back to article Culture Sec: You - Google. Where's the off switch for all this filth?

The UK government wants the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft to do more to stop child-abuse images, hate speech and other offensive material appearing on their websites. Culture Secretary Maria Miller has summoned a number of mobile, web and telecoms companies to a meeting to discuss how the tech titans can halt the …


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  1. Frankee Llonnygog

    Next thing ...

    ... the Gov will use this technology to filter out web content that's unfavourable to them. In fact, xxxx xxx xxx xxxx x xxxxx xx xxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Safer? It has to say I've not once been punched in the face while on the computer at home or hit over the head with a metal bar, both things that have happened while I've been outside.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Why aren't knife makers doing more to ensure their knives are' used illegally?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Too close to home

        "Why aren't knife makers doing more to ensure their knives are' used illegally?"

        I assume you say that facetiously, but with one simple substitution it becomes something that is said quite regularly with a straight face.

      2. Yet Another Commentard


        And lens grinders, all those lenses in the cameras that take the images, and on the faces of some of those that look at them. Ban 'em all. (unless they donate to [insert any colour] party funds.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Where's the off switch?

    On your PC - where is should be and always has been

    1. Curly4

      Re: Where's the off switch?

      But the switch on one's own computer dose not stop others form viewing it. What is wanted is a way to prevent anybody from viewing (child) porn. But murder has tried to be stopped every man became civilized(?) but murder still happens!

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: But the switch on one's own computer dose not stop others form viewing it

        Yes, isn't that always the case? Somebody always wants someone else (including Someone Else) to stop doing something they don't like.

  4. Fuzz

    other offensive material

    I'm worried by the scope of this new drive. I think it's important to differentiate between material that is offensive and material that is illegal. I don't like the fact that the two seem to be being treated with the same brush.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: other offensive material


      And "offensive" is very subjective. I find David Cameron's face very offensive, and probably many others do, but that doesn't mean it should be filtered.

      There are so many other problems to fix with this country, shouldn't the time be spent on that and also dealing with the source of illegal material rather than just filtering it and pretending the problem isn't there?

      1. ratfox

        Re: other offensive material

        In that matter, I always love it when child porn and copyright theft are mentioned in the same sentence… if you try to fight for fair use rights, it means you are "siding with pedophiles".

        I wish people had not used this trick, but they have.

    2. Old Handle

      Re: other offensive material

      On the other hand, what is illegal can be pretty darn subjective two. And remember, IWF already has ISPs block "potentially illegal" images.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    Vicious and futile censorship.

    If they want to stop Porn, Paedo Images, Snuff etc it is very easy. All they have to do is turn of the Internet.

    It seems sometimes that the ministers et all, want nothing more than to turn the web into a Shopping Mall.

  6. Ian 62

    Illegal content is already illegal

    If its abusive, harmful, obscene or illegal, then it's already... Illegal, use the appropriate court proceedings to remove it.

    Existing laws already cover the content they want removed, so use the existing laws.

    But they dont *want that*. No, they want a nice 'off the books' list of content they want removed.

    A sit down lunch with a nice bottle or two, all on expenses old chap, here's this weeks list, see what you can do eh? Tax? say no more about it what what? Retirment soon? Lordship for you, Non-Exec for me, eh? Jolly good.

    If its on the statute books it'll require oversight, judges, courts, appeals. And we'll know when they block a site they shouldnt have. But if its done behind closed doors, if they get caught "oops, sorry mistake by the ISP". If they dont get caught.. It's all gravy.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Image blocks are already secret

      Your ISP is required to subscribe to the Internet Watch Foundation's block list. They pass that cost on to you. The IWF decide what you are and are not allowed to see. When they block something, they do not inform the owner of the web site. Your ISP does not substitute objectionable content with 'Censored by the IWF'. The only clue you get is some HTML error message implying the website owner does not know how to configure a web server.

      Increasing internet access correlates with a decrease in sex crimes. I would rather have perverts jerking off with pictures in their own homes than going out to find a real child. As for offensive content, trolls can try to give offence, but no-one is forced to take it.

      All I can say is: Maria Miller is doubleplusgood duckspeaker. Thinkpol do not need to send me to a joyfarm. I doublethink blackwhite. Minitrue prevents crimethink and sexcrime. Please do not make me an unperson.

      1. Lockwood

        Re: Image blocks are already secret

        Kroes newspeak ungood refs oldspeak "do not need" rewrite "unneed".

        Remove ununperson request.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Image blocks are already secret

        "Increasing internet access correlates with a decrease in sex crimes. " however, people who view child porn become more likely to commit child sex offenses (this has been proven beyond simple correlation).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 12:38

          "proven beyond simple correlation"

          Citation required, or did you just make it up?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC 12:38

            "Citation required, or did you just make it up?" Fair comment, and I'll take the downvotes!

            Nope didn't make it up - I've seen studies that show this on more than one occasion. I'm not about to do an exhaustive search, (gods know what red flags that would throw up in PRISM!) but to get you started here's a paper that broaches this topic, with some striking figures, although it's not the study I was thinking of:

      3. Suricou Raven

        Re: Image blocks are already secret

        Minor correction: ISPs are not 'required' to subscribe. They are just aware that if more than a handful of small ISPs do not subscribe, it becomes inevitable that the government will pass a law mandating it. So they all subscribe voluntarily.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Illegal content is already illegal

      But it worked so well for Australia

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Yet Another Anonymous coward (Re: Illegal content is already illegal)

        Just to clarify, the proposed internet filter didn't happen in Australia. The government was forced to back down by a groundswell of public opposition. What remains is a patchwork of individual blocking orders against web sites involved in criminal activity (usually causing collateral damage that affects a few thousand other sites) using existing legislation, and voluntary filtering by a couple of our more obsequious ISPs.

        So, web censorship is not inevitable. It can be defeated. And, if all else fails, one can always use a VPN.

    3. Old Handle

      Re: Illegal content is already illegal

      I'm not sure if I'm going into devil's advocate mode here, but I feel the need to point out a few things:

      You can't always get a a court to take down illegal content, because the content may be in another country where it isn't illegal. For example, so-called "hate speech" is legal unless specifically inciting violence in that bastion of freedom where the government monitors all phone calls, the US of A So is most everything under the label "extreme porn".

      And regarding IWF, as far as I know, using the blacklist is still officially voluntary. They just don't want hassles from the government and they don't really care about their users' rights. Finally, the sole good thing I can say about the IWF, is they do suggest as best practices, for ISPs to display a block message rather than just 404ing it. I don't know how many ISPs have got on board with that yet.

  7. Anigel

    After all , the government has done so much research that shows the only way that paedophiles get any access to child porn or "terrorists" get any access to extremist material is via google or facebook.

    1. Jonathan 29

      It beggars belief. I am no expert on the subject, but I would think that even the least technical pedo will be running TOR,VPN services, proxy servers, steganography, deeply encrypted and disguised files and be sharing on anonymous servers and message boards. The idea that they are getting their kicks from Google image search or using that as a gateway is bizarre .

      1. PatientOne

        @Jonathan 29

        If you want to hide your nefarious activities, you might look to obfuscation. However, how do you draw like minded sickos to your site? How do you extend your network and retain secrecy and security?

        The alternative is to flood the internet with images. Don't their content obvious, either: Mix up the meta tags, use popular name and common phrases so they turn up when searching for 'innocent pictures of kittens at play' (The internet is, after all, there for our lolcat fix), and world + dog is exposed. Those who are interested in such material get their fix, and those who are not are scared that they have now been tracked and will be tarred with the 'PEDO!!!' brush, sentenced to eternity on the Sex offenders register and hounded out of town to live in a cardboard box under a bridge with no access to anything even remotely resembling technology beyond the most basic one of a crude fire. If they're lucky, that is.

        Now consider which of the two is simpler, cheaper and safer to implement and you have the reason why this issue exists. That said, the Government don't care about innocent people being exposed to illegal images: They're just glad for an excuse to push for 'filters' that can later be expanded to block other content they might find undesirable: Web censorship via the back door.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hate speech

    So let me get this right, its bad to browse hate speech, but on the other hand its fine for the broadcasters to give air time to some guy ranting it into a camera covered in blood?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hate speech

      "air time to some guy ranting it into a camera covered in blood"....

      That's next.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "ongoing battle"

    jeez, if I took every politician's blabber half-seriously, I'd shit myself in the pants how scary this monstrous internet is.

    but wait, isn't it illegal already to project such perverse images as soiled pants across the internets?!

  10. heyrick Silver badge


    Like the gummint have done such a damn fine job of getting hate speech off of the streets...

    I mean, they want to stop a bunch of loons watching the insane rantings of another bunch of loons, yet they're stuck with a suspected loon that they can't get rid of, at OUR expense ultimately, and we're supposed to take any of this seriously?

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Yeah...

      yet they're stuck with a suspected loon that they can't get rid of

      I highlighted the important word for you.

  11. btrower

    Maybe we should listen to them...

    Re: Miller, in her letter, said that "recent horrific events" ... had "highlighted the widespread public concern over the proliferation of, and easy access to, harmful content on the internet".

    Certainly the notion that an idiot like that can gain access to assault the Internet gives one pause. Threats to the freedom that gave us the rich function of the Internet should be sanctioned somehow. Use their own mechanisms against them.

  12. Jonathan 29

    inspiring hate

    I find the thing that really inspires me to hate and violence are the ignorant self serving pronouncements from Government ministers. Can someone please install a filter for this please?

  13. ukgnome

    When you start to filter things you get all manner of anomalies.

    *Won't somebody think of the people that live in Scunthorpe!

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Or as I found out this morning - the DLink support forum won't let you type 'prone'. It converts it into '****e'.

      About half way down. "Not applicable..."


    Why don't they just get on with announcing their white-list plan...

    To get on the list you'll have to apply, using the forms and pay the fee. When and if you're approved then your web site will be added to the list of sites UK citizens are allowed to see. Initially the fee will be laughable small, so you won't be able to object. In time it will turn into a hidden tax.

    1. Mark 78

      Re: Why don't they just get on with announcing their white-list plan...

      I think you'll find the way onto the whitelist will be via Party Donations.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why don't they just get on with announcing their white-list plan...

      It will be worse than that, anyone wanting to look at your website will be expected to apply for a Pervie Permit. One John Carr a "government internet advisor" according to the BBC, evidently thinks it would be a good thing for people wanting to access "adult" material to have to shed their anonymity. We can only hope that now the Moral Majorettes bandwagon is rolling, so many tuppence hapenny self appointed do-gooders will jump on that the whole thing will grind to a halt. Here's my dumb idea - how about having to register with the NHS anti-obesity squad before ordering pizzas on line. Anyone getting more than two takeaways a week should expect a knock on the door from a concerned cardiologist... it's for your own good, honest.

  15. GreyWolf

    Bloody noobs..

    ..government ministers who have absolutely zero clue how any of this actually works, ranting on about things they don't understand...and ignoring the things they are actually supposed to understand (namely, human nature). [Actually, this is probably just theatre, like airport security]

    Every time you ban something, it goes underground and becomes impossible to control, and a moneyspinner for criminals.

    It will end up just like the guns thing (nobody has guns except the criminals, who have as many as they want). or the Prohibition thing (people go right on drinking, thereby fundng the rise of the Mob).

    How to get rich: (1) harvest material likely to be banned while it is easy to find (2) put it on web servers that do not have a domain name associated (3) sell the IP addresses to those who want access (4) let the ISP dynamic reallocation occur (5) those who want access have to buy the new IP addresses every time they change(6) PROFIT!!!

    You can use multiple servers in multiple jurisdictions and TOR or proxies to make it hard to find you - just be a moving target.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Why is this Google's problem?

    Surely the GOVERNMENT should be tackling this, not trying to offload the problem onto Google, Microsoft and Facebook...

  17. MrMur


    Well, we always knew that the IWF (as noble a *cause* as it is) would be the thin end of the wedge. That's why so much fuss was kicked up during ScorpGate. Well, I use a small ISP and a pay through the nose for the privilege of being somewhat off the grid. What the governent doesn't realise is that some of professionals require our connections to be un-screwed about with because if your trying to fault find a busted server a plane ride's distance away, it doesn't help someone silently screwing with your connection.

    It's funny that the IWF remit seemed to change... at some point it was only supposed to stop accidental access to child abuse images. A lot of effort for something that never actually seems to happen. Anyway, this new goevernment call seems to admit that the IWF solution isn't achieving anything useful

  18. Graham Marsden

    And again: WHO DECIDES?

    What is "harmful content on the internet"? What is "illegal pornographic content"?

    Well thanks to Blair's Government, we have the Dangerous Pictures Act (aka Extreme Pornography legislation) which says that material which is legal in the rest of Europe and the USA, for example, is illegal in Britain because we are so weak-willed and lacking in conscience that we simply cannot be allowed to even see this material since we can't be trusted not to go out and do something nasty if we do!

    So google et al are going to be required to implement the Great Firewall of Britain to block this stuff from anyone with a UK IP address according to a list which, presumably, our Mary Whitehouse Brigade gives to them, based on the MWB's criteria of "We don't like this, so *you* aren't allowed to see it!"

    Won't someone think of the children (or should that be "won't someone treat the adults as children")!

    1. Magister

      Re: And again: WHO DECIDES?

      >>What is "harmful content on the internet"? <<

      Precisely. Who defines what is "harmful content"?

      At the moment, there are many people that hold a strong belief that listening to Heavy Rock or Rap music is harmful; will they ban that? How about those that people that are concerned that we are all going to hell unless we read their version of a particular book; do they get to say that every other religious book is harmful?

      This was the motivation behind the book burnings orchestrated by the Nazis. Those that fail to learn from History are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

      1. OldBiddie

        Re: And again: WHO DECIDES?

        If it's Keith Vaz you can kiss goodbye to video game websites ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And again: WHO DECIDES?

      Bloody government trying to rule our lives,

      There is some seriously twisted shit on the internet, granted, but unless someone was actually harmed in the making of it, and was NOT consenting to the making of it, then why the hell can't they put it up on the net?

      It is not like they ban some of the real sick stuff shown in cinemas masquerading as horrors.

      Just because someone watches something happening, it does not make them want to go out and repeat it...

      Rape porn is banned IIRC, yet they show rape on tv shows (just not graphically) so how come THAT is legal?

      I am very pissed off at our government with their meddling in our private lives!

  19. badExec

    Will somone think of the children!!

    There needs to be some level of network based filtering. Or at least some form of mechanism to allow my kids to surf the web without inadvertantly straying into dodgy areas. Is it such a problem for websites to have an age rating attached to them like movies and video games?

    doesnt the ISP and search engines have enough information to attach agreed ratings to the websites they serve up as available and tag them so that the browser can have lock mechanisms preventing users access to them based on individual PC settings?

    The government is the voice of the people (i know i know, not everyone but first past the post voting says that they are the best we have) so will always be swaying in the wind but until we are all qualified IT professionals that are able to expertly configure our IT equipment there needs to be some level of mass filtering process to allow the majority of people a porn free, hate free web experience.

    1. Len Goddard

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      To answer your questions.

      Yes, it is a problem

      No, they don't

      And for your final assertion, mass filtering is a hideously crude tool which will either be ineffective or cause a huge number of collateral problems.

      They are your kids, it is your responsibility to educate and supervise them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      Is there regulation to stop your kids straying into the dodgy streets and neighborhoods of real world cities?

      Is there censorship of the hoodies/neds/thugs that might do nasty things?

      No.. There is however good parenting and supervision of your child. Educating them to avoid the dangerous parts of town, how to spot a nutter from 100paces, what to do when someone asks if you'd like a sweety.

      The same things apply to the internet, TV, books, magazines. Educate your kids, and take responsibility for what they do and what goes on in their lives. NOT what goes on in mine.

    3. Mark #255

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      If you want the Internet to be your darling little ones' playground, then *you* pay for the [electronic equivalent of] rubberised tarmac, fences and "no dogs" signs. *I* quite like the rugged splendour of the untamed wilds and occasionally go mountaineering.

      </poor analogy>

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      Obviously, what is needed is for there to be at least one adult assigned to each child, who is responsible for monitoring that child's access to the Internet. Hell, let's expand it: make that person responsible for that child's access to the world. Let's make that person responsible for seeing that child is fed, given medical attention as needed, given love and attention, disciplined as needed, and provided a place to live.

      Of course, such a person needs a title for their job. May I suggest "parent".

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      until we are all qualified IT professionals that are able to expertly configure our IT equipment there needs to be some level of mass filtering process to allow the majority of people a porn free, hate free web experience.

      Fuck off you idiotic bellend. There should be a mass filtering process to stop you from buying the Daily Mail.

      A qualified IT professional.

    6. Nick Kew

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      "... inadvertantly straying into dodgy areas ..."

      I've been online for a lot longer than your kids have been alive[1], and I've never once strayed into anything more dodgy than the occasional link to a Daily Mail story.

      Nothing really changes. But we come to ridicule last generation's censors. How long before comedians only have to say "IWF" to get a reaction like "mother-in-law" - the joke that evolved from the dampener on post-war sex lives in an era when you lived under her roof 'cos there was nowhere else to go, and were lucky to get a bedroom?

      [1] Assuming your kids are of an age where they're in any legal sense your responsibility.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      There is nothing to stop you from purchasing web filter software for your own PC. Many such products are available. It is unreasonable to expect someone else to assume your parental responsibility, and even more unreasonable to expect the entire adult population to be permitted to see only that which is suitable for viewing by your children.

    8. Greg J Preece

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      There needs to be some level of network based filtering. Or at least some form of mechanism to allow my kids to surf the web without inadvertantly straying into dodgy areas.

      You know what that mechanism is? YOU. They're your fucking kids, so why don't you start acting like a parent? Why should my liberties be infringed to cater for sprogs you decided to have?

      Tell you what: I've got a cat. She's small, fragile and generally not particularly well. If she goes outside, she might be at risk from the various cars on the street, so what we're going to do is put bubble wrap bumpers on every single car and make them drive at 2mph, with anything over a certain weight banned altogether. Sound appropriate?

      I grew up through the '90s, when the Internet was wilder and my parents didn't know jack shit about it. I went wherever I wanted, but I did not "inadvertently stray" onto Usenet, or Undernet, or MUDs, or any far less reputable places I would hang out online. I went there because I was interested and it sounded like fun. You cannot accidentally wander from to a child porn ring. It does not happen. I've been wandering around the net like that for years, doing whatever I want, and I have never once seen child pornography, extremist terrorist material*, etc. To find them, you must go looking for them. Global filtering will not do anything to stop that.

      *Well, actually I did deliberately look some up once, but that just proves my point.

    9. Old Handle

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      But you didn't need to wait for the government OR be an IT professional. Just go to OpenDNS, which provide essentially the same thing, only without inconveniencing the rest of us.

    10. Rattus Rattus
      Thumb Down

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      You want "some form of mechanism to allow my kids to surf the web without inadvertantly straying into dodgy areas"? There already is one. It's called "watching what the fuck your kids are doing". They are YOUR kids, they are for YOU to monitor. If you can't be bothered doing that you should not have had them in the first place.

    11. Suricou Raven

      Re: Will somone think of the children!!

      There's a problem with website rating system.

      Your child sneaks onto the internet to find some porn. They go to 'Respectable Genteman's Erotica' and promptly find the operators, being respectable people wishing to remain in compliance with both the law and voluntary child-protection protocols, have included the appropriate meta tags to mark the site as porn. Thus the filter blocks it.

      Child moves on down the list, until they come to 'Pervy Joe's Pronz Emporium.' A site hosted in Elbonia, with no age verification, and enough disreputable advertising partners to leave the computer with five types of STI. Pervy Joe brings these up constantly at new addresses in order to avoid any filtering.

      Voluntary ratings are a nice idea on paper, but they have the awkward side-effect of penalising the more legitimate sites and driving potential customers to the seedy underbelly of the internet.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Tory policy on censorship

    Censorship in Turkey = Bad.

    Censorship in the UK = Good.

  21. Yet Another Commentard

    "stop child-abuse images, hate speech and other offensive material appearing"

    You could just stop the Daily Mail's sidebar thing and remove a lot of all that.

  22. The Axe

    One person's hate speech is another person's free speech, just like someone is a freedom fighter to one side and a terrorist to the other. Depends which side the government is on, and to be honest I don't think this government (or any past present of future British government) is on the side of the public.

  23. IT Hack


    Ahhh hahahahahaha


  24. Curly4
    Big Brother

    The Off Switch!

    Yes there is an off switch but it is one that cannot be legislated. But what is wanted is a legislated one. The switch is within each individual to choose not to use porn, child or otherwise.

  25. LinkOfHyrule

    What happens if...

    ... I want to download the song "Sex Dwarf" by Softcell or some early 90s breakbeat "Hardcore" the Prodigy for example? Or I want to google the track listing for the latest in the series of the tragically less exciting than it sounds "Clubland Extreme Hardcore" to laugh at how much it sucks etc...?

    Google will simply think I'm into hardcore sex club porn featuring people with restrictive growth when I'm not, and this will make the internet a better place will it!?

    How will the ministry of truth know how to filter out actual dwarf porn and not well known synth pop songs with similar sounding names?

    Load of old effing stupid bollocks! And I supposed saying that will be blocked too!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google SafeSearch?

    They just need to add country speficic categories to filter out current events, rival political views, and content from other countries (should just about do it)

  27. M7S

    Cutting off (most of) the air supply

    Would it not be an idea to simply require the payment processing companies to remove from any "trader" on a website where there is payment for images that are illegal (and I appreciate the distinction from immoral/distasteful) the ability to receive funds?

    I appreciate that there will be ways to get around this ("tokens" purchase elsewhere, private message boards where payment is not involved, Bitcoin type currencies) but pornography is mostly a commercial enterprise. The legitimate sectors could continue to be the economic drive for modern media (home video cassette players, the internet and whatever's coming next), but where I work some of the time we receive notices from HMG on blacklisted entities for any financial transactions. I would expect that a couple of court orders to the credit card companies once perpertrators have been identified (and I beleive that in reality there are only a couple, CC co's that is) would eventually cascade down the chain and make these enterprises too troublesome to re-establish on a continual basis. That would at least cut things down quite a bit and could also be used for other illegal enterprises (jurisdictional issues permitting).

    I've no idea what is required to be able to receive CC payments but under the "know your client" rules a certain responsiblity rests also with the banks and related companies. A bit of personal liability or reputational issues here (few would deal with a bank known to be facilitating child porn, as an example) could solve this issue much more sensibly.

    1. JP19

      Re: Cutting off (most of) the air supply

      "Would it not be an idea to simply require the payment processing companies to remove from any "trader" on a website where there is payment for images that are illegal"

      If that were done it would reveal how non-existant the market for illegal (in the country of origin) images is and put a bit of a damper on the crusade.

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: Cutting off (most of) the air supply

      It'd drive site operators to use more obscure, fraud-prone payment services or advertising networks based somewhere with a more cooperative government.

      Besides, not all porn is for-profit. There are plenty of noncommercial porn sites around.


    Harmful... harmful to whom?

    Harm principle & John Stuart Mill;

    "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right... The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign" -

    I don't want my lawful communications censored in any way whatsoever.

    1. Oliver 7

      Re: Harmful... harmful to whom?

      Thanks for the J.S. Mill quote! His work is fast being forgotten and the principles he stood for and which have informed much debate on statute down the years are fast being eroded, from minimum pricing on alcohol to freedom of thought.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I long for the days when...

    I can safely search for...

    1. Scunthorpe

    2. Creampie

    3. Rims

    4. Finger ring

    5. Welsh Slag

    6. Pussies

    7. Male Chickens


  30. Eguro

    Odd classification of voters...

    Am I the only one who found the wording of the minister to be - let's say - telling?

    "Effective technological solutions have to be developed – and deployed – to minimise the harm done to businesses and consumers."

    Surely what she meant to say was "[...] harm done to citizens" - or did she just accidentally let slip how she views the world?

    I mean I can understand how child pornography on the internet can hurt people - namely the children "starring" in the porn. What business and which consumers are being hurt?

    Sheesh, she can't even get "Think of the children" right!

    Also I first read it as "The solutions need to be effective, but also minimize the harm they do to the functionality of the product" - however the word harm is being used throughout the quoted section - also suddenly switching from "potentially causing harm" to "complexity of dealing with harmful" with no apparent connection. So surely it's the content that is referred to by "harm". Anyway - this became a bigger post that I thought it would - end!

  31. Oliver 7


    The minister added:

    "the complexity of dealing with harmful online content is not an acceptable reason for the current situation to persist."

    These people just do not 'get it'. They are fascists in all but name. I can't even form the words to express my repugnance at this way of thinking!

  32. TeeCee Gold badge

    I sometimes think they have a good point.

    Then I think of what Gordon "Stalin" Brown and his coterie of despicable control-freaks would have done with their fingers on the "What everyone's allowed to see on the internet" button and shudder.

  33. Greg J Preece

    Right then, who's up for Internet 2? Fully encrypted end-to-end?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can always use Google's DNS

    Windows 7

    Open the Control Panel by clicking on the Windows button, then click Control Panel

    Type "Network and Sharing" in the upper right hand corner and click on Network and Sharing Center

    Click Change Adapter Settings

    Right click on the network adapter you'd like to check (wired or wireless) and click Properties

    Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties

    Select radio button "Use the following DNS server addresses:"

    Preferred DNS server: 8 . 8 . 8 . 8

    Alternate DNS server: 8 . 8 . 4 . 4

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lee Rigby murder

    As far as I know no one has yet linked the Internet to this horrible crime - so I'd very much appreciate it if politicians stopped using this poor man's death to further their own ambitions. His family are being used as political, ideological and religious punchbags when they just need time to mourn.

    Absolutely sick of it.

  36. Shane Kent

    I hate...

    the Canadian Liberal parties (both Federal and Provincial). I hate the Federal Liberal party sending every nickel they can into the extortionist province of Quebec, and the Ontario Provincial Liberal party dumping our health care, etc. to private companies. Does that qualify as a hate speech and would it be blocked?

    Child abusers and kiddy porn freaks should be hung by the neck!

    People that hate other ethnicities are typically ignorant and should be ignored, but it should be their right to hate someone and even talk about it (talk only).

  37. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Translation time

    "highlighted the widespread public concern" =

    We're getting hammered by the daily mail in key marginals.

    "what more can be done to prevent offensive online content potentially causing harm?" =

    We want to decide for you what you can access.

    And now a few questions:

    Minister... what is potentially harmful content?

    Also, Who is it harmful to?

    Would current laws be adaquate to jail those parties guilty of spreading such material?

    Who makes the list of websites banned?

    Would such filters block access to legit websites?

    Would they have a legal recourse to getting unblocked?

    And finally

    Would the world be a better place if you stopped grandstanding for the aforementioned daily mail 'readers' and shut up about things you dont even want to understand?

    PS. The daily mail would fall into my catorgory of a hate speech site

  38. h3

    I don't think hate speech should be illegal. Not because I don't like it but because it is an ambiguous concept and the laws will end up used against people who the state just doesn't like and I think that is more important than anything people can say.

    About child pornography the whole reason it is considered to be so important is supposed to be to stop children being abused that seems to be totally ignored.

    The Saville thing where they ignored it completely while he was alive and it could have served any purpose. But yet say now they are doing everything they can. If they had stopped it after 10 years then it might have helped hundreds of people to not be abused by him.

    It really does make me think what the hell is wrong with people occasionally. (Most of the time I don't really care about what other people do it is simpler for me but when it is totally obvious what utter bollocks people say and have believed it does affect me.)

  39. David 45

    Technical ignorance

    Hmm. Typical technically illiterate grand-standing politicians thinking that a switch thrown here, a disconnection there and maybe a magic wand waved over the system, will miraculously make the net completely safe. It ain't gonna happen. I can see any attempt at this causing large amounts of collateral damage and who is to be sued if legit websites are taken off line? This has happened already elsewhere. When will these people use consultants who REALLY know what's going on? As far as I can see, it's just plain old censorship - no more, no less and is the beginning of a slippery slope, thin end of the wedge, or any other metaphor you care to use for a government that seems to be obsessed with controlling their citizens' lives.

  40. badExec

    Cor!! I got a lot of hate - and rightly so i guess...

    last post got a stack of downvotes and lots of hate - fair enough.. I can see why.

    I put my point very badly. so I'll have another go...

    I want a system available to me that HELPS me prevent my kids being exposed to the dark underside belly of the internet.

    I have tried a lot of 'safe' browsers and various add-ons that when i have tested them before i let my kids loose on the PC have thrown up a number of areas I dont want the kids to see therefore making them pretty much useless to my required standard of protection.

    I don't want my kids to see screamers on YouTube. I don't want my kids to see adult based adverts leading them to viagra sites. I don't want my kids to see or experience chat based scenarios that are potentially exposed to the worst kinds of sex crimes we have to endure in the world.

    In all the reading I have done, it seems to me that network based filtering is the most effective. All PC based systems will have too many downfalls and havent proven as effective as I want them to be. I have done my best to learn about firewalls, whitelists, site blocking and all manner of preventative measures and I'm simply not as good as i want to be. Everytime I set a system up to protect my kids, I get beat by some clever website that can circumvent my best efforts and eventually something very undesirable leaks thru.

    So perhaps what I am in favour of is an OPT IN system for mass filtering. Not one as a de facto setting from an ISP.

    I am not abdicating my responsibility as a parent. Far from it - i want my kids to be worldy and aware of the dangers in the world the exist in. but with my 7 year old daughter still having nightmares after some sick idiot stuck an exorcist style screamer into the middle of a Minecraft video on YouTube what can i do?!?!

    I block any video running, I run adblockers, I have the kids user areas setup so that they cant change a damn thing - i run the best antivirus I am able to buy and understand. I have whitelists set up as much as I am able to understand on the router and I employ as much technical knowledge i have to protect my kids.

    All this make sure some sick, twisted fucker doesn't get to my kids.

    So, if BT or TalkTalk or Virgin or Sky or any other ISP can market a system that addresses these concerns I am interested.

    I know its a slippery slope to some and the thin end of the wedge and all that. But i dont care... I am interested in protecting my kids as much as technology can provide and i need HELP to employ it. IF this is being talked about then good. Have the discussion, find a way to stop the shit getting thru - perhaps find a way to stop the illegal content being put up in the first place - I dont know.

    so now... i will let the haters hate...

    1. Old Handle

      Re: Cor!! I got a lot of hate - and rightly so i guess...

      I don't think you're wrong for wanting that, I just think you're mistaken in the belief that what you want is attainable.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Cor!! I got a lot of hate - and rightly so i guess...

      And in the meantime, your kids are oggling page 3 of the sun, before turning to the lurid celebrity sex story on pages 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15-28 and the agony aunt's sex therapy session.

    3. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Cor!! I got a lot of hate - and rightly so i guess...

      "I am interested in protecting my kids as much as technology can provide"

      There is NO technological substitute for you sitting there personally with your kids as they browse. It does not matter how much filtering and technological wizardry is set up on your connection, you should not be allowing a seven year old to access the internet without direct supervision. If you want her to be able to use the computer without you sitting there next to her, disconnect it entirely from the internet.

    4. Mr Anonymous

      Re: Cor!! I got a lot of hate - and rightly so i guess...

      You seemed to have missed "I don't want to sit with me kids while they surf the Internet, I have more important things to do that teach my kids about the Internet and how to use it. I also can't be bothered with explaining to them the sides of the Internet designed for older people and what to do if they stumble across those areas."

      Take responsibility for your children. I assume you receive a child allowance, but your self some good filtering software to help you control your child's access to the Internet while you sit and guide them.

      My guess is that you can drive a car. You probably had a series of lessons from a professional. I suggest you do the same concerning the use of your connected devices and go so far as to learn a programming language and developing your desired system. I would expect there to be plenty of open source developers out there that would help you to learn new skills.

      The current systems don't work well and "stuff" will get through whatever you do. I was responsible for a system put in place at a dyslexic school; unfortunately, when the teacher asked the children to search for "big clocks", gaping holes appeared [sic].

      Young children probably need a walled garden, as children do in the physical world when young, all software, free and purchased offers this facility.

    5. Suricou Raven

      Re: Cor!! I got a lot of hate - and rightly so i guess...

      I run a network based filtering system professionally.

      It's really not as effective as you'd like. Even with SSL interception, at best the filtering accuracy can match client-based systems. It is trickier to circumvent though

  41. halftone

    Hang on. I thought Google only had a teeny office with a few call handlers, in UK. None of that taxable technology shit.

  42. Mips

    I should have thought this was relativly simple

    Google and other search engines crawl the web and they know what the content is. All they have to do is to point the enforcement agencies to the location of the filth for action to be taken and then to ensure that anyone searching for these site cannot find them using the search engine.

    Job not done but 90% is better than we have at the moment.

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