UK Porn Censorship

The latest censorship measures that our glorious leader of the nanny state is implementing have largely gone unnoticed due to the somewhat disproportional
reporting of the royal baby. To the cries of 'think of the children', that age old tactic of causing hysteria and muddying the issue: David Cameron has declared that the UK by default will block all pornographic material...
 But only on the internet as magazines with political power, like the Sun, have been left to their own devices. This alone shows that this is a political move and not a moral one being enacted by the glorious leader, in order to gain votes amongst the right wing of his party who do not understand the Internet and are therefore afraid of what they don't understand.

Following this I Alexandre Rodriguez have taken it upon myself to explain to everyone why this plan is A) stupid and B) completely pointless.


5 Reasons why it shouldn’t happen.


Perhaps first and foremost what I should point out is that this is Country wide censorship of the Internet. When did the UK become China or the Middle East? This policy lands the UK in dangerous territory how long will it be before our leader decides which political material is appropriate for children? How long before people have to pay money to a company for their website to be on a white list?

2) Criminalisation of sexuality

Perhaps one of the most dangerous trends emerging out of this will be the criminalisation of sexuality. As stated by multiple people in support of this legislation many people guilty of sex crimes and child abuse had “normal” pornography on their computers. This is a classic case of post hoc ergo propter hoc. You would be hard pressed to find a significant proportion of people in the computer generation who have not seen porn and were not all out committing sex crimes. In fact it has been shown that where there is greater access to porn the instances of sex crimes reduces. Sex is part of the human experience after centuries of treating it as base and inhuman it's time we as a society had a grown up attitude to sex.

3) Perv Lists
The criminalisation of sexuality in itself is scary, combined with the inevitable “Perv” lists is a terrifying thought. As the access to porn is being blocked unless you “opt in” it means that somewhere ISP's will have lists of people that want to access porn. How long will it be before there is a cry to 'think of the children' and make these lists public so parents can protect their children from the “sexual deviants” of society. It is a dangerous road our glorious and noble leader is taking us down.

4) Double Standards

Saying that the internet needs to be restricted so that kids don't stumble across porn is like saying that the government needs to pay to get a lock installed on every parents bedroom in case their kids walk into the room and accidentally sees them having sex. But this should be obvious to everyone; the parents are responsible for that matter. The main question I want answered, is why the print media gets a pass on providing for our sex crazed teenagers.

5) Not wanted

The most curious aspect of this plan of Cameron's is that it is wanted only 21% of parents wanted this measure introduced. So who exactly is this meant to be for?

Now that I have briefly discussed why these plans should not go ahead lets look at why these plans serve no purpose other than to alienate and criminalise large amounts of society.

5 reasons why it won't work.


First and foremost the obvious point about why this filter will not work is that any VPN will get around it. The vast majority of you reading this will know what a VPN is and of that number I would hazard a guess that a decent proportion of you have one, and you like me are wondering why no one in the mainstream media seems to be mentioning this glaring hole in Cameron's plan. For those of you that don't know what a VPN is, if your British I would say it's time to learn. A VPN is essentially a link established through your ISP to another system in another country which then access what you point your browser to. This bypasses all the filters put in place. Its effectiveness can be demonstrated with how quickly after The Pirate Bay was banned in the UK its traffic was at an all time high.

Type into google free VPNs and you will see how massively futile this proposal is.
Go now... this article will still be here when you get back!

The Majority of internet users in countries where Porn is banned have a VPN for the purpose of accessing porn amongst other banned content.

2) Proxies

Ah proxies that age old source of internet anonymity. Similar in many superficial ways to a VPN a Proxy acts as an intermediary between the User and the desired content bypassing filters. This can also be seen in full effect with the Pirate bay. After the ban of The pirate bay, hundreds of proxies sprung up overnight to reconnect people to The bay and did so in huge numbers. As one proxy is closed down by the government and blocked, hundreds more spring up in its place. It is the Virtual equivalent of battling a Hydra.

3) Technologically Savy Kids

First and foremost- really? An ISP based filter? Each generation of kids are become more and more technologically savvy. In fact, the Government is trying to increase the technological skills in our children so that they can meet demands from the industry. So what is going to happen in lessons at school when things such as VPNs and proxies, key elements in the modern work place, need to be taught? What happens when the kids need to learn how things such as filters work? Do you seriously think that teenage boys are not going to use the crucial IT skills they are developing at school and in every day life to look at boobs on the internet? Perhaps we should ban the teaching of crucial skills that may lead to teenagers bypassing filters. The scary thought is, that it wouldn't surprise me. It must be easier and cheaper just to get parents to sit down and have a open and frank discussion about internet porn with their kids like mine did.

4) Ineffective filters.

Filters are essentially a list of no go sights that are enforced across a network. As with all lists the biggest problem is what goes on it and what doesn't. The Majority of content on the internet is porn and more is being added every day. How does the Government plan on keeping this list up to date? The staffing alone to generate and maintain this list will be huge,  even if workers are using software to determine what sites to ban and what not to. The software in itself is going to cause problems; how will it determine from sites that provide sexual health advise and porn? What about some of our favourite mainstream television shows? Is True Blood's website going to be banned because there are naked sex scenes in the show? What about the legitimate sites that host shows like that, are Netflix, 4od and BBC Iplayer going to be black listed? What about sites like Cosmopolitan and Men's Health are they going to be banned? Obviously not because they'll issue all kinds of lawsuits and send armies of lawyers to solve the problem, but what about the people that host sites of a similar nature that can't afford an army of lawyers? Do they just have to shut up and put up with being banned? That's the problem with censorship, it effects those with the smallest voice the most.

5) Porn Finds a Way

Porn is part of Human nature. Our desire to see images of that nature is hard coded into our brains as a result of the biological imperative to reproduce. People, especially sexually frustrated teenagers, will always seek out pornography and while there is a demand for it- it will always exist. Something the prohibitionists don't seem to understand. The technological world will meet the challenge the Government is issuing and porn will be just as easily accessible as it has always been. Even when porn was illegal in America long before the internet, people and teenagers were accessing it. If this is as effective as the Government hopes, spoiler it wont be, it's just going to move porn back to paper and it's going to go back to the days of old where kids have physical porn stashes instead of virtual ones.

To finish- whilst the cries of 'the children, the children' echo our Orwellian country, it is important to have a mature, sensible discussion on this issue before decisions are made in an attempt to seize votes.