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Cameron Tells Pornography Websites To Block Access By Children Or Face Closure 381

An anonymous reader writes: Prime Minister David Cameron says that if online pornographers don't voluntarily install effective age-restricted controls on their websites he'll introduce legislation that will close them down altogether. A recent Childline poll found nearly 10% of 12-13-year-olds were worried they were addicted to pornography and 18% had seen shocking or upsetting images. The minister for internet safety and security, Joanna Shields, said: “As a result of our work with industry, more than 90% of UK consumers are offered the choice to easily configure their internet service through family-friendly filters – something we take great pride in having achieved. It’s a gold standard that surpasses those of other countries. “Whilst great progress has been made, we remain acutely aware of the risks and dangers that young people face online. This is why we are committed to taking action to protect children from harmful content. Companies delivering adult content in the UK must take steps to make sure these sites are behind age verification controls.”
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Cameron Tells Pornography Websites To Block Access By Children Or Face Closure

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  • How? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @05:36AM (#50221421) Homepage

    So, precisely how again do they suggest sites verify ages? It needs to at least be proof against a minor with an adult's "borrowed" credit card, and it can't require sites to violate the law. This isn't a technical problem here, it's completely independent of the technology. If these politicians want the problem solved, they need to spend some time thinking about how to solve the problem. And yes, "make someone else solve it" is a valid option but only if having the sites apply that solution by making the politicians the "someone else" is also a valid option.

    • Is he going to shut them down in just the UK or in the whole world?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Some of Cameron's friends of pornographers of one sort of another. From soft-porn in "newspapers" to "lad's mags" to soft child porn (e.g. the Daily Mail).

      Age versification would seem to require entry of credit card data, unless they are going to accept a simple "I am 18 years old" tick box (Facebook uses that technique to "prevent" children under 13 from using it, LOL). Let's assume credit card, that means that free sites will die or be forced overseas. Pay sites won't be able to give much away as a previe

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Re "And yes, "make someone else solve it" is a valid option but only if having the sites apply that solution by making the politicians the "someone else" is also a valid option."

      The UK can ask the US banking system, political system and big pipe internet providers to to "fix" the pipes and payment options into the UK.
      ie the ".com" just fails to load in the UK and a log is sent to some local UK authority about the access attempt.
      If that fails the UK could fund US political leaders who understand the UK's
    • So, precisely how again do they suggest sites verify ages? It needs to at least be proof against a minor with an adult's "borrowed" credit card, and it can't require sites to violate the law. This isn't a technical problem here, it's completely independent of the technology. If these politicians want the problem solved, they need to spend some time thinking about how to solve the problem. And yes, "make someone else solve it" is a valid option but only if having the sites apply that solution by making the politicians the "someone else" is also a valid option.

      The problem is, they don't care about kids seeing inappropriate material... Politicians are, after all, sexually abusing minors left and right in the UK.

      Unemployment too high? You lost your job? What are we going to do about it? Sir, were you aware that your 11yr could possibly be addicted to Tentacled midget porn? You didn't even know that was a thing? Here are some shocking pictures. Go argue with your neighbors and leave us alone.

    • So, precisely how again do they suggest sites verify ages?

      How do they verify anything? Do you really think people are going to provide a porn website with their actual names and dates of birth? Would you?

      Why the hell would anybody trust a porn site with that? I wouldn't trust most any website with that information ... both because it's none of their damned business, and because I assume they're grossly incompetent at security.

      These idiot politicians want a world which is wrapped in bubble wrap, and must

    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      Back in my day it was magazines. Magazines also don't verify age. One of my friends did like his BnD, shocking images for a 12 year old. I was shocked i tell you.

      So yea don't by the line of "...risks and dangers that young people face online". Our generation turned out just fine.
    • by Epeeist ( 2682 )

      If these politicians want the problem solved, they need to spend some time thinking about how to solve the problem.

      Thinking? This is David Cameron you are talking about, ex PR flack and brain the size of a small peanut.

    • What loony would host a porno site in the UK??
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        yeah, if dealing with loonys, clearly is should be in canada.

    • 30 years ago, the game Larry [wikipedia.org], about a guy's romantic endeavours, used a list of questions only adults were supposed to be able to answer. The result of the test determined the X-ratedness of the game. Something like that might work here too. It would not be perfect, though, and horny adults may not be in the mood for answering questions like "what president succeeded Nixon?" etc.
  • Parenting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toxygeneb ( 1384597 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @05:42AM (#50221447) Homepage

    How about instead of trying to introduce draconian inappropriate laws that will no doubt be misused to censor other sites the government properly fund the enforcement of existing laws? We already have very effective parental neglect laws and if a child as young as the Childline survey suggests is accessing pornography surely the parents are neglectful?

    • by BeerCat ( 685972 )

      Parental neglect laws don't apply when you are the Prime Minister, though...

      http://i2.mirror.co.uk/incomin... [mirror.co.uk]

      I mean, what kind of person leaves their 8-year old behind in the pub because they forgot about them?

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Such a simple and rational solution right? Too bad that the governments there have spent the last 20 odd years restricting what parents can actually do to their children in terms of punishment. The state is more of a parent then anything else.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xest ( 935314 )

      No it's not even that. When I was a kid growing up in the UK before the internet we still encountered porn at that age - either left by builders in the building sites we used to dick around in, brought into school by that one kid whose dad creepily collected page 3 pictures from The Sun, or call girl leaflets with pornographic imagery on them that used to be left in phone boxes (remember them?).

      The fact is, kids will encounter porn, you could ban the whole internet and they still would, just like I did and

  • Percentages? (Score:5, Informative)

    by miketheanimal ( 914328 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @05:43AM (#50221451)

    A recent Childline poll found nearly 10% of 12-13-year-olds were worried they were addicted to pornography and 18% had seen shocking or upsetting image

    Years ago (mid 80s or something) there was a "video nasty" frenzy in the UK based on figures that purported to show what percentage of kids and watched "video nasties". The data was gathered by asking kids which of a list of films they had seen. Turned out to be totally bogus, a later study got the same results when the list had a mix of real and invented titles. Not suprising really. Are these figures any better?

    • by Kkloe ( 2751395 )
      I would say yes, if we are talking about the 80's you would have to had 3 things, tv, movie player, video cassette and electricity. None of them could go into your pocket, being carried around 24/7, cheap and have access to them all the time from wherever you are as a kid.

      now we have laptops, smartphones and tablets and internet
    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      A recent Childline poll found nearly 10% of 12-13-year-olds were worried they were addicted to pornography and 18% had seen shocking or upsetting image

      Years ago (mid 80s or something) there was a "video nasty" frenzy in the UK based on figures that purported to show what percentage of kids and watched "video nasties". The data was gathered by asking kids which of a list of films they had seen. Turned out to be totally bogus, a later study got the same results when the list had a mix of real and invented titles. Not suprising really. Are these figures any better?

      This is the internet, 135% of all statistics are made up. The last 47% are skewed in favor of whatever the article is trying to sell.

    • by delt0r ( 999393 )
      Ask a teenager how much sex they are having... Yea right they answer that honestly. It reminds me of a seminar on big data. It started as "Big data is like teen sex; everybody is doing it all the time, but no one really know what or how to do it".
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      Where I am we had "pornographic rock music". One of the records taken by the police had a track called "doing the shag", which was an instrumental. Meanwhile some corrupt police were deep into a prostitution racket and the state police commissioner was playing out the "street value" drug joke in reality - selling the evidence! He went to jail as did several members of the government at the time.
      Be careful when someone plays the morality card and see if you can look behind the curtain to see what they are
    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      Yeah, I know I didn't really have a firm grasp on what did and didn't count as addiction at that age - even by the age of 18 I was still grappling with the concept of whether spending 8 hours a day in online video games was addiction or not. Given that I could still walk away at any moment and do something else for days on end, and at times, did, I'm still not overly sure to this day if it was.

      Ask a 12 - 13 year old whether they're addicted and they'll have no fucking idea.

    • "18% had seen shocking or upsetting images" seems pretty tame to me, they are barely looking to have this low a shock rate
  • by Feral Nerd ( 3929873 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @05:58AM (#50221501)
    This is just the beginning of another five years of the Tories and their rural mafia shoving their crappy conservative values down the throats of the 63.9 percent of the UK population that did not vote for them and now that the Scottish national party has split the Labour vote it looks like this is how things will stay this way for the foreseeable future. It is an utter travesty that a political party can achieve a parliamentary majority with 36.1 percent of the population behind it and that a party that gained 12.9% of the popular vote (UKIP) gets one parliamentarian. I'm no fan of UKIP by any means but they should have gotten more seats.
    • This is just the beginning of another five years of the Tories

      No, not another. This is something new. The last 5 years were apparently heavily tempered by the lib dems. I say apparently because it wasn't all that apparent at the time, but now without having to please another coalition party they've gone into full batshit crazy slash and burn (except fopr cronies) mode.

      Well, all those whiny Lib-Dem supporters who through a massive shitgit when the CON-lib coalition wasn't 100% pure libdem and defected, congr

    • This is just the beginning of another five years of the Tories and their rural mafia shoving their crappy conservative values down the throats of the 63.9 percent of the UK population that did not vote for them and now that the Scottish national party has split the Labour vote it looks like this is how things will stay this way for the foreseeable future. It is an utter travesty that a political party can achieve a parliamentary majority with 36.1 percent of the population behind it and that a party that gained 12.9% of the popular vote (UKIP) gets one parliamentarian. I'm no fan of UKIP by any means but they should have gotten more seats.

      Just out of curiosity, does anyone who lives outside the UK actually understand British politics?

      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        Few people in the UK understand British politics either, including the post you quoted.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        Just out of curiosity, does anyone who lives outside the UK actually understand British politics?

        Yes. His name is Rupert Murdoch :(

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I've been trying to think of a way we can get the Single Transferable Vote introduced. It's going to be difficult, especially since the people with the power to do it would be giving up some of their power. Also, most of the British public claim they are too thick to understand it.

      Anyone have any ideas?

      • by Xest ( 935314 )

        It's going to happen anyway, UK politics are in turmoil. Labour is on the verge of committing suicide, and when it does it'll fracture leaving the Tories the only electable party.

        Except, they wont be electable because the longer a party is in power, the more fucking batshit it becomes, and as such people are going to split away from it and it wont hold a parliamentary majority. It may remain the biggest party but wont be able to form a government, hell, it's barely there now - wait until the EU referendum i

      • I've been trying to think of a way we can get the Single Transferable Vote introduced.

        STV won't solve a lot of the problems. The district nature of it is what allows wild misrepresentaiton. I suspect the SNP would have gained their 56 seats with STV, while still acrtuing around 5% of the votes.

        But the plus side is you get to vote for a person as much as a party.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Districts would have to be grouped together to implement STV. It only works properly if there is more than one seat available.

    • .. and not our lack of leadership regarding issues of poverty, income inequality, education, criminal bankers, revolving door lobbyist appointments, pollution, global warming.

      I thought this type of wedge issue diversion was mostly an American political tactic.

  • Just try it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Friday July 31, 2015 @06:01AM (#50221517) Homepage

    Shutting down all online porn-sites in the UK? Yeah, go ahead, see how long the public is willing to play along; I predict quite an uproar. Besides, it wouldn't stop porn-sites from outside the UK anyways, so it would both upset a lot of people and yet be wholly ineffective.

    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

      More likely people will simply get their porn elsewhere.

      What, you think kids get their porn on legit UK websites and not via various methods of sharing ranging from torrents to social media?

    • Shutting down all online porn-sites in the UK? Yeah, go ahead, see how long the public is willing to play along; I predict quite an uproar. Besides, it wouldn't stop porn-sites from outside the UK anyways, so it would both upset a lot of people and yet be wholly ineffective.

      Right...because such sites couldn't possibly be blocked regardless of where they're based...

  • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @06:14AM (#50221573) Journal

    Cameron you complete fucking moron, (at least) three things:

    1. Most porn sites are not in the UK.
    2. Computers can't tell if people are lying.
    3. Most people want free porn and are too lazy or too smart to be giving potential criminals their personal details.

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @06:16AM (#50221583)
    The ISP is required to be offered child web filter for free as part of the service. A new applicant may choose to enable it or disable it as their circumstances dictate. The default should not be on. There should be a simple web interface controlled by the account holder to modify the settings at any time. That's the end of the matter.
    • They already have this : it now defaults to "on" by default.

      It's DNS level filtering though, so it can be defeated by a simple change of settings. The younger generation are mostly techno-dufuses though, so it probably defeats them.

      • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

        Three UK have always had an adult content filter defaulted to "on". You had to either call CS and giver over a credit card (not a debit card for some reason) number to "verify" your age, or go into a store to have a salesdroid unlock your account.

        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          Same for Ireland. It should be an opt-in requirement not opt-out. I was blocked out of a site tagged "adult" despite it being a humour / discussion board. Meanwhile I'd have no problem viewing any number of seriously disturbing things on YouTube, Facebook or other sites because DNS filtering is no use for those.
          • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

            the really weird thing is, Virgin used to (I don't know if they still do) have default locks on adult content too, thing is you have to be over 18 here to consent to contract. Don't they think someone who is old enough to sign a fucking broadband contract is *legally* old enough to view/purchase/STAR IN porn?

  • possibly with a regulator to oversee and enforce controls.

    Please enter you gov't ID here [ ] [OK]

    Then click ok so that the gov't can confirm that you are authorised to watch gay midget porn.

  • by KenDiPietro ( 1294220 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @06:20AM (#50221591)
    Kids are getting access to disturbing images, you say? You want to ensure that children are prevented from seeing these kinds of images by passing a law if necessary? But will the children still be able to see people being blown up or otherwise being ripped to shreds during prime time TV? Because otherwise, I'd hate to think we'd be putting people out of work in our "legitimate" entertainment industry.

    As an aside, anyone else enjoying the irony in the British government which for decades had gone to great lengths to protect the identity of people they knew were repeatedly sexually assaulting children now claiming that this measure it to protect children? Exactly when will those prosecutions be beginning, Mr Cameron?
  • How would he shut down non-UK websites? I imagine the majority of porn sites are US/Non-UK... so when shutting them down doesn't work, would he try and block them? (A la torrent sites - look how well that worked out...) And what does he define as "porn"? If I put a picture of me naked on my UK-hosted .COM domain, would he try and shut me down? What would be the financial cost to taxpayers for doing that?
  • I mean, when members of the House of Lords make selfies in womens underwear, don't you realize your prudishness is the cause of that, not the effect?

  • by tomxor ( 2379126 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @07:13AM (#50221793)
    Once you turn our internet into something resembling China's, maybe will people finally realise what a moron you are and vote you out.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @07:27AM (#50221831)

    Doesn't sound like a porn plague, it sounds like puberty.

    12-13 year olds going through puberty, their hormones turned up to 11, obsessed with sex in some manner or other? Unsure of feelings they have about sex, worried they think about it too much (or not enough), all the anxieties of youth and social/sexual roles?

    This is somehow new and driven by online porn?

    When I was that age we were obsessed with porn, too. Everybody knew whose dad had a skin mag, some had their own secret stash. My friend and I on our way to junior high in 1978 found 3 porno mags in the street. Two were issues of Hustler and one was called "Double Cunt Fucker", a hardcore mag that had penetration, a 3-way and jiz shots. Probably average for what's online.

    The problem with porn is that it's only appealing because society can't get a grip on sexuality.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > and one was called "Double Cunt Fucker"

      Bizarre but that was actually David Cameron's nickname at Eton

  • by Fnord666 ( 889225 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @07:34AM (#50221859) Journal
    I don't think Cameron understands how this whole "internet" thing works.
  • How about parents taking some responsibility here.

    There's been porn on the Internet as long as there's been an Internet and I doubt that will ever stop.

    Educate your kids to these risks the same as you would educate them for any other risks and they'll police themselves better than any end site will be able to.

  • We should focus on child pornography manufactured by the ruling elite.

    Kiddy porn is the fabric of the web that binds the corrupt establishment together.

    John DeCamp's expose The Franklin Cover-Up [amazon.com] is an incredible read on the subject.

    Also, Conspiracy of Silence [youtube.com] is a (banned) documentary on the subject.
  • Skewed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @08:40AM (#50222201)

    A recent Childline poll found nearly 10% of 12-13-year-olds were worried they were addicted to pornography

    Because you told them that because they looked at one image in a magazine that they were addicted. You set them up to answer that way, likely by saying 'Are you addicted to porn' while shaking your head yes at them suggestively.

    A 12-13 year old has no fucking clue what addiction is, even if they were. I'm fairly certain based on its usage here that no one involved in the study or conversation about the study knows what addiction actually is to.

    Infatuation is not addiction morons.

    18% had seen shocking or upsetting images.

    Actually its 100%, but the other 82% were smart enough not to mention the shit they've seen mommy and daddy do. The real world sucks, if they can't cope with 'upsetting images' then porn is the least of your concern and hiding the kid in a card board box for the rest of his/her life so they don't have to survive on their own might be your best bet.

    As a result of our work with industry, more than 90% of UK consumers are offered the choice to easily configure their internet service through family-friendly filters

    And 0% Use it because the parents aren't the ones that are freaked out about their kids looking at porn.

    How sad is your world view when you think see two people do something entirely natural and REQUIRED FOR THE SURVIVAL OF OUR SPECIES and it offends you. And then to top it off, you have to freak out and project your personal issues with seeing boobies on to 12-13 year olds and convince them they are 'addicted' to something. 12-14 year olds are addicted to EVERYTHING THATS TABOO. If you told them it was dirty and sexual to brush their teeth 4 times a day, England would suddenly have the worlds healthiest teeth in the 12-13 year old group.

    This kind of ignorance is spewed from some jack ass who doesn't have a kid (or isn't actually a parent to the kid) and doesn't realize that it will actually make MORE kids look at MORE porn.

    How the fuck do people get old and totally forget what being a kid was like. It blows me away.

  • ... Bubba!

    It's called "parenthood."

  • They should also put checks to see if you are narrow minded. That should catch some of the politicians.

  • by clonehappy ( 655530 ) on Friday July 31, 2015 @08:58AM (#50222295)

    If this wasn't more blatant political pandering and yet another attempt to censor the Internet by the fucking Brits, I would ask whether or not anyone is smart enough to realize that the world is a scary place. We don't let kids wander around aimlessly in real life, we have designated areas, usually our own homes, the homes of trusted friends and neighbors, schools, etc. where children are allowed to be and operate with minimal controls.

    When we take children to the city, or the store, or anywhere else that Bad Things Can Happen(tm), they are closely supervised and monitored. Now, I realize that that's impossible on the Internet. So, instead of trying to get some kind of verification method, tld, or whatever not-gonna-work flavor of the week they can come up with, why not just have a ".kids" tld or something that only has approved kiddy-friendly bullshit then set up your connections so that's all the kids can get to? All the big sites could set up .kids friendly pages, so there wouldn't be a need for anyone under, say, 12, to go anywhere else. And 13+, they're practically adults anyway and can handle the unfettered internet.

    It would be so much easier to set up a whitelist than any of these half-cocked identity schemes for political brownie points, but again this is all about pandering and censorship, not protecting children, so no real solution will ever be put in place as the regulators don't want their favorite bogeyman to disappear.

  • A recent Childline poll found nearly 10% of 12-13-year-olds were worried they were addicted to pornography and 18% had seen shocking or upsetting images.

    Kids going through puberty find porn interesting. News at 11.

    I'd say the percentage of kids that have seen "shocking or upsetting images" is a good approximation of 100%. The other 82% are merely lying about it. It's impossible to even turn on the evening news without seeing shocking or upsetting images. I welcome the day when I no longer have to hear any more ads for boner pills. Try explaining that one to a 6 year old.

  • This is attempting to put another nail on the anonymity of the Internet. The most obvious answer to verifying age (and identity), is coincidentally using a CC that will identify you (and no, back in my country we do not have any anonymous equivalent). Between that, and talking about abolishing encryption, we all know where this is heading. An heavily controlled and censored, sanitised version of Internet, at least on the uk. Soon they will put a CCTV on top of your computer, which you are not allowed to cov

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