Feeds

'Happy slapping' vids prompt Brown to push net filters

You the jury

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The availability of gore and violence on the internet has prompted the UK Government to consider backing a campaign to encourage wider awareness and use of net-filtering software.

Gordon Brown has ordered ministers to work with ISPs and media watchdog Ofcom to devise a strategy to regulate access to smut and violence online. Early ideas include plans to educate parents about the use of net-filtering software (aka censorware). Ofcom has been asked to develop a kite-mark scheme to certify net-filtering products, The Sun reports. There will also be a review on whether new rules are needed about the marketing of some products to youngsters.

"We will be looking to see what can be done to help regulate access to inappropriate material," Prime Minster Brown said in a speech to the National Council of Voluntary Organisations in London on Monday.

The scheme is likely to play well in Middle England. However, the idea that net-filtering software can act as a panacea is surely mistaken. Use of the software is highly political and often more attuned to the sensibilities of Bible Belt America than European values. Leaving aside questions of the effectiveness of net-nanny software, of which there are many, UK kids might be restricted from accessing sexual health websites or campaigning groups such as Amnesty International as well as violent content.

The Sun suggests that the availability of everything from happy-slapping videos to beheading in Iraq has spurred the net violence crackdown initiative. The review is part of Brown's wider citizens' jury plans. Citizens' jury involve groups of ordinary punters thrashing out specific issues and passing on findings to government departments. This might sound like a focus group - but it isn't - though how the scheme would work in practice is still a bit vague, at least judging from the responses of the prime minister's spokesman to reporters.

The first citizens' jury will meet later this week on the "subject of children", which will certainly give the participants plenty to discuss. Helping to keep inappropriate material away from sensitive eyes is expected to form part of this discussion. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.