backtop


Print 22 comment(s) - last by Jeffk464.. on Dec 21 at 2:10 PM

There is no magic bullet says TalkTalk

A number of major internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK have rolled out filters to help parents block children and others from seeing pornographic material online. While the goal is to prevent children from finding legal porn online, the filters appear to be too sensitive in some cases, as some non-pornographic content is also being affected.
 
At the same time the filters are also reportedly failing to catch some hardcore pornographic material from being viewed.
 
New customers to BT get to choose whether or not they want to use the porn filters. One of the companies that provides the filtering software, TalkTalk, uses a web filter that prevents access to a website called BishUK, which is an award winning sexual education site. It also blocks access to the Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre website. Both of those sites are considered pornographic by the filters.
 
While blocking the non-pornographic sites, the TalkTalk filter also failed to block 7% of the 68 pornographic websites tested by the UK news program Newsnight.
 
For its part, a TalkTalk spokesperson explained, "Sadly there is no silver bullet when it comes to internet safety and we have always been clear that no solution can ever be 100%. We continue to develop HomeSafe and welcome feedback to help us continually improve the service."

Source: BBC



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Slow news week?
By retrospooty on 12/19/2013 11:11:16 AM , Rating: 2
I am having a hard time pondering how this is news in any way.

In other headlines, spam filters sometimes block good emails and let spam through. Be warned!




RE: Slow news week?
By bah12 on 12/19/2013 11:23:53 AM , Rating: 2
FLASH!!!!

Filters not perfect, film at 11....


RE: Slow news week?
By Souka on 12/19/2013 3:25:27 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
While the goal is to prevent children from finding legal porn online


LOL.... "legal porn"
Wouldn't that be only the free content and paid content? not the 90% that is otherwise downloaded?

Also, if they're "children" by legal definition, then ANY porn is illegal! :)

My $.02


RE: Slow news week?
By heffeque on 12/20/2013 1:48:35 AM , Rating: 3
Never understood why in some countries porn is illegal before one turns 18.
It should be non-recommended for <18 like in most "intelligent" countries, but never illegal.
By making it illegal you're saying that every man in that country is a criminal for having watched porn before 18 (I doubt no kid has never seen a boob other than his mother's before 18).

That said... I've never agreed with politically correctness laws, so... *sigh*. Dumb "moral" laws just want to turn countries into Afganistan.


RE: Slow news week?
By bah12 on 12/20/2013 9:54:42 AM , Rating: 2
AFAIK it isn't illegal to watch pre-18, but you film/photograph anyone under 18 even with consent for obvious reasons.


RE: Slow news week?
By Jeffk464 on 12/21/2013 2:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
There are so many laws in the US that basically there isn't a person in the country that hasn't broken the law, so I guess everyone is a criminal.


RE: Slow news week?
By sprockkets on 12/19/2013 11:36:02 AM , Rating: 4
Because it shows how ridiculous the UK is for mandating porn filters.


RE: Slow news week?
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/19/2013 11:39:42 AM , Rating: 2
Blimey, they are rather prudish aren't they?


RE: Slow news week?
By retrospooty on 12/19/2013 11:49:49 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Slow news week?
By superstition on 12/19/2013 2:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you missed the link about the House of Commons folk accessing adult material on the job.


RE: Slow news week?
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/19/2013 4:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
LOL forgot about that


RE: Slow news week?
By retrospooty on 12/19/2013 11:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
OK, but is that tech news?

This is tech news. http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/19/cyanogen-fundin...


RE: Slow news week?
By Monkey's Uncle on 12/19/2013 4:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
Actual failed-tech news 'spooty.


We had a similar debate in Australia...
By stmok on 12/19/2013 3:24:21 PM , Rating: 3
For the last decade or so there had been the fight between mandatory filtering and an opt-in solution in Australia.

We've had one Govt (Centre-Right; similar to US Republicans) offer a filtering program that parents install themselves on their own computers . Filter updates are provided by the company who won the Govt contract...As it was paid for by the taxpayer. The belief was that parents should be responsible for their kid's online presence.

This initiative was destroyed in 2008 by the then-new Govt (Centre-Left; similar to US Democrats). They had a digital communications minister who had plans to appease the very traditionalist/religious folks. How? By installing a MANDATORY filter at the ISP level .

Their reason was that not every parent is technically inclined, so the Govt must step in to act on their behalf. It was "for the children".

This caused a $hit-storm of mass proportions. Mainly because it was a slippery slope to head into. It sets up the infrastructure and potential for future Govts to suppress any political opinion they didn't like.

This proved very true a few years later, as the Govt (headed by our first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard; back-stabbed own leader to get the job!); tried to suppress the Australian media! It turns out an investigative journalist got too close to the Prime Minister's past. (relating to a certain union slush fund ). She was infuriated and got the journalist fired! She got that same communications minister to go after the Australian media via legislation!

Side note: The journalist in question, later set up his own website that detailed the dodgy/questionable past of the-now former Prime Minister. The move to "punish" the Australian media failed.
=> http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/

The 2nd counter-argument was that filters are not smart. They don't have the ability to understand the context of a website. This can lead to blocking innocent sites. (As demonstrated by this BBC-originated article!)

After a while, they made a compromise. They had no choice. It was politically crippling.

They only filter child porn sites (ISP level) with a small list that is regularly updated and provided by Interpol. In addition to that, the Federal and State police branches go after those who create and share child porn. As a result, one occasionally sees/hears about undercover operations, raids, arrests, and confiscation of computers, HDDs, USB sticks on the local news. Some kids do get rescued as well.

Aussie ISPs also have an obligation to provide family security solutions as options for parents. (Software for firewall, access-control, content filtering, and anti-malware subscription options).

For now, the debate has been settled in Australia. No political party will touch this topic. A reasonable compromise has been made, and the issue has been settled.

One wonders why the UK doesn't follow Australia's model. They don't have to re-invent the wheel and go through what we went through! It was unnecessary and frustrating. (You had people who had no idea of technology, arguing for something that had serious political consequences and the threat to free speech.)




By Monkey's Uncle on 12/19/2013 4:19:41 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, Aussies like their porn too y'know!


By TSS on 12/20/2013 12:59:34 AM , Rating: 2
The why is simple. There's still a chance for the UK government to turn the UK into a police state. Hell, london has more CCTV's then some entire countries. If the british are willing to accept that maybe they're willing to accept porn filters as well.

I've heard little in the way of protests for the guardian as well who had their hard drives smashed to try and prevent more snowden leaks. Seems the british population does not care, so it's no wonder the british government will try to push as much repression as possible.


Useless
By UpSpin on 12/19/2013 11:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
I have no idea how this filter works and what sites it blocks, however, I doubt the filter can work AT ALL.

It's intention is to protect kids from sexual content.
So blocking paid sites makes no sense, because kids normally don't have a credit card or bank account to pay for them.
Blocking preview sites should be fairly easy and, indeed, 'protects' whoever needs protections.
Pirate copies are impossible to block. File hosters, torrent sites, image hosters, ..., you simply can't block them without doing more harm than good. So kids with an average IQ should still be able top find sexual content with ease.
To implement an efficient filter you need methods and ressources only the NSA might have. Analyse the whole WWW in real-time. Read discussion groups, extract links, passwords, ... Hack discussion groups to gain access to private sections. Analyse the content of each single image, file, ... Decrypt whatever is encypted and block it if it falls in a specific pattern.

So in short, to get a filter working you have to create a 100% surveillance society. Everything else is just wasted money.

So either the UK government is so dumb to think that such a filter really works, or they use the sexual content stuff just as an excuse to set-up, slowly but surely, a complete internet surveillance.




RE: Useless
By HostileEffect on 12/19/2013 1:47:21 PM , Rating: 2
VPN, random web proxy, people trade pictures of their ex-es... how does this filter prove effective again?

I forgot one little thing... a mirror. Ban all mirrors!


Please
By Motoman on 12/19/2013 3:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Sadly there is no silver bullet when it comes to internet safety and we have always been clear that no solution can ever be 100%


How, exactly, does perfectly legal content present a "safety" issue?

Porn is legal. By that very fact, it is impossible for it to also be "unsafe."

If you feel that porn is unsafe, then make it illegal. Otherwise, STFU and GTFU, because all you're trying to do at that point is to impose your own personal morals on the whole of society.




RE: Please
By Piiman on 12/21/2013 11:12:54 AM , Rating: 2
"Porn is legal. By that very fact, it is impossible for it to also be "unsafe.""

How does being legal or illegal equal safe or unsafe?

Smoking is legal but I'm pretty sure its unsafe. Also are you saying that if they suddenly outlawed porn then it some how suddenly becomes unsafe? You sound nutz.


disappointed
By Captain Awesome on 12/19/2013 11:56:31 AM , Rating: 2
I can't believe that blocked BishUK. I just went there expecting some great pictures, but there's NOTHING!! Just some clip art and some tiny black and white pictures.

Wikipedia's adult content is 1000 times better.




But ...
By Gondor on 12/19/2013 2:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
... porn is educational. No wonder it gets blocked in the UK :)




"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki