Feeds

Mumsnet founder: Our members are 'very keen' on PORN ...

... But regulators, ISPs should help police content

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts piled back into the net-nannying debate yesterday, calling on ISPs to do more to guard their youngest customers while confirming that many of her readers are themselves avid smut fans.

Roberts, who was slated earlier this year for supporting Tory plans for ISPs to impose wider blocks on content some people find objectionable, called on net providers to do more help parents police their web connections. If they didn't do this, she said, regulation should be considered.

Roberts was on a panel discussing "The limits of free speech online" at a Google privacy conference.

While the audience of academics, lawyers and net activists generally struck a hardline laissez faire tone, Roberts was unapologetic about Mumsnet's policy of calling time on some threads, for example attacks on the parents of Madeleine McCann. "It's not what Mumsnet stands for." The site also had a run-in with childcare guru Gina Ford over comments in its forums.

When it came to the issue of porn, Roberts said Mumsnet, and presumably its legion of members, was not suggesting legal porn be removed from the internet.

"Lots of people on Mumsnet are very keen on pornography," she said. Apparently late on Friday night is the best time to verify this, Roberts said.

"We're not saying we need regulation," said Roberts. Rather, she continued, parents needed to be given tools to control what's coming into their homes.

But she recognised that often parents often don't take advantage of the tools already available, such as Google Safesearch.

So, she continued, "I think the regulators should put pressure on the people involved, the ISPs to come up with a solution to this."

Roberts gained some support from John Kampfner, head of Index on Censorship, who said he had no problem with mechanisms to prevent children seeing content not aimed at them. He cited existing examples such as the film classification system, or restrictions on inflight movies.

The right of parents to block what their children see "doesn't impinge on censorship", he said.

David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, said the company had no objection to removing child abuse porn, "which is illegal everywhere".

However, Roberts appeared to be on shakier ground when it came to other questionable sites which affect children, for example suicide or anorexia sites, which are not in themselves illegal.

Nevertheless, she said, "I want children to be protected from this stuff ... I think there should be regulation about sites that encourage kids to commit suicide." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.