Cameron calls for internet porn ban@ 2012/06/29
The man who leaves his kid in a pub thinks that children will be safer if porn is auto-banned in the UK.
Under Cameron's cunning plan, when you sign up for an internet account, you will have to confess to the nice young woman at the call centre that you really want to use your connection to see porn. It is not clear if you have to specify what sort of porn you want.
Cameron's idea is that no gentleman would do such a thing, and people will be too embarrassed to opt in.
Cameron's crack team of expense fiddlers, or ministers as he likes to call them, are suggesting that the great unwashed should automatically be barred from accessing unsuitable adult material unless they actually choose to view it.
Also banned will be sites that promote suicide, anorexia, self-harm, talking about MP's expenses and voting Labour. Actually, we made the last two up, but given that you will never know what a Tory minister thinks the list could be anything from terrorists to Jeremy Paxman.
Of course, this censorship is being done under the idea that they are somehow protecting kids from paedophiles. This is a blanket cry for everything stupid that the government does these days. We suspect that PR spinners have already packaged the U-turn on the 3p fuel duty rise and the subsequent mauling by Paxo on the telly as caused by a rise in paedophilia in the UK.
Tory MP Claire Perry is doing her best to make the restrictions happen. She is spinning this under the title "active choice".
Like most terrible ideas this one comes from the puritan United States. There it is called the "Nudge" theory which means that people will do as they are told if a truly open internet was made tricky to get. We think the term comes from Monty Python because it means you will have to ring up your local ISP and say "I would like an internet connection, nudge, nudge, wink, wink".
BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky have reluctantly signed up to a code of practice, offering customers a choice of whether to apply filters. But it is entirely optional.
The strange thing is that ministers know that such technology is not effective. The Pirate Bay proved that people can still get hold of banned sites if they want to.
Children's minister Tim Loughton told the BBC parents do not feel in control of what their families are exposed to online. They want to take responsibility, but they find the technology too difficult, or their kids are too bright and ignore them.
Loughton said that automatic filtering risks lulling parents into a false sense of security and thinks that the answer lies in finding ways to combine technical solutions with better education. Of course, since the education cuts, the chances of kids getting a better education is unlikely.
PM David Cameron said that he wanted to explore every option that might help make children safer. In his case that might mean either chaining his child to his wrist or leaving his child in the pub permanently so that it is not psychologically scarred by having Cameron for a dad, who thinks it is a good idea to ban porn.