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Thread: Anti-Pornography Laws in Britain, "Unavoidable choice" or "A slippery slope"?

  1. #1

    Default Anti-Pornography Laws in Britain, "Unavoidable choice" or "A slippery slope"?

    By now, if you keep up on international news, you've probably heard (Or read) something along the lines of "Cameron's War on Smut"; Such headlines are referencing David Cameron's proposed requirement for pornographic content to be "Filtered" by default, and those wishing to see said filtered content must specifically request to view it. The British government is current working with ISPs in the nation to help determine what to filter and what can go unhindered.

    Cameron's end goal is to make the internet safer for children in Britain, but critics contest that this is too far, saying it violates privacy, and will be generally ineffective. Supporters respond by stating you can always opt out of filtration (The source of most critic's objection, a violation of privacy).

    He has already spoken to BBC Radio(2)'s Jeremy Vine, but was generally unclear on some of the key issues. Personally, I'm curious to see what details are released in the near future. Could "Pornographic Content" be strictly sex on film? Or, will this result in anything pertaining to sexual acts, fetishes (IE: Sites like ADISC) and the like being filtered by default?

    In the more immediate future, Cameron has called for the following:

    "Simulated Rape", as well as other "Extreme" (No solid clarification as to what this means) content to be outright banned.

    The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre will draft a list of search results that will be blocked from users by default. The same terminology used to block results will be used to help catch online predators.

    All that said, what do you think, is this is a reasonable approach to preventing child abuse, or the first step on a slippery slope, which ends in an "Orwellian" (I hate to use this term, as it's been beaten to death as of late) society? I'm especially interested to hear what members of ADISC from the UK think of it. Also, do you think this sort of legislation has a future on other nations; Why or why not?

    P.S. For those who aren't in the loop, David Cameron is the British Prime Minister. (I only mention this as I've spoken to someone recently who still thought Tony Blair was the PM)

    Citations, as well as further reading:

  2. #2


    I have nothing against (as I'm sure all of us do) the government cracking down on child porn, and those who bring harm to children. Nonetheless, I feel it is a very dangerous precedence when the government steps in and censors stuff that is legal, and has been conducted by two (or more) consenting adults. What is also stupid about this, is that it shows how irresponsible some parents are; i.e. you cannot just plonk your child in front of a computer/tablet, and leave them to their own devices. You have to keep an eye on them, ensure parental controls are in place and not be a lazy and/or inattentive prat. If the government has to take this roll, then I'm sorry, but I believe you are a piss poor excuse for a parent.

  3. #3


    This is censorship.

    Censorship does little to quell predators. They exist everywhere regardless. A more pro-active approach would be to search-and-destroy such filth-seekers.

    Caveat One: Relinquished rights are rarely reversible. Allowing a government fire-wall does little except to deny the average populous to search freely on the web.
    Caveat Two: The answers to online crime should not involve revoking the freedom of innocent users. Completely backwards.

    Remember: The definitions of proposed laws are usually in the words of an organization or law-group. They rarely reflect a general consensus.

    To walk down this path is akin to putting speed-bumps on freeways in hopes of slowing down speeders.

  4. #4


    I feel this is the wrong way to go about this.
    The Chinese firewall for example can be easily bypassed via proxy, so a great deal of good that did!

    Censorship of the Internet is ultimately wrong as it goes against it intended purpose, and any censorship is controlling by means of force.

    What i would recommend is the government to fund a major antiporn/antivirus software maker, or even Microsoft/Apple and Google/Linux, and embed a feature into an O.S or distribute it freely along with the built in antivirus or antispyware.

    They need to bring the fight to the content distributors like the criminal syndicates who earn a living from this smut.
    The online predators are smaller prey, so the primary focus should be on the former and perhaps they should keep tabs on the predators by using 'bait'.

    The government could spend more money on tactical task teams by setting up aliases to trap the monsters they way they deceive their victims.
    This approach works, but only if enough capital is invested into it, and i have seen it done in the US.
    Lastly another option could be a government website that encourages Internet users to report sites that include this sort of content, but with far more power to actually do something about it.
    Who better to help then the people who use the Internet.

  5. #5


    Slippery slope. The bad guys will always get hold of illegal material no matter what. Not displaying child porn results on google I'd say I support as that as it is making it more difficult to find, google choose whether a website can be found through their search engine and they should not be facilitating people wanting CP. Having to opt in to watch legal porn though? it is not the governments job to keep track of who watches it and who doesn't. It's an individuals choice to watch it or not to and the next step would possibly be censoring political material etc. Parents have the responsibility and tools at their disposal to ensure their children do not watch porn at home. The government cannot be trusted with that responsibility. Dave is just looking to secure more votes in an attempt to stay in power.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by SterlingArcher View Post
    I have nothing against (as I'm sure all of us do) the government cracking down on child porn, and those who bring harm to children.
    But the new laws are useless for this.

    Look, you aren't going to find child pornography on Google. You won't find it on Yahoo! or Bing or the recently departed AltaVista. When you search Google, or whatever, you're not actually searching the internet. What Google does is scan the internet and create a giant index of websites that it feels will be of interest and relevance to its users. Then, when you search Google, you send in a keyword or set of keywords. Google then returns to you a list of relevant sites ordered according to an algorithm factoring its 11 secret herbs and spices, which isn't public knowledge but does include PageRank.

    There are three ways that you can theoretically find child pornography on Google:

    1. Google is actively indexing websites that host child pornography.
    2. Google indexes a site which begins distributing child pornography after being listed.
    3. Google indexes sites that host pornography with underage subjects which slip through the cracks because the pornography is amateur (no age-verification) and the subjects are not ostensibly too young.

    On that list, number one is not happening. Number two is unlikely to happen unless the people distributing child pornography really want to go to jail. Number three is probably happening, but only amounts to child pornography because the subject is an inch to the wrong side of an arbitrary red line. The images that come to mind when one thinks "child pornography" they are not. In short, what Britain is doing will help stop child pornography from being distributed in a way that next to no one is doing.

    If you want child pornography, you'll find it using Tor. AFAIK, the new laws will do nothing to stop the use of Tor.

    Saying that the new law will stop the distribution of child pornography is at best dead wrong and at worst an outright lie.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by AEsahaettr View Post

    Saying that the new law will stop the distribution of child pornography is at best dead wrong and at worst an outright lie.
    The things is: it's not (AFAIK) going to be law - it's a government initiative to filter ALL pornography on the internet, unless you opt-in to have an unfiltered connection. It's a "think of the children!" thing...

    Run down of the issues here: Q&A: UK filters on legal pornography

    I'm agin it, and I wont be putting a filter on my connection.

  8. #8


    There is actually a petition for UK citizens: Do Not Force ISP Filtering of Pornography and Other Content - e-petitions

    Although I don't know how much good that will do, regarding the law. Since... in my country they're pretty much useless, except for pushing awareness and giving politicians more pressure from different sides.

    Anyway, as already mentioned this would actually mean blocking pornography by default in the internet by your provider.
    This isn't even slippery slope, this bill actually has draconian measures. If this goes through other countries will follow, for sure germany since this has been discussed a lot. And ultimately it has drastic consequences for the internet. Where do they draw the line? It's basically a backdoor where they can just start blocking websites. If things are getting blocked by default that the government deems not appropriate, that's just scary and destroy's the net neutrality.
    Every site with NSFW sections, like reddit, tumblr and similar sites would get blocked, probably.

    It's ludicrous... rather censoring things instead of pushing awareness for the average people that you could actually install certain plugins and filters yourself - to shield your children from things that they shouldn't see. Though it's wrong in the first place for not watching over your own children directly. And despite that I think, regarding a certain age, what should kids have to do on the internet at all?
    Pushing awareness on how to, if someone things this is necessary for a lot of people, would be fine and the right choice, as mentioned "for the sake of children". It would get people into being active and think about those things in general, so what they're doing and should do as responsible parents.

  9. #9


    Dr.Cox already has a plan we can put in action.

  10. #10


    I feel this is less about porn blocking but rather allowing filters to be placed on one part of the internet to allow further blocking down the line. It starts with porn and then onto piracy promoting sites (TPB has already been blocked here and they're blocking more sites as we speak) and then goes onto violence and sites that openly criticise government and so on and so forth; all in the name of protecting the citizens. Where does it stop? well whenever the government feels that it has a suitable grasp over what the electorate can view.

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