10 questions about Cameron’s ‘new’ porn-blocking

There’s been a bit of a media onslaught from David Cameron about his ‘war on porn’ over the weekend. Some of the messages given out have been very welcome – but some are contradictory and others make very little sense when examined closely. The latest pronouncement, as presented to/by the BBC, says

“Online pornography to be blocked automatically, PM announces”

The overall thrust seem to be that, as Cameron is going to put in a speech:

“Every household in the UK is to have pornography blocked by their internet provider unless they choose to receive it.”

So is this the ‘opt-in to porn’ idea that the government has been pushing for the last couple of years? The BBC page seems to suggest so. It suggests that all new customers to ISPs will have their ‘porn-filters’ turned on by default, so will have to actively choose to turn them off – and that ‘millions of existing computer users will be contacted by their internet providers and told they must decide whether to activate filters’.

Some of this is welcome – the statement about making it a criminal offence to possess images depicting rape sounds a good idea on the face of it, for example, for such material is deeply offensive, though quite where it would leave anyone who owns a DVD of Jodie Foster being raped in The Accused doesn’t appear to be clear. Indeed, that is the first of my ten questions for David Cameron.

1     Who will decide what counts as ‘pornography’, and how?

And not just pornography, but images depicting rape? Will this be done automatically, or will there be some kind of ‘porn board’ of people who will scour the internet for images and decide what is ‘OK’ and what isn’t? Automatic systems already exist to do this for child abuse images, and by most accounts they work reasonably well, but they haven’t eradicated the problem of child abuse images. Far from it. If it’s going to be a ‘human’ system – perhaps an extension of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) – how are you planning to fund it, and do you have any idea how much this is going to cost?

2     Do you understand and acknowledge the difference between pornography, child abuse images and images depicting rape? 

One of the greatest sources of confusion over the various messages given out over the weekend has been the mismatch between headlines, sound bites, and actual proposals (such as they exist) over what you’re actually talking about. Child abuse images are already illegal pretty much everywhere on the planet – and are hunted down and policed as such. As Google’s spokespeople say, Google already has a zero-tolerance policy for those images, and has done for a while. Images depicting rape are another category, and the idea of making it illegal to possess them would be a significant step – but what about ‘pornography’. Currently, pornography is legal – but it comes in many forms, and is generally legal – and to many people have very little to do with either of the first two categories…. which brings me to the third question

3     Are you planning to make all pornography illegal?

…because that seems to be the logical extension of the idea that the essential position should be that ‘pornography’ should be blocked as standard. That, of course, brings up the first two questions again. Who’s going to make the decisions, and on what basis? Further to that, who’s going to ‘watch the watchmen’. The Internet Watch Foundation, that currently ‘police’ child abuse images, though an admirable body in many ways, are far from a model of transparency (see this excellent article by my colleague Emily Laidlaw). If a body is to have sweeping powers to control content is available – powers above and beyond those set out in law – that body needs to be accountable and their operations transparent. How are you planning to do that?

4     What about Page 3?

I assume you’re not considering banning this. If you want to be logically consistent – and, indeed, if you want to stop the ‘corrosion of childhood’ then doing something about Page 3 would seem to make much more sense. Given the new seriousness of your attitude, I assume you don’t subscribe to the view that Page 3 is just ‘harmless fun’…. but perhaps you do. Where is your line drawn? What would Mr Murdoch say?

5     What else do you want to censor?

…and I use the word ‘censor’ advisedly, because this is censorship, unless you confine it to material that is illegal. As I have said, child abuse images are already illegal, and the extension to images depicting rape is a welcome idea, so long as the definitions can be made to work (which may be very difficult). Deciding to censor pornography is one step – but what next? Censoring material depicting violence? ‘Glorifying’ terrorism etc?  Anything linking to ‘illegal content’ like material in breach of copyright? It’s a very slippery slope towards censoring pretty much anything you don’t like, whether it be for political purposes or otherwise. ‘Function creep’ is a recognised phenomenon in this area, and one that’s very difficult to guard against. What you design and build for one purpose can easily end up being used for quite another, which brings me to another question…

6     What happens when people ‘opt-in’?

In particular, what kind of records will be kept? Will there be a ‘list’ of those people who have ‘opted-in to porn’? Actually, scratch that part of the question – because there will, automatically be a list of those people who have opted in. That’s how the digital world works – perhaps not a single list, but a set of lists that can be complied into a complete list. The real question is what are you planning to do with that list. Will it be considered a list of people who are ‘untrustworthy’. Will the police have immediate access to it at all times? How will the list be kept secure? Will is become available to others? How about GCHQ? The NSA? Have the opportunities for the misuse of such a list been considered? Function creep applies here as well – and it’s equally difficult to guard against!

7     What was that letter to the ISPs about?

You know, the letter that got leaked, asking the ISPs to keep doing what they were already doing, but allow you to say that this was a great new initiative? Are you really ‘at war’ with the ISPs? Or does the letter reveal that this initiative of yours is essentially a PR exercise, aimed at saying that you’re doing something when in reality you’re not? Conversely, have you been talking to the ISPs in any detail? Do you have their agreement over much of this? Or are you going to try to ‘strong-arm’ them into cooperating with you in a plan that they think won’t work and will cost a great deal of money, time and effort? For a plan like this to work you need to work closely with them, not fight against them.

8     Are you going to get the ISPs to block Facebook?

I have been wondering about this for a while – because Facebook regularly includes images and pages that would fit within your apparent definitions, particularly as regards violence against women, and Facebook show no signs of removing them. The most they’ve done is remove advertisements from these kinds of pages – so anyone who accesses Facebook will have access to this material. Will the default be for Facebook to be blocked? Or do you imagine you’re going to convince Facebook to change their policy? If you do, I fear you don’t understand the strength of the ‘First Amendment’ lobby in the US… which brings me to another question

9     How do you think your plans will go down with US internet companies?

All I’ve seen from Google have been some pretty stony-faced comments – but for your plan to work you need to be able to get US companies to comply. Few will do so easily and willingly, partly on principle (the First Amendment really matters to most Americans), partly because it will cost them money to do so, and partly because it will thoroughly piss-off many of their American customers. So how do you plan to get them to comply? I assume you do have a plan…

10     Do you really think these plans will stop the ‘corrosion’ of childhood?

That’s my biggest question. As I’ve blogged before, I suspect this whole thing misses the point. It perpetuates a myth that you can make the internet a ‘safe’ place, and absolves parents of the real responsibility they have for helping their kids to grow up as savvy, wary and discerning internet users. It creates a straw man – the corrosion of childhood, such as it exists, comes from a much broader societal problem than internet porn, and if you focus only on internet porn, you can miss all the rest.

Plans like these, worthy though they may appear, do not, to me, seem likely to be in any way effective – the real ‘bad guys’ will find ways around them, the material will still exist, will keep being created, and we’ll pretend to have solved the problem – and at the same time put in a structure to allow censorship, create a deeply vulnerable database of ‘untrustworthy people’, and potentially alienate many of the most important companies on the internet. I’m not convinced it’s a good idea. To say the least.

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100 thoughts on “10 questions about Cameron’s ‘new’ porn-blocking

  1. Some very good points here, and yes, it’s a PR exercise. Unless Cameron is going to solve unemployment at a stroke by recruiting thousands of porn-spotters he won’t have hope in hell of policing it. Point 6 is admirable: it has so much potential for abuse and I’m sure there will wrongful convictions and some very public, messy legal actions as a result. Surely a better, global approach would be to try and get the rather fragmented Internet Content Ratings schemes globalised and consistent? Most responsible website operators already have these in place and it would be much easier for ISPs to block sites that *didn’t* have them?

    • Nah, wrongful convictions implies the police could get things wrong. They can’t – policemen can’t be incompetent, legally. They just change the rules to say it was right all along, or lie for each other.

  2. In the US, such changes in law would be lobbied for by a self-interested group who sells software to do the realtime vetting of content. They’d go as far as to help the legislators write the legal paperwork. Does Cameron have to disclose who he has consulted with on this matter?

    • This has not worked in the US to any extent, there is Parental Control software, and systems for small children as should be, but preteens and teens have ways around those systems.

  3. Spot on – thoughtful reason in response to mindless soundbite – which will probably turn out to be unenforceable and (another) field day fpr the lawyers

  4. Wholeheartedly agree – especially with regards to point 10 – and I say this as the mother of two young daughters who Mr Cameron is apparently seeking to “protect”. I for one will be continuing to rely on good, old-fashioned parental supervision and education.

  5. It is censorship by another name. Well, attempted censorship because I do not believe it is actually possible to police the net in such a way without spending a hell of a lot of money that would be better spent elsewhere… It is also a PA stunt to get middle England on side for an upcoming election in much the same way as many Republicans take the religious anti-intellectual stance to try to get votes.

    Now, I am by no means an expert on child porn or even porn however it does occur to me that because of your aforementioned point about child porn being illegal already those who operate in that area tend to be somewhat circumspect. Rather than operating through easy to find websites and internet searches they would surely use forums, word of mouth, personal email and similar in much the same way that the illegal blacknets operate (forums for criminal activities where, so I have been told, you can acquire illegal services and products like credit card readers and copies of stolen ID documents) and the piracy sites. So this would only target legal pornography, sites that are searchable on google and have urls that are easily tagged as porn. I do remember someone I know mentioning an initiative to make all pornography sites change url to an .xxx system rather than a .com or .co.uk or similar in order to make it easier to block them. In that sort of system I would think it easy for any illegal users to simply not follow the law and hide their illegal stuff on a site that looks innocent at first but has hidden parts to it once you get into the later pages. No idea if that one ever got off the ground or not…

    And yes, Cameron seems to have failed to understand that the internet is legislated for in many different countries and most of the companies who deal with it are not UK based…

    • You would need to clarify your question (as, indeed, so many people need to clarify so many questions and plans).

      What is “rape porn”? Any fictional, staged scene depicting sexual violence? For example, a clip from a Hollywood movie or TV drama?

      Or are you talking about “a recording of a rape”, which is not what I’d term as porn but a recording of a crime – be it CCTV footage or a recording made by a perpetrator.

  6. So the fact that actual child porn is not as easy Camoron is making out. Password protected servers identified by IP address alone. A friend in the police explained that these servers are set up in countries with much laxer laws and move every 10 – 14 days. Realistically this is a just a PR exercise that will have no impact on those Camoron says his is targeting.

  7. Regarding the corrosion of childhood, that twat wanting the test them every five minutes is doing more to corrode childhood.

    • Know what else has a corrosive effect on childhood? Child Poverty! So while Cameron’s implementing policies that will actively increase one while making half arsed gestures about the other. Thats some nice tory logic right there.

    • Exactly – this is people being lazy. It’s part of the ‘I can’t be bothered to raise my kids, can’t the government do it for me,’ mentality that is oh-so-prevalent in the UK. Children are starting school in nappies and unable to use a knife and fork – this is just an extension of that. It’s too much effort to pay attention to what your kids are doing with the electronic babysitter that is the computer so just ban everything they shouldn’t be looking at. Job done. *twitch* I feel a big rant coming on…

  8. also regarding his comment “Few will do so easily and willingly, partly on principle (the First Amendment really matters to most Americans),” yeah the first amendment really matters because the u.s.a was made on the the first amendment. It was desighned to ensure rights for common people.

  9. No need to fuss. It’s just a tiny, little version of chinese great firewall, so really nothing to worry about. Every governments wet dream.

    • yes and it will be managed by Huawei systems, it seems. So the relationship is closer than we’d like to think. The idea is that “even if you don’t want your content to be filtered, it will still pass through their servers”. Amazing. This no longer has anything to do with porn! All data will pass through “in case” it is porn or a request for porn, and *regardless* of whether you are asking for it to be filtered.

  10. Very nice post :)
    So should i call the strangers in the ISP and tell “yes i’d like to have an internet connection with porn enabled”, And to be honest, the first porn i saw wasn’t on my home computer, and i guess this is the case with everyone else, so he cant actually “STOP” people from watching porn!

  11. Impossible to stop or filter, Just like the feeble effort with stopping torrents. as soon as one URL gets blocked another will be released in seconds.. Even if Cameron and his idiots managed to block all methods of reaching a site it’ll just turn to peer to peer or via Onion. Publicity stunt from an idiot IMHO.

  12. yay, let’s forbid sex. that corrupts children because, you know, they show know nothing about it, specially regarding STDs and contraception. because all of that is, you know, evil. god forbid children to know how to make more children and how not to make them. also, everyday violence everywhere, as seen in everyday news, is a good thing and all children should be given plastic guns as soon as they are able to hold one. because violence is a good thing. it’s violence that makes us different from the evil muslims. everyone knows the middle and dark ages were ages of peace around here and violence on the mulim world and that, also, they were the ones asking for the cruzades. we were really evolved and with better tech while they were busy killing each other. oh, wait, it seems it’s the other way around.

    • I agree we should forbid sex … well certainly the couplings that result in the likes of Cameron, Gove and I D SS Smith not to forget good old Georgie Osbourne !

    • it’s not about forbidding sex. sex and porn are not interchangeable or together defined.

      the points in the main blog are great conversation pieces, if you could address the PM and had any clearance to know what the real objective is. so, assumptions abound.

      they MIGHT:
      -force the opt in the system so you have to call and say, “pretty please, I want to have my porn back.” or “yes, partner/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, I want to opt in and I have not been working on the tweening in the development sense. ” (Because..as lazy as parents are assumed, so goes the assumption that your significant other isn’t the one addicted and takes complete responsibility).
      -concede to a system that charges you for your porn that was once so anon and free and make mountains of cash for the wheels that were once so slow to turn for change.

      -PRISM = the USA answer to your privacy and perception of it.

    • Ironic to see the author being told off for a spelling error by someone whose nickname is wrongly spelled but let that pass. The point being made is indeed that she’s acting and by extension that the scene is not prurient and the film’s message is an important one. But any crude filter would block it.

      • Ironic is that the leading example as to why if there was an opt in filter, rape depictions and porn are too blurry to call is due to a 1988 Jody Foster movie. You guys are really going to have to go underground far for your important educational message-Jody Foster – RL/mystery/ suspense depictions on gang rape..

      • I just chose a familiar, award-winning and mainstream example to make the point…. it’s not intended in any way to be ‘the leading example’, just one that clearly should NOT be criminalised, and yet with a poorly framed law would be.

      • “…though quite where it would leave anyone who owns a DVD of Jody Foster being raped in The Accused doesn’t appear to be clear.”

        Jodie Foster wasn’t raped. It was all pretend. Ownership of the DVD containing her Academy Award winning performance remains entirely clear. You couldn’t of picked a worse example to make your point.

        P.S. not trying to win a spelling bee – hence: “uncompetative”.

      • You still don’t seem to understand. Under the law, as Cameron suggests it, anyone who possesses an image ‘depicting rape’ will be criminalised. Jodie Foster ‘depicted rape’. Though in ‘common sense’ terms it’s ‘obvious’ it’s not rape, under this proposed law..

    • ” she was acting”

      Careful who you’re calling a twit. You don’t appear to understand that all adult pornography is acting. US porn sites have to carry legal notices stating that everyone involved is over eighteen and are actors playing parts. The porn available through theses sites includes incest, SM, orgies and yes, rape. Just like Hollywood films, it is all about acting; people are having consensual sex and nobody is really getting raped or committing incest.
      So, if acted-out scenes of rape are to be banned, then quite a lot of Hollywood’s output will be affected as well.

      • Which entirely ignores the issues around sharing amateur porn where scenes depicted are not acted but between real live consenting adults. Much internet porn is now ‘amateur’ content, not to mention it being the entire foundation of the business model of MakeLoveNotPorn founded by the excellently enthusiastic Cindy Gallop. Are these people to be criminalised too if their activities are not to the tastes of others?

      • Hollywood’s output is already affected by the MPAA and BBFC certification system. Movie studios voluntarily cut their creative works in order to reach a broader demographic. Family Filters should be enabled by default in all popular Web browsers as many parents are both unaware of the content their children may be exposed to in the privacy of their bedrooms and lacking in the rudimentary technological skills to render them safe. Bing searches should be ‘Strict’ by default, with the parent able to loosen this to ‘Moderate’ without permission for anyone in their household. Further loosening to ‘Off’ for their own password protected user account should require an opt−in to a Government held list. ‘The Accused’ could be legally streamed from NetFlix to anything set to ‘Moderate’ due to its certification metadata. This won’t stop disturbed criminals accessing audiovisual records of criminal acts. but it will be a pragmatic step in the right direction to curb children being exposed to toxic material.

      • I simply don’t believe this has anything to do with child protection nor will it stop children accessing material you consider to be ‘toxic’ whatever that may be.
        Children in neglectful or abusive households certainly need protection. This proposed legislation is no more than a desultory nod in that direction made to create press noise pretending they are actually doing anything worthwhile whilst setting a precedent for the disintegration of internet privacy.

  13. Nailed it.

    What bothers me is, while we have a lot of discussion on the net right now, point #10 isn’t being widely contested; it’s as-if people mostly accept the “need” to “defend” children from the straw man, and doubt just the implementation details, taking censorship as granted.

    The right(-ish) question is, do we really need some random elderly guy, not very bright or anything, to define how to raise our children? I don’t think so. Seriously, screw the old man, I’m fine on my own.

  14. I think DC is just doing it to stop himself and the rest of his cronies from watching porn themselves, but someone needs to point out to him that even if they do stop watching it we will still refer to them as a bunch of wankers !!

  15. Another point, often made and never satisfactorily answered by the green ink brigade, is that of people searching for information. Every day sees tragically sad posts on even inappropriate forums from rape and abuse victims: the hunt for help and advice (and even basic emotional support) is never ending and really must not be hindered.

  16. ”Some of this is welcome – the statement about making it a criminal offence to possess images depicting rape sounds a good idea on the face of it, for example, for such material is deeply offensive, though quite where it would leave anyone who owns a DVD of Jody Foster being raped in The Accused doesn’t appear to be clear”

    I made a point similar to this when they brought in laws essentially censoring a lot of anime and manga – Namely the law which made an image of someone who does not exist into a facsimilie of a real person for the purpose of prosecution. If laws similar to this continue to pass… well, I have series’ on DVD in which the protagonist accidentally triggers genocide of the human race on a world wide scale. Hell, I have multiple series and films – both live action and animated – that depict similar things. When will it come to the point that simply owning something the government doesn’t like becomes illegal?

    As for the policy itself? Yet another PR exercise. The government passing a law that would normally have people up in arms to defend their freedom, by claiming ”it’s to protect children”. Just don’t ask any real questions. After all, if you had nothing to hide, you wouldn’t have a problem with your freedoms being eroded. Right?

    • I suppose it would help if I remembered to get to my point: being, when does it get to the point that we are prosecuted for other fictional things too? Will I find myself in court for Genocide one day? Or for hate crimes because I watched American History X? I’m legitimately curious.

  17. This is just tyranny.. isnt there anyone who can be a good leader. Is there any hope. Its not about porn. I cant believe these politicians make ridiculous excuses to ban something. one day the internet will not be free anymore if kept going on like this..Dont elect these idiots.

    • “Don’t elect these idiots”

      I don’t remember a porn ban being in the manifestos of either of the coalition parties. It would maybe be nice to know what choices we’re being offered at general elections.

  18. The point most deeply concerning is that this is about the values of one group of people deciding what is accessible to other intelligent, consenting adults. It is about one group of people deciding that their tastes are definitive and all others are wrong, like, for example, when homosexuality was illegal.
    We are not talking about illegal content. We are discussing restricting the freedom for individuals to take personal responsibility for their choices. Whether or not you like pornography, how you personally define ‘acceptable’ vs. ‘unacceptable’ pornography does not give you a right to restrict the actions of others if they are consenting adults causing no harm.
    Children are exposed to many things all the time. They will find ways around filters; that may be as simple as visiting a friend’s house. Being open and honest with them, being a place they can go to with their questions without fear of censure, is the only way to protect them. Pretending they will never see things, being a moral brick wall and pushing pornography underground as though it is not an entirely healthy part of human sexuality is a dangerous nonsense.
    This is not about porn and it is not about child protection. This is your Government using those subjects as a supposedly moral ‘high ground’ to set a precedent so that they can steal your privacy and your right to choice.

    Is it too much in this thread to mention that consensual rape is a well understood sexual fantasy and activity within the BDSM community and depictions of that, whilst not to your taste, do not equate to incitement to rape any more than ‘Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’ or indeed ‘The Accused’. This insistence that we are no more than what we see in a film or on a picture site is to make excuses for the rapist who chooses to devolve personal responsibility to whomever controlled his internet ISP.

    • Totally agree… I have worked in schools, I have sat and watched children bypass the filters that schools put on their ICT systems to prevent them playing games when they should be working. They find it terrifyingly easy. If they are determined enough they will find a way. Or, rather, one bright kid will and then tell all the rest. Only way I have found to stop them playing games is to stand over their shoulder and tell them to stop and keep standing there and keep telling them to stop…

      Note, I have never seen a kid try to find porn on the school internet. Frankly most of it requires a credit card to see so kids are unlikely to be able to. They go to flash player game sites and play silly racing games or puzzles or adventure games. I do not think many of them are going to look for it at home either. Many really just don’t care and I have talked to some who see the whole concept of porn to be ‘sad’. I did once catch some boys watching a pornographic video on a mobile phone and did tell them off for it but that is one incident in a lot of teaching hours.

      Speaking as a teaching professional, I actually consider it a bad idea to ban anything. First of all because it makes that one thing very attractive to kids so they are more likely to want to see it (and therefore will apply the full force of their intellect to trying to see it…) and secondly because it drives it underground and makes kids less likely to want to discuss the issues with their parents or teachers which makes any psychological fallout from the exposure all the more dangerous.

      I do wish governments would stop using the ‘would somebody think of the children’ excuse. Kids are perfectly capable of looking after themselves online. Far more capable than most adults in many cases.

      • And I am intrigued.There is a tone of distaste in your comment. Did you tell those boys off and in doing so explain that they were breaking the law because they were underage or simply leave them with the impression that viewing porn was in some way intrinsically wrong?
        My son asked his first question about 50SOG at the age of 10. A child in his year had read snippets of the book on his mother’s bedside table. No amount of government filters could prevent that. I simply offered to answer directly and honestly any questions that he had. I also asked that when he was of an age to enjoy adult literature I would prefer that he be more discerning in his choices as those books were utterly misleading and misrepresentative tripe and in literary terms no better than firewood.
        As to the need for credit cards to access online porn, this is a common misapprehension. There are a number of excellent free to access commercial porn sites, not to mention Tumblr. Or indeed any number of blogs and privately run websites. Some of them are educational, insightful and to my mind, essential reading for anyone who finds themselves unable to embrace the concept of ‘consenting adults’.

      • I am not sure where you are reading distaste in what I wrote. I simply stated the facts of the matter as they occurred. I also did not mention any specifics of the action I took. In such situation a professional is limited by the restrictions of the school policy on the matter which is usually to confiscate the offending material and report it to head and parents. I did, as it happens, also talk to them about it in a sensible manner and explain why the action had to be taken.

        The point remains that children will find a way to get access to such things, regardless of what technological or legal restrictions are in place. As you say, they can buy it in a bookshop or see softcore porn in newspapers or in some online sources (though I hold that the really hardcore stuff, the rape porn, for example, is not as available as all that without using a credit card) and I know for a fact that can overcome technological restrictions. I would much rather that when they are exposed to it they can feel they can approach an adult to talk about it in a sensible manner and feel that knee jerk legislation like this only serves to make that aspect of it more difficult.

        More importantly, it still won’t stop child pornography, which is its intended goal.

      • This is going to be out of synch. WP won’t add a ‘reply’ option to your second response.
        Thank you for responding. I think the ‘really hardcore stuff’ is absolutely freely available. I will refrain from posting links. And you are right. The biggest danger to children is in not having that option to talk through their discoveries with a sensible adult. Sadly I hear all too often of young people who are already exploring less mainstream sexuality and it is not even legal for them to access the sites where they might actually find sensible advice nor is it legal for those sites to respond other than to suggest they return when they come of age, that age, of course, depending upon which nation’s internet protocol governs their activity.
        Lets hope this legislation remains nothing more than posturing.

  19. I welcome this initiative of Mr. Cameron. Because now, instead of going on the internet and finding porn, children will have to be inventive again and try to find dad’s (and/or mom’s) hidden porn stash (not to be confused with a porn ‘stache!).

    This is obviously a measure to increase our childrens’ and the parents’ inventivity and cunning.

  20. The thing i love most is that i can still use a VPN or a special browser to access this material as i have done with piratebay and kickass torrents. Just because the ISP blocks it does not mean we cant access it by connecting to another IP in a different country. This in itself makes it harder to track the users. So policing the internet is not possible unless the whole world is controlled by one person just like in north korea. And i dont think this will happen soon enough to solve the internet problem and it certainally wont go down too well with other 6 billion people on earth with one leader controlling them mindlessly.

  21. I think this world would be a much better place if everyone would learn to mind there own business. If its not effecting you or causing you harm. Then keep your nose out of it and SHUT UP!

  22. This is bullshit. I didn’t learn about sex from the internet. I learned about it in the halls and classrooms of middle school. To “protect our children” would be to take away their own freedom of speech. Additionally, I didn’t watch my first porn on the internet. Try late night television. After say, 12 pm, movie channels, if you look for it, turns into porn channels. I was 15 when I watched my first porn on the TV for god’s sake. This old man has some sort of agenda. Have fun dealing with this idiot, Britain!

  23. how about the FACT that Denmark’s relaxed attitude to porn has resulted in a massive decrease in sexual crime.

  24. Reblogged this on Oprichnik Rising and commented:
    Chip chip chip away. Everyday its something else, some tiny little reduction of freedoms that alwasy has an acceptable strawman as its target. But we all know this is really just about censorship and ultimately control of our minds. Put more plainly it is a type of brainwashing, washing our minds of all those dirty impuure thoughts LOL this is the thin edge of the wedge people. Do not fall for it.
    Great blog post by Paul Bernal and I hope to see thesequestions and more answered very soon by CaMORON.

  25. the UK government is blocking a website of a political party. the german pirate party has a website which can be reached at movie2k.com and movie2k.to . both domains seem to be blocked by several british ISPs.

    dont let them fool you, internet censoring does not work. and it cannot be fixed. censorship measures will always block legitimate content too. this ‘over-blocking’ by domain, IP or other technical measures creates collateral damage which should not be accepted.

    • Yep… technical solutions are flawed at best… anyone here ever had a work email blocked by your company’s profanity filter because you mentioned Scunthorpe? [Think about it...]

  26. […] Why should I, as an adult, have to contact my ISP to tell them that I am a pervert? How many people are really going to do that? And why should I do it just because parents are incapable of regulating their child’s usage of the internet? If these images are legal for me to view, why should I jump through hoops to view them? And if I do opt-in, who will find out? […]

  27. Great post.

    Re (3), do you know how to obtain a copy of Emily Laidlaw’s article without paying $35 to Oxford Journals? I registered with them, but was still asked to pay to view the article.

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