Friday, June 29, 2012

 

Government Porn Filter Collapses In Security Nightmare

The Government yesterday erected a consultation page about online porn. It’s down now. A spokesperson said, ‘Look… This is really embarrassing… It’s never happened before*. Try again later?’ I’d rather they didn’t, but if they do get it up again, steel yourself, look at the horrid thing, and insert your… contribution.

This bloody stupid idea, cooked up like so many others ‘For the sake of the children’ by bullying social conservatives – it’s like the Labour Party were still in Government – is to automatically block porn through everyone’s ISPs and treat every adult as if they were a child, including the two-thirds of households that don’t have children in them.

What do they think the Internet is for, anyway?

I can’t help thinking that this is a sop from Mr Cameron to his raving right-wing backbenchers who weren’t happy with the last consultation, on same-sex marriage. ‘No, we’re still frothing conservatives who like sticking our grubby fingers into people’s bedrooms, honestly!’ is the message. ‘Let’s turn the PC clocks back to when everyone just had floppies!’ Never mind personal responsibility for parents; never mind that we’re having to put up with a lot of horrible things the Tories are doing because there’s much, much less than no money and we have to live with some cuts; there’s just no excuse for this. It’s illiberal, it’s bureaucratic, and it costs a lot more money. And, today, when the Government wants to get its jollies by costing a lot more money, it had better have a bloody good excuse.

Instead, this proposal is a proven car-crash less than a day into the consultation period – long before any law might come into force. Yes, shockingly, they launched the consultation just yesterday. And now they’ve had to suspend it because the online questionnaire has blown open the Data Protection Act by publishing people’s names, contact details and replies.

Why A Porn Filter Would Harm People (Kids Included)

Yes, astonishingly, this cock-up has already proved why having a Government register of porn users is a terrible idea (even if you’re stupid enough not to read that sentence and work it out from first principles). There are already so many, many reasons why getting ISPs to hold everyone’s “Porn filter” records on their databases is wrong, whether it’s forcing every Internet user – or, rather, bill-payer – in the land to opt in in order to view porn. Such filters are a grotesque state-run invasion of privacy, when whether you look at consenting adults’ porn or not is nobody else’s business. Such filters are well-known for blocking medical sites, or helplines – so, far from child protection, they do genuine and provable harm. And just imagine going into your local mobile phone emporium to sign a new contract:
‘Jan-ice! Pass me the porn register! This one looks like he’s not getting any…’
But, as today’s security disaster has proven beyond doubt before the filter databases themselves are created, they are insecure. I can’t even say ‘An accident waiting to happen’ because, well, it’s just happened. They present a danger to people. A danger of being embarrassed for no good reason. A danger of being excluded from, say, your religious membership if they preach against pornography and – heavens! – your name is found to be on the list. A danger of being bombarded with unwanted ‘offers’ from the sex industry. Even the real physical danger of being targeted by extremist religious or other groups. These lists are by nature insecure and dangerous, whether the danger is simply of being forced into social conformity when in your own home for fear that your name will ‘get out’, or that people who want to market to you or do you harm will pay good money to get hold of such records.

At this very moment forty-three years ago, the Stonewall riots – that’s proper Stonewall, not the Labour-licking corporate lobbyists – were into their second day. They were the start of modern lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender radicalism, and I’ve been listening to the Tom Robinson Band’s excellent Long Hot Summer in celebration. I don’t think there’ll be riots if the Government starts fiddling with people’s porn, though I’d be tempted, but it would certainly harm LGBT people, from LGBT kids unable to look up helpful sites to leaked information being of help to queerbashers. These proposals are simply wrong.

Government – Get Your Hands Off Our… Hands!

I have previously suggested as our core message: “Liberal Democrats – The Party That Thinks Sex Is All Right”. We should very much leave micro-management of people’s lives to the Tories (who want to boss you about because you’re bad) and Labour (who want to boss you about because it’s good for you). And Lib Dem Ministers, you should tell the Tories how daft they’re being.

I have a simple, cost-saving alternative.

If the government wants a list of masturbators in the UK, one already exists: the census. It’s guaranteed to be a far more accurate list than any wildly expensive new self-‘incriminating’ infrastructure would be.

Whereas if they want a list of wankers, just look at the register of MPs supporting this new censorship idea.


*Except for every single time any UK Government ever puts confidential information into a new IT system. You’d think they’d have learned by now.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Comments:
Utterly stupid idea. There's a newsagent near my nearest wetherspoons which for some reason puts H&E Naturist magazine on the top shelf with the porn mags. This frankly bizarre misconception that naturism = porn would no doubt be replicated in the online porn filter. Heres an idea - let those who want to watch/ regard porn do so, let parents watch out for kids and the government can fuck off.
 
That should be watch/read not watch/regard. Silly iPhone!
 
Yes, a lot of people bracket naturism with porn because they think all bodies must be 'naughty'... I didn't mention naturism above but, of course, I thought of that among many others (weedy mostly-indoor naturist here).

And "regard" works OK in context, though I understand it doesn't expand it like "read" does!
 
Sad how quickly this has become relevant again.

If unsurprising.
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?