And just like that, I could vanish.

beware of the leopard and esoteric material
Well, not me. My blog. And not so much vanish as get filed in the bottom drawer of a locked filing cabinet in a disused laboratory with a sign on the door…

Wondering what I’m talking about?

It’s the government’s latest wheeze to protect the children. Won’t you think of the children, they cry, while coming up with a plan to censor vast swathes of the internet. Have a look at the list here at Openrights group.

The idea, as I understand it, is that these things will be on by default. So your new internet connection comes with parental controls switched on, and then a secondary screen asks: Do you want to block

? pornography
? violent material
? extremist and terrorist related content
? anorexia and eating disorder websites
? suicide related websites
? alcohol
? smoking
? web forums
? esoteric material
? web blocking circumvention tools

And all these things are ticked. I don’t think anyone has confirmed the list as it would be, but this is put together from current block lists from ISPs.

Now, I can see that we probably don’t want our 3 years olds accessing pornography. Definitely no violent content (so that’s Tom and Jerry wiped out then). Extremist and terrorist related content. Um, hang on. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Who decides who is a terrorist?

Let’s skip on a bit. Web forums. *all* web forums?? That’s a bit sweeping isn’t it? Still, that’s one way to quieten those irritating biscuit related questions from Mumsnet.

And esoteric material. That’s an interesting one. What classes as esoteric? The definition is “Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.” Which, if you think about it, covers an awful lots of things. You got any niche interests? How about home education? That’s pretty small, after all, isn’t it? Might not start at defined as esoteric, but you could easily see how it could wind up on the list. Or odd political interests, like the basic income perhaps?

Ideas could come and go on the internet without anyone ever really seeing. Movements that currently start small and grow wouldn’t ever get that chance – all sorts of religions would definitely fade away.

Is that really how you want to keep your children safe? By keeping them as ignorant as the politicians wafting about westminster?

Because surely only someone utterly ignorant of how the world/internet works would come up with such a plan. It’s just beyond awful. And the best way to fight back about it? Shout. Make sure our voices are heard. If you *want* to be able to have a varied and yes, esoteric internet, it is time to put a stop to this nonsense.

The open rights group and wired are excellent resources on all of this, and don’t forget to keep your MP in the loop. (I wonder how many emails would class as annoying :/)

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for ten years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

Comments

  1. It’s disgusting and deliberate.., the only thing that keeps us informed, now that we don’t get to chat in the pub with the majority of them having closed down, is the internet, and that is what THEY don’t like. First they disintegrate communities and then the web community which was its replacement is next on the firing line.

    I was suspicious when not much was done about the teen Summer riots and then quel surprise, now kids will have to be in compulsory education until the age of 18…. not seen anyone blogging about that though.

    Good on ya for posting this.

    Liska x

    • Jax Blunt says:

      the school leaving age change was legislated for a while ago and I think is probably more to do with social control and employment than the riots tbh.

      • “control” is the word – Governments and the ruling elite seem to be obsessed with controlling every aspect of the lives of ordinary people : the future does not look great right now :(

  2. i already cant access most pagan oriented websites on my phone as O2 have decided that you need to be over 18 to view them and i cba to go through the process to enable me to look. orange is as bad too.

    • Jax Blunt says:

      There are a variety of parenting blogs that are blocked on different networks – the one that amused me most was when Daddacool, a butlins ambassador, couldn’t update his blog from Butlins as it was deemed unsuitable.

      This way lies an increasingly fragmented internet, which most people will never actually realise. Have you read Little Brother by Doctorow? Good book.

  3. It’s getting scarier and scarier to live in this country. So glad you highlighted this. it’s stupid.

  4. I havent, will look out for it. What really makes me cross is that I cant access something harmless like paintingdreams but yet i can get to liberator which is definitely NSFW or home more to the point!I ought not to look things up that i hear of on instagram!

    • Jax Blunt says:

      The difficulty is in having such broad categorisation. This sort of thing should be up to parents to decide for themselves, this kind of broad sweep censorship just won’t work for anyone.

  5. yep. Although I am very torn over online pornography.

    • Jax Blunt says:

      We have a default position in our house that we don’t censor. Having said that, we’ve had to put block programs on Small’s PC before, as he is unable to judge for himself what is appropriate and what isn’t, and I couldn’t be looking over his shoulder all the time. That, however, was a personal decision on our parts, and we monitor it actively.

      Online pornography is a massively difficult area to come to a judgement on – there are just so many different issues involved. I don’t think that a default on filter is the right answer though – I think offering the service so that people have to think about it and actively take a decision is a better way forward. Open to arguments on the point though.

      • yes, i think that is probably the most suitable way forward, might make people think twice about what they are viewing too.

      • How do you block programmes online? We use an internet filter from TalkTalk simply to block pornography. We don’t want to block anything else but I want the option to let my children use the internet without fear of them seeing what I know a friends 8 yr old saw after her friend came round for a sleepover and “dared” to type “sex” into google. She was ready for the birds and the bees but wasn’t ready for videos of under age sex, extreme bondage, incest, strangulation, gay sex and so much more… My online searching in the aftermath showed me that I couldn’t blacklist each individual website, and the thought of any children seeing what I know she saw at a very tender age makes me feel that a filter that parents can control (just a filter note, not websites banned at source) has to be better that any child seeing that. Parents can choose to turn it off of course. I think many parents won’t think about it until it’s too late, if never.
        Even the filters don’t work well enough though. Our filter for instance works on websites but not on google images. If you’ve never tried it, try typing “porn” in to yours and seeing what images come up for instance. Most friends I have spoken to about it to afterwards had never thought to check their child’s browsing history.
        I’d be really interested in more details as to how you block programmes…

  6. What I don’t like is this idea that I need to be saved from myself. What’s next, every home charged for and delivered a set menu of food for the week appropriate to household members to save us from over eating? What happened to us being expected to be capable of deciding what’s good for us and acting accordingly?
    And while it might be possible initially to opt out and tell the ISP I want to keep all the options and be able to see terrorist and porn websites, I don’t think it will be long til asking for that flags you as dangerous or a pervert. I would much rather bring my children up to be discerning and careful online, not leave it to the state to parent them.

    • Jax Blunt says:

      Absolutely Kath. It is all the worst aspects of the nanny state, with an added helping of ignorance.

  7. Hi jax, long time no speak. Thanks for an enlightening post, it certainly makes me think. It is definitely our job as parents to hel our kids to make choices & become responsible adults rather than just block them. Mich x

  8. My husband and I had a real rant about this on our podcast last week. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do at all, and it’s fraught with the possibilities of mis-classification and censorship. Also it makes it easy for parents to sit back and say “we have internet controls so we don’t have to teach our kids how to use the internet responsibly”, which is all kinds of wrong!

  9. Great post, Jax :o)

  10. Well said. I think it’s a ridiculous idea that stinks of controlling the population and limiting freedoms.You put it so much better than I ever could though.

Trackbacks

  1. […] that it won't just be porn that ends up blocked. There's a couple of good blogs/articles here. And just like that, I could vanish. https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog…nto-censorship This is what you currently opt in to with […]

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