Feeds

UK internet filtering shouldn't rely on knee tappers, says Tory MP

Hit 'em where it hurts, adds Facebook bloke - right in the advertisers

High performance access to file storage

Claire Perry MP today defended the government’s net filtering policy, claiming that David Cameron's government don’t actually want to regulate internet service providers – but that without some sort of lead, global companies would simply sit on their hands.

The UK’s biggest net providers are rolling out an opt-in filtering mechanism for “family friendly” content at the prompting of the Prime Minster, while Microsoft and Google have stopped returning results on a number of contentious search terms.

Perry, who juggles being a Conservative MP as well as David Cameron’s special advisor on preventing the sexualization and commercialisation of childhood, said that reactions to the governments efforts to getting a grip on the internet were like a doctor tapping on a patient’s knee.

The “reflex on the left is we must legislate” she said, while tapping the right elicits a cry of “hands off my internet you ignorant luddite.”

The answer was somewhere in between, Perry argued, with a small dose of legislation and a lot of corporate social responsibility.

Perry, talking at a Westminster eForum event on childhood and the internet, said that progress in the UK was in large part thanks to a “non-partisan” approach.

“The worst thing politicians can do in this space is fight amongst ourselves...the more we fight and squabble like rats in a sack, the easier it is for global companies to ignore us.”

Perry accepted there were limits to what the government could achieve through legislation. “We can’t force people (i.e. parents) to turn filters on.”

And she said that education and personal responsibility were also important, particularly when it came to user generated content. She said the government was committed to including “e-safety” in the curriculum. However, at least one response from the floor suggested that teachers were being asked to tackle the issue with no support from the centre.

Perry claimed reports of overblocking were “fanciful” and said reports her own website had been blocked were untrue.

Perry’s stance was echoed, in part, by Facebook’s UK policy director Simon Milner.

He said many providers - such as Facebook - would fall in line with legislation, if only because they had operations in countries where legislation constrained them. However, where companies were based outside the UK and had no operation there, UK legislation would make absolutely no difference.

What might make a difference is the advertisers such companies rely on for their income, and the advertisers feel their reputation is in danger, he argued.

“They [advertisers] really care about their brand...the majority of these services will be funded by advertising. I think they will step up.”

Milner said it was often preferable for young people to sort out issues amongst themselves. This included them understanding mechanisms for protecting their privacy. He added that many young people didn’t understand the effect their own posts could have on others, but would modify their behaviour when they realised the hurt they could cause. He also said it was often better to avoid phrases like “reporting” as youngsters tended to have some antipathy towards anything that smacked of grassing up their peers. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
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
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
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.