Web filtering: Why a Great British Firewall will be useless

Ed Vaizey, the Communications Minister, said yesterday that he wants UK internet service providers to filter sexually explicit content. By default, your internet connection would be restricted to only allow appropriate sites – unless you call your ISP and ask them to turn the filter off.There are many reasons why this is a bad idea.First, how do you define “explicit content”? Private web filtering companies have been struggling with that problem for years. Should advice pages for teenagers that have frank discussions about sex and sexual health be filtered?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/dec/20/web-filtering-will-not-workAlso see:Internet porn block ‘not possible’ say ISPs
Government plans to block pornography “at source” are unlikely to prove effective, say ISPs.The proposal to cut off access to pornographic material was floated by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey in an interview with the Sunday Times.The government is talking to ISPs to set up a meeting at which the proposal will be discussed.But, say experts, technical challenges mean any large scale filtering system is doomed to failure.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12041063Blocking web porn ‘very difficult’
Should pornography be blocked from all computers to protect children?Editor of Pocket-lint.com Stuart Miles and Miranda Suit, of Safermedia campaign, discuss the practicalities of blocking internet pornography.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9303000/9303860.stmGovernment proposes porn-blocking at ISP level
ISPs should block pornographic content at the network level, forcing people who want to look at it to opt in, communications minister Ed Vaizey has said. A digital rights activist group has labelled the proposal censorship.Vaizey’s move is reported to be a response to worries that children are being exposed to sexual content. To stop this, he told The Sunday Times at the weekend, he wants internet service providers (ISPs) to allow access to pornographic material only to those who specifically ask for it.
http://out-law.com/page-11680Blocking internet pornography … that’s censorship, isn’t it?
I don’t much care for pornography, but it might be surprising for fair-minded types to note that most Britons don’t see it quite that way. Which ought to make politicians think twice about trying to regulate adult pornography, because if being grown up counts for anything, then it must involve some kind of interest in the serious business of sex. But never mind… Ed Vaizey is talking tough on the subject, suggesting that adult pornography should be blocked by internet providers unless hapless consumers “opt in” to see filth on their screens.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/organgrinder/2010/dec/20/ed-vaizey-pornographyGovernment to review access to internet porn
The communications minister will be meeting with major UK ISPs in 2011 to discuss measures for restricting underage access to adult material, including the proposal that internet providers block all porn by default

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