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UK ISPs, Government, Fight Over Web Filters
With Few Realizing They Won't Work to Block Much of Anything
by Karl Bode 08:21AM Tuesday Jul 16 2013
As the UK government continues to expand their push for mandatory Internet filters, UK ISPs appear to be kicking back somewhat at government requests that the filters be opt out. The UK has been pushing for a program that automatically opts UK Internet users in to the government's new filtering regime, which began by targeting child porn, but is now aiming higher toward all offensive materials. ISPs are starting to get annoyed with the government's demands on how the program is framed in certain ways, ISPs warning that a "default on" setting might make parents ultimately be complacent:
A source at another company saw another reason why "default on" might be a bad idea: "It makes parents complacent - if you tell them the filter is switched on by default, they get a false sense of security. We want parents to make informed choices about the way their children use the internet." And the companies point out that the man the government chose to examine this issue, Reg Bailey of the Mothers' Union, was also dubious about the use of default-on filters, wanting parents to be more active in understanding online dangers.
Whether or not the UK filters are opt in or opt out floats rather gracelessly over the fact that these kinds of filters usually don't work -- and are usually bypassed quickly by kids that are far more tech-savvy than their parents. Most filtering systems nearly always wind up filtering legitimate content, and opening the door to government-imposed filters is a slippery slope toward broader censoring of any content the government might deem offensive. Few in the UK seem to realize any of this, and as such they're doing a lovely job re-arranging the deck chairs on their Titanic-esque filtering efforts.

topics flat nest 

Tavistock NJ

Opt-out easy for lazy parents - gov't will win PR vs ISPs

The gov't will win this PR battle with the ISPs. Most parents will chose the system that allows them to do the least amt of work parenting their kids. The gov't has taken over parenting responsibilities in so many areas already. What is 1 more. Opt-out will win.

And ISPs are pretty hypocritical here. They are all for opt-out for ads; sharing your private info; etc.
"If you want to anger a conservative lie to him.
If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."

Valrico, FL

Re: Opt-out easy for lazy parents - gov't will win PR vs ISPs

UK is pretty much a doomed country... we need to start turning around or we will be next.

As the ISPs are saying there: filtering is ineffective.

If you want to see something bad enough, you will find a mirror, VPN, proxy or other method to reach it. Many governments have tried controlling what gets in/out of their country over the Internet and AFAIK, all of them failed to various degrees of miserably.

The UK government is being silly by believing they will fare any better. They should take a hint from how many times countries across the European Union tried blocking TPB and how quickly people found ways around that... all the EU managed to do was inconvenience people for a few minutes and draw more attention and traffic to TPB.