There\’s a problem with this though Dave

The Prime Minister is to announce a Government-backed code of conduct which will mean that pornography is blocked in public spaces such as cafes and railway stations where children are likely to be present.

Mr Cameron said that he wanted “good, clean WiFi” in public spaces which would give parents confidence that their children cannot access illicit websites on smart phones or mobile computers.

The Prime Minister said: “We are promoting good, clean, WiFi in local cafes and elsewhere to make sure that people have confidence in public WiFi systems so that they are not going to see things they shouldn’t.”

It\’s over defining what porn is.

For example, this blog is blocked by Vodafone Mobile for being \”adult\” in content (I assume a euphemism for porn) because I have a penchant for calling politicians cunts.

Similarly, someone who sets up a grumble flick site will only be defined as porn once someone gets around to doing so. So porn will be available, whatever you do, and not porn will be banned, similarly, whatever you do.

But never mind, you\’ve got the headline now, everyone know\’s you\’re going to strive mightily to protect the kiddies. However ineffectively, you cunt.

44 thoughts on “There\’s a problem with this though Dave”

  1. Camoron is a useless scumbag. With all the shite that is flushing the western world , let alone the UK, down the bog and all he can do is extrude bullshit sound bites about the cleansing of Internet cafes. I thought Inet cafes were dying anyway because of smartphones etc–and how many kids below puberty go into such cafes on their own anyway?

  2. @Mr Ecks, there is also a powerful agenda out there to protect those of age from the grotesque evils of watching consenting adults doing what comes naturally.

  3. There is one consolation … very little of what Dave says is going to happen, actually happens.

  4. also, at least one of the major mobile operators based its entire business case for bidding colossal amounts on the 3G licences on two revenue streams – sports clips and porn. Sports clips aren’t making any money…

  5. Offshore Observer

    “Baby you and me aint nothing but mammals so lets do it like they do on the discovery channel.”

    Can I still listen to the Bloodhound Gang on my ipod in a public place or should I check with number 10 first?

  6. There’s something about the words “good, clean…” anything that make me immediately and irrationally depressed. It almost always promises at best monstrous tedium punctuated by tranquil gloom, and at worst a puritannical witch hunt.

    In any case, anyone who would rather have “good clean” WiFi than “fast, cheap” WiFi is clearly a prick.

  7. OK, impractical, authoritarian etc. But, I do have a bit of a problem with my kids* being able to access websites that show women being spat on, tied up and buggered, and generally treated like sexual playthings.

    I know they’ve probably all consented, they’re getting paid, whatever, but I think it’s foolish to assume that this will have no impact on the minds, and behaviour, of some of those viewing it.

    What the answer is I’m not sure.

    *We monitor their web usage at home, insofar as is humanly possible, but there are times when we can’t.

  8. Interested,

    There’s lots of nicer porn out there too. Try steering them in that direction. Actually, are you sure they’re looking at the nasty rather than the nice? I’m inclined to think that the people who watch the nasty already have that in mind, kind of thing.

  9. Interested: Being able to access those kind of sites is the price we have to pay for a politically neutral Internet.

  10. @IanB – they’re not even teenagers yet, so I won’t be steering them towards any kind of porn.

    I quite understand that there’s lots of vanilla porn out there, and doubtless they will find it eventually, but I dispute that people only watch the nasty stuff ‘if they already have it in mind’.

    Firstly, it’s hard to avoid some of the nasty stuff, particularly if it’s sent to you.

    Secondly, that doesn’t chime with human nature, which is towards the curious end of the spectrum.

    As I said, I’m not sure what the answer is (and I accept that some people don’t even accept there is a problem). But not knowing the answer is never a reason not to ponder the question.

  11. Surreptitious Evil

    But, Interested – that is entirely your rights as the purchaser of the internet connection. To have it used for those purposes you approve of. And, it could be argued, your moral responsibility as a parent to ensure that your children are no more exposed to “the nasty stuff” than they are given unsupervised access to sulphuric acid drain cleaner, fast cars, bottles of single malt or, in a less repressive society than ours, loaded handguns.

    However, there is a difference between that and the government imposing that choice not just on your kids but on you.

    Never mind the technical point that it isn’t achievable to anything like the order a sensible person might consider reasonable (given the premise that the block is going to be instituted – it is only rational as anything other than a publicity stunt if it is effective), never mind the perfection that the various special interest ‘think of the poor little children’ groups will insist on.

  12. Lets just pray to god that the little darlings don’t know how to use a proxy server or a VPN, otherwise the good intentions of Mr. Cameron will be just so much pish-and-wind.

    Blocking porn on wifi will just goad the little devils into a technological arms race and when you have an asymmetry of forces such as this one expect spotty sex crazed teenagers to be streets ahead of a lumbering and incompetent bureaucracy.

    Go spotty teens!

  13. Quite so, SE.

    What never ceases to amaze me though is the number of people who fail to appreciate the Proggie strategy of “we just want this” and then “we just want this next thing” and “we just want this next thing” and so on, and take each such step at face value. Overton Window, boiling frog, etc etc. That’s the really dispiriting thing, for me.

  14. @SE – I did make the point that it’s literally impossible for me to control what my kids see at all times. They’re away at school two thirds of the year!

    As they get older, of course, I will want to do this less and less anyway.

    The connection you make with sulphuric acid drain cleaner, fast cars, bottles of single malt or loaded handguns is interesting – these are things that ‘society’ does currently prohibit kids from getting their hands on.

    If Sainsbury’s sold my kids a bottle of single malt they would be in a lot of trouble, and regular spot checks are carried out by the Old Bill.

    On the other hand, it is an offence under s12 Sexual Offences Act 2003 to share sexual material with person under 16, but it goes on pretty much unchecked.

    I know, it’s not an easy argument, it’s not technically easy, I hate the ‘for the children’ groups as much as anyone; all I am saying is that technology is changing things very quickly, and it’s worth thinking about the effects of that on human beings who are evolving less rapidly.

  15. Well, if you’re not even raising your own children, I find it hard to understand how you think you can control them. Isn’t that the job of the loco parentis?

  16. @IanB …What never ceases to amaze me though is the number of people who fail to appreciate the Proggie strategy of “we just want this” and then “we just want this next thing” and “we just want this next thing” and so on, and take each such step at face value…

    But everything is on a continuum? We accept some kids of behaviour, we don’t accept others, and there’s often a point at which they merge.

    As I have said, I understand the difficulties with this subject – defining ‘nasty’ porn being just one. It’s probably insoluble, so the argument is lost before it begins – doesn’t stop it being an interesting argument.

  17. @IanB …Well, if you’re not even raising your own children, I find it hard to understand how you think you can control them. Isn’t that the job of the loco parentis?…

    Eh? Of course I’m raising them. But short of locking them, in the house and only allowing them to use a device synched to mine I can’t really fully police their internet use.

    It’s the same with booze; of course responsible parents could stop their under 18s ever drinking alcohol, but it would involve such draconian actions that the kids would be taken into care. (essentially, the only way to guarantee this would be to prevent them from going to school.)

    Which is why we’re in a partnership, as parents, with the cops and the retailers.

  18. Surreptitious Evil

    of course responsible parents could stop their under 18s ever drinking alcohol

    I fundamentally disagree. Part of responsible parenting is making sure that children can handle dangerous things before they are allowed to do it independently. So moderate, controlled drinking of alcohol before 18, under parental supervision, isn’t irresponsible – it is sensible.

    ‘society’ does currently prohibit kids …

    … it is an offence under s12 Sexual Offences Act 2003

    I would suggest that ‘sharing’ and ‘intentionally causes to watch’ are not identical in legal meaning. Even given the ‘mere carrier’ exemption for some digital service providers. But you are complaining about the lack of policing, not about the lack of forbidding.

  19. Interested-

    Sorry, confused now. You said you send them away to school for 2/3 of the year. I presumed you meant they’re boarding somewhere, which would mean they have to be policed by their school because they’re literally beyond your control in that situation. Sorry if I misunderstood.

  20. @SE …I fundamentally disagree… moderate, controlled drinking of alcohol before 18, under parental supervision, isn’t irresponsible…

    Yes, badly worded on my part. I meant, parents who want to. (I agree re kids and booze.)

    You’re right re the difference on s12, and about the exemptions for ISPs, but a child can clearly be caused to watch something which is emailed to him ie shared.

    My point was really more about the way the law is trying to keep up with the developing picture.

  21. “a child can clearly be caused to watch something which is emailed to him ie shared”

    Well yes. Kids encounter pornography either:
    1) because they look for it
    2) because their same-aged mates email it to them
    3) because nonces email it to them

    s12 is aimed at case #3, and is regularly used (usually in combination with indecency/grooming/possession-of-child-porn charges, because it’d be an unusual nonce who emailed porn to kids without any of the other factors occurring).

    Presumably I don’t need to explain how breathtakingly stupid and counterproductive it would be to use s12 in case #2?

  22. At this point it’s worth reminding ourselves again that the crusaders aren’t really interested in specifics like whether the porn is nice or nasty, or nonces, or anything else like that. The aim is a total ban, because they just don’t like porn. You could make the nicest, sweetest, most PC porn possible, and they’d still want it banned. That is the beginning and end of this crusade, as it was during the First Wave.

    So that’s why it always seems to me to be irrelevant for persons of good will to debate the specifics as we are all invariably lured into doing, as with this thread. The Proggies do not care about these things. They’re just edging towards Prohibition. Because that’s what they do, and all they do.

  23. JohnB, you don’t need to, no.

    Because the authorities busily criminalising children in the USA for sexting won’t listen to you anyway.

    Have we done this over here yet? If not, we probably will soon…

  24. JohnB – you’re probably right there, though there are lots of areas of the law where sex and age are important irrespective even of the consent of the individuals. A case in point would be sexting – it is an offence to take, hold or share ‘indecent’ photos of anyone under 18, including between 18 year olds.

    I appreciate this is off topic a bit, but for intellectual interest purposes, what would you say about a 19-year-old bloke sending his 15-year-old girlfriend of three weeks clips from a rape video?

  25. I’ve slowly realised that when he said he wanted to be “heir to Blair”, he didn’t realise that Blair was a conman whose majority gradually faded away.

    He really thought that the way Blair conducted himself was the way to govern a country.

    He’s now one of the few, well, 600 odd, people who think this way.

    Hence the endless daily spew of what Dave’s going to do.

    The only comfort is that if Dave says it will happen, the chances of it becoming true are nil.

  26. @IanB Rape is illegal.

    Yes – though I’m not suggesting he is the rapist. I should have been clearer: a video *purporting to show rape*. But if you prefer, a video where a consenting woman is tied to a bed and slapped and spat on while multiple men have sex with her?

  27. Surreptitious Evil

    Strictly, sexting in the UK is only illegal if you are not married or living together as partners. Although I imagine the comms provider wouldn’t be too happy.

    And although sexting is clearly considered to be an issue in the UK by the authorities, I’m not aware of any prosecutions to date.

  28. Well, I downloaded a video from the internet the other day; terrible thing. People killing each other, blood everywhere, one man got his hand chopped off, and they dragged off the woman guarding him to be raped, then there was this guy, strapped to a cross, they were ripping his toes off, lawks. And there was this guy who rapes his daughters and feeds the infant sons to zombies.

    Then I found out it was just pretend, so I’m looking forward to the next episode of Game Of Thrones.

    Something should be done about this kind of filth, obviously.

  29. @IanB a variant on the ‘have you read the Bible argument’.

    If you had – say – eight year old kids, would you let them watch that?

    I should stress, if it isn’t been clear already, which I think it should be, that I’m in the familiar position here of arguing a case I don’t believe in absolutely fervently.

    I come down on the side of thinking there’s some sort of a problem. I’m not absolutely sure what it is, or how to deal with it, or if it should be dealt with. I’m really disputing the certainty that only ‘statists’ or ‘killjoys’, neither of which I am, can have any kind of view on this other than ‘anything goes’.

  30. Interested-

    Dunno, it would depend on the eight year olds I guess.

    The problem with “problems” is deciding whether there really is a problem, and how serious it is. And I really don’t think there is a problem. I wouldn’t sit kids down in front of porn, but neither do I think there is any reason to believe that they will be harmed if they do see some; indeed, I generally ask in these debates what the specific harmful effect is supposed to be, and nobody ever answers that.

    I don’t think kids are harmed by violent stories either. They may be upset by them, but that is why they should not be forced to watch, say, Spartacus, but I don’t think an eight year old watching Spartacus would suffer some harm, whtever it is supposed to be, from watching it.

    There are lots of things various parents may not desire their children to be exposed to. Some- the vast majority, only a few decades ago- would not want their children anywhere near gays. Others may object to them being in the company of other races. Many might not want them exposed to other religions or, in the militatn atheist case, any religion at all. Because in each of these cases, of a perceived undesirable influence of some kind. Parents have a right to do what they wish to “protect” their children from these things. But that does not mean such protection is useful or valid, even if every parent in the country doesn’t want their children to be exposed to gay african muslims, or what have you. Or porn.

    We know that, historically, this all began as a moral crusade. The reason was clear; the promotion of “chastity”. Nobody believes in that any more, but are left with a vague sense of “something wrong” and grasp at whatever they can, usually adopting Feminist narratives about porn promoting violence and girls being naive virgins dragged into bed by rapacious boys.

    I think the whole panic is an utter waste of time, frankly. We can try to guide our children, but ultimately they will do lots of things we don’t want them to do, as they always have, and it may be time to just get real about that, rather than demanding draconian action from the State to solve problems that, in all probability, simply don’t exist.

  31. @IanB Yes, I do take your points. But.

    I think the jury is out and will be out for some time as to what the effect is on relatively young and immature children, growing up in unstable families, viewing violent porn.

    I suspect, given the apparent plasticity of the human mind, and its propensity to imitation, it will eventually be shown to be *a bad thing*.

    Re this:

    …Nobody believes in [chastity] any more, but are left with a vague sense of “something wrong”…

    I disagree, though not to the extent that the Puritans did. I certainly believe in it for my daughters, for start!

    I think a reasonable (define) level of sexual activity between teenagers is inevitable, and has always gone on; most kids in my milieu are probably not that different in behaviour to how I behaved.

    But there really was something to be said for it being hard to get into a girl’s pants – the feeling of triumph, for one thing – and for a negative parental reaction if you were caught.

    In some modern circles, things do appear to be a bit more lax, and it’s no good pretending that this has no consequences.

    Sex is not like any other human activity, like eating or urinating. It just isn’t.

    It creates very strong emotions which have all sorts of effects; it leads to unwanted pregnancy and abortion; various cancers are now thought to be spread sexually (penile, anal, vulval, oropharyngeal) as a result of HPV transer during sex.

    (In 2011, the Journal of Clinical Oncology estimated that HPV will cause more oropharyngeal cancers than cervical cancers in the United States by the end of this decade.)

    I think chastity – I’m aware of the negative connotations – will make a bit of a comeback.

  32. Interested,

    “I come down on the side of thinking there’s some sort of a problem. I’m not absolutely sure what it is, or how to deal with it, or if it should be dealt with. I’m really disputing the certainty that only ‘statists’ or ‘killjoys’, neither of which I am, can have any kind of view on this other than ‘anything goes’.”

    Fair point.

    There is a problem of protecting children who aren’t looking for this stuff finding it as opposed to 15 year old boys who go hunting for porn who will always find it. It’s not exactly good for them, but they’re already sexually mature.

    In terms of protecting kids from inadvertently getting porn, I think we’re actually about covered. PCs? Takes 10 minutes to set up on a PC or Mac, with separate accounts. The argument of Claire Perry that it’s all too complex is bollocks. People who are that stupid should throw their PC away.

    Phones, a way of kids using internet unsupervised, are locked down anyway and require a credit card transaction to unlock.

    Internet cafes are generally locked down anyway. Certainly McDonalds and Starbucks won’t allow it. Now, sure, a 15 year old boy might find a cafe where he can get porn, but we’re not saying that’s the problem. So, as parents, just take them into McDonalds or Starbucks and you’ll be fine.

    In summary: everything that you need to worry about is covered by the market and reasonable parenting in terms of porn. Gov doesn’t need to get involved.

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