Feeds

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

... But regulators, ISPs should help police content

New hybrid storage solutions

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." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Italy's High Court orders HP to refund punter for putting Windows on PC
Top beaks slam bundled OS as 'commercial policy of forced distribution'
Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites
Sites link up to protest slow lanes by bogging down pages
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers
Sueball claims blind passengers ditched, guide dogs abused
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.