Thursday, December 20, 2012

This is no victory

The Mail seems to believe that it's campaign to get the government to censor the internet for parents rather than parents doing it for themselves is a good thing. You'd think that by now people would have realised that giving any government control of something usually leads to unforeseen circumstances such as the government using the legislation in ways that no one ever anticipated.
Children will be protected by a block on online pornography which parents will have to choose to have lifted, David Cameron vows today.
After weeks of confusion over the Government’s plans to protect youngsters, the Prime Minister makes clear that under the proposals, web filters will be ‘default on’ for houses with children.
In an article for the Daily Mail, the Prime Minister says it is ‘utterly appalling’ that so many children have been exposed to the ‘darkest corners’ of the internet, adding: ‘A silent attack on innocence is under way in our country today and I am determined that we fight it with all we’ve got.’
He announces that Conservative MP Claire Perry, who has led the campaign for a broader, automatic block on adult material for all internet users, is to be appointed as his adviser on reversing the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood.
She will be in charge of implementing the new web filter system, which will also require internet providers to check the age of the person setting controls.
Anyone remember the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act? Remember how we were told it was 'necessary' in the fight against terrorism to be used to monitor suspected terrorists? Remember also the use it was put too in checking litter bin use, peoples locations vis school catchment areas...
Derby City Council, Bolton, Gateshead and Hartlepool all used RIPA powers to snoop on dog fouling, and Bolton used powers under the Act to investigate littering.
The most prolific user of the Act in 2008 was Durham County Council which used the legislation 131 times almost exclusively against traders suspected of selling counterfeit goods or suspected of selling age-restricted products to kids.
Anyone want to bet that as soon as the government can force ISP's to censor their content that the range of content that can actually be censored will increase to the point where any criticism of the government or anything they don't want us to see is included?
Think we'd discover about MP's expense scandals, Islamic grooming gangs, social services 'disasters' even mention of the family courts scandal?
Well we would, though we'd have to go via various unblocked sites (probably based abroad) to get it. It's not like the UK's attempt to block the Pirate Bay was terribly successful. I'm pretty sure that most bloggers and other net savvy individuals will find things out, but ordinary people???
Asking governments to take on powers it really ought not to have is a recipe of disaster because there is always mission creep and frankly politicians cannot be trusted, one government might initially behave itself but the next one?
The Mail may be crowing about victory, but this is no victory at all, they've just campaigned for the government to have the power to censor them.

3 annotations:

The Jannie said...

Mission creep will undoubtedly be the result of their creepy mission.

selsey.steve said...

I've worked for a couple of County police Forces in a civilian capacity, after retiring from a proper Police Force overseas.
To get a RIPA to watch the home of a recently released prolific burglar took 2-3 weeks, and permission had to be given by a totally uninterested Superintendent. Times and hours of observations had to be noted and could not exceed a legally mandated maximum.
What was the work-around?
Call the local Council Office and speak to a particular clerk. He'd give us a perfectly legal RIPA authorisation (that he signed, quite legally) for six or eight named individuals to watch certain premises for some spurious reason. No time limit, no defined hours of observation. Nothing. No restrictions at all.
This attempt to control internet access by a portion of the population is doomed to a)fail (because all Government IT systems fail), and b)the kids will be round the blockage about twenty seconds after it;s been put in (if ever it is).
Just google 'proxy servers' and see.

banned said...

Last I heard Cameron had rejected these calls to censor the internet (Beeb radio 2 last week) but if he was serious about "reversing the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood" he might start with the muck and filth that comes out of that self-same BBC itself.