Saturday, 17 November 2012

Think of the fucking children!

Err, OK, deliberate blog post title there...

But really, WTF!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/9684797/David-Cameron-orders-new-curbs-on-internet-porn.html

This is as bad as every other proposal.

ISPs shift packets.

Nobody ever said that telcos have to filter what is said on a phone call!

Nobody ever said that royal mail have to filter what is written in a letter!

So, lets put this in perspective...

I am a parent, with 5 kids (most now grown up, and some are step-kids). Deity help me! Some work for me now.

Porn is the least of the worries a parent should have in terms of "what their kids can see on the internets"... Really. Porn is (mostly) "normal" stuff, and kids will (teenage boys, I am assuming) get an idea of what is normal and what is somewhat pervy... No amount of "filtering" will stop a teenage boy getting access to porn, and the Internet is not special in that respect.

However, the concept of an ISP level control on this? That is mad!

There is some logic on PC/operating-system control, maybe, but ISP level is mad! It is impractical. It is easily bypassed. It is a false sense of security. It avoids the real issues.

As I have said before, it is like making Spec-Savers responsible for what is seen through the glasses they sell. It is just plain silly.

What is needed is parents taking an actual interest in their kids, and actually being involved in what they do. Talking to them, not just about "nice" stuff, but about what they could encounter as soon as they leave the cotton wool ball. Make sure the kids are well balanced and able to decide for themselves what is sensible and what is not. What they like and what they do not. Some basic self respect for themselves and other people. Armed with that, Internet porn is not an issue.

This is a "parenting thing" not an "Internet thing" and certainly not a "technology thing".

Please, someone, tell the government to get a grip!

3 comments:

  1. I agree with you. But be pragmatic and start writing the code. Maybe this could become a good selling point for the firebrick. If you could develop great "safety" controls you have a great USP. And let's face it OS parental controls suck.

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    1. There are really good safety controls involving disconnecting the Internet totally - you don't need code for that, just parents!

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  2. Given that this is the Daily Telegraph re-reporting a story originally published in the Daily Mail, I think a fair degree of scepticism is called for. No previous government proposals have come anywhere near this, and the PM is on record as opposing compulsory filtering.

    I think this is just more media manipulation by the Mail, which wants to preserve its position as the only legitimate purveyor of titillation to the masses.

    One good thing about the article, though: It gets the technology the right way round. That is, it makes it clear that in order to block porn, you have to install filters, and that the default is unfiltered - so filtering is opt-in, even if consumers are going to be strongly guided towards opting in. That's in contrast to some of the stuff emanating from the more technomoronic politicians who think that the ISPs can somehow make "no porn" the default and that people should have to opt in, or switch the porn feed on, in order to get it.

    It's telling, too, that the vast majority of the comments below that article - on the Daily Telegraph, a right-wing paper - are opposed to the plans. Cameron may be happy to ignore the Guardianistas, but when it's clear that his own core supporters don't want compulsory filtering then I think the chances of this policy becoming reality are pretty minimal. (See also the Communications Data Bill, which is likely to have the intrusive stuff quietly dropped for much the same reason).

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