“… and the filters don’t work/they just make it worse…”

The UK government has pressured ISPs to apply content filters to their customers’ connections, in the name of protecting children from unsuitable content. During 2014, ISPs will be approaching their customers and trying to persuade them to turn on filtering. But this is a mistaken approach arising from magical thinking — “this thing should exist so it must be possible”.

Content filters can’t work, for several reasons. Just a sample: Continue reading

Porn Summit is Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Representatives from a whole host of ISPs will meet tomorrow with Culture Secretary Maria Miller in a summit to discuss the problems of illegal child abuse image distribution and the effective filtering of legal pornography. Brushing aside for a moment the fact that these are two very separate issues that need to be handled in different ways and not be confusingly bundled together, there are some other serious problems with the governments approach to the issue.

Having a meeting to which only service providers are invited emphasises the governments apparent position that it is the ISPs responsibility to police the content created by internet users. This is as ridiculous as expecting postmen to not deliver hate mail. ISPs are not and should not be responsible for the things Internet users choose to put online.

On the issue of filtering, it’s amazing that ministers still consider filtering as a possible course of action. Only this week ORG have released a collection of other web sites blocked by existing filters used by mobile carriers. To try and put an absolute filter on something as subjective as inappropriate content seems almost wilfully dismissive of citizen freedoms. Read more in today’s ComputerWorldUK article.