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Q: Do you agree with the government's plan for opt-out internet porn filtering?

  • 48%
    Yes

  • 38%
    No

  • 4%
    Don't know

  • 10%
    Don't care


(Based on 13403 Votes)

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PC Advisor

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Do you agree with the government's plan for opt-out internet porn filtering?

Let us know in our poll.

Poll: Do you agree with the government's plan for opt-out internet porn filtering?

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theDarkness

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michaelw - that's a fair point, but it is still a bit of a mess, with the government possibly enforcing something that good security software should certainly be capable of. Perhaps more intelligent filtering through standard security software will be available in future, heavily recommended or given a set trial with initial internet access to your company of choice. I suppose it could be something worth trying, but in my opinion I do not think we should need the government to enforce it.

I don't have a problem with any filter automatically set to on for pornography. The problem is how effective such filtering could ever be. Tied only to pornography or not, I would have a lot of doubts over its efficiency. Technology and public opinion as to what is pornography and what is not can vary. It is also possible that some users would constantly have to turn such a filter off if it caused problems with their viewing habits (eg searching for sexual health help online etc, which could confuse a filter), and forget about switching it back on before their kids access the internet, even if an easy on/off process. So again, it comes down to the parenting, and not any magic filter, but then, any such filter working with irresponsible parents was questionable from the start.

If the filter worked better over time, nanny state or not (depending on opinion) I suspect it would mainly be for those with responsible parents and very young children (under 12s). Older children wanting to find such content would find a workaround, so for them it sounds almost pointless. To date, the internet has proven to be near unblockable. Creators of unwanted content could even change the format of what is shown to make filters not understand. Reading articles online about this new filtering scheme, it would seem the real issue that keeps being mentioned as one of the key reasons for this filter is not pornography, but child pornography. We may one day be able to filter it out, but it just means it will go further 'underground' online and always exist, even if more difficult to access. The sad thing is that in the media we are always hearing about users caught with thousands of images of such material on their systems, and never about those caught that are actually creating it. Surely they should be the focus.

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Simon Delancey

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It doesn't much matter what we think of it. The idea is unworkable as many experts have pointed out. Too bad our government is composed of technological illiterates whose knowledge of IT matters is as hazy as their morals.

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michaelw

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theDarkness

"When it comes down to childrens access to pornography, the bottom line is that the responsibility should be entirely on the parent and not anyone else, they should be able to have the option of using a filter. If they choose not to, then they need to take the blame if their child has easy access to certain content."

You have to understand that not every parent is astute or au fait with the machinations of how computers and filtering works. Or in other words there's a lot of thick parents out there. Personally I think it's a good idea for the government to try to assist these thickos in at least attempting to somehow control their kids' exposure to level 5 porn.

As I said before if children spend time amusing themselves by watching, say, a woman being gang raped or even beastiality then this will have an affect on their impressionable young minds, and their overall view on a normal, loving relationship is going to be perverted and distorted as they could see this as the norm, depending on their personality makeup. (Especially if they've been brought up by thicko parents).

Yes, we all had sight of porn as school kids but this situation with technology is vastly different. Then it was hard to get hold of but here with the internet we have easy access to flooding of virtually every category of porn. And technology is moving at a very fast rate and this in turn is affecting all aspects of society. So now we have the opportunity in somehow curbing vulnerable minds from this exposure and making it harder for them to see some really horrific stuff.

I think it's a good idea.

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wee eddie

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I was frequently told that life would never be fair and hoped that I, by example, could change the world just a little. (I was an occasional Hippie after all) However, I failed abysmally.

I would expect that any bright Teenager, worth his or her salt, would be quite able to overcome any limitations our generation were able to put on their access to on-line porn but hope that what they initially found would be of a fairly vanilla nature.

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theDarkness

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Obviously if legal pornography is an interest to anyone, then they may not want any dictating government telling providers to automatically filter what they attempt to access, even if they are able to turn it back on again, for a set fee or otherwise. We state that the internet should be free, but already we have the media industry making providers ban websites. It goes against the 'free' nature of the internet. Look at youtube. It rents media, yet users upload identical content illegally to it instead.

Violence is uploaded to youtube every single day.

When it comes down to childrens access to pornography, the bottom line is that the responsibility should be entirely on the parent and not anyone else, they should be able to have the option of using a filter. If they choose not to, then they need to take the blame if their child has easy access to certain content. No different to any child turning on that tv in their room and seeing certain phone-in channels on late night freeview (so i've heard..), the parent should know exactly what the child is doing, watching or communicating online on a regular basis with.

The problem now is the advent of internet mobile phones and this generation being arguably more tech savvy than ever, more and more kids now have access to the net and know how to get around it, even under 12s, which may makes internet protection difficult. Kids around the age of 8 on youtube showing other users how to use proxy to get around restrictions on youtube. We can argue that the majority of children above a set age are intelligent enough to know what they are watching, and their minds are fully developed enough not to be affected in any major way about what they see online, but that does not mean it won't have any influence at all, eg when it comes down to a demeaning form pornography or general violence, as every individual is different.

I wonder about the state of the internet in the next 30 years. If the internet could finally be controlled, with access only to a select few.Perhaps that is very unlikely, but.. you never know!

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Forum Editor

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wee eddie

That's a rather jaundiced view of life.

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wee eddie

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It's very good for a Child's development for it to have to jump over a few hurdles to get what it wants. Character forming, at the very least - makes them develop a secretive nature which will stand them in good stead, later in life!

I have to agree with FE though, let them find the Shallow End first.

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Forum Editor

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Yardie

"If kids want to see porn they will find a way to."

of course they will, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to protect them from the worst kind of sexual violence on the internet.

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Yardie

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If kids want to see porn they will find a way to.

I went to school through the 1950's and someone was always bringing in porno photos, long before computers, internet, Multichannel TV, etc.

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Forum Editor

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carver

Let's get a few things straight:-

At no point have I said that I can 'spot' a paedophile, or even suggested that I can.

A paedophile is impossible to spot in a crowded room, or anywhere else for that matter. There's no 'look' to a paedophile, no special uniform, or manner of behaving in public. You will certainly have been in the company of many paedophiles during your lifetime.

The person is still a paedophile, regardless of whether he has been 'spotted'.

How would I define a paedophile? Let's use the Collins dictionary definition: A paedophile is a person, usually a man, who is sexually attracted to children

Is that clear enough for you?

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spider9

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carver

Are you purposefully misunderstanding?

Nobody is claiming to be able to 'spot one', whereas your position seems to be "If they are not convicted then they don't exist".

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spuds

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carver - your first link brings to mind some very spectacular things or events in life. My question was who was protecting this person, when all of it was (supposedly) happening over many years. I do believe one particular major institution was apparently involved in this, and that institution is probably one of the first to condemn just such events?.

Another question I would raise, is how people define certain words and actions, like sex, pornography and all the rest. Different areas of the world have different views, and that can include government and probably 'officials' who preach one thing,and may even insist that their laws take action, yet they themselves might be one of the offender's of a possible corrupt society?.

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carver

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F.E spider9 just what is your definition of that person, how would you describe such a person and how would you spot such a person in a room full of people.

Do paedophiles have certain characteristics or traits that you can spot, do they exhibit a liking for certain clothes.

But if F.E and spider can spot a paedophile at twenty paces then really they should offer their services to the police or children's services.

But seriously how do you spot one, do they all look like him enter link description here or maybe him enter link description here.

Get it wrong and it can be very expensive enter link description here

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spider9

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carver

As you clearly did not understand the point I was making, you just proceeded to pick on the one word, 'paedophile', and vent your spleen!

To reiterate, given your original views, pornography does not exist (in your opinion) - it's all 'art'. So why not let everyone, including children, witness every depraved act that anyone wants to commit? Or, in your mind, every 'artistic act', of course!!

If that is your attitude then good luck to you, I prefer to think that myself, and millions of others, would find it appalling.

I did not express any opinion on 'filters', or the latest Cameron initiative - just on your own ideas about pornograhy.

Completely agree with FE about your ridiculous notion that paedophiles only exist after being caught.

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Forum Editor

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carver

"But it's the irony that the F.E is saying that this is a good idea then his Magazine gives advice on how to bypass it."

Where's the irony in that? My views are my views, what I say here is not bound to be in accord with what someone else says in the magazine, and vice versa. We're all free to hold our own opinions.

Your comment that "a Paedophile does not exist unless he is caught and tried in court." is ridiculous, by the way. A paedophile is a paedophile, regardless of whether he is caught or not.

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carver

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spider9 why is it that when some one threatens your point of view or indeed any body with your view point they come out with the "we must protect the kids from Paedophiles".

This has nothing to do with Paedophiles, in fact this web filter would not even bother them. One further point, a Paedophile does not exist unless he is caught and tried in court.

If you are so concerned then put filters on your * PC then your children will not be able to see any *porn.

The Australians tried this and shut down over 250,000 legal sites that had nothing to do with sex, porn or even nude women.

Second point, I don't buy porn mags in shops , there's to much free stuff on the net.

But it's the irony that the F.E is saying that this is a good idea then his Magazine gives advice on how to bypass it.

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

Being in the minority doesn't concern me. I'll stick to my beliefs and no doubt you'll stick to yours.

And that I think is where we probably should leave it. We could carry on like this ad infinitum, and we won't achieve anything.

Let's see what happens, if and when this badly thought out policy is introduced. Perhaps then when we actually have some hard and fast evidence to go on we can come to a more equitable conclusion on the merits or demerits of such a policy?

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

Just because an argument might not flow in my favour doesn't mean that I'm wrong and others are right. Am I wrong, for instance, in saying that anything which can be done to protect children from accessing the worst kind of violent pornography - simulated rape, for instance - is a good thing?

Am I wrong in saying that because some parents are incapable or unwilling to take steps to prevent their children from accessing that form of content we should try, as a society, to shoulder the responsibility for the childrens' sake?

Am I wrong in believing that you and I will not be deprived (by the government's proposed measures) of our liberty to view that kind of content if we wish to do so?

If you think I am, by all means say so, and explain how I'm wrong, rather than lapsing into the attitude that it's better to leave it all up to parents, just as long as we adults don't lose the 'right' to view such stuff (much of which is illegal in this country) without any form of regulation whatever.

We're talking about pornography here, not art. Nobody is suggesting a book-burning policy, there will be no knocking on doors in the dead of night, as was suggested by one contributor.

"debate starts to become tedious when you are debating with somebody who does not seem willing to acknowledge that the argument may not be flowing in their favour."

I don't know why you seem to be so worried about that. If it helps I readily and happily acknowledge that my view is not the majority one here, but that doesn't really worry me. If I wanted to court popularity I could do so very easily, but then I would have to compromise my integrity by agreeing with opinions which are often diametrically the opposite of mine. That way lies mediocrity and blandness, and - mark my words - there would then be many who would criticise me for trying to curry favour.

Being in the minority doesn't concern me. I'll stick to my beliefs and no doubt you'll stick to yours.

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

This thread has been viewed 3772 times and has to date 113 replies. Not one of the longest threads by any means, but it's getting there. Now I would say that roughly two thirds of the replies think that web censoring/porn filtering (whichever expression you like) is a bad idea.

I have put my point of view, I have sited different sources that agree with me (articles from the BBC and the independent) but apparently this is not rational argument? FM posted a very good argument that you did not engage with, instead you decided to argue on a point of semantics, which gives the impression that instead of conceding the point you will go to any lengths not to admit you are wrong!

I am happy to admit that I might be wrong on any manner of subjects (including this) when presented with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I just do not see any here!

But debate starts to become tedious when you are debating with somebody who does not seem willing to acknowledge that the argument may not be flowing in their favour.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"Your bashing your head against a brick wall I'm afraid! No amount of argument however rational will dissuade the FE from his view. As usual he is right, and it is us that are all wrong."

Why don't you stop, just for once, and analyse what you're going to say before you hit the 'Post' button? If you did, you might see how unfair your statement really is.

Don't you believe that your view is the right one? Aren't you equally hard to dissuade from your view that what you say is right?

Rational argument certainly can influence me, but it has to be just that - rational. It has to be based on something a little more than a prejudice, one that predisposes someone like you to attack pretty well anything that the government might say, or the policies it might formulate, regardless.

Try convincing me that what you say about all this is the result of a dispassionate, objective analysis, rather than on a knee-jerk reaction to something which you believe has some kind of sinister motive behind it. I am ready and willing to change my view (which is that this measure is better than doing nothing) if I'm provided with an argument based on a bit more than 'they're out to deprive us all of our civil liberties, it's the start of a slippery slope'etc., etc.

You never know, you might do it if you tried. There's no shame in being persuaded to change by a good enough argument, but it will never happen if all you can come up with is the kind of statement you've made above. That's just taking a swipe at me for the sake of it, and I've had that happen more times than I can count since I've been doing this job. I expect better from you because I know you're capable of it.

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spider9

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carver "...porn is in the mind of who ever views it as porn or obscene and not as art."

Your position, from that statement, would seem to be that there is no such thing as pornography, and thus we need not concern ourselves with what our kids see. To you, all 'activities' are ART, if you view them that way?? Paedophiles would support that all the way, I'm sure.

"I can buy pornographic magazines in quite a few shops" - I'm sure you can!!

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carver

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"Where in Britain can you buy pornographic magazines in shops, as opposed to magazines with pictures of nude women?"

I can buy pornographic magazines in quite a few shops, it all depends on who you ask as to what porn is, porn is in the mind of who ever views it as porn or obscene and not as art.

Lady Chatterly's Lover was banned because it was described as pornographic and obscene now we would not even notice it, is Fifty Shades of Gray obscene, some would say so and you even get people who believe that this image is obscene or offended them enter link description here.

So why should I have to accept some ones else's definition of what I am either allowed or not allowed to view unless I sign a form to say I want to watch porn on the web.

Sorry forgot, it's to save the children.

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Flak999

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carver

Your bashing your head against a brick wall I'm afraid! No amount of argument however rational will dissuade the FE from his view. As usual he is right, and it is us that are all wrong.

Let's wait and see what happens, if these ridiculous plans are implemented in their present form (which I doubt!) then the government will have to back peddle so quickly when vast swathes of the country are cut off from art, literature and all manner of scientific articles, that the howls of anger will soon see a reversal.

Or more likely the proposals will be quietly dropped and some sort of face-saving fudge will be concocted to make it seem that it was a success.

Will we have any form of mea culpa from the FE when this happens?

I think we both know the answer to that!

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Forum Editor

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carver

...it's just another way to gather information about people who uses the internet.

Who in government would want to do that, and why?

Why would you have to 'sign up' to look at paintings of nudes, and who told you that would be the case?

"I do not have to give a blood sample, show my address or give any information if I need or want to buy a porn mag in a shop"

Where in Britain can you buy pornographic magazines in shops, as opposed to magazines with pictures of nude women?

"I suppose for some people it's better to put the blame onto some one else than accept that maybe as a parent you should look after YOUR child." That's undoubtedly the case, but don't you think that the overriding priority here should be concern for the child, rather than saying 'ah well, it's the parents' responsibility, and if they can't be bothered then we're not going to be bothered either'? You might as well say that it's a parent's responsibility to ensure that his/her child doesn't go into pubs and drink alcohol, so we won't bother to have a law against it.

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carver

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I've been looking at this posting and thinking that any normal person who believes for one moment it will work is completely insane, it's just another way to gather information about people who uses the internet.

I for one will have to sign up to watch porn if I want to find Dildo enter link description here or if I even want to look at one of these enter link description here.

I do not have to give a blood sample, show my address or give any information if I need or want to buy a porn mag in a shop.

As a parent I did believe it was my duty to look after MY children and not relinquish responsibility to some other unknown person, but I suppose for some people it's better to put the blame onto some one else than accept that maybe as a parent you should look after YOUR child.

But never mind PC Adviser is here to help with 5 ways to beat the web filters enter link description here.

And don't forget that this or any government would never ever miss-use any power they granted themselves enter link description here enter link description here.

Funny how this or any government we have always says that we can trust them but they do not trust us.

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

Since when was an opinion 'evidence'?

I feel, it is evidence that another high profile technology 'expert' who is a government advisor on internet technology feels that the Prime Ministers approach on this issue is the wrong one.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

Since when was an opinion 'evidence'?

"Additionally when we use cases of a paedophile who's been addicted to child porn videos online, you realise all that Cameron's rules would require him to do is opt in and say, 'Yes, I would like porn please'."

He's completely missed the point - it isn't about stopping paedophiles from accessing anything.

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Flak999

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Another little bit of evidence if it were needed, that Camerons porn filters will not work!

Wikipedia founder brands PM's porn filters plan 'ridiculous'

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rdave13

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Forum Editor , it is intermittent.

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Forum Editor

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rdave13

You're right, and I thought we had that fixed. Has it just started to happen,or did you notice it earlier today?

Why do these things always seem to crop up on a Friday night?

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rdave13

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Forum Editor , back to serious matters, try clicking the 'last post' under 'Last Response' title and you go back to the first page even though clicking on the time.

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Forum Editor

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N47.

Couldn't you come up with something more original than that?

I have a good deal of respect for people who defend their position in a discussion, even though our views might be diametrically opposed. Sometimes people lose their tempers and lash out, but that's human nature at work - it's understandable, and isn't a bar to continued debate.

No two people are ever going to agree about everything, and when they disagree it can occasionally lead to very heated exchanges.The trick is in not harbouring a grudge because of it.

Comments like yours, however, contribute absolutely nothing to what goes on here.

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rdave13

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N47., oh yea of little faith. Is it waffle?

Prefer mine with eggs on top.

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N47.

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rdave13

More likely staged managed to give the impression that one does not always follow the other.

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rdave13

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I think I'll start reading this thread from beginning to end again as I'm certainly a juvenile. Clash of the TITANS. Most impressive.

FM wins my vote in this instance.

Just about.

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Forum Editor

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fourm member

"I'm out."

It's no longer such fun when you get a taste of your own medicine, is it?

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fourm member

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Forum Editor

'You really will have to do a lot better if you want to catch me out in that manner.'

That's juvenile even for you.

I'm out.

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Forum Editor

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fourm member

"Are you suggesting that when you said 'Algorithms are capable of extremely sophisticated filtering' you didn't have in mind the subject of this thread?"

Come come, I simply said that you should take a look at how Google filters content.

I explained that algorithms are capable of very sophisticated filtering, which is a fact. Google uses sophisticated algorithms, that's a fact. You inferred that because your Google search produced results that you didn't expect, my point about algorithms was flawed. It wasn't, but you pretended it was.

What you did, as you so often do, is make it look as if someone said something when they didn't. You really will have to do a lot better if you want to catch me out in that manner.

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fourm member

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Forum Editor

'I didn't infer that Google's algorithms were filtering out porn references'

What? Are you suggesting that when you said 'Algorithms are capable of extremely sophisticated filtering' you didn't have in mind the subject of this thread?

That is too silly to make it worth continuing the discussion.

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Forum Editor

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nickf

"We have no need of a nanny state dictating what we can and cannot view"

The state isn't doing that, and it has no intention of doing so. What it is trying to do is provide parents with a way make a choice that isn't dependent on their computer's software settings - the opt-in choices will be stored on the ISP databases. I imagine that the way it will work is by password - children will not have it unless parents provide it.

It isn't going to be foolproof, but nobody has suggested otherwise.

Parental training? who is going to pay for that, and what makes you think it would work? Good parenting is widespread in this country, but as things stand many children know exactly how to beat the system - they know their way around software settings better than their parents.

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Forum Editor

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fourm member

I didn't infer that Google's algorithms were filtering out porn references,even in safe search mode. I simply said that algorithms were capable of sophisticated filtering, and they are.

You're being pretty selective yourself by suggesting otherwise.

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nickf

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I think this discussion has got sidetracked . We already have parental filters available that work quite well . Why not just carry on using them ? Leave people to take responsibility for what is viewed in there homes . We have no need of a nanny state dictating what we can and cannot view . The fact that some parents allow there children access to pornography is not the isp fault , just poor parenting . Perhaps all this effort should be put towards something useful like parental training .

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fourm member

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Forum Editor

'Algorithms are capable of extremely sophisticated filtering'

Really. I just double-checked that Google safe search was on before looking for a plant by name. I won't give that name because it is shared by a porn actress and, even with safe search on, Google returned images of her going about her work.

Bing went one better and produced an image of sexual violence.

Governments, in all sorts of policy areas, rely on a simple syllogism.

'We must do something.'

'This is something.'

'We must do this.'

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

Let's allow time to show whether you're right or wrong, shall we?

OK, that's fine by me.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

I think I'll give up on this. I can see I'm making no headway with you. Let's allow time to show whether you're right or wrong, shall we?

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

I feel deeply sorry for you

Feel as sorry as you like! I believe implicitly that if this censoring software is deployed it will be the first step towards internet censorship by the UK government.

As things stand it will be just one more tool in the already burgeoning arsenal of the government, to monitor and control the movements and online presence of every person in the UK connected to the internet. Under the RIPA the government already has unprecedented access to our emails and phone calls, since the disclosures of the PRISM program by Edward Snowden the American CIA operative we now are aware of how involved GCHQ is with the NSA in the clandestine surveillance of UK US and EU citizens.

I would like to say that I was surprised at your blasé attitude towards this continual erosion of our civil liberties, but knowing your general attitude as I do after almost twelve years on this forum, I should have known better!

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Forum Editor

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fourm member

"(I'll leave aside the problem of getting two humans to agree what 'pornography' is)."

The Crown Prosecution service defines pornography as an image (or footage) that is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal. It is left to the judge in a court case to decide if a disputed image or disputed footage is pornographic or not, and I am not aware of many cases failing because the prosecution's claim is overruled by a judge. Most people are easily able to determine what is pornographic, as opposed to mildly erotic. In any case, the government's measure is primarily intended to target the worst forms of violent pornography. It's easy to decide what falls into that category.

"We might see ISPs take the easy way out and offer a limited range of content and block everything else. That would be a return to the original America Online model."

That's extremely unlikely. ISPs would need to band together to make that work, and in a highly competitive business they are not going to do that.

"As has been said by nearly everyone, an automated filter will produce a large number of false positives and false negatives"

Of course it will - it's been said by me, too. It isn't something that is going to be resolved overnight, but it can be resolved in a reasonable time-frame. Algorithms are capable of extremely sophisticated filtering - take a look at how Google filters content now.

As far as I know there hasn't been any suggestion - by anyone - that this is going to be an easy fix, but that isn't a justification for abandoning the idea. It will be difficult, but it can succeed.

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Forum Editor

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HondaMan

"So we are not free to say what we like? We have to say it according to the law? Where is the freedom in that?"

Of course we are not free to say what we like - we never have been. This idea that we all had the right of 'free speech', and that it is slowly being taken from us is a myth. There have been controls over what a person may or may not say about someone else, or a group of people (libel) for a very long time.

The UK defamation act 2013 became law earlier this year. It seeks to redress some areas of contention, mainly connected with the need for claimants to show that they have suffered serious harm before suing for defamation. Freedom of expression within the law is as much as any reasonable person can expect from a democratic system.

The government's measure to control child access to serious pornographic content has absolutely nothing to do with freedom of expression, despite the attempts of some people in this thread to pretend that it does.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"The introduction by the government of a compulsory requirement for ISP's to introduce censoring software in a vain attempt to control pornography (hard core not soft! Nor the written word) is the first step in a government attempt to censor content on the internet from the UK population."

Really - you know that for a fact, do you? Of course you don't - you're just deciding that you can see some sinister plan at work here, and you're posting it as a fact. If that's your rationale for saying that we're all facing rafts of censorship and "the knock on the door at midnight," I feel deeply sorry for you, for you have parted company with reality.

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userious?

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What happened to? "I don't agree with what you said but I will defend to the death your right to say it", perhaps they should add, "as long as you don't upset anyone".

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bremner

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Hondaman

An example of the quite justifiable restriction on freedom of speech is in regard to the Internet Trolls who were abusing the lady who led the case for a woman to be on the £10 note.

He / They should quite rightly be prosecuted for their verbal harassment of the women.

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spuds

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I am not sure how many ISP's introduced spam filters into their systems,after the www was getting overloaded with spam, but my ISP TalkTalk certainly did. With that came a few teething problems, with certain contents being filtered out as "inappropriate material", and this included items that the subscriber required to maintain a business or communication relationship. Even PCA have introduced some filtering to a certain amount of effect.

Things have moved on since those early days with the ISP's, but there is still a lot to be learned.

Human Rights have now come into this post and discussion, but I wonder if those who constantly refer to this subject, have actually used or tried to use said Human Rights, either as an individual or for some other purpose?.

I have 'under my rights', tried Article 8 'Right to Respect for Private and Family Life', Article 14 ' Prohibition of Discrimination' and Article 1 of Protocol 1 'Protection of Property'. All the mentioned articles are clearly laid out in government publications, yet when I pointed out these to my local council, as my legal Human Rights, the council didn't understand or didn't want to understand, because in their view those said articles didn't apply, them being a local major council?.

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HondaMan

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"* provided you exercise that right in accordance with the law*" So we are not free to say what we like? We have to say it according to the law? Where is the freedom in that?

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fourm member

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'Please explain how this measure will be an erosion of your civil liberty.'

There are always a whole range of unexpected consequences resulting from poorly thought through legislation.

As has been said by nearly everyone, an automated filter will produce a large number of false positives and false negatives.

The only way to be sure about what is on a site is for a human to look at it (I'll leave aside the problem of getting two humans to agree what 'pornography' is).

We could see a situation where ISPs block all newly created content until it has been screened and impose a charge on the content creator for that screening to occur.

We might see ISPs take the easy way out and offer a limited range of content and block everything else. That would be a return to the original America Online model.

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michaelw

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forum editor "Under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms you have the right to freedom of expression, provided you exercise that right in accordance with the law."

So how does that equate with the likes of Abu Qatada et al who would quite openly preach hatred against the Infidels?

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

Please explain how this measure will be an erosion of your civil liberty.

Really? You honestly can't see it?

Ok! The introduction by the government of a compulsory requirement for ISP's to introduce censoring software in a vain attempt to control pornography (hard core not soft! Nor the written word) is the first step in a government attempt to censor content on the internet from the UK population.

I know, it's all done with the best of intention! It's done to save our poor children from the depredations of pornographers worldwide. For all of the reasons previously stated (read the thread) it is doomed to failure.

But! The die will have been cast, the Rubicon will have been crossed, internet censorship will be with us. What will it be next time? Censorship of UKIP perhaps? Criticism of the governing party? Then what? the knock on the door at midnight, "you are being taken into protective custody for the crime of disabling your internet filter"

How long before the concentration camp beckons?

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Forum Editor

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userious?

"Anyone here remember when we had free speech?"

Under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms you have the right to freedom of expression, provided you exercise that right in accordance with the law.

In this country there has never been an absolute right to freedom of speech, despite what many people believe.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"it is just one more erosion of civil liberties to go with all the rest."

Please explain how this measure will be an erosion of your civil liberty.

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rdave13

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We have "free'r" speech than many other countries and hopefully that's the way it will stay. "Free speech" is always bound by decent morals in this country and so it should be. Within decency you can tort as much as you like against the Government or any policy you disagree with. You can 'stand up' and be counted. You can demonstrate and you can vote against. All within the bounds of moral decency. That's 'free speech' in my book. If you spout indecency or immoral issues you get arrested - not shot. Today anyway.

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bremner

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We have never had nor never should have "free speech".

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userious?

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"That is the real problem here, it is just one more erosion of civil liberties to go with all the rest."

Anyone here remember when we had free speech?

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spuds

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There seems to be suggestions that there is a likelihood of a Big Brother state?.

But isn't this already in motion, and as been for quite a considerable time. Yet some people seem to be totally unaware of this and what is actually happening around them?.

How many of you are using a computer at this very moment, and how many of those computer's are using a server in the USA. Follow the trail to that, and you might be in for a surprise or two.

My personal opinion and advice, will simply be, just carry on as you are, because whatever you want or decide, the decision may have already been made for you?.

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Nontek

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

Interesting article from the independent reiterating just some of the problems with the new censoring software proposed by the Prime Minister. one of the most telling phrases within the article is this quote from David Cameron "I'm not saying we've thought of everything and there will be many problems down the line as we deal with this"

Apparently now, soft porn and the written word will not be blocked! But sites to do with self harming are to be added to the list! Already the plans are in disarray and this software which is to give the illusion (nothing more!) of protection will let families think their children are protected when in fact the filters can be circumvented by anybody with the barest knowledge of the internet in a moment.

But it's none of that which bothers me, it is the beginning of a creeping government led attempt to censor the internet. If we give way to this, who is to say that the next government or the one after decides that they don't want people viewing certain political parties websites?

That they are going to close down sites which sell plant seeds to gardeners, and the security services start investigating and arresting those persons who choose to turn off there censoring software.

That is the real problem here, it is just one more erosion of civil liberties to go with all the rest. The CCTV in every high street, the RIPA legislation, the action by police to stop people taking photographs in public places. But this is one infringement to far, put the money and time where it is needed, in CEOP! Don't cut the budget of the very organisation that can actually make a difference and instead come up with this unworkable smokescreen.

1]: [click here

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fourm member

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michaelw

'Most normally balanced people can tell the difference'

Having asked for a definition of 'porn' it is only fair to ask for a definition of 'normally balanced'. Should Anne Widdecombe decide what is acceptable or should it be Peter Stringfellow?

Not that that matters because you're missing the whole point. Decisions won't be made by 'people' at all. People will set up automated processes that will make the individual decisions.

I'm waiting for someone to explain to me how a machine will be able to determine that an academic paper giving the latest research on genital warts, complete with examples, is acceptable.

Giving the impression that 'default on' protects against harm is wrong and dangerous.

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nickf

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Michaelw. I agree with your point , the is no comparison between DB in his trollies , and pictures as you described . My point was , who decides what is porn ? If it is some Mary Whitehouse wannabe , then pictures of people in swim/beach wear will be blocked . As I previously stated , if it is illeagal , block/ban it , if it is not then leave people to make there own informed choice on what they and there children can view in the home .

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michaelw

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nickf "and as a previous poster said , who decides what is porn and what is not ? Is a picture of David Beckham advertising underwear porn ? Some women ( and men , I`m sure ) would find that quite titillating . Brolly Dollies at motor sports events are deliberately dressed to use there body , is that porn ?"

I hope that's not a rhetorical question? Most normally balanced people can tell the difference between what is considered to be 'soft' porn and 'hardcore' porn. Beckham posing with his top off probably wouldn't offend the majority of people. But seeing a woman being gangbanged or similer would. That's the type of imagery Cameron is attempting to prevent kids from seeing. And there is evidence to support the theory that hard porn can have negative affects on children because their view of sex and the things that grownups do becomes distorted. It's as simple as that.

Another type of thing that the government are going to try and control so peadophiles can't access children being sexually brutalised would entail search engines to exclude certain words appertaining to child porn but for some obscure reason they seem reluctant to do so willingly.

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fourm member

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Forum Editor

'ISPs who say it's unworkable are wrong'

I realise that was one phrase in a very long post but I wished you'd had the time to justify that claim because you are the only IT pro I know who thinks that.

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rdave13

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Forum Editor , with deepest respect, you are waffling the same as the Government is. I respect your, and the Government's, ideas of protecting our children from vile pornography. The hard facts are they do this "us" and "them" opt-out, opt-in, choices then it will be a goal for the teens to opt-out when the parents have opt-in. Come on now, be honest, being an IT consultant for god's sakes. How on earth do you think this Government can carry out this 'opt-in' nanny without parents screaming that I can't connect to this... or this... or 'infinitum' while the teenagers do so upstairs?

The Government's plan for opt-in internet porn filtering will turn out to be the coalitions' downfall if they ever implement it. In my humble opinion. Censorship never goes down well with Joe Public even though you don't think it is a first step to censorship.

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nickf

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What is wrong with how things are now ? service providers give parents the option to control what is viewed , as do security suites . And as a previous poster said , who decides what is porn and what is not ? Is a picture of David Beckham advertising underwear porn ? Some women ( and men , I`m sure ) would find that quite titillating . Brolly Dollies at motor sports events are deliberately dressed to use there body , is that porn ?

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"Why is it that we should afford your opinion on this matter any greater weight than mine or fourm member or morddwyd or any one of the other posters on this thread that questions this policy?"

Have I once inferred that you should?

"Do you blindly accept everything that the government tell you?"

Certainly not, but in this case the government hasn't told me anything that I didn't already know. I do know a fair bit about how the internet works however, and I know that any measure which sets out to help parents to protect their own children from exposure to some of the worst pornographic content can only be a good thing. I'm a realist, and I know full well that porn filtering will only be partially effective at best, but that's not the point at all.

If, as you say, I am "obviously intelligent educated and articulate" you might acknowledge that I'm capable of making some informed judgements on this subject. I'm a parent, I have worked with the internet for many years, and advised many others on aspects of Internet technology. I know what will, and what will not work effectively, and I know that many parents, and those who work with young children will be delighted to know that their government is at least making some sort of effort in this direction. It has been talked about for years, and finally we are about to stop talking and start taking some action. There will be all kinds of glitches along the way, and the government knows that there are those who want it to fail in this, so they can triumphantly proclaim 'I told you so'. I would expect you to be among the first to do that, if happened.

My position is clear - I welcome the fact that our government is at least prepared to have a go at this. You and others don't agree with me, and that's your prerogative.

"public opinion is against you, expert witnesses are against you, ISP's say the proposals are unworkable"

How do you know that public opinion is against the measure (not against me, by the way - I'm not doing anything)? I can produce 'expert witnesses' who think it's a great idea, and ISPs who say it's unworkable are wrong - they just don't want to have to make it work.

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wee eddie

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nickf: back to the Hays Code then

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nickf

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IT`s simple , if it is illeagal , block it , if its not , then leave it alone .

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LastChip

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That's just one of the points Chronos the 2nd, they are no longer dealing with a bunch of computer illiterate people. These children know their way around and can text and type faster than I can think. So as soon as a workaround is found, you can bet it will go global (viral I believe is the current term) in minutes.

The Internet is a governments worst nightmare. Why? Because they can't control it! (witness China's attempts). And that's the point they can neither accept or understand.

There are at least two ways I can think of in the space of seconds that would render the whole exercise pointless and I've no doubt, there are many more.

Filters are a blunt (mostly ineffective) way of attempting to control data, whether it be content, emails or something else. If they were so good, we wouldn't all still suffer the amount of spam we all get on a daily basis.

The problem is, parents will think their children are being protected and switch off to the ever present dangers. Nothing is further from the truth.

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Chronos the 2nd

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HondaMan

I know, a disgrace I agree.

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HondaMan

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Chronos the 2nd

That long! :-)

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Chronos the 2nd

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If they can organise a filter that can flummox a teenager.

Took my 13 year old granddaughter about 10 minutes to get round the ISP blocking of Torrent sites, so apart from the language differences in regards to the meanings of words I cannot see any system/filter working particularly effectively.

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wee eddie

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As for Tractor Porn ~ More people die in Farming Accidents than in any other Industry. It should definitely be banned!

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wee eddie

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If they can organise a Filter that:

a) works,

and:

b) can flummox a teenager,

I'm all for it.

As for trying to define Porn and restrict certain types. I have reservations.

I mean, how do you rate Rubber Fetishists?

I think it's weird and could be dangerous but, if that's your thing, I wouldn't want to get in your way.

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Flak999

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fourm member

And, I expect that when it doesn't work there won't be an admission of failure and a step back. There will be (as we see with drug policy) calls for ever tighter rules to be applied.

I agree with you completely, this is a totally un-thought out knee jerk reaction to a problem, which will allow the government to bring in ever stronger forms of censorship under the guise of doing something good!

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fourm member

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spuds

I agree with you. We saw, recently, that the government is willing to ignore expert opinion and do what suits it politically. I'm referring to the decision to schedule khat even though the Advisory Council on the Misuse of drugs after looking at it in detail for the second time in ten years concluded that the right approach was to provide support for the very small number of people whose khat use is problematic.

A promise had been made to right-wing Tories (and Theresa May needs them to keep her leadership ambitions alive) so all the expert opinion in the world wouldn't have made any difference.

In spite of the many expert voices pointing out why the planned filter won't work, I fully expect the government to go ahead with it.

And, I expect that when it doesn't work there won't be an admission of failure and a step back. There will be (as we see with drug policy) calls for ever tighter rules to be applied.

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spuds

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There's no point in stating that people have a choice on this matter, because they do not. Whatever the government wants to implement they will, whether with public consent or not.

Yes by all means put a smoke screen in the pretence of public consultation or a PR exercise, but at the end of the day, those that think they have the final decision on this issue, do not. Its as simple as that?.

My earlier reference to the misuse of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), gives positive proof on how 'good intentions' might, will or can cause further thoughts for concerns, and the issues being discussed here, will be no different?.

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Chronos the 2nd

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The vast majority will know that this new measure makes sense, as well.

You have studiously ignored explaining how this system will work. You also likened it to various licensing laws, alcohol and tobacco and also compared it to law on compulsory motorcycle helmet wearing and the protest that arose when the introduction of the law was first mooted.

There is no ambiguity over alcohol or tobacco or I might add helmets, they are what they are and we know what they are. How will this system be able to differentiate between words which have totally different meanings in. Who is going to define what is or is not 'porn?'

You ask "Please explain why an attempt - any attempt - to help parents of young children in their efforts to stop them viewing pornography is a bad thing." Is this system going to stop 'children/young people' searching for porn? And will it be as unsuccessful as stopping people using P2P by having ISP's block access.

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HondaMan

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"Your contention that everybody who opts in to view porn will be liable to investigation is paranoia defined"

Is it?

If you do not have a TV licence you will receive multitudinous letters from the NTVLRO and possibly a visit. The resources are available for this heinous crime, so could certainly be available for the porn watchers. That is, of course, those who have exercised the right to opt out and control what they allow their children to see themselves. No doubt when the attempts to restrict our viewing fail, as it is bound to do, the government will find a way to tax it!

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Devil Fish

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whilst i agree with blocking net porn from children, I do think this is just a knee jerk reaction to keep the woolly hats quiet.As strange as it may seem i have managed to keep my children away from the dark side of the net over a period of many years with a mix of filters education and supervision,

The thing that worries me with a government induced opt in opt out is what happens to the Data not to much has been said about this

Purely an example so no trolling please

some fella doesn't have much luck with the ladies or some one just lost his loved one not in much of a mood for a relationship at the moment gets his rocks off looking at a bit of net porn is he then going to be flagged by authorities because he opted out nothing much has been said about that side if indeedthat side exists

ive already stated my case above this is a no porn house without government help. But i feel for a government opt in opt out more details are needed as with any government plans their is always more about it than meets the eye

so for me to early to say yes or no until all details of plan available

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Flak999

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Forum Editor

You do amaze me sometimes, for somebody who is obviously intelligent educated and articulate you seem to do as politicians do, take a position on something and then come hell or high water stick to that position even though public opinion is against you, expert witnesses are against you, ISP's say the proposals are unworkable and yet nothing will divert you from your course once charted.

Now pardon me, for being so presumptuous as to suggest that you are just one man with an opinion, like the rest of us! Why is it that we should afford your opinion on this matter any greater weight than mine or fourm member or morddwyd or any one of the other posters on this thread that questions this policy?

You accuse me of paranoia when I postulate that anybody not using this new censoring software will leave themselves open to possible investigation by the security organs of the state, and yet we have fourm members very own example of what innocent use of the internet can bring to your door.

Do you blindly accept everything that the government tell you? If they say a policy is good, does that make it so?

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rdave13

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Gov. in Wales changed the 'Opt-in' organs donation to an 'Opt-out' option. Regardless of religion or culture. In a few years to come will the opt-in be changed to the opt-out in this instance? Forum Editor you may well be right that you are losing your marbles. You seem to get softer on the forum rules anyway.

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Forum Editor

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morddwyd

"This new proposal doesn't. It applies to me, and you, and to everybody else."

Sometimes I wonder if I'm going mad.

For the final time... It doesn't apply to you at all, if you want to carry on viewing pornography you will be able to do just that. The measure will not affect anyone who chooses to opt out of it.

You quite obviously can't apply a measure like this to a specific group of people - children for instance. That's why it differs from the other instances I gave.

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rdave13

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DreadUK be aware that this family orientated forums is policed by the most ferocious forum editor. They say.... just like the stig... he has the fastest fore finger on his right hand than any one else. They say... he has the fastest and most silver of silver mouses that can delete a post in a nano second. The say... he doesn't tolerate an asterisk instead of a letter when swearwords are used.

They say.. he is the FE.

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morddwyd

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The law that sets a minimum age for the purchase of alcohol is not completely effective, but I don't see people calling for its abolition, or crying that it erodes personal freedom. It's a commonsense law, and it does some good. Ditto "Film classifications, ditto obscene publications law, ditto sale of tobacco law. All of them were designed to protect young people from potential harm. All of them have their flaws, but we understand why they're there."

And all of them apply, and rightly so, to at risk i.e young, people.

This new proposal doesn't. It applies to me, and you, and to everybody else.

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Forum Editor

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Flak999

"it gives more weight to my contention that everybody who refuses to use the governments new censorship software will be liable to investigation."

Various people keep calling it censorship, but it's not. Censorship denies people access to information - this will deny nobody access who wishes to view pornography. Censorship it is not.

Your contention that everybody who opts in to view porn will be liable to investigation is paranoia defined. Where would the resources come from for the millions of investigations that might ensue? The authorities already have the ability and power to investigate anyone who downloads pornography - this measure will add nothing to that.

Everybody surely values their freedom, and this, as I've repeatedly said, will detract nothing from the freedom you already have as far as internet content goes. Please explain why you believe it will. Please explain why an attempt - any attempt - to help parents of young children in their efforts to stop them viewing pornography is a bad thing.

There are lots of comments about how this will not be a completely effective measure, but that's blindingly obvious, and I haven't seen anyone suggesting otherwise. The law that sets a minimum age for the purchase of alcohol is not completely effective, but I don't see people calling for its abolition, or crying that it erodes personal freedom. It's a commonsense law, and it does some good. Ditto Film classifications, ditto obscene publications law, ditto sale of tobacco law. All of them were designed to protect young people from potential harm. All of them have their flaws, but we understand why they're there.

This fuss about personal freedom reminds me of the 'ride in the wind' objections to the compulsory wearing of motorbike helmets when the law was first mooted. There were the same cries of 'big-brother government attacking our personal freedom', but the vast majority knew it made sense. The vast majority will know that this new measure makes sense, as well.

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fourm member

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wiz-king

Neither (though I have been stopped by the police for having an image of a Cannabis leaf on the spare wheel cover).

There's an old saying that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

With that in mind, I won't name the substance concerned because I fully believe that, if I did so, the URL for this page would be on a list tomorrow being reviewed by someone at GCHQ.

I didn't mean for this to become a thread diversion. I mentioned it because the reality is that this 'suspicious' substance is a very bad way to try and kill anyone and a completely stupid way to try and kill lots of people. It never has been a mass terrorism weapon and it never will be. But, it suits this government (and the USA even more so) to portray it that way and to have occasional show trials of some idiot who fell for the hype and tried to use it to draw attention to themselves.

For me, there are clear parallels between that and having internet filters that give the appearance of dealing with a problem that they will not deal with.

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rdave13

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Not to mention Google maps. You're searching for a particular town and your ISP says that you can't go there as its too rude. The list can be quite extensive.

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wiz-king

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Plumbers merchants will have to find new names for their ballcocks now and possibly their plugcocks.

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Nontek

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forum member

I too agree with your comments.

IMVHO I think this is just another smokescreen to hide other even less palatable Government ideas in the offing - but don't ask me what they might be.

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wiz-king

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Forum member sativa instead of indica?

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spuds

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Making reference to some previous posts regarding possible anti-terrorist or 'suspect' public activities, then perhaps a look on how some authorities, which may include how your own local council might use Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), will bring a few surprises of misuse of said act?.

It didn't take long for an act that was intended to safeguard the public, to be turned into something that is now possibly bringing deep concern, as to what controls are in force?.

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Chronos the 2nd

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The first move everyone should make is to encrypt all data over the Internet

Or you could just add one or several keywords to any email, blog, tweet ETC which are likely to be flagged. That should go down a bomb. Oops.

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LastChip

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Rest assured Flak999, you are being watched, as am I and everyone else in this country. The Americans find it astonishing we allow our every move to be caught on CCTV in any town of significant size without complaint. How lethargic have we become?

When Gaddafi was overthrown, a lot of publicity resulted in his surveillance operation, criticising it's intensity and how far of an intrusion it was into the countries citizens lives. It's my belief, we are no different, just a lot more subtle (witness fourm menbers "surprise" visit).

When Edward Snowden leaked news of the American operation PRISM, all hell broke loose. Do you think it's any different at GCHQ?

The first move everyone should make is to encrypt all data over the Internet. Then instead of individuals being targeted, the whole operation would fall apart. Even with the supercomputers at the governments disposal, the amount of hacking necessary, to decrypt data would be overwhelming. Hacking long hashes, would take hours (if not days) for each email. If we want to force the issue, we can.

But of course, it won't happen. Why? Because we're all too bone idle and place convenience, higher than privacy.

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Flak999

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fourm member

And it does make me a little sceptical of the 'nothing to hide nothing to fear' mantra.

Indeed! Who was it who coined that phrase, Orwell or Goebbels? Either way it attempts to make privacy look like secrecy, and tries to throw suspicion onto somebody for just valuing their privacy.

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