Cameron calls for ISP-level parental censorship tools
Save our online nippers from porn and - worse - ads
Prime Minister David Cameron has warned ISPs to be more robust with their plans to provide better tools to help parents censor sexualised content online, or else the government could step in with its own regulation measures.
"The social response is not something we can leave to chance. We need to make sure we hold businesses and regulators to account in a transparent way," said Cameron.
His comments came as the Department for Education published a report today carried out by Mothers' Union CEO Reg Bailey, who issued a raft of recommendations urging British businesses to cut down on the amount of marketing aimed at children through various media outlets including the internet.
Bailey called on ISPs to develop better controls to help parents be more selective about what their children can and can't see online.
Here's the full text (available via the DfE website) on the internet measures Bailey recommended in his report:
To provide a consistent level of protection across all media, as a matter of urgency, the internet industry should ensure that customers must make an active choice over what sort of content they want to allow their children to access.
To facilitate this, the internet industry must act decisively to develop and introduce effective parental controls, with government regulation if voluntary action is not forthcoming within a reasonable timescale. In addition, those providing content which is age-restricted, whether by law or company policy, should seek robust means of age verification as well as making it easy for parents to block underage access.
ACTION: Internet industry and providers of age-restricted content, through the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS)
Last month, telco TalkTalk became the first major UK ISP to implement network-level anti-malware blockers on its service.
The system arrived later than originally planned, after the company quietly begun following its customers around the web and scanning what they looked in the summer of 2010 as part of TalkTalk's development of its anti-malware system dubbed "HomeSafe".
It had expected to launch the system late last year, but in July 2010 Information Commissioner Christopher Graham chided TalkTalk for following its 4.2 million customers around the web without telling them.
TalkTalk later provided the commissioner with documents to support its public claims that the technology and the trials complied with privacy laws, paving the way for the system to be released last month.
Bailey's recommendation points to ISP customers needing to make an "active choice" over what content they want their children to see online. In other words, they get the final say on what is filtered out.
To provide that option, Bailey is calling on the internet industry to offer either a network-level filtering system, such as the one TalkTalk just introduced, or else via "pre-installed software on a new laptop".
"We believe that this will substantially increase the take-up and awareness of these tools and, consequently, reduce the amount of online adult material accessed by children," reads the report.
Current online age verification methods are also pooh-poohed in the review.
"The fact that we do not have a national identity system in the UK is sometimes offered as a reason why age verification cannot be improved," it said.
"However, we note that age verification has to be in place in non-internet environments by law (for example, the sale of pornography on DVD) and if we as a society are saying that the supply of adult material needs control, then that control should operate across all outlets, irrespective of the ease of checking the buyer’s age."
As we've reported previously, this could soon change given that the Cabinet Office has already issued a pre-tender notice to encourage what it described as submissions from "trusted private sector identity service providers" on developing the concept of so-called "ID Assurance".
Some might argue that such a move could be the Cabinet Office's backdoor way in to creating its very own ID database, an idea which previously foundered along with the National ID Card scheme.
Perhaps learning from the mistakes of the past, the Cabinet Office is keen to consult privacy activists and make noises about saving billions of pounds in the public purse by making services "digital by default". Whether such a scheme will eventually resemble the ID cards system, sans the cards, remains to be seen, however. ®
Here we are again, lobby groups funded by idiots that believe charity is spent on the causes the charities purport to support spouting shit to make us into the puritan society they all believe was so great, fuelled by lies, innuendo, and case studies that have more holes in them than a sieve.
Sucked up by the tabloid media to inform everyone that something somewhere is doing something to make someone somewhere you care about do something or another that you may not like. Then fired into the brains of the barren soulless idiots that make up most of the worlds society.
I don't have any kids, so you all can keep the hell away from my internets, and if I did have kids then I'd take care of what crap they pour into their brains myself. Government, think tanks, lobbyists, the moral minority, the outraged masses, the media and, all the rest can go to hell.
Not to mention the practicality of the whole affair and the complete cluelessness shown by anyone flag waving for this kind of stupidity.
A Little Story, Or Two. Or Three.
I went to a shop and bought a TV set. I took it home, plugged it in, fiddled with the aerial and started watching TV. I watched lots of programmes, and lots of channels. Eventually, I saw something that shocked me, truly shocked me! I never wanted any of that Sick Filth to be brought into my home. So I went back to the shop and kicked up a right old fuss about this. After all, it was they who sold me that TV set in the first place, so they ought to take responsibility for what that TV set brings into my home. Right?
(Why is the ghost of Kenny Everett telling me to use my knob?)
I got on a bus and went to the market. Browsing the market, I found a stall selling DVDs, so I had a look to see if there were any movies my family would enjoy. Imagine my surprise when I found hardcore porn DVDs there! I was shocked! So I went straight to the bus company and kicked up a right old fuss about this. After all, it was they who took me to that market on their bus, and my children could just as easily use their buses to get to that market, or to other places with unsuitable material. It's surely the bus company's responsibility not to expose us to such Sick Filth. Right?
(Who said, "The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people"?)
I went to an ISP and bought a subscription to access the internet...
(Feel free to copy, improve, distribute, etc, these little stories.)
Cameron, stop listening to that cr*p, like now!
Since when does a religious charity in the modern times in this country has a right to dictate what I want or don't want my children to do?
Trying to turn onanists into organists at my expense? Why don't you, Mr Bailey, go and enroll into Taliban and move permanently to some nice mountainous countryside in the middle of nowhere?