Apologies about linking to the Daily Mail, but it broke a story yesterday on the UK government’s plan to auto-block EVIL PORN from your internet access if you’re UK-based, unless you request access under an ‘opt in’ system.

SO THAT’S GOING TO WORK WELL THEN!

  • Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has already managed to fire off the Mr Weasel card, saying that the government will legislate if ISPs don’t block porn first. This cunningly flings the inevitable PR shit-storm that’s going to happen at the ISPs. Nice.
  • The UK government has a long history of being technically inept, and so if it does get involved in any way, this will become even more of a disaster.
  • How will it be determined what is ‘porn’ anyway? Is The Sun porn, with its Page 3 girls? If so, it has to be auto-blocked. If not, equivalent ‘porn’ sites would have to remain unblocked. Unless—SHOCK!—the UK government somehow rattles off some bullshit about credible publishers (i.e. UK MP mates with deep pockets) being exempt.
  • Who’s going to create and maintain the blacklists? There are quite a few sites on the internet. There’s literally no way that every single porn site will be caught; more to the point, there’s every chance innocent sites will be caught. I await Wikipedia being blocked to everyone with trepidation.
  • What’s to stop the list being used for targeting? “Well, Dave at 37 is clearly a perve, because he opted in to porn. Let’s do a surprise raid and take his equipment away for weeks. MWAHAHA!”
  • Young kids seeing porn isn’t great, obviously, but what about violence? Plenty of that online, and yet Vaizey didn’t even mention that.
  • Young kids seeing porn isn’t great, obviously, but what about parental responsibility? How about looking after your kids and watching what they’re viewing? How about learning about internet controls before planting your kid alone in a room with access to the web?
  • The ONS states that the majority of households in the UK do not have dependant children, and so this scheme will block for the minority (although I suspect it will appeal to Middle England voters—gosh, I wonder if that’s the real reason behind this bullshit?).
  • What’s next? What else will our ‘big society’ and supposedly anti-inteference government decide we shouldn’t have access to, ‘for our own good’?

See also: Nigel Whitfield’s Censorship – Won’t someone think of the adults?