The ‘porn-block’ plans are being pushed through: tell the govt you’re opposed


9:24 am - September 4th 2012

by Jim Killock    


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Liberal Conspiracy has been tracking the “opt out” government porn filters campaign.

It started with Mary Whitehouse’s Safer Media, then Christian groups, Claire Perry and the Daily Mail; but now the policy has well and truly arrived at the heart of government.

A few months ago, the idea moved from Jeremy Hunt’s office at DCMS, which is responsible for Internet policy, to the Department for Education.

These folks deal with child safety issues online, but have little expertise surrounding the wider questions that may be involved.

The questions are pretty loaded, but the Daily Mail still isn’t satisfied. It believes the rushed consultation has been set up to limit the number of anti-porn campaigners responding.

You now have a few days to put evidence forward to the Committee.

This isn’t a done deal: as the Mail points out, not everyone in government thinks this is a great idea. The Lib Dems aren’t likely to want to vote for a national opt out pornwall.

In fact, the main reason this policy has legs is the credence given to the Daily Mail. Though I wish they’d read the comments from the online edition

The best children’s Pr0n filter already exists – Parental Supervision. The state should not intefere with people’s access to the internet. First they block pr0n, then they block terrorist sites, then they block anything that the government don’t want the populous to read. Soon enough the “internet” is no more than a government-controlled propaganda machine. No thankyou.

Leave the pr0n where it is – let parents police their child’s internet access.
Fed Up, UK, 03/9/2012 10:52

It’s excruciating to watch a section of the Conservative Party advocate a state-mandated technological solution, that will stop the free market from providing appropriate solutions, while creating a state list of “porn consumers”, undermining parental responsibility and interfering with our lives in our very homes…

Please do make sure you tell the DoE that this policy is muddled and damaging.

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About the author
This is a guest article. Jim Killock is Executive Director of Open Rights Group
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Reader comments


Well said, Jim.

For the moment, the freedom of the internet represents the only viable antidote to unlimited state power and, for that reason, the statists have come to hate it. Every battle for internet freedom has to be fought to the death- we cannot continue to rely on technology to avoid repression or to limit a free internet to the darknet geeks.

In 10 years time, if the government gets its way, the net, for most people, will resemble a controlled “information super highway” – like Sky TV but with extra features.

They will tax traffic via the ISPs and will probably sell off the UK franchise to Richard Branson .

Well said, Jim.

“It’s excruciating to watch a section of the Conservative Party advocate a state-mandated technological solution, that will stop the free market from providing appropriate solutions, while creating a state list of “porn consumers”, undermining parental responsibility and interfering with our lives in our very homes…”

But why “excruciating”? Is it not just as “excruciating” to watch statist socialists argue for a free market approach here?

Conservatism, liberalism and socialism are fairly distinct ideologies and political attitudes; but, in any event, they must not to be identified completely with particular political parties, because the liberal attitude can cut across the left-right divide (liberal socialists, liberal conservatives) – just as the conservative attitude can.

3. the a&e charge nurse

[1] agreed, except to the extent that the net will increasingly be controlled by corporations (with weak politicians acting on their behalf).

In other words politicians will remain in thrall to big business, and aggressive lobbyists who represent them – there will (in time) be fewer checks and balances.

‘I call my cancer rupert’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnVrK38xI-A

“In 10 years time, if the government gets its way, the net, for most people, will resemble a controlled “information super highway” – like Sky TV but with extra features. ”

The irony is I recall reading excatly the same sentiments 10, 15 years ago. That isn’t to say that there isn’t an issue here with the proposals, but that the cat has been let out of the bag a long time ago. On the legislative side we already have several acts outlawing possesion of violent porn, ever increasing surveillence regarding copyright etc.

Much more importantly has been how the internet has been changed simply through the behaviour of its users. The fact of the matter is, as use has become more widespread – the net has simply become a giant shopping mall. The vast majority of users probably never go beyond visiting facebook/e-bay/ and a couple of other sites. And despite having effectively free access (legally through spotify as well) to the biggest music library the world has ever seen, the charts are more dominated by generic x factor pop than ever before – certainly compared the 80s where alongside the crap you at least had a proliferation of acts on small labels capable of regularly reaching the charts.

No more is this dumbing down illustrated more than by the popularity of twitter, the boy band of discussion platforms if ever there was one. I can quite clearly envisage telling my children – if I have them – that ‘in my day we were allowed to express ourselves in more than 140 characters’.

The truth is, governments are only playing a minor role in this. Its something you did to yourselves, internet.

@ 4.

Indeed.

I would go further.

The Internet is the greatest tool for government surveilance and the promotion of mediocrity the world has ever seen – discuss.

planeshift @ 4:

“No more is this dumbing down illustrated more than by the popularity of twitter, the boy band of discussion platforms if ever there was one.”

I wish I’d written that! And I will elsewhere…

@ Planeshift

The truth is, governments are only playing a minor role in this. Its something you did to yourselves, internet.

Ha ha!! Love the misanthropy!!!

Of course it’s the same people who lack the imagination or curiosity to explore the possibilities of the internet who choose the X factor winners and the government. Hence my lack of enthusiasm for democracy.

So should we just conclude that people get the degree of slavery that they deserve?

Or should we be trying to keep some virtual doors to freedom open, in the hope that they might be interested, one day, in using them?

Incidentally, following the Megaupload shutdown, I notice that most of the other large file-sharing sites are now defunct. Maybe their servers would be safe from seizure in North Korea or Iran!!!

It’s excruciating to watch a section of the Conservative Party advocate a state-mandated technological solution, that will stop the free market from providing appropriate solutions, while creating a state list of “porn consumers”, undermining parental responsibility and interfering with our lives in our very homes…

So where’s Labour’s bastion of free speech Keith Vaz on this?

This isn’t left vs right, its liberty vs authoritarianism so lets not pretend this would not be an issue if the Opposition were in power.

There’s always the dark net.

It’s also being supported and pushed for by so called “feminist” groups who are in bed with right-wing Christian extremists who are anti-women.

Always priceless watching right wing, govt hating freedom lovers demand more……………..er…… govt.

I repeat again ….all libertarians are fake. Especially conservative libertarians.

@11 – unfortuantly for you, this sites’ regular libertarians are the ones opposing the plans. Suggesting that actually they are being principled here.

@Dan Factor – I wouldn’t say ‘so called’, the reasons said feminists have ended up in the anti-porn camp are generally quite different (who regard porn as something that is used to degrade women and make their bodies a commodity) to the right-wing Christian extremists (who regard porn, and indeed sex-4-fun, as sinful and leading people into temptation and the pathway to eternal damnation etc etc). Though it is a rather amusing set of bedfellows. I often wonder which side is irked more.

“Though it is a rather amusing set of bedfellows”

What is even more amusing is the silence (with a couple of exceptions) of these groups regarding the subject matter of this summer’s best selling book.

Hypocrisy?….

Does it even matter what children look at on the internet anyway?

16. Just Visiting

Weird – none of you guys have focused on the central issue – the impact on children of being exposed to porn.

Plastic surgeons report a whole new category of requests: young women wanting vagina surgery because they don’t fel they look ‘normal’. Is this a change for the better or worse – -discuss.

Discuss – 12 year olds finding porn that shows men ejaculating over women’s faces – good or bad.

Discuss – 14 year old girls thinking that if they can’t give good head, their boyfriends will dump them.

Discuss – kids watching porn that seperates sex out from any kind of relationship – what impact will that have on their future ability to have meaningful relationships ?

Japan has a long historic tradition of erotic art – see the Wikipedia entry for: Shunga. Marrying couples are often presented at their nuptials with a collection of shunga prints for timely inspiration.

Japan is rated as having one of the largest global pornography industries. Competitive TV games there often have erotic themes and commercial channels carry pornographic programmes – try this clip showing a large audience of enthusiatic teen girls watching a live sex show:
http://www.youporn.com/watch/83726/tv-show-in-japan/

I was surprised a few years back to discover that a Danish TV channel had broadcast a drama series in 10 episodes based on the notorious French erotic novel L’Historire d’O by Pauline Reage. The drama has been repackaged on DVD classified for viewing by 15 year-olds and older.

Japan and Denmark are both rated as having comparatively low crime rates by the standards of other affluent countries.

Parental controls for internet access on web browsers can easily restrict viewing to specific websites or ban access to specific websites. This problem – if it is one – is hardly unique to Britain and we might gain from looking at the policies peer-group countries have for restricting internet access to porn.

@ JV

Weird – none of you guys have focused on the central issue – the impact on children of being exposed to porn.

Not really weird at all- because it has got nothing whatever to do with the issue of automatic censorship of web sites by ISP’s based on a proposed statute law.

Frankly, I doubt whether the proposals will be any more effective at preventing children from accessing internet porn, if they want to, than are parental controls or the filters on school intranets.

But that is not really the point.

The internet is based on the freedom of its users to communicate whatever and however they wish and once we accept there is a role for government to prevent that, the medium is tarnished irretrievably.

You bemoan the early sexualisation of children in modern society compared to the past (and I am prepared to accept that the net plays a role in this) but you haven’t offered any real evidence for the downsides and, even supposing they exist, if the choice is between accepting and dealing with them or being coerced into following your Christian moral code I’d rather take the chance that my children can cope with freedom.

How can you be so arrogant as to suppose that they can’t?

@JV – You forgot the biggy – that the ubiquity of bare backing in porn makes most attempts at safe sex education a complete waste of everyone’s bloody time. Because (bearing in mind porn is ‘fantasy fulfilment’) increasing numbers of guys convince themselves that sex with a rubber isn’t as good and pretty much show no compunctions in badgering and demanding that their girlfriend’s get the bar, or the coil, or go on the pill – all so they can dispense with the effort of wrapping their wacker.

(Incidentally the porn world has just had a syphilis scare recently and has had to shut down and commence full testing after one male actor decided to carry on working after discovering he was infected. Still, at least none of the actresses were in danger of getting pregnant…)

So if this isn’t the solution to the problem of runaway pornography, what is?

A few points

1. There are already many things which cannot be shown on the Internet, every film released has a rating for who can see it. Magazines are sold on different shelves based on content. The idea that this is the beginning of censorship is rubbish. We already have various checks in place. Fifty years ago pornography was sold only in adult-only stores. These days the average child is eleven the first time they see pornography and they’re likely to see things much much more violent and extreme than they saw fifty years ago.

2. Relying on parental controls just creates more work for parents. No-one seriously thinks parents should stand and supervise Internet use 24/7 for children up to the age of 16 or 18. And if we rely on parental controls, what happens to the kids whose parents are too busy or neglect them? We just hand them over to the pornographers do we?

3. So in some cases it might be mis-interpreted and result in for example a sex ed site being blocked. Yes this is true. The block would have to be modified if this happened. Because it breaks down in a small percentage of cases doesn’t mean the whole law is a bad idea. That’s like saying we’ll have to legalise all murder so no-one gets imprisoned for euthanasia. No, the solution is to write the law carefully and implement it carefully.

4. There is a problem. The most popular pornographic sites in the UK regularly advertise “young teen” actresses and consistently use racist and sexist language that would be considered totally unacceptable anywhere else. Condoms are seldom used. Violence and humiliation are the norm. Sexual bullying is on the rise in schools. If this isn’t the solution, what solution do you propose?

I can’t help feeling that those who are in a fluster to oppose this are in fact just addicted to increasingly violent pornography themselves and are embarrassed to admit this to whoever they share a computer with. If you really think this stuff is harmless fun, why not admit to watching it and “opt in”? If anything one of the best things about this law is that many people would be forced to face up to the fact that they have a problem. Help is available, your life will be better when you break the cycle!

Pagar @ 18 says

“How can you be so arrogant as to suppose my children can’t cope with freedom?”

Kate @20 says

“Because I’m an authoritarian feminist and know what’s good for them better than they do themselves.”

Not quite sure where we go from there……………

“So if this isn’t the solution to the problem of runaway pornography, what is?”

Who, exactly, says it’s a “problem”, Kate?

Kate/20: So if this isn’t the solution to the problem of runaway pornography, what is?

Given that internet filtering – either on the PC or at the ISP – is so trivially easy for a moderately technically competent user (which will include most modern teenagers) to bypass [1] that it might as well not be there, your question is like “So if taping up your letterbox isn’t the solution to burglary, what is?”.

In response to your specific points

1) Yes, but magazines, books, films, etc. are *sold*. Money changes hands, there are physical premises which can be inspected, etc. Films are small enough in number that the BBFC can sit down and watch each one to classify it. (What’s the average age at which a kid watches their first 18 certificate film, though? I don’t recall exactly but I know I was a fair bit less than 18 at the time…)

The internet is not practical to regulate in the same way. Spam, which pretty much every government and internet user agrees should be stopped, remains a major problem, despite the best efforts of the filtering industry and national law enforcement.

2) Now this I absolutely agree with. You can’t reasonably supervise children the whole time, especially not as they get older, and it’s just setting up more unreasonable standards for parents (by which we mean mothers) to fail to meet.

On the other hand – see footnote again – if you don’t supervise their computer use constantly, it’ll take them about five minutes to bypass any filters you have in place. So filters aren’t the solution either.

That said, in so far as filters can be helpful (which is not very far at all), opt-in would be as effective as opt-out for those parents who wanted to use them.

3) It’s not a matter of writing the law carefully (though your trust in our famously competent government is commendable), it’s a matter of writing the filter. “Human-style” Classification and categorisation, beyond the ridiculously trivial “block mentions of small towns in Yorkshire” text scanning, is one of the hard (unsolved) problems of computer science. (Spam filtering, which has a much easier task, still has a high error rate)

“I’ll know it when I see it” may be a usable standard for humans to apply to porn [2]. It’s not a usable standard for computers to do the same.

4) I don’t have a solution, I’ll admit. It’s too complex a problem for an easy solution to exist – and, really, I think of the porn as a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. However, I’d start with two things:

a) A radical consent-based overhaul of sex ed in schools, though, moving it a lot earlier (if they’re first seeing porn at 11, they clearly need the education to start earlier than that), in an attempt to significantly reduce the demand, and to counteract the messages they’ll get before they start seeing it.

b) An outrage-powered generator would be built around the Daily Mail offices, to solve the UK’s energy crisis.

[1] If it’s on the PC, boot a different OS from a LiveCD or USB stick. That’s all that filtering gone.
If it’s on the ISP, then use Tor, or a similar encrypted proxy. (There are LiveCDs which have Tor preconfigured, of course, if the PC is locked down to attempt to disallow installation) Incredibly difficult to block without extremely draconian measures (China, with its infamously restrictive firewall, has difficulty).

[2] Though hardly without its risks: “Well, we know that LGBT resources sites are pornographic when we see them. And we’re commissioning the filter, so you can shut up and stop trying to access porn on the internet. Sincerely, the Conservative Party” Even if the modern Conservative party might not say that, the Conservative party of even 10 years ago certainly would have. The Internet may have made it easier to get porn, but it’s also made it easier to get a lot of other things you’re presumably in favour of. On balance the net effect has probably been positive.

@Kate

These days the average child is eleven the first time they see pornography

Zombie Statistic Alert!!!

Sorry Kate, but I researched that claim and its bullshit – the nearest anyone has come to an original source is a self-published book by an American religious nutball, dating to around 2000, and the claim is made without any supporting evidence.

What actual research shows (an EU funded study by researchers from LSE) is that young people’s interest in porn develops in a more or less age appropriate manner, i.e. from 11 to 16 the numbers increase with age as interest in sex develops naturally. There’s also a question here of how one defines porn – few studies grade the kind of material that young people have accessed when conducting their ‘porn access’ surveys and so claims that x% have viewed ‘porn’ a certain age are typically undifferentiated between ‘seen static image of pair of tits’ and ‘watched gonzo porn on tube site’.

2. Relying on parental controls just creates more work for parents. No-one seriously thinks parents should stand and supervise Internet use 24/7 for children up to the age of 16 or 18. And if we rely on parental controls, what happens to the kids whose parents are too busy or neglect them? We just hand them over to the pornographers do we?

So because some parents are too busy (or too lazy) to keep an eye on their kids, we should simply surrender all parental responsibility to a bunch of unaccountable private censors who’ll decide what is and isn’t appropriate for young people to view, or read, etc.

Thanks, but no – I care about my own kids too much to leave their intellectual and emotional development to someone else, and especially to people – and this is not directed at you but the religious anti-porn campaigners – who believe that fostering ignorance is a valid means of exercising social control over young people.

There is a problem. The most popular pornographic sites in the UK regularly advertise “young teen” actresses and consistently use racist and sexist language that would be considered totally unacceptable anywhere else. Condoms are seldom used. Violence and humiliation are the norm. Sexual bullying is on the rise in schools. If this isn’t the solution, what solution do you propose?

Large scale investment in comprehensive sex and relationships education for all young people of the kind which doesn’t shy aware from difficult and controversial issues, such as porn. Yes, porn sites do regularly advertise ‘young teen’ actresses, although many are nothing like as young as the promos claim.

The porn industry is in the business of selling people fantasies and to a considerable degree there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that, provided that consumers are fully aware that what they are seeing on screen is a fantasy. Where problems arise, in general, is where young people are left in a situation in which porn is pretty much their only source of information about sex and without, therefore, anything to allow them to distinguish between fantasy and reality, and that’s a problem that can only be effectively address by investing in high quality SRE.

I can’t help feeling that those who are in a fluster to oppose this are in fact just addicted to increasingly violent pornography themselves

Wow.

Really not worth anyone’s while engaging with that.

“There are already many things which cannot be shown on the Internet, every film released has a rating for who can see it. Magazines are sold on different shelves based on content”

There are 2 points here:

1. Any child can go into a major supermarket and purchase a series of best-selling novels specifically about BDSM. There is no proposed legislation to deal with this. Frankly I would be far more worried about my daughter getting the message that the key to happiness was meeting a billionaire and letting him do what the hell he wants, than by the vast majority of online porn – which can be far more effectively tackled through better and earlier sex and relationship education.

2. Tabloid Newspapers are not top shelf, and anybody can by them. They contain soft porn most days, alongside a series of far more damaging prejudices and messages. There is no proposed legislation to deal with them – although perhaps a slightly better PCC may be emerging thanks to leveson. Frankly I would be far more worried about any child reading ‘the sun’ than watching some porn.

The way I see it is online porn is a lot like recreational drugs. It is not good, and you probably should not indulge in it too much if you value your mental health. But the vast majority of people who do indulge don’t come to any long term harm provided it doesn’t become a problem, and criminalising it does more harm than good.

I do want to say to the people here who are concerned about their children, that this is perfectly reasonable, just the solution proposed is not appropriate.

There have been some very thoughtful perspectives including from Christians on this, here for instance:

http://zine.openrightsgroup.org/features/2012/internet-blocking-will-still-not-protect-our-children

How do all those other peer-group countries cope with no official controls over access to internet websites?

We seem to have managed to get along after a jury in 1960 decided to acquit Penguin Books in the trials that ensued after it had published an unexpurgated edition of DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which had originally been published in 1928. The Conservative government in 1960 made no attempt by legislation to reverse the acquittal of Penguin Books. As a result, many other previously banned books – or books withheld from publication for fear of prosecution – were published, such as John Cleland’s 18th century erotic novel: Fanny Hill (1748) and Pauline Réage (Anne Desclos): The Story of O (1954). As I recall, James Joyce’s Ulysses was banned for decades.

Those books are now regularly stocked on the fiction shelves of good bookshops or can be bought online. During the Lady Chatterley trial, the prosecuting lawyer memorably asked the jury whether they would want their wives or servants to read the book?

In recent weeks, while travelling by public transport, I have on two occasions seen young women openly reading different books from the Shades of Grey triology by EL James while making no attempt at concealment. Indeed, why need they feel any embarrassment as those book feature in prominent promotional displays in supermarkets and in WH Smith’s?

The statistic about children seeing porn at eleven was from a survey conducted for and discussed in a channel four series about sex education.

As to the notion that “my children can cope with freedom”, presumably you are outside the relevant offices day in and day out campaigning against film classification? And yes I’m entitled to an opinion, and no that doesn’t make me “authoritarian”.

I also agree that another part of the solution must be quality comprehensive sex ed. Frankly this government is way too busy pandering to religious interests to even think about that. And school sex ed can still be opted out of by parents.

As to the notion that this government is bad at stuff, so don’t let them do stuff… Well I sure didn’t vote for them. But should we also legalise domestic violence in case they arrest someone innocent? Surely we have to pick good laws and then push to have them implemented fairly and well…? Clearly there’d need to be a body one could contact if you felt a website had been misclassified.

And of course if you really wanted to see this misclassified site you could just choose “opt in” and your Internet would go back to being just as it is now. Is that so terrible and arduous?

No of course not. If you’re watching something health, consensual and wholesome then admit it and opt in.

Also completely terrifying when people on here claim that many porn actresses advertised on major sites in the UK as “young teen” are “not as young as the promos claim”. Erm, any proof of this? Of course the only info available is (1) promo title and (2) footage. So you must be watching lots of these and thinking “most of these women look like adults”. And therefore “some of these women look like children”.

But of course if I were to suggest that addiction to increasingly extreme forms of pornography is widespread, that would be me being ridiculous, right? Ha ha ha! And eugh, seriously, no-one is advocating banning porn. We’re talking about changing the way it’s made available. Just like we limit how alcohol and cigarettes are available.

The problem of access to porn on the internet – if it is a problem – is hardly unique to Britain so maybe we could learn something from finding out how peer-group countries have dealt with it. ISPs can help with guidance on using available parental controls on web browsers. Once the heavy hand of government gets public sanction for web censorship, there’s no knowing what that could lead to.

“And of course if you really wanted to see this misclassified site you could just choose “opt in” and your Internet would go back to being just as it is now. Is that so terrible and arduous?”

Suppose we have a government who respond to concerns raised by religious groups about children finding positive messages about homosexuality online by legislating for ISPs to classify such material as ‘opt in’. A digital section 28 if you will. If people really wanted to find positive messages they could always ‘opt in’ – would that really be so terrible and arduous?

What if positive messages about homosexuality, aids, etc were not the target of the legislation, but their blocking from non-opted in internet users happened due to collatoral damage caused by an attempt to restrict viewing of other material? Would this be so terrible and arduous?

Lets consider a not exactly unlikely scenario. We have a teenage boy from a religious conservative family background. The kid thinks he is gay, but due his background is incredibly anxious and depressed about this, possibly even suicidal. He searches online about homosexuality, only to find that sites like Stonewall are blocked because his family have not yet ‘opted in’. Do you think he is going to approach his parents and ask for them to call the ISP to change their filter? What do you think his parents are going to say when he asks them to ‘remove the porn filter’?

32. Buffalo Bill

Please mister government please may I watch porn on my computer, pleasey weasy lemon squeezy, I will be a good little boy if you do, oh go on please.

YES! I got my porn….

…fuck me I thought becoming an adult was supposed to stop all this bollocks, turns out my parents were lying…again.

Kate Smurthwaite:

Also completely terrifying when people on here claim that many porn actresses advertised on major sites in the UK as “young teen” are “not as young as the promos claim”. Erm, any proof of this?

1 – Both US and British law prohibits women under 18 from working in porn

2 – US law has compliance procedures to record the details of the models (which would include ensuring they’re over 18)

3 – No legal porn business wants to end up on a statutory rape charge, let alone accusations of child pornography (see the Traci Lords scandal for details)

4 – In theatre, there’s the idea of ‘playing age’, since even without the addition of extensive make-up wigs, etc. an actor can look older or younger than their physical age – unless we’re to assume that every actor who has played Alice in Alice in Wonderland actually is the implied age of the character.

5 – It’s advertising, not a statement of absolute truth.

@ Kate

As to the notion that “my children can cope with freedom”, presumably you are outside the relevant offices day in and day out campaigning against film classification?

If you are asking whether I am a better judge than the government of what is appropriate for my children to watch, then I would argue that I am.

And yes I’m entitled to an opinion, and no that doesn’t make me “authoritarian”

That’s true.

no-one is advocating banning porn. We’re talking about changing the way it’s made available. Just like we limit how alcohol and cigarettes are available.

Live with it, dear. You ARE an authoritarian.

The main problem with the 50 Shades books is that they’re shit.

@ Pagar:

“The internet is based on the freedom of its users to communicate whatever and however they wish and once we accept there is a role for government to prevent that, the medium is tarnished irretrievably.”

So what, if I made a webpage urging people to murder you and making available your picture and address, we should just let it stay up? Can’t interfere with the freedom of the internet, after all…

Planeshift @ 31:

“Suppose we have a government who respond to concerns raised by religious groups about children finding positive messages about homosexuality online by legislating for ISPs to classify such material as ‘opt in’. A digital section 28 if you will.”

Well, I see no reason to suppose that’s likely to happen in the foreseeable future.

Planeshift @ 31:

“Suppose we have a government who respond to concerns raised by religious groups about children finding positive messages about homosexuality online by legislating for ISPs to classify such material as ‘opt in’. A digital section 28 if you will.”

Well, I see no reason to suppose that’s likely to happen in the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, this proposal will produce exactly this effect. Yesterday, we were sent a list of 50 sites discussing women’s sexual health, that are blocked by 3 mobile as unsafe for children.

We’ve seen church websites blocked for similar reasons. They discuss sex.

Mr X, on your point about posting personal information, this is breaking the law, and that’s how you deal with crimes and misdemeanours on the net. Sites are taken down and indivdiuals are prosecuted. The Internet is subject to law just as anywhere else, but it isn’t the anodyne pre-policed world of mass media.

@ Mr X

So what, if I made a webpage urging people to murder you and making available your picture and address, we should just let it stay up?

Well, no, because you would be breaking the law by inciting and abetting a criminal offence. But if I am murdered, on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to see you arrested for trolling my Facebook memorial page.

I believe in your right to freedom of expression, so fill your boots!!!

I find it amusing that the Daily Mail is trying to have porn blocked given some of the images on their website.

@11. Sally

Actually the libertarians, myself included could not be more against these plans if we tried. You confuse libertarianism and an old guard of big government corporatist conservatives. (George Bush type politics)

Pagar @ 39

I am seriously interested in why is such a big deal to you and the Libertarians here. What actual difference does it make, one way or another?

As far as I can see, this is about two competing freedoms. Kate’s a) freedom to let her children enjoy the Internet and b) other people’s freedom to fiddle with themselves in front of a computer. Now, clearly somewhere along the line, someone’s going to have to give up a bit of their freedom to allow the other to have a bit more freedom, so what is it that is so compelling about the users and suppliers of porn’s argument that makes you come down on their side?

35: “The main problem with the 50 Shades books is that they’re shit.”

I agree completely: the narrative is formulaic and the writing style abysmal. But the books are being promoted by prominent displays in stores of leading supermarket chains where I shop for groceries. By news reports, these books have attained astonishing sales figures and – as mentioned – they are being read openly in public by young women. Why is no one demanding the banning of the books to prevent dissemination of subversive ideas about human relations?

No one seems keen on looking to see what action is being taken in peer-group countries to control access to porn on the internet. As best I can tell, it is close run whether the US or Japan has the largest global porn industry. Try the Wikipedia entry for: Kink.com

@23. cim: “Given that internet filtering – either on the PC or at the ISP – is so trivially easy for a moderately technically competent user (which will include most modern teenagers) to bypass…”

As somebody who has been locking down computers at a university for 20 years, I’d argue that it is trivially easy to prevent the circumventions that cim suggests. Unfortunately, those steps make it difficult to manage a PC or phone by the plain old home user. Security is weak because tech support is costly. The curated software model used by Apple with iOS and optionally with OS X is an interesting experiment in making security and manageability affordable.

Another approach to software control is monitoring rather than blocking. If Johnny is blocked from accessing something, he may try to work around the control. If Johnny is silently monitored, inappropriate internet usage can be addressed in a responsible way.

The dedicated browser of internet porn is really beyond redemption and difficult or impossible to block. But the problem – if there is one – is rather over accidental or incidental access to porn by pre- and early teens. Since this is not just a British problem, I think we could learn from what is being done about it in peer-group countries. Why are we apparently unconcerned nowadays about pornographic books?

For interest, try this San Francisco City Guide on the history of the Armory Building on Mission St which has become a major producing studio for internet porn, mainly catering for the global BDSM market:
http://www.sfcityguides.org/public_guidelines.html?article=506&submitted=TRUE&srch_text=&submitted2=&topic=Early%20San%20Francisco

@23. cim: “Spam, which pretty much every government and internet user agrees should be stopped, remains a major problem, despite the best efforts of the filtering industry and national law enforcement.”

I think that’s a very good point. The multitude of spam filter mechanisms have reduced the number of spam selling or credential phishing messages that internet users read. My email box contains 9,128 junk mails that got past the first level of filtering at my ISP in the last three months; that number excludes the ones that my ISP did not forward to me.

In spite of it all, spam selling is still profitable. Filters ensure that little spam gets through to end users, but nobody has worked out how to make it non-profitable. The downside of reducing exposure to spam is that users are less likely to become inoculated.

Targeted phishing — intelligent attacks intended to capture the credentials of specific people — are much more worrying.

KS @20:

“These days the average child is eleven the first time they see pornography

Even if this were true (and I would tend to trust Unity on this rather than someone with a clear ideological axe to grind), then that simply means that things have changed little in forty years.

“what happens to the kids whose parents are too busy or neglect them? We just hand them over to the pornographers do we?”

Bzzz! Emotive language alert! In any case, that is the parents’ responsibility; it is not for the State to nanny their kids to the extent that it enforces infantilisation on all adults.

“So in some cases it might be mis-interpreted”

No might about it; it almost certainly will be. It’s not so much the interfering of religious or ideological bigots we need worry about here; it’s the tidal wave of corporate arse-covering which will mean that sites would be blocked which the block was – if we believe its proponents – never intended to block.

“No, the solution is to write the law carefully and implement it carefully.”

And this, of course, is going to happen. By the way, I have a nice bridge to sell you if you’re interested.

“Sexual bullying is on the rise in schools”

Much of it against LGBT kids. Tell me again how blocking LGBT-positive sites (which would be all but inevitable given what I’ve already said) is going to stop that?

“I can’t help feeling that those who are in a fluster to oppose this are in fact just addicted to increasingly violent pornography themselves”

Congratulations on managing to ad hom the largest number of people in the fewest number of words.

” If you really think this stuff is harmless fun, why not admit to watching it and “opt in”?”

Why not ‘admit’ (and there’s a loaded word again) that there are some people who clutch their pearls at the slightest flash of Janet Jackson or Harry Windsor, and get them to “opt out”?

“Help is available, your life will be better when you break the cycle!”

I’d be modded out or permanently banned if I told you what I thought of that lovely little remark. Needless to say, you have exposed more about yourself with it than if you’d posed nude in front of a webcam.

KS @29:

“And yes I’m entitled to an opinion, and no that doesn’t make me “authoritarian”.”

Yes you are. Yes it does.

“Clearly there’d need to be a body one could contact if you felt a website had been misclassified.”

There might well be such a body. And how safe – given all the other laws which have been passed in recent years – do you think that the datum that you had ‘opted in’ would be from, say, the police on a trawling expedition? The snoops trying to discredit you for some reason? Or even a criminal gang or script-kiddy out on a spree? Remember that the quickest way of neutralsing a thorn in the side – a whistleblower, say, or just someone you disagree with – is to spread innuendo as to their sexual tastes or conduct (see under Assange, J.).

“But of course if I were to suggest that addiction to increasingly extreme forms of pornography is widespread, that would be me being ridiculous, right? “

Yes, it would. Particularly as you have not (as yet) adduced any reliable evidence for your claim. Even if you did, I’m sure that Unity could shoot that one down as well.

The basic, simple fact is this: if a block is going to be meaningful (which, as others have said, is unlikely), then let it be for the religiously hamstrung or the ideologically pure or the prudish (or, to put the kindliest construction on it, ‘responsible’ parents) to opt in to such a block, not for the vast majority of adults who do not deserve to be sneered at by you to have to opt in. In the former case, perhaps you and your fellow ideologues can issue little Certificates of Purity to those who show how wonderfully ‘responsible’ they are being. And you would leave the rest of us to be treated as adults, rather than being infantilised by the State at the behest of that unholiest of alliances between religious fundamentalists, the scum media and a certain type of joyless feminist who cannot bear the thought that not everyone shares their pursed-lipped view of the world.

47/Charlieman: Yes, I was simplifying there. I could certainly think of ways to make it very difficult to do that, too – or at least make it obvious after the fact that someone had circumvented the filter, which would be good enough, but at that rate you might as well just put the computer in a public place in the house and be done with it… (It’s also all rather incompatible with allowing tinkering with the computer, which is something which should be encouraged in general)

On the spam issue, it’s also a much easier job for the filter writers: the filter wants to keep out spam, and the user wants the filter to do so. The spammer wants the spam to get through and has some advantage in volume.

For porn, the filter wants to block it, and both endpoints want it to get through. That gives a whole range of obvious tactics that spammers can’t use to overwhelm the filtering system. (So long as filtering remains opt-in, it’s of course not worth their time to do this)

Jim,

As far as I can see, this is about two competing freedoms. Kate’s a) freedom to let her children enjoy the Internet and b) other people’s freedom to fiddle with themselves in front of a computer. Now, clearly somewhere along the line, someone’s going to have to give up a bit of their freedom to allow the other to have a bit more freedom, so what is it that is so compelling about the users and suppliers of porn’s argument that makes you come down on their side?

Sorry, but it seems you have mischaracterised the conflict. Kate wants other adult’s freedom infringed so that her children can enjoy the internet absent supervision.

adults’

UKL @ 50

Sorry, but it seems you have mischaracterised the conflict. Kate wants other adult’s freedom infringed so that her children can enjoy the internet absent supervision.

And? I am sure you don’t mind dirty old men’s freedom to masterbate on park benches is infringed in order for your children play on the swing park.

Worrying this: Berners-Lee on turning off the internet:
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/web-inventor-tim-bernerslee-denies-internet-offswitch-8106532.html

He was saying that the internet can’t be turned off because it is decentralised.

“Sweden has topped the Web Index league table launched by the World Wide Web Foundation, followed by the US in second and the UK in third. Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe and Yemen were the bottom three of 61 countries measured using indicators such as the political, economic and social impact of the web, connectivity and use.”

@49. cim: “For porn, the filter wants to block it, and both endpoints want it to get through. That gives a whole range of obvious tactics that spammers can’t use to overwhelm the filtering system.”

Let’s assume that you let the kids go onto the internet without a blocking filter. The kids will go to Facebook, eBay, Wikipedia and absolutely anywhere that will provide information to get homework done. The only one of those that would give a porn link is the search engine to get homework completed.

The default settings for search engines are to not show adult content. If you search for information about homosexuality, transgenderism, religion, jihad or female genital mutilation — ideas that anyone of any age might wish to learn about — the default settings only deliver “safe” sites. Well before censorship is applied at the user end or ISP, the default for a search engine is to deliver information rather than smut.

Spam filters (and better designed email software) have largely eliminated porn link spam. Young people are unlikely (not impossible, but unlikely) to be exposed to porn via email spam. Young people are unlikely to be exposed to porn via a search using default settings in Google or Bing*.

To find porn, you have to look and change the defaults. Five years ago, incidental links to porn were more common.

* Google and Bing have a lot more tech than companies who offer blocking software for home PCs, and they still get it wrong. Peter Paul Rubens and his nudes have a lot for which to answer.

55. Just Visiting

Well, interesting – I threw in some questions and lots of views expressed.

There’s a surprising amount of heat on this issue.

First red-herring – the fact that books are published without censorship in this country is no basis for arguing that the Internet should be censorship free – they are different mediums, have a different level of immediacy and impact on the young reader vs young viewer. Just like we censor movies today.

So can we leave books and 50 shades of gray out of this?

Secondly – it doesnt strike me as authoritarian to suggest the possiblilty that we limit some peoples’s freedom, for the sake of others.

Certainly as a parent, I value these limitations.
I value the fact that off-licences have to check the age of purchasers and not sell to under age buyers: you might say it is my responsibility to prevent my kids being outdoors in vicinity of an off-licence without my supervision! But that argument doesn’t hold water for me – 100% supervision is bad parenting! So for the sake of all children – we all live with the rules on off-licences, cinema entrances, gambling clubs, sex clubs, gun clubs etc.

Likewise on the Internet – every time my kids go for a sleep-over with a friend – I wonder just how active are the parents at policing the Internet (and the TV for that matter: for me, I’m not comfortable kids having a TV or a laptop in their bed-rooms: there are the overnight TV adult channels as well as the internet:)
Kids are naturally curious about sex, but responsible parents try as best they can to limit the scope of the world that the kids can explore, and let it expand gradually as the kids grow-up: the internet right now makes it very hard as it’s mostly an ‘all or nothing’.

I wouldn’t allow say a 10 year-old to play with chisels and saws around the house – but would start to allow them unsupervised access from say 14.

I would decide at what age it would be sensible for me to leave some adult sex material lying around the house, to be noticed by the kids! And what level of explicitness that might be, given my own kids maturity.

This is a normal process of giving children firm boundaries, as it makes for better mental health and happiness: with the day to day challenge as parent being to let the boundaries shift as the child develops, but not too fast nor too slow for that particualar child

Thirdly, no one has mentioned the huge amount of amateur porn that is available for free online. That sector is of course not regulated by the rules/laws the professional porn producers work by: so the issue of the age of the participants is a big issue.

Fourthly, regards Internet blocks and kids ability to get round them. Yes, 100% filtering may be nigh on impossible. But is something better than nothing in this case?

Lastly – pyschological impact of exposure to explicit sex/violence at a young age – the pyschologists have reported on these dangers -they are real.

There was even a report published just recently, that said that the delay between the start of a relationship and the first sex has large implications on the later lifetime of the relationship, and the later satisfaction in the relationship (including in sex) for the couple: with the effect more pronounced for the women. Those who didn;t have sex for the first 6 months benefiting over those who had it within the first month, and those who had it on the first day.

I’ll see if I can find a URL for that study.
I’ll

@Kate

If the survey you’re referring to is the one conducted for C4’s sex education show (142414-17 year olds at four schools) that I’ve read several articles about the show none of which include the claim that the average age at which young people first see porn is eleven…

…all of which strikes me as being just a little odd as that’s just the kind of statistic that you’d expect the media to lead on.

In fact, take a look for yourself – http://sexperienceuk.channel4.com/teen-sex-survey – you won’t find that statistic at all.

And what do peer-group countries do about restricting access to internet porn? Could it be that we might learn something from them since exactly the same challenges exist in those countries too?

Btw this controversy replays the arguments that have gone on over the threat to moral standards etc created by the advent of the printing press c. 1450 so it’s entirely relevant to bring in the censorship of books and printed pictures. Why censor one medium and not another?

@53. Bob B: “He was saying that the internet can’t be turned off because it is decentralised.”

I’m not sure about that. Most of the internet works by using DNS or domain names to work out where a site exists. On occasions we use IP address to identify something — but that is only for geeks. When ordinary people go to Facebook, they are communicating with one of a thousand servers.

(I am writing this comment from an IP address that has been constant after I bought into an ADSL contract. My IP address has been the same for ten years. My conduct is unusual — it costs me money — and I acknowledge that I am a freak. I sincerely hope that nobody copies me unless they understand.)

At the top level of internet communication, there are a handful of DNS servers. All in the USA? They provide a feed to secondary servers and the connection dribbles down to your local DNS server. When your PC asks to connect to http://www.neverheardofit.com, it asks your ISP, your ISP doesn’t know and after lots of dunnos, somebody does know. After lots of people saying that they can’t route you to http://www.neverheardofit.com, they finally achieve it.

If the top level DNS servers were turned off, there would be short term disruption. Anyone who controlled the top level DNS could pollute the waters before it was turned off. Everyone who trusted a top level DNS server would have to turn it off. There would be a negotiation to establish new top level DNS and how to clean up.

When that is being sorted out, the internet might “be turned off”.

59. Just Visiting

here’s the URL:

Rapid sexual involvement may have adverse long-term implications for relationship quality. … Bivariate results suggested that delaying sexual involvement was associated with higher relationship quality across several dimensions. The multivariate results indicated that the speed of entry into sexual relationships was negatively associated with marital quality, but only among women.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00996.x/abstract

60. Just Visiting

The study’s mesage certainly cuts across the narrative of porn — or of lots of Hollywood movies for that matter!

Without moralizing on whether premarital sex is bad or good for a relationship, the authors point out that practically speaking, premarital sex actually is bad for a relationship. It’s not so much the sex, however, but the cohabitation itself that it leads to which then leads the couple to slide, unthinkingly, into wedlock (or continued cohabitation). When couples are led by sexual desire, financial need, or an unexpected pregnancy to get married, they are less likely to stop and examine whether they share similar life values, goals, compatibility, and emotional intimacy. It’s that process of assessing whether they’ll make it for the long haul that ultimately will impact their relationship quality, especially for the women.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201208/take-it-slow-if-you-want-your-relationship-last

What’s all this about the new ascendancy of “free-market Conservatives” with the appointed of Micharl Fallon to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9521389/Free-market-Tories-arrive-to-reel-in-Vince-Cable.html

How is “free-market Conservatism” compatible with introducing new regulation of the Internet to prevent access to websites which the government deems to be morally subversive?

The curious thing is that the OFT has just announced an investigation of whether or not falls in the cost of crude oil are being passed on to drivers at the pumps. In genuinely free markets, the oil companies are free to charge at the pumps what they want to charge without interference from government.

Let’s have some consistency.

62. Chaise Guevara

@48 The Judge

That was fucking beautiful. Thank you.

@ JV

Without moralizing on whether premarital sex is bad or good for a relationship, the authors point out that practically speaking, premarital sex actually is bad for a relationship.

Let’s cut to the chase.

We can all find studies that support our view of the world but your moral objections to pre-marital sex, porn and the rest are founded in your Christian beliefs and values. Please don’t try to deny that.

Now I have no problem with you applying those values to your own life or even to the lives of your children. But when you want them forcibly applied, by the state, to me or to my children, I’m calling foul.

@63. pagar:,”Let’s cut to the chase.”

Indeed. Pay your taxes.

@63. pagar: “We can all find studies that support our view of the world” — and I can’t find an example, but I am permitted to persist my argument without facts.

Me @48:

“not for the vast majority of adults who do not deserve to be sneered at by you to have to opt in”

Should have read “opt out, of course.

(Sunny, if you’re intent on revamping the site, could you provide us with an edit function please?)

Chaise @62:

Careful, now – a passing killjoy would have you ‘opted in’ for that sort of language! 😉

Charlieman/58: At the top level of internet communication, there are a handful of DNS servers. All in the USA?
Fortunately not. They’re everywhere, and managed by a wide range of organisations. http://root-servers.org/map/

The internet could certainly be temporarily damaged by a root server or two being taken offline or going rogue, but probably only for a few days.

68. Buffalo Bill

If these porn blocks do become law can they come up with JV blocks so I can block anything done by this awful awful man? Are you Peter Hitchens? As JV does have a certain punchable quality about him, rather like Peter Hitchens.

69. Just Visiting

63

> Now I have no problem with you applying those values to your own life or even to the lives of your children. But when you want them forcibly applied, by the state, to me or to my children, I’m calling foul.

So what’s your view on the list I gave of things currently ‘forcibly applied’ on your children:
– off-licences, cinema entrances, gambling clubs, sex clubs, gun clubs etc.

Would you want to roll those back?
If not, then surely the internet as a ‘newish thing’ deserves some thought as whether it needs some new laws or not, to protect children in general.

UKL @ 50

Sorry, but it seems you have mischaracterised the conflict. Kate wants other adult’s freedom infringed so that her children can enjoy the internet absent supervision.

And? I am sure you don’t mind dirty old men’s freedom to masterbate on park benches is infringed in order for your children play on the swing park.

Private space != public space

71. Chaise Guevara

@ 59 Just Visiting

Before I delve into that study:

1) How is it defining “relationship quality”?
2) Does it show that the effect is causative?

It’s worth looking into, but if the answer to (1) is “badly” or the answer to (2) is “no”, then it’s not really relevant.

@ JV

So what’s your view on the list I gave of things currently ‘forcibly applied’ on your children:
– off-licences, cinema entrances, gambling clubs, sex clubs, gun clubs etc.

Would you want to roll those back?

Of course.

I’ve already stated above that I believe I am a better judge of what my children should view in the cinema than the state censor. Nor do I believe setting arbitrary age limits on young people’s access to alcohol or tobacco works well (and it’s certainly no business of the state).

Oh yes, and I’d legalise all narcotics, too.

The hysteria whipped up by a rabid media to persuade pusillanimous adults to be afraid of the dangers to children is nauseating. How long before you have to be 18 to have a Facebook account- after all it’s used for cyber bullying and the victims kill themselves.

We would be much better off If everyone concentrated on their own responsibilities to bring up their children to be happy, functioning adults instead of relying on the state to post mandatory signposts to the road to achieving this.

Pagar @ 63

But when you want them forcibly applied, by the state, to me or to my children, I’m calling foul.

But nobody is trying to force you into following anyone’s belief. There may be people out there that want to ban ‘porn’, but that is not really the crux of the matter here. This discussion has moved onto a debate about the potential a Nationwide filter that forces people to either opt in or opt out of an ability to access porn. Now leave aside the technical ability to achieve this, there is a far more interesting debate to had on whether we should (not COULD) apply such a filter.

UKL @ 70

The internet is a vast, public space, which millions of people use everyday. The issue is should users of porn be allowed to broadcast, for want of a better word, without restictions, or is the onus on us to take action to prevent their porn from our homes?

The analogy I used, seemed a bit apt. We don’t ban masturbation, per se, but we do ban it in the street or at the swing park. You cannot ban a man taking in the view of a swing park, going home and tossing of with the visual stimulus in his head. Yet sitting with a mac over his crotch, opposite the monkey bars, is only really changing the proximity, not the actual act. Nobody is suggesting a mind probe to enter the guy’s head while he is ‘performing’ in his own house, but we do make a choice to protect everyone ability to enjoy a swing park.

So, leave aside whether or not it is feasible, is it reasonable for the State to provide everyone an opportunity to either opt in or opt out of accepting porn?

@ JV

Your analogy with the pervert in the swing park doesn’t work. The others using the public space have no choice but to view his actions. The internet is not a public space in that sense as people choose what they want to view.

An analogy with the internet would be to impose a ban on masturbation in the home in case children decided to peek through the window to watch.

And if you are genuinely interested in why this matter is important to libertarians, I tried to explain it on the first post of the thread.

“The default settings for search engines are to not show adult content. If you search for information about homosexuality, transgenderism, religion, jihad or female genital mutilation — ideas that anyone of any age might wish to learn about — the default settings only deliver “safe” sites. Well before censorship is applied at the user end or ISP, the default for a search engine is to deliver information rather than smut.”

So we effectively already have an ‘opt in’ system for porn then?

I wasn’t aware of this – but it makes the entire proposed legislation redudant. The search engines have already created an ‘opt in’ system for porn without causing any of the collateral damage associated with the legislation. So what on earth is the point in wasting parliaments time with a badly written piece of legislation aimed at tackling a non-existant problem?

Pagar @ 74

The internet is not a public space in that sense as people choose what they want to view.

You must be using a different internet from me then, because when I use the internet it is an entirely public space, save a few paywalls. Anyone can type anything into search engine, click a link or access a page from anywhere else. The internet is like a series of interconnecting doors, and if you stray into the wrong door, who knows were you end up. Someone will doubtless tell me the mythical rule (rule 44 or something like that) that means you can type two random wordsin a search ing and somewhere down the line you will find porn.

The pervert in the park could easily argue that you are not forced to view him and as long as you know what bench he is sitting on. You could move your children onto the South facing swing or neveruse the monkey bars or, never use the park. If you turn up to the park and one of your kids catch a glimspe of this guy pumping away like a trojan, then it is the parents fault.

however, that is not how we arrange society. We curtail the wanker’s activities and not the child’s.

An analogy with the internet would be to impose a ban on masturbation in the home in case children decided to peek through the window to watch.

Not if we are asking the porn users/providers to make a positive choice to opt-in to view porn.

In other words: By all means you can sit in the front room, chap in hand, but make sure the curtains are drawn.

Planeshift @ 76

So we effectively already have an ‘opt in’ system for porn then?

Not really. These things can easliy be bypassed/abused or simply fail.

78. Chaise Guevara

@ 76 Jim

“You must be using a different internet from me then, because when I use the internet it is an entirely public space, save a few paywalls. Anyone can type anything into search engine, click a link or access a page from anywhere else. ”

If you don’t like to see porn, don’t type porn terms into Google. It’s possible an innocent search will bring up a porn site search result. Don’t click on it!

You’re welcome.

the reasons said feminists have ended up in the anti-porn camp are generally quite different (who regard porn as something that is used to degrade women and make their bodies a commodity) to the right-wing Christian extremists

Not really – both are tiresome puritans trying to use the power of the sate to remould society in their own image. They deserve each other!

80. Chaise Guevara

@ 79 Larry

Seconded.

Jim @73,

UKL @ 70

The internet is a vast, public space, …

It isn’t.

… The issue is should users of porn be allowed to broadcast, for want of a better word, without restictions, or is the onus on us to take action to prevent their porn from our homes?

By users, it seems you mean viewers, but then you use the word “broadcast”, which seems to mean you are talking about publishers. Which is it?

Chaise @ 78

If you don’t like to see porn, don’t type porn terms into Google. It’s possible an innocent search will bring up a porn site search result. Don’t click on it!

But that is not always going to be the answer is it? If I don’t want my pre teen child to access porn, why is the onus on me to pre screen the entire internet?

There are people out there who access the internet for innocent content, why is it their job to police and scrutinise the internet? Surely it is the responsibility of those who publish the material to take reasonable steps to ensure that their ‘private space’ remains private? You cannot call something ‘private’ if you provide no way of stopping people from wandering in, can you?

Why is it my job (speaking as someone who cannot get his android phone connected to the internet) to learn how to use parental controls, proxy settings, security certificates and the like to protect me from something a porn producer puts on the net? Why do I have to spend my time and effort modifying my computer and supervising (so far non existent) child’s behaviour in order for you to allow the porn industry to place something into the public domain while simultaneously describing it as a ‘private place’?

See, this is the problem I have. The internet is open for everyone and there for everyone to use. Some people want to put pornographic images up on the net and that is fine as well. The proposal is that that we have an ‘opt in’ or an ‘opt out’ system. The assumption is that those people who want to ‘opt out’ need to tell the ISP to block content to their IP address.

Why? Why is it those people who have to make the active choice? What is so special about the porn industry that they have the right to smear the entire internet with porn and it up to the rest of us to tip through it, looking for safe places to view? The porn industry are the ones publishing material in the public domain, why not let them take responsibility for what actions they have taken?

Why should Jim have to supervise his hypothetical child crossing a busy road?

Jim,

a) I think you’re suggesting that porn publishers should prevent their sites from being accessible, excepting to those that make a positive choice to view. Is that right? This would mean removing these websites from search engines. In which case, how would I know what was there that I might want to opt in to?

b) Who’s rules should we use, and how would we define what does or doesn’t go on the hidden list?

85. Chaise Guevara

@ 82 Jim

“But that is not always going to be the answer is it? If I don’t want my pre teen child to access porn, why is the onus on me to pre screen the entire internet?”

Because you decided to buy a computer and connect it to the internet. This is like asking why the “onus is on you” to look both ways before you cross the street. Take some responsibility for your own damn actions.

Oh, and stop being so melodramatic. You don’t have to “prescreen the entire internet”, you just have to turn content filtering on. A few mouse clicks.

“There are people out there who access the internet for innocent content, why is it their job to police and scrutinise the internet? Surely it is the responsibility of those who publish the material to take reasonable steps to ensure that their ‘private space’ remains private? You cannot call something ‘private’ if you provide no way of stopping people from wandering in, can you?”

Yes you can. If someone decides to enter that private space, that’s on their own head, just like it’s up to you if you visit a porn site. It’s exactly the same as having, say, a shop that you boycott on your high street. They’re not preventing you from wandering in, because it’s your choice whether to enter or not.

And again, Captain Melodrama, you don’t have to scrutinise and police the internet, you just have to decide which sites you want to visit. What do you do at the moment, paw at the screen randomly? It’s “your job” to do this in the same way that it’s “your job” to tie your own shoelaces (should the government cover this too?).

I’ve left the rest of your post as it’s covered by the above, and in any case can be summed up as “I have to take responsibility for my own life! Waaaah!”

UKL @ 81

It isn’t.

You see, this is why the Internet debate is so difficult. Everything has to be so fucking tortured and so fucking drawn out.

A blind man reading Braille with a hook can see that there are vast swathes of the internet open to anyone with a search engine, millions of sites, message boards, blogs, etc that you need nothing more than the web address.

If I said ‘find BMW’s site’ you could find it with a click of a mouse and a keyword. If I asked you to find any of the thousands of official TV show’s website (from Family Guy to Mrs Marple) you could just ‘walk in of the street’, metaphorically speaking.

http://www.familyguyonline.com/

How difficult do you think that was to find? Clearly, it is a public place, anyone can wander in and look around with a minimum of directions. Family Guy’s production office is harder to get into because, it is not a public place.

On the other hand there are clearly sites on the internet that are NOT public places. The CIA have sites that you cannot just wander into. Ok, that is a different thread and all that, but I think it the distinct is clear. There are places online and in real life that are public places and private spaces.

By users, it seems you mean viewers, but then you use the word “broadcast”, which seems to mean you are talking about publishers. Which is it?

Have a stab in the dark.

UKL @ 83

Why should Jim have to supervise his hypothetical child crossing a busy road?

We have an agreement for my child to cross the road. It is called the green cross code. We have speed limits, traffic lights and zebra crossings too. We curtail the rights of driver’s to drive as they see fit in order that pedestrians can cross the road.

However, if my child does not follow the green cross code and wanders into the street, the driver of any passing car does not have the right to run down my child and use, ‘but where was Jim’ as a defence. You are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure that everyone, including children that crossover to the ice cream van are safe from your decision to own a car. Jim being in the pub when you run down his child on a zerba crossing will still see you before the beak for careless/dangerous driving.

Jack @ 84

a) I think you’re suggesting that porn publishers should prevent their sites from being accessible, excepting to those that make a positive choice to view. Is that right? This would mean removing these websites from search engines. In which case, how would I know what was there that I might want to opt in to?

That’s your problem, isn’t it? I mean you want to find something that other people would rather not find, so why is it their problem how you find it?

Right now the onus is on them to avoid stuff that they would rather not see, in order to allow you free access to those sites. Why should the default be set that way?

Chaise @ 85

Take some responsibility for your own damn actions

Eh? The porn industry have filmed tonnes of footage and put it on the web, this stuff does not just grow in the wild, someone else other than me has delibertly put it there. You are asking me to take responsibility for THEIR actions.

Yes you can. If someone decides to enter that private space, that’s on their own head, just like it’s up to you if you visit a porn site.

What ‘private space’, Nuts and Zoo websites (for example) are not private spaces, ANYBODY can type in that address and go straight there, without a second’s thought.

Jim, “Internet debate” is difficult because people like you don’t know what they’re talking about but nevertheless – or perhaps because of that – wade aggressively in with rubbish like: “the internet is a vast, public space”; “the internet is like a series of interconnecting doors”; your inept analogy of the park.

Forget all that nonsense, and this ridiculous, idiotic complaint about having to “pre screen the entire internet”.

If you are the parent or guardian of the child he or she is your responsibility. Accept there is a risk in anything and everything they will get up to, whether it’s playing in the street or using the internet and that the risk cannot be totally vanished. It is your responsibility to (1) educate yourself about the risks and (2) try to mitigate these risks. Why should you supervise your young child crossing the road and communicate with your child about how to cross the road safely? Because there is a risk, no matter how carefully drivers behave, that the uneducated or unsupervised or inattentive child will run in front of a moving vehicle, from between two parked cars, nowhere near a crossing, and get killed.

Hold their hand when they are young and gradually give them more space as they get older, more able and competent.

Look up Tanya Byron’s advice, it seems fairly reasonable. In short, install filters, contact the ISP to find out if they offer filters and move ISP if they don’t, set clear rules about internet use (sites you can use, times you can use the internet), don’t let young children use the internet outside communal / family areas, let them know they must talk to you or a responsible adult if they see something upsetting etc.

Two practical reasons:

1) You should anyway be configuring your pc so that you’re protected from malware, viruses, etc. Setting the content filter, and/or blocking through your ISP is just a small step in comparison.

2) Those that wish to avoid unsuitable content can already do so unless they make a positive decision to enter an unsuitable site.

As for children, they need huge quantities of supervision and effort anyway, so amending a setting or two is not a big thing.

92. Chaise Guevara

@ Jim

“Eh? The porn industry have filmed tonnes of footage and put it on the web, this stuff does not just grow in the wild, someone else other than me has delibertly put it there. You are asking me to take responsibility for THEIR actions.”

Wrong! It became your actions when you clicked on the link or typed the address into the bar. I’m not asking you to take responsibility for the existence of the site. I’m asking you to take responsibility for your decision to visit it.

“What ‘private space’, Nuts and Zoo websites (for example) are not private spaces,”

They’re analogous to a private space in that they don’t belong to the public. Public/private is a bit of an unhelpful distinction, come to think of it, because “private” is like a home and “public” is like a street. Whereas a website is middle-ground (privately owned, publically accessible), like a shop.

“ANYBODY can type in that address and go straight there, without a second’s thought.”

I normally think before I type a web address in. Perhaps this is the difference between us.

What you’re doing is the equivalent of demanding that your local Topman be demolished, because you don’t shop at Topman and so it has no right to exist.

93. Chaise Guevara

@ 91 Jack C

“As for children, they need huge quantities of supervision and effort anyway, so amending a setting or two is not a big thing.”

It is for Jim, apparently. Redesigning the internet is a far more reasonable task (because he won’t have to do it and he won’t be personally affected).

“Right now the onus is on them to avoid stuff that they would rather not see,”

Maybe 10/15 years ago. But google/bing etc – as has been written earlier – have done a good job in filtering out unwanted stuff. Its pretty unlikely anybody would see porn without actively choosing to these days (unlike say a page 3, as tabloids frequently get left around. I’d also imagine there are a fair few children who asked their parents this summer ‘what is that book about?’)

Spam e-mail remains a different thing perhaps, but this legislation won’t change that.

Unfortuantly, despite being repeatedly told that this legislation won’t actually achieve what it intends to do, and will cause a great deal of dangerous collatoral damage in the process, some people are still supporting it. And we wonder why we get bad legislation and incompetent politicians…..

I am missing something or does Jim not recognise that he has to actually raise his children himself? That it’s not the governments job?
I have a child and I recognise that it’s my responsibility as to where he goes, what he watches on TV or how he uses the Internet. It’s called being a parent.
I also understand that where I go, what I watch on tv and how I use the Internet is MY responsibility and no one else’s. It’s called being an adult.
Now if everyone was a child and there were no adults Jim would have a point, but as it stands…

UKL @90

Jim, “Internet debate” is difficult because people like you don’t know what they’re talking about but nevertheless

Look, you have hitched your pony to a particular wagon that has now forced yourself to defend a pretty indefensible position. You have to pretend to yourself that the entire web is made up of private websites in order for your entire argument to stack up, fine, I get it; it doesn’t make you bad person, just someone of bad judgement. Its cool. If you want to defend a position that says an open website is the moral equivalent of the back room where one might hide an extensive porn stash, be my guest.

In my defensive, I would ask anyone reading this far down this thread. How do most of us access websites of any description? Is it through clandestine meetings, contact mags with secret passwords and the like? Or is it through word of mouth and search engines, recommendations and pub conversations and the like. Did you have to enter your ‘secret code’ to get this far down the page?

Anyway

Why should you supervise your young child crossing the road and communicate with your child about how to cross the road safely?

You are right of course, it is true that it is my responsibility to do all the things you mention and more. However, none of that absolves the car driver of his obligation he has towards my child. He has a driving licence and is expected to drive in a certain manner. Part of the driving test is to understand the relationship between speed, thinking and stopping distance. If I fail in my duty to teach my child how to cross a road, then, like it or not, the car driver is STILL at fault if he has not made sufficient provision for overall stopping time etc.

The point being that when you undertake to become a driver, you become partly responsible, within reason, for the safety of every child on the street too.

That principle could just as easy be applied to the Internet in this instance. I can see no principled objection to forcing people who want to be able to visit such websites that offer such videos to people AFTER they given informed consent to access such material. Say on renewal of your contract a list of checkboxes of Gay, Bisexual, bad language fantasy rape scenes or whatever floats your boat for you to tick.

Yes, parental responsibility is important and yes people still need to be careful what they enter into search engine, but I personally believe that every person or entity has an implied wider responsibility to the community, and I personally want them to take responsibility for the stuff they churn out.

@jim
So you want a centrally held list that says who in the country is gay or bisexual? Wow.

Chaise @ 92

Wrong! It became your actions when you clicked on the link or typed the address into the bar. I’m not asking you to take responsibility for the existence of the site. I’m asking you to take responsibility for your decision to visit it.

Nope, that is a fail because the link and the site is only there because the porn industry put it there. You not get to put poison in a cup and write poison with a skull and cross bones on it and assume that anyone who drinks it has committed suicide. Your actions do not put me into a hazardous position and you get away with it by saying ‘you should been more careful’.

Whereas a website is middle-ground (privately owned, publically accessible), like a shop.

A couple of examples come to mind here.

Firstly, say a nine year old girl wanders into an Anne Summers shop. It is entirely reasonable for the guard or attendant to ferry that girl to the door and watch out for the anxious father, rather than show and explain to her butt plug collection and blame the father for his daughter’s newfound knowledge.

Second, let us imagine that you go into B&Q and an entire shelf of paint rattles onto your daughter’s head. Are they to blame for the state of their shelving or you to blame because you were too stupid to understand the risks involved?

Given that the shop, like the website is publicly accessible it is reasonable to assume that B&Q have taken reasonable care to provide a reasonable level of safety. They are not allowed to put up a sign and tell you if you enter you forgo your rights.

What you’re doing is the equivalent of demanding that your local Topman be demolished, because you don’t shop at Topman and so it has no right to exist

That is a pretty feeble attempt, even by your standards, but easily the clearest sign that your argument is now dead. In nearly a hundred posts, not a single person at any point has demanded a single website be banned or even censored as having no right to exist.

I am more than happy for any number of sites to exist, I would not want a single person to lose out in their favourite sites. If people enjoy watching Straw Dogs repeatedly, then that is entirely an issue for him/her. If people want to watch a fifty year old granny getting analy ploughed then they need not worry that I am in any way wishing to stop them.

The fact that you have blurted out what you thought we were arguing for, pretty much confirms what I suspected anyway.

Jim, seriously I’m fascinated, do you really think a central database of everyone’s Internet preferences is a) a good use of public money and b) in anyway compatible with a free society?

100. Chaise Guevara

@ 98 Jim

“Nope, that is a fail because the link and the site is only there because the porn industry put it there.”

The road’s only dangerous because other people are driving on it. So you should be able to step into it without looking, right?

It’s not a fail. You clicked the link. Ergo it was your choice. If you disagree, whose choice was it for you to click the link?

God, I’m sick of you Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells types who think the whole world should be rewritten so it doesn’t include anything you don’t like. Get over yourself.

“You not get to put poison in a cup and write poison with a skull and cross bones on it and assume that anyone who drinks it has committed suicide. Your actions do not put me into a hazardous position and you get away with it by saying ‘you should been more careful’.”

If anyone was talking about putting you in a hazardous position, this would be a good point. But we’re not, so it’s not.

“Given that the shop, like the website is publicly accessible it is reasonable to assume that B&Q have taken reasonable care to provide a reasonable level of safety. They are not allowed to put up a sign and tell you if you enter you forgo your rights.”

Agreed. What right do you forgo when you enter a porn site, then? The Right Not To See Porn That You Chose To Look At In The First Place?

“That is a pretty feeble attempt, even by your standards, but easily the clearest sign that your argument is now dead. In nearly a hundred posts, not a single person at any point has demanded a single website be banned or even censored as having no right to exist.”

No, but you’ve demanded that they be made invisible to you. Did I say you wanted to ban Topshop? After you get it knocked down, people can order clothes by phone (if they happen to know the phone number), or join a club where they can go and shop in an unmarked venue, with no branding to assault your delicate eyes. I’m sure that won’t hurt the shop’s sales at all, or inconvenience the people who want to shop there…

And the Topshop thing is in some ways MORE reasonable that the porn thing, because you can avoid seeing the latter with a few mouse clicks. Or possibly by not searching for “boobs” and then getting outraged at all the smut on your screen.

“I am more than happy for any number of sites to exist, I would not want a single person to lose out in their favourite sites. If people enjoy watching Straw Dogs repeatedly, then that is entirely an issue for him/her. If people want to watch a fifty year old granny getting analy ploughed then they need not worry that I am in any way wishing to stop them.”

No. You just want to put them on a register and effectively declare their interests to everyone who shares their home or uses their computer, on the basis that the government should hold your hand because you’re in the 1% of the population too stupid to turn on Safesearch in Google.

“The fact that you have blurted out what you thought we were arguing for, pretty much confirms what I suspected anyway.”

The fact that you’re straw manning me instead of defending your position pretty much confirms to me that you’ve run out of things to say.

101. Chaise Guevara

@ 99 Carl

“Jim, seriously I’m fascinated, do you really think a central database of everyone’s Internet preferences is a) a good use of public money and b) in anyway compatible with a free society?”

Jim ain’t no liberal, he’s an authoritarian socialist.

To summarise:

1) Will it work? Unlikely, incompletely at best.
2) Will it cost a lot of money? Yes, and past experience tells us to at least quadruple the initial estimate.
3) Can the government be trusted with the data? No. The database will be accidentally left in a public place, even if it isn’t used for nefarious purposes.
4) Are filters already in place, and freely available? Yes.
5) Can I access a mucky website without making at least one deliberate click? No.
6) What’s Jim’s favorite porn? Too little data to say, but grannies can’t be ruled out at this stage.

Carl @ 99

There is no such thing as a ‘free’ society. It would normally go without saying the ability of the vast majority to trample the legitimate rights over small minorities is no indication of a free society.

Of course the fake libertarians among us have looked at the sides in the debate ‘feminists’ vs ‘the pornographers’ and threw their principles in the bin and swung behind the porno industry. To be fair, I hardly expected anything different, but still.

In theory the defining characteristic of Libertarianism is not ‘freedom’, ‘but freedom with responsibility’. The analogy being the freedom to burn rubbish in your garden does not extend to the freedom to pollute your neighbour’s washing with your smoke. You and I are free to make our choices in life as long as your choices do not impinge on my freedoms and vice versa.

The rubbish burner is responsible for the smoke he makes and it his responsibility to make sure it is dealt with correctly. It is not the responsibility of the OAP to wash her clothes to fit with his schedule. Nor is it acceptable for him to advise her to buy a windbreak, even if ‘it is only £20’. She is not expected to research methods to keep her washing clean. Anyway, I am sure you get the gist. When my behaviour forces you to take action, then Libertarianism demands that I take steps remedy the situation.

There used to be a guy on this website who was the closest thing to a true Libertarian I have ever met (still a long way in my view) but hey. I am sure that TT, where-ever he is would broadly go along with the above. No doubt he would quibble round the edges, but I think he may be concede that I have a good grasp of it.

Anyway, extend that to the internet.

There are very broadly two groups of people who use the internet. Without going into percentages and motives etc.

A) Those who use it for a variety of reasons
B) Those who use it for a variety of reasons, including porn.

Now, group B can use the Internet with impunity, but group A’s ability to use the Internet is diminished because of the actions of group B. Group A are now forced to modify their behaviour, including install additional software at their own expense, because of the existence of group B. It may be £20, £2 or 0.002 pence, but that doesn’t matter because the PRINCIPLE is the same. Your freedom should never force me to change my behaviour. My cat not should force you to buy a ‘pooper scooper’ my kids should not force you to buy a better fence, my lights should not force you to buy stronger curtains, and my drum kit does not mean you need to buy double glazing. If I am the one percent of the population who doesn’t know how to set the controls on a porn filter, so what? The only reason I need a porn filter is because the actions of other people. Old Mrs Smith is the only person in my street without a tumble dryer so it is her fault if her clothes stink of smoke?

Bullshit, the majority do not get to impose their choices on the rest of us. You want porn on the net, that is fine by me, but it is up to YOU to ensure your choices do not impinge on my choice.

Chaise @ 100

It’s not a fail. You clicked the link. Ergo it was your choice. If you disagree, whose choice was it for you to click the link?

So, if me and a few mates decide to shit in the town’s water supply, once we tell you about it, the onus is on you to decide on the best course of action? If you end up with Cholera then it was your fault because you choose to open a tap.

on the basis that the government should hold your hand because you’re in the 1% of the population

So what? ‘My’ searching the internet incompently does not impose on your ability to access porn. Why should I have to shell out a single penny and give a single byte of my hard drive over because other people wish to upload porn onto the web?

Try and grasp the point here. It is other people’s behaviour that causes this expense, not a force of god. I am being asked to buy and use software because the people who add something to the system cannot or will take responsibility for the stuff THEY put on the web. you are asking me to subsidise their behaviour.

Jim,

a) No expense is required.
b) You’re ignoring the practical obstacle, which is that it’s unlikely that a national filter would actually work.
c) Group A’s ability to use the internet is not diminished by Group B, because the risks are easily avoided.
d) Group A does not have to modify its behaviour. Going online means exposing yourself to viruses and spam, as well as potentially dodgy websites. Ensuring that your pc is protected and suitably configured is just basic common sense.
e) Finally, who will decide what is and isn’t acceptable? Would Wikileaks be opt-in or out? Talk about a mine field.

Jim, 104:
Your water supply example just doesn’t work.

The problem would not have been caused by Chaise, but he would have been foolish to ignore the danger.

The point is that to access porn you have to:

a) Find some by entering something suitable in your search engine, then,
b) Click on and enter a porn website.

No one else is involved. You are not going to access the site unless you make a decision to do so.

Jim, you haven’t answered the real question here. Irrelevant of your views on “free society” do you think it is right and proper for the government to have and maintain a list of people’s web preferences, including as you say, whether that want gay or bisexual content? Do you think it right that people will effectively have to ask permission to visit a gay porn site? Do you think there is no chance of this data being misused? Do you guarantee that political sites like this one won’t get “acidentay” caught in the filter thus providing a list of who access what politically etc etc etc
So far you argument seems to be “I can’t be bothered to use preexsisting filter software so the government should build a massive database”.

108. Chaise Guevara

@ 104 Jim

“So, if me and a few mates decide to shit in the town’s water supply, once we tell you about it, the onus is on you to decide on the best course of action? If you end up with Cholera then it was your fault because you choose to open a tap.”

I’ll say it again: the existence of online porn is not a hazard to you, unlike cholera and your other straw man examples.

Just as important, porn doesn’t render the internet unusable to those who don’t want to see it. At all. Whereas shitting in the water supply decidedly would do that to those who didn’t want to drink shit.

Next time, use an analogy instead of babbling randomly.

“So what? ‘My’ searching the internet incompently does not impose on your ability to access porn. Why should I have to shell out a single penny and give a single byte of my hard drive over because other people wish to upload porn onto the web?”

Let me see. Hmm. Could it be because people other than you exist and have to share the world with you? I don’t know who you think you’re going to win over with your “it’s great to be a selfish prick” philosophy, but I for one am unmoved.

“Try and grasp the point here.”

LOL! Believe it or not, I do understand your argument. I just don’t agree, because I’m not under the impression that the world spins only for me (see above).

“It is other people’s behaviour that causes this expense, not a force of god. I am being asked to buy and use software because the people who add something to the system cannot or will take responsibility for the stuff THEY put on the web. you are asking me to subsidise their behaviour.”

Firstly, the software is free. It’s in Google, you utter moron. I love how you’re single-handedly holding one side of a debate on an issue that you know fuck-all about.

Secondly, we all have to do tiny things to get by in a world full of different people. If you don’t like looking at Topshop, and you see it in the high street, you have to TURN YOUR HEAD SLIGHTLY SO IT’S OUT OF VIEW!!!!!!!!!

Write to your MP now – why can’t Topshop be made invisible? OK, cloaking technology doesn’t exist, but that’s not YOUR problem, is it? And in the meantime YOU have to move your head! IT’S NOT FAAAAIIIR!!!

Please do start a party around all this: the Readjust The Whole World to Suit Jim’s Personal Preferences Party. Let me know how that pans out.

Jack @ 104

The point being though Jack, that the stuff in the water supply and the stuff on the web only exists because someone has made a deliberate choice to put something there. The actions I have to take to prevent my son, daughter or myself for that matter is due to the fact that someone has exercised their ability to use the internet in a certain way has forced restrictions, however slight, onto me.

You could argue that I can shell out for a filter myself. But why should I be forced to shell out for something that I only need because of other people’s behaviour? I am sure if my mates and me shit in the water supply, you could just as easy argue that you can buy water purifier tablets to counteract that. Again, why should people do that?

We have heard that these filters can fail and can be circumvented and if that happens, have I failed as a parent? No, because young boys will be young boys and as a parent we can only do so much. We cannot make the World completely safe, we can only do our best. However, if others want to make the World a harsher place to live, then the onus is on them to ensure that their actions do not infringe on the rest of us.

One is a deliberate and illegal choice, the other is legal.

Oh, and YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR A CONTENT FILTER. FILTERS ON SEARCH ENGINES SUCH AS GOOGLE ARE FREE*. YOUR ISP WILL PROVIDE CONTENT FILTERING FOR FREE. FOR FREE! FREE OF CHARGE!

* Meaning “for no money at all”.

@ Jim

Of course the fake libertarians among us have looked at the sides in the debate ‘feminists’ vs ‘the pornographers’ and threw their principles in the bin and swung behind the porno industry.

How have we thrown our principles in the bin? That’s nonsense.

Why on earth would we support authoritarian busybodies lobbying the state to interfere in our lives though censorship?

There used to be a guy on this website who was the closest thing to a true Libertarian I have ever met (still a long way in my view) but hey. I am sure that TT, where-ever he is would broadly go along with the above.

You are clearly aware of the keen competition among us to be seen as true libertarians and I am deeply hurt by the above…….

(Actually Trooper Thomson is pretty kosher!!!!).

112. Chaise Guevara

@ 111 pagar

“How have we thrown our principles in the bin? That’s nonsense.”

Because libertarians are all about supporting the nanny state and asking the government to make their decisions for them! Right?

Chaise and Pager, he mentions “fake libertarians” rather than “libertarians”.

114. Chaise Guevara

@ 113 Jack C

Hmm. What principles do fake libertarians hold?

Chaise @ 108

I’ll say it again: the existence of online porn is not a hazard to you, unlike cholera and your other straw man examples.

Who put you in charge of my and my children’s moral health. I will decide whether or not porn is a hazard to me and my children, if that is okay with you?

porn doesn’t render the internet unusable to those who don’t want to see it

It does influence how they use it though.

Let me see. Hmm. Could it be because people other than you exist and have to share the world with you?

I am not trying to impose my Internet behaviour on you or anyone else, I am I? Those people who have created a market for porn on the Internet have influenced everybody’s else use of the internet.

Secondly, we all have to do tiny things to get by in a world full of different people.

Yes and that is fine, we have acceptable comprises in life. Sure we do. Not all music is banned, we allow live music at some point in the day, away from residential areas and we have football matches and with that goes with that too and a million other inconveniences from flight paths, to marches, new shops opening to everything else. We negotiate our way through them and try to reach a compromise and hopefully establish principles.

The problem is when you establish a principle, you have to be careful that you don’t end up shooting yourself in the foot.

Here is the big ‘secret’ (though I bet most people know that) this debate is not about ‘porn’, or indeed ‘Topshop’. This is about what the majority can and cannot impose on the rest of us. Right now you are arguing the population should be assumed to be willing to accept a given service, unless they make a positive decision to ‘opt out’. Okay that maybe that is a good position for you. Maybe you feel you are a ‘go with the flow’ type of guy and maybe when they bury you, you will lived an uncomplicated life. But what if during the ‘next’ debate you find yourself in the ‘opt out’ minority?

What if the ‘next’ debate is about fluoride in the water supply? Or an anti obesity hormone in the water supply for that matter? What if the Pagar’s of this World find themselves in the ‘opt out’ minority then? What if the ‘rest of society’ are telling him he can buy bottled water, or the filter only cost £250 quid a year? What if he starts to argue that he is not obese and works hard to stay trim, has no need for such a hormone and we tell him that he can fuck of and buy bottled water? What if he tries to argue that he should not have additional costs added to his water consumption thanks to lazy people and the majority of us tell him to responsibility for his own choices life? What if he argues that other people need to take responsibility for their own weight loss and he is told if he is not happy he can buy a filter? What if, well, I doubt he will read this far down a thread, but I hope he remembers the old maxims.

My enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend. We should choose our friends carefully, but we should take even more care and pay more attention to who we choose as enemies.

Pagar @ 111

Hmm, you do HAVE read this far down. Welcome back.

How have we thrown our principles in the bin? That’s nonsense.

I just wonder if you have looked at the protagonists of this debate and swung in behind the people who you want to see defeated, rather than saw the bigger picture. This is not about ‘porn’ or even the internet in my view.

117. Chaise Guevara

@ 115 Jim

“Who put you in charge of my and my children’s moral health. ”

WTF is “moral health”? This sounds like you’re preparing to conflate two concepts.

“I will decide whether or not porn is a hazard to me and my children, if that is okay with you?”

You can do so in your own head, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to agree with you. Because you or I can’t just declare something is a hazard when it’s not. And being a parent doesn’t give you special debating rights that allow you to ignore facts (I’m addressing the principle there, not this specific issue). This is important, because if it IS a hazard that may give us justification for having it removed.

E.G. I don’t like my neighbour’s fence. I declare it a hazard, on the basis that it’s my perogative to decide what is a hazard to me. Fence gets removed.

If you still think your sentence above is morally unassailable, reverse it and try “I’ll decide whether beating my kids within an inch of their lives is a hazard to them, if that’s all right with you?”

This “I have the right to define my own terms” thing is utterly unhelpful. If you believe that it’s hazardous you should be explaining why, not just announcing that you are the ultimate authority on the issue. If you are prepared to discuss it, I’ll clarify something: pretty much everything is potentially hazardous in one way or another, so it’s more an issue of acceptable vs unacceptable hazards. Like, buses could potentially kill people but we’re happy to share the world with them.

“It does influence how they use it though. ”

Yeah, they turn on Google Safesearch, therefore using the internet as it would be if there were no porn (more or less, and to the same extent as the proposed bill would achieve).

“I am not trying to impose my Internet behaviour on you or
anyone else, I am I?”

Yes you are. You are saying that if someone wants to watch porn, they have to put their names on a list of pornwatchers, which could be leaked. You are de facto saying that it’s ok for legitimate sites to be caught up in the filter (because this WILL happen), including political ones, meaning that many people won’t know they’re there. You’re saying that someone who wants to watch porn will have to announce their intentions to the rest of their household. You’re saying (de facto again) that it’s ok if vulnerable LGBT kids can’t access sites by people like them if their parents won’t turn the filter off.

“Yes and that is fine, we have acceptable comprises in life.”

OK. Glad you’re down with this.

“The problem is when you establish a principle, you have to be careful that you don’t end up shooting yourself in the foot.”

Right back at you when the government declares that political sites it dislikes are “inappropriate material”. Arguably they already have.

“Here is the big ‘secret’ (though I bet most people know that) this debate is not about ‘porn’, or indeed ‘Topshop’. This is about what the majority can and cannot impose on the rest of us.”

It’s about both, and more besides. I imagine that the majority of people who support this bill are thinking about it purely in terms of porn. It’s certainly not solely about the aspect that you most care about.

“Right now you are arguing the population should be assumed to be willing to accept a given service, unless they make a positive decision to ‘opt out’. Okay that maybe that is a good position for you. Maybe you feel you are a ‘go with the flow’ type of guy and maybe when they bury you, you will lived an uncomplicated life. But what if during the ‘next’ debate you find yourself in the ‘opt out’ minority? ”

I’ll opt out!

“[Arguments about fucking with the water]”

I do have exceptions to the “opt out rather than opt in” philosophy. Your example about shitting in the water covers two of them. First, there should be a limit to the danger you can put people in based on their own ignorance or stupidity. I don’t think you should be able to sell hydrochloric acid as a stomach medicine as long as you put: “WARNING: MAY KILL YOU” on the bottle. And I don’t think you should be able to screw with what I see as basic resources everyone should be entitled to, which includes the water supply.

On top of that, there’s an issue of how easy it is to opt out. If you play heavy metal at full volume 3am every night, and say that your neighbours can opt out by moving house, that’s not acceptable. But internet porn is a case where it’s extremely easy to opt out, whereas creating a legally enforced opt-in system would create a whole host of problems.

@jim. You do realise that you would pay for the opt out filtering system through your tax don’t you? An opt-out system will cost you more (higher taxes) than the current system (free). So as you argument seems to be “why should I pay for your porn?” you should surely be against the proposal? Or are you just a troll we should stop feeding?

@jim oh and the person in charge of your children’s “morale health” is YOU. Not the government. You get to decide what YOUR kids get to see and do.
I don’t want my kids joining a religion but you don’t see be demanding a register of religionists and expecting the government to filter all religious sites on the web, which can be, in my opinion, far more damaging to young minds then a bit of free porn.

“Moral health” rather than morale. But that to I suppose!

Chaise @117

You declared that porn on the internet was not a hazard. Who the fuck gave you the right to decide that? Not me, that’s for sure. you assumed that on my behalf.

Yeah, they turn on Google Safesearch, therefore using the internet as it would be if there were no porn>/blockquote>

Yeah, but a 12 year old kid can switch that off without too much hassle. I need to stop that kid from searching the internet for stuff I would rather not want him to see.

Yes you are. You are saying that if someone wants to watch porn, they have to put their names on a list of pornwatchers, which could be leaked.

No, Chaise, it really is not that difficult. Read back to what I have said. There are people who don’t search for porn. People who never use the internet for porn have absolutely no influence on the internet habits of those who do. There is NOTHING that I can type, search click onto, buy that will make porn on the internet go away for everybody.

On the other hand, the second that someone uploads, downloads, searches clicks onto or in anyway interacts with porn sites they create a market for porn.

THAT THEN MEANS that everyone else has to modify their behaviour, because of this stuff that somebody else has introduced. We have to buy software to protect our children and ensure that they have not circumventing
that software and all the other shit and distrust that goes along with making sure that our kids are safe from the stuff you have chosen to put on the web. What they want is to be able to watch porn on the net and the rest of us to assume the risks to our children. What is being proposed is that they assume the risks for their viewing habits

122. Chaise Guevara

@ 121 Jim

“You declared that porn on the internet was not a hazard. Who the fuck gave you the right to decide that? Not me, that’s for sure. you assumed that on my behalf.”

Get back to me when you’ve read my post.

123. Chaise Guevara

@ 121 Jim

In fact, let’s go through this in more detail. I’ll address your post when you fix the following dihonesty.:

“You declared that porn on the internet was not a hazard. Who the fuck gave you the right to decide that? Not me, that’s for sure. you assumed that on my behalf.”

I’ve addressed this. You’ve ignored what I’ve said in favour of repeating the question like some kind of parrot.

“No, Chaise, it really is not that difficult. Read back to what I have said.”

You’ve said “no” without explaining why my statement is false. Because it’s not false.

“We have to buy software to protect our children”

You have been told roughly 6.5 million times on this thread that the software in question is free.

“What they want is to be able to watch porn on the net and the rest of us to assume the risks to our children.”

You couldn’t have written this and believed it if the words “content filter” had ever crossed your eyes, which they have. Repeatedly.

So yeah. Get back to me when you grow enough of a spine to have a debate that takes place in reality.

http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/

Someone has to make a value judgement as to whether or not the ‘free’ versions are as good as the paid ones

I’ve addressed this. You’ve ignored what I’ve said in favour of repeating the question like some kind of parrot.

Chaise 108

I’ll say it again: the existence of online porn is not a hazard to you.

In a way, I suppose it decent of you to toally embarassed that statement, so, we have seen progress at least.

125. Chaise Guevara

@ 124 Jim

“In a way, I suppose it decent of you to toally embarassed that statement, so, we have seen progress at least.”

Does that translate into English as “it’s decent of you to be totally embarrassed by that statement”? Don’t whinge if I’m wrong, that’s my honest best guess and I haven’t got much to work on.

If so, I’m not. I did, however, decide that the statement was too absolute, hence my revision above. You seem to be under the unfortunate impression that I should be embarrassed about having the ability to change my mind. This explains much.

When you’re done sneering at people for being more mature than you, perhaps you could address my last comment, rather than harping about something that I’ve since corrected. You have four statements that you need to retract, rephrase, or explain. What is it about defending your own argument that you find so difficult?

126. Chaise Guevara

@ 119 Carl

“I don’t want my kids joining a religion but you don’t see be demanding a register of religionists and expecting the government to filter all religious sites on the web, which can be, in my opinion, far more damaging to young minds then a bit of free porn.”

Excellent point. Or replace “religion” with “anything person A might like and person B might not want to see”.

I suppose, logically speaking, Jim would have us fill out a 10-page checklist of our likes and dislikes, to be submitted to the government, before being permitted to use the internet. Or I’m right, and this “I must be protected from the world!” crap only applies to Jim, not other people.

127. Just Visiting

Chaise

this is getting silly – porn is clearly no just a matter of likes/dislikes!

Exposure to porn at a premature age has harmful psychological effects on children.

Or is that something you’d not agree with ?

@127. Just Visiting: “Exposure to porn at a premature age has harmful psychological effects on children.”

On the precautionary principle, we should not casually expose children to porn. I do not know whether harm might occur by exposure at any particular age, but it is not a gamble that I would take.

Porn providers ensure that you can find their porn using a search engine such as Google or Bing. The default setting for a search engine, the middle one, *will* find porn in a search result, but it will have a low ranking. On the default setting, you have to look for porn to find it.

If you change the search setting to “strict”, it is unlikely that you will get a porn link. You can prompt the search engine with the name of a porn site, but no suggestions will be returned. If you turn off the search engine control completely, porn is on your doorstep.

Porn providers, largely, have given up on spam attacks. Spam filtering now means that your mailbox does not contain porn links, and children with a mailbox are unlikely to be exposed to porn via email. There are no guarantees, of course, and when your ISP conducts maintenance on the spam filtering hubs, you may receive spam.

Porn is easy to find if you want to find it. Porn does not turn up casually.

BTW, JV, most of the gas about this is happening on the other thread at:
http://liberalconspiracy.org/2012/09/06/why-we-support-porn-block-filters-and-you-should-too/

@justvisiting i refer you to my earlier point.
Exposure to religion at a premature age has harmful psychological effects on children. But we don’t filter that on the Internet. The question is should the responsibility lie with the parent/user or with the government?
I’m sure even jim would agree that a parent knows better than the government what’s best for their children. So why he wants to hand parental responsibility over to the state evades me.

Chaise @ 125

You have four statements that you need to retract, rephrase, or explain.

Look at this thread, it is all here. You are simply unable to understand the fact that no-one should be forced into actions because of the actions of a third party. However, here is my Last ditch attempt to explain it.

As a matter of a complete co-incidence I am updating my Norton anti virus software. Software that I deeply resent having to buy. I am FORCED to buy this product because people maliciously putting malicious code on the Internet. These people are doing something illegal that impinges on my freedom on the Internet. In a perfect World we would remove these people from the Internet, but we cannot, so we can try and track them down and deal with them via the courts. If I had my way, I would like to see ALL malware removed from the Internet. However, if my computer becomes infected, that is directly the fault of the of the writer of the virus, not me. I should keep my firewall up to date, but nothing excuses the person who wrote the malware. Some utility software I would buy anyway, like disk cleaners and registry tools etc.

In the real World, we also have to buy things like car alarms, anti theft devices and immobilisers etc. Some of may have burglar alarms, fences, gates and personal alarms. We may have to buy things to fix vandalism to our property as well. We have to buy them because people act illegally, and most people resent that too. Of course, some people want a nice ornamental fence or gate.

Now, so far so good. Hang on though; Lets say I live next door to a golf club. Their golf balls fly over and hit my house. Golf is not illegal, few people think we should ban golf, so we come to a point of principle. It is the golf club’s responsibility to protect my house from its golf balls. If their golf balls hit my child, few people would declare that it was my fault my child got hit. I expect the golf club to take reasonable steps to ensure my house is reasonably safe from their golf balls. I doubt there are many decent people who would expect me to buy a massive mesh fence to protect me from their golf balls. Most normal people would expect the golf club to shell out for the fence.

Porn is slightly different. There are people who want to look at porn, there are people who want to make porn. That is fine by me. No-one who has spoken here has shown any interest in banning porn. There are things that come under the banner ‘porn’ that should be banned; child porn and hidden camera stuff comes to mind. There may be things that should be banned, but that is for another thread. We are talking about legal porn.

Now, there are some people out there who do not want porn on their screens, that too is fine. Let us imagine it is the same guy who lives next to the golf club. Let us say they do not want children to see porn for any reason. ‘Well, they can buy anti porn software or they can use freeware versions of that software’ I hear you cry. Right, that now means the onus is on that person to examine, research, download or buy software that may or may not be up to the job. However, he is BEING FORCED to buy that product to counteract the decisions of other people, specifically the providers and users of porn. His freedom is being infringed, however slight, or in such a trivial way by third parties, out with his control. Just like the problem with the golf club, that father is the innocent party. That is similar to the malware software problem I have above. Similar, but not the same, because porn is different because the people who want to watch porn and the people who make it know who they are. The porn on the net ONLY exists because of them and their direct action to put it there. IN MY OPINION when YOUR actions put other people in a position of ‘risk’ (however we wish to define it), it is YOUR responsibility to remove as much of that risk as reasonably possible. That is why I support a smoking ban a firearms ban and a ban on dangerous dogs. I am sick and tired of other people suffering because some nut job having a hard dog gives him status.

One last thing before I leave this thread, (unless someone with a serious point, like Pagar comes in).

‘What about the proposed ‘opt in’ software?’. Some people don’t want to be exposed as gay/bisexual/cross dresser or whatever. Not my problem, sort out your own fucking problems, because I have enough of my own and so have my children. My life is far too complicated for me as it is without having to deal with other people’s hang ups. If you are forced to tick a box that you would rather not, well tick or not tick, it is all the same to me. Your choice, not mine. What about children who want to look up legitimate LBGT issues. Get a charity or the government to set up an approved site what about… sure tell us what exceptions you want and we can deal with them.

Oh and one last thing, Chaise your legendary semantic quibbles regarding fuck knows what? No, I haven’t covered everything so sorry you cannot work out what happens if the son climbs the fence or takes a laptop round to the swingers either. You will just have to wallow in ignorance

131. Chaise Guevara

@ Jim

I read all that, probably because I’m a masochist or something. And guess what? It’s just your original point, extended to umpteen paragraphs and repeated ad nauseam. So you’re still ducking my direct questions. Again. It’s almost like you lack answers.

So, well done. You’ve done a better job of disparaging the pro-censorship position than I ever could have done from arguing with you.

Incidentally, I did pick up on your attitude towards scared and marginalised children:

“What about children who want to look up legitimate LBGT issues. Get a charity or the government to set up an approved site what about… sure tell us what exceptions you want and we can deal with them. ”

You complacent, callous arsehole. “Sure, someone’ll probably deal with it. Get a fucking charity to sort it out. Who gives a fuck? It’s not me!”

Let me tell you something, you selfish prick. There are kids in the world right NOW who are gay and have parents who don’t approve of their sexuality, and they are not in the position to petition the government because THEY ARE TEENAGERS WITH NO MONEY OR POWER. And you want to throw them on the scrapheap, which could mean suicide. But who cares, right? All that matters is that you aren’t forced to turn Google fucking Safesearch on.

These are human beings, and you are sacrificing them to your bizarre fucking principles. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

I used to wince when you called Tories “selfish cunts”. From now on I’ll just hold up a fucking mirror.

132. Chaise Guevara

@ 127 JV

“this is getting silly – porn is clearly no just a matter of likes/dislikes!

Exposure to porn at a premature age has harmful psychological effects on children.

Or is that something you’d not agree with ?”

You’re late to the party. This is indeed a silly discussion, and the reason it’s silly is that we’re all sitting around discussing (read: castigating) Jim’s philosophy that the world should be redefined to suit his selfish arse.

In other words, this discussion is no longer about porn. It’s about whether or not the world should revolve around Jim. I vote no.

Right, that’s that out of the way. As to kids being exposed to porn, I don’t know what harm it does, but I share your desire to prevent it. If it becomes workable, I’d like to see adult sites have verifiable age restrictions. For example, to access a porn site, you should have to verify that you own a credit card account. Actually own the account, not just be in possession of a credit card you nicked from your parents. That would guarantee that you’re eighteen or over.

In the meantime, parents can achieve this by putting locks on mature content. That’s not a perfect system, but it’s the best we’ve got right now.

133. Chaise Guevara

I share Carl’s desire to know how people like Jim intend to keep people safe from religion on the internet. Because, y’know, human sacrifice, blind adulation of irresponsible authority figures, hating people for being from another tribe… I’m pretty sure that seeing a pair of tits is harmless by comparison. I’m not being facetious either: these attitudes are pure poison.

[Hey, decent religious people! I’m not talking about you guys. You guys are cool. But you know as well as I do that the other guys exist. Vote Creationist for another four years of enforced ignorance!]

@130. Jim: “Now, there are some people out there who do not want porn on their screens, that too is fine. Let us imagine it is the same guy who lives next to the golf club. Let us say they do not want children to see porn for any reason. ‘Well, they can buy anti porn software or they can use freeware versions of that software’ I hear you cry.”

The flaw in this argument is that internet defaults are “no porn”. Search engines don’t deliver porn by default. Spam filters at your ISP or in your email software eliminate porn spam. I don’t receive porn spam at home or at work, and for professional reasons (eating my own dog food), I deliberately use the computer configuration that I expect others to use.

My job title is “Desktop Architect” which means that I configure the Windows (ugh) environment for 20,000+ people. What they use is what I use, and nobody gets porn unless they look for it.

Every day, I look at service desk tickets that are not directed at me. I want to know what is going wrong, even when it is not “my problem”. And you know what, Jim? Nobody complains about receiving porn spam; inappropriate email queries are always about phishing attacks (attempts to obtain user credentials).

135. Waterloo Sunset

This will not work. You can tell it will not work by the Pirate Bay ‘block’.

Even if, hypothetically speaking, it were possible to filter out every porn site on a global basis (PROTIP: It isn’t), that would not stop children sharing porn files. And people like Kate and Jim who are going “why should I monitor my children’s internet usage” need to accept their children will have access to porn if they want to. It’s a natural consequence of refusing to monitor.

The only technological way to achieve the goal people are aiming for is if you set up a closed intranet, with a pre-approved selection of websites. That’s doable. Iran are looking closely at it at the moment. (If it was possible to filter the Internet as it is, do you not think they’d have done so by now?) Actually, that strikes me as a pretty good solution. Those that want a safe internet can genuinely have one.

All that said, if people want auto filtering fine. But it needs to be opt in, specifically so those requesting this service can pay the money for it. I do not want to pay for something a) I don’t need and b) is not going to work anyway.

I don’t see why people like Jim and Kate should be able to force me to pay out for the equivalent of defective software.

136. Just Visiting

Carl

Interesting angle you bring in there:

> … religious sites on the web, which can be, in my opinion, far more damaging to young minds then a bit of free porn.

I wonder how you reached that view? Any particular religious websites you had in mind?

Any serious psychology sources you refer to – that talk about religious website influence on kids? (obviously kids get a religious or non-religious influence from their home environment too – but that’s different to this thread about an online optin-out).

There are lots of reputable sources that talk about the downsides and addictability of online porn.

The reasons Jim’s analogies are faulty is that he thinks the internet is one public space (e.g. a park) and confuses “things that should obviously be illegal” (distributing computer viruses, tainting the town’s water supply) with “things that shouldn’t obviously be illegal” (e.g. publishing pornography).

You have to pretend to yourself that the entire web is made up of private websites in order for your entire argument to stack up,

Non sequitur. It is a network of networks; some of these networks are private; some are open to the public, which is not the same as saying they together constitute one vast public space in which a visitor searching for say the BBC will see pornography on the first page of Google results.

@135. Waterloo Sunset: “The only technological way to achieve the goal people are aiming for is if you set up a closed intranet, with a pre-approved selection of websites.”

It has been done and it worked at the censorship level. AOL was an established provider of pre-internet online services. AOL converted itself into an ISP and provided a protected, even cultivated, experience for customers. There was no porn on AOL but there were handy gardening tips. However AOL was a minority internet channel and the rest of the world had direct access to alt.binaries.bestiality, free music — but most importantly there were more interesting people on the internet beyond AOL.

Perhaps it is time to reinvent AOL? The downside on that is none of the content providers — Twitter, Google, Facebook — can be trusted. They will protect from porn, as best they can, but they are not trusted owners of personal data.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Jason Brickley

    The ‘porn-block’ plans are being pushed through: tell the govt you’re opposed http://t.co/SP4Am8RI

  2. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – The ‘porn-block’ plans are being pushed through: tell the govt you’re… http://t.co/dpyXxqTb

  3. Lee Hyde

    Liberal Conspiracy – The ‘porn-block’ plans are being pushed through: tell the govt you’re… http://t.co/dpyXxqTb

  4. BevR

    The ‘porn-block’ plans are being pushed through: tell the govt you’re opposed | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/2hkauJTD via @libcon

  5. Alan Webb

    one step to close towards state censorship ? http://t.co/YvyfMEYL

  6. Kate Smurthwaite

    Why am I still up? Oh yes pointing out obvious stupidity here: http://t.co/M0bF74eH

  7. Joanna Franks

    Why am I still up? Oh yes pointing out obvious stupidity here: http://t.co/M0bF74eH

  8. BevR

    The ‘porn-block’ plans are being pushed through: tell the govt you’re opposed | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/2hkauJTD via @libcon

  9. Gerald

    The ‘porn-block’ plans are being pushed through: tell the govt you’re opposed | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/sziDTbY6 via @libcon

  10. Jim Killock

    Good debate on "default blocking on @libcon http://t.co/6joUhgfb #dailymail #nannystate

  11. guppiefish

    Good debate on "default blocking on @libcon http://t.co/6joUhgfb #dailymail #nannystate

  12. Nick Sese Seko

    "@libcon: The 'porn-block' plans are being pushed through: tell the govt you're opposed http://t.co/kNhcCxup" ?— Posted 2 days ago. Huh?

  13. Why we support ‘porn block’ filters and you should too | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] Liberal Conspiracy’s discussion of the Government’s consultation on introducing ‘porn filters’ has included a tirade against some of those who have lead the argument for new controls and a polemic about the state. […]

  14. Awaz Raoof

    Alternative view from Open Rights Group http://t.co/6C4Aj4IA via @libcon





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