We need a new icon...
... for Big Sister Theresa May is watching you... :-(
MPs have passed the UK government's controversial Digital Economy Bill, which will force internet service providers to impose blocks on porn sites that do not include mandatory age checks or feature kinky sex acts. The proposed law has also been heavily criticised for enabling government departments greater access to citizens …
Unfortunately Big Sister Theresa May and her MP colleagues seem to be clueless regarding the internet. How long will it take for one of the kids to figure out you can bypass most of these filters using Google DNS or a VPN server. If all else fails, you could also of course use your dad's computer to watch that stuff.
One partial explanation is that extreme right and extreme left ideological views are currently leaving a vacuum in the sensible centre ground.
Not quite. The "sensible middle ground" stopped being "sensible" and became utterly corrupt in both the moral and the literal sense of this word. Clinton, Blair, Schroeder, Barrosso and Co have tainted the middle ground so badly in the eyes of Joe Averag voter that he is happy to give his vote to a Nut( with or without al).
Yes, we definitely have a vacuum in terms of middle ground, but not vacuum of morally corrupt Fast Tonies (of the Ice age and British politics fame), but people who have a middle ground policy (not middle ground market stall in the temple).
Until we have any people will vote for the Witch of the West or various Nut(al)s.
In a nutshell and very succintly put if i may say so.
The alt-Right, Momemtum and the Elites - they have no faith in the vast majority of people's ability to respect one another and respect the law. So they spy on us, lie to us, try and sway us by painting the Others black, control what we watch, what we smoke, what we drink and when we drink, who we should be mixing with, exchanging views with and even f&cking. Trump, Clinton, Putin, Farage, May, Corbyn etc offer us nothing but hate, conflict & division.
Libertarian parties around the world - this is your time.
"Just wanted to point out that nobody but MPs (who have a vested interest) voted for May"
So how did she get to be an MP then? Like most PMs, she was elected as an MP and like most PMs, she was chosen by her party as the leader. (there have been a few instances where the Monarch didn't like the option and chose someone else)
Both John Major and Gordon Brown became PM mid-term just like May, so it's not as if there's no precedent. (although I'm not sure I could think of a worse choice than May).
Neither Clinton or Blair were or are reasonably describable as "sensible middle ground" figures by anybody other than their own supporters and people doggedly and frantically trying to apply the terms "left" and "right" to people when the label doesn't readily fit.
To become reasonably accurate you have to add the dimension of "authoritarian" verus "libertarian" as the "top" and "bottom" of the "left" and "right" political map. Hence why when the difference between "left" and "right" is generally differentiated by how to acheive a task, rather than if they should be doing it at all the differentiation is increasingly irrelevant. Looking at this also explains why you have groupings on issues that cross simplistic left/right boundaries.
People are turning away from "left" leaders because they are increasingly authortarian tossers who increasingly dictate what you should say and think. Supressing any dissenting opinion has pretty much reached the point where even mildly questioning any part of an agenda is "throught crime" and unacceptable and results in temper tantrums.
People aren't moving towards the left or right, they are pretty much staying still. It's the politicans moving away from the public towards being more authoritarian that's the problem.
"To become reasonably accurate you have to add the dimension of "authoritarian" verus "libertarian" as the "top" and "bottom" of the "left" and "right" political map."
A young friend did a summer school at the Mises Institute and imbibed the ideology of their Libertarianism. When he came home he wanted to prove something by having us both do their online test - to establish our philosophical position in those four quadrants.
He was rather put out to find himself labelled as "Authoritarian/Right" and myself as "Libertarian/Left".
No doubt in my final school years I would have been "Authoritarian/Left" - which was commonplace in the 1960/70s. The School of Life has taught me that black & white is actually lots of shades of grey.
I have commented about the centre disappearing before.
Cons are lurching toward Authortarian, Lab never really left it (ID cards and such). Lab also heading left with Comrade Corbyn, and Cons are still more or less where they were.
Lib Dems are more Liberal but not sure about their other policies.
Just who can we vote for?
Don't know, but choose wisely in the 2020 elections. Whoever gets in will inherit this modern-day Stasi snoop infrastructure. No major party should be trusted with it, as soon as they get in they'll start thinking about what they can do to improve it... but imagine Paul Nutter at the wheel.
"[...] as soon as they get in they'll start thinking about what they can do to improve it."
It would be interesting to know exactly what is going to be stored for a web access. The GET request URL will potentially contain a lot more than the host & domain hierarchy.
Some big web services differentiate their users in the host string - but others include it after the domain as a filestore hierarchy. For the latter the host & domain provide no discrimination about what site is being accessed. Somehow they have to work out at what point the filestore hierarchy is pointing at a page rather than a user - that could be tricky.
If the Get request is stored with everything up to the start of any parameter "?" - then they will be able to collate distinct page accesses - should they ever want to.
The Stazi is exactly the issue. If you get the chance, I strongly recommend visiting a Stazi museum. I went to the one in Liepzig, which played a pivotal role in the fall of communism. It is so scary to see how close the Stazi came to preventing the popular, peaceful protests which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. And that was with 1980's surveillance techniques.
If the Stazi had had modern internet surveillance tools, they would have had no problem at all in keeping full control and Europe would look very different today.
I would love to see a Stazi museum in the Geek's Guide! “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
"Opera comes with integrated unlimited free VPN - you just tick the box in browser settings thereby rendering this legislation pointless."
Free for this moment in time. What happens in 6 months time when numbers skyrocket and Opera think "Ah you know lads, this VPN thing is costing us money. We need to start charging or shutting down"?
>Well, you could start paying for the service you're using.
You already can if you want premium speeds etc. Opera bought SurfEasy VPN - the free service will remain indefinitely but they already have a large paying user base and a robust platform. In any case it's not like choosing a VPN provider locks you in - there's a reasonable argument for mixing it up across several providers.
Opera comes with integrated unlimited free VPN - you just tick the box in browser settings thereby rendering this legislation pointless.
Hmm, giving all my browsing information to the UK government vs giving all my browsing information to the Chinese government, decisions, decisions
> Hmm, giving all my browsing information to the UK government vs giving all my browsing information to the Chinese government, decisions, decisions
Local copper who sees you drive by every day discovers you're into BDSM, vs's a government in a country you'll probably never visit?
The latter, every time.
There are, of course, occupations where that might not be the case, but for the average person it's far more difficult for a foreign government to get at you than the local branch of your own government (or as the case may be, dictatorship).
Move the details out of country, and UK Gov may still be able to get it, and others may possibly find a use for it. Don't and UK Gov definitely will get it. Outside of certain niche's/occupations it should be a no brainer
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A VPN shifts the internet breakout to some other despot country. No?
Yes, but I doubt Hungary/Poland/Switzerland/wherever really care or could do anything meaningful or nefarious with knowing "VPNUser1232157656784" enjoys a particular flavour of grumble flick, unlike the "honourable" Ms May.
I have been drilling the idea of VPNs into my son for years, he quite often asks "what country are we in today Dad?"
If he can't bypass a simple geo-lock then all he has to do is ask me how, I won't ask what for, his business is his own, not mine or Herr Mays.
"they were pretty big on it in Government, I don't see why they're be against it in opposition."
New Labour were pretty much tories, and, if anything, even keener on totalitarian surveillance. My comment was about the change of leadership, and how it had seemed like the opposition may have had some intention to start opposing things.
"Shouldn't they have started objecting to this sort of thing by now?"
Both Labour and Tories have tried to push similar stuff through multiple times over the last couple decades. They've failed in some cases (not all) for three reasons.
1. The opposition want the credit to oppose the incumbents plan as being unworkable despite being almost identical the own plan because they oppose as a matter of policy and they assume they'll be in next and can claim the glory for themselves.
2. The EU rules the Act as being incompatible with the RIghts of the People.
3. The Govt. doesn't have a majority and combined with 1 above means it fails again.
It seems that Labour have given up trying to grab the glory and have accepted that they will eventually get back into power and be able to play with the new toys anyway.
will force internet service providers to impose blocks on porn sites that do not include mandatory age checks.
I haven't read the bill itself but that suggests if the porn provider doesn't do age checks they will be blocked by ISPs.
So how do I prove my age to porn providers without exposing more personal information than I wish to expose?
So how do I prove my age to porn providers without exposing more personal information than I wish to expose?
Snapchat them a picture of your junk. They can probably make a good enough guess from that. Or was this more like one of those 'asking for a friend' queries?
I'd read (but now can't find the reference) that the site is expected to do age checks (only on UK browsers) via either a credit card transaction, or by checking details against (government provided?) records (passports or something?). I'm sorry, I really wouldn't trust those who run porn sites to behave responsibly with personal data on the UK's population, or with credit cards.
But apparently the punishment on non-British porn sites that don't cooperate? They lose the ability to charge UK credit cards. But as any that *do* charge credit cards are clearly providing an age verification service, the only ones left will be the ones that make their money from affiliate links and hosting dodgy malware-laden adverts and so won't care about the punishment.
I would like to know though whose job it is to constantly patrol the world's porn sites looking for which sites do or don't do age verification.
Relax and don't worry about a thing.
You're being rapidly spun back to a sort of Tory Utopian fantasy 1950s (dystopian to anyone sane) where you can all dress in suits and ties or pearls and twinsets, sexuality will be declared unmentionable once more, and you can look forward to village fetes, strawberries and cream, censored films, no smut on the television, people attending church out of sheer boredom, a complete collapse of the creative industry, exit of all the interesting people to Berlin or even Dublin.
I speak as an Irish person, be very wary of this kind of level of conservatism and censorship wrapped in nationalism and protectionism.
We had a dose of it here in the mid 20th century and it did horrific damage that has only really been undone in the last 20 years and hopefully will never be repeated again.
The US is also going head first into this kind of weird conservative, authoritarian mess and an even worse one as it's being driven by religious extremism.
It seems nobody's shouting stop, the labour party is currently totally useless and you are just going to sleepwalk the UK into undoing 50 years of progressive liberalising.
I'm just very wary of any party or government that goes on moral crusades.
in the end Tory Utopian fantasy 1950s is just that a fantasy and they will never be able to put that Porn/Internet genie back in the bottle. btw you will never be able to put me in a suit and tie! but I do like strawberries and cream yum...
Thanks to this, we will finally be able to look up on a carefully curated list where the best stuff is on an official malware free government web page.
Also can we arrange for Theresa May to have a damn good fucking. I think she needs it.
All this spying and blocking reeks of envy and spite.
Hmmm... Opera VPN (similar to almost every other service Opera has integrated) is actually a really data-leaky proxy service rather than an actual VPN. It may be fine for spoofing your endpoint IP address but does nothing for protecting the rest of your privacy. It's also owned by the Chinese, does full proxy request logging and several of the endpoints resolve directly to "Five eyes" countries. Not good at all as far as I can see.
But "what about encryption" I hear you say you say???? Well, I'm sure Opera have heard of the concept.
As for Protonmail - well... all well and good I guess... except if none of your other email contacts also use Protonmail, or if you want to use a 3rd party email client such as Thunderbird. In those cases it's pretty much fucking useless.
Dear British Board of Website Censorship,
I have viewed the website below which purports to be about ancient monuments in the Far East. In fact the so-called ancient monuments are often barely disguised giant stone penises. I demand you block this site from impressionable persons forthwith.
Mrs Trellis (retired)
PS. I am greatly disappointed that you have failed to respond to my previous 83,692 requests this month alone. I shall be notifying Ms Miller of your indolence and you may expect a damn good spanking.
just need to include the words "Nuclear" "dirty" "bomb" "tommorrow" "9.15" "meeting" and "good luck" to every internet communication and GCHQ/special branch/regular cops will be so busy breaking doors down and arresting people that they wont have time to deal with the pr0n viewers
Oh brb , someone at the door
Who are these cheeky cunts who are trying to dictate what is appropriate or not for my children to see? I was absolutely fine with my kids looking at porn before 18 after they had received the talk (It's not real; the angles, positions and many of the actions are playing for the camera and not comfort or pleasure) and (to my son) if you try half of that domination stuff without prior consent you're probably going home with your teeth in a bag. etc.
Everytime something like this happens in the UK the comments page explodes with technical solutions. How many fucking posters are spouting on about VPNs etc here, as if you now using a VPN is somehow the correct response to a massive loss of freedom. Its pitiful to see this, and also its stupid. Because soon VPNs will be illegal or require licenses, and then what?
You need to take action because you really are sliding down into a dark place. The scene is set now, the pieces are in place. All the UK needs is a charismatic right-wing cunt and you will be sorry you didn't protest when you could. Write to your MP and tell him or her you will be voting for whoever will repeal this law. El Reg - how about helping out?
You’re receiving this email because you signed this petition: “Repeal the new Surveillance laws (Investigatory Powers Act)”.
Dear Idiot who votes,
The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Repeal the new Surveillance laws (Investigatory Powers Act)”.
The Investigatory Powers Act dramatically increases transparency around the use of investigatory powers. It protects both privacy and security and underwent unprecedented scrutiny before becoming law.
The Government is clear that, at a time of heightened security threat, it is essential our law enforcement, security and intelligence services have the powers they need to keep people safe.
The Investigatory Powers Act transforms the law relating to the use and oversight of Investigatory powers. It strengthens safeguards and introduces world-leading oversight arrangements.
The Act does three key things. First, it brings together powers already available to law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies to obtain communications and data about communications. It makes these powers – and the safeguards that apply to them – clear and understandable.
Second, it radically overhauls the way these powers are authorised and overseen. It introduces a ‘double-lock’ for the most intrusive powers, including interception and all of the bulk capabilities, so warrants require the approval of a Judicial Commissioner. And it creates a powerful new Investigatory Powers Commissioner to oversee how these powers are used.
Third, it ensures powers are fit for the digital age. The Act makes a single new provision for the retention of internet connection records in order for law enforcement to identify the communications service to which a device has connected. This will restore capabilities that have been lost as a result of changes in the way people communicate.
The Bill was subject to unprecedented scrutiny prior to and during its passage.
The Bill responded to three independent reports: by David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation; by the Royal United Services Institute’s Independent Surveillance Review Panel; and by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament. All three of those authoritative independent reports agreed a new law was needed.
The Government responded to the recommendations of those reports in the form of a draft Bill, published in November 2015. That draft Bill was submitted for pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament. The Intelligence and Security Committee and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee conducted parallel scrutiny. Between them, those Committees received over 1,500 pages of written submissions and heard oral evidence from the Government, industry, civil liberties groups and many others. The recommendations made by those Committees informed changes to the Bill and the publication of further supporting material.
A revised Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 1 March, and completed its passage on 16 November, meeting the timetable for legislation set by Parliament during the passage of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014. Over 1,700 amendments to the Bill were tabled and debated during this time.
The Government has adopted an open and consultative approach throughout the passage of this legislation, tabling or accepting a significant number of amendments in both Houses of Parliament in order to improve transparency and strengthen privacy protections. These included enhanced protections for trade unions and journalistic and legally privileged material, and the introduction of a threshold to ensure internet connection records cannot be used to investigate minor crimes.
Privacy and Oversight
The Government has placed privacy at the heart of the Investigatory Powers Act. The Act makes clear the extent to which investigatory powers may be used and the strict safeguards that apply in order to maintain privacy.
A new overarching ‘privacy clause’ was added to make absolutely clear that the protection of privacy is at the heart of this legislation. This privacy clause ensures that in each and every case a public authority must consider whether less intrusive means could be used, and must have regard to human rights and the particular sensitivity of certain information. The powers can only be exercised when it is necessary and proportionate to do so, and the Act includes tough sanctions – including the creation of new criminal offences – for those misusing the powers.
The safeguards in this Act reflect the UK’s international reputation for protecting human rights. The unprecedented transparency and the new safeguards – including the ‘double lock’ for the most sensitive powers – set an international benchmark for how the law can protect both privacy and security.