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Porn block plans deemed unworkable by ISPs

by Sarah Griffiths on 21 December 2010, 10:18

Tags: UK Government

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Censor-tive issue

Meanwhile, the Internet Service Provider Association (ISPA) seems to have taken the stance that it is up to parents to put their own blocks in place and censor the internet as they see fit as a way of protecting their children from stumbling across pornographic sites.

Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of ISPA told Auntie: "ISPA firmly believes that controls on children's access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down."

He reportedly said IPSA will be discussing the options available with the government and emphasised the array of options that ISPs provide for parent to control internet access in the home, but one MP has previously argued that just 15 percent of parents can use such controls effectively.

Lansman reportedly said:"ISPs currently block child abuse content which is illegal and widely regarded as abhorrent. Blocking lawful pornography content is less clear cut, will lead to the blocking of access to legitimate content and is only effective in preventing inadvertent access."

The UK's largest ISP, BT told the Beeb that while it will happily cooperate in any discussion about protecting kids online, it reportedly said: "There are many legal, consumer rights and technical issues that would need to be considered before any new web blocking policy was developed."

Indeed it seems likely that some internet users may see the block as an infringement on their rights and freedom online.

Davies reportedly said that a wide-scale policing system of porn could soon also be used to monitor or censor pirated songs, films or TV shows, if successful.

"If we take this step it will not take very long to end up with an internet that's a walled garden of sites the governments is happy for you to see," he reportedly warned.

Jim Killock, chair of the Open Rights Group, which seeks to protect digital liberties, told Auntie: "This is not about pornography, it is about generalised censorship through the back door. This is the wrong way to go. If the government controlled a web blacklist, you can bet that Wikileaks would be on it."

However, there are some people that think censorship with the aim of protecting vulnerable people is an admirable concept. Miranda Suit, the co-chair of Safer Media, which aims to make the net safer for children, told Auntie that porn on the net is now ‘qualitatively and quantitatively' different from anything that has been accessible before.

Citing US think tank The Witherspoon Institute's research showing some young people are damaged by pornography, she reportedly said: "Children are becoming addicted in their teens to internet pornography. They are being mentally damaged so they cannot engage in intimate relationships."

Perhaps unsurprisingly the group backs the government's plans to block porn access ‘at source' as "what we are talking about is censorship to protect our children," said Suit.



HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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If only 15% of parents can use filters effectively then this whole thing should be about educating parents in the ability to use parental controls instead of how to make things more complicated for millions of people without kids just because they are apparently surrounded by stupid people.

I know to people who don't know much about computers it's not that easy for them to use parental controls but if told exactly what to do then how hard could it really be for them?
bear jesus;2021808
I know to people who don't know much about computers it's not that easy for them to use parental controls but if told exactly what to do then how hard could it really be for them?

What you need to bear in mind is that most day to day internet users don't even know their username/password for the router to get into the administration settings to enable things like this to be enabled.

They seem to think that reading a manual is a sign of a weakness and just plug a router in thats been provided by their ISP with their username/password already embedded and ready to use as it has the WPA key on a sticker on the back so they feel they have no need to know about that little box in the corner.
Citing US think tank The Witherspoon Institute's research showing some young people are damaged by pornography, she reportedly said: “Children are becoming addicted in their teens to internet pornography. They are being mentally damaged so they cannot engage in intimate relationships.”

Lol :D

Perhaps unsurprisingly the group backs the government's plans to block porn access ‘at source' as “what we are talking about is censorship to protect our children,” said Suit.

*punches chair*
Where there's a think tank's unfounded claims, there's an xkcd to counter:

Lee @ SCAN;2021814
What you need to bear in mind is that most day to day internet users don't even know their username/password for the router to get into the administration settings to enable things like this to be enabled.

They seem to think that reading a manual is a sign of a weakness and just plug a router in thats been provided by their ISP with their username/password already embedded and ready to use as it has the WPA key on a sticker on the back so they feel they have no need to know about that little box in the corner.

Very true i should have known that from the amount of friends and family members i have had to setup computers and/or routers for them although none of them have any worry's about their kids accessing porn so i admit i have never tried to setup any form of parental controls for anyone.

I really would have thought any parents that really cared about if their kids saw porn would take steps to prevent them including learning something new… although i guess poking counsel and government representatives is their idea of doing something about it :rolleyes: