Ah yes, the Tories. Just like Labour always ready with their ban-hammer when it comes to the thought that someone out there is having a good time. Following on from a report from that bastion of all things blue rinse and prudery the Mother's Union (whose leader appears to be a bloke called "Reg" for some unfathomable reason) your lovely nanny state will insist that the main broadband providers will offer a block on "adult content" to all subscribers.
Of course there's no detail on this but I would imagine it'll be some sort of BT Cleanfeed and so easily subvertable by any moderately tech savvy twelve year old (and they all are) who can configure a proxy. In other words this is a fig leaf, a sop to those members of the party faithful bluenoses who wander around with a disapproving expression and looking for all the world like someone has just rammed a pine cone up their arse.
And how is this going to work in terms of opt in or opt out? The Daily Fail is saying "opt in" whereas everyone else reporting the story is non-commital on that point. Mind you opt in is going to make for some amusing conversations in PC World.
"Do you want porn with your new Dell laptop?"
"Er, yes please."
(Turns on tannoy) "Mr Verity to the checkout please. Can you bring a porn opt-in form. Gentleman wants internet filth on his PC. Now sir, what sort of porn do you want? Straight, gay, midgets, horses, horses with midgets..."
And who, exactly, is going to administer this list of what is "adult material"? Sure so it's a fair bet that a website with a name like "HotSexyDragonsDoingItWithAnythingThatMoves.com" will end up on the list1 but how about some gay advocacy sites that offer advice to to teenagers struggling with their sexuality? What about stuff that's not actually sexual or illegal in any way but maybe you really would not want your kids looking at such as these "pro anorexia" sites? What about "dangerous" political sites that you find distasteful such as those from extreme right and left wing parties or Muslim extremists?
See where as it's nice an easy to block something obvious that we can pretty much all agree on a definition of such as child porn2 it starts to end up like a quagmire of The Dead Marshes proportions as soon as you try to categorise what's "adult" and what isn't.
And as ever, with politicians in charge, they are bound to monumentally fuck this up.
1 memo to self: register that domain name ASAP.
2 and even there, if the spam I get in my mailbox inviting me to come to
sites with names like "hot-teens.grubbysmut.org" is to be believed, where I am sure the
models are of legal age but are pretending not to be so, where do we
stand with the ban-hammer on this one?
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