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Web Filter for law-abiding adults

Protect, but not censor
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A recent legal case here in the UK attempted to link the use of extreme pornography with rape and murder. As a result, there have been calls here to ban access to such sites.

Troublingly though, who decides what is 'extreme'? With child pornography, it's possibly clear what's illegal and what's offensive-but-legal, but with violent porn, it's harder to decide. It will be one person's judgement against another's. The government will be checking internet logs for downloads from these sites, but will not be letting the public know which sites they deem to be offensive.

I would favour a browser toolbar which links to a governmental list for your country. Like a pop-up blocker, it will block access to sites deemed illegal in your country. It protects those innocently stumbling across such material, further, it stops those innadvertantly using material that he/she may believe is ok, but the government do not.

Summary : A browser toolbar that blocks access to sites deemed illegal in your country, powered by a governmental (federal or state) masterlist.

jonthegeologist, Sep 11 2005

(?) Spiked: Indecent proposals http://www.spiked-o...le/0000000CAD3E.htm
"It's not just perverts who should be worried about the government's proposed ban on violent pornography." [jutta, Sep 11 2005]

[link]






       Please yourself. Personally I feel I abdicate enough responsibility to the government and am unwilling to let them dictate where I wander. Besides, if the government had this nailed down how would kazaa etc. have lasted so long? Can't help feeling trust placed in the government with respect to t'internet is misplaced.
moomintroll, Sep 11 2005
  

       [moomintroll]. I have very little trust in the government with respect to the internet *but* they, and the police, are the legislative body and thus, if they say 'no', then 'no' it is. I'm not asking them to act as a moral guardian, but of course that's effectively what they are.   

       I'm simply asking for a warning or even a block to stop users going to web pages that *they* deem we shouldn't. If their rules on internet access apply, which they do, why not just tell us which sites they state are unacceptable? Fair's fair.
jonthegeologist, Sep 11 2005
  

       "Warning: your government may not approve of the contents of this site" sort of thing? Hmm. Depends what grounds they disapproved of it. "Warning: this site infringes decency laws in your country" would probably not bother me - until I'd actually gone and had a look and realized how permissive the state really is...   

       It's a good idea, but I'm still a bit ambivalent.
moomintroll, Sep 11 2005
  

       // "Warning: this site infringes decency laws in your country" // Exactly. Now, this toolbar acts exactly like a pop-up blocker. You then make the *choice* to go and unblock it, but you do so at your own legal risk.
jonthegeologist, Sep 11 2005
  

       The legislation in question is a terrible idea, and I'm surprised you'd want anything to do with it.
jutta, Sep 11 2005
  

       Totally agree that the proposed legislation is a farce, but that said, the law is likely to be enforced. This tool is not to *enforce* the law, rather, allow users to keep on the right side of it.
jonthegeologist, Sep 11 2005
  

       here goes : The government believes a list of [x] sites are illegal according to the new law. It publishes a list - this is new.   

       This list is used by the toolbar. It warns interneters that they are about to go to a website deemed illegal. You may not agree, you can still visit if you wish. However, the police believe it to be illegal and will be prosecuting if you visit.   

       It would not be impossible. It simply relies on the police publishing a list of urls that it will prosecute against. This list, whilst dynamic, already exists since they use it when performing checks via ISPs. The change here is making it public and making it useable by a toolbar.
jonthegeologist, Sep 11 2005
  

       Thanks [jutta], interesting article. Leaving aside the horrendous fact of an investigation which prompted 33 innocent people to commit suicide, it's an important question, whether the act of simply looking at something should be illegal.   

       I dunno. Looking at something might be an important precursor to doing something naughty (stalking, spying, doing bad things to children, etc.), but I'm having difficulty finding a situation where it should be illegal in itself. I agree with the author of that article that we're really straying into precrime territory here.   

       Therefore, I find it difficult to care whether the government disapproves of my reading matter. Which brings me full circle, to: please yourself.
moomintroll, Sep 11 2005
  

       If you are really bothered as a government I would suggest getting your heads together with other governments and tackling the internet sources.
This, of course, is too difficult.
gnomethang, Sep 11 2005
  

       // I find it difficult to care whether the government disapproves of my reading matter // you'll care when you get arrested for it, that being my point.   

       I don't wish to debate the whys and wherefores of the practicality of the law, whether viewing material is a precursor to committing a crime or even if viewing material should be a crime in itself. The reality is, it *will* be a crime. This tool I hope allows people who wish to be completely law abiding, to be so, even if they believe the law is an ass. It's like an internet speed camera detector.
jonthegeologist, Sep 11 2005
  

       if there was such a thing, would it sooner (probably than later) become mandatory in itself?   

       in the meantime, not possessing one would indicate your guilty intentions.
po, Sep 11 2005
  

       Will not work.   

       (Sorry for being so brief but there are just too many reasons to list - and I feel my blood pressure rising for some unknown reason)
ixnaum, Sep 11 2005
  

       I'm not sure governments decide on matters of taste and decency - juries do.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Sep 11 2005
  

       The underlying problem is that violent pornography *does* inspire acts of violence and murder. The Moors murderers were infamously inspired by de Sade's writings, for example.   

       The key issue is how to distinguish the "normal" portion of the population who can read de Sade, say, and be either amused or appalled, but otherwise unmoved, from the "abnormal" portion, who will read such books and become further depraved.
DrCurry, Sep 11 2005
  

       Ironically, if I had my druthers, people who think they can separate "normal" people form "abnormal" people - especially when it comes to sex - simply wouldn't be allowed to participate in public discourse. Teams in hazmat suits would pop from the ceiling like something in Monsters, Inc. and gently relocate them to fenced-in meadows with no sharp objects where they could mill about and give speeches to each other.   

       If we're truly making it a crime to engage in communication that inspired acts of violence and murder, churches and polititians have a major problem on their hands.
ping, Sep 12 2005
  

       I'm not at all sure I like the new vagueislation, nor the principle of getting permission for what I read and watch. I will however bun this as a good attempt to navigate a very difficult field.
wagster, Sep 12 2005
  

       I’m guessing that none of you guys live in the Middle East. I am so used to visiting sites that are blocked by the national service providers. Literally, anything to do with sex or gambling is blocked. Including, until recently and not surprisingly the website of Scunthorpe United Football Club.
benindubai, Sep 12 2005
  

       [benindubai] Anything on Clitheroe, Lancashire?
coprocephalous, Sep 12 2005
  

       D'oh! Having mentioned that, I doubt you'll find [benindubai] permitted back to this page to comment...
david_scothern, Sep 12 2005
  

       Scunthorpe? not surprising if you think about it.
po, Sep 12 2005
  

       I think this is a good idea. Same as we cannot buy books and magazines about violent sex acts, it should be made impossible to download. We should leave the discussion of exactly what is made illegal to the politicians, we can vote.
zeno, Sep 12 2005
  
      
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