The Daily Mail is as ever going into it’s usual orgiastic ‘we’ve saved the world from paedogeddon’ with the announcement that an internet provider is going to automatically block people from stuff they think we don’t want to see rather than give us the choice…
Mail. (usual caveats)
BT has announced all new customers will have parental control filters switched on when they subscribe to its broadband service.
The company has offered the free Parental Controls service for a number of years, but this is the first time new customers will have to actively choose whether to turn the filters off.
During the set-up process, a box that turns on the controls – which block a number of sites including pornography, those containing self-harm and violence as well as hate sites – will be automatically ticked.
Subscribers will then have to actively turn the blocks off and instead decide what level of protection – if any – they require.
The company will also extend its filter service to all internet devices including games consoles and tablets. Previously parents could only block potentially harmful sites on desktops and laptops.
BT will also be contacting all of its existing customers from the start of next year, forcing them to make a choice about the level of controls on their broadband.
Whilst not a case of Big Brother is watching you, it’s definitely a case of big brother is making damned sure you don’t see anything they don’t want, unless you switch it off and then have the whole world know you as a pornographer, for if you do switch the filters off, BT will bloody well know about it…
Not that at the moment it’s difficult to get around the filters, a quick Google will tell you how and the use of a VPN or proxy server will do the job quite adequately too. Which does seem to suggest that the kids will be OK whilst the parents will be confused as to why they can’t watch the Robin Thicke ‘Blurred Lines’ video on youtube any more.
The thing with this sort of creeping authoritarianism is that people become accustomed not to think for themselves. Parents will assume the internet filter is in place and doing its job without as ever actually checking what their little darlings are up too.
In the end it ought to be our responsibility to monitor what our kids watch, not BT’s or the states or especially the Daily Mail’s.