Porn filters and government intent

Some years ago [Cameron’s reign], one of our esteemed colleagues wrote to his MP when the spectre of internet monitoring first arose, and received a letter from the Home Office, assuring him there were no plans to introduce anything.

It didn’t take long for that promise to ring hollow!

The letter which went to the local MP:

Dear ,

You will be aware of the current campaign to require ISPs to introduce “filtering” software intended to prevent children accessing pornography online. I am writing to state my opposition to such methods, for a number of reasons.

1) It won’t work – this technology has been in existence for some time, but can never catch all the target sites, since the internet is constantly evolving. Furthermore it will block sites that are not meant to be included, therefore having unintended consequences.

2) There are many ways to circumvent network level filters, and “tech savy” children will be far better placed to employ these methods under the noses of their parents, most of whom have little idea what their offspring get up to.

Exactly such a scenario has recently occurred regarding The Pirate Bay (a site listing content much of which is subject to copyright protection). All the major UK ISP’s have been told to block it, but the subsequent publicity and numerous “work arounds” have led to a substantial increase in the number of visits – hardly the intended result!

3) Such government mandated control is just the thin end of the wedge, and will be used to exert restrictions on other content which is considered “unwanted”. The “Great Firewall Of China” is the best known example, probably not surprising from a communist regime.

However Australia already operates some form of filtering, and so I have every confidence that so called “free” Western governments (such as ours) will see this as a way to stifle conversations that are not wanted. It’s patently clear that the internet has become a powerful tool for the public to discover the level of corruption endemic in modern society, and those involved don’t like it.

The campaign is being enthusiastically supported by the Daily Mail, and I know from our previous conversations that you regard the paper with some derision, so I am interested to know your thoughts on this matter. Further to this and point 2) above, parents should be the ones doing the monitoring, not demanding “THEY” (i.e. someone else) do it for them.

Children have always found ways to access “banned” material in whatever form – 30 years ago magazines were passed around – now the almost universal possession of mobile phones and computers in their bedrooms brings things right up to date. Society is slowly falling apart, and trying to blame it on pornography is an easy way out.

It’s about time that more emphasis was placed on parental responsibility, and not blanket “solutions” which won’t work. Animal welfare organisations regularly tell us that a “Pet is for life, not just Christmas” – how about a similar campaign regarding children, not this draconian measure.

I am including some links below with further information – I trust you will follow them and see that the proposals as they stand are simply not workable.

Internet blocking will still not protect our children

The Coalition For A Digital Economy website is blocked by Orange

Australia’s government has blocked legitimate businesses

It is also concerning that a link to the UK education department in the first of the above now comes up as “Page Not Found” only 3 days after the article was published – is this a further sign of panic on the part of the authorities?

I look forward to hearing from you.

x

The reply came from the appropriate officer in the Commons:

redacted-commons

4 comments for “Porn filters and government intent

  1. Errol
    November 25, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I do this sort of thing professionally. You can whitelist, blacklist or use content filtering.

    Whitelists are easy, but rubbish. They were the first internet. Half a dozen websites you could get to.

    Blacklists are rubbish as they’re antique before you deploy them. Blocking playboy.com, for example. All very nice, blocks the top level domain.

    What about HTTPS, though?

    Content filtering is interesting but requires you to scan each and every page each and every user is visiting, then you’ve got HTTPS interception which, really people should be screaming about.

    Unless you can control each and every single computer on the domain, restricting what the users of those computers can do you’re not able to filter them. The government might think it can dictate what we can do and control the internet a la big brother but it can’t. It shouldn’t bother and should just Leave. Us. Alone.

  2. Hereward Unbowed.
    November 25, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I cannot abide being told what to do by some lefty bigot whose education, its cognitive abilities and attention span lie in a banding, intelligence quotient equivalent between that of a wart hog and a gnat.

    What do you expect though, did they not sow the field?

    Indeed what can be expected of a population who’ve been spoon fed all their lives, have been jackbooted, marched to bog standard secondary schools which force feed teaching material and mores alluding to acceptance of, all manner of unnatural acts and beliefs.

    The daft idea that somehow shoving a ‘puter in a child’s face will provide a miracle education is specious nonsense where most info on the net-o-sphere is primarily of an explicit nature.

    How to compute that – in the UK education department?!
    T’ interweb thingy……where most proper [well sort of proper] educational material is paywalled and now that the EU has enabled scumbags.co.EU and politicians – malign people to erase and bin their own dubious histories – you can’t even find out who the fucking bad guys are, I wonder if Bliar’s lackies will/are doing just that right this moment “Iraq, nah never went near the place?”

    Mankind’s quite natural prurience is innate, his propensity for endless curiosity [and cruelty] is well known.

    The authorities have virtually [ooh did I say that?] made having to be able to access the ‘puter a necessity, a requirement – Bliar/Prudence macgloom/jack the ripper straw/blunkout wanted everyone to have a Ipad or summat, irrespective of whether you wanted one or not.
    Most government services, payment options no doubt will soon require all of you eejits to ‘ave an ‘app’.

    They wanted it, they opened it up, the demons are escaped and living it large – abroad, they taught the kids to be ‘puter savvy and now and now!….put the devil and his legion back in his box they want to do the impossible – make people pretend it never happened.

    Good luck with that – the scum PTB and their curs: lav party/CONs/Iibsdumb fuqwits.

    On the other hand, try something new, TRY “responsibility!” try trusting people to make their own minds up – now then that’s a novel idea – ain’t it? Book it.

    • Mudplugger
      November 25, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      The box was first opened when they allowed hoi polloi to learn to read and write but, to limit the damage, they still kept broad control of what could be published for centuries. The internet has suddenly changed all that, so now anyone can publish pretty much anything, anytime, anywhere and everywhere.

      Porn may be the convenient whipping-boy (see what I did there?) but the real target is to recover control of what we can read, by whom and from whom. Both Brexit and Trump have recently put the fear of Christ up them, even Blair’s now planning an undercover social-media campaign to reverse Brexit, trying to use the new ‘enemy environment’ for his own devious purposes.

      The Establishment know that they are losing control and it’s now starting to impact their very existence. Forget porn and the Daily Mail, it’s freedom they want to squash, again.

      • November 27, 2016 at 8:09 am

        It’s always freedom they want to squash…

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