Feeds

Ofcom maps out what 'psychics' are allowed to do on TV

Chicken bones are not, in principle, problematic

High performance access to file storage

The UK regulator, Ofcom, has issued a clarification for purveyors of TV programmes based around psychic powers, basically reminding them that they are all frauds.

Most advertising is regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority, but participation television – where viewers are encouraged to call in, and pay, still falls to Ofcom. The rules remain the same, but are subject to interpretation, particularly when it comes to what it's acceptable to promise viewers for their money.

The clarification (PDF, surprisingly funny) makes it clear that Ofom doesn't acknowledge the existence of any higher power, other than the Ministry of Fun. Anyone claiming to be in touch with such a power (other than a recognised deity) must be very clear that they're doing so "for entertainment purposes only" and not just with a banner at the bottom of the screen either, it has to be stated by the presenters.

Even those who are worshiping one of the more-universally-recognised gods can't go around promising miracle cures, but those claiming psychic powers are also prohibited from predicting the future, offering personal (life-changing) advice or claiming to be in any way accurate – and they can't say they're able to talk to the dead either*.

They are, however, allowed to talk to Spirit Guides as Ofcom identifies these as "some supposed supernatural advisor of obscure, mythological or ancient provenance" and not, according to the regulator, dead as such.

This kind of linguistic trickery is necessary for the regulator to control the legal right of flimflam artists to fleece the vulnerable, and desperate, of their cash. Ofcom can't make psychic television illegal, so erects a maze of regulation making it very hard to do, and takes opportunities like this one to remind broadcasters just how complicated those rules are. ®

* No, we don't know how the spiritualist church fits in here, but until the claim is made on TV it's not an issue.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
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.
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.
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.