      I am not user 'Gordon ....'- this website is screwed up and is crossing over identities and responses.

      Perhaps the D for Ed needs to Educating?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Can we trust the results at all?

        I particularly like question 23 that says:

        "Any responses to this question will be treated in strict commercial confidence"

        And seems to have the reply:

        "Why has the name I logged in as change mid-session? This website is broken. ^^^PREFILLED AND LEAVING IT"

        Such that it's already been disclosed to at least two other people whilst I was filling it out...

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can we trust the results at all?

      Yep, glad I only gave them my 'spare' email address.

      Bloody farce that site. The Reg needs to wade in and give them some hassle about it.

      I've seen two different identities come up (neither of them me) whilst filling it in and then seen my 'finally submitted' answers changed after I submitted them.

  51. Wolfclaw

    Government Censorship

    Once they are finished with porn, how long before they cast the net further and we end up like China, Iran and North Korea. Just another backdoor surveillance project, GCHQ must be jerking the turkey over the thought of more power and fun.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Absolute farce from start to end

    Trying to give my views and keep being told I'm either logged in as someone else, or shows me someone else's responses! As someone else's responses are showing, how can I be sure what I've put even gets to them?

    My experience of internet filtering is quite simple after just changing mobile network - GiffGaff needed proof I was over 18 by providing Credit Card or Driving Licence details, except they were having technical problems which meant it took them over a week to process my request to remove adult filtering.. a week of paying for a service I couldn't access fully and as a grown, consenting adult, not being able to fully access the internet.

    My way round it was quite simple.. I went on Android Market and downloaded the Tor app which within 5 minutes gave me full internet access on my mobile, to sites which were previously restricted by the network provider.

    The whole thing is a political game by the Government to make it look like they're doing something wonderful to protect the children, but it gives a completely false sense of security to parents and worse, gives them reason to think that the whole matter is out of their hands with no need to take responsibility for what their children do on the internet.

  53. IronMaiden65

    Internet filtering

    SImple really, Use OpenDNS filters all your DNS requests and you can block most any options or combinations. Also has the benefit or blocking access to malware sites.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've filled it in with a general idea of 'get out my house you trespassing nanny state bastards'

  55. This post has been deleted by its author

  56. Jedit Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "Opt in for smut" is already here

    I already have an "opt in for smut" function built into my browser. If I do not want to view smut on the internet, all I have to do is not click on smut links.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consultation site is down

    Went to fill in my views but the site is down - are they going to extend the 10 weeks or let the site come back on the final day?

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    50 shades of gray

    Can that book be blocked and banned as well? Not always just about smutty pictures, and the internet is not the only place kids can get filth from...

    If it does got though then I can see a new generation of boys discovering the thrill of leaving though Grattan catalogues

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and finally

    Sad thing is can hear a more reasoned discussion about how to protect children from unsuitable material during a cup of tea break from performing during a porn shoot than that Claire Perry lot came up with.

    (Anon for obvious reasons)

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The government closed its consultation "for maintenance", so here goes:

    Let's be clear: Children are important. Without children we'd go extinct in a few short years, and the lizard part of our brains is firmly opposed to that. So important are children that most people get a tad irrational when discussing the dangers facing children, down to getting hung up on "potential dangers" and other such vagaries. Possibly because various parties keep on harping about things that might go wrong without much actually going wrong so there's not much to go on.

    Take the numbers prefacing this consultation. What, really, do they mean?

    Why is bullying "on the internet" any different from bullying elsewhere, like by "texting"? It's exactly this demographic that texts the most, don't you know. But these numbers aren't picked to highlight socialising, they're picked to scare parents into irrationality.

    What is "potentially harmful user generated content", and why is the 14-16 year old girls demographic singled out? Aren't children of that age the busiest with growing into adults? Why then won't you let them grow up?

    Why haven't parents told their children that the world isn't teletubbyland and that people lie, cheat, and do everything else people do? Why have the parents of a full third of 12-15 year olds failed to instill their children with a sound understanding that what the internet says is only that, and might not be true? There's also (quasi-)government-sponsored studies on the internet aplenty, don't you know.

    So I have to say this to you, esteemed government, and to all parents who let their children on the internet: The internet is a world-wide place, and any device giving access to it is a window on the world.

    If you don't let your children go out on their own, you don't let them on the internet unsupervised. This means exactly that the computer used to entertain and do homework and such does not belong in the bedroom, but it belongs in a common room where adults are around to keep an eye on things. Until the children grow up, of course, as they eventually must.

    You can't go and censor the internet for all of us just because of the children. If you do that, you treat everyone as immature and then there are no adults left to guide children into growing up.

    Who's going to guide a country full of immature people of all ages? The government? I wish they'd grow up themselves. Instead we see legislation proposed that redefines "opt-in" from "you have to sign up to be part of it", the usual definition, to "you have to speak up to not be part of it", which then is twisted such that you paint yourself a pervert to be left somewhat alone, for a while.

    This is not honest, transparent, good governance. It's backhanded and immature. This isn't surprising as the drive behind these proposals boil down to a refusal of pressure groups of supposed parents to take their responsibility as parents seriously, and instead clamour for the government to "do something". So it proposed to do this. Well, we must not do this, for it is stupid. Are you in favour of short-sighted stupidity? Minister? MP? Just to tide you over to the next election maybe?

  61. auburnman

    As a lighter aside to the impending Big Brother state, I theorize that if more young un's looked at internet porn, we'd have a lot less teenage pregnancy than we currently do. Seeing some of the greasy, hairy, tattooed proto-humans rutting away on the web can put you off the idea of sex for days. And the men are almost as bad (boom boom!)

    In my day, just before the internet got properly on it's feet, getting your porn was a rite of passage: you had to go into the corner shop, wander around the crisp aisle until there were no other customers, snag-a-mag and look the old lady on the counter straight in the space just to the left of her eyes as you paid and make (what you thought was) a dignified exit at a steady pace (but was in fact a nervous near-run.)

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