UK To Block Porn Nationwide

UK To Block Porn Nationwide

Do you manage an adult cheap hosting site? Soon, those in the UK will not be able to view it after today's announcement by British Prime Minister David Cameron. But is this taking things too far? Is he censoring the Internet? And will it even work?

UK To Block Porn Nationwide: Why And How

Cameron is blocking online pornography in order to protect kids from what he calls porn's “corroding influence.” If you are a new user signing up for the Internet, porn sites will be blocked by default. The only way to change this is to tell the ISP to disable the filters. If you are an existing user, your ISP will contact you. If you do not give them a decision, the filters will be automatically implemented.

The new plan also makes the possession of what Cameron calls “extreme pornography” — video or still images that show simulated rape — illegal, according to the Daily Mail.

“By the end of this year, when someone sets up a new broadband account the settings to install family-friendly filters will be automatically selected,” said Cameron to a child protection group. “If you just click ‘next' or ‘enter', then the filters are automatically on.”

UK To Block Porn Nationwide: A Call To Search Engines

Cameron is targeting websites hosting child pornography, looking to shut them down, and has asked search engines to join him in his efforts to keep who he calls “sick people” from logging on to these illegal sites. As a result of his plan, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is coming up with a list of search terms that are “objectionable.” Also, the US and UK will be teaming up on a task force to go after these sites hosting obscene content.

“I have a very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest,” Cameron said. “You have a duty to act on this — and it is a moral duty. If there are technical obstacles to acting on [search engines], don't just stand by and say nothing can be done; use your great brains to help overcome them.”

Cameron plans to meet up with reps from the top search engines at some point in October in order to find out how far they've come regarding blocking the search terms compiled by the CEOP. Cameron warns, “If the progress is slow or non-existent, then I can tell you we are already looking at the legislative options we have to force action.”

UK To Block Porn Nationwide: Favorable Reactions

Cameron's announcement has been anticipated for a few weeks, looked upon favorably by Rape Crisis, an advocacy group based in London. They point out that it has been illegal to possess or even publish pornography depicting rape in Scotland, but not in Wales and England.

“We are heartened by the government's announcement that it will close the loophole in existing extreme pornography legislation,” said Rape Crisis' Fiona Elvines to the Guardian. “The government today has made a significant step forward in preventing rapists using rape pornography to legitimize and strategize their crimes and, more broadly, in challenging the eroticization of violence against women and girls.”

UK To Block Porn Nationwide: Will It Work?

Some don't think so, such as the Department of Education. The BBC published a letter regarding this issue, and it points out the issue with the filters. Tom Melzer wrote, in an editorial for the Guardian: “To work, the filters would need to prevent users from asking search engines ‘How do I turn off these porn filters?' And then the questions ‘How do I turn off the filters for questions about turning off filters?' And so on, forever.”

Regardless, the changes are coming. In a move based on similar motives, Twitter will implement Facebook's tagging system relying on Microsoft's PhotoDNA technology in order to weed out offensive photos depicting children. It is the same technology authorities use in order to conduct reverse image searches.

How do you feel about this? Do you think it goes too far, policing grown adults who should be able to choose whether or not content is filtered, or is this a positive step towards combating child and violent pornography?

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