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Petition asks UK government to forget ISP porn filtering

22,000 signatures and rising
Fri Jul 26 2013, 14:46
Prime minister David Cameron reading at his desk

A PETITION asks the UK government to stop talking nonsense about blocking pornography on the internet and let parents take responsibility for raising their children instead.

The petition is called "Do Not Force ISP Filtering of Pornography and Other Content" and will be submitted to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

It says, not unreasonably, that trusting people to educate their children properly is a better alternative to the prescriptive argument for internet service provider (ISP) pornography filters.

"The government is currently trying to push a bill forcing ISPs to provide opt-out pornography filtering, however this is an issue that fails to address any real problems," it says.

"Bad parenting is the real problem, and bad parents will simply allow the filter to be enabled and believe it protects their children, even though the filters are easily (even trivially) circumvented. Parents need to supervise and educate their children about internet use, not rely on filters of dubious effectiveness."

The government's plans are vague and without any real substance. David Cameron reckons that these are but bumps on the road and will all be worked out before the ISPs bring down an adult content curtain.

The petition argues that ISPs should not be expected to control the internet, and recommends instead that parents take more responsibility.

"It also sets a poor precedent that objectionable content can be blocked at the ISP level in the name of protecting children, who are in fact being harmed more by poor parenting," it adds.

"Aside from content of a clearly illegal nature the government should not be forcing the presence of filters at all, but instead pushing to improve the involvement of parents in a child's life, and to promote education over flimsy, disruptive, and money-wasting 'solutions'."

According to the Open Rights Group the blocking rules are likely to misfire like a cheap firework. The group says that it has spoken with ISPs about porn filtering and has learned that false positives and mis-blocks are very likely.

"The implication is that filtering is good, or at least harmless, for anyone, whether adult or child," it said.

"Of course, this is not true; there's not just the question of false positives for web users, but the affect on a network economy of excluding a proportion of a legitimate website's audience." µ

 

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